Baseball's rules will soon be changing thanks to a Friday vote, but that's a story for another season. For now, let's focus on the nine MLB games taking place Saturday in Yahoo's main slate of contests that now starts at 4:10 p.m. EDT as the Royals-Tigers moved up their game to try and avoid an evening rainstorm. Here are my recommendations.
Max Fried, ATL at SEA ($48): Fried is making a run at the Cy Young with a torrid stretch of play where he's posted a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts. The Mariners are trying to stay out of the bottom-10 in runs scored, and they usually employ a few lefties. Fried is also a southpaw lefty, so that's to his advantage.
Kevin Gausman, TOR at TEX ($44): Gausman has produced a 3.12 ERA, but his 2.17 FIP is even more impressive. And on the road, his ERA is 2.07. The Rangers are middling in offense and maintain a .305 team OBP.
Jonathan Heasley, KC vs. DET ($30): It's been a rough campaign for Heasley, but there has recently been some light with a 2.86 ERA from his last four starts. The Tigers, meanwhile, are last in runs scored and team OPS. Fried and Gausman are elite pitchers with salaries that match. Heasley lets you save some funds while qualifying as a strong matchup play.
He doesn't mind his home ballpark, but Nolan Arenado ($20) has been happier on the road. Or at least, more productive with a .952 OPS along with a .901 versus right-handed pitchers. JT Brubaker comes in with a career 4.86 ERA and a home mark of 4.92 this year.
I'm sure the Royals would appreciate it if Bobby Witt ($15) would take the occasional walk, but his 20 homers and 27 stolen bases provide plenty of fantasy enticement. He's also hit .269 at home in his rookie campaign. Matt Manning has recorded a 3.94 FIP in nine starts - down from his 4.62 last season - but has also struggled over his career with a 6.47 road ERA.
C.J. Cron ($13) has seen his production dip, but it does coincide with a stretch of road games. He still maintains a .924 OPS at home in 2022. Maybe facing Madison Bumgarner is just what Cron needs since the Diamondbacks starter has a 5.37 ERA on the road and a .291 average allowed to righties.
Stacks to Consider
Arihara has slumped to a career 5.97 FIP while giving up 2.03 home runs per nine innings in his career. That's bad. You know what's worse? His career 9.79 ERA at home. That combined with a visit from the Blue Jays makes for a great stacking opportunity.
This is also a great chance for Bichette to stay red hot since he's registered a 1.073 OPS the last three weeks. Kirk has hit .300 with a .384 OBP. He may be a righty, but with an .849 OPS versus right-handers and an .851 OPS on the road. Guerrero has been cold, but still maintains a .277/.343/483 slash line with 27 homers, seven steals and an .841 OPS versus righties.
Guardians at Twins (Chris Archer): Jose Ramirez ($17), Andres Gimenez ($16), Oscar Gonzalez ($11)
With a 4.47 ERA, Archer is locked into having a number over four for the sixth season in a row. In fact, his recent track record might indicate things are headed in the wrong direction considering a 6.64 from his last nine starts. Archer also doesn't strike out a lot of batters, leaving him vulnerable for a stack of players who hit for average.
Ramirez has produced a .277 average, but a .291 versus righties. He's also racked up 26 home runs and 14 stolen bases. Gimenez is having one of the best seasons ever for a second baseman having slashed .302/.370/.478 with 15 homers and 18 swipes. The rookie Gonzalez has hit .296 and slugged .474 to go with a .787 OPS against righties and a .770 on the road.
Diamondbacks at Rockies (Jose Urena): Christian Walker ($26), Daulton Varsho ($23), Alek Thomas ($11)
I mentioned Archer is going to finish with an ERA over four for the sixth-straight year, but Urena is going to post a five-plus for the fourth consecutive campaign. Since joining the Rockies this year, he's struggled to a 6.46 through 12 starts. If that wasn't enough, lefties have hit .335 against Urena the last three seasons. Oh, and this game is at Coors Field.
Walker is a righty, but I included him because he boasts top-of-the-line power with 32 home runs while slugging .481 along with an .866 road OPS. Varsho has produced a .957 OPS the last three with 23 of his 24 homers and all nine of his steals coming against righties. Thomas has endured an up-and-down rookie season, but has recorded a .724 OPS versus right-handers with a .739 away from home.