Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.

We don't have a ton of options to choose from Thursday with only four games making up the main evening slate on Yahoo. Not only that, but the few pitchers who are scheduled to take the mound aren't exactly great. With that in mind, here are some pitchers and stacks to consider while creating your entry.

Pitching Overview

Believe it or not, the best pitcher for this slate might actually be Marcus Stroman ($38). After a disastrous 2018 campaign that started off with an injury, he's rebounded to record a 3.81 xFIP and a 1.29 WHIP across nine starts. He's also produced a career-high 10.4 percent swinging strike rate, which is up 1.3 percentage points compared to last season. The White Sox are in the bottom half of the league in runs scored, so this isn't exactly an imposing matchup.

One pitcher who you shouldn't count on for many strikeouts is Trevor Williams ($40), who only has an 18.1 percent strikeout rate for his career. However, he's done a great job of limiting base runners again this season with a 1.15 WHIP. He also generally keeps hitter inside the ball park, allowing 0.8 HR/9 for his career. In a matchup against a Padres team that has scored the eighth-fewest runs (165), he's a viable option to target.

While his 5.75 ERA might not lead you to believe Eric Lauer ($29) is worth considering, his 4.71 xFIP indicates he hasn't pitched that poorly. In fact, he's allowed three runs or fewer in five of his eight starts. Most of the damage that was done to his ERA came in his last outing against the Rockies when he gave up eight runs over three innings. Of course, that game was played at Coors Field. Playing at home against a Pirates team that has scored the third-fewest runs (148) is a much easier assignment.

Key Values/Chalk

One of the top stacks of the night figures to be the Twins against Erik Swanson and the Mariners. Swanson hasn't exactly shined since making his major league debut, recording a 4.91 xFIP and allowing seven home runs across 28.1 innings. His propensity for giving up home runs is especially troublesome since the Twins have hit the third-most long balls (76) in the league.

Staying in that same game, the Mariners also have a good opportunity to hang a crooked number themselves facing Michael Pineda. After sitting out all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, he's allowed a 1.45 WHIP through eight starts. His average fastball velocity is also down two miles-per-hour compared to his career mark, which is troublesome for his prognosis moving forward.

Another matchup to consider taking advantage of is the Cardinals facing Julio Teheran. While he's increased his strikeout rate this season, Teheran has still been mediocre with a 4.50 xFIP. He's also allowed eight home runs across 50.2 innings. The Cardinals haven't exactly provided consistent offensive production, but they have plenty of talent and have shown their upside by scoring at least 14 runs two times across their last six games.

Stacks

Twins vs. Swanson (Mariners)

Jorge Polanco (SS - $24), Eddie Rosario (SS - $20), Max Kepler (OF - $18)

After missing half of last season due to a suspension, Polanco has thrived out of the game with a .424 wOBA. He's also hitting for power with a .293 ISO, which is over 120 points higher than his career mark. After recording a .368 wOBA against right-handed pitchers last year, he could be in line for another productive game. The same can be said for Rosario, who is showing signs of getting out of his slump by hitting 10-for-29 (.345) over his last seven games. Kepler is also in play with a righty on the mound considering his career 107 wRC+ against them.

Mariners vs. Pineda (Twins)

Daniel Vogelbach (1B - $18), Jay Bruce (OF - $17), Omar Narvaez (C - $21)

Not only is Pineda allowing too many base runners, but he's also given up 10 home runs already. That brings Vogelbach and Bruce, who have combined to hit 23 homer this year, into focus. Narvaez has shown plenty of power in his own right with a .208 ISO to go along with his .385 wOBA. One of the main reasons for his increased home run total has been his fly ball rate increasing by 13.1 percentage points compared to last year.

Cardinals vs. Teheran (Braves)

Matt Carpenter (3B - $13), Kolten Wong (2B - $14), Paul Goldschmidt (1B - $16)

Left-handed hitters are the way go when stacking against Teheran. Even though he's held righties to a .268 wOBA for his career, lefties have had far more success with a .338 wOBA. That puts Carpenter at the forefront of any Cardinals stack while making Wong a viable cost-effective option. Even though he doesn't have the platoon advantage, Goldschmidt is someone to consider since he is 10-for-23 (.435) with a home run and a double across his last six games.

Blue Jays vs. Dylan Covey (White Sox)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B - $12), Rowdy Tellez (1B - $12), Eric Sogard (2B - $17)

Stacking against Covey is a sound strategy more often than not. After recording a 1.49 WHIP last year, he's started off this season with an even worse 1.88 WHIP. He's also allowed 1.6 HR/9 for his career, so this could be a productive game for Guerrero, who launched his first two home runs Tuesday. Covey has also allowed a career .356 wOBA to left-handed hitters, making Tellez and Sogard two viable targets to complete this budget-friendly stack.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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