This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
It's a typical get-away day Thursday, leaving a small main slate of six evening games. However, there is a Coors Field game and five pitchers with salaries over $8,000 in the mix. Let's dive into some possible options.
Cristian Javier, HOU vs. TEX ($9,200): Look, there's nothing wrong with going with Trevor Rogers ($9,900), but he's on the road and a couple thousand miles from his home field. Texas leads the majors in strikeout percentage (30.6 percent) on the road against right-handed pitching and Javier boasts an ERA under 3.00 while striking out over a batter per inning.
Jameson Taillon, NYY at TB ($7,700): Here's a nice GPP pick as there's a lot of upside with Taillon despite his lack of consistency last season. He has scored 27, 29, 29 and 42 fantasy points in four of his six starts and the Rays aren't a team to be worried about offensively, sitting in the bottom half of the league in wOBA (.302) and strikeout rate (24.9 percent) against right-handed pitching.
Jesse Winker, CIN at COL ($4,500): It's not going out on a ledge to recommend the most expensive hitter, but Winker is in Colorado and facing Chi Chi Gonzalez. He has only one game after Opening Day that he hasn't scored fantasy points and the upside is 25-plus. He should be hitting leadoff and can hit for power and OBP.
J.D. Martinez, BOS vs. OAK ($4,000): I've touted Sean Manaea in this space before, but there's a difference between pitching in Oakland and in traveling across the country to Boston. Martinez, for me, is an auto-play anytime he's going up against a southpaw. He has a .404 wOBA against lefties (no that's not a misprint) for his career and he'll be hitting in a good RBI spot.
Aaron Hicks, NYY vs. TB ($2,700): Rich Hill is a great story and despite being a Yankees fan, I do want to root for the guy. However, I try to let common sense take over in this space and while Hicks has a .194 batting average, he also has four home runs and 14 RBI. He's slated to hit third in the lineup, which should provide RBI opportunities.
Garrett Cooper, MIA at ARI ($2,100): This pick opens up a lot of salary cap space and it's easy to fade Merrill Kelly and his 5.40 ERA. Cooper got the day off yesterday (he pinch hit) so it's likely he got some time to refocus and be ready for this game. He had a .365 wOBA last season, so while his mark is well below that right now (.222 wOBA vs. right-handed pitching), there should be some regression to the mean.
Stacks To Consider
It isn't exactly going out on a limb recommending a hitting stack in Coors Field. It's a huge ballpark and while the ball flies out once the temperature gets warmer, there's a lot of space for extra base hits year round. This will likely be one of the more popular stacks tonight but history has show us it never hurts to have a piece of a game being played there.
Gilbert is one of the better pitching prospects in the game, but that's no guarantee he'll look good in his big-league debut. Both Rosario and Hernandez could be listed in the "Value Bats" section given their salaries, and the former should be hitting cleanup while the latter is hitting leadoff. This stack will be under the radar as a contrarian play given the hype around Gilbert and it's always fun to have a stake in the game with the latest start time.