This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A somewhat smaller nine-game slate is on tap Friday evening, going off at 7:05 p.m EDT. It feels very top-heavy on the mound, and while the playoff scenarios are complex enough to cause headaches, we can argue all the top arms have reason to continue throwing in what will be their final start before the postseason. GPPers, meanwhile, need to guess right with their pay-downs.
Yu Darvish, CHC at CWS ($11,200): The price is steep, but Darvish has such a stable floor, cash players will have to think long and hard about passing. He's posted at least 33 FDP in all but his first start, including a 58 FDP outing against the White Sox previously. There's no reason to fade this consistency.
Carlos Carrasco, CLE vs. PIT ($10,800): With four 40+ FDP outings in his last five, and a very comfortable matchup against the Pirates lineup that is going through the motions, and ranks last against righties with a paltry .257 wOBA and 59 wRC+. But he somehow allowed three runs in 4.1 frames against the Bucs earlier this year, and I'm not sure the small discount makes sense for cash lineups.
Jose Urquidy, HOU at TEX ($6,800): Urquidy posted a season-high 49 FDP against these Rangers three starts prior, fanning seven in seven frames. Texas comes in just marginally better than the Pirates above, posting a .276 wOBA, 63 wRC+ and 25.1 percent K rate. The GPP upside is clearly there given his prior outing, and if we eliminate that, he's averaged 17.3 FDP, just under 3x value. I expect high usage, and with good reason.
Kyle Wright, ATL vs. BOS ($6,400): This is a huge start for Wright, who is starting to flash the potential many knew he had, and needs to close the regular season strong and carry momentum into the post season. He's posted 78 FDP total in his last two starts, but the Red Sox rank seventh against righties with a .337 wOBA. An obvious risk/reward pick for GPPers.
Ozzie Albies, ATL vs. BOS ($4,200): Albies is the cheapest of four ATL bats priced north of 4k, and because of position scarcity, he's a preferred option, as only one other 2B checks in north of $3,100. He entered Thursday with four-straight multi-hit games and was hitting .404 since in September since returning from a wrist injury. Sox starter Chris Mazza is also allowing a .391 wOBA to lefties. Everything aligns well here.
Jose Ramirez, CLE vs. PIT ($4,100): Ramirez has a .358 wOBA against righties, a moderate number, but compared to a .261 versus righties, this makes him targetable, and a bit of a differentiation with Yankee and Brave bats littering the 4k prices. It certainly seems like a favorable spot against Mitch Keller, who is allowing a .393 wOBA to lefties. The numbers inflate tremendously, albeit in limited sample sizes, on the road against opposite-handed bats, including an 8.48 xFIP, 5.06 HR/9 while striking out only 1.69 per nine innings.
A.J. Pollock, LAD vs. LAA ($3,400): Angels' starter Andrew Heaney has been pretty darn good down the stretch, but the Dodgers' have enough secondary bats that hit lefties well we can target a small piece. Pollock gets the nod over Will Smith ($3,100) because of power potential, boasting a .340 ISO compared to Smith's .138. He's also got a robust 53.5 hard hit rate and a meager 4.7 percent soft hit rate, giving him ample chances at success.
Gio Urshela, NYY vs. MIA ($3,500): Urshella is locked in right now, hitting safely in 13 straight. That gives him stability, and while he's only homered once in this streak, limiting upside, Urshela has six doubles and 10 RBI in this stretch.
Adalberto Mondesi, KAN vs. DET ($2,900): Mondesi has cooled over the last week after finally looking like he woke up, but he's still running at will, which gives him double-digit and 3x return potential by reaching once. He's got 20 hits, 12 steals, 13 RBI and 16 runs scored across 20 September games. A 32.1 percent K rate speaks to the risk however.
Stacks to Consider
Cody has actually faired well in limited action, so we have to trust the season-long body of work for these three bats, who are the three best against righties. Brantley looks like a bargain on his own, bringing a team-high .407 wOBA and 165 wRC+ to the docket, but just a moderate .209 ISO, limiting upside. Tucker's .277 ISO lends itself to more power potential, but his 23.1 percent K rate makes him a bit feast or famine. Springer seems the best of all worlds, owning a .377 wOBA, .258 ISO and moderate 10.4 percent K rate, and Cody has been more vulnerable to same-handed bats.
This is a strict GPP option, even moreso with Cooper and Aguilar taking up the 1B and UTL spots together. But it's one that stats suggest can reward handsomely, especially given the minimum buy in. Simply, they all hit lefties well, with Aguilar's .380 wOBA and .980 OPS being the lowest numbers from this trio. Rosas (.615 wOBA, 298 wRC+, 1.495 OPS) and Cooper (.466 wOBA, 199 wRC+, 1.130 OPS) seem to each carry stand alone value potential.