This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
FanDuel offers a 15-game slate Friday. We're also nearly three months into the season, and there are a lot of injuries and lineup shuffling to contend with, so make sure to check the injury reports on RotoWire. The Lineups page is a good way to see who is getting more playing time or better placement in the batting order due to players being injured, rested or just flat out benched. Here are some of the plays to keep an eye on for Friday.
Francisco Liriano ($9,900) - I cannot talk about Liriano until I talk about the Elephant in the room. Max Scherzer is a stud and you get no arguments from me if you use him, but his price is high, and he faces a team that does not strike out a lot. Of course, he has only given up one hit in his last 18 innings. Liriano, though, is just as big a favorite today at -200, he's $2,000 cheaper and faces a line up that struggles with left-handed pitchers and is missing it's biggest bat in Freddie Freeman. Liriano has been very good outside a small hiccup in his last game. He is a high strikeout guy and faces the team with the eighth-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching. He also is at home in his pitcher friendly park. Scherzer might be the highest scorer, but it's tough to fill out a roster with him on top. That extra $2,000 you save using Liriano really does go a long way toward better hitters.
Miguel Montero ($2,300) - Montero is cheap, and you need some cheap players to fit in the elite pitching necessary to win. He gets a matchup with John Lackey and will find himself in the middle of the order. Lackey struggles most with left-handed bats, and Montero is one of the few who also has good lineup placement, home-run upside and is cheap. He should play since David Ross caught Thursday.
Adam Lind ($3,800) - Adam Lind is a tad pricey, but he also has a great matchup. He faces Trevor May, who struggles more with left-handed bats. Lind has great numbers with right-handers on the mound. In 200 at-bats he is hitting .290 with 10 homers in 200 ABs. Lind likely won't be used much, so he definitely gives you a leg up.
Jeff Baker ($2,300) - Jeff Baker is the right-handed bat in the Miami platoon split. The Marlins face Brett Anderson, a lefty that struggles against right-handed bats. Baker tends to find himself in the six-hole against lefties and offers some pop and upside. He hits behind a lot of big bats who hit left-handers well, like Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, so he should have a few RBI opportunities, as well. It really only takes an RBI double at this price to pay off his salary, and Baker can definitely do that in a good splits matchup.
Ian Desmond ($2,300) -Ian Desmond is way too cheap for his upside. He faces Aaron Harang, who has been horrible lately. Harang has given up 20 runs in his last 24 innings over the previous four games, which also includes six home runs. Left-handed bats do better, but Desmond has some pop and can homer against either handedness of pitcher. At $2,300 he also does not need to do much to pay off his salary. A hit, an RBI and a run scored reaches value for him and also allows you to save salary for other spots.
Adrian Beltre ($3,000) - Adrian Beltre just came back off the DL and slotted right back into his cleanup spot. He is needed because that Texas lineup is very left-handed and he provides a righty bat in the middle of the order against left-hander Mark Buehrle. Buehrle struggles more with right-handed bats and this game is in the homer- and hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. Beltre has power and hits for average, plus he is cheaper than usual. He's one of the few players I think you can attack Buehrle with in a good park to go after him with power.
Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100) - Here is the one bat for which you should pay. Stanton faces left-hander Brett Anderson. He is batting .304 with nine home runs in only 56 at-bats against left-handed pitching. This is a great matchup for him, and he is the top option for a home run. He is not cheap, and it's tough to fit him in with elite pitching today, but it should be worth the effort.
Gregory Polanco ($2,300) - Polanco is the cheap option who will help you use the elite players. He is usually atop the order against right-handed pitching. Polanco is a left-handed bat who has upside and has had some big games. And $2,300 is dirt cheap against Williams Perez, who has a .280 batting average against and three homers allowed in 19 innings vs. left-handed batters. Polanco has some speed, some pop and scores runs from that leadoff spot. He, too, does not need to do much to return value at his price.
Scott Van Slyke ($3,000) - Van Slyke tends to find himself in the middle of that Dodgers order against left-handed pitching. He had eight home runs in 103 at-bats against southpaws in 2014. He faces Miami rookie Justin Nicolino in a favorable matchup. And $3,000 is not too expensive in a great matchup. Van Slyke also is a platoon player, which tend to be used less frequently. The same holds true for Ryan Raburn, who is a tad cheaper if you need to save even more.