FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/14/23

Luis Castillo gets a plus matchup against the Tigers to begin the second half, making him one of the night's top pitching options. Which other players stand out on Friday's slate?

Our first post-break main slate comes in at 14 games, and we've got a little of everything between enticing pitching options, Coors Field, and -- unfortunately -- a handful of trouble weather spots. As of this writing, it's too early to know whether we'll actually get any washouts, but it's something we'll have to monitor closer to lock.

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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Pitching Breakdown

If we're playing it safe at pitcher -- particularly when factoring in potential rain affecting this slate -- Luis Castillo ($9,700) looks like our first choice.

While Castillo doesn't have an elite strikeout rate (26.4%), he should get a nice boost against the Tigers, and we don't have to worry about the weather at T-Mobile Park. Detroit's active roster is one of the league's worst against right-handed pitching, owning a 90 wRC+, .135 ISO, and 24.0% strikeout rate in the split, and that's further reflected by their slate-worst 3.09 implied team total tonight.

Castillo may not rack up the punchouts on a consistent basis, but he's reached 10 Ks twice this year, so he's capable of generating big numbers, and this is the ideal opponent for that. Add in a rock-solid 6.4% walk rate and a workload that typically flirts with 100 pitches, and his ceiling could include six-to-seven innings of shutout ball.

If the weather clears up in Kansas City, though, Tyler Glasnow ($10,000) is an excellent candidate to lead the slate in scoring.

He's now up to eight starts for the year, and he's quickly rounding into form, owning a stellar 2.98 SIERA and 36.4% strikeout rate. Glasnow's logged double-digit strikeouts in two of his last three outings, one of which came against the team he's facing tonight, the Royals. Kansas City's numbers versus righties are even worse than Detroit's, with their active roster coming in with an 81 wRC+ and 26.0% strikeout rate against them.

Glasnow's pitch counts can range anywhere from the mid-80s to cracking 100, and he's gone six full innings just once so far, so that might be the one concern regarding his ceiling. And while he's had a bit of a home run issue, that isn't as much of a worry versus a light-hitting team like the Royals.

Eduardo Rodriguez ($10,400) is the only pitcher with a five-figure salary other than Glasnow, which is a little surprising considering he struggled in his return from the injured list against Oakland right before the break. However, E-Rod still piled up seven strikeouts in just four innings, and if we assume he's back at a normal workload tonight, he could be an intriguing pivot from Castillo and Glasnow.

That's in part because he's facing Seattle. While the Mariners have some potent bats, their active roster also comes with the league's worst strikeout rate versus left-handers (26.5%).

Prior to his lengthy stint on the injured list, Rodriguez was enjoying a bounce-back campaign, and even with that shaky game last week, he enters the night with a 3.60 SIERA, 26.3% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate over a dozen starts. The risks are obvious in backing a guy who may not have his best form back, but E-Rod also shouldn't see a high roster percentage, enhancing his appeal in tournaments.

Although some rain is expected in Atlanta, it isn't expected to be much of a problem, which leaves Charlie Morton ($9,500) as another possibility versus the White Sox, a below-average offense versus right-handed pitching.

However, it's worth noting that Chicago typically has a right-heavy lineup, and Morton's generating a mere 21.8% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups this season, a sizable downgrade from the 30.6% clip he has versus lefty sticks. On the other hand, the opposite is true when it comes to walks, where he has a solid 7.4% rate against righties compared to a 12.4% rate against lefties.

That means that while Morton is more likely to pitch deep into the game against the Sox, he could have a tougher time at having a ceiling game. That arguably drops him behind the first three guys, but he's still very much viable.

If we need to spend down, the pitcher who stands out has to be Kenta Maeda ($7,000), who is tied for the fourth-lowest salary at the position.

Maeda's pitch counts have been low all season, but he got up to a season-high 87 pitches his last time out against Kansas City, and he sure made the most of it, putting up 55 FanDuel points. He's logged eight or more strikeouts in three of his seven starts, so even with the modest workload, we aren't completely skimping on upside here. That's particularly the case in his matchup against Oakland (24.8% strikeout rate versus righties).

If we exclude the shelling Maeda took right before he hit the injured list in April, he's generally looked like his old self this season, and this is as good a time as ever to buy low -- very low -- on him.

Hitting Breakdown

The New York Yankees are at Coors Field against left-hander Austin Gomber, so they predictably have the slate's highest implied team total (6.28). Gomber has a poor profile across the board, coming in with a 5.07 SIERA and 15.4% strikeout rate while coughing up 2.00 home runs per 9 innings.

Incredibly, the Bronx Bombers' lineup has low salaries from top to bottom, with no player coming in above $3,200. While that makes this stack even easier to like, the problem is that it will almost certainly elevate roster percentages, which is something to consider in tournaments.

But if we're going here, this isn't the type of spot where we have to be all that picky. Giancarlo Stanton ($3,100) is an obvious starting point, but Gleyber Torres ($3,000), Anthony Volpe ($3,000), Harrison Bader ($3,200), and Josh Donaldson ($2,600) all have enough pop to make an impact, too. Gomber has a laughable 5.58 xFIP and 11.8% strikeout rate versus lefties, so Anthony Rizzo ($3,100) also remains firmly in play despite the lefty-lefty spot.

The Atlanta Braves have the next-highest implied team total (5.74), drawing Michael Kopech in his first start off the injured list. Kopech is returning from a shoulder injury, and despite showing flashes of an elite pitcher at times, he has a 4.64 SIERA and 5.24 xERA overall this year, showing he still has a ways to go. Between a 13.1% walk rate and 1.78 home runs allowed per 9 innings, it's easy to see how stacking Atlanta could pay dividends.

Unlike the Yankees, the Braves' salaries are on the higher end, so this might be the ideal offense to pair with someone like Kenta Maeda. All the usual star sluggers are in play, of course, and then if you need some salary relief, Marcell Ozuna ($3,100) and Eddie Rosario ($3,100) have two of the lowest cap hits.

The Tampa Bay Rays are also facing a pitcher with control issues in Alec Marsh. The 25-year-old has made just two MLB starts, but the early returns have been worrisome, as the righty has already issued seven walks and allowed three home runs in nine innings. Given that he's had a double-digit walk rate throughout the minors, it's unlikely his wildness will be going away any time soon.

With the Rays being in Kansas City, this is a spot that could be affected by weather, but if it plays, we shouldn't pass on this stack. While getting up to Randy Arozarena ($3,700) and/or Wander Franco ($3,800) is great when possible, we can find pop throughout this lineup, with Brandon Lowe ($2,700) being especially enticing at a value salary.

The St. Louis Cardinals are another standout option, while the Texas Rangers could be a team that flies under the radar. Trevor Williams is awful versus lefties (5.60 xFIP; 11.8% strikeout rate) and merely okay versus righties, so the Cardinals have a great opportunity to start the second half on a high note. Texas will face Aaron Civale, who has a wide gap between his 2.56 ERA and 4.47 SIERA, and they won't have much problem making contact against a guy with a 20.7% strikeout rate.