This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Thanks to some Friday rainouts and makeup double headers, FanDuel is switching things up this Saturday, moving to an eight-game main slate that goes off at 4:07 p.m EDT. It's a top-heavy pitching slate, with five of the listed 14 arms sitting at 9k or higher. Neither Boston or Baltimore have confirmed their pitching intentions, which once locked in, will certainly effect our offensive builds.
It's rare that this happens, but it's difficult to find a blemish in any of the big four arms' matchups. Gerrit Cole ($10,500) managed 42 FanDuel points (FDP) last time out despite allowing five runs and gets a Rays lineup that whiffs at a 24.7 percent clip. Sandy Alcantara ($10,400) faces a Braves lineup that strikes out 26.3 percent of the time, one that he just threw a complete-game shutout against, earning 58 FDP in the process. Tony Gonsolin ($9,800) is getting stretched out, going at least five innings in five of six, allowing just six runs in that stretch, and faces a Diamondbacks' side with a 24.7 percent K rate. Finally, Johnny Cueto ($9,600) has fanned 12 across his first 12 innings while not allowing a run and faces a Cubs lineup that strikes out 25.1 percent of the time. I don't see a bad option here, with all seemingly having a safe floor and upside potential. Feel free to use whomever your budget allows.
The pay down choices aren't nearly as plentiful, and we're forced to choose either talent or matchup, because there isn't a marriage of those two in this price range. Taijuan Walker ($7,400) sits in the former category. He'll face a Phillies lineup we don't always want to go against, but he's allowed just three runs across his last three starts, spanning 19 innings. Alex Wood ($7,400) is priced identically, has allowed eight runs in his last 7.1 innings, but faces a Reds lineup that ranks 24th with a .290 wOBA while striking out at a 24.4 percent rate. I might trust Keegan Thompson ($7,300) more than either. The White Sox don't strike out, doing so only 19.8 percent of the time, but their lineup ranks 28th with a .279 wOBA against righties. He could give us five clean innings.
I'm not needed to suggest the merits of any of the top-four priced bats. All are scorching hot and have nice floors with slate-breaking upside. Feel free to use any of Mookie Betts ($4,600), Aaron Judge ($4,500), Bryce Harper ($4,400) and/or Trea Turner ($4,300) as you see fit.
Where can we be different? With no pitching matchup confirmed, maybe Red Sox bats are overlooked/ignored. Rafael Devers ($4,200) is hitting .341 at home, carrying a .423 wOBA, 176 wRC+, .259 ISO and just 13.9 percent soft-contact rate. Just insure he is in the lineup of their second game of the day.
Ronald Acuna ($4,100) looked a tad gimpy when scoring Friday's game-winning run, so there's no guarantee he's in the lineup. And he's just 4-of-17 against Alcantara, but he's been clear spark whenever on the field and surely comes lowly used given the question mark on his availability.
I gave Jon Gray the benefit of the doubt yesterday, and he failed miserably against lowly Oakland. That probably means Taylor Hearn ($6,700) is brilliant today given my luck. But if he continues his current form, Athletic bats are surprisingly attractive and very cheap. Sean Murphy ($2,800) is riding an eight-game hitting streak and carries a .420 wOBA against lefties into Saturday.
This game seems to offer value on both sides. The Rangers catching duo of Mitch Garver ($3,100) and Jonah Heim ($2,800) both have positive splits against lefties. Garver sits with a .438 wOBA, 197 wRC+ and .375 ISO, while Heim goes .520/255/.308.
We've seen the best and the worst of Braves' starter Tucker Davidson in his last two outings. Miami has some positive splits against lefties, but in limited exposure and I don't like Davidson to throw too many innings here. But there should be some interest in the Marlins lineup still, and this feels like a game where Jorge Soler ($3,600) and his .375 ISO and 48.1 percent hard contact rate against lefties could hit a big fly.
Stack to Consider
My formal Saturday seems to be pay up for pitching, a mini stack with some big names, and then dive in on the ample value the slate seems to have. And San Francisco's lineup is right in the middle of that. Gutierrez has a 9.95 home ERA, 7.56 FIP and allows a .531 wOBA and 1.283 OPS to lefties at Great American Ballpark. Pederson is seeing a big ball right now, boasting a .344 ISO to go with a .410 wOBA. La Stella likely hits leadoff, comes cheap and is in good form in a small sample size, sitting with a .427 wOBA and .391 ISO. Yastrezemski gives us a third lefty. He saw his nine-game hitting streak snapped last night, but still has a stable .385 wOBA against righties.