This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The trade deadline has passed and we are in the home stretch for MLB with preseason football on the horizon. We have a full 15-game slate Friday and here are some value play ideas to help you make your way to the top:
Aaron Nola ($6,100)
Nola is making his fifth major league start Friday against one of the worst offenses in the league. He has reached double-digit fantasy points in each of his last three starts and now faces the team with the fifth worst batting average in the league and a K% that ranks fifth as well at 21.8 percent. The Padres' lineup is filled with right-handed bats and the only one with a wOBA over .360 is Justin Upton. Nola has held right-handed batters to a .158 batting average so far in his career, so he matches up very well with this righty-dominant lineup. This is his softest spot to date and he gets a park bump as the game is in pitcher-friendly Petco Park in San Diego. For the price here, he could return the best value on the day, though he will probably not have the highest raw score.
Welington Castillo ($3,600)
Castillo has been on fire lately. The Arizona backstop has six home runs in his last nine games and now faces rookie right-hander Raisel Iglesias who has been knocked around a little bit in limited innings. Castillo has a sick .437 wOBA against right-handed pitching with an equally impressive ISO of .327. He bats in the four or five spot for the Diamondbacks, which puts him in good RBI position as well.
Ryan Howard ($3,500)
Howard has been driving in a lot of runs lately, which is a big reason that Phillies' offense has been explosive. He has a matchup with James Shields, who has allowed a .276 batting average with 14 home runs in 64 innings to left-handed batters. Howard has a .349 wOBA with a high ISO of .245. He has scored at least 3.5 fantasy points in four of his last six games to return value, and he has averaged over four points per contest during that stretch. He is always under owned, so it helps differentiate your roster as well.
Kolten Wong ($2,800)
Wong was recently moved to the three hole in the lineup and that alone would make him an intriguing option at the second base position for only $2,800 with the increased RBI potential. The lefty faces rookie Tyler Cravy, and he has a .351 wOBA with a .180 ISO against right-handed pitching this year. Batting in the third spot of the order puts him in a great place to score and knock in some runs. At only $2,800, he is very tough to ignore.
Xander Bogaerts ($3,500)
Bogaerts is another middle infielder that bats in the three hole for his team. He has been a hit machine against left-handed pitching this season and now faces newly-acquired rookie Daniel Norris, who has struggled with right-handed bats in his short career. Bogaerts price has come up, which is concerning due to his lack of power. He provides a big discount to the very expensive options like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Correa, so he should be a popular choice among those who need the savings.
Miguel Sano ($3,000)
Sano has been awesome against right-handed pitching since his call up. He has an MVP-caliber wOBA of .483 with an ISO of .356. He has 20 hits in his first 60 at-bats against righties, with six of them going for doubles and five more for home runs. He faces Cody Anderson, who has allowed a homer every five innings to right-handed batters, and his price is still reasonably cheap. All of those things together make him a top value option on the day.
Lorenzo Cain ($3,600)
Cain is the big right-handed bat the Royals use to attack left-handed pitching. John Danks has been solid lately, but he has some of the worst numbers in the league against right-handed batters. Cain has a .427 wOBA against left-handed pitching with an ISO of .230. He not only drives in runs in the middle of the Royals' order, but he also provides a lot of the power from the right side of the plate.
David Peralta ($3,700)
Peralta always flies under the radar, but he should not do so Friday. The lefty clean-up man for the Diamondbacks has gone 11 for his last 30 while driving in a bunch of runs. He faces Raisel Iglesias, who has allowed left-handed batters to hit .351 against him this season. Peralta has a .371 wOBA with an ISO of .234. This matchup is very good and his elevated price will keep his ownership low. Peralta is in line for a big game and could be a difference maker in tournaments.
Carlos Gonzalez ($3,900)
Gonzalez has really turned around his season in the last few weeks. He had a cold first half which had pundits whispering about whether he was done. Since the break, he has raised his wOBA almost .040 points and the home run stroke has returned. He faces Jordan Zimmermann, who has allowed a .299 batting average to left-handed hitters. Gonzalez has a .425 wOBA with .313 ISO to go with it. Washington is not the best hitters' park, but the matchup is too good on paper to ignore.