The final Thursday of the MLB regular season brings us a limited five-game evening slate. There are still some teams fighting for playoff positioning who will take the field, so it should make for an exciting night. With several underwhelming pitchers set to take the mound, we also still have a lot of viable stacks to target.
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Here are five hitting stacks to consider while compiling your DraftKings entry.
1. CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Indians remain in a heated race for one of the wild card spots in the American League, so expect it to be business as usual when it comes to their lineup. They’ve been one of the more productive teams of late, averaging 6.1 runs over their past 10 games. It certainly helps their lineup is the healthiest it has been in a long time with Jason Kipnis (hand) and Tyler Naquin (knee) being the most prominent hitters on the roster who are sidelined.
They will look to keep things rolling against Dylan Cease ($9,100), who has allowed only two runs across 11 innings over his past two starts. However, it should be noted he faced two bad lineups in the Mariners and Tigers. He has a 5.19 FIP and a 1.55 WHIP, overall, making the Indians one of the top teams to target.
Players to ConsiderJose Ramirez ($4,900)
Oscar Mercado ($4,900)
Francisco Lindor ($4,600)
Carlos Santana ($4,400)
Yasiel Puig ($4,200)
2. HOUSTON ASTROS
As good as the Yankees have been this season, the Astros sure look like the favorites to come out of the American League. Not only do they have a stellar starting rotation headlined by Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, but their lineup is absolutely loaded. In fact, they lead all of baseball with a .848 OPS and also rank inside the top three in both home runs and runs scored.
They have significant mismatch here against Jaime Barria ($4,600), who they torched for six runs across 2 2/3 innings in his most recent start. The difference maker was he allowed four home runs in that contest and has allowed 2.5 HR/9 for the season. While their hitters will cost a pretty penny, making them work within your budget could provide significant dividends.
Players to ConsiderGeorge Springer ($5,500)
Yordan Alvarez ($5,400)
Alex Bregman ($5,300)
Jose Altuve ($4,800)
Yuli Gurriel ($4,500)
3. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The A’s might not have a ton of star power in their lineup, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been productive. Actually, they enter Thursday having scored the eighth-most runs in baseball. Although they don’t have many hitters who hit for a high average, they have slugged the fifth-most home runs while striking out the seventh-fewest times.
As far as favorable matchups go, it doesn’t get much better than this one against Felix Hernandez ($5,400). Once of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, Hernandez has experienced a dramatic drop in production the past few seasons. He’s hit a low point in 2019 with a 5.95 FIP and a 1.52 WHIP. Add in him allowing 2.2 HR/9 and the A’s carry plenty of upside.
Players to ConsiderMarcus Semien ($5,100)
Matt Olson ($4,600)
Matt Chapman ($4,100)
Sean Murphy ($4,000)
Seth Brown ($3,600)
4. NEW YORK METS
It was a valiant effort, but the Mets ultimately came up short in winning one of the wild card spots in the National league. A lot of their issues had to do with their bullpen, but their lineup was also inconsistent at times. It’s still dangerous, though, especially when they are at home since they have a 108 wRC+ there compared to a 99 wRC+ on the road.
Since they no longer have anything left to play for, it will be important to keep an eye out for their lineup. They could decide to rest some of their veteran players, although whoever is playing could be in for a big night against Jordan Yamamoto ($8,600). He’s struggled mightily down the stretch, allowing 33 runs over 38 2/3 innings in his past eight starts.
Players to ConsiderPete Alonso ($5,000)
Michael Conforto ($4,600)
J.D. Davis ($4,300)
Todd Frazier ($4,000)
Robinson Cano ($3,400)
5. LOS ANGELES ANGELS
At this point, you can throw the Angels’ season hitting stats out the window. They have been decimated by injuries and are playing out the season with Mike Trout (foot), Shohei Ohtani (knee) and Justin Upton (knee) sidelined. To no surprise, they have averaged only 3.3 runs over this past 10 games.
With so little talent left available to them, why did they make this list? For starters, the limited slate doesn’t leave us with an overwhelming amount of stellar options. Also, they might actually be able to have some success against Wade Miley ($6,500) since he has allowed 18 runs over 7 1/3 innings in his past four outings. He actually faced them his last time on the mound, giving up four runs in just one inning. If you’re looking to take the contrarian route in tournament play, the Angels should at least be considered for your entry.
Players to ConsiderAlbert Pujols ($4,000)
David Fletcher ($3,900)
Brian Goodwin ($3,900)
Andrelton Simmons ($3,500)
Kevan Smith ($3,400)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.