FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

July 4th's main slate features only four games, so it's not inconceivable you could enter a multi-entry tournament that stacks all eight teams separately and hope for the best. The game times are spread out enough that unless you're playing the full day slate, you'll be limited to three or four games in all of your gaming options.

Pitching Breakdown

The limited slate doesn't lend itself to a limited number of arms, as we've got choices. Cash game lineups are going to heavily gravitate to Hyun-Jin Ryu ($10,800), who - outside of Coors Field - has allowed two or fewer runs in every start this year. That's given him a floor of 31 FDP, save for an early exit in April. Mix in a Padres' 25.6 percent strikeout rate, and there appears to be no warning signs.

Lance Lynn ($9,300) is the clear GPP pivot. The Angels aren't a targetable offense, striking out a league-low 16.6 percent of the time. But nothing about Lynn has been targetable all year, and he continues to defy logic. He's been worth 30 or more FDP in 10 straight and 11 of 12, topping 40 points nine times during that stretch. He enters with a 3.87 xFIP at Globe Life Park and despite his success, his name recognition - or lack thereof - may have casual managers simply overlooking his appeal.

Mike Soroka ($8,800) is absolutely in play. A lazy look shows nine-point outings in two of his last four, but one was caused by a hit by pitch to his right forearm. He's really only experienced one bad outing all year. And at 2k less than Ryu, there's plenty of appeal with the flexibility he provides to your offense despite the Phillies representing a top-11 offense against righties. 

With Marcus Stroman ($7,100) not certain to start due to a pec issue, I'm not sure I want to gamble much below Griffin Canning ($8,000), whose 19 FDP floor is still more than 2x value. He held the Rangers to one run while fanning five over as many innings earlier in the year. And while the Rangers do rank fifth with a .338 wOBA against righties, they also strike out 24.2 percent of the time. 

Key Chalk/Value

Boston bats are the clear target on this slate, and I'm not sure it matters whether the aforementioned Stroman actually takes the hill. He's held the Red Sox to one run over 12 frames this year, but has allowed 10 hits and seven walks over that span. Pair that with 28 runs, 56 hits and 17 walks over 45.2 innings across the last three years against Boston, and he's flirting with disaster. Xander Bogaerts ($4,200) has proven to be Stroman's nemesis, going 11-of-36 with two homers in his career. The bats here are largely cost-prohibitive - especially when paying for a top arm - but there's plenty of room for adjustment if and when the Jays announce Stroman's (likely) replacement. 

Philly's Zach Eflin ($8,400) looks like the most vulnerable of the top pitching options. Freddie Freeman ($4,400) is almost always a cash game mainstay, and brings a .412 wOBA and 154 wRC+ against righties to the table here. As a Braves' fan, I personally can't stand Nick Markakis ($3,100) playing virtually every night, but his .362 wOBA plays well on this slate at a discount. He hit the ball hard Wednesday and was unlucky, and Eflin fares marginally worse against lefties. Ozzie Albies ($3,300) remains a personal favorite. He's known to struggle as a left-handed hitter, but has posted a .369 wOBA, 126 wRC+, 42.6 percent hard-hit rate and just a 14.1 percent K rate. He doubled twice Wednesday and boasts four double-digit FDP outings in his last seven.

Dodgers' bats figure to be trendy against Dinelson Lamet ($5,500), who will be making his season debut after missing all of 2018 following Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers as a team sport a second-ranked .348 wOBA against righties and fan only 19.4 percent of the time. That figures to make the likes of Cody Bellinger ($4,700) and Max Muncy ($3,800) attractive, while Alex Verdugo ($3,500) and Joc Pederson ($3,400) offer a little savings. Lamet did own a 28.2 percent strikeout rate in 2017, and 32.2 percent K rate during his rehab outings. This isn't the spot to exploit that, but he's worth remembering and could easily return 3-4x value if he doesn't combust. I think I just talked myself into a small GPP fade on the Dodgers, and minimal Lamet shares.

Stacks

Blue Jays vs. Rick Porcello (Red Sox)

Justin Smoak (1B - $2,700), Lourdes Gurriel (3B - $3,700), Cavan Biggio (2B - $3,700)

Porcello has allowed 11 runs over his last 6.1 frames and four or more runs in four of his last six starts. As such, he looks ripe for the picking against a less-than-stellar Jays' offense. All three of these options have posted a .381 or .382 wOBA against righties, and a 141 or 142 wRC+. Gurriel's .264 ISO comes in as the lowest of the three. And while Smoak is in a funk, he's taken Procello deep five times in 43 at bats - essentially, once every eight attempts and/or once every other game. 

Phillies vs. Mike Soroka (Braves)

Rhys Hoskins (1B - $4,000), Scott Kingery (OF - $3,300), Jay Bruce (OF - $3,600)

With the limited slate, GPP players are forced to go against the grain. The Phillies' offense is better than the Angels, so we'll target them against a top arm in Soroka and hope for the best. Kingery represents the cheapest and presents the best with a .394 wOBA, 145 wRC+ and .267 ISO against righties. Hoskins goes .386/139/.259, while Bruce sports a .363/124/.333 slash line. It's definitely a dart throw, but likely a low-owned, high-potential one.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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