This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
There's rain expected in the East so I'd second guess picking anyone from the San Francisco-Pittsburgh, Kansas City-New York, Minnesota-Baltimore and Atlanta-Cleveland games. If you do, just keep an eye on the weather since any of those games could be called with rain possibly lasting all day and into the night. That may take away some options, but most of my preview focuses on the guys that are guaranteed to play.
Justin Verlander ($10,800) may be the ace on this slate, but he won't be a chalk play, especially considering he only had 12 fantasy points in this situation a couple weeks ago. If you want to spend on a pitcher, Jose Berrios ($10,400) may be the better choice with 14 strikeouts in his last two starts and at least six innings pitched in all of his outings. Even better is that Baltimore is near the bottom of the charts against righties with a .147 ISO and .290 wOBA.
I'd still rather save money with a slew of mid-range options that could all produce up to 50 fantasy points. Carlos Rodon ($8,800) gets the Tigers, who haven't hit anyone well, though they have just 52 plate appearances against southpaws. That shouldn't matter since Rodon just went six against the Yankees last start and has nine Ks in two of his four starts. Jordan Lyles ($8,000) may have the best matchup on the slate and he just racked up 55 points with the help of 10 Ks against the Cubs last start. He could be near that number again as the Giants have a .254 wOBA and 24.1 K% against righties.
If you want to test your luck, Anibal Sanchez ($6,800) and Aaron Brooks ($6,600) are the value arms. Sanchez only has 11 strikeouts in his first three starts, but there's a chance the Marlins help him out with an incredibly high 30.9 K% against righty arms. Brooks has been a little all over in his few starts, so he's equally hard to trust. But again, the Blue Jays are almost as bad as the Marlins with a 28.8 K% against righty hurlers.
With the highest over/under on the slate, most will flock to the Phillies-Rockies game and both pitchers should help that. German Marquez was lit up for five runs in his only home start this season and Vince Velasquez has also had issues at Coors Field, allowing eight hits and six runs in his lone start there last year. Most of that means good news for the lefty bats and Bryce Harper ($4,800) is at the top of the list. He could be one of the more popular plays after Marquez had a brutal .375 wOBA allowed to lefties at home in 2018. Unfortunately, the Phillies don't have many more lefty bats, though Cesar Hernandez ($3,800) could be a value play and he's hit well in recent games. For the Rockies, David Dahl ($3,900) and Charlie Blackmon ($3,500) present the most value against Velasquez after he allowed a .377 wOBA to lefties last year.
The Dodgers and Cody Bellinger ($5,000) will also be a popular place to turn after they rocked Jhoulys Chacin for six runs in 2.1 innings less than a week ago. Bellinger is the expensive play, but Joc Pederson ($4,200) and Max Muncy ($3,500) come at better prices in a plus matchup.
The most popular teams to back will likely be the Astros (v. Drew Smyly), Yankees (v. Jakob Junis) and Cardinals (v. Jason Vargas). Brett Gardner ($3,700) could be chalk for the Yanks, while more money is spent on the likes of George Springer ($4,200) and Alex Bregman ($4,000) against the lefty Smyly. The Cards also get a lefty in Vargas, who had a bad .359 wOBA and 1.92 HR/9 allowed to righties last year. A lot will look to Marcell Ozuna ($4,600), who has five homers in the last four games, or save money elsewhere on Yadier Molina ($2,800) and Dexter Fowler ($2,600).
It could also be useful to use a bat or two against Alex Cobb, who is set to return to the rotation Friday. He didn't have success against anyone last season with a 4.47 xFIP and 15.4 K%. Jorge Polanco ($4,300) has been crushing and doesn't cost an overwhelming amount, but Mitch Garver ($3,400) and Max Kepler ($3,300) both come in at nice rates.
The Rockies are on a small winning streak so I'll bank on that to continue with a stack that includes lefties Blackmon and Dahl at the top of the order with Nolan Arenado ($4,600). If you need to save money, Ryan McMahon ($3,100) homered twice Thursday and can be stacked with fellow lefty hitters Raimel Tapia ($3,000) and Tony Wolters ($3,000) against Velasquez.
If you haven't been burned by the Astros yet, this is another good opportunity to stack them against Smyly. You could roll with the big boys, but saving money on Michael Brantley ($3,700), Carlos Correa ($3,600) and Yuli Gurriel ($3,000) could be a useful strategy, also with Aledmys Diaz ($2,500) if he's in the lineup again. It was a slow three innings when Smyly faced this team a few weeks ago and things could be worse now that the Astros are rolling, winning 10 of their last 11.
I have a couple GPP stacks in mind with one more likely to be popular than the other. Marcus Stroman hasn't had a bad start to the season, but he opened the campaign with games against the Tigers, Orioles and struggling Indians. This is another good chance to use Ramon Laureano ($2,700) near the bottom of the order with his team-best .407 BABIP against righties. You could throw him in with Josh Phegley ($2,900) and Robbie Grossman ($2,600) or go big if you have the money with Marcus Semien ($3,600), Matt Chapman ($3,800) and Khris Davis ($4,300).
My favorite GPP route is to go against Anthony DeSclafani, who hasn't made it more than five innings in a start, giving up 10 runs in his last two. Not many will be on the Padres given recent results, but this matchup is intriguing. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($3,500) recently moved to leadoff so he's the first player in contention with Eric Hosmer ($2,600) and Manny Machado ($3,900). If Wil Myers ($3,600) returns to the lineup, I'd also find a way to get him involved having homered in his last two games and that probably means stacking with Franmil Reyes ($3,300).