This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We appear to be settling into more traditional slates, with fewer mid-day starts and loaded evening schedules. This will be my first slate preview with double-digit games, so there's plenty to digest with 10 contests on the board. Monday's rainout in Baltimore robbed us of some intriguing options, as they're now playing a double-dip starting at 4:05 p.m. EDT. The evening main will now lock at 7:07 p.m.
If we include Lucas Giolito, we've got a clear top four arms that I'm going to intentionally omit from the breakdown below. All four can flirt with 4x, and my personal preference is Trevor Bauer at $11,000 if paying up. He'll be at home against a light-hitting Rockies squad that comes in with a 64 wRC+ against righties to date, and one he posted 43 FDP against in his Dodger debut.
Brandon Woodruff, MIL vs. CHC ($8,800): There are a remarkable seven games with a run total of 7.5-8, so paying a premium for arms doesn't appear to make sense. I was successful targeting Freddy Peralta against the Cubs on Monday, and see no reason to deviate. Chicago has a paltry .229 wOBA, 43 wRC+ and 29.1 percent strikeout rate in the early going. Woodruff allowed five runs and nine hits across 16.1 innings last year against the Cubs, fanning 21.
Luis Castillo, CIN at SF ($8,400): I personally like both sides on the bump here, but at a $300 discount, we'll highlight Castillo over adversary Kevin Gausman, who has a lesser strikeout potential and faces the better offense. The Giants are fanning at a 27.9 percent clip, while Castillo has posted a K/9 north of 10.0 in each of the last two seasons. As such, he's due some good fortune.
Max Fried, ATL vs. MIA ($7,600): I'm expecting Fried to be a popular cap-saving option, but I think I'm fading him personally. He's been incredibly inefficient in two starts, resulting in just seven innings during which he's allowed 17 base runners and seven runs. He managed only 7.1 innings in two outings against Miami last season, and the Marlins are currently fanning a mere 21.4 percent against lefties. There appears to be a stable floor here, as we can't expect the Marlins offense to explode, but I'd personally pivot to his adversary Pablo Lopez ($7,400) as an option with similar potential but lower roster rate.
Jake Odorizzi, HOU vs. DET ($6,700): The Astros are sound (-180) favorites, but can we chase a win in Odorizzi's first start, where he'll likely throw fewer (perhaps significantly fewer) than 90 pitches? There's familiarity here even with Odorizzi not having faced the Tigers in 2020, as he posted a 1.88 ERA across four starts against them in 2019, fanning 27 in 24.0 innings. Pair that with Detroit's .278 wOBA and 27.7 percent K-rate, and five innings can still get us 4x value.
Mike Trout, LAA at KC ($4,400): This is stating the obvious, but I'm just here to remind readers Trout faces a lefty Tuesday in Danny Duffy, one that he's 9-for-20 against. I managed to build a cash lineup with him Monday night, and it's again doable with some bargain arms in plus spots.
Ronald Acuna, ATL vs. MIA ($4,300): As I sit down to write this column, Acuna's last game and a half has included beating out a routine grounder to short, homering, walking, stealing and scoring, lacing a triple, and scoring on a sac fly to the second baseman. He's been a one-man wrecking crew for Atlanta thus far, and has dominated the Marlins in his career. He's a sound 5-for-14 against Marlins' starter Pablo Lopez with two long balls. No advanced metrics needed, he's in a zone and impacts the game at multiple levels, making him an anchor to build around.
Alex Bregman, HOU vs. DET ($3,900): Bregman's tag has moved down slightly thanks to a couple of ohfors, and some minor ailments that kept him from the lineup once. He's a known lefty masher though, with a 1.141 OPS against since 2019, and Detroit is sending Matthew Boyd to the mound.
Austin Meadows, TB vs. TEX ($3,200): Meadows has only driven himself in to date, which is resulting in a salary discount. Rangers' starter Kyle Gibson is allowing a .531 wOBA, 1.196 OPS and has just a 12.5 percent strikeout rate against lefties coming in. As such, we like Meadows' chances to put the ball in play, and do damage with that contact.
Zach McKinstry, LAD vs. COL ($3,000): This appears to be Tuesday's free square, as McKinstry seems assured of playing time with Cody Bellinger out, leading to probable huge usage. Ride the opportunity as he's driving in runs in a loaded lineup, and Rockies' starter Antonio Senzatela allowed seven runs to this squad in his season debut.
Nick Solak, TEX at TB ($2,700): If you're looking for a pay-down option with a low roster rate, Solak merits consideration. Twelve of the 13 hits, and all the runs, Rays' starter Ryan Yarbrough has allowed to date have been produced by righties. Solak brings a team-leading .399 wOBA against lefties to the table, and while he's not barreling it at a great rate (just 14.3 percent), his 71.4 percent medium hit rate gives me enough confidence he'll be involved in whatever the Rangers put on the board.
Stacks to Consider
There are seemingly infinite ways to go with a contrarian, GPP-oriented Nationals stack. The appeal is how bad their offense has been due to their early-season absences, likely resulting in low usage across the board. Pair that with Flaherty's struggles (six runs in 10.1 innings on the heels of last year's regression) and there should be a path to a resurgent performance from Washington. There's also the factor their welcoming back free agent acquisitions Josh Bell ($2,500) and Kyle Schwarber ($2,500), which should offer lineup protection at worst. As is, this 1-2-3 stack isn't overpriced, but you could even go Robles, Bell, Schwarber and enjoy bargain GPP upside.
It will be interesting to see if the Astros alter their lineup given the balance they have with right and left-handed bats. If they do, we could see a few more run producing chances for this group. We want to go heavy on righties against Boyd, who allowed a .410 wOBA, .985 OPS and 6.41 FIP against them last year while shutting down lefties. This adds further appeal to Bregman, and there's certainly nothing wrong with using Jose Altuve ($4,000). There's also some value in Correa, who is off to a terrific start. Gurriel meanwhile has a .404 wOBA and .289 ISO against lefties since the start of 2020.