I’ll be bringing you the Saturday MLB plays for a busy Saturday slate on FanDuel. The games today are split between a seven-game early slate, and an eight-game late slate. I’ll give you some options for both slates with the early slate being denoted by an (E) and late slate with an (L).
Jake Arietta, Chicago Cubs, $9,800 (E) - It’s a tough call between Arietta and Kluber for the early slate, and I’d anchor my lineups with one of these two pitchers. I’ll give the slightest edge to Arietta as he’s facing the easier lineup. The Brewers are a right heavy lineup and have really struggled against right-handers this year as they are hitting .230 against righties (second lowest in MLB) and have struck out the fourth-most times against right-handed pitching in the majors. Arrieta has always dominated right-handers with a career wOBA of only .282 so this sets up as a terrific matchup for him.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays, $8,900 (L) - I prefer both Jake Arietta and Corey Kluber to the late slate options at pitching so if you’re in an all day game then grab your pitching in the early slate. The late slate is tough as the top ace on the mound, David Price, draws probably the worst matchup with the Royals, who don’t strikeout. Archer draws a fairly tough matchup himself with the Orioles in Camden Yards, but he’s $2,000 cheaper than Price and has been terrific over his last four starts. He has great stuff and looks to be making a transformation as he has at least 7 strikeouts in three straight games and at least 5 in each game this year. While the Orioles do have some scary bats, they also will strikeout as they have struck out the eighth-most times in MLB against right-handed pitching.
Also Consider- Corey Kluber (E)
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants, $3,500 (L) - Catcher is pretty thin in the early slate, and Posey is affordable and draws a lefty on the mound so he’s where I’m looking. Santiago hasn’t been bad this year, but he’s a fly ball pitcher, who has had issues given up the long ball to right-handed batters, so I like Posey’s changes to go deep today.
Derek Norris, San Diego Padres, $2,800 (L) - This game isn’t at Coors, but the Padres showed they last night they can mast at Petco as they put up 14 runs on the Rockies. They are a top five team against left-handed pitching in most categories and crushed De La Rosa earlier this year for 7 ER in only 2 innings pitched. Norris is cheap and has crushed lefties throughout his career, making him my top option at catcher for the night slate.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, $3,300 (L) - Nathan Eovaldi is having a difficult transition to the AL East, and is still struggling with left-handed bats, as he has allowed .390 batting average and .426 wOBA so far this year. Ortiz has hits in four straight games and has huge power, especially against right-handers in his home ballpark.
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves, $3,500 (L) - The Braves have been better than predicted so far and the offense has been putting runs on the board recently. Jason Marquis is an aging pitcher, who has really struggled this year, allowing a .306 batting average and .344 wOBA to lefty bats. Atlanta features a lot of lefties at the top of their order, but the best of the bunch is Freddie Freeman. Freddie should have some runners on base to drive home and has been hot recently with hits in five of his last six games.
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians, $2,900 (E) - Aaron Sanchez is a highly thought of young pitcher for the Blue Jays, but this looks like a tough matchup for him today. The Indians feature a very lefty-heavy lineup and Sanchez has not shown an ability to get left-handed major league hitters out. He’s allowing a minuscule .239 wOBA to righties, but is allowing an enormous .539 wOBA to lefties so far in 2015. Kipnis has started the year slow but might be starting to turn things around with two home runs in his last three games.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros, $4,700 (L) - He’s not facing a lefty, which is when I normally like to target Altuve, but he’s so locked in right now that I don’t think it really matters. He has multi-hit games in TEN straight games this year, and Taijuan Walker has been a mixed bag this year. Altuve is always a threat to steal a bag when he gets on base, especially against right-handed pitching, and I’m riding this hot-streak until he slows down.
Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals, $2,600 (E) - Shortstop is a fairly thin position in the day slate so I’m looking for lineup positioning at a cheap price. Peralta fits both of those categories as he is cheap and should be hitting fifth (check our lineups page for batting orders as they’re released). He’s been very solid at the plate this year, and although Francisco Liriano is a quality pitcher, Peralta will have the platoon splits in his favor in this matchup.
Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds, $2,200 (L) - Troy Tulowitzki is always in play if you can fit him into your lineups, but if you need a cheap option at a tough position then I’m looking at Cozart. He’s sitting at the bare minimum and has recently been hitting second for the Reds and has fairly productive with hits in five of his last six games. Eric Stults is a guy who struggles with right-handers as he is allowing a .353 wOBA to them this year, and .337 for his career.
Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox, $3,200 (E) - I like the idea of pairing up David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval as a mini-stack to take advantage of Nathan Eovaldi’s struggles against left-handed bats. Pablo prefers to hit against right-handed pitching, and has finally started to come around at the plate recently with two home runs in his last five games, and multi-hit games in three of his last five games.
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, $3,900 (L) - We know that Eric Stults struggles with righty bats so I’m looking for a few right-handed bats from the Reds. Frazier is the best righty in their lineup and should be hitting cleanup. He’s also shown a power surge from the plate recently with home runs in two of his last three games.
Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians, $3,600 (E) - I’ve already hit on Sanchez’s struggles against left-handers so both Michael Brantley and Brandon Moss are great options in the outfield in the early slate. The Indians lineup is starting to get hot so I like both, but if I had to pick I lean towards Brantley. He’s a guy who was routinely sitting above $4,000 on FD last year, and is getting hot at the plate with multi-hit games in three of his last four.
Justin Upton, San Diego Padres, $3,700 (L) - I love the entire San Diego outfield as Matt Kemp and Wil Myers are in play as well, and a Padres stack is definitely an option tonight. Upton is my favorite of the group though as he has the most pure power, especially against left-handed pitching. He was dealing with some injuries earlier in the year, but he stole two bases last night so it looks like he is feeling good again.
Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics, $3,500 (L) - Reddick let me down last night, but I’m willing to go back to the well again tonight. Nick Martinez has been pitching above his head, and the pitching indicators indicate that regression is coming soon. Vegas thinks that it will happen tonight as they have Oakland pegged for the third-most runs on the day. Reddick has been swinging a hot bat and Martinez allowed a .366 wOBA to left-handers last year.