There are only two games with early start times Thursday, leaving us with nine games to choose from on the main evening slate. There are plenty of struggling pitchers set to take the mound, creating some favorable opportunities for teams to score in bunches.
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Here are five hitting stacks to consider while compiling your DraftKings entry:
1. COLORADO ROCKIES
Whenever the Rockies are playing at Coors Field, they are going to be a popular option. They only have a 72 wRC+ on the road this season, which is second-worst in all of baseball. Even the Marlins have a better mark with a 75 wRC+. However, the Rockies have a 100 wRC+ within the friendly confines of their home park.
Tasked with trying to slow down the Rockies will be Matt Strahm ($9,200), who will be making his first start off the IL. He’s had problems keeping hitters inside the ball park, allowing 10 home runs across 60 1/3 innings. His 22.2 percent strikeout rate isn’t impressive, either, so he could be in for a long night.
Players to ConsiderNolan Arenado ($5,600)
Trevor Story ($5,700)
David Dahl ($5,300)
Ian Desmond ($4,400)
Brendan Rodgers ($4,000)
2. NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees have lost six of their past 10 games but remain atop the AL East standings. Their lineup hasn’t been the problem with them averaging 5.5 runs per contest during that stretch. Despite their laundry list of injuries, they still are ranked inside the top seven in runs scored, home runs and OPS.
As far as favorable matchups go, the Yankees have a great one against Ivan Nova ($4,400). The former Bronx Bomber has struggled mightily in his first season with the White Sox, posting a 5.18 FIP and a 1.62 WHIP. Add in his minuscule 14.4 percent strikeout rate and the fact he’s allowed 13 home runs over 71 2/3 innings, and a Yankees stack carries tremendous upside. It also should be noted Nova has allowed a .406 wOBA versus left-handed batters.
Players to ConsiderGary Sanchez ($5,500)
DJ LeMahieu ($4,800)
Aaron Hicks ($4,800)
Didi Gregorius ($4,300)
Brett Gardner ($4,300)
3. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Despite winning seven of their past 10 games, the Diamondbacks are still 10 games behind the Dodgers in the loss column in the NL West. With the Dodgers having one of the best teams in baseball, the Diamondbacks’ best chance of reaching the playoffs is likely via the Wild Card. On the strength of a couple of career-seasons from some key hitters, the Diamondbacks rank fourth in the league in runs scored (361). That puts them ahead of teams including the Red Sox, Rockies, Astros and Dodgers.
Erick Fedde ($6,400) will draw another start for the Nationals after allowing six runs over 20 innings in his past four outings. That is encouraging, but he had some easy matchups against the Mets, Marlins, Reds and Padres. He has a 5.00 FIP and a 1.53 WHIP for his career, leaving a Diamondbacks stack as a very appealing option.
Players to ConsiderEduardo Escobar ($5,500)
Ketel Marte ($4,900)
David Peralta ($4,400)
Jarrod Dyson ($4,700)
Adam Jones ($4,300)
4. SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Padres aren’t normally a team you would want to pursue. Despite making some key additions during the offseason, they are tied with the Orioles for the fifth-fewest runs scored (271). However, playing at Coors Field provides a boost. They also have hit the 11th-most home runs (98), so they could slug their way to a productive night.
Opposing the Padres will be the inconsistent Jon Gray ($8,300), who has been a source of frustration for those who play in season-long fantasy leagues. He has the stuff to be an excellent pitcher, but he’s had trouble putting everything together. Factor in his unfriendly home park, and he’s having another mediocre campaign with a 4.27 ERA that is supported by a 4.33 FIP.
Players to ConsiderFernando Tatis Jr. ($5,500)
Manny Machado ($4,400)
Eric Hosmer ($4,300)
Franmil Reyes ($4,700)
Wil Myers ($4,400)
5. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Blue Jays and Orioles is far from an exciting series. These two teams have been bad in both the hitting and pitching departments, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to take advantage of this matchup in DFS. The Blue Jays managed to score eight runs Wednesday, so they are capable of an offensive outburst under the right circumstances.
The Orioles don’t have much talent in their starting rotation, so they’ll be forced to give Gabriel Ynoa ($5,400) his fourth start of the season. He originally pitched out of the bullpen and has struggled overall with a 4.92 FIP and a 1.44 WHIP. Like many of his teammates, he’s had issues with the long ball, allowing 1.7 HR/9. If you decide to pay up at starting pitcher, rolling with a Blue Jays stack could be a nice way to help balance out your budget.
Players to ConsiderEric Sogard ($5,100)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,200)
Justin Smoak ($4,300)
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($4,300)
Rowdy Tellez ($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.