This Thursday brings a relatively busy fantasy baseball slate with nine games scheduled under the lights. There is a chance there could be some weather issues in Baltimore and Boston, so make sure to keep a close eye on those situations if you roster players from the Orioles, Blue Jays, Rangers or Red Sox. The rest of the games look pretty dry and there are plenty of nice options to consider from the other 14 teams in action. One place sure to get plenty of fantasy baseball attention is Coors Field, where the Rockies will start a four-game series with the Padres.

As you examine all the matchups and salaries to build your roster for this Thursday, you can start with these top studs and values at each spot. Make sure to check the DK Live app or for lineups and weather updates as we approach first pitch to put your team in the best position to win.



Matthew Boyd, DET at KC, $10,700 — The fact Boyd is the most expensive pitcher on a slate with Jacob deGrom ($10,400), Clayton Kershaw ($10,100) and David Price ($9,700) shows how impressive the lefty has been so far this season for the Tigers. Boyd has gone 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his 14 starts and has been remarkably consistent with 10 quality starts. He has at least seven strikeouts and more than 20 DKFP in four straight starts coming into this matchup with the Royals, who he beat earlier this season on his way to a 29.6 DKFP start. Kansas City’s lineup has struggled all season as a whole and has been especially off against lefties like Boyd, hitting just .227 with a .652 OPS against southpaws. Because of his consistency and matchup, Boyd has a slight edge over the other options on this slate even though they have much more name recognition. Other Options — Jacob deGrom ($10,100), David Price ($9,700)


Adrian Sampson, TEX at BOS, $7,100 — Sampson and the Rangers can get a series win if they can beat Price tonight. Sampson is coming off back-to-back dominant starts against the Royals and Athletics and has gotten the win in each of his five most recent outings. He pitched a complete game in his last trip to the mound, allowing one run on four hits and striking out seven for 35.8 DKFP. He had 35 DKFP in his previous start against the Royals, striking out a season-high 11. During his five-start winning streak, Sampson has an impressive 1.99 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, while picking up 30 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. The Red Sox’ lineup is still a less-than-ideal matchup, but it has struggled lately, making Sampson an attractive value play at this salary since he has a high ceiling despite the matchup.

Other Options — J.A. Happ ($8,700), Jack Flaherty ($7,300)



James McCann, CWS vs. NYY, $3,900 — McCann has been one of the best bats behind the plate this season and has the highest batting average of any catcher with at least 150 at-bats. He’s hitting .329, which is more than 40 points better than Christian Vazquez ($3,700), who is second with a .287 average. McCann particularly has thrived against lefties, going 11-for-30 (.367) with four doubles, a home run and a 1.057 OPS. He also has a solid history against Yankees SP J.A. Happ ($8,700), who McCann is 5-for-16 with a double and a home run against in their previous meetings. Other Options — Gary Sánchez ($5,500), Wilson Ramos ($4,100)


Travis d’Arnaud, TB vs. LAA, $3,300 — The Rays seem to have found another valuable piece in picking up d’Arnaud from the Dodgers in a trade earlier this season. He has been out-hitting Mike Zunino ($2,700) behind the plate and also doing work at 1B and in the corner outfield spots to increase his versatility. It’s easy to see why the Rays would want his bat in the lineup since he has gone 11-for-29 (.379) in his past nine games with three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and an average of 12 DKFP per contest. He’s on the right side of the splits against Tyler Skaggs ($8,200), who has struggled to get right-handed batters out while dominating lefties. If manager Kevin Cash and the Rays get d’Arnaud in the lineup against the lefty, he’ll be a solid affordable play behind the plate, who enters the contest swinging a hot bat.

Other Options — Chance Sisco ($3,500), Yan Gomes ($2,700)


Trey Mancini, BAL vs. TOR, $4,800 — Mancini is having an impressive season but is keeping it on the down-low by doing it in Baltimore for the struggling Orioles. He is hitting .302 with 14 home runs, 33 RBI and a .912 OPS on the season and has gone 12-for-38 (.316) with three home runs and 10.4 DKFP per game in 10 games in June. He homered and had 26 DKFP against Toronto on Wednesday and is in another favorable matchup against Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman ($7,600) Thursday. Mancini has gone 6-for-13 with a double and a triple against Stroman in the past and is a nice way to get a high ceiling without paying over $5K. Other Options — Daniel Murphy ($5,200), Max Muncy ($4,700)


Cheslor Cuthbert, KC vs. DET, $3,400 — With Boyd’s impressive form and strong season, it’s not a good night to overstock on Royals bats, but one worth checking out is Cuthbert, who has been getting work while Hunter Dozier (side) has been on IL. Since being called up from Triple-A, Cuthbert has gone 12-for-37 (.324) in 10 games with three home runs, nine RBI and a stolen base. The 26-year-old was hitting .310 in Omaha before being called up and should be back in the middle of the Kansas City lineup after getting Wednesday off. He is 4-for-11 with two doubles and two RBI in his career against Boyd.

Other Options — Albert Pujols ($4,000), Paul Goldschmidt ($3,600)



Ketel Marte, ARI at WAS, $4,900 — Marte has been lighting it up on the Diamondbacks’ road trip, going 11-for-28 (.393) with a double and three home runs. All season, he has thrived away from Chase Field, posting a .313 road average with a .952 OPS and 11-of-17 home runs coming away from home. He usually hits in the top three in Arizona’s lineup and is a hot option to target as the Diamondbacks continue their trip by heading to D.C. to take on the Nationals. Other Options — DJ LeMahieu ($4,800), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($4,300)


Kiké Hernández, LAD vs. CHC, $3,400 — Hernández has scuffled a bit over the past few weeks but has gotten a hit in three straight games. With Chris Taylor ($3,200) taking over as the everyday SS while Corey Seager (hamstring) is on IL, Hernández should be locked into an everyday role at 2B. He’s worth a look especially when facing a lefty like he is as the Dodgers host Jon Lester ($7,800) and the Cubs. Hernández has hit southpaws well throughout his career and has gone 22-for-81 (.272) with two doubles, five homers and a .836 OPS against lefties this season.

Other Options — Whit Merrifield ($4,000), Marco Hernández ($3,400)



Howie Kendrick, WAS vs. ARI, $5,000 — Kendrick has filled in nicely all around the field for the Nationals and has settled in as the primary 1B as Matt Adams (oblique) has been sidelined. Kendrick has been swinging a good stick, going 19-for-46 (.413) with 15 runs scored and 15 RBI over his past 14 games along with four doubles, four homers and a 1.222 OPS. The versatile veteran is hitting .325 on the year with a .961 OPS and is familiar with opposing starter Zack Greinke ($9,300) from their time in the NL West. Kendrick is 5-for-20 (.25) with two doubles against Greinke in his career. Other Options — Anthony Rendon ($5,400), Manny Machado ($4,400)


Yandy Díaz, TB vs. LAA, $4,000 — On Wednesday, Díaz collected three more hits and posted 13 DKFP while raising his average for the season to .272. He has been hotter than that lately, starting June 15-for-46 (.325) with a pair of doubles and a home run along with five walks. His production this season has mainly come against lefties, and he has gone 22-for-63 (.349) with four homers and a 1.026 OPS against southpaws like Skaggs. He also has favorable home splits, so take a look at getting the Rays’ breakout producer in your lineup at one of the corner infield spots.

Other Options — J.D. Davis ($3,900), Hanser Alberto ($3,400)



Trea Turner, WAS vs. ARI, $4,900 — Turner has posted at least nine DKFP in seven of his past eight games, picking up six doubles, a triple and three home runs over that span. He went 0-for-3 in his most recent contest Tuesday but still had two walks, a stolen base and a run scored for 11 DKFP. He can produce so many different ways when he’s locked in, and it seems to be that he’s found a nice groove as the Nationals return from their road trip and host the Diamondbacks. Other Options — Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,500), Javier Báez ($4,500)


Gordon Beckham, DET at KC, $3,500 — SS is a top-heavy position on this slate without many great options under $4.5K. Beckham is an intriguing play at just $3.5K, though, since he could get another start if Niko Goodrum (knee; $4,300) is still sidelined. Beckham has hit safely in each of his past three starts, going 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles. He has a solid .767 OPS on the season and is one of the few cheap options on the board who consistently has found ways to avoid putting up zeroes.

Other Options — Willy Adames ($3,500), Nick Ahmed ($3,400)



Aaron Hicks, NYY at CWS, $4,800 — Hicks stole his first base of the season in Game 1 of the Yankees’ doubleheader Tuesday and had 14 DKFP. He has at least nine DKFP in five of his past six games with an at-bat with extra-base hits in each of those five contests including three home runs. Hicks and the Yankees have a nice matchup to attack against former Yankee Iván Nova ($4,400) and the White Sox. Nova has gone 0-3 with a 9.39 ERA at home this season and especially has struggled to get left-handed hitters out, allowing them to hit .358 with seven home runs and a .971 OPS against him. The switch-hitting Hicks, Didi Gregorius ($4,300) and Brett Gardner ($4,300) are the only left-handed bats projected to be in the New York lineup, but they all deserve a look based on Nova’s splits. Other Options — Mike Trout ($5,500), Avisaíl García ($4,400)


Guillermo Heredia, TB vs. LAA, $2,800 — Heredia has been mixed into the Rays’ outfield this season and found success against southpaws. He isn’t an everyday player but has found ways to contribute lately when given the chance. In his past nine games, he is 6-for-17 with a double and a home run. On the season, he is 16-for-48 (.333) against lefties with a pair of home runs and a .959 OPS. The former Mariner is 4-for-8 with a pair of doubles and a home run in his career against Angels scheduled starter Skaggs. He’s an extremely affordable option under $3K who still can bring nice upside in this favorable matchup.

Other Options — Jorge Soler ($3,900), Carlos Gómez ($3,500)

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.