RotoWire Partners

Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

Pitcher

Chris Sale, BOS at HOU ($53): With only two games on this slate and four pitchers to choose from, you simply have to go with the two best pitchers and forget about the matchup. Houston has had a formidable lineup all season, but things get tighter (normally) in the playoffs. A guy like Sale, who was dominant in the regular season, will seem even more dominant in the playoffs. Even if heís his normal self, heíll be a guy to target on this slate as he enters on a streak of four consecutive games with eight or more strikeouts.

Justin Verlander, HOU vs BOS ($45): Verlander had his ups and downs with the Tigers this season, but heís been pretty steady since the trade to the Astros. Heís been particularly sharp in his past eight starts, having recorded eight or more strikeouts in six of those starts, while not allowing more than two runs in any of the eight starts. Though it will be tough to find good matchups against playoff lineups, this is actually a pretty good one for Verlander as the Red Sox are a bottom 10 team in wOBA against righties this season.

[Sign up for a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest today]

[Free entry into MLB Yahoo Cup: $25K in prizes]

CATCHER

Gary Sanchez, NYY at CLE ($16): With Sale and Verlander on the mound in Houston, Iíll obviously be targeting the other game for my hitters. Trevor Bauer is no slouch, but heís not at the level of the guys in Houston and with only two games on the slate, heíll need to be targeted. Sanchez enters with a .367 wOBA against righties this season, which is second on the Yankees behind only Aaron Judge.

FIRST BASE

Edwin Encarnacion, CLE vs NYY ($20): The other pitcher in the CLE-NYY game is Sonny Gray, and heís easily the worst pitcher going on this slate. With that in mind, the Indians are the team to stack on this slate, but it will be tough with all the high salaries. Encarnacion enters with a .376 wOBA against righties this season, which is second on the Indians.

SECOND BASE

Jose Altuve, HOU vs BOS ($16): Itís tough to take a hitter against Sale, but if anyone can get to him, itís Altuve. Altuve enters with a .412 wOBA against lefties this season, but perhaps more importantly, heís had some success against Sale in his career. Altuve has a .425 lifetime wOBA against Sale, which is easily the best among the Astros hitters. Though Iím not expecting it in this spot, Sale has had more than a few blowups this season and if he has one here, Altuve will likely be involved.

THIRD BASE

Jose Ramirez, CLE vs NYY ($24): One of the best hitters all season versus the most vulnerable pitcher on this slate. Ramirez comes with a high price tag, but considering the Indians are the most likely team to have a big night at the plate, youíll probably want a piece of him. Ramirez enters with a .397 wOBA against righties this season, which is tops on the Indians and 15th in the majors.

SHORTSTOP

Didi Gregorius, NYY at CLE ($14): Francisco Lindor is certainly an option here, but it will be tough to fit both Ramirez and Lindor into your lineup, so in the interest of saving some salary Gregorius is the pick. Gregorius is coming off a huge night in the wild-card round where he took started Ervin Santana deep in the bottom of the first inning, and heíll likely be in the mix here against another righty. Gregorius enters with a .354 wOBA against righties this season, which is fourth on the Yankees.

OUTFIELD

Andrew Benintendi, BOS at HOU ($12): There arenít many good options in the Red Sox lineup against Verlander, but Benintendi could be one. Benintendi enters with a .344 wOBA against righties this season, which leads the Red Sox. The Red Sox as a team arenít very good against righties, so it may fall on Benintendi to get things going against Verlander, but thatís a role that heís played well all season.

Jay Bruce, CLE vs NYY ($10): Youíll need to get good value from guys in the lower tier like Bruce in order to put a solid lineup together. Bruce has not fared as well in the Indians lineup as he did in the Mets lineup, but heís still remained productive. He enters with a .369 wOBA against righties this season, which is among the best on the Indians. Bruce could be a key cog on this slate because heís cheap and heís a part of the best stack on the board.

Cameron Maybin, HOU vs BOS ($7): Call him a flyer, call him a fill-in, whatever works, but Maybin does have some upside. As mentioned earlier, Iím certainly not fond of taking guys against Sale, but he has been erratic at times this season, and if heís off, a guy like Maybin could be a huge bargain. Maybin doesnít have great numbers overall this season, but he has been more effective against lefties than righties.

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.