This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Perhaps MLB is worried about the start of the NFL season. There are only four games on the slate for baseball starting in the evening, with the first at 6:45 p.m. EDT. However, only three are included by FanDuel on the DFS front, because one of those games is the second leg of a doubleheader between Milwaukee and San Francisco. It's a light slate, but here are my DFS recommendations.
Dylan Cease, CWS at OAK ($10,800): Maybe don't overthink it? You only have six choices, after all. Cease has a 2.13 ERA and has struck out 11.37 batters per nine innings. Oakland is 29th in runs scored and team OPS. The Athletics also have a nice ballpark for pitchers. You won't save salary, but you will get a possible Cy Young winner in a great matchup.
Kyle Gibson, PHI vs. MIA ($9,100): Gibson has a 4.48 ERA, but his issues have been on the road. At home, he has a 3.71 ERA, which is decent. The Marlins however are not decently offensively. They are bottom four in runs scored and have a sub-.300 OBP.
It's a great day for pitchers, and thus a tricky one for hitters. I'm going to the top of the heap with Bryce Harper ($3,800). Since 2020 he has an 1.060 OPS versus righties and an 1.031 OPS at home. Sandy Alcantara has had a great season, but while he's been elite at home, he has a 3.30 ERA on the road. That's good, but not scary.
Jose Abreu ($3,300) has slashed .309/.382/.452. Those power numbers aren't great, but on the road he has a .931 OPS. The lefty JP Sears has a 2.37 ERA, but a 3.61 FIP, and as a righty I like the Cuban first baseman in this matchup.
Jose Miranda ($2,600) just hit his 13th home run on the season. The rookie also has an .824 OPS versus lefties and an .800 OPS on the road. Nestor Cortes is expected back from his groin injury, so maybe he won't be at full capacity in this one. Also, maybe the fact he allowed a home run in each of his last three games before the injury is a harbinger.
Miami rookie JJ Bleday ($2,200) doesn't have great overall numbers, though he does have four homers and three stolen bases in 40 games. Plus, he has a .705 OPS versus righties and a .764 OPS on the road. I picked Gibson as a pitcher, because the Marlins are bad offensively. However, you could argue the Phillies hurler is having the worst season of the six starters going Thursday.
Stack to Consider
Yankees vs. Twins (Sonny Gray): Aaron Judge ($5,100), Gleyber Torres ($2,400), Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($2,300)
The stack options weren't great, but I have landed on one I like. Gray has a 3.27 ERA on the road compared to a 2.97 ERA at home. He also has a 3.41 FIP. Though Gray is right-handed, he's handled lefties to the tune of a .193 average, but righties have hit .246 against him, leading me to three righties.
Judge, of course, is the best hitter in baseball. He has an OPS over 1.000 in basically every split: on the season, over the last three weeks, versus lefties, versus righties, at home, and on the road. He's been all but unstoppable, which is why he might hit 60 home runs. Torres just hit his 19th home run, and while he's been bad on the road, at home he's slugged .447 with 12 of those homers. The Yankees have been hammered by injuries, which is how I ended up with Kiner-Falefa as the third member of this stack. He does have a .743 OPS over the last two weeks though. He also has 17 stolen bases, 16 against righties, and even added his third homer of the season Wednesday.