This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
After a jam-packed Opening Day, we've got a bit of a reprieve Friday before normally full slates moving forward, as just six games are on the docket here, with first pitch at 7:10 p.m. EDT for the main slate, omitting Baltimore vs. Boston.
The smaller player pool likely leads to a lot of high usage for cash purposes, but GPP players have less to sort through and may not need as many entries to find success. We've got six lefties scheduled to be on the hill, which can create some opportunities to differentiate both pitching and hitting.
Trevor Bauer, LAD at COL ($10,000): We saw Friday that Coors Field is still Coors Field, and while the Rockies may not be trying to win, they can still find gaps in that big outfield. Perhaps Clayton Kershaw's rough outing has Bauer bursting at the gills with motivation (or pine tar), but it just doesn't seem wise to spend this much for the top starter when throwing in the league's most hitter-friendly park. I can easily make the GPP argument as a low used option, but cash game players should likely look elsewhere for stability.
Blake Snell, SDP vs. ARI ($9,500): The discount from Bauer isn't huge, but it's enough to make Snell my preferred option if paying up for pitching Friday. He had a dominant spring (14.1 scoreless innings, 13 Ks), is pitching in a far friendlier ballpark, and faces a Diamondbacks lineup that doesn't have a lot of turnover from 2020 after posting a meager .291 wOBA and .133 ISO against lefties.
Pablo Lopez, MIA vs. TAM ($7,800): Lopez was solid during the spring (2.63 ERA, 9 Ks in 13.2 innings) and is set to build off of a solid 2020. His home/road splits were dramatically different, but we can feel safer with him pitching at cavernous Marlins Park. The Rays will likely go lefty heavy, which is just fine with Lopez, who allowed a mere .298 wOBA and .690 OPS to opposite-handed bats at home. These two played to a 1-0 final Thursday, and this contest has the lowest total on Friday's slate. With no certainty on how long the Rays' Ryan Yarbrough will throw, Lopez profiles terrifically.
Cristian Javier, HOU at OAK ($7,000): There truthfully aren't any ideal pay-down options on the bump Friday, with only a $4,000 price difference from top to bottom. Javier seems the best of the "worst", so long as there is some efficiency, as he's unlikely to top 80 pitches. Oakland has swing and miss tendencies and posted only a .318 wOBA and .177 ISO against righties a year ago.
Corey Seager, LAD at COL ($4,500): Just as was the case Thursday, Dodger bats will be where most lineup builds start. Seager is a hair cheaper than Mookie Betts ($4,800) and Cody Bellinger ($4,700), and is coming off of a white-hot spring where he homered seven times. He's taken Rockies' starter Antonio Senzatela deep twice in 15 at bats, and is coming off year where he posted a .416 wOBA, 166 wRC+ and .301 ISO against righties.
Fernando Tatis, SDP vs. ARI ($4,300): Truthfully, I wanted to omit top Padre bats and focus on value, and regular DFS managers know BvP stats are unreliable. But when you pair Tatis posting a .414 wOBA and .321 ISO against righties last season with the fact that he's taken D'Backs starter Merrill Kelly deep three times in 11 at bats, it's hard to ignore this potential blowup spot.
Anthony Rendon, LAA vs. CHW ($3,900): Rendon posted a .420 wOBA, 171 wRC+ and .288 ISO last year against lefties. He went .418/158/.301 the year prior and a modest .382/139/.277 in 2018. He simply enjoys facing lefties and can be a nice contrarian top bat here amongst bigger names.
Alex Bregman, HOU vs. OAK ($3,700): I'll consider Bregman a value at anything under 4k, as I expect a bounce back year. Despite last season's overall struggles, he turned in another solid campaign against southpaws, posting a .408 wOBA and .255 ISO. A year ago this time, Bregman was a must-play against lefties, so I'll take my chances at this number.
Gavin Lux, LAD at COL ($3,000): We'll obviously have to check the Dodgers lineup for confirmation as they have so many options. But Lux started and hit seventh Thursday and it make sense they'll continue to feature lefties against the right-handed starter. Lux is a cheap buy in to the slate's top offense, brings pop to the table and takes care of a less than desirable position.
Taylor Trammell, SEA vs. SF ($2,500): Trammell has assumed starting action with Kyle Lewis sidelined, slotting into the five-hole Thursday. His prospect shine has long worn off, but he's facing a 35-year old Johnny Cueto who doesn't profile as a big league starter any longer. He walked 5.2 lefties per nine last year, and if Trammell can manage that and come across to score, he returns. Anything else is gravy, and there's a reason he was once highly regarded.
Stacks to Consider
It's obviously unsustainable, but Tim Anderson posted an obscene .606 wOBA, 299 wRC+ and .551 ISO against lefties last year. That certainly makes him a stand alone target. Robert slotted into the two-hole yesterday, and assuming he's there again here, we've got a nice 1-2-3 stack that has speed, power and contact ability. Heaney was actually far better at home last year, but did allow a 45 percent fly ball rate to righties, giving Abreu a chance to lift one.
Here's a GPP/low-cost/outside the box stack to consider. Kikuchi was feast or famine in 2020, three times allowing one or zero runs, while five times allowing four or five runs. While some of that was bad luck, the runs still happened. The Giants hit lefties well last season, with Slater leading the way at a robust .470 wOBA. Solano and Flores offer position flexibility, and Flores had a sound .383 ISO and .392 wOBA in 2020, with Solano posting a .373 wOBA. Kikuchi is a ground ball guy, so this may need to single and double their way to success, but hitting 1-3-5 should offer some run producing opportunities.