This article will give you players you should target for today’s slate of games. Good luck on Thursday, and feel free to Tweet me at: @TheRolyPolyBoy

Today’s Highlighted Contests

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Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray has been scratched. Jesse Chavez will start for the Oakland Athletics.

Studs

Noah Syndergaard vs. Colorado Rockies ($11,100) – I’m bringing this point up yet again, like I have for most of the year, but I dig top-tier pitching against the Rockies’ bats on the road. Advantage Syndergaard in a major way, with his 1.57 home ERA. Talk about the tale of two pitchers, but Syndergaard is 6-1 at home but a flat 0-5 on the road with supporting numbers to show why. Syndergaard is my lock-of-the-day pitcher.

Jon Lester vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($10,800) – Lester hasn’t had a poor outing since the end of June, which helps point to his 23.2 FPPG average over his last 10 starts. The Brewers rank in the lower third of the league in offense, so I expect Lester to pitch well.

Values

Mark Buehrle vs. Oakland Athletics ($7,60) – With Sonny Gray pitching in this game, it would seem that Buehrle is the ignored step-brother. Buehrle is certainly under the radar for me, but don’t expect a 30-point fantasy night. If you get 15 points from him at this salary, be happy.

Ervin Santana vs. Texas Rangers ($6,000) – We all know that Santana isn’t this bad, and he’s trying to get control over his pitches. I’d only use Santana if you’re really digging deep, in a contrarian lineup for example. It’s hit-or-miss for Santana to this point coming off suspension, so buyer beware, although he’s got massive potential to pull out of the funk he’s in.

Catchers

Studs

Kyle Schwarber vs. Tyler Cravy – MIL ($4,800) – It hasn’t taken the rookie long to assimilate to MLB pitching, has it?  And what’s not to like about Schwarber facing Cravy? Schwarber has destroyed right handed pitching pitching to this point, even with the small sample size. Feel confident about spending the big bucks on him facing Cravy, who has done nothing but struggle since his June 2nd start.

Travis d’Arnaud vs. Eddie Butler – COL ($4,400) – d’Arnaud is getting on base at a good clip for a catcher (.342 OBP) over his last 10 games. The batting average isn’t great, but he’s drawing walks to make up for it and providing a little pop. Check the lineup to make sure d’Arnaud is playing, but if he is I like running him out there on Thursday.

Values

Brian McCann @ Trevor Bauer – CLE ($3,600) – McCann has been slumping of late, but he did homer on Wednesday. I’m not expecting another bomb against Bauer, but 7-8 fantasy points out of him for the price tag is good; however, the power potential that McCann gives DFS owners is worth taking a chance on alone.

Yan Gomes vs. Nathan Eovaldi – NYY ($3,400) – Overall, Gomes has had a disappointing season although he’s starting to put it together regarding power numbers. With 3 HR and 12 RBI over his last 10 games played, Gomes is a solid value for power production at a very affordable $3.4 K price. Gomes did not play on Wednesday, so expect him in Thursday’s lineup facing Eovaldi.

First Basemen

Studs

Adrian Gonzalez vs. Keyvius Sampson – CIN ($5,000) – New matchups usually go to the pitcher, but I don’t have a ton of confidence in Sampson shutting down the Dodgers offense in Los Angeles. A-Gone is starting to heat back up again, although his salary jump is a bit excessive. Other than Mark Teixeira, A-Gone is my fave at first base.

Mark Teixeira @ Trevor Bauer – CLE ($4,600) – Trevor Bauer is certainly no push-over, but, as DFS owners, we should be salivating over this right handed matchup for Teixeira. Teix destroys righties, with 24 of his 30 HR on the season against ’em.

Values

Kendrys Morales vs. Garrett Richards – LAA ($3,800) – I wish Morales would give us more HR production, but you have to love his run-driving ability with 81 RBI on the season. Morales’ .347 OBP on the season, along with his .558 SLG, gives owners a lot to be happy about.

Ryan Zimmerman @ Ryan Vogelsong – SF ($3,700) – With the way Zimmerman has been hitting of late, he’s my favorite value of the night. He struggles more on the road this season, but I just don’t see where you’re going to get a player under $4 K that is on the hot streak that Zimm’s on. Zimm is 12-for-33 (.400 AVG), with 8 of the 12 hits going for extra bases (5 doubles and 3 HR).

Second Basemen

Studs

Brian Dozier vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez – TEX ($4,000) – The lack of stud second basemen on Thursday leaves only one that I’m super confident in around the $4 K mark, and that’s Brian Dozier. You seemingly get power in Dozier with a favorable matchup going against the recently called-up Chi Chi Gonzalez.

Values

D.J. LeMahieu @ Noah Syndergaard – NYM ($3,700) – Surprisingly, LeMahieu is averaging almost 8 FPPG  this season without bringing any power to the table. How is he doing it? 127 hits in 400 at-bats, to go along with a decent walk rate. But, the added benefit is LeMahieu’s stolen bases (16 so far this year).

Rougned Odor @ Ervin Santana – MIN ($3,500) – Rougned hasn’t gone a game without a hit since July 30, so he’s on a nice little hit streak. It’s hard to believe that Odor has raised his batting average up to .282, boosting his average .110 points since he was recalled June 15. Yeah, that’s right… in a little less than two months Odor has raised his average up that much. Dude is a great value at $3.5 K.

Third Basemen

Studs

Josh Donaldson vs. Sonny Gray – OAK ($5,800) – Donaldson is one of maybe three players I don’t mind paying this kind of salary for these days. You have to figure the Blue Jays’ third baseman is in line for the AL MVP, eh? Locking Donaldson in at home boosts his numbers quite significantly, almost .100 points higher in batting average. Cha-Ching! What about the Sonny Gray matchup? Yeah, there’s that, but don’t get yourself too worked up over it.

Kris Bryant vs. Tyler Cravy – MIL ($4,700) – 60 walks in 369 at-bats for Bryant? No wonder why his OBP is out of this world, especially over the last 10 games (.463). Again, I’m diggin’ on the Cravy matchup and if couldn’t fit Josh Donaldson in cap-wise, then Bryant will do just fine.

Values

Ryan Zimmerman @ Ryan Vogelsong – SF ($3,700) – I’m good with using Zimmerman at 1B or 3B on Thursday, considering the value and potential.

Danny Espinosa @ Ryan Vogelsong – SF ($2,900) – I expect to see Espinosa in the lineup on Thursday, with his home/road splits really favoring the road. Espinosa is a viable option at second or third base under $3 K. The Nationals infielders are attractive to me on Thursday.

Shortstops

Values

Brandon Crawford vs. Stephen Strasburg – WAS ($3,600) – Troy Tulowitzki is the only shortstop in the stud price range, but I don’t really like him against Sonny Gray. So, sorry… no stud offerings for you today, just values. I know that Crawford facing Strasburg isn’t exactly a great matchup, especially with Strasburg’s 40-point fantasy day last start out. I like that Crawford is taking advantage of extra-base hits of late, with a double in three straight games now. Plus, there’s always the HR power that Crawford carries.

Addison Russell vs. Tyler Cravy – MIL ($3,200) – Gut play, although Russell is starting to see the ball a bit better of late. And, once more considering the limited options on a short slate of games on Thursday, I’m picking on Cravy again. I like Russell for a squeeze-in player, assuming you’re wanting a middle infielder around the $3K mark.

Outfielders

Studs

Jose Bautista vs. Sonny Gray – OAK ($5,600) – Sonny Gray leads the AL in ERA this season as he’s been quite masterful, but pitchers can have bad games too. Bautista is on fire right now, and hits much better at home than on the road. He’s also hitting homers in bunches again, which is a huge key. Gray has been even better on the road than at home, but I’m not thrilled with him facing the best offense in the game right now in Toronto.

Michael Brantley vs. Nathan Eovaldi – NYY ($4,900) – With 11 hits over his last four games, Brantley deserves recognition and a place in your lineup. Sure, the hitting swoon may stop, although Brantley hits right handed pitching quite well with almost all of his power numbers coming facing righties.

Lorenzo Cain vs. Garrett Richards – LAA ($4,700) – Cain has 12 hits over his last six games, and like Michael Brantley above I don’t expect the massive hit streak to continue forever. Still, it’s hard to ignore Cain when he’s slashing .362/.395/.620 over his last 10 contests.

Values

Jay Bruce @ Mat Latos – LAD ($3,600) – This is a nice matchup for Bruce facing Mat Latos, with15-of-18 home runs coming off right handed pitching. Lefty bats against right arms are always fun to consider  for your lineup.

Shin-soo Choo @ Ervin Santana – MIN ($3,600) – I dig the $3.6 K price tag on Choo even though he doesn’t fair well on the road. Still, Choo’s numbers scream out against right handed pitching. I’m all over this start against Santana for Choo.

Billy Hamilton vs. Mat Latos – LAD ($3,400) – For only hitting .222 on the season, Hamilton brings a ton to the plate with his ability to steal bases and score runs, with 52 SB on the year.

 

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