This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Thursday's DFS action starts at 1:05 p.m. EDT with an early-only four game slate. Note that the main slate of games is a little different, starting at at 6:40 p.m. EDT as opposed to the usual 7:05 p.m.
The earlier start allows the Cincinnati-Chicago game to sneak onto the main slate and giving up the top pitching option, Luis Castillo ($10,300). Given the lack of pitching choices, he's worth paying up for in cash without a doubt. He's scored at least 30 fantasy points in every start this season, establishing a great floor. While the Cubs are not a good matchup, they are around league average in striking out to right-handed pitching (22.3 percent).
Given the lack of upper-tier pitching with the limited number of games, it makes sense to turn to the Petco Park game as both pitchers are in play. Unsurprisingly, this is the game with the lowest over/under run total (eight), and the Padres are a slight favorite (-125). The slight edge in this one goes to the Padres' Eric Lauer ($6,700). The Pirates have the third-lowest wOBA (.265) while striking out 28.2 percent of the time against left-handed pitching, the fourth-worst mark in baseball. Lauer was shelled last time out in Colorado (a lefty pitching versus the Rockies at Coors Field is a nightmare) but averaged 25.3 fantasy points in his other seven starts this season.
Trevor Williams ($7,900) is toeing the rubber for the Pirates and is the other half of the starting pitcher equation in Petco. Williams has actually been consistent in 2019, sporting a 3.40 ERA and scoring at least 21 fantasy points in all eight of his starts. The Padres continue to be a good matchup for right-handed pitching as their 26.7 percent strikeout rate is the second-worst mark in baseball.
Max Kepler ($3,300) is a safe play in the outfield facing Erik Swanson in Seattle. Kepler has a .356 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season and has been a fixture in the leadoff spot for the Twins. While he's pitched better than his numbers indicate, Swanson brings a 6.35 ERA into this game and might be another bad outing from getting bounced from the rotation.
Tim Anderson ($3,600) is a great play on a nightly basis; it would just be nice to see him hit higher than sixth or seventh in the White Sox batting order. He's up to a .399 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season and is still leading the league (tied with Adalberto Mondesi) with 13 stolen bases, adding to his fantasy value. As he has his whole (limited) career, the Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman has struggled more on the road than at home this season.
The bad news is he wasn't available in the player pool Wednesday when he hit a 438-foot home runs, but Austin Riley ($2,100) is eligible Thursday night and priced cheaply. This game (Atlanta/St. Louis) is tied for the highest over/under total on the slate (9.5 runs) with Seattle and Minnesota, so getting players in both seems like a good idea. Riley is a standout prospect who helps the salary cap if Castillo is the starting pitcher for cash game lineups.
It's tough to tell why or how Eric Sogard ($3,600) is going off this season. He's absolutely killing it as the Jays' leadoff man averaging over 12 fantasy points per game at a weak fantasy position. This is a fantastic matchup against Dylan Covey (5.91 ERA), who hasn't lasted five innings yet this season. Sogard and the Jays will get to second-tier pitching sooner rather than later.
It's always a great contrarian play to go with a catcher at the C/1B spot. Seattle's Omar Narvaez ($3,000) has been fantastic this season against right-handed pitching with a .378 wOBA. The Twins' Michael Pineda has a 5.85 ERA, which explains why this game has an over/under of 9.5 runs with the Swanson matchup.
Braves vs. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)
On any given night, the Braves' talented offense is in play. Wainwright is almost 38 and well past the prime of his career. The Braves should tee off on him.
Twins at Erik Swanson (Mariners)
Again: Fade Swanson. All four Twins bats here have good power, and Buxton has speed.