This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
An 11-game slate awaits Saturday, with only one-top arm on the bump, making for interesting lineup choices.
It's Justin Verlander ($12,500) and everyone else. He's coming off of a 14 K no hitter, and while the pitch count was huge there, he has had a full five days to recover. The Mariners have a 25.4 percent whiff rate against righties, and the only pause here is if the Astros limit Verlander's pitches.
Mike Minor ($9,300) is your next option price wise, and while he's coming off a nice rebound outing against the Yankees, he has faded in the second half and allowed 13 runs in his previous three starts. Baltimore's lineup isn't one to shy away from, but form and a mild ballpark in Camden Yards is enough for me to look elsewhere. Yu Darvish ($9,200) rounds out the 9k tier, and after having his last start skipped for rest, there's additional talk on limiting his work Saturday. As such, the matchup is irrelevant and he's a low owned GPP flier only in hopes of five great innings.
Andrew Heaney ($8,800) is going to garner a lot of eyes, especially for GPPers given the strikeout potential. Prior to his last start (15 FanDuel points (FDP) v. Boston), Heaney had a 40-point floor and 73 point ceiling thanks to 30 Ks across 21 innings. There's a lot to like against White Sox offense that fans 24.0 percent against southpaws.
Oakland's Chris Bassitt ($8,200) is going to be equally as obvious as Heaney, especially in cash games where the upside may not be as great, but the floor is certainly more stable. The A's are huge favorites (-281), and the Tigers rank last with a 75 wRC+, adding a .286 wOBA and 26.9 percent fan rate. Given the lack of top options, Bassitt is a preferred pivot from Verlander.
It certainly looks like a slate to pay down for pitching, and there are two options that present well and also have plus matchups for their offense against their adversaries. Joey Lucchesi ($7,600) gets a slumping Rockies team that has a 25.2 percent whiff rate against lefties. His five-game floor is 23 FDP, which is still 3x value. The Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin ($6,400) has great win probability with L.A. being (-250) favorites. He's allowed two or fewer runs in five straight appearances, so the only concern is him not being efficient enough to work five and qualify for a win against a Giants offense that ranks 27th with a .298 wOBA against righties.
Outside of a Coors Field game, it doesn't get more chalky than the Astros against lefties, which we have Saturday with Yusei Kikuchi ($5,900) on the hill. We can constrict a little on our options with George Springer ($4,000) hurt, leaving Jose Altuve ($4,200), Alex Bregman ($4,300) and Yordan Alvarez ($4,200) all solo options, and priced low enough to stack if going low on the mound. All three have a wOBA north of .415.
Despite the lack of top end pitching, there are only two games with double-digit run totals: Atlanta hosting Washington and the Angels at White Sox. If we're believing in Heaney above, then the Angels should be bought freely against Dylan Covey ($5,600). If you're paying down for arms, this is a terrific stacking opportunity around Mike Trout ($4,600). Covey is allowing a .429 wOBA and 1.036 OPS to lefties, which puts Kole Calhoun ($3,000) and Shohei Ohtani ($2,900) in play at a great price.
The Atlanta-Washington game is an interesting one for bats with Julio Teheran ($7,900) and Austin Voth ($7,000) squaring off. Teheran has been great of late (two runs over 19 innings) and sound against the Nats this season, and has only allowed five homers across 281 at bats to current Nationals. But the Nats' bats have been held quiet through two games and feel overdue for a bust out, as the 10.5 run total supports. Anthony Rendon ($4,300) is obvious, but as the highest priced at in this game, there are other choices. Victor Robles ($3,300) and Kurt Suzuki ($2,500) stand out as values for the Nats. Voth has been far better than name recognition suggests, going for two 19 FDP games and two 37 FDP games in five appearances. One of those 37 FDP games came against Atlanta, but given the Braves' pricing, I'm not going to be bashful when putting Ronald Acuna ($4,000), Freddie Freeman ($3,900) or Josh Donaldson ($3,400) into my lineup.
Mets vs. Drew Smyly (Phillies)
Alonso is nearly automatic here with his .391 wOBA and .372 ISO against the lefties, making him a staple for this slate. McNeil and Rosario have at least a .383 wOBA and 141 wRC+ against righties and are in more than good form. Smyly has allowed 21 runs in his last 31.0 innings, surrendering a .47 wOBA to lefties and a .371 wOBA to righties. He can safely be attacked from all angles.
Padres vs. Jeff Hoffman (Rockies)
Talk about a bargain stack. Hoffman has a 7.36 road ERA and 5.55 xFIP away from Coors Field, allowing a .432 wOBA to righties in the process, putting Machado immediately into the equation for his price alone. Garcia, hitting atop the lineup, has a .335 wOBA thanks in part to a 12.8 percent walk rate, and getting on base can lead to an easy run here. Hosmer honestly just gets mentioned thanks to a .347 wOBA against righties, the highest total amongst active Royals.