This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
We have a fairly limited schedule Thursday with 11 games set to be played across baseball, six of which will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo. Let's dive into the matchups and highlight some pitchers and hitters who could be productive.
Talk about two contrasting seasons. Corbin Burnes ($49) pitched poorly while mostly coming out of the bullpen last year, finishing with a 6.09 FIP and a 1.84 WHIP. Now mostly a starter, he's emerged as a potential ace of the future with a 1.79 FIP and a 0.95 WHIP to go along with a 37.6 percent strikeout rate. This is a great matchup for him against the Cardinals to shine, yet again, considering they have just a .691 OPS against right-handed pitchers.
Kris Bubic ($33) has made the jump for Single-A last year to the majors this season. He's done a good job, all things considered, recording a 3.97 ERA and a 4.35 FIP. His strength has been keeping hitters inside the ball park, allowing 1.2 HR/9. He's allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last four starts and will be facing a Tigers team that is only averaging 4.4 runs a game, making him an appealing option at a more budget-friendly salary.
Freddie Freeman ($27) has made the most of the shortened regular season, posting a .453 wOBA and a 185 wRC+. For the first time in his career, he has a higher walk rate (16.6 percent) than he does strikeout rate (14.6 percent) to go along with a stellar 53 percent hard-hit rate. He could end being a tough out for Pablo Lopez ($37), who has held right-handed hitters to a .281 wOBA during his career, but lefties have a .336 wOBA against him.
The Royals exploded for 12 runs against the Cardinals on Wednesday and will look to keep their bats rolling against Michael Fulmer ($28) and the Tigers. He's struggled to the tune of an 8.17 ERA and a 6.73 FIP, which has forced the Tigers to limit him to three innings or fewer in each of his outings. With the potential for a high-scoring affair, it's not a bad idea to target the Royals' best hitter Whit Merrifield ($18), who is 23-for-61 (.377) with two home runs and three doubles across the last 14 games.
After recording a 146 wRC+ during his brief stint in the majors last year, the Orioles had hoped that Austin Hays ($13) could be an important part of their lineup this season. Injuries have limited him to only 29 games, but he's healthy now and makes for a viable option against Martin Perez ($30) since he is 13-for-35 (.371) with two home runs across 10 games since being activated from the IL.
With Perez on the mound, Hays isn't the only player on the Orioles to consider. Hanser Alberto ($8) has feasted against left-handed pitchers, following up his .400 wOBA against them in 2019 with a .376 wOBA against them this season. Don't expect much from him in the power department, but at this salary, he can provide value if he finds his way on base a couple of times.
Stacks to Consider
Given their .862 OPS at home, the Dodgers are a team to consider stacking whenever they are playing in Los Angeles. They are a really tough matchup for Fiers, who isn't an overpowering force with his 14.5 percent strikeout rate. He's also had trouble keeping hitters off base, leaving him with a 1.39 WHIP. Betts and Seager are enjoying excellent campaigns and Bellinger has caught fire as the Dodgers head into the playoffs, hitting 13-for-35 (.371) with two home runs and three doubles over the last 10 games.
If there is one thing that the Red Sox can do, it's hit at Fenway Park. They have an underwhelming .736 OPS on the road, but their OPS stands at .811 when they play in Boston. Tasked with trying to slow them down is Cobb, who has once against struggled with his 5.10 FIP and 1.37 WHIP. Devers and Verdugo stand out as great options for a Red Sox stack given that Cobb has allowed a .352 wOBA to left-handed hitters.