This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The players featured in this piece will be building blocks that can work in several lineup configurations (cash and GPP). We've got a full day of playoff action with four games on the schedule Friday. Offense might be hard to come by for your FanDuel entry with so many excellent starting pitchers set to take the mound.
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Justin Verlander, HOU vs. CLE ($11,800): Verlander's first full season with the Astros was nothing short of brilliant. He finished with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP, which were both his lowest marks since 2011 when he won the AL MVP and Cy Young awards. His 14.5 percent swinging-strike rate also resulted in a career-high 12.2 K/9. Now he'll be tasked with leading the Astros in their quest to repeat as World Series champions. The Indians do have a tough lineup, but they've hit much better at home (.789 OPS) than they have on the road (.744 OPS) this season. With Verlander's strikeout upside, his ceiling might be the highest of any pitcher Friday.
GPP Fade: Corey Kluber, CLE at HOU ($11,300): Kluber has been a rock atop the Indians rotation, throwing at least 200 innings in five straight seasons. He's not just eating up innings, either, posting an ERA of 3.49 or lower each of those years. It was going to be hard for him to replicate his stellar 2017 campaign, especially his 11.7 K/9 that was significantly higher than his career mark. He normalized in that department with a 9.3 K/9 this year, but he was still excellent with a 2.89 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. However, like the Indians lineup, Kluber has been better at home with a 2.14 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP compared to a 3.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP on the road. Since Verlander has more strikeout potential, he might be the better choice over Kluber if you want to pay up at starting pitcher.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Anibal Sanchez, ATL at LAD ($7,600): There were few turnarounds in baseball this season as dramatic as Sanchez's. He was terrible with the Tigers last year, posting a 6.41 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. The Braves couldn't have expected him to pitch anywhere near this well as he finished with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. One of the main reasons for his improvement was that he allowed only 1.0 HR/9 compared to 2.2 HR/9 last season. The three cheap options for the slate are Sanchez, Jhoulys Chacin ($6,800) and Tyler Anderson ($6,000). Of the three, Sanchez has highest K/9 at 8.9. If you want to stay away from the top-tier pitchers, Sanchez could be a viable option.
Jesus Aguilar, MIL vs. COL ($4,200): Finally given a chance for regular at bats, Aguilar shined with 35 home runs and a .274 average this season. Although he proved he can hit right-handed pitching, he's had the most success versus lefties and finished with a .389 wOBA against them. Anderson is prone to giving up home runs, allowing 30 across 176 innings.
Jose Altuve, HOU vs. CLE ($3,700): Injuries put a damper on Altuve's season, but he didn't exactly struggle by hitting .316 with 13 home runs and 17 steals across 137 games. There's no question that he's a tough out with his 13.2 percent strikeout rate and although facing Kluber is no easy task, Altuve was actually better against righties (.372 wOBA) than he was lefties (.336 wOBA) this year.
Nolan Arenado, COL at MIL ($4,500): Arenado finished the regular season with 38 home runs and 38 doubles, which was the fourth-straight season that he has slugged at least 35 homers and 35 doubles. Considering his power, his 18.1 percent strikeout rate is excellent. Chacin isn't exactly a dominant pitcher with his 7.3 K/9, leaving Arenado with the potential to do some damage in this contest.
Orlando Arcia, MIL vs. COL ($2,600): Arcia isn't an offensive powerhouse, finishing the year with a .253 wOBA. However, he was better down the stretch with a .316 wOBA in September. Anderson's 4.57 FIP is the highest of anyone starting Friday, so the Brewers might be have the best chance of putting up a crooked number. At this cheap price, Arcia could be a risk worth taking if you plan to go with a Brewers stack.
Christian Yelich, MIL vs. COL ($4,800): Yelich started off this series with a bang, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two walks in Game 1. He entered the playoffs with a staggering 308 wRC+ across his last 15 games. Facing lefties hasn't been a problem for him this year as he has a 162 wRC+ against them compared to a 168 wRC+ versus righties.
Lorenzo Cain, MIL vs. COL ($3,600): Yelich rightfully deserves all the headlines in his first season with the Brewers, but Cain has been a huge addition for them as well. Not only did hit bat at least .300 for the fourth time in the last five years, but he also posted a career-high .395 OBP. Righties held him to a .337 wOBA, but he destroyed lefties with a .422 wOBA.
David Dahl, COL at MIL ($2,900): Dahl was given extended playing time down the stretch and showed why he's been so highly thought of throughout his time in the minors, recording a .534 slugging percentage across 271 plate appearances. Chacin has dominated right-handed hitters by holding them to a .234 wOBA, but lefties have had far more success against him with a .338 wOBA. With Dahl's homer upside, he's someone to consider in tournament play.
Steve Pearce, BOS vs. NYY ($3,500): In a matchup between Chris Sale and J.A. Happ, offense could be hard to come by for either team. Pearce has proven to be a great addition for the Red Sox, especially with his 158 wRC+ against lefties. Facing Happ has been no different as Pearce is 11-for-32 (.344) with six home runs against him during his career.