This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We've got a full 15-game, 30 team slate on tap Friday with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. et. Spin rate/lack of substance on the ball has the pitching pricing incredibly awkward, as Robbie Ray comes in higher than Trevor Bauer. This is a weird slate for me, one that doesn't seem to present with clear cash game targets who feel safe, but there seem to be some solid GPP pivots we wouldn't normally target, or feature in this column.
Jose Berrios, MIN at TEX ($9,000): Nothing about this slate presents normally, and I can find flaws with all of the top-priced arms. Enter Berrios at a $2,000 discount from Ray. He's fanned at least six in four of five entering a matchup against a Rangers' side that's whiffing at a 26.1 percent clip against righties. Berrios has been worth at least 41 FDP in three of four, giving him clear 4x+ upside.
James Kaprielian, OAK at NYY ($8,000): As stated, lets get weird. Going against the Yankees, especially at home, isn't normally a play. But they fan 25.1 percent of the time, and Kaprielian has managed six or more Ks in four of his six starts, resulting in better than 4x return at this tag. He's struggled with walks (4.45 per nine) and the Yankees will take their free passes, so he may not have quality start upside, but New York's win and miss tendencies seem to suggest a safe floor, as does their meager 96 wRC+ against righties.
Alex Cobb, LAA vs. DET ($7,500): On a slate with limited clear options, we can usually fall back on starters facing bad teams, and Detroit certainly qualifies. The upside is that the Tigers fan 26.9 percent of the time against righties. The downside however is that they have a .160 ISO, a small number but higher than the .152 number the Yankees above carry. Cobb has been awful in his last two outings, allowing five runs to each the Mariners and Diamondbacks, but he's been worth at least 30 FDP in six of nine starts, and should see ample run support against adversary Jose Urena, who's been lit up of late.
Zach Davies, CHC vs. MIA ($7,000): Davies is surging, and doesn't need to be perfect at this number to provide 4x or better. He's allowed one run or less in seven of his last nine outings, fanning at least four four times in that stretch. Maybe the Ks aren't great enough for a huge return, but the Marlins do whiff at a 25.5 percent clip, which won't hurt Davies' cause.
Ronald Acuna, ATL vs. STL ($4,500): Acuna has reached based in 25 straight games, giving him a stable floor. He's running more of late with three steals in his last six games, and we know the immense upside he possesses. If you need more than conjecture to buy in, Acuna has a .313 ISO, .412 wOBA, 162 wRC+ and 42.0 percent hard hit rate against righties. Cards' starter Carlos Martinez is a shell of his former self, having allowed 17 runs in his last 11.2 innings.
Trea Turner, WAS vs. NYM ($3,800): Turner is a near automatic play against lefties, posting a .449 wOBA and 187 wRC+. He's not in great form, and Mets' starter Joey Lucchesi has lasted five innings only once to date, so it's fair to question how many times Turner gets a crack at the southpaw, but it's a plus matchup while it lasts and we can take advantage of Turner being priced under 4k.
Matt Olson, OAK at NYY ($3,700): Yankees' starter Jameson Taillon has some peculiar home/road splits, but overall is allowing a .390 wOBA to left-handed bats, adding 2.31 HR/9 and a 52.1 percent fly ball rate. Olson counters with a .406 wOBA, .281 ISO, just a 9.8 percent soft contact rate. He lifts the ball at a 40.2 percent rate and 20.4 percent of those flies leave the yard. Given the short porch in right field, it's easy to see why Olson is just (+210) to homer Friday.
Bobby Bradley, CLE at PIT ($3,500): Bradley is white hot, mashing righties to the tune of a .407 ISO, .522 wOBA, 235 wRC+ while owning a zero-percent soft contact rate. While we're largely chasing power here, Chad Kuhl seem's willing to oblige, allowing 1.88 per nine innings to lefties. He walks opposite-handed bats as often as he strikes them out (17.6 percent) which should give Bradley a more stable floor than usual. A mini stack with Jose Ramirez ($4,100) is awfully appealing.
Omar Narvaez, MIL at COL ($3,200): We don't want to ignore Coors Field completely, even if the Rockies are facing an ace in Corbin Burnes and the Brews offense stinks. Enter Narvaez, who has a team-leading .406 wOBA against righties, adding a 159 wRC+ and .195 ISO.
Abraham Almonte, ATL vs. STL ($2,600): Almonte has moved into the cleanup spot in the Braves' lineup, and is benefiting from hitting behind their big three and in front of capable options like Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley. Almonte has a .455 wOBA and 191 wRC+ against righties, far above his career norms so we know regression is coming. But for this price, you can't find someone in a better spot to drive in runs, something he's done in three straight. He's also averaging 14.86 FDP in his last five, a 5.7x return.
Stacks to Consider
Grichuk's proclivity to hit lefties makes this a bit more affordable. He has the lowest wOBA of this trio at .388, but it's buoyed by a .281 ISO. Guerrero surprisingly doesn't have great power numbers against southpaws, owning a weak .125 ISO and 34.1 hard hit percent rate, but with a .397 wOBA and just a 10.6 percent K rate, he seems safe, albeit maybe with less upside than his tag merits. Bichette brings a nice .404 wOBA and 157 wRC+ to the table. I expect this to be incredibly popular, so maybe just one or two pieces and pivot elsewhere is the answer, but there's clear reason for the trendiness of these selections.
How many Red Sox can you fit into your lineup? Kowar hasn't proven he can get major league hitters out, having allowed eight runs, eight hits and five walks in just 2.0 innings (two starts). All three of these carry a wOBA of at least .400 against righties, and Devers' 153 wRC+ and Bogaerts .251 ISO are the lowest of the bunch. Need to save some coin? Alex Verdugo ($3,300) hits righties well and likely is slotted in front of these three in the lineup, as will Kike Hernandez ($3,000).
Urena has been shelled of late, allowing seven runs in 1.2 innings in his last outing, and 19 total in his last five, which includes 5.2 shutout innings against the Indians. He doesn't miss any bats, fanning a meager 13.6 percent of the batters he faces, giving this trio ample chances to put the ball in play. Ohtani carries a .402 wOBA, 159 wRC+ and .311 ISO against righties into the contest, while Walsh goes .437/182/.302 and Stassi a near identical .437/182/.244. Using a catcher is always risky as they are in and out of the lineup more frequently, so if Stassi sits, a two-man mini stack, or a pivot to Taylor Ward ($2,800) works.