This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We've got a reduced eight-game main slate Saturday evening, one that doesn't include a pitcher priced in five-figures. Similar to Friday, there are some lesser-named arms priced up given the reduced number of options, and frankly, it makes me uncomfortable. Picking the right arm seems like a make or break decision Saturday.
Charlie Morton, ATL vs. MIA ($9,000): Given the matchup, I'm a little surprised Morton is the slate's fourth most expensive arm. I expect heavy usage here, especially for cash lineups. Miami ranks 28th with a .294 wOBA against righties, having just a .136 ISO while striking out 25.5 percent of the time. Morton has turned in six quality starts in his last seven outings and has averaged 33.75 FanDuel points (FDP) in four starts against Miami this season, but 50.5 in his last two, where he's fanned 16 in 13 frames. I'm certainly not fading the options above him, but Morton is the obvious choice Saturday.
Brady Singer, KC at MIN ($8,000): Did Singer figure something out while he was sidelined for a month? The former first-round pick has allowed just four earned runs in his last four starts, spanning 24.2 innings, striking out 23 in the process. And those starts came against Houston (twice) the White Sox, and Seattle; with only the latter being considered a soft matchup. Minnesota doesn't strike out often, just 22.8 percent of the time, and rank 10th with a .320 wOBA, so this isn't a smash matchup. And the number doesn't scream bargain, but the form does.
Elieser Hernandez, MIA at ATL ($7,500): Hernandez is here almost by default, as I can't make a great case for the arms below him, mainly because none will throw enough innings to provide a return. Hernandez doesn't have a quality start and just one win, so we need him to eat five innings and strike out at least five, but that seems to be a reasonable bet. For as robust as Atlanta can be offensively, they have tremendous swing-and-miss tendencies throughout the lineup. Pair that with a slumping Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson, and we could find a way for Hernandez to reach 30 FDP.
Mookie Betts, LAD vs. SD ($3,900): Betts' .374 wOBA and .222 ISO are just okay. But Padres' starter Chris Paddack has been victimized by same-handed bats considerably more, allowing a .390 wOBA against .256 to lefties, so the thought is Betts' will play up a bit. Paddack has pitched to contact much more in the second half, averaging just 4.7 K/9, and that seems to be a bad strategy against this loaded lineup. Betts Ks only 14.1 percent of the time, so we can expect four balls in play Saturday, giving him ample chance for a return.
Aaron Judge, NYY vs. NYM ($3,800): The wheels have completely fallen off for Mets' starter Taijuan Walker, who has a 7.36 ERA, 7.05 FIP and 2.86 HR/9 allowed against a 2.66/3.05/0.57 first half. Judge's .375 wOBA and .228 ISO aren't huge and he's in a bit of a power drought, having homered just once since August 28th. But we'll trust the matchup, and Judge to be a run producer as such. Yankee bats are priced favorably for a stack in this situation if you so desire.
Alex Bregman, HOU vs. LAA ($3,200): Am I missing something with this price? Bregman is a known lefty masher, bringing a .400 wOBA into Saturday. Yes, the power hasn't been there this season, but he's homered in two of his last three. He's also in terrific form, bringing a 10-game hitting streak into this contest. At this price, he's essentially a free square.
Andrew Benintendi, KC at MIN ($3,100): This game has the highest total on the slate at 9.5 runs, and if we're believing in Singer above, it only makes sense to grab some offensive pieces to the Royals as well. Unfortunately, none have positive splits against righties, including Benintendi, who has just a .319 wOBA. He's scorching hot, however, driving in 11 runs in his last three games, going 8-for-14 in that small stretch.
J.P. Crawford, SEA vs. ARI ($2,800): Crawford doesn't exactly mash righties, carrying only a .302 wOBA into Saturday. But he fans only 17.8 percent of the time and hits leadoff. Putting the ball in play and getting as many cracks as possible at Humberto Castellanos is the immediate appeal here. Crawford went 4-for-5 in Castellanos' last start and is closing the year hot, collecting 14 hits and 10 RBI in his last 10 games, and has now homered in consecutive outings.
Stack to Consider
Mikolas' home/road splits are a little alarming, but his 3.21 ERA isn't supported by a 5.11 xFIP. He's also allowing a .371 wOBA to lefties against a .267 number to righties. Perhaps that scares some away from Castellanos, but he's largely matchup proof, boasting a .398 wOBA and .253 ISO against righties while having hit safely in eight of nine, four times collecting multiple knocks. Votto hasn't continued his torrid late July power surge, but still brings a .425 wOBA and .343 ISO to the table. Naquin figures to return to the lineup after an off day Friday, has a .233 ISO against righties and likely will hit near the top of the order.