DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

There is a rather large gap between the top two hurlers and the rest of the pitching field Thursday. Those options have potentially difficult matchups in front of them, which opens the door for players to spend down in both spots in order to load up on offense.

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Pitcher

Austin Gomber, STL vs. LAD ($8,100): Gomber has yielded strong results for the Cardinals at home this season, logging a 2.13 ERA and a .288 wOBA against in 25.1 innings. The Dodgers are not quite the same powerhouse offense against lefty hurlers, coming in as a bottom half team according to wOBA while striking out nearly 23 percent of the time.

Cheap GPP Consideration, Brett Anderson, OAK at BAL ($6,600): Anderson looked like a dominant pitcher before hitting the disabled list at the end of August, as evidenced by the 2.15 ERA and .204 wOBA he allowed in 29.1 innings. The Orioles hold the third lowest wOBA in the league against southpaws in 2018 (.288) while notching just a .136 ISO, which makes Anderson a strong value play despite the fact that he is returning from injury.

GPP Fade, Clayton Kershaw, LAD at STL ($11,900): Kershaw has thrown the ball well of late but will face an offense Thursday that has notched the sixth highest wOBA in the league against southpaws. Add to that a strikeout rate of under 22 percent and it may be tough for anyone to make value at this price even if they are considered one of the best pitchers in the game.

Catcher

Willians Astudillo, MIN at KC ($3,500): Astudillo isn't the Twins' primary backstop but may be the favorite to get the nod Thursday after Mitch Garver left Wednesday's contest due to getting hit in the mask with a foul tip. The rookie has shown tremendous power against righties in a small sample with the big club, notching a .276 ISO in 29 at-bats. Astudillo has shown pop at various points throughout his minor league career and should be able to find success against Heath Fillmyer, who has allowed a .533 slugging percentage in 27 innings against same-handed batters.

First Base

Matt Olson, OAK at BAL ($4,500): It's difficult to imagine that Dylan Bundy allowed just six runs in 27.1 innings in June, as he will enter Thursday's contest sporting a 5.58 ERA in 150 overall frames. Lefties have given Bundy the hardest time this season, as we can see from the .568 slugging percentage and .404 wOBA he has surrendered in 71.1 innings against his opposite hand. Olson has made his living off of right-handed arms in 2018, tallying a .251 ISO in 350 at-bats.

Second Base

Adalberto Mondesi, KC vs. MIN ($4,500): Mondesi is considered a fantasy asset due to his speed but the 23-year-old has shown himself to be more than capable with the bat against lefty pitchers, as he has notched a .209 ISO and a .344 wOBA in 67 at-bats. Not much has gone right for Stephen Gonsalves since being recalled in August. He has allowed a whopping 16 runs in 12.1 innings during his time with the Twins while walking 13 batters over that span. The sample may be small but players need to consider that Gonsalves, who saw success in the minor leagues, may simply not be ready for this level.

Third Base

Justin Turner, LAD at STL ($4,900): While Gomber makes for a fine value option, I am a bit worried about his xFIP against right-handed hitters, which currently stands at 4.96. He has allowed a 37.7 percent hard contact rate against his opposite hand in 42.1 innings. Turner has crushed southpaws to the tune of a .438 wOBA in 97 at-bats this season and could help Gomber realize some of that regression.

Shortstop

Amed Rosario, NYM vs. MIA ($3,900): Rosario has shown some pop to begin September, notching a .244 ISO to go along with a .370 wOBA in 41 at-bats. Opposing starter Jeff Brigham has only thrown three major league innings this season but held a 4.36 xFIP in Triple-A New Orleans while allowing seven homers in 52.1 innings

Outfield

J.D. Martinez, BOS vs. TOR ($5,600): The nice thing about selecting two relatively cheap pitchers is we have cap space to select players like Martinez, who has logged a .327 ISO against right-handed pitching in 404 at-bats. Opposing starter Sam Gaviglio is always someone to target on the road thanks to the 8.10 ERA he has posted in 43.1 innings away from the Rogers Centre.

Denard Span, SEA at LAA ($4,100): Odrisamer Despaigne will make a return to the rotation after a brief excursion to the bullpen, which will allow us another opportunity to take advantage of the .369 wOBA he has surrendered against left-handed hitters in 15 innings. Span has shown a strong K/BB ratio against righty pitchers this season (53:38) while also logging a .172 wOBA in .319 at-bats.

Kole Calhoun, LAA vs. SEA ($3,700): Calhoun's mid-summer breakout appears to have come and gone but we have been left with a player who has notched a solid .197 ISO against right-handed pitching to go along with a 44.3 percent hard contact rate in 310 at-bats. Meanwhile, Mike Leake has struck out just 11.5 percent of the left-handed batters he has faced this season, which has contributed to a 4.35 xFIP.

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. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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