This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A pair of doubleheaders means there are 17 games on Saturday's MLB schedule, but they're spread fairly evenly throughout the day. That leaves just nine for FanDuel's main slate, covering all those scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. EDT or later. There are at least six pitchers at the top of the slate who I'd be nervous to use any batters against, leaving a fairly small group of lineups that I expect fantasy players to be focusing on in this slate. As a result, differentiating yourself from the crowd may be a bit tougher than normal in larger contests.
Zac Gallen, ARI vs. SD ($10,000): If I'm alloting more funds for one of the slate's many aces, I don't see the need to go any higher than $10,000. With the way Gallen has pitched of late, you could easily make the case he deserves to be the slate's most expensive arm - even against a decent Padres lineup and even in a park that plays neutral at best. It took a trip to Coors Field last weekend to end his scoreless streak at 43.1 innings, but he still wound up striking out 11 and only giving up four hits. Gallen now carries a 0.97 ERA and 1.43 FIP in 10 starts since the break.
Jose Urquidy, HOU vs. OAK ($8,800): Urquidy would be even more exciting if this game were taking place at the very pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum, but a matchup against a group that ranks 28th in team wRC+ (84) is one I want a piece of wherever it takes place. That's true here even though I'm not much of an Urquidy fan. As usual this season, he's gotten to a respectable ERA (3.75) thanks primarily to a low walk rate (5.3 percent) as he doesn't strike out many batters (19.4 percent) or generate a high groundball rate (36.2 percent). I like more strikeout upside from my fantasy arms, but I also like pitchers who'll earn wins and won't give up many runs and those are two things you should expect from most starters lucky enough to face the Athletics.
Jose Quintana, STL vs. CIN ($8,100): Quintana is the cheapest I'd comfortably go on the pitching front, though I'd be quite happy looking his way. While his strikeout rate has dropped from 28.6 percent last season to 19.7 this year, he's also slashed his walk rate from 11.8 to 7.3. That's helped Quintana lower his ERA from 6.43 to 3.34 and an even better 2.93 mark in eight St. Louis starts. Pitching in the second half of a twin bill, he's unlikely to face a full-strength version of an already unimpressive Reds lineup, and he'll do so at pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium.
Bryce Harper ($3,900) hasn't been quite as dominant since his return from a broken thumb. So if that drives down his rostership percentage Saturday, I'd gladly grab him. It's not as if Harper has been terrible as his .234/.364/.391 slash line in the 18 games since coming back is still good for a 111 wRC+. He's also homered twice in his last six games, giving reason to believe things will only get better from here. I can't turn down the chance to get one of the league's best bats at an unusually reasonable salary, especially against Jake Odorizzi and his 4.97 ERA across six starts with Atlanta.
Assuming he plays in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader, I like Carlos Correa ($3,600) quite a bit given he'll have the platoon advantage against rookie lefty Konnor Pilkington and his unimpressive 4.30 ERA that comes with a 4.75 FIP and 5.07 SIERA. Correa has delivered in his first season away from Houston with a 139 wRC+ (the product of a .283/.360/.470 slash line) ranking as the third-best mark of his eight-year career. His 21 homers put him on pace to finish with 24, tying his second-best in a year where the ball isn't flying like it used to.
See the stack below for an explanation as to why I'm looking to roster as many Mets as possible against Pirates righty Bryse Wilson. But if budget space is tight, Daniel Vogelbach ($2,400) is worth a look with or without his teammates. The 29-year-old DH can't hit lefties only slashing .139/.262/.153 against them this season, but feasts on righties like Wilson going .256/.375/.502. To put it another way, his 147 wRC+ against southpaws is two points higher than the overall marks of Shohei Ohtani and Jose Ramirez - hitters around $2,000 more than Vogelbach.
As mentioned above, I'm interested in Phillies bats - especially lefties - against unimposing righty Jake Odorizzi. The inexpensive Bryson Stott ($2,300) will enjoy the platoon advantage and looks like a strong choice. He actually lists reverse splits during his rookie season, but assuming a standard split is generally wise for players in the first few years of their career. Stott looked overmatched in the first half despite coming up with a decent bit of fanfare by carrying a .188/.255/.307 line into the break. His .290/.344/.426 second-half slash line doesn't look anything like a player who should be worth barely more than the minimum.
Stacks to Consider
Mets vs. Bryse Wilson: Francisco Lindor ($3,700), Brandon Nimmo ($3,000), Jeff McNeil ($3,000)
Wilson's 94 innings this season are the highest total among his five major-league seasons, but the 24-year-old righty continues to look like nothing close to a capable starter at the highest level. He's struggled to a 6.03 ERA, primarily because he's allowed far too much contact while striking out just 14.8 percent of opposing batters. Wilson's 5.7 percent walk rate is strong, but no amount of command can bail out a pitcher who's simply far too hittable. He's showing no signs of improvement down the stretch with a 6.43 ERA and 12.2 percent strikeout rate over his last six outings.
The stack I've gone with here features the Mets' first three hitters, each of whom will get the platoon advantage against Wilson. All three make plenty of contact with strikeout rates ranging from 11.3 percent (McNeil) to 18.7 percent (Lindor), so expect a ton of balls in play from this trio against a pitcher like Wilson. Consider expanding this stack to the maximum of four by adding either the aforementioned Vogelbach or Pete Alonso ($3,800), who's right-handed and expensive, but deservedly so.
Astros vs. Cole Irvin: Jose Altuve ($4,100), Alex Bregman ($3,700), Jeremy Pena ($2,400)
Irvin has never put many batters away as his 17.6 percent strikeout rate this season is right in line with his career 16.9 percent mark. His low walk rate (5.1 percent this season, 5.5 percent for his career) has allowed him to have some effective stretches nonetheless - especially in the cavernous Oakland Coliseum - but he won't be protected by his home park tonight. While Irvin's 3.73 ERA may make him look too favorable to stack against, that number seems to be fueled in large part by an unsustainably low .262 BABIP. The amount of contact he allows makes an Astros stack very appealing.
Since Irvin is a southpaw, I've gone with the first three righties in the Astros' typical lineup, though you could certainly argue Yordan Alvarez ($4,300) is excellent enough to ignore the platoon disadvantage. Altuve and Bregman are the stars of this group, but getting an excellent lineup's No. 2 hitter in Pena for a value salary means he may be the Astro I'd target if I could only find room for one. Much of his damage has been done against southpaws with a 114 wRC+ against them compared to a modest 88 wRC+ versus righties.