Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.

If you like starting pitching, Thursday might not be the night for you. We have a limited schedule consisting of only six games and the pitchers in those contests are mostly underwhelming. With scoring potentially coming in bunches, here are some players to consider for your lineup.

Pitching Overview

Arguably the two best pitchers for this slate will be facing each other when Lucas Giolito ($47) and the White Sox host Jose Berrios ($48) and the Twins. With the Twins potent lineup, Berrios might be the safer option. His ERA checks in at a sparkling 2.96 and he's done a great job of keeping hitters off base with his 1.15 WHIP. Although his FIP isn't as appealing at 3.84 and his strikeout rate has dropped to 21.5 percent, it could help his cause that the White Sox have struck out the ninth-most times (940) in baseball.

The best strategy might be to roll with cheap pitchers and load up on bats. If you want to go that route, Brett Anderson ($29) is a viable target against the Rangers. This game will be played at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is much better than having to play at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. Many of the Rangers' best hitters are left-handed, which could be good news for Anderson since he has held lefties to a .293 wOBA. They should also be without Joey Gallo, who is currently battling a wrist injury.

Another cost-effective option is Wade LeBlanc ($29), who has struggled to the tune of a 5.22 FIP. If there is a silver lining, it is that he has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his last six appearances. Whether he starts or follows an opener, he is expected to pitch the bulk of the innings in this contest against the Tigers, who check in with the fewest runs scored (352). With their lack of talent, LeBlanc might be able to put forth another strong showing.

Key Values/Chalk

The A's will have a chance to hang a crooked number on Ariel Jurado, who has allowed a whopping 27 runs and a 1.68 WHIP over 33.1 innings in his last seven appearances. Among the appealing options is Ramon Laureno ($26), who is 23-for-53 (.434) with six home runs and seven doubles over his last 14 games. Matt Olson ($19) is also a great target with his .288 ISO.

It's hard to predict how Adam Plutko is going to perform whenever he takes the mound. His last start against the Royals was excellent with him allowing one run over seven innings. However, he had allowed 10 runs over 10 innings in his two previous starts, which came against bad lineups in the Orioles and Tigers. One main area of concern is that he's given up 2.6 HR/9, so the Royals might not be a bad play here in their rematch. In particular Hunter Dozier ($18) and Jorge Soler ($18) are worth considering based on their power upside.

The Tigers have recalled Drew VerHagen from the minors to make a start against the Mariners. Daniel Norris was originally scheduled to pitch, so this could be a welcome change with a righty on the mound versus the left-handed laden Mariners' lineup. VerHagen also has a career 4.86 FIP and 1.44 WHIP. Daniel Vogelbach ($11), Omar Narvaez ($12) and J.P. Crawford ($16) are all viable options.

Stacks

Yankees vs. Rick Porcello (Red Sox)

DJ LeMahieu (3B - $27), Aaron Hicks (OF - $21), Didi Gregorius (SS - $18)

Porcello has been an absolute train wreck lately, allowing 27 runs over 23 innings in his last five starts. He only struck out 13 batters during that stretch and posted a 2.09 WHIP. Facing the Yankees likely won't help him right the ship considering he has allowed 11 runs across five innings against them this season. LeMahieu has been a rock atop the Yankees lineup while Hicks has a .373 wOBA against righties. Gregorius has been very productive of late, accumulating two home runs, four doubles and 17 RBI over his last eight games.

Angels vs. Jimmy Yacabonis (Orioles)

Mike Trout (OF - $28), Shohei Ohtani (OF - $23), David Fletcher (3B - $18)

Look for the Angels to feast in this series at home versus the porous Orioles' pitching staff. Tom Eshelman was originally scheduled to start this contest and he still might pitch the bulk of the innings since Yacabonis has logged one inning or fewer in six of his last seven appearances. Either way, this is a great matchup to exploit. Not much of a case needs to be made to deploy Trout and Ohtani in an Angels stack. Don't sleep on Fletcher, either. He's been a productive part of the top of their lineup, hitting 21-for-65 (.323) with seven doubles and 11 runs scored over the last 15 games.

Indians vs. Mike Montgomery (Royals)

Jose Ramirez (3B - $22), Oscar Mercado (OF - $20), Jordan Luplow (OF - $15)

Montgomery didn't make a good first impression after being acquired by the Royals, allowing five runs over two innings to these same Indians. With him back on the mound, this is a prime opportunity to roll with the Indians once again. Ramirez has found himself at the plate again while Mercado has provided a nice jolt to their lineup with his .345 wOBA. Luplow is someone to target whenever a lefty is on the mound based on his 180 wRC+ against southpaws.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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