The Yankees and Red Sox lead a seven-game fantasy baseball slate this Thursday night, but the weather could be a factor in their matchup in the Bronx. Thankfully, the rest of the schedule also offers some good options, highlighted by four divisional matchups and the finale of the series between the Mets and Dodgers in Los Angeles.
As you fill out your fantasy baseball lineup card for Thursday, take a look at these studs and values who are set up for success. As we get closer to game time, check back on the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for starting lineups and updates on whether the weather will cooperate in order to play games in New York and Pittsburgh.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees has been postponed due to rain.
StudHyun-Jin Ryu, LAD vs. NYM, $11,200 — Ryu leads the National League in wins and ERA and is second in WHIP. He has gone an impressive 7-1 in his 10 starts with a 1.65 ERA and 0.83 WHIP, striking out 62 in 65 1/3 innings. While the 32-year old lefty has been good everywhere, he has been especially dominant at Dodger Stadium, where he is 5-0 in five starts with a 1.22 ERA and 38 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .177 average in 37 innings. Ryu hasn’t given up more than two runs in any start this season and will try to earn the Dodgers a series win as he faces the Mets at Chavez Ravine. Other Options — Mike Minor ($10,300), Charlie Morton ($10,000)
ValueTyler Skaggs, LAA at SEA, $8,200 — After hitting the IL earlier this season with a sprained ankle, Skaggs has started to settle into a nice rhythm for the Angels, even though he hasn’t been nearly as dominant as Ryu. Skaggs has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his nine starts, although a disastrous outing in Detroit elevates his ERA to 4.40 to go with a 1.34 WHIP and 4-4 record. He comes into this start in Seattle off his best fantasy outing of the season after allowing three hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Rangers while picking up seven strikeouts and 23.2 DKFP. Seattle’s lineup has struggled against lefties at times this season and has scored four runs or fewer in five of their past eight games. Skaggs has been much better at home than on the road this season, but he has had career success in Seattle, going 1-1 with a 3.30 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Other Options — Chase Anderson ($7,000), Yusei Kikuchi ($6,800)
StudYasmani Grandal, MIL at PIT, $4,800 — Grandal hit his third home run in his past six games Tuesday as part of a 2-for-4 performance that netted him 22 DKFP. He has double-digit DKFP in four of his past six contests overall and has hit well all year on the road, where seven of his 11 home runs have come and he sports an impressive 1.022 OPS. Grandal and the Brewers continue to chase the Cubs in the NL Central and will open a series in Pittsburgh after getting a scheduled off-day Wednesday. Other Options — James McCann ($4,000), Jonathan Lucroy ($3,900)
ValueJason Castro, MIN at TB, $3,400 — Castro has been filling in as the Twins’ full-time catcher while Mitch Garver (ankle) has been on IL. Castro has had a strong month, going 13-for-48 (.271) with four doubles, five homers and 13 RBI in a regular role. He has hit safely in seven of his past eight games coming into the Twins series in Tampa with two doubles and two homers during that run. With Garver nearing a return, Castro could be headed back to the bench more often in the near future, so take advantage of his affordable salary in a solid lineup while he’s starting.
Other Options — Russell Martin ($3,500), Martin Maldonado ($2,600)
FIRST BASEJosh Bell, PIT vs. MIL,$5,700 — Bell is in the midst of a breakout season for the Pirates and has been red-hot all month long. He homered again Wednesday, giving him an even dozen for the month of May to go with a scorching .398 average and 1.287 OPS. The 26-year-old has been crushing everyone this month but especially has pounded righties this season with a 1.194 OPS against them all year. He should continue to mash against Chase Anderson ($7,000) and is a cornerstone bat to build around on the slate. Other Options — Max Muncy ($4,700), Carlos Santana ($4,500)
ValueSteve Pearce, BOS at NYY, $3,100 — With Mitch Moreland (back) on the IL, Pearce likely will get some added time at 1B, especially against lefties like J.A. Happ ($7,400), who is scheduled to start Thursday if the rain holds off in the Bronx. Pearce is hitting only .182 on the season but has been turning things around lately with hits in each of his past seven games with multiple at-bats, including two doubles and a home run. He is 11-for-35 (.314) in his career against Happ, including six home runs, a 1.304 OPS and 16 RBI. If it looks like they’ll be able to play this game, Pearce is too good of a value to pass up at only a bit over $3K.
Other Options — David Freese ($3,900), Yonder Alonso ($3,000)
StudWhit Merrifield, KC at TEX, $4,900 — Merrifield picked up three hits in Wednesday’s loss to Chicago to improve his average to .295 on the season. He’s had a great May so far, going 33-for-109 (.303) with 10 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 17 RBI and three stolen bases. He hasn’t mashed lefties to this point in the season like he did last year, when he tormented them with a .357 average and .944 OPS. However, he still is a solid sub-$5K play at 2B as the Royals visit the Rangers in what should be an offense-friendly environment at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Other Options — Mike Moustakas ($4,800), Tommy La Stella ($4,400)
ValueNicky Lopez, KC at TEX, $3,100 — Merrifield actually has moved to the OF on a regular basis to make room for Lopez, who has become a regular part of the top of the Kansas City lineup. The rookie suffered through a bit of a skid before breaking through his slump Wednesday by going 2-for-5 with a triple, three RBI and 19 DKFP against the White Sox. So far, he hasn’t been shut down in lefty-on-lefty matchups, going 4-for-12 against southpaws including going 1-for-3 with a double against Minor when he faced the Rangers’ starter earlier this season. Minor’s splits don’t show a huge disparity against lefties, so take advantage of Lopez’s affordable salary if you can’t find the budget to afford his higher-priced teammate.
Other Options — Keston Hiura ($3,900), Rougned Odor ($3,900)
StudJustin Turner, LAD vs. NYM, $4,200 — Turner has gone 14-for-30 (.467) in his past seven games including four multi-hit games, three doubles, three RBI and six runs scored. The surge has boosted his average to .306 on the season with a .838 OPS. Like Merrifield, he hasn’t crushed lefties this season to the level he has in recent seasons, but he’s still a great option at such an affordable price from the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup against southpaw Jason Vargas ($6,400) and the Mets. Other Options — Yoán Moncada ($4,400), Hunter Dozier ($4,300)
ValueJosé Ramírez, CLE at CWS, $3,900 — Ramírez was a legitimate MVP candidate for much of last season but struggled to the finish line and hasn’t been nearly as effective at the plate yet this season. He is hitting just .209 in his first 54 games with nine doubles, four homers and a lowly .624 OPS. The good news for Ramírez and his fantasy owners is he has shown signs of coming around lately. He has gone 7-for-22 (.318) over the past week with two doubles, four walks and two RBI. He had a good series in Boston, posting 20 and 18 DKFP in the two games at Fenway Park. He’ll look to build on that success as he takes on lefty Manny Bañuelos ($5,600) and the White Sox. Ramírez has continued to hit lefties well this year with a .279 average and .758 OPS against southpaws.
Other Options — Asdrúbal Cabrera ($4,000), Colin Moran ($3,500)
StudFrancisco Lindor, CLE at CWS, $4,800 — Lindor had at least 12 DKFP in each of Cleveland’s three games in Boston and has double-digit production in six of his past 10. He hasn’t hit lefties well this season but has beat up the White Sox, going 8-for-24 (.333) with a double, a home run and a .962 OPS. Lindor and Ramírez will try to carry over the momentum of the Tribe’s offensive breakthrough in Boston as they take on a favorable matchup this weekend in Chicago.
Other Options — Elvis Andrus ($5,200),
Jorge Polanco ($4,200)
ValueTim Beckham, SEA vs LAA, $3,600 — Beckham started the season on fire but cooled off and lost his starting SS job to prospect J.P. Crawford (ankle), who is now on IL. Beckham should get increased playing time in the coming weeks and got off to a strong start with a home run Wednesday, giving him 10 long balls on the year. He makes an especially attractive fantasy option against lefties like Skaggs since he is 16-for-48 (.333) with four homers and a .998 OPS against lefties this season.
Other Options — Kevin Newman ($3,800), Willy Adames ($2,900)
StudMax Kepler, MIN at TB, $4,700 — Kepler enters the Twins’ series in Tampa riding a 10-game hitting streak. During that span, he has gone a 19-for-42 (.452), and 11 of those 19 hits have gone for extra bases including four home runs. He has doubled in six straight games and averaged 17.6 DKFP per game over his past 10 contests. Kepler has been the Twins’ leadoff hitter most of the season and done most of his damage on the road, where he’s hitting .312 with a .917 OPS on the year. He’ll look to continue that trend and stay hot as he faces Morton and the Rays on Thursday. Morton has been good in his first year in Tampa but all four of the home runs he has allowed have come against left-handed batters like Kepler, and his OPS against lefties is .715 compared to just .522 against right-handed batters. If you decide to target Twins, try to focus on lefties like Kepler, Castro and Eddie Rosario ($4,600). Other Options — Cody Bellinger ($5,800), Hunter Pence ($5,500)
ValueCésar Puello, LAA at SEA, $3,400 — Welcome to the show, César! In his first game of the season, Puello went 3-for-6 on Wednesday with a home run, four RBI and 30 DKFP as he powered the Angels past the Mariners. The 28-year-old probably earned more playing time in an Angels’ offense looking for some pop especially if Mike Trout ($5,700; foot) is forced to miss any more time after fouling a ball of his foot Tuesday. Before being called up, Puello was hitting .299 with seven doubles, seven homers and a .941 OPS in Salt Lake City. He quickly could play his way into more time if he keeps producing.
Other Options — Jorge Soler ($3,800), Kiké Hernández ($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.