For the second night in a row, Major League Baseball has 10 games lined up for the main fantasy baseball slate. This Thursday, the Yankees and Astros highlight a solid schedule of matchups which includes four divisional matchups. Two of the top three pitchers go head-to-head as Charlie Morton ($11,300) and Frankie Montas ($10,000) meet in Oakland, and the Giants and Dodgers finish the latest chapter in their rivalry at Chavez Ravine with Madison Bumgarner ($9,200) on the mound.
As you get your roster together, check out these studs and values at each position who I think are poised for productive performances. As always, make sure to double-check starting lineups and weather outlooks before the scheduled first pitch on the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com to get all the latest info.
StudCharlie Morton, TB at OAK, $11,300 — Morton took his first loss of the season in his most recent start and managed 19.3 DKFP against the Angels. His nine strikeouts salvaged a decent fantasy day despite his four runs allowed in six innings. In each of his four previous starts, Morton fared much better producing at least 25 DKFP in each outing and going 4-0 with just three runs allowed over 27 innings. One of those starts came against Oakland, and Morton racked up 30.8 DKFP with seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Morton is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA against the A’s in his six career starts with 39 strikeouts in 33 innings. He has allowed just two runs in 10 innings at the Oakland Coliseum, putting him in a great spot to bounce back. His high strikeout rate of over 11 per nine innings makes him clearly the top option on this slate as he and the Rays start their four-game set by the Bay.
Other Options — Jako Odorizzi ($10,800), Nick Pivetta ($8,200)
ValueZac Gallen, MIA at STL, $7,300 — There are two good prospects expected to make their MLB debut on Thursday in the Marlins’ Gallen and the Cubs’ Adbert Alzolay. Both are affordable and have good upside, but rolling with a rookie can be a boom-or-bust proposition. Gallen was listed ranked as Miami’s No. 18 prospect coming into the season by MLB Pipeline but has lights out in 14 starts for Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes. Gallen went 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA and struck out 112 batters in 91 1/3 innings. He has big league velocity, topping out at 97 MPH and also throws a solid cutter. He will make his debut against the Cardinals, who have been scuffling at the plate lately and hitting just .210 as a team over the past week. The Marlins have held the Cards to just two runs in their past two games, and Gallen will look to keep the St. Louis bats silenced as he breaks into the Majors. I’ll give Gallen the nod over Alzolay since he has put up better numbers in the minors and is making the start, while Alzolay is expected to enter the game after opener Tyler Chatwood ($4,600).
Other Options — Dylan Bundy ($7,600), Adbert Alzolay ($6,200)
StudWillson Contreras, CHC vs. NYM, $4,500 — After struggling a bit last season, Contreras has bounced back and re-established himself as one of the top offensive catchers in baseball. He is hitting .293 with a robust .954 OPS this year after hitting a career-low .249 with a .729 OPS last season. Contreras hit a pair of home runs Wednesday against the White Sox, resulting in 36 DKFP and boosting his average to 10.1 DKFP per game over his past 10. He’s a great way to get a solid bat in the middle of a good lineup from the catcher spot, which can sometimes lack options with upside.
Other Options — Gary Sánchez ($4,900), Omar Narváez ($4,100)
ValueTravis d’Arnaud, TB at OAK, $3,100 — In each of the Rays’ two most recent contests, d’Arnaud has hit leadoff against left-handed starters. With righty Freddie Montas ($10,000) on the hill, he’ll likely drop back down but is still worth a look since he has been so productive this month for Tampa. In June, d’Arnaud is 11-for-35 (.314) with three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and a .999 OPS. Tampa has been experimenting with different positions to keep his bat in the lineup, and he has responded with double-digit DKFP in five of his past nine games.
Other Options — Yadier Molina ($3,600), Jorge Alfaro ($3,300)
FIRST BASEPete Alonso, NYM at CHC,$5,300 — Alonso and the Mets make their first trip of the season to Wrigley Field for a four-game set with the Cubs. The rookie sensation is hitting .271 with 24 home runs and a .974 OPS in his first 73 games in the majors. Alonso had his seven-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday but had gone 12-for-26 (.462) during that run with four doubles, three home runs and a 1.537 OPS. He should be able to get back in form against Chatwood and Alzolay.
Other Options — Edwin Encarnación ($5,200), Matt Olson ($4,200)
ValueYuli Gurriel, HOU at NYY, $3,600 — Gurriel has gone 11-for-32 (.344) over his past eight games to pull his average up to .263 for the season. He has only five home runs but has connected on 17 doubles to help him get to 32 RBI. He doesn’t have huge power potential but usually comes up with some kind of contributions. He and the Astros are in a good spot in the Bronx against Chad Green ($5,000) and the Yankees bullpen, so Gurriel makes sense as an affordable way to get exposure to the middle of a solid lineup.
Other Options — Cheslor Cuthbert ($3,400), Rowdy Tellez ($3,300)
StudDJ LeMahieu, NYY vs. HOU,$4,600 — While the Yankees battled multiple injuries earlier his season, LeMahieu was one of the replacement bats that came up huge, and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down now that his teammates are starting to get healthy. The 30-year-old leadoff man is hitting .315 on the season with eight homers and a .819 OPS and enters this series with a six-game hitting streak. LeMahieu has multiple hits in four of his past five games and gets a good matchup against lefty Framber Valdez ($7,100). LaMahieu is 21-for-57 (.368) against southpaws this season and has typically thrived against lefties throughout his career. As the rest of the New York lineup gets stronger around him, LeMahieu’s production should rise even higher if he continues to get on base at such a good rate.
Other Options — Max Muncy ($4,800), Jonathan Villar ($4,200)
ValueKiké Hernández, LAD vs. SF, $3,400 — The Dodgers typically slot Hernández into the leadoff spot against lefties like Bumgarner, since he has solid numbers against southpaws despite a disappointing season overall to this point. Hernández is hitting .250 against lefties with five home runs and a .775 OPS. If you’re a big BvP numbers fan, you’ll have to go all in on Hernández, since he is an amazing 24-for-48 (.500) against MadBum with six doubles, four homers and a 1.385 career OPS against the Giants’ volatile lefty.
Other Options — Luis Arraez ($3,700), Hanser Alberto ($3,400)
StudScott Kingery, PHI at WAS, $4,800 — Kingery has found a nice groove lately for the Phillies and produced at least 17 DKFP in five of his past eight games with five home runs during that stretch. On the season, he is hitting an impressive .338 with a 1.038 OPS and has produced whenever healthy. He came up empty against Max Scherzer on Wednesday night but has a much better matchup Thursday against Erick Fedde ($5,300), who he is 3-for-6 against in his career with a double and a home run.
Other Options — Alex Bregman ($4,500), Matt Carpenter ($4,100)
ValueVladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR vs. LAA, $3,500 — Guerrero has taken some time to adjust to Major League pitching, hitting .255 with a .759 OPS over his first 44 games since being called up. However, he has a ton of upside at this salary and gets a favorable matchup against Angels’ scheduled starter José Suarez ($8,500). Suarez has struggled more against righties in both the majors and minors this season. Guerrero reached base in three of his five plate appearances on Wednesday including his ninth double of the season. He has an extremely high ceiling for a player at $3.5K, so take a swing for the fences and get Guerrero on your roster this Thursday.
Other Options — Justin Turner ($4,000), Evan Longoria ($3,300)
StudJorge Polanco, MIN at KC, $4,900 — Polanco got Wednesday off after playing all 17 innings on Tuesday, but he’ll look to continue his breakout campaign as the Twins visit the Royals this weekend. Polanco is hitting .326 with 10 homers and a .930 OPS this season and has been remarkably consistent. He has hit safely in 18 of his past 19 games while typically hitting first or second in one of the most productive lineups in baseball. He is 3-for-6 with a double against Royals SP Glenn Sparkman ($4,200) and should be ready to return to the lineup with a good game Thursday.
Other Options — Trea Turner ($5,500), Paul DeJong ($4,700)
ValueJ.P. Crawford, SEA vs. BAL, $3,400 — Crawford has settled into the second spot in the Mariner order and has been getting on base regularly. After missing 15 games with an ankle sprain, he has gone 5-for-23 (.217) with four runs scored, two doubles, five RBI and five walks in his six games since returning to the lineup. He should be in a nice spot to produce good value if the Mariners get to Orioles SP Dylan Bundy ($7,600), who has been better lately but has allowed 15 home runs in 14 starts on the season.
Other Options — Didi Gregorius ($4,100), Willie Adames ($2,800)
StudChristian Yelich, MIL vs. CIN, $5,900 — If you’re paying up for an OF, Yelich has been too hot to overlook even though his salary is almost $6K. He comes into this matchup with the Reds riding a 16-game hitting streak. During his streak, he is hitting .455 with a 1.319 OPS thanks to six home runs. He has also added six steals, 13 RBI and 14 runs scored over that span, showing he can pile up fantasy points in multiple ways. Yelich always seems to kill the Reds and should stay dialed in at Miller Park, where he is a .438 hitter this season with a 1.606 OPS and 19 of his NL-leading 27 home runs.
Other Options — Auston Meadows ($4,600), Juan Soto ($4,500)
ValueTommy Pham, TB at OAK, $4,000 — Pham has been a streaky hitter throughout his career and has been picking up the pace lately from the top third of the Rays’ lineup. Pham has multiple hits in six of his past nine games. He has double-digit DKFP in seven of his past nine contests, averaging 10.8 DKFP per game over that stretch. Pham will look to keep hitting as the Rays continue their 10-game road trip with the first game of their stop in Oakland.
Other Options — Avisaíl Garcia ($3,800), Randal Grichuk ($3,400)
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.