This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Eleven games come at us in the final Saturday of the regular season for FanDuel's main slate. Unlike yesterday where pitching was scarce, we've got four arms priced in five figures and three more in the 9k range. Milwaukee, Colorado and the Angels are without listed arms, so 42 percent of our options are pay ups.
Currently, we've got no games with listed double-digit run totals, though you'd anticipate Twins-Rockies coming in high. Seattle-Texas is our low lying game at 7 or 7.5. Weather looks dry across the slate, so it's all systems go. Wind looks to be a potential major factor, with RotoWire's weather report listing winds in Colorado blowing out as high as 21 MPH! Los Angeles could also see a boost with winds about half that blowing out.
Justin Verlander, HOU at ARI ($10,400): Verlander lands here basically because he's the cheapest of the top three options. I trust all three of those, but question if Spencer Strider will work long enough to provide a fair return on his enormous price. Both Luis Castillo and Verlander have shown some volatility of late, but both are in spots where they are essentially making a playoff start and need an elite outing for their clubs. Verlander saves us $200, and Arizona is statistically worse against righties with a .321 wOBA and league-average 100 wRC+.
Michael Wacha, SD at CWS ($9,500): Let's be honest, Wacha isn't someone we'd normally consider paying this price for. He has only two quality starts in his last nine outings, but he has struck out at least five in six of those. The appeal is strictly the opponent. The White Sox rank 29th overall with a .291 wOBA and 82 wRC+ off righties, striking out 23.4 percent of the time. They've scored more than three runs only seven times this month and their big bat (Luis Robert) is done for the year. They don't have a hitter priced above $2,900 and are just ready to call it a season. Wacha should go through them for five or six innings.
Connor Phillips, CIN at STL ($7,900): There are some intriguing pay-down options around this price point, and I like Phillips for a potential boom or bust option. He's got an ugly 5.66 ERA, but a lower 4.58 xFIP. But strikeouts are the appeal, having seven or more in three of his four starts, leading to 11.3 per nine. The Cardinals have a decent .323 wOBA and only strike out at a 21.2 percent clip, but they are another offense that's injured, going through the motions and ready to call it a year. Cincinnati still has faint playoff hopes and I expect ample run support (more on that below), giving Phillips a shot to far outperform his price.
If we're believing the wind is this strong in Coors Field, there's most likely no way to avoid taking shares of both offenses. Charlie Blackmon ($3,700) is healthy, fresh off a contract extension, hits leadoff and has eight hits in his last four games. Nolan Jones ($4,000) is likely the more popular choice, with two homers and seven-game hitting streak. Minnesota is using an opener and will attempt to piece together nine innings. Both are fine anchors.
Yankees-Royals has a nice 9.0 run total and could pop over that, but only two bats are priced north of $3,100. I like taking the stars here, as the more meaningful games that remain in the league have fantastic pitching matchups. Aaron Judge ($4,600) is priced awfully high to chase a long ball, but the Royals opener and bulk relief aren't a concern. On the other side, Bobby Witt ($3,800) continues to produce in a variety of ways, while Yankees' starter Clarke Schmidt has allowed three or more runs in four of his last five starts, never making it six innings.
Unlike Rockies bats that are priced up for their top options, Minnesota's lineup isn't seeing a Coors Field boost in pricing. That's largely because they're injured and lack star power. With no defined pitching plan from Colorado, we're left likely taking top of the order bats and hoping for the best. Kyle Farmer ($3,400) isn't necessarily that, likely hitting sixth. But he's quietly riding a 10-game hitting streak and offers position flexibility. Max Kepler ($3,400) has more power potential, has seven hits in his last four and has scored 12 runs in his last 11 games.
Nationals starter Joan Adon has allowed four or more runs in three straight, four of five and five of seven, so we certainly want pieces of the Atlanta offense Saturday. But they showed a willingness to rest starters last night, so it's a tad volatile. Keep an eye on how they lineup, but I wouldn't pay for stars just in case they don't get nine innings of at bats. Adon has been more getable by lefties, putting Eddie Rosario ($2,700) and Michael Harris ($3,000) on radars. Forrest Wall ($2,000) would be a terrific option if he gets a spot start.
Stacks to Consider
The Reds exploded for 19 runs Friday and now face an arm that has a 7.98 ERA and is allowing 1.8 homers per nine. His splits are equally targetable from the left and right side, so the entire lineup is in play. And we'll want to see how the Reds order comes together before finalizing this. But India seems like a lock to hit leadoff, and while he's struggled against lefties on the year, he's in fine form with multiple hits in three of his last four. Encarnacion-Strand too has struggled off lefties, but is too hot to fade, homering in five of his last seven. The third piece is where it gets interesting. Senzel has a nice .420 wOBA off of lefties and could slot into the two-hole in the order, making this a nice 1-2-4 lineup stack. He's also dirt cheap and offers position flexibility. If he's not starting, a pivot to Spencer Steer ($3,200) is the play, though more expensive.
We need to ensure the Dodgers are playing their regular lineup before pencilling this in, but if yesterday is any indication, they will be all systems go. This slate seems to have some very obvious offenses to target, which could make the Dodgers low used and a contrarian way to combat those other likely plays. Freeman has a team-best .406 wOBA and 160 wRC+ off righties, while Muncy sits at .372 with a .283 ISO. Smith lands here solely to help balance budget, where as J.D. Martinez or Mookie Betts are the plays if you have ample spending power. He's hit safely in five of seven and driven in four over his last three.