This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Fan Duel has a 15-game slate for Major League Baseball on Friday. We are almost at the All-Star break and teams are starting to rest players and get ready for the second half, so make sure to check the injury reports. The lineups page is a good way to see who is getting better placement in the batting order due to guys being injured, rested or benched. Here are some of the plays to keep an eye on for Friday:
Mike Montgomery ($7,800)
Montgomery has been stellar so far this season. In seven starts he has a 1.62 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 50 innings. He faces an Angels team that is 20th in batting average against left-handed pitching. They do not strikeout a ton (19 percent strikeout rate), but Montgomery is not a huge strikeout pitcher, so it is not a major concern. He is favored at -125 for the win in a game with only seven runs expected. He has been pitching deep into games and if he can do so again Friday, he should provide a great return at a reasonable price.
John Jaso ($3,100)
Jaso came back from injury and was promptly slotted into the leadoff spot against right-handed pitching. He has hit in every game since his return and looks really good at the moment. He faces righty Colin McHugh, who has been lit up in a few of his recent starts. Jaso is a guy who can rack up hits and score a few runs. He is a safe, solid option at catcher for your cash games. He is not the guy most likely to go yard and get you the big number, but he likely will not finish negative and hurt your team either.
Justin Bour ($2,700)
The price on Bour is still too cheap for the power he has shown. He has a good matchup with Mike Leake, who has allowed left-handed bats to hit .278 with 10 home runs in 57 innings. Bour has 10 homers against right-handed pitching in only 140 at-bats to go along with a .270 batting average. He has been the RBI guy in the middle of the order as well. They will be throwing a lot of lefty bats at Leake up top, and with his struggles to get left-handed hitters out this year, Bour should have a chance to get up with runners in scoring position.
Jason Kipnis ($4,100)
Kipnis is not cheap, but he has been so good against right-handed pitching this season. He has a .371 batting average and a decent matchup with Kendall Graveman, who has allowed a .268 batting average to left-handers, but Kipnis is an elite lefty bat. He will again be on top of the order and has a great chance to rack up multiple hits and score a few runs. He is one of the league leaders in doubles as well, but those could soon turn into home runs.
Ian Desmond ($2,200)
Shortstop is a very tough spot to fill because the good ones have bad match ups and the ones with good match ups are bad hitters. When that situation arises, it makes sense to look for a cheap bat with upside. Desmond is the guy who fits that description. He has a matchup with Chris Tillman in hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Tillman has allowed right-handed bats to hit .306 with eight home runs, so this is a good spot for a guy with home-run power. Desmond does not have good lineup placement and his batting average is low, but he can and has shown the ability to get into one and jack it out of the park. At $2,200, it makes a lot of sense to use him as your upside play.
Josh Donaldson ($5,100)
Donaldson is very expensive, but he also has a really good matchup. He has made a living smashing left-handed pitching, and this year he is hitting .356 with six home runs in 73 at-bats against southpaws. He faces Danny Duffy, who has allowed right-handed bats to hit .289 against him with six home runs in 43 innings. The price is the main issue, as well as the fact that Kauffman Stadium is not an easy park to hit home runs in. Those two factors may help keep his ownership levels down a bit, but he is still worth using based on how dominant he has been against southpaws.
Nelson Cruz ($3,300)
Cruz should have one of the lower home-run prop numbers on the day. The right-hander has been mashing left-handed pitching this season, as he has a .390 batting average with seven home runs in 59 at-bats. He faces a guy in Hector Santiago that has been solid this season. The one flaw for Santiago is that he has allowed 12 home runs to right-handers in only 68 innings. The way Santiago struggles with right-handed power bats, and the way Cruz hits left-handed pitching for power, makes this one of the best spots on the day to expect to see some late Independence Day fireworks.
Gerardo Parra ($3,200)
Parra had six starts in a row with at least 5.25 fantasy points before having only 1.25 last time out. He has been a pleasant surprise on top of the order for the Brewers while filling in for the injured Khris Davis. Davis is back now, but Parra has been so good, he should still find himself in the order against right-handed pitching. His matchup here is with Michael Bolsinger, who has not allowed a lot of home runs but has allowed a .301 batting average to left-handed hitters. Parra is hitting .314 with seven home runs and a ton of doubles, so he profiles very well against Bolsinger and should produce a nice return.
Preston Tucker ($3,000)
Tucker has found himself batting up in the order with the injury to George Springer. He has been the lefty bat to split the right-handed studs the Astros are rolling out up the middle. He faces Erasmo Ramirez, who has been tough on lefties this year, but had allowed them to hit over .280 against him in 2013 and 2014. Tucker has hit .278 so far this year with five homer uns in 115 at-bats against right-handed pitching. He tends to fly under the radar, but he has been very solid lately. If Houston does damage, it tends to be the top part of the order. With Jose Altuve in front and Carlos Correa hitting behind him, he will see a lot of pitches to hit and should be able to produce a nice return.