FanDuel MLB: Thursday Value Plays
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Today's games are being split evenly with an early slate starting at 12:35 PM EST featuring five games and the main (night) slate starting at 7:07 PM EST with another five games.

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PITCHER

Gerrit Cole, HOU at TEX ($11,800): Cole is the logical choice to go with in cash tonight on a short slate with only 10 pitching options. He's struck out 38.2 percent of batters and his 2.61 xFIP portends well for future success. Against a lefty in Cole Hamels, the Astros should provide plenty of run support (sixth against lefties in wOBA this season, second last season), putting Cole in a good spot for the win bonus. The Rangers .300 wOBA against right-handed pitching is the fifth-lowest mark in baseball and their 26 percent strikeout rate is the second-highest mark only to the Phillies (26.8 percent).

GPP Fade: Mike Leake, SEA at TB ($7,600): Leake has become popular over his last few games after posting a 3.20 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP over his last six starts. He got two wins during that span and received the Quality Start bonus four times. Leake faces the Rays tonight in Tampa and has been a different pitcher away from Safeco Field. His ERA is 1.23 runs higher on the road (5.46), which correlates with a wOBA that's 40 points higher. The Rays have the seventh-highest wOBA (.329) at home this season against right-handed pitching and their 21.3 percent strikeout rate is the 12th lowest mark.

Cheap GPP Consideration: Jalen Beeks, BOS vs DET ($6,000): Beeks isn't just some journeyman called up to make a spot start for the Red Sox, as he's arguably their best pitcher in the minors right now. He got the call tonight based on his 2.56 ERA and 80 strikeouts in only 56.1 innings. Beeks has at least six strikeouts in every game at Triple-A this season.

CATCHER/FIRST BASE

Sam Travis, BOS vs DET ($2,200): Here's a solid punt play, as Travis not only got the start vs. a lefty last night, but he also hit sixth for the Red Sox. He'll likely be in a similar position tonight against southpaw Matthew Boyd, and any spot in the Boston lineup is a good place these days. Boyd's weakness in his short career with the Tigers has been against right-handed hitters, who had a .357 wOBA against him last season.

SECOND BASE

Jonathan Schoop, BAL at TOR ($3,000): Schoop has been in a bit of a funk lately with a .582 OPS over his last 14 games. However, he continues to hit in a good RBI spot against left-handed pitchers and had excellent numbers against them last season. His 2017 wOBA against lefties was .397, and he'll get Jaime Garcia tonight, who has allowed a .391 wOBA to right-handed hitters this season. Don't forget Manny Machado ($4,500, .401 wOBA vs lefties this season) tonight either.

THIRD BASE

Danny Valencia, BAL at TOR ($2,600): Valencia batted cleanup against Jason Vargas the other night, so there's a good chance he'll be in the same spot against the aforementioned Garcia. Valencia has a career .369 wOBA against left-handed pitchers, and his .255 BABIP suggests a respectable .335 wOBA this season has been unlucky. The case against Garcia has already been made, and an Orioles stack could pay off nicely using a combination of the players already mentioned with Adam Jones and/or Mark Trumbo.

SHORTSTOP

Xander Bogaerts, BOS vs DET ($4,400): As usual, shortstop seems like a logical place to pay up given the discrepancy in upside between the expensive players (Machado) and everyone else. Bogaerts was recommended Wednesday and came through with 19 fantasy points hitting in the two-hole. His wOBA against lefties is now up to .430 in Fenway against left-handed pitching, and he's safely reached base in 22 consecutive games.

OUTFIELD

Mitch Haniger, SEA at TB ($3,300): Haniger has come back to earth over the last month after a hot start, and his price has dropped enough to start considering him again for DFS. He's scored fantasy points in 18 of his last 19 games and is still on pace for over 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Look for the Rays to employ their unusual pitching rotation tonight, meaning Haniger won't be facing Chris Archer (DL) or Blake Snell.

George Springer, HOU at TEX ($4,100): Springer has to be considered a top-3 overall option tonight given his matchup with Cole Hamels in a hot Arlington ballpark. Of Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve or Springer, it's only George who has had a wOBA above .400 in each of the past four seasons. In addition, Springer's career wOBA is 79 points higher against lefties on the road (.438).

UTILITY

Justin Smoak, TOR vs BAL ($3,400): Smoak should be occupying the cleanup spot for the Jays tonight, and he's been one of the few bright spots in their offense this season. Since coming to Toronto, he has a .349 wOBA against right-handed pitching at home, and David Hess is a solid matchup for him. in a small sample, he's surrendered a .381 wOBA to left-handed hitters this season.

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. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Payne
Kevin has worked for RotoWire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. You can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.
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