This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday is a light day on the DFS front. There are 11 games on the day, which isn't sparse, but they are divvied up between afternoon and evening. The night slate is only five games, but that's what's being covered in this here article. Pickings are slimmer than usual, but the recommendations are still here to help.
Shane McClanahan, TAM vs. KC ($9,700): As a rookie, McClanahan impressed with a 3.43 ERA. This year, though, he's become an ace with a 2.28 ERA, and he's struck out 11.05 batters per nine innings. The Royals are 24th in runs scored, so McClanahan should bolster his numbers.
Yu Darvish, SD vs. WAS ($9,000): Darvish's 3.40 ERA is good, but at home in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, he's been a decidedly-better hurler. The Japanese pitcher has a 2.17 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in his home starts. The Nationals are battling the Angels to try and stay outside the bottom five in runs scored, but he Nats now no longer have Juan Soto or Josh Bell.
Josh Winckowski, BOS at PIT ($7,900): Nope, it's not Nathan Eovaldi. He's been scratched. Winckowski gets into the lineup instead. Like his teammate Eovaldi, the rookie righty has been better on the road than at home. Winckowski has a 2.82 ERA in away games. He'll be away from Fenway on Thursday, and the Pirates are 28th in runs scored with a sub-.300 OBP as a team.
It's a step down from his MVP-caliber 2021, but Vladimir Guerrero ($5,900) has slashed .283/.353/.506 with 25 home runs. Over the last three weeks he's put up a .963 OPS as well. Frankie Montas has a 5.80 ERA on the road this year and a 5.01 ERA on the road since 2020. Now, this game is at home for him, but it's his first home game as a Yankee. Prior to this, all his home games were in Oakland. This is, as far as those stats are concerned, a "road" game.
For the first time in a few year, Anthony Rizzo ($5,00) is going to hit 30 home runs. His home ballpark plays a part in that, as he's slugged .536 and tallied 18 of his 28 homers at Yankee Stadium. Jose Berrios has had a brutal year with the Blue Jays, having posted a 5.61 ERA. A big part of that is the fact he's allowed 1.92 home runs per nine innings.
He's scuffled on the road this year, but Ji-Man Choi ($3,200) has a .794 OPS at home. He also has a .780 OPS versus righties since 2020. Brad Keller was the expected starter, but he was moved to the bullpen. Maybe he and his 5.27 ERA on the road since 2020 will pitch bulk innings out of the pen, or maybe not. At the moment, we also have Carlos Hernandez, another righty, getting the start after a call up from Triple-A.
With only five games on the docket, I am dipping into recommending a Pirate even though I also recommended Eovaldi as a pitcher. Michael Chavis ($2,000) will be facing his former team, and he has 12 home runs in 99 games. He also has a .746 OPS at home. Winckowski has allowed righties to hit .276 against him since 2020, and he has had home run issues this year. I think Winckowski can pick up a win and a quality start, but I'm not expecting a complete-game shutout here.
Stacks to Consider
It feels like the Padres and Nationals have played every day since the Soto trade. Hey, given the rotation of the Nats, that's a bonus for the crew in San Diego. Sanchez is having an awful year. He's only made six starts, his first since 2020, and he has a 7.47 FIP. On top of that, he has allowed 3.00 home runs per nine innings. Even at Petco, that plays into a great stack opportunity.
Soto is one of baseball's best hitters. Since 2020 he has an 1.048 OPS against right-handed batters, including a .981 OPS in those matchups this year. Machado has been crushing it recently, notching an 1.002 OPS across the last 21 days. He loves his home ballpark too, as he has a .944 OPS at Petco since 2020. The switch hitter Profar prefers to face a righty, as he has a .767 OPS against those pitchers in 2022. He also has a .789 OPS at home.
Brubaker has a 4.45 ERA this year, slightly better than his career 4.93 ERA, but still not good. At home, though, he has a 5.44 ERA. Over his last four starts he has a 6.52 ERA as well, and now the Red Sox get to take him on.
Devers has a career .860 OPS and is going to have his third 30-homer season this year. He also has a .987 OPS versus right handers. Since joining the Red Sox, Pham has been crushing it, and he has three home runs in 14 games. He's getting to lead off, and he has an .856 OPS over the last two weeks. Verdugo has posted a .928 OPS over the last three weeks, and since 2020 the southpaw has an .824 OPS against right-handed pitcher as well.