This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
An 11-game slate awaits Friday evening, though that could be shortened due to weather concerns along the east coast with rain likely in Washington and New York. Those game don't look likely to start and encounter in-game delays however, so as long as they play, we shouldn't worry too greatly about pitchers not receiving their full workload. Its a tough slate on the bump regardless, with big names and prices seemingly all facing good offenses. That should create a plethora of different builds.
Framber Valdez, HOU vs. PHI ($10,500): We're certainly testing the theory that good pitching beats good hitting Friday, as all the top options face stout offenses. Philadelphia ranks 12th thus far against lefties, posting a .328 wOBA and 104 wRC+, just slightly above average. And when paired with a 23.5 percent K rate, it sets Valdez up for stability at worst. He's turned in four straight quality starts, striking out seven or more in three of those.
Zach Eflin, TB at CWS ($10,000): The thought of paying this price for Eflin is rather disgusting, made moreso by the big names priced below him. But the White Sox are in a bad way, having lost eight in a row, scoring more than two runs just twice in that stretch. They fan at a reasonable 23.5 percent rate while posting just a .290 wOBA and 83 wRC+ against righties. Eflin has posted 40 FDP just once in three starts, so the upside appears lacking. But the floor looks solid, and he's almost asuredely going to be lowly used.
Rich Hill, PIT at WAS ($8,000): Hill lands here more so we can debate him rather than suggesting he's your preferred mid-tier arm. He's in great form, allowing just four runs while striking out 14 across his last 17.0 innings. He's going to be popular to casual folks just seeing the matchup and rolling against the Nationals. But Washington is sneakily okay against lefties, ranking ninth with a .337 wOBA and only a 14.8 percent strikeout rate. Five National regulars have a wOBA north of .370 agaisnt southpaws, none priced over $3,000. There could be some sneaky value in the bats here, to Hill's potential detriment.
Mike Trout ($4,300) makes sense most nights, and Friday is certainly no exception. I don't trust Wade Miley ($8,700) despite the fact he's given up only five runs across four starts. Trout boasts a .429 wOBA, 177 wRC+ and .279 ISO off lefties to date.
Lucas Giolito ($8,800) doesn't have targetable splits against lefties or righties, but ultimately a 4.50 ERA and 4.67 xFIP tell us the Rays will get their share of offense. Josh Lowe ($4,000) boasts a .450 wOBA, 199 wRC+ and .305 ISO off of righties, and is likely overlooked in this price range.
Aaron Nola ($9,000) hasn't been his dominante self to date, carrying a 5.40 ERA and 4.64 xFIP into Friday's meeting with the Astros. With no clarity on Yordan Alvarez's ($4,500) availability, there's no Houston bat priced north of $4,000, so a stack is certainly doable. Or, we can target Kyle Tucker ($3,700) singularly. He's moved up into the 3-hole with Alvarez out, has a .403 wOBA and 162 wRC+ against righties, and Nola is allowing a .413 wOBA to lefties.
Trusting Oakland bats isn't for the faint of heart, but their lineup offers plenty of value as a result, and the matchup with Luis Cessa ($6,400) couldn't be better. Cessa is allowing a massive .550 wOBA and 1.341 OPS to lefties, and isn't much better against righties (.407 wOBA, .935 OPS). Feel free to grab one or possibly two A's to balance your budget and round out your lineup, with Brent Rooker ($3,300) and/or Shea Langeliers ($2,700) looking like the best bets.
I'd expect the Pirates bats to be popular Friday against Chad Kuhl ($6,000), the slate's lowest-priced arm. Pair that with at least some questions on weather in Washington, and I think just a piece of the lineup as opposed to a stack makes sense. Kuhl is allowing a .531 wOBA and 1.287 OPS to righties, giving us plenty to choose from. Andrew McCutchen ($3,100) and his 133 wRC+ make sense, though a slumping Ke'Bryan Hayes ($2,800) could be lower used, offering a contrarian option into their offense.
Looking towards Coors Field almost always makes sense. Rockies' starter Kyle Freeland ($7,700) has allowed 11 runs across his last 8.2 innings, but remains tough on lefties. As such, fading Corbin Carroll ($3,800) in favor of Christian Walker ($3,400) and/or Evan Longoria ($3,200) has appeal. On the other side, Merrill Kelly ($7,900) is a walk giving machine at 5.8 per nine innings. Kris Bryant ($3,400) has two in 21 plate appearances against Kelly, potentially creating a non-zero floor, and he's 8-for-19 (.421) with a 1.184 OPS off of him.
Finally, I'd like some shares of the Brewers against Tyler Anderson ($7,200), who has allowed at least five runs in three straight starts. William Contreras ($2,800) likely hits in the heart of the order and carries a .472 wOBA and 200 wRC+ against lefties into Friday.
Stacks to Consider
It's rather well known the Braves hit lefties well, and by grabbing the heart of their order here at a bit of a discount, we can benefit without paying up for Ronald Acuna ($4,600). Peterson actually has worse splits against lefties, but it's a limited sample size. This trio all have a wOBA of at least .434, a wRC+ of at least 172 and an ISO of at least .314.
Schmidt comes in with a 6.30 ERA and 5.90 FIP. He's been far more vulnerable to lefties, allowing a .517 wOBA and 1.237 OPS to them, something the Rangers are unfortunately short of. The exception is Lowe, who has a decent .367 wOBA and 136 wRC+ in this spot. He also helps balance the budget so we can target the lineup's top options in Semien and Garcia. They sit with a .413 and .386 wOBA, respecitvely, with Semien offering more regular on base stability and Garcia bringing slate-breaking power potential.