This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
14 games are on the main slate Friday evening, with only Cincinnati-Pittsburgh's 6:35 p.m. et first pitch omitted. There are only two pitchers priced in five-figures, so lineup builds will likely feature some savings there, and more depth offensively. Clayton Kershaw ($10,400) leads the way, and there's no way we can justify paying for him, having worked no more than five innings in any of his last four starts. Lance Lynn ($10,000) isn't in great form, but he gets a light hitting Detroit side that he's allowed just two runs in 12.0 innings against through two starts, fanning 15, leaving him as the likely choice atop the slate.
Sandy Alcantara, MIA vs. PHI ($9,300): Philadelphia has lost four straight, including being swept by the Braves and eliminated from the playoffs, scoring just five runs in that stretch. With nothing to play for, we can bank on a care free approach to close out the year. Pair that with Alcantara having allowed five runs while fanning 16 in 17.0 innings against them and we have a recipe for success. Alcantara is also in great form, going for less than 31 FDP just twice in his last 12 games, topping 51 FDP six times.
Ranger Suarez, PHI at MIA ($9,000): Staying in the same game, I expect many to ignore Suarez as the name/price don't seem to pair. But he's been darn good, going for at least 31 FDP in seven straight, averaging 39.7 FDP in that stretch. Miami ranks second-to-last in the league with a .285 wOBA against lefties, suggesting stability, and their 27.6 percent K rate lends itself to plenty of upside.
Nestor Cortes, NYY vs. TB ($7,900): There are a plethora of arms we can target in the mid-tier Friday if we're looking at AL options to step up in the thick of the wild card race. Cortes comes in as the lowest-priced option of that group, but I'm expecting a solid performance nonetheless. The Rays fan 25.5 percent of the time against lefties, so that should give him some stability. A .316 wOBA doesn't suggest he'll bottom out either. Cortes' has a 9.98 K/9 rate, and he's gone at least five innings in six of his last eight, so the hope is he can flirt with 4x (31.6 FDP), something he hasn't reached in two straight but had in four of his previous six.
Dakota Hudson, STL vs. CHC ($7,500): There aren't any clear pay down options Friday, though we could make a case for John Gant ($6,000) if you're confident he'll be allowed to pitch more than a handful of innings. Hudson is about as low as I'll go here otherwise. He threw five innings in his rehab starts, so there shouldn't be a great concern about his workload. And we know the Cubs are always targetable thanks to their swing and miss tendencies, currently fanning 27.2 percent of the time.
Vladimir Guerrero, TOR vs. BAL ($4,300): The Orioles haven't made their starter known, so we can't go full in on splits and suggest a stack. Guerrero works just fine individually however. He's not in great form power wise, having not homered since September 17 and is just 2-for-23 in his last six games. But those two hits, both doubles, have come in consecutive nights and I'm banking on a surge this weekend. Guerrero has simply owned the Orioles this season, going 22-of-63 (.349) with 10 HRs, 21 runs scored, 20 RBI and a 1.266 OPS.
Ozzie Albies, ATL vs. NYM ($4,200): Having clinched the NL East last night, it's fair to question motivation in this lineup Friday, and they could come in tired if they celebrated last night. But Mets' starter Tylor Megill has allowed at least four runs in four of his last six starts, and has been pelted by lefties to the tune of a .432 wOBA and 1.031 OPS. Albies meanwhile has taken to his move to the 3-hole and has produced eight double-digit FDP outings in his last 10 games. Stacking is certainly an option, but we need to see Atlanta's lineup construction first, as surely a regular or two gets a day off.
Mitch Haniger, SEA vs. LAA ($3,700): Haniger is doing his best to get the Mariners into the postseason. He's carrying a .373 wOBA and .279 ISO, both team highs, into Friday against lefties. He's homered three times in as many nights and has hit safely in eight straight and 10 of his last 12. Pair that with Angels' starter Jose Suarez having allowed seven runs across his last 10.2 innings, including four to Seattle last time out, and there's an obvious path to production.
Charlie Blackmon, COL at ARI ($3,600): Blackmon's price puts him in an odd spot; he's not really a value, but he's not someone we want to fully target as a safe option either. But we want some exposure to D'Backs starter Humberto Castellanos, who's allowed at least three runs in four straight, 14 total across as many innings. Blackmon has closed the season strong, sporting a .371 wOBA against righties in September.
Ryan Mountcastle, BAL at TOR ($3,200): Jays' starter Steven Matz has allowed 11 runs and 17 hits across 15 innings against the O's, so we want some shares of this offense, and there's plenty of value throughout the lineup, so stacking is certainly on the table if you're feeling gutsy. Stand alone, Mountcastle has a .269 ISO against lefties, and a reasonable .359 wOBA. He's also taken Matz deep in just seven at bats.
Jose Iglesias ($2,300)/Christian Arroyo ($2,000), BOS at WAS: Either or here, as one will likely draw the start over the other. I fully expect the Red Sox to take care of business as they try to secure a post season birth, and jump all over the Nats early, but their top bats aren't great statistically against lefties. Nats' starter Josh Rogers has been pretty good to be honest, but is allowing a .376 wOBA to righties against a .161 wOBA to lefties. Conveniently, these two are the Red Sox best against lefties, carrying a .397 and .377 wOBA, respectively.
Stacks to Consider
Howard hasn't appeared up to the task of getting major league hitters out, and comes in to Friday allowing a .409 wOBA to lefties and .374 wOBA to righties at home. This stack seems to offer a bit of everything, while getting exposure to three of the team's likely top four hitters. Ramirez anchors and has a stable .375 wOBA, 140 wRC+ and .295 ISO against righties. Reyes brings extra thump and boom potential with a .277 ISO. Straw meanwhile offers value, hits atop the order, and is riding a seven-game hitting streak where he's gone 13-for-32 (.406) with four extra-base hits and eight runs scored.
Lets get really weird with a boom or bust GPP, obviously heavily low used, value option here. Rockies' starter Jon Gray is limping to the close, having allowed 11 runs across his last four starts, spanning 18.2 innings. He's being hit incredibly hard by lefties, allowing a .416 wOBA, 9.06 FIP and just a 12.1 percent soft contact rate to opposite-handed bats since September 1. The D'Backs splits against righties are brutal, as Marte's .335 wOBA leads the way, so there's obviously the potential this nets zero points, and we're going strictly based on Gray's form. Perhaps a little more optimism can be found in BvP lines, which are a little more reliable given the familiarity of a division opponent. Smith doesn't fit that mold, but Marte is 10-of-27 (.370) and Peralta 17-of-40 (.425) against Gray in their careers.