A dozen teams are scheduled to take the field this Thursday night, providing a solid six-game fantasy baseball slate. The Red Sox and Orioles wrap up their visits to the Blue Jays and the Orioles, respectively, as two of the four divisional games. The Dodgers and Rockies clash at Coors Field in another divisional matchup which should produce plenty of offense.
As you dig through the six matchups and assemble your roster, make sure to pay attention to these studs and values who are in a good place to offer solid production.
StudJustin Verlander, HOU vs. SEA, $12,400 — Verlander dominated the Dodgers in his previous start, allowing just a leadoff home run and matching his season-high with 14 strikeouts. He had his best fantasy total of the season, posting 44.25 DKFP. Since the start of July, Verlander has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five of his six starts and struck out 60 in just 37 2/3. This start will be his first of the season against the Mariners, but he went 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA against them in four starts last season, racking up 36 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. Even with a depleted Houston lineup, I like his matchup better than opposing ace James Paxton’s ($10,600), so spend up for Verlander as your big-name starter on this slate.
Other Options — Rick Porcello ($10,000), James Paxton ($10,600)
ValueRyan Borucki, TOR vs. BOS, $5,500 — The Red Sox are a tough matchup for any starter, but Borucki comes in with good form and a solid resumé. In his three starts since the All-Star break, the Blue Jays’ rookie has allowed just two earned runs total over 22 innings. He got his first MLB win in his previous start by holding the Mariners to an unearned run in eight innings for 23.6 DKFP. Borucki did struggle the first time he faced Boston, but the Red Sox do sometimes have a tough time against lefties. The southpaw is high-risk due to his lack of strikeouts, but he has a 0.90 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over his past three outings.
Other Options — Ross Stripling ($7,200), Ivan Nova ($4,900)
StudRobinson Chirinos, TEX at NYY, $4,200 — Chirinos still is hitting just .223 on the season, but he does have 15 home runs. He has been hitting much better since the All-Star break with a .292 average, four homers and a .997 OPS. Chirinos got Wednesday off, but he should be ready to return against J.A. Happ ($9,300), who he has gone 3-for-8 against in the past with a double and a homer.
Other Options — Yasmani Grandal ($5,200), Buster Posey ($4,000)
ValueAustin Wynns, BAL at TB, $2,800 — Wynns has given way to Caleb Joseph ($2,700) in each of the first two games of the O’s series in Tampa Bay, but he should get the start in the series finale and offer good value against Hunter Wood ($4,300). Wynns has gone 6-for-14 (.429) with a double and two home runs since being recalled from Triple-A, and he has double-digit DKFP in each of his most recent three starts. If Joseph continues to struggle at the plate and Wynns produces, the timeshare could start to even out over the closing weeks of the season.
Other Options — Chris Iannetta ($3,100), Sandy Leon ($2,800)
StudSteve Pearce, BOS at TOR, $4,300 — Pearce put on a show this past weekend against the Yankees, highlighted by his three-homer, 50-DKFP performance Thursday. He has yet to appear in the Red Sox’ current series against his former team, though, since he has given way to the also-hot-hitting Mitch Moreland ($4,000) with a pair of right-handed starters. With lefty Borucki starting Thursday, Pearce should be back in the lineup. On the season, Pearce is hitting .353 (24-for-68) against southpaws with eight doubles, four homers and a 1.068 OPS.
Other Options — Cody Bellinger ($4,900),
Jake Bauers ($4,400)
ValueTrey Mancini, BAL at TB, $3,400 — Mancini has been heating up for the Orioles since the All-Star break, hitting .299 (20-for-67) with four homers, 10 RBI and a solid .851 OPS. He started Baltimore’s series against the Rays with back-to-back games of double-digit DKFP, and he is 13-for-41 (.317) with a double and four homers over his past 10 games with a solid 10.5 FPPG average. It hasn’t been a great season overall for Mancini, but his hot bat makes him a good value at the Trop.
Other Options — Tyler White ($3,800), Austin Slater ($3,700)
StudRougned Odor, TEX at NYY, $4,700 — Odor’s salary is the lowest it has been this month due to a tough lefty-on-lefty matchup against J.A. Happ ($9,300) and the Yankees. However, Odor has been hot enough to still be a consideration despite the matchup. The 24-year-old has caught fire since the All-Star break, going 28-for-74 (.378) with six doubles, four stolen bases, eight home runs, 20 RBI and a 1.258 OPS. He has averaged 15.1 FPPG over his past 19 games and 14.8 FPPG over his past 10. He actually has a slightly better average (.274) against lefties this season than he does against righties, but Happ tends to be tough on lefties when he’s at his best. Still, Odor should be able to take advantage of homer-friendly Yankee Stadium and has been playing so well lately that he’s a good option under $5K on this limited slate.
Other Options —
Gleyber Torres ($4,300), DJ LeMahieu ($4,200)
ValueWilly Adames, TB vs. BAL, $3,700 — Adames is starting to live up to his hype as a top prospect and is set to be the Rays’ starting SS the rest of the season. Adames has five homers on the season, two of which have come in his past eight games. He is 8-for-25 (.320) in those eight games (seven starts) with 7.5 FPPG. He and the Rays face the very hittable David Hess ($4,100) in the rubber game of their three-game set with the Orioles.
Other Options — Adam Frazier ($3,900), Jonathan Villar ($3,500)
StudJustin Turner, LAD at COL, $4,700 — Turner has hit safely in four of his five games since being activated from the DL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a double and a home run. He has battled injuries throughout this season, but he’s a key part of the Dodgers’ lineup as they gear up for a playoff push. Turner is worth considering whenever the Dodgers face a lefty since he has crushed southpaws over the past two seasons, hitting .366 with 12 homers and 36 RBI. He has an especially nice track record against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson ($5,900), going 11-for-21 (.542) with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and a 1.351 OPS. Turner also has thrived in his previous visits to Coors Field, where he is a career .339 hitter.
Other Options — Nolan Arenado ($5,400), Miguel Andújar ($4,300)
ValueEvan Longoria, SF vs. PIT, $4,000 — Longoria has gone 16-for-50 (.320) since coming off the DL 12 games ago. He has three doubles, two homers and an .892 OPS over that stretch. The Giants welcome the Pirates this weekend, and Longoria will face a familiar foe as he takes on Ivan Nova ($4,900). From their time in the AL East, Longoria is 13-for-44 (.295) against Nova four doubles, three homers and a .945 OPS.
Other Options — Rafael Devers ($3,700), Tim Beckham ($3,300)
StudJurickson Profar, TEX at NYY, $4,600 — Profar has been a big part of the Rangers’ recent offensive surge and is 17-for-56 (.304) with three homers, 15 RBI and a .957 OPS since the All-Star break. He has hit lefties like Happ especially well this season, going 28-for-104 (.269) with 14 of those 28 hits going for extra bases resulting in an .827 OPS. Profar has bounced all around the lineup but has hit leadoff against two of the past three lefties the Rangers have faced. He’ll be in a good run producing spot if he’s near the top of the lineup in the Bronx.
Other Options — Trevor Story ($5,100), Didi Gregorius ($4,900)
ValueMarwin González, HOU vs. SEA, $3,600 — González has had a disappointing season at the plate and is hitting just .236 with a .707 OPS after hitting .303 with a .907 OPS last season. However, González has helped the Astros survive their recent rash of injuries by finding a bit of last year’s form recently. He is 8-for-23 (.348) with a double, four home runs and a 1.357 OPS over his past six games for 14.7 FPPG. He is in a tough matchup against Paxton, but he has gone 6-for-25 (.240) with a pair of doubles and a triple against Paxton in his career, and his batting average this season against southpaws has remained a solid .258.
Other Options — Jean Segura ($3,700), Jordy Mercer ($3,400)
StudJ.D. Martinez, BOS at TOR, $5,600 — Martinez has shown now signs of slowing down and continues to emerge as an offensive star in his first season in Boston. He is 12-for-26 (.462) in August and already has two homers and nine RBI with a 1.402 OPS. He leads the American League in homers and RBI, is second in batting average and third in OPS. Martinez has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games, and he has thrived in his series at Rogers Centre, going 12-for-30 with three doubles, three homers, 12 RBI and a 1.300 OPS. If you can afford some heavy lumber in the outfield, Martinez is my top play.
Other Options — Aaron Hicks ($4,800), Mallex Smith ($4,700)
ValueRandal Grichuk, TOR vs. BOS, $3,800 — Grichuk has turned things around after a dismal start to the season and has become a fixture at the top of the Blue Jays’ order. He has hit leadoff in four of the Blue Jays’ past six games and hit second and third in the other two contests. Grichuk is hitting .339 with two homers and a .937 OPS over his past 13 games, averaging 10.0 FPPG. He has at least seven DKFP in seven of his past eight contests.
Other Options — Mark Trumbo ($3,700), Jake Marisnick ($3,600)
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