Chris Sale @ MIN ($11,300) – There isn’t a better pitcher to roster on Thursday, so feel good knowing that Sale will earn his $11.3 K price tag. Sale wasn’t able to pull out the victory last start out, and he only struck out two hitters, so expect a much better outing facing the lowly Twins.
Stephen Strasburg @ NYM ($10,400)– Strasburg has been a disappointment to this point so far, although he’s only going to get better as the season wears on. Even with a 4.88 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and his win-loss record at 1-2, Strasburg is still getting us 13.4 FPPG.
Alfredo Simon @ KC ($6,000) – Simon just keeps chugging along, averaging 20.3 FPPG in his four starts on the season. So, what’s Simon doing to make DFS owners happy? He’s getting pretty deep into games, limiting his free passes to hitters and keeping the ball way down with only one HR allowed.
Scott Feldman vs. SEA ($5,700) – Feldman has only allowed eight extra-base hits to current Mariners’ hitters, only one of which was a HR. I like the limited damage that Feldman has had facing the Mariners, even though over the last three seasons his record and numbers don’t show well. Again, it’s the current Seattle hitters I’m concerned about.
Carlos Santana vs. Daniel Norris – TOR ($4,500) -I’m happy with Santana, or the below Martin, as my stud catching option; however, Santana is another $400 to roster. That’s okay, if you really hedge towards Santana, although Martin edges him out for me just barely. Santana is averaging 8.3 FPPG over the season.
Russell Martin vs. T.J. House – CLE ($4,100) – Martin doesn’t have any hitting history against House, but he’s still clearly one of the best hitting catchers heading into Thursday’s games. Did you know that Martin is only hitting .190 on the season, but is averaging 7.8 FPPG so far this year? That’s because Martin’s limited hits have counted, smacking 3 HR and 12 RBI to this point.
A.J. Pierzynski vs. Mike Leake – CIN ($3,500) – As of this writing, Pierzynski has an 11-game hitting streak going for the Braves, which helps point to his incredibly hot start to the year. Sure, the hot hitting is going to slow down, but why not ride him into the sunset at this price? Pierzynski is hitting a cool .435 right now.
Kurt Suzuki vs. Chris Sale – CHW ($3,000) – The sample size is limited, but Suzuki is hitting .333/.467/.417 against Sale while drawing a couple of walks as well. Suzuki is a deep play at this price, but the value is decent overall. The Twins’ catcher has hit safely in five of his last six games played.
Jose Abreu @ Trevor May – MIN ($5,600) – I usually don’t like to spend this kind of dough on hitters, but for Abreu? Oh, what the hell – he’s sorta good at hitting long bombs. Abreu facing May, who is just coming off the DL, is highly attractive to me, where the superstar White Sox’ first baseman has 5 HR and 14 RBI on the season so far.
Miguel Cabrera @ Danny Duffy – KC ($5,000) – I know, it’s not a major newsflash that I’m recommending Miggy but I’ve got to do it. Miggy has 3 XBH and 6 BB against Duffy over his career, plus you have to respect his massive power potential facing Duffy.
Stephen Vogt vs. Garrett Richards – LAA ($3,700) – You can use Vogt in your C slot instead of 1B if you wish, and he actually provides better value in the C slot. Either way, there aren’t many players in the league that are hitting as well as he is right now. What you’re getting for the price? I’ll take it all day long.
Joe Mauer vs. Chris Sale – CHW ($3,800) – Mauer doesn’t give me the HR or XBH that I want, but I can settle on him considering the price and the production he has given over the last week. Mauer has only had fair success against Sale, so add in a bit of gut feeling here too.
Jose Altuve vs. James Paxton – SEA ($4,800) – Altuve is just about as yummy as you can get at second base. He’s destroying all pitchers, averaging 12.8 FPPG over his last 10 games with 15 hits since April 21st. Cha-ching!
Kolten Wong vs. David Buchanan – PHI ($4,400) – If I can get consistent numbers out of my 2B slot in my lineups, I’m happy. The only way to really do that is to have Jose Altuve rostered at all times, although that doesn’t make a ton of sense of course depending upon the makeup of my salary cap. Wong is one of those players that I already trust to put up numbers, with his price still being reasonable. Facing Buchanan is an advantage for Wong.
Brandon Phillips @ Shelby Miller – ATL ($3,800) – The batter vs. pitcher matchup for Phillips facing Miller is good, enough that I’m recommending him as a solid value-play. Phillips is 6-for-17 with a homer, to go along with a .941 OPS
Devon Travis @ T.J. House – CLE ($3,600 ) – Travis is just too hot right now to ignore. While I like House as a pitching option this season, I’m all over Travis as my favorite value-play on Thursday. With 6 HR and 19 RBI to this point, I have to say he’s making a case for 2015 April MVP – if there was such an honor that is. Oh, wait, there is… Player of the Month. I knew Travis owned the skills, but I wasn’t expecting this at all.
Matt Carpenter vs. David Buchanan – PHI ($5,200) – I can’t really justify the hike in salary from $4.6 K to $5.2 K, which is what Carpenter leaped from game-to-game just recently, but I will say that Carpenter is a hitting machine (.361/.418/.639) and hits Buchanan pretty well in very limited exposure. In three games so far against the Phillies in 2015, Carpenter is averaging 11.7 FPPG.
Miguel Cabrera @ Danny Duffy – KC ($5,000) – I’m listing Miggy here from above at the 1B slot, which shouldn’t be a surprise, but he’s just been tearing up pitching on the road with a .474 batting average, 4 HR and 11 RBI in 38 at-bats. Yes, please, I’d like one serving of Miggy please, either in my 1B or 3B slot will be fine. Also, comparing to Matt Carpenter and others in this price range, Miggy is a bit of a value to me even at $5 K.
Kelly Johnson vs. Mike Leake – CIN ($3,200 ) – What? Two Atlanta 3B options with the last name of “Johnson” that you can instead play at 1B if you wish to? Fah-reek-y! Johnson, first name Kelly, is 5-for-13 against Leake with a homer – not bad for $3.2 K. Everyone loves a good bargain, eh?
Chris Johnson vs. Mike Leake – CIN ($3,200) – The other “Johnson”, first name Chris, doesn’t hit as well against Leake as the previously mentioned Kelly Johnson does. But, Chris Johnson does have 2 HR and 3 RBI in 19 at-bats facing Leake. Either Johnson is a dig deep kinda guy, so make sure you check the Braves’ lineup to make sure they are starting and not riding pine.
Ian Desmond @ Jacob deGrom – NYM ($4,000) – I usually try to stay away from gut feelings in this price range, but Desmond is due. He’s 0-for-21 over his last five games and his salary has taken a $700 drop during the slump. Desmond is a great bounceback candidate facing deGrom, where he’s got a couple of hits, a homer and 3 RBI in very limited at-bats. There won’t be too many times this season where you can get Desmond in this price range anyway.
Marcus Semien vs. Garrett Richards – LAA ($3,900) – Semien pulls the option of being able to play him at SS or 3B, which is always nice, bringing an 8.1 FPPG seasonal average to the table. Semien is starting to get into a mini-streak, where he’s had six hits in his last three games – it’s a good time to get him on board.
Zack Cozart @ Shelby Miller – ATL ($3,600) – Cozart has been a feast-or-famine type of hitter over his career and right now he’s just been grazing a bit at the buffet table. The $3.6 K price is something I really, really like in this game, even with Cozart doing NOTHING (1-for-11) against Miller in previous games. It’s a chance that you’re just going to have to take in a risk-reward DFS lineup. I expect Cozart to get a bit hungrier at the buffet table. You know, one of those casino buffet tables where they serve lobster tails on Friday’s? Mmm.
Mike Trout @ Jesse Chavez – OAK ($5,600) – Dontcha just hate it when you have a player locked into your lineup, then you change your mind at the last second and slot someone else in, only to have the original player go off with a gazillion fantasy points? I say “poop” to that. Unfortunately, it’s happened to me too many times with Trout this season. I can’t seem to peg him this season with his every-other-game-20-point-nights. Still, the OF slot is a bit weird for me on Thursday, and Trout really sticks out as an obvious play today with these numbers facing Chavez: .308/.375/.846, 2 HR, 5 RBI and all in only 13 at-bats.
Matt Holliday vs. David Buchanan – PHI ($5,300) – Holliday isn’t as spry as he once was, and the injuries tend to mount more over the last couple of seasons, but Holliday is a fantastic player to roster considering his production this year. Holliday is averaging 9.3 FPPG at home this season, and Buchanan isn’t exactly a household pitching name to worry about.
Ben Revere @ Tim Cooney – STL ($4,700) – Who would’ve thought that Revere’s production has surrounded other contributing stats and not stolen bases? Yeah, he’s got 5 SB on the season, but Revere has reached the double-digit fantasy-point mark in four out of his last five games… all without a stolen base!
J.D. Martinez @ Danny Duffy – KC ($4,300) – What say you? You’re not sure about J.D. Martinez? Yeah, well, I wasn’t either early in the 2014 season and got fleeced in a trade in my seasonal keeper league, so I’m sure you can sense the bitter taste I suffer every time I see Martinez’ name. The power is real, so feel free to use Martinez in the right lineup situation. He won’t keep up this sort of pace, of course, but you catch my drift.
Marlon Byrd @ Shelby Miller – ATL ($3,800) – Byrd’s .162 batting average would have a boatload of you shying away from him, but he’s actually done well fantasy-wise in four out of his last six games scoring double-digit fantasy points. This is my favorite gut-play option of the day.
Seth Smith @ Scott Feldman – HOU ($3,800) – With right-hander Scott Feldman on the mound, we will see Smith in the lineup on Thursday. We should anyway. Smith’s bat is starting to pick up a bit, and keep in mind that Smith does have under-the-radar power with the stick.
Jake Marisnick vs. James Paxton – SEA ($3,700) -With 7 hits and 19.5 FPPG over his last four games, Marisnick has taken the stage, front and center, for DFS owners. As far as hot bats are concerned, he’s the best-of-the-best right now it seems. And, what you’re getting for the salary? Very nice.
Josh Reddick vs. Garrett Richards – LAA ($3,600) – Reddick’s .533 OBP in 12 at-bats against Richards should grab you, but keep in mind it’s been done with singles and walks. It’s only a matter of time before Reddick starts driving the ball over the fence.
Catch on me Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy if you have questions for me that you insist I answer in a timely and caring manner.