It’s not the busiest of nights in the MLB on Thursday with just five games making up the main evening slate. That doesn’t leave us with a ton of options, but with few top-tier starting pitchers among those in action, offense might not be all that hard to come by.
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Here are five hitting stacks to consider while compiling your DraftKings lineups:
1. MINNESOTA TWINS
Aided by some key offseason additions, the Twins have become one of the more dangerous lineups in the league. Not only have they scored the seventh-most runs (222), but they also have hit the third-most home runs (76). Losing catcher Mitch Garver (ankle) is a big blow, but they do at least have quality depth at the position.
They have an excellent opportunity to continue their hot offensive start in their matchup against Erik Swanson ($7,100), who has struggled with a 4.90 xFIP. Even more concerning is the fact he’s allowed seven home runs across 28 1/3 innings. With the Twins’ propensity for hitting homers, they could be in line for a productive evening.
Players to ConsiderEddie Rosario ($4,700)
Jorge Polanco ($5,000)
Max Kepler ($3,900)
Willians Astudillo ($3,900)
Marwin Gonzalez ($3,500)
2. SEATTLE MARINERS
Staying in the same game, the Mariners also have a chance to be extremely productive. Although they are having a hard time winning games after getting off to a hot start, they’ve scored the second-most runs (240) and are tied for the most home runs (83). They even have recorded the fourth-most steals (30), showing they are more than just a one-dimensional lineup.
The Twins are starting Michael Pineda ($7,300), who has had a rough start in his return from Tommy John surgery. His 4.70 xFIP isn’t horrible, but his 45% hard-hit rate is a concern. His average fastball velocity is also 2 mph slower than his career mark, which might be one of the main factors contributing to his hard-hit rate. Look for the Mariners to take advantage of his underwhelming arsenal.
Players to ConsiderMitch Haniger ($4,700)
Edwin Encarnacion ($4,700)
Daniel Vogelbach ($4,800)
Jay Bruce ($4,200)
Omar Narvaez ($4,500)
3. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Normally, the Blue Jays are not a team to target. Not only have they scored the fifth-fewest runs (304), but they also have the second-lowest OPS (.645) in baseball. To make matters worse, they’ve struck out the sixth-most times (403). Add in their lackluster starting rotation, and it’s no surprise they are off to a 17-25 start.
As bad as things have been for the Blue Jays, they have a great matchup against Dylan Covey ($6,200) and the White Sox. Still in the early stages of a rebuilding process, the White Sox’ starting rotation leaves a lot to be desired. They really don’t have a choice but to start Covey, who has a career 1.57 WHIP. He also doesn’t miss many bats with his career 15.2% strikeout rate, leaving the Blue Jays with significant upside at cheap prices.
Players to ConsiderVladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,100)
Justin Smoak ($3,900)
Rowdy Tellez ($3,600)
Eric Sogard ($4,400)
Billy McKinney ($3,500)
4. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Cardinals’ lineup has produced some odd scoring totals lately. They certainly have plenty of potent hitters, but they’ve scored one or no runs in five of their past eight games. However, they scored at least 14 runs in two of the other three contests during that stretch. All in all, they check in with the eighth-most runs scored (220), so it’s hard to get too worked up over their recent struggles.
They’ll be looking to put together one of their finer performances against Julio Teheran ($8,000), who is once again off to a mediocre start with a 4.49 xFIP. If stacking against Teheran, it might be key to add lefties to your entry since he’s allowed a .338 wOBA against them in his career compared to a .268 wOBA versus righties. With that being said, the Cardinals have a few potent right-handed bats that are still worth considering despite those splits.
Players to ConsiderMatt Carpenter ($4,000)
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,600)
Paul DeJong ($5,200)
Yadier Molina ($4,200)
Kolten Wong ($4,000)
5. ATLANTA BRAVES
The Braves have one of the most exciting young lineups in the league. They have some key veterans in Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis with Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies and the recently recalled Austin Riley helping to make them extremely dangerous. They are also a tough team to get out since they have struck out the ninth-fewest times (358).
While they don’t have a slam dunk matchup against Adam Wainwright ($7,500), he only has a career 20.3% strikeout rate. That could spell trouble against a team that doesn’t strike out much. He also has had difficulty keeping hitters inside the ballpark, allowing five home runs across his past four starts. This isn’t the most obvious of stacks, but it’s one to at least consider for this limited slate.
Players to ConsiderFreddie Freeman ($4,500)
Ronald Acuña Jr. ($4,500)
Nick Markakis ($3,900)
Austin Riley ($3,400)
Brian McCann ($3,600)
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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.