Thursday’s main fantasy baseball slate is limited to just four games since there are several afternoon contests and many teams are traveling to get ready for their weekend series. The four games on the slate still offer enough options for a solid night of fantasy baseball with plenty of nice plays to consider.
The earliest contest on the slate is an NL East matchup between the Nationals and Marlins as Washington goes for the road sweep. The other three contests are all divisional matchups out west, starting with the Dodgers at Coors Field, opening a four-game series. The Giants host the Diamondbacks, and the final contest features the Athletics taking on the Angels in Anaheim. After breaking down each of those options, here are the plays I like the most this Thursday at each position and price point.
StudWalker Buehler, LAD at COL, $8,900 — The Coors factor is the only reason Buehler is so affordable. He has been in much better form than Stephen Strasburg ($11,900) and will save you $3K of salary to spend in other spots. His most recent start was a complete-game win over the Rockies in which he limited Colorado to two runs on three hits. He struck out a career-high 16 and finished with an impressive 53 DKFP. In each of his four June starts, he has gone at least seven innings and earned more than 25 DKFP. Facing the Rockies at Coors Field is different than at Dodger Stadium, where he beat them last week, but his upside is extremely high if he stays in form. He has gone 1-1 in four starts at Coors with a 3.52 ERA. Even if he does give up some runs, his increased strikeout rate should help him put up good fantasy baseball points. He has 42 whiffs in 31 innings over his four most recent starts. Other Options — Stephen Strasburg ($11,900), Sandy Alcantara ($8,300)
ValueTanner Anderson, OAK at LAA, $6,700 — There are four pitchers under $8K and all are pretty risky options. Of the four, Anderson has been the most consistent despite an 0-2 record and 4.20 ERA. He has allowed three runs or fewer in all three of his starts and worked into the sixth in two of those three outings. He hasn’t been able to get deep enough to get a win or a big fantasy point total but a 1.13 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings indicate there is a higher ceiling than with the other unproven or unreliable options under $8K.
Other Option — Alex Young ($6,300)
StudKurt Suzuki, WAS at MIA, $4,000 — There aren’t many big bats behind the plate on this slate, but Suzuki is an option to consider paying up for since he has been having a solid season for the Nats. He is hitting .275 on the season and comes in with a four-game hitting streak. He started that streak with his eighth homer of the season a week ago and has a solid .804 OPS on the season. None of those home runs have come against the Marlins, but he has gone 5-for-15 against Miami this season. He likely will get back into the lineup after Yan Gomes ($2,700) got the starting nod Wednesday. Other Options — Austin Barnes ($4,000), Carson Kelly ($3,700)
ValueBryan Holaday, MIA vs. WAS, $2,900 — Holaday is at the top of the depth chart for the Marlins with Jorge Alfaro (concussion) and Chad Wallach (concussion) on IL. He has been playing well this month, going 9-for-25 (.360) with a double and two home runs, helping him to a 1.107 OPS. The veteran isn’t a long-term solution behind the plate but has done a nice job holding down the spot and chipping in offense from an affordable price point.
Other Options — Josh Phegley ($3,500), Jonathan Lucroy ($3,300)
FIRST BASEMatt Adams, WAS at MIA, $4,300 — Adams had a huge three-run blast to help the Nationals win Wednesday. It was his fifth blast in his past nine games and give him 11 long balls on the year. Adams has a .900 June OPS, and he has a high ceiling because of his power potential. Other Options — Max Muncy ($5,600), Garrett Cooper ($4,200)
ValueJustin Bour, LAA vs. OAK, $3,700 — Bour also brings a high ceiling into his matchup with Anderson. Both of the home runs Anderson has allowed have come against lefties, who are hitting .300 with a .897 OPS against him in his three-start sample. Bour swatted two long balls Wednesday, giving him eight homers on the season in 121 at-bats. He has hit safely in six of his seven games since returning to the Majors after a stint in Triple-A, going 7-for-23 (.304) with a 1.205 OPS.
Other Options — Albert Pujols ($3,900)
StudKetel Marte, ARI at SF, $5,500 — Marte still is limited to infield duty due to a groin injury, but he continues to rake. He broke out by hitting .309 in May with a .951 OPS and has built on that with an even more impressive June. He has gone 37-for-90 (.411) this month with seven home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.170 OPS. He probably won’t be stealing any bases until he’s fully recovered but has been hitting well enough to still be a solid fantasy play. He especially has tormented the Giants this season, going 11-for-30 (.367) with three home runs against San Francisco. In his career, he is a .375 hitter in San Francisco with a 1.141 OPS in the park now known as Oracle Park. Other Options — Howie Kendrick ($5,000), Tommy La Stella ($4,400)
ValueGarrett Hampson, COL vs. LAD, $3,300 — Hampson is a cheap way to get some Coord Field exposure even in a tough matchup against Buehler. He has started three of the Rockies’ four games since he was recalled from Triple-A and looks to be the SS for now with Trevor Story (thumb) and Brendan Rodgers (shoulder) on IL. He has collected two hits in two of those three starts, going 4-for-12 (.333) with a double, two stolen bases and an average of 10 DKFP per contest. It’s a small sample size and a tough matchup, but Hampson has upside to consider at less than $3.5K.
Other Options — Luís Rengifo ($3,700), Jurickson Profar ($3,700)
StudMatt Chapman, OAK at LAA, $4,300 — Chapman remains relatively affordable even though he has been heating up lately. Chapman has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, going 17-for-44 (.386) with six doubles, a triple, three home runs and a 1.233 OPS. He has averaged 11.8 DKFP per contest during that stretch and will look to keep rolling as the A’s continue their road trip with a trip to Angel Stadium. Other Options — Anthony Rendon ($5,200), Eduardo Escobar ($4,600)
ValueBrian Anderson, MIA vs. WAS, $3,800 — Anderson was expected to be a central contributor in the Miami lineup but scuffled a bit out of the gate. He has turned things around lately, averaging 10.3 DKFP per contest over his past eight games. He took an 0-for-4 Wednesday but had more than seven DKFP in five straight games before that. Anderson can be the Marlins’ best hitter when he’s rolling, and he’s a solid option under $4K at a 3B spot limited in value options on this slate.
Other Options — David Fletcher ($3,900), Evan Longoria ($3,400)
StudTrea Turner, WAS at MIA, $5,000 — Turner has fueled the Nationals’ recent resurgence and enters this matchup with a six-game hitting streak. He has gone 23-for-69 (.333) over his past 17 games with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and a 1.004 OPS to go with six stolen bases, helping him average 12.4 DKFP per contest. Turner has continued to establish himself as both a power and speed threat and always has a high ceiling since he can produce multiple ways. Other Options — Chris Taylor ($5,300), Marcus Semien ($4,100)
ValueDonovan Solano, SF vs. ARI, $3,100 — Solano has been filling in for a slumping Joe Panik ($3,300) and could be in line for another start since the Giants are facing a lefty in Alex Young ($6,300). Solano has hit safely in five straight and is 10-for-25 (.400) over his past 10 games. He doesn’t offer much power or speed so has a limited ceiling, but he has been hitting for a good average when given the chance to play for the Giants, who need any kind of offense they can find at this point.
Other Options — Nick Ahmed ($3,500), Miguel Rojas ($3,000)
StudCody Bellinger, LAD at COL, $5,900 — Even though Bellinger’s salary is almost $6K, he’s worth considering as the Dodgers start a four-game set at Coors Field. He leads the Majors with a .354 average to go with his 26 home runs, 63 RBI and an MLB-leading 1.163 OPS. Bellinger went 6-for-12 in his earlier trip to Coors Field this season with two homers and a 1.904 OPS. In his career, he has hit .359 in Denver with four homers and a 1.156 OPS. He gets a good matchup against Peter Lambert ($4,700), who has allowed lefties to hit .313 against him with a 1.017 OPS in his four starts. He did get a bit of a break at the end of the Dodgers’ most recent game due to some knee soreness, but as long as he’s starting, he has the potential for a monster night at Coors and is a good bat to build around. Other Options — Juan Soto ($4,900), Shohei Ohtani ($4,700)
ValueKhris Davis, OAK at LAA, $3,800 — Davis will be able to return to his usual DH spot after starting in the OF when the A’s visited St. Louis. He comes into this matchup with an eight-game hitting streak, going 10-for-28 (.357) with a double, a home run and six RBI. He started a bit slow after coming off the injured list at the beginning of the month but has hit .295 with four home runs over his past 16 games while averaging 8.5 DKFP per contest. Three of his 16 home runs this season have come against the Angels, who he’ll face Thursday. Getting Khrush for under $4K is always a solid option to consider since he comes with so much potential power.
Other Options — Kevin Pillar ($4,000), Harold Ramírez ($3,700)
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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.