DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Thursday's six-game afternoon slate can be tough for those who want to play stacks, as offenses as a whole seem to be either too expensive or not good enough. Still, we can cobble together some low-cost options that will allow for the addition of high-dollar talent to lineups.

Pitching Overview

Stephen Strasburg ($11,100) has become an extreme groundball pitcher in 2019, which compliments his high-strikeout, low-walk profile. He will take on a Mets team that has posted a bottom-10 wOBA over the last calendar month.

Matthew Boyd's ($10,300) 30 percent strikeout rate this season has seemingly come out of nowhere, but a 13 percent swinging strike rate points towards the gain being sustainable. He will face the Marlins, who hold a bottom-5 wOBA against left-handed pitching.

Aaron Nola ($9,700) has been up and down in 2019 but is coming off what may be his most dominant performance of the year against the Rockies, when he struck out 12 over six innings of one-run baseball. The Cubs are among the best teams in the league against right-handers according to wOBA and don't strike out quite enough (22 percent) to make Nola an obvious GPP play.

Masahiro Tanaka ($9,300) may never be as good as he was when he first came over from Japan but he still possesses a 23 percent strikeout rate to go along with a 46 percent groundball rate. The result has been a 3.09 ERA in 58.1 innings. Meanwhile, the Orioles have logged a bottom-10 wOBA against right-handed pitching this year.

The Rockies are once again showing poor form on the road, as evidenced by their bottom-5 wOBA and 27 percent strikeout rate. Jordan Lyles' ($8,500) 1.97 ERA likely isn't sustainable but his ability to get strikeouts and limit homers makes him a fine play at this price.

Jon Lester's ($8,300) 2.09 ERA is impressive but his 42 percent hard contact rate is a bit alarming. He will take his 44 percent groundball rate into a matchup against the Phillies, who fall into the bottom half of the league in most categories against southpaws.

Steven Matz ($7,300) has a tough matchup against the Nationals but has been excellent (1.50 ERA) in 18 innings at home this year. While he hasn't had the best season, Matz has logged at least 20 DraftKings points four times in his eight starts, making him a cheap option to consider on a short slate.

Key Values

DFS players should probably find a way to get Anthony Rendon ($5,700) into lineups. Rendon has been on fire against lefties, tallying a .462 ISO in 26 at-bats. Meanwhile, Matz has allowed eight homers to right-handed hitters in 30.2 innings.

The same goes for Michael Chavis ($5,400), who has logged a thunderous .500 ISO in 26 at-bats against lefty pitching. He will welcome Clayton Richard off the disabled list. Richard has started just one minor league game this year but remains a stack target due to the 5.33 ERA he logged with the Padres in 158.2 frames last year.

Gregory Polanco ($4,900) has mashed right-handed hurlers to the tune of a .210 ISO in 62 at-bats. He draws a favorable matchup in Antonio Senzatela, who has allowed a .475 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in 15 innings.

Aaron Nola has had some better results of late but has still allowed an unsightly .611 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in 21 innings. This looks like a great spot for Anthony Rizzo ($4,900) who has notched a .315 ISO against righty hurlers in 2019.

Eric Sogard ($4,500) is working on a career-best season, having logged a .364 wOBA and .479 slugging percentage in 94 at-bats. Ryan Weber has looked strong out of the bullpen for the Red Sox but logged a 5.04 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this year.

Dylan Bundy has kept an extreme reverse split in 2019, allowing a .609 slugging percentage to right-handed hitters in 24 innings. Clint Frazier ($4,500) has done some of his best work against right-handed pitching this year, having logged a .253 ISO in 99 at-bats.

Stacks

Yankees against Dylan Bundy (Orioles)

Gary Sanchez (C - $5,600) Clint Frazier (OF - $4,500) Gio Urshela (3B - $4,200)

We will attack an Orioles pitcher with righties for the second day in a row, as Bundy has allowed nine homers to same-handed hitters in just 24 innings. Sanchez is the most expensive player in this stack for a reason, as he has notched a .406 ISO against righties in 106 at-bats.

Red Sox against Clayton Richard (Blue Jays)

Michael Chavis (2B/3B - $5,400) Christian Vazquez (C - $4,400) Xander Bogaerts (SS - $5,000)

It may be tough to stack Red Sox on Thursday due to the fact that most starters are priced at $5,000 or higher but Vasquez can be seen as a sneaky value play based on the .351 ISO he has logged against lefties in 37 at-bats.

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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