This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The DFS action starts at 1:05 PM EST on Thursday with an early slate featuring three games with starters Corey Kluber and Jose Berrios taking the mound. Don't be afraid to fade Anibal Sanchez who is on the road and has been pitching over his head all season. The main slate starts at 7:05 PM EST and features only six games as the other teams get ready for their upcoming weekend series'.
For those interested, we've started an MLB DFS Slack channel for paid RotoWire subscribers. (There is a season-long one as well.) To join those channels, e-mail email@example.com.
Justin Verlander, HOU vs SEA ($11,800): For cash games the pitcher spot comes down to Verlander or his opponent James Paxton. While the Astros don't have their typical lineup, it seems safer to pay up and go with Verlander over Paxton. Verlander has a 2.19 ERA on the season, and his 33.7 percent strikeout rate is an elite number. Seattle is below league-average in wOBA against right-handed batters (.313), and Verlander has had at least 30 fantasy points in each of his last six outings.
GPP Fade: Ivan Nova, PIT at SF ($7,100): Nova moves into a nice pitcher's park Thursday, but he's been pretty terrible this season. He's scored 30 points or fewer in his last seven starts, and despite being a veteran in the National League, his 4.49 ERA is abysmal. The Giants are around league-average in wOBA (.314) and are more potent with Andrew McCutchen, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford in the lineup.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Andrew Suarez, SF vs PIT ($7,300): It can't hurt that the Pirates are a long way from home and are again traveling to San Francisco for this game. Suarez has been much better at home this season with a .290 wOBA that has led to a 3.64 ERA. Pittsburgh's .298 wOBA against left-handed pitching on the road is the 11th worst mark in baseball.
Steve Pearce, BOS at TOR ($3,500): Last time Pearce was mentioned in this spot it seemed like he'd be chalky, but he wasn't and went off for three home runs. He's in another good spot tonight against a left-handed pitcher (Ryan Borucki), and Pearce's .451 wOBA this season is an elite stat. Look for him to be hitting in the cleanup spot with many capable hitters getting on base in front of him.
Marwin Gonzalez, HOU vs SEA ($3,000): This is a tough call as James Paxton has been solid this season, but Gonzalez has been heating up as of late. Gonzalez has a 1.253 OPS over his last seven games and Paxton struggles more with right-handed hitters than lefties. Gonzalez isn't cheap and draws a tough matchup, meaning he's best left as a pick in GPPs.
Adrian Beltre, TEX at NYY (3,300): Beltre has a career .380 wOBA against southpaws. Who knows what J.A. Happ will have in his arsenal coming off the DL, so that plays into Beltre's wheelhouse as well. Look for Beltre to be hitting in a prime RBI spot (likely cleanup), which helps his DFS prospecs.
Brandon Crawford, SF vs PIT ($2,800): Crawford should be hitting in a good RBI spot at home and is an underrated player considering the position. He's averaging almost nine fantasy points per game this season, which is a good mark for the position. At home he has a .329 wOBA against right-handed pitchers, and a good RBI spot in the lineup should pay off nicely.
Mallex Smith, TB vs BAL ($3,300): Smith has finally been moved to the leadoff spot, and he's been one of the bright spots in the Rays lineup this season. He's recorded at least 12 fantasy points in six of his last seven games and has a nice matchup against David Hess on Thursday. Look at Jake Bauers ($3,600) as well, as Hess has given up a .376 to opposing left-handed hitters.
Carlos Gonzalez, COL vs LAD ($3,500): CarGo will likely be in or near the cleanup spot which is a good spot at Coors Field against Ross Stripling coming off the DL. Gonzalez has a .420 wOBA this season against right-handed pitching at home, and for his career his mark sits at .435. Using a Rockies stack is a good contrarian play in GPPs given they've come up short several times over the last week.
David Freese, PIT at SF ($2,300): Freese is up to a .335 wOBA this season after a .364 and .407 wOBA over the previous two campaigns. This is a good contrarian play if you don't believe in Andrew Suarez at home, who has given up a .366 wOBA to opposing right-handed hitters.