This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We've got 13 games of which to build our lineups from. The names/matchup pairings atop the pitching slate doesn't scream at you, so paying up isn't a requirement. But a glaring lack of favorable spots puts us into some uncomfortable situations with lesser options priced higher than normal.
Robbie Ray, TOR at BAL ($11,200): While I don't love the top of this pitching slate, it's difficult to ignore Ray, especially for cash lineups. He's fanned 10 or more in four straight and has turned in quality starts in eight straight and 13 of 14. He's had mixed results against Baltimore, who fair reasonable well against lefties, so this isn't a must use. But compared to the rest of the top options, Ray profiles the most favorably.
Michael Wacha, TB at DET ($8,500): I honestly can't fathom Wacha at this price tag, but this slate is a different beast. He's channeling some vintage form, particularly as it relates to strikeouts, fanning 27 across his last 20.1 innings, and that should continue against a Tigers side that whiffs 25.9 percent of the time. He's not going to work deep, going six just once since July 7, but figures to be staked to some run support opposing a struggling Matthew Boyd, so win hunting isn't a wrong strategy.
Ian Anderson, ATL vs. MIA ($7,800): Anderson hasn't been good since returning from the IL, and he's never been known for his efficiency. So it's a target against the Marlins and nothing more. But the light-hitting fish bring just a .294 wOBA and .136 ISO to the table while fanning 25.4 percent of the time. Anderson may not give us six frames and a quality start, but less than five with five or fewer Ks would be disappointing.
Jon Lester, STL vs. CIN ($6,100): There's a decent chance a Red bat ends up in this column, but on a challenging slate for pitching, the soft tossing lefty has a shot at 3x thanks to the low price. He's not a strikeout option, so we're relying on serviceable innings only. But Lester has gone at least five straight and eight of nine, while allowing just one run in three straight and four of five. It's not ideal, but if we can get 20 FDP and open options offensively, there's a path to success.
Vladimir Guerrero, TOR at BAL ($4,600): O's starter Chris Ellis has actually been somewhat serviceable, but how can we fade Guerrero here? His splits versus righties are insane (.431 wOBA, 181 wRC+, .318 ISO, with just a 9.6 percent soft contact rate), he's homered in two straight and three of four, and has faired very well against Baltimore, hitting .362 with eight homers, 18 RBI, and a 1.330 OPS in 47 at bats.
Pete Alonso, NYM vs. NYY ($3,900): Alonso has hit safely in nine straight and in 10 of 11, something we don't normally see from the slugger. He's homered three times in that stretch, and pairing the form with a .388 wOBA and .350 ISO against lefties should set him up for continued success against Yankees' starter Jordan Montgomery.
Ketel Marte, ARI at SEA ($3,800): Marte hasn't been brilliant of late, and he still has a .508 wOBA, 220 wRC+, .363 ISO and 1.235 OPS against lefties. His price has slid a bit, and the matchup is too good to ignore. Mariners' starter Marco Gonzales has allowed two homers in each of his last three starts, including one to Marte on September 4th.
Anthony Rizzo, NYY at NYM ($3,500): The shine appears to be coming off of Mets' starter Tylor Megill, who has allowed 13 runs in his last 14.2 innings. He's also surrendering a .409 wOBA to lefties against a .239 wOBA to righties, something the Yankees don't have many of. Enter Rizzo, who snapped his power drought last night and has hit safely in five straight, collecting seven knocks total. A slumping Joey Gallo ($2,400) is also in play if you need to go cheap to close out your lineup.
Miguel Sano, MIN vs. KC ($3,200): Royals' starter Daniel Lynch is allowing a .372 wOBA to righties on the road, and while his 3.47 road ERA is decent, it's not supported by a 5.04 xFIP. We'll chase Sano's power upside here, as he's homered in three of his last five. He's surprisingly been more than just power of late, posting a .308 average against lefties since August 1.
Abraham Toro, SEA vs ARI ($3,000): Toro has minimal at best power upside, posting just a .098 ISO against lefties. But he brings a stable floor at this number by means of a .374 wOBA. He's hot too, riding a five-game hitting streak where he's gone 9-of-21 with four doubles, six RBI, four runs scored, two walks and a steal. D'Backs' starter Madison Bumgarner is limping to the finish, having allowed 14 runs in his last 17 innings.
Stacks to Consider
This is probably going to be incredibly chalky, but there's good reason. Franco's on-base streak is at 38 games, so there's a terrifically stable floor and upside with a .430 wOBA, 181 wRC+ and .267 ISO against lefties. Cruz is surging with four homers in his last five games and is a known lefty masher despite some unfavorable splits since joining the Rays. And we know Zunino's proclivity to crush southpaws, carrying a .536 wOBA, 253 wRC+ and .545 ISO into Friday. He went yard twice in his last start against a lefty to boot.
Not much value here, but grabbing the top third of the Braves order is never a bad option. Albies is always in play against a lefty, this season having a .396 wOBA, 147 wRC+ and .275 ISO. Soler actually betters him in his short time with the Braves, going .398/148/.362. Freeman is just a rock solid anchor. There's not a great price difference, but if you need to save a few bucks, Adam Duvall ($3,600) works as well. He's been down this season against lefties, but historically hits them well. Rogers, for his part, has allowed four runs in nine innings against the Braves, not a huge sum but not small either. He also hasn't thrown more than five innings since June 29, so we expect the Braves to get after him quickly.