This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
FanDuel has a 14-game slate for Major League Baseball on Friday. We have also passed the two-month mark of the season and there are a lot of injuries and lineup shuffling to contend with, so make sure to check the injury reports as well. The lineups page is a good way to see who is getting more playing time or better placement in the batting order due to teammates being injured, rested or just flat out benched. Here are some of the plays to keep an eye on for Friday:
Alex Wood ($7,800)
It would be too easy to sing the praises of Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez here. The problem is at their price, it would require an epic game for them to have upside. Wood has a great matchup that gives him upside and he is much cheaper. Therefore, he can give you an outperformance and leave you enough cash to have better bats than those who went with the high-priced studs. Wood faces a Mets team that has the fifth-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching. They also are struggling to score and play this game in the major's friendliest park for pitchers. Wood has returned 15 and 16 points in two of his last three games, and he could be in that range again in a great matchup Friday.
Salvador Perez ($2,700)
Perez flies under the radar every night, but he has been hot lately and gets a perfect matchup here. He is hitting .304 on the season against left-handed pitching and gets to face a lefty in Jaime Garcia on Friday. Perez has been on fire lately too, going eight for his last 19 and scoring at least 2.5 fantasy points in each of his last five games. In fact, he has averaged 4.6 fantasy points per game over the stretch, so he provides both safety and upside in his preferred splits matchup for a fair price.
Adrian Gonzalez ($3,400)
San Diego is not a great place to hit, which is why the price here is so low. Odrisamer Despaigne has allowed a lot of hits, including eight home runs in five of his last seven appearances. That gives a guy like Gonzalez upside and safety as Despaigne rarely strikes anyone out and instead allows hitters to put the ball in play. That is a dangerous way to pitch to Gonzalez, as he has the ability to change the game with one swing or pick up multiple hits. He has the right splits matchup and will be highly placed in that suddenly strong Dodgers lineup with Yasiel Puig back. Gonzalez should be in a position to drive in a few runs, which would give him a nice value even if he fails to hit a homer.
Brian Dozier ($3,900)
The middle part of the salary ladder for second basemen is a little barren, so it makes sense to pay up for a sure thing. Dozier has reached base at least once in each of his last ten starts. He recently snapped a seven-game hit streak, but has still averaged over 3.25 points per game over his last nine. He gets a matchup with left-hander Wandy Rodriguez in a good hitter's park down in Texas. Dozier is hitting .297 with four home runs in 74 at-bats against southpaws, so he gets his preferred split here. At the top of that order and on the road, there's a good chance he could get five plate appearances, which gives him an extra opportunity to do some damage. He is expensive, but will probably be low owned because of it. That's a perfect way to differentiate your roster without having to take a no-name player and hoping you get lucky.
Troy Tulowitzki ($4,500)
Tulowitzki is the most talented offensive shortstop in all of baseball, whether at Coors Field or on the road. He gets a matchup with rookie Jose Urena, who has struggled so far in limited innings against right-handed hitters. They are hitting .319 against him with a 1.50 WHIP, while posting a 6.00 ERA. Tulo has been smoking hot with hits in 10 straight games, and he is 19-for-40 over that stretch with five home runs and 14 RBI. When a guy is this good, at a tough-to-fill position and facing a weak pitcher, it becomes an easy start.
Evan Longoria ($3,100)
Longoria loves hitting left-handed pitching. He has hit over .300 for most of his career against southpaws and is at .327 with a .903 OPS so far this year. He faces John Danks, who has allowed right-handed bats to hit .323 so far this year with nine homers in 45 innings. Longoria should remain in the three hole against a guy who has allowed at least five runs in three of his last four starts. In fact, Danks has allowed a homer in seven of his last nine starts, so there's a ton of potential ways for Longoria to put up points.
Christian Yelich ($2,500)
It took him a little while, but Yelich is starting to round back into form. He is averaging 4.33 fantasy points per game over his last three and has an extra-base hit in each of them. He is a left-handed hitter who gets a plum matchup with Kyle Kendrick, who struggles with everyone, but lefties hit him better over his career. Yelich found himself back in the three hole for his last start and that is where he will likely stay now that he is healthy. He will see a lot of pitches hitting in front of Giancarlo Stanton, so he makes for a great play in a good splits matchup against a very weak pitcher here.
Denard Span ($3,000)
Span is an underrated fantasy player and he is also underpriced. He has three hits in each of his last two games and has averaged seven points per game in that span. He hitting leadoff for the Nationals, who are playing on the road, so he is in line for maximum plate appearances. He faces Mike Fiers, who has walked a lot of batters and has a high WHIP to left-handers. He also does not usually pitch deep into games due to the high walk and strikeout numbers raising his pitch count. That likely means one or two at-bats against a weak Milwaukee bullpen as well. Span does not do anything special in one plate appearance and most likely will be a compiler to get his stats up.
Brett Gardner ($3,900)
Gardner has been leading the Yankees' lineup lately. He is averaging 5.5 points over his last five games and is in line for an extra plate appearance on the road in this one. He gets a matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez, who is worse to left-handed bats, but tough at home. Still, Gardner is able to score in a ton of ways and he has put all his skills on display lately. Whether it's hitting homers, stealing bases or getting on and scoring runs, the positives add up quickly for Gardner.