DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

A limited schedule across baseball Thursday leaves us with eight games making up the main evening slate on DraftKings. There are still plenty of big-names available with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Padres among the teams in action, so let's highlight some players to consider for your lineups.

Pitchers

The last time Sean Manaea ($9,600) faced the Mariners, he recorded eight strikeouts in a complete game shutout. They have the third-worst OPS in baseball, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Manaea pitch well in their rematch, too. He's also in the midst of arguably the best season of his career, posting a 3.28 ERA and a 3.36 FIP across 19 starts. Another appealing stat is his 25.3 percent strikeout rate, which is five percentage points higher than last season.

Staying in that same game, Chris Flexen ($7,600) is another appealing option. He's nearly matched Manaea with a 3.35 ERA and a 3.68 FIP. The only downside has been his miniscule 16.3 percent strikeout rate. However, it's worth noting that this game will be played in Seattle, where he has a 2.90 FIP and a 0.95 WHIP across 61.1 innings.

After originally being scheduled to start one game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Padres, Charlie Morton ($8,700) had his start pushed back to Thursday. He now faces a more favorable matchup against the Phillies, who have struck out the ninth-most times in baseball. Morton certainly has the ability to miss plenty of bats given his 27.7 percent strikeout rate this season.

Top Targets

After being mired in a terrible slump, Randy Arozarena ($4,800) has three straight multi-hit games. He's not just slapping singles, either, given that he had three home runs and two doubles during that stretch. Up next is a favorable matchup versus Cal Quantrill ($6,200), who has a 1.37 WHIP to go along with his pedestrian 16.6 percent strikeout rate.

Nelson Cruz's ($5,500) days with the Twins might be numbered. They have fallen out of the playoff hunt and trading the veteran slugger at the deadline could net them a hefty return. He's having another excellent season with a 141 wRC+, including a 171 wRC+ versus left-handed pitchers. With his career 154 wRC+ against southpaws, he could be a great option for this matchup against Andrew Heaney ($6,900), who has allowed 1.7 HR/9.

Bargain Bats

With the Yankees set to start Jordan Montgomery ($7,400), Hunter Renfroe ($3,000) is a cheap bat to consider. He brings plenty of power to the plate with his career .248 ISO and he's done a better job of making contact, reducing his strikeout rate to 22.0 percent this season. He also mashes lefties, posting a .297 ISO and a .378 wOBA against them for his career.

A look at Adbert Alzolay's ($8,400) 4.59 ERA and 5.02 FIP doesn't exude much confidence in him. Still, he's been extremely tough on right-handed hitters, holding them to a .230 wOBA and a .277 slugging percentage. However, lefties have torched him to the tune of a .393 wOBA and a .607 slugging percentage. That could mean this matchup makes the switching-hitting Dylan Carlson ($3,100) someone to at least consider.

Stacks to Consider

Braves vs. Matt Moore ($5,800), Phillies: Freddie Freeman ($5,500), Ozzie Albies ($4,100), Orlando Arcia ($3,400)

Moore has been a disaster, posting a 5.37 FIP and a 1.61 WHIP. He's also allowed 1.8 HR/9 and a career-high 10.4 percent barrel rate. Even with Ronald Acuna Jr. (knee) out, the Braves could score in bunches in this game. Albies is already an appealing target whenever a left-handed pitcher is on the mound given that he has a 149 wRC+ against them during his career.

Padres vs. TBD, Marlins: Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,100), Jake Cronenworth ($4,500), Eric Hosmer ($4,000)

As of early Thursday morning, the Marlins had yet to officially announce their starting pitcher. Their staff has been decimated by injuries and will now also be without Sandy Alcantara, who was placed on the bereavement list Tuesday. Regardless of who starts this game, they will be given the unlucky assignment of trying to slow down the Padres. Hosmer is noteworthy for a Padres stack because he has caught fire at the plate, hitting 19-for-50 (.380) with two home runs and four doubles over his last 16 games.

Yankees vs. Tanner Houck ($5,300), Red Sox: Giancarlo Stanton ($4,300), Rougned Odor ($3,900), Greg Allen ($2,800)

The Yankees' lineup is a shell of itself right now because of injuries and an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team. However, this could still be a favorable matchup to score runs with Houck on the mound. He's started twice this season, allowing a combined six runs (five earned) across 9.1 innings. Odor has stepped up to launch two home runs over the last three games and Allen has been a problem for the opposition on the basepaths, logging a steal in three straight games.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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