This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We're treated to a full 15-game slate Friday night, which I've stated isn't my forte as I can get overwhelmed with the plethora of choices, and sometimes overthink the obvious. The two top arms are squaring off against each other, and after the top five-ish arms, things seem to drop off quickly. There are also at least four unconfirmed starters paired against FanDuel's suggestions. I'll omit offenses in those spots as such, but if you see a plus matchup, comment and question why it's not included, and we'll adjust our targets.
Max Scherzer, WAS at PHI ($11,200): Given the slate's overall depth, I'm not sure I want to pay five-figures on the bump. But if I do, I'll take the stability Scherzer provides. He's been under 33 FDP just once all year while going for at least 42 FDP in seven of 11 starts. His adversary in Zack Wheeler is more dependent on the strikeout, knocking him down against the Nats', who only fan 22.3 percent of the time. The Phillies meanwhile whiff at a 25.7 percent clip.
Shohei Ohtani, LAA vs. SEA ($9,500): If I had faith in Ohtani working deep, he'd be my top choice Friday. The Mariners carry only a .287 wOBA and .156 ISO into the contest, fanning 25.5 percent of the time. But Ohtani has gone more than six innings only once to date. The upside is there given the matchup. The floor at this number isn't much more than 3x.
Freddy Peralta, MIL vs. ARI ($8,700): Peralta has fanned at least seven in 10 straight, resulting in 45 FDP in three of his last four, four of six and six times overall on the year. The Diamondbacks are middling against righties, ranking 17th with a .299 wOBA, and while the strikeout rate is only 23.9 percent, Peralta's sustained K rate (no worse the 11.03 K/9 across four seasons) figures to push force the issue against this lineup.
Cody Poteet, MIA at PIT ($6,900): I expect Dallas Keuchel ($6,700) against Detroit to be the popular pay down, and Arizona's Matt Peacock ($6,400) profiles similarly against a light hitting Brewers squad. Want a contrarian choice? Enter Poteet. He was hit hard by Boston, but allowed only two runs across 17 innings against the Mets, Phillies and D'Backs, fanning 13. Pittsburgh brings a weak .117 ISO, .288 wOBA and moderate 23.1 percent K rate.
Fernando Tatis, SDP vs. NYM ($4,600): Tatis didn't appear bothered by an oblique issue last night, going yard for the 17th times in route to his fifth game in his last seven with at least 24.9 FDP. He actually isn't as dominant against opposite-handed arms as you'd expect, but his .315 wOBA is bolstered by a .286 ISO. There are strikeout concerns, as Tatis whiffs 39.6 percent of the time against lefties, while Mets' starter Joey Lucchesi is in a revenge spot against his former team and is fanning 10.9 righties per nine. But is anyone afraid of Lucchesi? His 6.56 ERA isn't supported by a 3.22 FIP, but he's allowing a .378 wOBA to righties on the road, and that's enough to make me buy Tatis rather than fade.
Nick Castellanos, CIN at STL ($4,100): Castellanos has earned FDP in every game since May 11, presently safely. Mix in his team-leading .492 wOBA, .343 ISO and 212 wRC+ against lefties in a matchup with Kwang Hyun Kim and there appears a stable floor at a fair number with plenty of potential.
Matt Olson, OAK at COL ($4,100): Olson isn't overpriced for a slugger in Coors' Field, and he mashes opposite-handed arms to the tune of a .401 wOBA, .292 ISO and has cut his K rate down to 11.3 percent. Rockies' starter Jonathan Gray has been more than solid at home, but Olson appears too hot to fade, going for a homer, seven hits, six RBI and five runs in his last four.
Juan Soto, WAS at PHI ($3,600): Anyone that watched Soto in Atlanta over the last four days can see he's coming around, driving the ball to left center regularly with power, resulting in five hits, two homers, six walks and six RBI. This price is essentially a free square; I can't imagine he'll be a "value bat" again this year. Soto is just 5-of-24 against Zack Wheeler, but has walked seven times, putting him on base in roughly 40 percent of his chances. That's the floor, and there's clearly a high ceiling.
James McCann, NYM at SDP ($2,700): Blake Snell hasn't enjoyed his move to the National League, and is allowing a .391 wOBA to righties thus far, adding 1.91 HR/9 and an absurd 7.36 BB/9. McCann meanwhile has a .434 wOBA, 181 wRC+ and .370 ISO against lefties. He doesn't walk often, so maybe there's a zero point floor, but he appears to be warming up, homering in three of his last four starts while collecting nine hits in his last 20 at bats.
Odubel Herrera, PHI vs. WAS ($2,700): Want an odd, BvP/GPP option, here you go. Herrera is somehow 15-of-43 (.349) against Max Scherzer, homering twice, doubling four times and walking six, leading to a 1.056 OPS. It's a large enough sample size to take a chance with a few lineups, as you have to assume less than five percent usage.
Stacks to Consider
I have no idea what's wrong with Castillo, but I'm happy to target against him until he figures it out. He's allowing a .389 wOBA to lefties and .383 wOBA to righties, so we can target wherever we want. He's also allowed 12 runs in 8.1 frames across two starts against the Cardinals. St. Louis bats aren't crushing righties, Goldschmidt is warming, with at least 9.2 FDP in six of his last eight, while Carson is feasting hitting in the 2-hole ahead of Goldy, collecting seven hits in his last four entering Thursday. Arenado can clean up the mess behind these two in the cleanup spot, and while not in great form, he counters with a 4-of-9 number against Castillo.
We're targeting as many left-handed bats as possible against Shoemaker, who carries a .392 wOBA against them into Friday. Mondesi is the wildcard given his health, but we know he can impact with both power and speed. Benintendi is my anchor as a nice value, carrying a .375 wOBA against righties into this contest. Santana claims the third spot in(de)spite of a .344 wOBA, as again, we want to force the LvR matchup.