This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
With the Padres fighting of elimination last night, we've got a two-game slate for Friday's Wild Card action, going of with an early 2:08 p.m. EDT first pitch in Chicago. With only four pitchers, we figure to see some pretty common cash lineups, while GPPs will look to go against the grain. Adding to the challenge here is the Padres have yet to name a starter as of Friday morning. Probably not a surprise given the state of their starting pitching, but it's going to take a herculean effort for their bullpen to navigate nine innings.
Yu Darvish, CHC vs. MIA ($11,000): Darvish figures to be supremely owned in cash formats. After opening day (18 FDP), he had a 33 FDP floor, allowing one or no runs in eight of 11 starts. His xFIP (3.27) is lower than his ERA (3.47) and he'll face an offense that fans 25.1 percent of the time against righties while 26th with a .296 wOBA and paltry .120 ISO.
Jack Flaherty, STL at SDP ($9,700): The price seems to come from name recognition, as Flaherty's results in 2020 haven't been great. He's gone six innings the same number of times he's gone three or less (three), but still carries a solid 10.9 K/9 rate into this contest. He flashed two starts ago, fanning 11 in route to 58 FDP, albeit against the Pirates, but his 3.42 xFIP against a 4.91 ERA suggest he may have been unlucky throughout the year. It's a difficult matchup, with the Padres' fanning only 20.1 percent of the time and ranking fifth with a .347 wOBA, making Flaherty a difficult guy to trust for cash. But he certainly gives his team an advantage Friday.
Sixto Sanchez, MIA at CHC ($7,600): You'd think Sanchez would offer elite K potential for a discount, but that isn't the case, striking out only7.6 per nine. The appeal is the price, and a slumping Cubs offense that may allow him to miss more bats, fanning 25.9 percent of the time. Including Game 1, the Cubs scored two or fewer runs in seven of their final 12 games, posting a .286 wOBA, 76 wRC+, .130 ISO and -27.5 wRAA. Sanchez has only worked seven total frames in his last two games, so there's certainly volatility, which you'd expect for the price.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SDP vs. STL ($4,300): Tatis launched two bombs Thursday night and has only two single-digit fantasy point games in his last nine games. He posted a .424 wOBA, 170 wRC+, .333 ISO, 1.016 OPS and 61.3 percent hard-hit rate at home against righties.
Paul Goldschmidt, STL at SDP ($3,800): Goldy has found his power stroke at Petco Park, homering in both Wild Card games thus far after doing so only six times during the regular season. While we can't rely on that power here, he's as safe as they come, posting a .439 wOBA against lefties and .377 wOBA against righties. St. Louis has scored 16 runs in the first two games of this series, and with the Padres' needing to piece together nine frames, I expect plenty of offense here, with Goldschmidt being in the thick of things.
Ian Happ, CHC vs. MIA ($3,400): Happ simply looks like the best bet to produce for the Cubs, given his season-long success against righties. He posted a .385 wOBA and .300 ISO in this spot, has a brief four-game hitting streak and homered in Game 1.
Jason Heyward, CHC vs. MIA ($2,600): A GPP pay down dart throw, Heyward has only five hits over his last 11 games. But he led the Cubs with a .403 wOBA against righties, adding a 153 wRC+ though just a modest 37.6 percent hard-hit rate.
Brian Anderson, MIA at CHC ($2,800): Marlins bats figure to be the least owned on this slate, so and stacking them easily allows you to afford Flaherty for GPPs. Anderson looks like the best bet, posting a team-leading .352 wOBA against righties, though his 30.9 percent K rate may not allow many batted balls to find holes.
Eric Hosmer, SDP vs. STL ($3,200): Hosmer trailed only Tatis in success against righties during the regular season, posting a .409 wOBA, 160 wRC+. He's made at least some FDP in all but three games going back to August 21, going for at least 9.5 FDP in nine of those 25 outings, giving him a reasonable shot at 3x value.
Stack to Consider
I'm personally all in on the Cardinals today, and maybe that's too obvious given the Padres pitching situation. But San Diego's starters have lasted only 4.1 innings through two games, and without Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet, they have no starting options for Friday. A taxed bullpen has to piece together nine innings, and I expect outs will be hard to come by. Carlson has moved into the cleanup spot, and by drawing two walks Thursday, he's established a decent floor with run-producing opportunities. Molina earned his 100th postseason hit yesterday, and is a another stable option in a run-producing spot. There is plenty of value across this lineup, likely allowing you to afford Tatis and Darvish, if you so desire.