DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Nine games are included in Thursday's, and weather looks to be more of a nuisance than a concern on the east coast.

Pitching Breakdown

Similar to yesterday where I liked Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd ($10,700) presents very favorably against Kansas City. The Royals rank 28th with a .279 wOBA against lefties, adding a 71 wRC+, .131 ISO and 25.3 percent fan rate. The only difference with Boyd is price, as he's the most expensive option. Boyd has been worth 20.3 DKP or more in four straight and has failed to reach 16.8 DKP just once in his last 10. He's a cash game staple in this matchup, and not priced too high to be unusable for GPPs.

Jacob deGrom ($10,400) and Clayton Kershaw ($10,100) follow as the only other five-figure pitchers. Kershaw faces a 10th ranked Cubs offense against lefties that posts a .330 wOBA against, fanning 24.9 percent of the time. He's been worth 13 DKP or more in each of his last 10 outings, and while the matchup may not lend itself to upside, he's very stable. deGrom hasn't been the most consistent option this season, but has been good for 23.4 DKP or more in three of his last four, striking out 17 in his last 12.2 frames. St. Louis fans only 22.3 percent of the time however, potentially limiting deGrom's upside.

David Price ($9,700) looks to be in a good spot. His form is great, allowing three runs over his last 18.1 innings while fanning 22, and the Rangers whiff 26.9 percent of the time against lefties. Zack Greinke ($9,300) rounds out the upper tier of arms, and appears very fairly priced. There's no doubt the Nationals are surging offensively, and a 23.7 percent fan rate isn't ideal, but Greinke has been worth 16.8 DKP or more in seven of his last nine, and comes at a nice savings over most. Any combo of Boyd, Price and Greinke looks elite.

J.A. Happ ($8,700) has a huge win probability with the Yankees facing a struggling Ivan Nova ($4,400). Boosting Happ's appeal is that he's gone for 20.3 DKP or more in three straight, fanning 19 in 18.0 frames. Marcus Stroman ($7,600) sets up well if you're looking for salary relief in the second pitching slot. He's got a decent win chance facing Baltimore, and his 56.5 percent ground ball rate helps negate homer-friendly Camden Yards. There's very little upside in Jon Lester ($7,800) but he did post 16.9 DKP against the Dodgers earlier this year, which works well at this price, and he could get locked into a pitchers duel with Kershaw.

Key Chalk/Value

There may not be a more clear definition of a chalky play than Yankee bats against the aforementioned Nova, who is allowing a .406 wOBA to lefties, and a .375 wOBA to righties on the road. Yes, you should stack this lineup where affordable, just know everyone else will be as well. Didi Gregorius ($4,300) hasn't missed a beat since returning from injury, and looks like a bargain at this price, while Gary Sanchez ($5,500) and Luke Voit ($5,100) have favorable lines against right-handers. Gio Urshela ($4,100) offers another cheap(er) buy in.

The Yankees are so chalky, they've pushed Rockie bats, at home against a lefty, to second in this section, something virtually impossible to do. Matt Strahm ($9,200) is set to return from the IL, and looks a bit overpriced in this spot. While he may not work deep into the game in his return to action, the top portion of the order should get a few cracks at him. Nolan Arenado ($5,600) is slightly discounted due to injury, making him attractive if he actually plays. Ian Desmond ($4,400) has a .406 wOBA and .348 ISO against lefties, while Ryan McMahon ($4,300) offers some position flexibility and a .418 wOBA, 146 wRC+ and .279 ISO.

Toronto figures to be another trendy option for bats against an always vulnerable Orioles' pitching staff, which will trot out Gabriel Ynoa ($5,400) as it's starter here. Ynoa has allowed three long balls in his last 11 innings and is giving up 1.65 per nine overall. The Blue Jays took a little while to get going Wednesday in Baltimore, but still managed eight runs and its fair to have a similar expectation here. Justin Smoak ($4,300) and Lourdes Gurriel ($4,300) offer a nice mix of value and positive numbers against righties, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,200) and Cavan Biggio ($3,800) bring more boom or bust potential.

Stacks

Diamondbacks vs. Erick Fedde (Nationals)

David Peralta (OF - $4,400), Jarrod Dyson (OF - $4,700), Alex Avila (C - $3,700)

Fedde's 2.93 ERA isn't supported by his 4.81 xFIP, so some regression is certainly on its way. He's allowing a .346 wOBA to lefties (against a .262 to righties), so we'll target Peralta and Dyson to build around. Peralta has a sound .392 wOBA and .276 ISO against opposite-handed bats, while Dyson is more of a matchup play as a lefty against Fedde, though he's found a way to score a run in six straight. Avila offers some salary relief and is Greinke's personal catcher. He's boasting an unsustainable .399 wOBA and .318 ISO, but riding him while hot gives him potential at a position largely void of it.

Red Sox vs. Adrian Sampson (Rangers)

Mookie Betts (OF - $4,900), Rafael Devers (3B - $4,900), Xander Bogaerts (SS - $5,000)

On the surface, this is going to be chalky, and it's also going to be hard to squeeze this stack in with two top pitchers. But maybe some are turned away by the fact that Sampson has allowed just one run in three of his last four starts and has fanned 18 in his last two. Similar to Fedde, Sampson's 3.72 ERA isn't fully supported by a 4.88 xFIP, and his 6.00 road ERA is more in line with his 6.45 road xFIP, where he's allowing 1.74 HR/9. Bogaerts' .368 wOBA is the lowest of these three, as is his .196 ISO. With a nine-run total and an expected solid showing from David Price, the Sox look good for 6+ runs here.

Rays vs. Tyler Skaggs (Angels)

Yandy Diaz (1B/3B - $4,000), Guillermo Heredia (OF - $2,800), Tommy Pham (OF - $4,100)

Skaggs has allowed nine runs over his past two starts, both to familiar divisional foes, and may be due a bounceback outing, and the Rays do fan 28.5 percent of the time against lefties, so maybe I'm talking myself more into Skaggs as a sneaky GPP option. Still, there's plenty of success to be found in Tampa bats against southpaws, and they come at a discount which can allow more Rockies and Yankees into your lineup. Diaz has some position flexibility, and leads the team with a .425 wOBA, 174 wRC+ and .259 ISO. Heredia is a sound under the rader option, and has no risk with this price. He's second with a .403 wOBA and 160 wRC+, adding a .229 ISO. Pham is interchangeable with Avisail Garcia ($4,400), with the former offering more stability and the latter more power upside with more swing and miss tendencies.

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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