This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Three pitchers tower over Friday's slate in terms of price, but there are plenty of cheaper options in good situations. If you take the value route, that would make it easier to grab expensive bats in the Coors Field showdown.
The most popular pitcher on the slate will likely be Lance Lynn ($10,500), not because of a 27.2 K%, but because of a matchup against Detroit. The majority of pitchers have had success against the Tigers and they aren't improving with a 27.7 K% and .281 wOBA in the last month against righties. Wade Miley ($8,500) is as big of a favorite, though his 20.5 K% makes him a lot cheaper. Even though the Mariners have a 29.0 K% against southpaws since July 1, Miley only struck out two Seattle batters a month ago. It's the same situation for Martin Perez ($7,000) even though the Royals have a .299 OBP against lefties in the last month. He doesn't have more than four strikeouts in his last four starts and while he's cheaper, he rarely surpasses 30 fantasy points. The matchup isn't as good for Robbie Ray ($10,000) as the Nationals have a 16.0 K% against lefty arms in the last month, but he's hit 49 fantasy points in four of his last five.
A couple more lefty arms are in play with favorable matchups. Jason Vargas ($7,400) debuts for Philly and while his K% is barely above 20, he's at least had bigger outings, striking out eight a couple starts ago. That should be possible against the White Sox, who own a 23.6 K% and .310 wOBA in the last month against lefties. Steven Matz ($7,800) will try and repeat what he did last outing against the Pirates, racking up 58 fantasy points in a complete game. Pittsburgh doesn't strikeout a ton, but it has a wretched .265 OBP in their last 270 plate appearances against southpaws.
According to the odds, Dustin May ($5,800) could be the best play on the slate in his MLB debut. His numbers aren't overly enticing with a 21.1 K% in five Triple-A starts and 25.8 K% in 15 Double-A starts. However, the Padres have fallen off in the last month with a 25.5 K% and .302 wOBA against righty hurlers. The Dodgers are a decent favorite and it's one of Friday's lower over/unders at 8.5.
The Rockies-Giants game has the highest over/under and it wouldn't be surprising if the total finished around 20 runs. Shaun Anderson has a .371 wOBA allowed on the road and gave up five runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings at Coors Field a few weeks ago. Peter Lambert gave up two runs in six innings against the Giants in that same series, but he still has a .415 wOBA allowed at home. You can stack either roster, but the Giants may be the better play since Lambert has allowed 16 extra-base hits (8 HR) to 107 batters faced at home. Alex Dickerson is out, but Donovan Solano ($3,100) and Stephen Vogt ($3,000) provide value with OBPs close to .400 in the last month. You can also find value in the Rockies as David Dahl ($3,500), Daniel Murphy ($3,400) and Ryan McMahon ($3,100) all have power and lead the team in OBP against righties since June.
I'd rather use Yankees against Eduardo Rodriguez than Red Sox against James Paxton mostly because each pitcher's numbers are both much better at home. Paxton was shelled last meeting, but he has a solid .314 wOBA allowed at home, whereas Rodriguez allows a .334 wOBA away from home. It's best to go with righties and there are some reasonably priced options like Gio Urshela ($3,400), Michael Chavis ($3,100) and Austin Romine ($2,700).
The Rangers could be popular because they face the Tigers, but Tyler Alexander has been serviceable in his three starts, allowing seven runs while striking out 14 (nine last game). That won't stop people from spending on Danny Santana ($3,700) or going with a lefty-lefty matchup because Rougned Odor ($3,000) has a .368 OBP in his last 38 PA against southpaws. It still might be better to use the Diamondbacks against Joe Ross, who has a .592 OBP allowed to 50 lefties faced and .351 OBP to 77 righties. Jake Lamb ($2,700) and Alex Avila ($2,600) are top value plays if in the squad, but it's a little easier to trust Ketel Marte ($3,900) and Christian Walker ($3,200).
If you're fishing for homers, the Mets are a good place to look because Trevor Williams has allowed multiple dingers in four of his last six starts to go with a .378 wOBA allowed to lefty bats. That points to the trio of Jeff McNeil ($3,100), Michael Conforto ($3,800) and Robinson Cano ($2,500), all with ISOs near .250 in the last month against righty pitchers.
Twins vs. Glenn Sparkman (Royals)
This is the third time Sparkman is facing the Twins and he's coming off two bad outings against the Indians, allowing 18 hits and 12 runs in 10.2 innings. Any of Minnesota's lefties will be popular, but the trio at the top of the lineup should feast against Sparkman's 3.07 HR/9 allowed to that side of the plate. This stack is pricey, but you get tons of power against a guy who's allowing tons of homers. I'd also look at Luis Arraez ($2,800) if in the lineup with a .424 OBP in his last 85 PA against righties.
Astros vs. Yusei Kikuchi (Mariners)
Kikuchi is another guy giving up multiple runs every start and he's been bad against everyone, allowing a .340 OBP to both sides of the plate. The Astros have endless options and are smacking around lefty arms with a .375 OBP and .228 ISO in the last month. Altuve is a good reason for that with a .529 OBP in his last 34 PA, though Chirinos is slightly above that at .531.
Blue Jays vs. Aaron Brooks (Orioles)
Brooks had little success as a starter with Oakland earlier in the season and that's been the case for Baltimore, allowing 16 hits and 10 runs in his last two outings. It doesn't help that Toronto is crushing righty arms with a .219 ISO in the last month. Bichette has impressed in limited time, while Guerrero has been Toronto's best hitter with a .415 OBP in his last 65 PA against righties. Justin Smoak ($3,300) has come around somewhat, but I prefer Hernandez's recent output with a .352 OBP and .438 ISO in his last 54 PA against righty hurlers.