There are only eight games making up the main evening slate of DFS on Thursday, which already puts us at a disadvantage in terms of viable stacks. To make things even more difficult, excellent pitchers including Charlie Morton, Stephen Strasburg, Trevor Bauer and Noah Syndergaard are scheduled to take the mound, making our task more difficult than normal.
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Here are five hitting stacks to consider while compiling your DraftKings entry:
1. HOUSTON ASTROS
The Astros’ lead in the AL West is starting to shrink with the A’s now just four games back in the loss column. Although the Astros might not be playing their best right now, they aren’t losing many games because of their lineup since they have averaged 6.5 runs across their past 10 games. They are the healthiest they have been in a while, which has been a big reason why they have been scoring runs in bunches.
They figure to be the chalk stack of the night with Matt Harvey ($4,800) on the mound for the Angels. Harvey’s first year with the team hasn’t gone well with him posting a 5.97 FIP and a 1.49 WHIP. He’s particularly struggled by allowing a .399 wOBA against left-handed hitters. This has the potential to get out of hand in a hurry.
Players to ConsiderYordan Alvarez ($5,200)
Yuli Gurriel ($4,700)
Michael Brantley ($4,500)
Jose Altuve ($4,200)
Josh Reddick ($3,600)
2. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The Brewers have a propensity for striking out, but they are a dangerous lineup to navigate since they are tied for the third-most home runs (163) in the majors. Demoting the struggling Travis Shaw and replacing him with Keston Hiura ($5,000) has helped lengthen the lineup, leaving shortstop as really the only position that doesn’t provide much offensively.
Opposing the Brewers in this game will be Merrill Kelly ($6,000), who hasn’t exactly been awful with his 3.93 ERA and 4.41 FIP. However, he’s not much of an overpowering force with his 18.5% strikeout rate. He also has allowed a home run in five straight starts, two of which came against the underwhelming group of hitters on the Giants. Playing in the friendly confines of their home park, the Brewers carry plenty of upside.
Players to ConsiderChristian Yelich ($5,700)
Keston Hiura ($5,000)
Mike Moustakas ($4,700)
Yasmani Grandal ($4,500)
Eric Thames ($4,500)
3. TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays have started to dig themselves a significant hole in the AL East standings as they find themselves eight games behind the Yankees in the loss column. They are missing a key part of their lineup in Brandon Lowe (lower leg), who might not be back until sometime next week. While they might not be very consistent, they’ve shown their immense potential by scoring at least 12 runs in two of their past six games.
With Wednesday’s contest being rained out, the Rays and Yankees will play a doubleheader Thursday. Domingo German will pitch the first game and the Yankees could have used regularly scheduled starter J.A. Happ to pitch the nightcap, but they’ve decided to push him back to Friday. They likely will use an opener for the second game and potentially call up Chance Adams ($6,900) to pitch the bulk of the innings since he’s on his normal rest at Triple-A. If he does get the call, this could be a great spot for the Rays to thrive considering he allowed 10 runs (nine earned) across nine innings in his past three appearances in the majors.
Players to ConsiderAustin Meadows ($4,900)
Tommy Pham ($4,800)
Yandy Diaz ($4,600)
Nate Lowe ($4,500)
Kevin Kiermaier ($4,400)
4. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Diamondbacks took the Rangers to the woodshed Wednesday by scoring a whopping 19 runs. They scored 28 total runs in their two-game set, likely benefiting from the use of the DH and hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. They’ll lose the DH Thursday in Milwaukee, but Miller Park is a good place to hit, as well.
Opposing them will be Zach Davies ($5,300), who has what would be a career-best 2.89 ERA. However, his 4.28 FIP and 1.33 WHIP indicate he hasn’t pitched that well. He also doesn’t miss many bats with his 15.7 percent strikeout rate, so don’t expect him to mow down the Diamondbacks here. Considering some of the other excellent pitchers set to take the mound, this matchup against Davies could be worth targeting.
Players to ConsiderKetel Marte ($5,300)
Eduardo Escobar ($5,200)
Christian Walker ($4,600)
Carson Kelly ($4,200)
Adam Jones ($4,100)
5. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Winners of six straight and eight of their past 10, the A’s continue to find a way to remain in the playoff hunt despite their limited payroll resources. Their lineup has been one of their strengths, hitting the fifth-most home runs (158) in baseball. That’s helped them score the eighth-most runs (507) despite their pedestrian .323 OBP.
They’ll look to continue their recent run of success against Kyle Gibson ($6,800), who has a bloated 1.57 WHIP across his past six appearances. One player you’ll need to keep an eye on is Matt Chapman ($4,800), who left Wednesday’s game with a sore left ankle. If he’s in the lineup, he certainly is among the players on the A’s worth considering.
Players to ConsiderMatt Olson ($4,700)
Ramon Laureano ($4,700)
Marcus Semien ($4,500)
Khris Davis ($3,500)
Chris Herrmann ($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.