This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A larger than normal 11-game slate awaits Saturday evening's main challenge, and there's absolutely no shortage of pitching options.
A whopping six arms check in at 10k or north, and Mike Minor ($9,900) nearly adds to that grouping, showing you just how loaded a slate it is for arms. On name alone, it may surprise that Charlie Morton ($11,500) leads the way. He's topped 49 FanDuel points (FDP) in consecutive outings, including a 12-strikeout showing against Saturday's opponent in the Orioles, where he erupted for 64 points. Morton has only two games under 30 points all year, and appears worth every penny.
Lefties Patrick Corbin ($10,800) and Chris Sale ($10,700) follow, and are joined by Matthew Boyd ($10,100) and the aforementioned Minor a little further down the list. Corbin has fanned 14 across 13.0 innings against Philadelphia to date, higher than the Phillies' 20.4 percent fan rate. They're an offense that is below average against lefties (98 wRC+), and the Nats are starting to flex their muscle with nightly pitching success. Sale went into the break in poor form, allowing 10 runs in 11.2 innings, and the Dodgers carry a .331 wOBA against lefties, ranking ninth. He's a bit buried in the list of arms, which could lead to lower ownership, but he's going to have to rise to the occasion to provide 3x value or better. Minor looks like a hard pass facing an Astros lineup that ranks first with a .365 wOBA, 135 wRC+ and minuscule 17.5 percent K rate. Boyd looks like the clear favorite of this pack against a Royals offense that fans 24.3 percent of the time while posting a .287 wOBA, .134 ISO and 75 wRC+.
Trevor Bauer ($10,500) and Aaron Nola ($10,300) round out the top tier and present very drastically. Bauer faces a Twins lineup that ranks third with a .343 wOBA against righties but fans only 20.4 percent of the time. That said, Bauer has earned 16 Ks over 15 innings against Minnesota thus far, surrendering just six hits. Nola meanwhile is in a great groove, going for 45 or more FDP in four straight, fanning 34 in his last 29.2 frames. But he's allowed five homers and 10 runs to the Nationals across 9.1 innings to date. My personal hope is that scares most off, as I love the way Nola's secondary offerings are breaking. He's pitching with a ton of confidence, and I'm buying despite a hot Nationals' offense.
The pitching options seem to fall off quickly after the top tier, suggesting we're forced to take a top arm and pay down for bats in plus matchups. If we're fading that strategy, GPPers may want to look at Dakota Hudson ($7,900) or Julio Teheran ($8,000). Hudson has been stable, worth 22 or more FDP in eight of his last nine, helping counteract the D'Backs 21.9 percent fan rate. Teheran has the much higher ceiling and much lower floor. His last four outings have yielded one game north of 16 FDP, but he faces a Padres' lineup that strikes out 26.2 percent of the time while posting only a .308 wOBA and 90 wRC+ against righties. Teheran allowed four runs across seven frames earlier in the year but fanned eight. Perhaps a case can be made for Merrill Kelly ($7,600) against the Cardinals offense that has only a .304 wOBA and 87 wRC+ against righties, but he's been worth less than 2.5x value in three of his last four.
Duh - Coors Field. Tanner Roark ($6,200) and Kyle Freeland ($5,500) have the unfortunate task of pitching here Saturday. Freeland is where I'm attacking, as he allows a 7.31 FIP, .408 wOBA to righties and .371 wOBA to lefties. There's no bad choice amongst Reds, but Eugenio Suarez ($4,000) and Nick Senzel ($4,100) should be top of mind, as Senzel's .387 wOBA 138 wRC+ and .239 ISO is the worst of the two against lefties. Roark has differences in LvR splits, with lefties owning a .388 wOBA while righties carry only a .235 wOBA. As such, building around Charlie Blackmon ($4,600) and David Dahl ($3,900) is prudent. The total here is 14 runs, and only one other game has a double-digit run total, so you'll likely need a piece or two here.
The only other listed total of 10 or higher is in Arlington, where Wade Miley ($7,500) will battle the previously mentioned Minor. If we're accepting Minor's form and price as success, that suggests Miley is due to be hit hard. Joey Gallo ($4,400) and Delino DeShields Jr. ($2,600) are the only healthy Rangers with positive numbers against lefties, as Elvis Andrus ($3,800) ranks fourth on the team with a measly .326 wOBA, though he strikes out only 15.4 percent of the time, giving him a chance to score with the ball in play. It's not the easiest offense to believe in here. The Astros, on the other hand, are extremely interesting as Alex Bregma ($4,100) ranks ninth on the team with a .375 wOBA and 140 wRC+ against lefties. The likes of Jose Altuve ($3,600), Yordan Alvarez ($4,100) and George Springer ($4,300) are all statistically better. Yuli Gurriel ($3,700) however isn't, owning just a .312 wOBA and 97 wRC+, making him a bit of a fade despite his hot bat that has homered in six of his last seven.
Baltimore allowed 16 runs Friday night and now play a double header Saturday. They'll need a long outing from John Means (unlisted at submission as starter) or the Rays will get to tee off on a bad, taxed bullpen. Means has been great, allowing two runs or fewer in six straight starts, but I'd still want some shares of the Rays lineup here. Yandy Diaz ($3,300) has the best numbers against lefties, followed closely by Tommy Pham ($3,600) and Guillermo Heredia ($2,100). The nature of a DH could lend itself to some unusual starters, and the Rays are already priced cheap, making them a great spot to save some and buy bigger names elsewhere.
Finally, the Angels are clearly playing with refound purpose following the death of their teammate. Mike Trout ($4,800) has reached double-digit FDP in six of seven, Justin Upton ($3,500) two of three, and Andrelton Simmons ($2,900) three of four. We can't suggest a stack as the Mariners haven't announced their starter yet, but I'd like some of this offense in my lineup.
Mariners vs. Matt Harvey (Angels)
I'm not sure I want to mess with the karma the Angels seem to have right now, but you have to think the Mariners rebound from Friday's no hitter against Harvey, who is making his first start since May 23, has a 7.50 ERA and is allowing a .393 wOBA to lefties, something the Mariners lineup is littered with. This is obviously a feast or famine stack, but it's not cost prohibitive and has upside, as all three have wRC+ of 128 or better, and Vogelbach has a .318 ISO to boot. Kyle Seager ($3,100) and Mallex Smith ($3,000) are also in play, but don't present as well statistically.
Braves vs. Joey Lucchesi (Padres)
Acuna has an 18-game on-base streak, suggesting a very safe floor. He's also homered in two of his last three and boasts a .433 wOBA, 169 wRC+ and .301 ISO against lefties. Swanson isn't far behind at .370/133/.214, and I'm in on Donaldson's hot streak. He's gone deep three times in the last two games and in four of his last six. Ozzie Albies ($3,400) is a known left-handed killer, but I'm targeting the top of the Braves lineup, which we can get into somewhat cheaply and still reap benefits around Freddie Freeman ($4,300) without paying for him.