This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Thursday's baseball action kicks off at 4:05 pm EST with two games, Nationals/Blue Jays and Cubs/Reds. The main slate of games starts at the normal 7:05 pm EST and feature eight games. The big GPP is the Thursday MLB Rally, which costs $7 to enter and pays out $250,000 with $50,000 going to first place.
It's tough not to chase Shane Bieber ($10,700) after his 14-strikeout performance last time out. However, he's got a tough matchup at Minnesota, where he'll face one of the hottest hitting teams in baseball. Pivoting to Dinelson Lamet ($9,200) will open up another $1,500 and he gets a better matchup taking on the Giants in San Francisco. Lamet struck out an impressive 33.6 percent of the batters he faced last season and improved his walk percentage in the process. If he continues that trend this season, he'll be one of the top pitchers in fantasy.
J.A. Happ ($8,600) is a little bit cheaper still, and the attraction here is the matchup against the Orioles. The Yankees are a big favorite in this one, putting Happ in line for a win and possibly a quality start. The Orioles had the sixth-lowest wOBA against left-handed pitching last season with a meager .310 mark. Dylan Bundy ($8,200) is in the same price range and may have turned a corner playing for a new team.
A cheap option to consider for Thursday night is the Rays' Ryan Yarbrough ($6,700). Yarbrough was able to pitch into the sixth inning last outing and has never faced Atlanta, a scenario which usually favors the pitcher. Using Yarbrough in a GPP will allow for multiple big bats in your lineup.
Steven Matz takes on the Red Sox Thursday night and any time a lefty is facing Boston, J.D. Martinez ($3,900) should be a prime target. He had a ridiculous .539 wOBA against left-handed pitching last season and should be the first batter put in cash game lineups for Thursday night.
Almost as impressive as Martinez was the Yankees' Aaron Judge ($4,100). Judge had a .459 wOBA against southpaws last season and got the proverbial "monkey off his back" with his first home run of the season Wednesday night. Don't be surprised if Judge slugs a homer in back-to-back games.
Mike Trout ($4,500) hasn't been a popular pick up to this point due to his price tag and a bit of a slow start (.211 BA). That shouldn't deter anyone from using him Thursday, especially given that he's at home facing a lefty. Trout had a .411 wOBA against lefties last season and has had some past success against Marco Gonzales, going 12-for-28 against him with two home runs – good for a 1.265 OPS.
While he sat out Wednesday, Jurickson Profar ($2,500) should be back in the lineup Thursday night with the Padres facing a southpaw. Profar had a .354 wOBA against left-handed pitching last season and should be in the cleanup spot. Over his career, Tyler Anderson has allowed a .337 wOBA to opposing right-handed hitters, another stat working in Profar's favor.
There are two Mets to consider tonight, Amed Rosario ($2,500) and J.D. Davis ($2,400). Rosario should be hitting leadoff and had a .370 wOBA against left-handed pitching last season. Davis had a .378 wOBA against lefties in 2019 and should be hitting cleanup. Both are in play and the Mets can definitely be stacked against southpaw Martin Perez.
Some will grab the low-hanging fruit and point out that Gleyber Torres ($3,100) had 13 home runs against the Orioles last season. A closer look shows that Torres also had a .376 wOBA last season against lefties, which is a more reliable stat to use. Torres has been hitting in one of the best spots in baseball: third in the Yankees order between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Both the Yankees and Red Sox have already been discussed as stacks. Digging a bit deeper, here are some other options when stacking Thursday night.
Ray has legit stuff but is typically a little wild. The Dodgers should take advantage of that wildness and the players listed are prone to taking advantage of lefties. This is one of the under-the-radar stacks for the night.
Using Mondesi addresses position scarcity (SS) and Nova is someone good to target given his numbers last season. Merrifield has been on fire as of late and Perez appears completely healthy coming off his elbow injury.