Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.

With a lot of early start times Thursday, only five games will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo. There aren't any dominant starting pitchers set to take the mound, so offense might not be hard to come by. Let's break down some of the matchups and try to project how ownership percentages might play out.

Pitching Overview

With no overwhelming starting pitching options, this slate could go in a number of different directions. Jon Gray ($38) will likely have one of the higher ownership percentages for a few reasons. First of all, this game is being played in San Francisco, so he'll get to avoid Coors Field. Second, he gets to face a Giants lineup that is starting to show some signs of life, but isn't imposing by any means. They've only hit eight home runs across 13 games, which is tied for the second-fewest in baseball. Finally, Gray also brings upside with his career 24.8 percent strikeout rate.

The Blue Jays have had trouble scoring runs in the early going, so Nathan Eovaldi ($33) could be a popular target in his first home start of the season. However, he's still risky. He's already allowed four home runs across 10 innings and he isn't an overpowering pitcher with his career 17.6 percent strikeout rate. If it wasn't for this favorable matchup, he'd be someone to avoid. As it stands, he could still be in for some trouble.

One of the more intriguing names to consider is Joe Musgrove ($45) in his start against the Cubs. After recording a 3.92 xFIP and 1.18 WHIP last year, he was a trendy breakout candidate heading into this season. He certainly didn't disappoint in his first start by recording eight strikeouts across seven scoreless innings. It wasn't exactly a tough matchup against the Reds, but he still took care of business. Even though another shutout is unlikely, he should still be one of the highest owned pitchers.

Key Values/Chalk

The Red Sox didn't exactly get off to a great offensive start by scoring four runs or fewer in six of their first 11 games. However, it should be noted that all of those contests were on the road. Three were also in an NL park, so they didn't have the use of the DH. Now that they are finally back in Boston, look for their lineup to get back on track. Thursday brings a matchup against Aaron Sanchez, who recorded a bloated 1.56 WHIP last season. On a night with so few options, expect Mookie Betts ($25) and J.D. Martinez ($25) to be among the highest owned players.

The Padres have decided to recall right-handed pitcher Pedro Avila to start against the Diamondbacks so Chris Paddack can have an extra day of rest. Avila, who was at Double-A, spent last season in High-A, so this is a big jump for him. He did show strikeout upside with a 25 percent strikeout rate, but he figures to be a popular option for people to stack against. David Peralta ($21) would figure to be the highest owned Diamondback after recording a 150 wRC+ against righties last year. Eduardo Escobar ($10) will likely be in a lot of lineups, as well, based on his .351 wOBA against righties last year.

While he's a name-brand pitcher, Jose Quintana is not off to a good start with the Cubs. His 1.32 WHIP last year was the second-highest mark of his career and he's already allowed 13 hits and six walks through seven innings this season. After recording at least one hit in five of his last six games, Starling Marte ($20) will likely be the focal point of anyone attacking this matchup.

Stacks

A Red Sox stack against Sanchez stands out as one that will probably be highly targeted. Outside of Betts and Martinez, they have a couple of other intriguing options in Andrew Benintendi ($19) and Mitch Moreland ($17). Benintendi recorded a .376 wOBA against right-handed pitchers last year. Moreland has homered in three of their last four games and has also fared better against righties during his career.

Most Diamondbacks stacks will likely include Peralta and Escobar, especially since Escobar is so cheap. With a righty on the mound, look for Jarrod Dyson ($12) to be hitting out of the leadoff spot. His price decreased by four dollars from Wednesday, leaving him with even more potential to provide value. In terms of secondary options to use in a Pirates stack to go along with Marte, Francisco Cervelli ($10) is a great option to fill the catcher position. He's productive when healthy and has recorded a least one hit in eight of 10 games. To top it off, he's recorded a wOBA of at least .354 against left-handed pitchers in three of the last four seasons.

If you're looking for a sneaky stack with some upside, don't sleep on the Padres against Zack Godley and the Diamondbacks. Godley posted a 1.45 WHIP last year and has already allowed 11 hits to go along with five walks across his first 11 innings. Manny Machado ($23) and Wil Myers ($20) should be the focal point of any Padres stack while Fernando Tatis Jr. ($21) and Eric Hosmer ($15) should also be considered.

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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