This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A loaded 14-game slate awaits Friday, with only the Cardinals-Pirates' 6:35 p.m. et first pitch omitted. We've got two arms priced north of 12k, and while it falls off in name and number pretty quickly after the first three arms, there appear to be some enticing matchups worth targeting for value.
Gerrit Cole, NYY vs. DET ($12,200): Cole has been worth at least 47 FDP in four starts since a 34 FDP "dud" of an opener. It's an obvious spot, with Detroit striking out 27.1 percent of the time while posting a .293 wOBA and 89 wRC+ against righties. Given the number, Cole seems destined to underperform, but he's a obvious target for cash lineups.
Pablo Lopez, MIA at WAS ($8,100): Lopez has settled into the season, going for 89 FDP over his last two seasons, striking out 16 in 12 innings. He's failed to fan six just once in five starts, and faces a Washington lineup that ranks second-to-last with a .276 wOBA. They strike out a moderate 24.1 percent of the time, and could see Juan Soto rejoin the lineup, but Lopez held them in check last year, holding the Nats to two runs across 10.1 innings, fanning 10.
Nathan Eovaldi, BOS at TEX ($7,700): Eovaldi's inconsistencies don't make him ideal for cash, but there's clear upside at a discount for GPPs. He's managed 43+ FDP in two of his five outings, fanning 17 in 13.1 frames. He'll get a light hitting Rangers side that a meager .150 ISO and .311 wOBA against righties, fanning a league-high 31.8 percent of the time.
Robbie Ray, TOR vs. ATL ($7,100): We know the Braves offense has huge potential, but they've been largely ice cold to open the year. It's led to a league-low .225 wOBA, 39 wRC+ and .137 ISO against southpaws, fanning 31.8 percent of the time. Ray always brings strikeout potential, and the Braves are clearly willing to oblige. He's coming off of a 9K, 40 FDP outing against Tampa and if he can flirt with that here, it's 5.6x.
Trent Grisham, SD vs. SF ($3,900): These three top options weren't where I expected to go, but the deep slate affords us some value a the top. Grisham's .353 wOBA against righties is just okay, but the target is left-handed bats against Logan Webb's .492 wOBA and 1.155 OPS allowed to lefties. Grisham offers a power upside, and a run-scoring floor hitting in front of the Padres' top bats.
Kris Bryant, CHC at CIN ($3,800): Bryant looks like his former MVP self, boasting a .597 wOBA, .600 ISO, 280 wRC+ and 50 percent hard hit rate against lefties. It's a small sample, but there's no way I'm doubting it in a hitter-friendly ballpark against soft-tossing Wade Miley, who Bryant is 6-of-14 against with a 1.185 OPS.
Jose Ramirez, CLE at CWS ($3,800): Strength versus strength, as Sox starter Dallas Keuchel has been tough on righties but vulnerable to lefties to date. But Ramirez has been too good to ignore, owning a .474 wOBA and .389 ISO across his last 106 at bats against opposite-handed arms, and is 6-of-14 against Keuchel with a 1.181 OPS.
Jesus Aguilar, MIA at WAS ($3,600): Aguilar is white hot, hitting five homers in his last six games, scoring seven time while driving in 11 runs. It's resulted in a .405 wOBA against righties and a matchup with an unimposing Joe Ross.
Randal Grichuk, TOR vs. ATL ($3,200): Braves' starter Drew Smyly has been hit hard, but surprisingly more so by same-handed bats, having me pause a Blue Jays stack. But Grichuk is a near automatic play against left-handed arms, owning a .432 wOBA, .268 ISO and 1.022 OPS against them since the start of 2020.
Alex Verdugo, BOS at TEX ($3,200): Rangers' starter Kohei Arihara has been more vulnerable to righties, but Verdugo sees it well when facing opposite-handed arms, posting a .411 wOBA and 168 wRC+. He's got multiple hits in three of his last five, giving a path to 4x without the need for power. You could easily stack Boston here, with J.D. Martinez ($4,200) and Rafael Devers ($3,600) building blocks, but Verdugo hits in front of both, and if he reaches, he'll benefit and have solo appeal.
Stacks to Consider
Skubal is allowing a .411 wOBA to righties, a number that's risen to .472 on the road, making him ripe for the picking. Both Judge and LeMahieu appear to be warming, with the former having five hits in his last five games while posting a .454 wOBA, .357 ISO and 53.6 percent hard hit rate since 2020, while the latter has a 44.4 percent hard hit rate with a .398 wOBA and 159 wRC+ in the same span. The third piece here is interchangeable, and no one seems cost prohibitive. Higashioka mashes lefties but is no certainty to be in the lineup. Rougned Odor ($2,600) presents favorably even in a LvL spot though is feast or famine. Gio Urshella ($2,800) seems to be warming as well.
All three of these could be listed in the value category, so for GPPs, this makes for a tremendous, hopefully contrarian, value stack given current form. Anderson is allowing a .385 wOBA to lefties against a .285 spot to righties, and these three have solid track record against opposite-handed arms. Nimmo owns a .415 wOBA and 167 wRC+ in this spot since the start of last year, Smith .369/137 and Conforto .384/147. Conforto is warming, while Nimmo and Smith are struggling, so if your lineup build stacks elsewhere, the stand alone pick should be Conforto.