This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
FanDuel is offering a limited five-game main slate Saturday evening, with first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. We're without a $10,000 pitcher, and only four of the listed eight arms are priced north of $8,000. Pittsburgh and San Francisco are without listed starters as of Friday evening, where I'm forced to do this column a touch earlier than usual. Anyone else waking up at 5:00 a.m. to drive their son to a swim meet an hour north through a tropical storm? No, just me?
The good news with this limited slate is it's predominantly out west, and away from that tropical storm. Weather shoudn't be a limiting factor Saturday evening.
Logan Gilbert, SEA at TEX ($9,700): Gilbert's inclusion here is merely about being different. It's easy to look at the top options, see this is a difficult matchup, see Clayton Kershaw is in a better spot, and settle there. But I have questions on Kershaw's workload. Gilbert isn't in great form, having allowed 11 runs and 20 hits in 17.1 innings across his last three starts, but he's earned 20 strikeouts in that span, so he shouldn't bottom out. And with his price, we don't need a full 4x return if it comes with low usage.
Jordan Montgomery, TEX vs. SEA ($9,400): The limited slate allows us to consider both sides of this pitching matchup, though I'm not expecting a duel between the two. Montgomery is in great form, allowing one run and nine hits across his last 14.0 innings, leading to consecutive 40+ FDP performances. The Mariners have positive numbers off lefties, but also come with a massive 26.1 percent strikeout rate. Again, we're trying to be different. J.P. France against Kansas City is the obvious option, similar to Kershaw. Montgomery isn't.
Connor Phillips, CIN vs. PIT ($7,800): I don't love this play, but barring better arms being added to the slate, I'm not going below this either. Phillips has two seven strikeout games to his credit in three starts. His issues have been walks and homers, giving four free passes per nine and 2.9 long balls per nine. That's a concern in this ballpark, but maybe not so much against this lineup, with Pittsburgh sporting a .163 ISO off righties.
The Padres are in a smash spot here against Jake Woodford and figure to be popular stacking options. Woodford is allowing a .401 wOBA to lefties overall, but just .312 on the road, so there is some concern when paying up for this lineup. And on this small slate, you can't miss on your pay up options. That said, Juan Soto ($4,200) has tremendous splits against righties and is closing his season in style, and makes for a preferred top play.
Houston is similarly set up for success against Jordan Lyles, so I'm happy to take a top piece and try to differentiate elsewhere. Jose Altuve ($4,400) is priced a little too rich for my liking, as we'll likely need multiple hits and runs to provide a fair return, unless we get a power spark. But he's in good form and is 7-for-17 (.412) with two homers and a 1.297 OPS off Kansas City's starter.
If we're not buying what Phillips is selling above, Ke'Bryan Hayes ($3,200) makes a lot of sense. Phillips is allowing a .386 wOBA to righties, and four homers to 33 batters faced. Hayes' power is sporadic, but he has two long balls in his last four, and nine hits and six runs scored in that span.
It's a pure BvP play, not something we normally back for DFS, but J.D. Davis ($2,800) is 5-for-13 (.357) with three homers and a 1.434 OPS off of Kershaw.
Stack to Consider
Brebbia is set to open this game, but Stripling should be asked to handle the bulk of the innings and is the pitcher we're targeting here. Peralta is 10-for-26 off Stripling and balances our budget tremendously in this situation, also giving a reasonable 2-4-6 lineup order stack. We know the stability that Freeman offers, and Muncy is in nice form, seeing an 11-game hit streak snapped Thursday. The hope here again is that we see lower usage. San Diego and Houston bats are going to be the popular choices. The Dodgers should almost always be popular, yet could be overlooked on this small slate, giving us an advantage.