This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
With a hefty number of day games on tap Thursday, we only have seven matchups to choose from for the main evening slate on Yahoo. Still, it should make for an exciting night with so many of the league's top teams in action. Here are some of the better players to target for your entry based on the matchups.
The headliner at starting pitcher is Justin Verlander ($61). Despite giving up home runs at a higher rate than at any point during his career, he's accumulated a 2.52 ERA and a 3.35 FIP. He's mostly done so on the strength of his 0.77 WHIP and 34.9 percent strikeout rate. This will be his fourth meeting of the season against the A's, who he limited to four runs (three earned) across 21 innings in the first three outings.
While he doesn't have nearly the same name recognition that Verlander does, Julio Teheran ($35) has been a rock for the Braves this season. He's allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his last 13 starts, leaving him with a 3.31 ERA and a 4.30 FIP. The FIP might seem like a concern, but he's outperformed his FIP for much of his career. The Phillies aren't the easiest of opponents, but Teheran could still be worth the risk at this reasonable price.
The Rays continue to deal with injuries to their starting rotation, which has forced them to rely on Brendan McKay ($36) more than they would probably like to. They will likely be limiting his pitch count down the stretch, which contributed to him logging only 3.2 innings in his last start against the Rangers. With that being said, he only allowed one base runner while striking out seven batters, so he was extremely effective when he was in there. The Rangers have the fourth-lowest wRC+ against left-handed pitchers (82) in baseball, so McKay might be still be able to provide value when also factoring in his strikeout upside.
When the Orioles are one of the teams playing on a limited slate, they are likely going to be one of the most popular to stack against. Their starting rotation has been abysmal and their bullpen doesn't really have anyone impressive to speak of. The Dodgers will have the luxury of facing them in this contest, so look for their hitters to be rostered in a lot of entries. Trying to slow them down will be Dylan Bundy, who has a 4.91 FIP and has allowed 1.8 HR/9. Cody Bellinger ($21), Joc Pederson ($20) and Corey Seager ($19) are among the top options to consider.
Expect to see a lot of the Braves' hitters included in DFS entries for their matchup against Drew Smyly. Despite his last two outings going well, he has a 6.44 FIP and a 1.60 WHIP. The Braves have been one of the more potent offensive teams, scoring the sixth-most runs in baseball. Outside of the obvious plays like Ronald Acuna Jr. ($22) and Freddie Freeman ($24), Dansby Swanson ($12) is also a viable target based on his .357 wOBA against southpaws.
The Red Sox's chances of making the playoffs are fading in large part due to the woes of their pitching staff. With Chris Sale (elbow) and David Price (wrist) still ailing, Jhouyls Chacin will serve as the opener against the Blue Jays. This could be the right time to take a chance on some young promising hitters, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($15) and Bo Bichette ($19). Also, don't sleep on Reese McGuire if he's in the lineup. He's made a mark across his first 20 games, hitting five home runs and recording a .943 OPS.
Nationals vs. Kyle Gibson (Twins)
Before Gibson went on the IL due to ulcerative colitis, he had allowed 23 runs (21 earned) over 26.1 innings in his last five starts. He pitched against the Tigers two times during that stretch, making his struggles even more troublesome. He'll face a much tougher lineup here with the Nationals, headlined by Soto and his 161 wRC+ versus right-handed pitchers.
Red Sox vs. Clay Buchholz (Blue Jays)
The Blue Jays continue to cobble together their rotation with Buchholz being yet another underwhelming pitcher who continues to receive opportunities. He has a 5.15 FIP through his first eight starts and is barely missing any bats, leaving him with a 12.2 percent strikeout rate. Devers and Betts will both cost a pretty penny, but it's difficult to resist either based on this matchup. Betts has stepped up during the stretch run, hitting 18-for-46 (.391) with seven home runs over his last 11 games.
Reds vs. Justin Dunn (Mariners)
The Mariners are expected to use Dunn as opener with Tommy Milone to follow and pitch the majority of the innings. Not only has he given up at least four runs in four of his last six appearances, he's allowed a whopping 2.1 HR/9 for the season, overall. That could end up being his downfall against this trio. Aquino has already launched 15 home runs over 40 games and Suarez has a 173 wRC+ against lefties.