After a slate filled with day games Wednesday, all eight contests on the schedule Thursday have evening start times. There are some bad starting pitchers scheduled to take the mound, so there are several teams in positions to thrive.
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Here are five hitting stacks to consider while compiling your DraftKings entry:
1. BOSTON RED SOX
With the AL East title likely out of reach, the Red Sox need to regroup in order to make a run for a Wild Card spot. Their lineup hasn’t been the problem considering they have scored the second-most runs and have the fourth-highest OPS in baseball. They also love playing at Fenway Park, posting a 113 wRC+ there compared to a 104 wRC+ on the road.
They stand out as one of the top stacks of the night based on their matchup with Dillon Peters ($5,300) and the struggling Angels. Don’t be fooled by Peters’ 3.20 ERA. His FIP sits at 5.23, and he’s allowed five home runs over just 25 1/3 innings. He also has just a 16.7% strikeout rate for his career. This could get ugly in a hurry.
Players to ConsiderJ.D. Martinez ($5,300)
Mookie Betts ($5,200)
Xander Bogaerts ($5,200)
Michael Chavis ($4,600)
Christian Vazquez ($4,300)
2. ATLANTA BRAVES
The Braves have tried to fortify both their starting rotation and bullpen as the season has progressed in an effort to earn a playoff spot. Their lineup certainly didn’t need any help with them ranked inside the top-six in home runs, OPS and runs scored. They are loaded with talented young hitters, setting them up with the potential to be one of the most dangerous lineups in the National League for years to come.
Trying to slow them down will be Elieser Hernandez ($5,000), who recently was moved back into the starting rotation. Although he’s put up some impressive numbers in the minor leagues, his major league career is off to a slow start with him recording a 5.62 FIP and a 1.41 WHIP. He’s not helping his cause any with his 18.5% strikeout rate, either. This would be more appealing for the Braves if they were playing at home instead of at Marlins Park, but this is still a matchup to exploit.
Players to ConsiderRonald Acuña, Jr. ($5,600)
Freddie Freeman ($5,400)
Ozzie Albies ($4,800)
Ender Inciarte ($4,000)
Brian McCann ($3,900)
3. NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees’ lineup has become a shell of itself. Not only have Giancarlo Stanton (knee), Gary Sanchez (groin) and Luke Voit (sports hernia) all remained on the IL, but they recently have been joined by Edwin Encarnacion (wrist) and Aaron Sanchez (elbow). Gleyber Torres also is battling a core injury, leaving their depth chart as thin as ever. However, despite their compromised lineup, they continue to score in bunches. In fact, they have averaged a robust 7.6 runs over their past 10 games.
It helps the Yankees recently feasted on the Orioles’ putrid pitching staff. Things won’t get much more difficult for them against the Blue Jays, who don’t have many starters to get excited about. They’ll trot Thomas Pannone ($4,200) out to the mound in this contest, which could work in the Yankees favor since he has a 4.76 FIP to go along with a 1.37 WHIP and an uninspiring 22.9% strikeout rate.
Players to ConsiderDJ LeMahieu ($5,100)
Aaron Judge ($4,500)
Gio Urshela ($4,600)
Cameron Maybin ($4,600)
Austin Romine ($4,100)
4. CLEVELAND INDIANS
After sweeping a doubleheader against the Rangers on Wednesday, the Indians are set up for a big four-game series with the Twins. At one point thought to be dead in the water in terms of the AL Central race, the Indians have a chance to overtake the Twins depending on how this series plays out.
The Indians will look to start off on an offensive high note against Kyle Gibson ($7,800), who enters with a 4.02 ERA and a 4.00 FIP. His strikeout rate has increased to 23.8% this season, but that’s still nothing to write home about. With the Indians adding a couple of key bats at the deadline, their offense could be in line for a strong showing here.
Players to ConsiderFrancisco Lindor ($5,100)
Carlos Santana ($4,700)
Jose Ramirez ($4,300)
Jason Kipnis ($4,300)
Yasiel Puig ($4,200)
5. KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Royals aren’t normally a team to target. Their lineup is lacking firepower, which has resulted in them ranking inside the bottom five in the league in home runs, OPS and runs scored. To make matters worse, they are without one of their best hitters in Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder), who has been on the IL since the middle of July.
On the surface, facing Matthew Boyd ($11,200) might not seem like a great matchup. However, they’ve scored 11 runs (10 earned) against him across 18 innings this season. Boyd also has pitched poorly, in general, of late with a 5.23 ERA over his past nine starts. One of the big reasons for his struggles has been him allowing 2.2 HR/9 during that stretch. With reasonable prices, the Royals are a cost-effective stack worth considering in tournament play.
Players to ConsiderWhit Merrifield ($4,100)
Hunter Dozier ($4,000)
Jorge Soler ($4,200)
Cheslor Cuthbert ($3,500)
Bubba Starling ($2,800)
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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.