Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.

PITCHER

Jason Vargas, KC at TB ($42): A very interesting slate as the top options have tricky matchups and it's not until you get down to Vargas that you find a good matchup. Vargas has been one of the early season surprises on the positive side and this matchup looks favorable, so his strong start should continue. Vargas has allowed more than one run in just one of his six starts. His strikeouts numbers are good, but not great, but again, the matchup with the Rays should improve those numbers. Tampa Bay is a top 15 team in wOBA versus lefties this season, but the Rays are the worst in K rate against lefties this season.

Michael Fulmer, DET at LAA ($45): Fulmer has been a bit maddening this season with his highs and lows, but his most recent start was his best of the season and it might be the start of things to come. In his most recent start, Fulmer held the A's to one run over eight innings while striking out nine. His matchup against the Angels looks good, but it will look even better if Mike Trout continues to be out of the lineup. The Angels, with Trout for most of the season, have the fifth worst wOBA against righties this season and they are also in the bottom half of the league in K rate against righties.

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CATCHER

Jonathan Lucroy, TEX vs. SD ($9): Lucroy is off to a rough start this season, but he's shown signs in the past few games that he might be turning it around. Lucroy has multiple hits in two of his past three games and a matchup with Clayton Richard could push that to three of his past four. Richard is off to a rough start this season with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. Richard is struggling with righties this season as well. Opposing righties have posted a .418 against Richard this season. Lucroy, even with the struggles, leads the Rangers in wOBA against lefties this season.

FIRST BASE

Eric Thames, MIL vs. BOS ($26): Thames is one of a few lefties in the league that doesn't mind facing left-handers. In fact, he's been better against lefties this season than righties. Thames has a .575 wOBA against lefties this season and he's up against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who is having trouble with lefties this season. Lefties have posted a .366 wOBA against Rodriguez this season. Rodriguez isn't a guy you'd want to stack against right now as he's pitched well lately, but there are a few guys that can be used against him.

SECOND BASE

Chris Taylor, LAD at COL ($17): Taylor has filled in admirably for the injured Logan Forsythe with a .348 average and three home runs in 18 games. Taylor faces Tyler Anderson, who is coming off a great start, but prior to that start, was struggling this season. His most recent start is what makes stacking the Dodgers an iffy proposition, but the game is in Colorado, so I feel obligated to find a couple of plays. Taylor looks like a good spot because he's been crushing lefties this season to the tune of a .527 wOBA.

THIRD BASE

Nolan Arenado, COL vs. LAD ($22): Arenado is off to a great start this season, with eight home runs, 21 runs and 22 RBI through 33 games. As expected of anyone who plays for the Rockies, his home numbers are better than his road numbers. His numbers against lefties at home are even more impressive. Arenado has a .555 wOBA against lefties at home this season and he gets a lefty in Hyun-Jin Ryu.

SHORTSTOP

Zack Cozart, CIN at SF ($21): Cozart is off to a great start this season and he's got another good matchup against Ty Blach. Blach was hit hard by the Reds in his previous start and while he'll have a chance to make adjustments, it could be a matter of the Reds figuring the young pitcher out. Cosart has fared very well versus lefties this season, with a .465 wOBA and that number should improve after facing Blach. The Reds are another team that could be stacked, but I prefer limiting exposure because we still aren't sure what Blach is at this point.

OUTFIELD

Delino DeShields Jr., TEX vs. SD ($8): For a guy who gets most of his points by getting on base, stealing bases and scoring runs, DeShields sure is inconsistent. With that said, he's proven to be a better hitter at home this season and he has a favorable matchup against Richard. We've already discussed Richard's issues this season with righties and DeShields should be one of many Rangers to take advantage of him. DeShields has posted a very healthy .394 wOBA against lefties at home this season.

Hunter Pence, SF vs. CIN ($12): Bronson Arroyo takes the mound for the Reds and to give you an idea of how far Arroyo has fallen, his start against the Giants last week, where he surrendered two runs in 5 1/3 innings was considered a smashing success. Facing the Giants on such a quick turnaround is not going to end well for Arroyo. The Giants aren't performing well this season, but even they can take advantage of Arroyo. Arroyo has struggled with righties this season, so we'll want to target a righty or two in the Giants lineup. Pence has a long history with Arroyo, and much of it came when Arroyo was a better pitcher, so the fact that he's batting almost .300 against him in 51 at-bats is a positive sign.

Mookie Betts, BOS at MIL ($19): Betts got off to a slow start this season, but he's really turned things around over the past couple weeks. Betts has eight hits in his past three games, including two home runs. Betts and the Red Sox will face Jimmy Nelson, who's proven to be shaky at best. Nelson has surrendered three or more runs in three of his past four starts and his most recent starts was cut short because of rain. The Red Sox could be a decent stacking option and Betts should be at the top of the list. Betts holds a .405 wOBA against righties this season.

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. Greg Vara plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: lennykarl1, DraftKings: lennykarl1.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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