DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

It's a light day of MLB action Thursday, with eight games total. Four are in the afternoon, and four are in the evening. For DFS purposes, I'm going to look at seven of the games. The matchup between the Reds and Pirates is only being included for single-game Showdown contests. Whatever slate you end up playing, hopefully I can help you with your lineup decisions.

Pitching

Tyler Anderson, LAD vs. PHI ($8,900): Anderson has put up career-best numbers, posting a 2.78 ERA. Playing for the Dodgers, he also gets a pitcher-friendly home ballpark and quite a bit of offense behind him. The Phillies have been scoring runs, but a lefty like Anderson can help neutralize Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, and you usually have to like a Dodgers pitcher's chance of winning.

Jordan Hicks, STL vs. BAL ($7,800): Hicks is starting for the first time in his career, and he hasn't gone deep enough to qualify for a win yet. However, he did go 4.1 innings in his last start, and that's only two outs away from qualifying for a win. Hicks also has a 3.78 ERA, and is facing a team with a bottom-10 offense expected to be among the league's worst teams.

Beau Brieske, DET vs. OAK ($7,300): This is a brutal offensive series. The Tigers are last in runs per game. The Athletics are last in team OPS. This time around, I am going with Brieske over James Kaprielian, given that Kaprielian has a 5.87 ERA.

Top Targets

So far, so good for Freddie Freeman ($5,000) in his new home. He's hitting over .300 as per usual and has an OPS over .900 in his new ballpark. Plus, let's not forget that he has an 1.013 OPS against righties since 2020. Zach Wheeler was turning his season around before he hit the COVID-19 list, so I am worried about how the righty will look in his return to the mound.

You can rely on the bat of Paul Goldschmidt ($5,000). He's a career .293 hitter who has notched over 30 home runs in MLB's last four full seasons. The first baseman also has an 1.071 OPS against lefties since 2020. Keegan Akin has pitched well out of the bullpen this year, but he has a career 5.63 ERA thanks to his struggles starting in the past. Well he's getting a start Thursday.

Bargain Bats

While Austin Meadows ($4,000) has lacked power this year, he has a career .482 slugging percentage. Plus, he has a .281 average and .378 OBP. Kaprielian has a 5.87 ERA through two starts, and a 9.34 ERA in two starts in Triple-A as well.

In his first season getting regular player time, Nathaniel Lowe ($3,700) slashed .264/.357/.415 with 18 home runs and eight stolen bases. The lefty's power is missing this year, but he has a .429 slugging percentage against righties since 2020. Jon Heasley will likely make his first MLB start of 2022 after posting a 4.44 ERA in Triple-A. Last season in three MLB starts he had an 6.03 FIP.

Stacks to Consider

Mets vs. Joan Adon ($7,000): Pete Alonso ($5,100), Brandon Nimmo ($4,800), Jeff McNeil ($4,200)

Adon has not been a productive addition to the Nationals lineup in 2022. He's made six starts and has a 6.99 ERA. In his career, he's allowed lefties to hit .303 against him. That's why I have two lefties in my stack, though I also included one of baseball's top power bats for good measure.

The righty I have included is Alonso, who hit 53 home runs as a rookie and has a career .539 slugging percentage. He's also hit for more average than ever this year, as he's hit .287 thus far. Over the last three seasons Nimmo has a .285 average and .401 OBP. No wonder he gets to lead off for the Mets when he's in the lineup. The southpaw also has an .877 OPS  against righties since 2020. McNeil is elite when it comes to hitting for average and getting on base. The lefty has hit .301 in his career with a .367 OBP. He also has a .938 OPS against righties in 2022.

Royals vs. Taylor Hearn ($6,400): Salvador Perez ($4,800), Bobby Witt ($3,700), Hunter Dozier ($4,100)

When both righties and lefties are hitting .300 against you, you know you're getting batted around. That's the case for Hearn, who in his first year as a fulltime starter has a 6.53 ERA. That gives him a 5.05 ERA in his career. He is a lefty, though, so I did want three righties in my stack. Lefties have hit .300 against him this year, but righties have hit .271 against him since 2020.

Perez's average is way down, but he's a career .268 hitter and also one of baseball's best power hitters. He broke records by hitting 48 home runs in 2021, and you need a catcher for your DraftKings lineup. Witt entered the season as one of baseball's top prospects, and so far the one clear skill he's shown is base running. He has five stolen bases, and in time his hit tool will come around as well. Dozier has a .247 average, a. 441 slugging percentage, and three home runs. Against a lowly lefty, he's worth a roll of the dice.

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 Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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