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
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Jake Arrieta @ Milwaukee Brewers ($12,100) – There are a ton of good high-end pitchers to go with on Thursday, but Arrieta is one of my favorites. Opposing hitters are only hitting a mere .196 against Arrieta over his last 10 games. That’s smokin’ hot right there – lock him in facing a Brewers club that is only average with the bats.
Carlos Martinez vs. Colorado Rockies ($10,300) – I love when pitchers get the Rockies on the road. Martinez is a value-buy at this price, but I’m listing him here in the stud-range since he’s truly a MLB pitching superstar. Martinez pitches equally well on the road and at home, while the Rockies’ bats will have a difficult time getting anything going on Thursday.
Andrew Cashner @ New York Mets ($8,400) – The price is right on Cashner, who has pitched pretty well over his four starts. He’s starting to rack up some K’s while keeping the ball down in the strike zone. Cashner will overcome the Mets offense, which is one of the worst in the Majors.
A.J. Burnett @ Cincinnati Reds ($8,400) – The price tags on the pitchers at $8 K or below just aren’t doing it for me, so I’m willing to spend a bit more to lock in a guy like Burnett. Burnett is hittable at times, giving up 22 hits over his last two starts, but I like a bounceback game in Cincinnati… even with the favorable ballpark factor for hitters.
Russell Martin vs. Danny Duffy – KC ($4,300) – Martin doesn’t get a chance to face left-handed pitching much, but he thrives when he does to the tune of .305 AVG, 3 HR, 18 Runs, 13 RBI in only 65 at-bats. Martin is worth locking in at $4.3 K.
Brian McCann @ Yovani Gallardo – TEX ($3,900) – Catching options always seem to be thin these days, so why not go with a guy that you know can hit for power in a hitter-friendly park? Gallardo isn’t special enough for me to avoid McCann at a sub-$4 K price tag.
Kyle Schwarber @ Jimmy Nelson – MIL ($3,500) – The price is right on Schwarber, as he faces Nelson who is really getting into a groove of late with his production over his last three starts. Schwarber is streaky, as expected considering rookie hitters. Again, I revert back to the power potential at the catcher slot.
Salvador Perez @ Marco Estrada – TOR ($3,300) – Perez hasn’t had a hit since June 23rd, so this is a pure gut-play on my part. I actually like Estrada in the right circumstance for your lineup, but Perez is still one of the better hitting catchers in the league even during his slump.
Anthony Rizzo @ Jimmy Nelson – MIL ($4,600) – Rizzo hit his first home run on Wednesday since I can’t remember, and he’s been struggling just to get his bat going average-wise. Rizzo is an upside pick, one that could pay off tremendously against an overrated Jimmy Nelson.
Eric Hosmer @ Marco Estrada – TOR ($4,600) – Hosmer is hot, and that includes his power stroke with a couple of homers over his last two games played. The matchup is intriguing and Hosmer gets overlooked by pitchers at times. His price tag is a bit inflated, so you have to decide if you’re willing to run with him in your lineups.
Ryan Howard vs. Shelby Miller – ATL ($3,700) – Howard has fantastic numbers facing Miller over his career: .357/.438/1.071, 3 HR, 6 RBI in only 14 at-bats. I know the sample size is extremely small, but there’s got to be something here, right? Right.
Ryan Zimmerman @ Dan Haren – MIA ($3,300) – Zimmerman can hit and he’s sitting at a very fortunate salary for DFS owners. Zimm’s price is extremely right, as he came back from a long-term injury situation yesterday while picking up a couple of hits.
Brian Dozier vs. J.A. Happ – SEA – I don’t mind paying this kind of dough to lock in Dozier, considering his power potential and that he’s facing a sub par pitching option in Happ. Happ’s LOB% is badly inflated, and points to a bad night on the mound even in Seattle.
Ben Zobrist @ Danny Duffy – TOR ($4,200) – Zobrist is going to get a nice boost hitting in the Kansas City lineup and Duffy really doesn’t represent much of a challenge. Call it what you will, but Zobrist is hitting much better of late and he still offers power down the stretch.
Kolten Wong vs. Chris Rusin – COL ($4,100) – The matchup is right for Wong facing Rusin and the price isn’t anything fantastic. Wong still represents value here, well worth locking on to at $4.1 K. The power/speed combo out of Wong is highly attractive.
D.J. LeMahieu @ Carlos Martinez – STL ($4,000) – The matchup is not ideal by any means, but LeMahieu is just hitting crazy right now with 8 hits in his last 12 at-bats. I’m going with his hot streak.
Alex Rodriguez @ Yovani Gallardo – TEX ($5,100) – A-Rod can still hit, in case you’re late to the party. The 39-year old is hitting all speeds and offerings and I dog him at Arlington facing an overrated Gallardo. Gallardo’s seasonal numbers may trick you, but pay attention to what he’s done over his last few starts. A-Rod will get hold of Gallardo’s fastball and drive it far.
Todd Frazier vs. A.J. Burnett – PIT ($4,700) – Frazier’s recent inconsistencies might have some worried, but the power is brilliant. Plus, Frazier hits almost 80 points higher at home than on the road.
Kyle Seager @ Phil Hughes – MIN ($3,300) – Seager is the buy of the century. Twelve of the 15 homers that Seager has hit this season have come away from Seattle, and Target Field is a very attractive hitters park. Hughes is no pushover, although Seager is straight-up power and can destroy.
Ryan Zimmerman @ Dan Haren – MIA ($3,300) – Taking a chance on Zimmerman at 3B is fine by me at this price tag. I like him at 1B or 3B, if you couldn’t tell.
Carlos Correa vs. Matt Shoemaker – LAA ($4,700) – I list Correa here as a stud, mainly since there really aren’t many options out there for you. Not that I’m against you rostering Correa, but I think you can allocate your dollars better elsewhere; however, if you must have a premier SS every time you fill out your lineup… then Correa is your guy.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Danny Duffy – KC ($3,900) – Tulowitzki hasn’t had a hit since July 20th, if you can believe that (as of this writing anyway). It’s possible he presses early with Toronto after the trade, although landing Duffy as a matchup is quite nice. The price tag is so worth taking the chance on Tulo on Thursday.
Erick Aybar @ Scott Kazmir – HOU ($3,200) – Normally I’d say stay away facing a good pitcher like Kazmir, but Aybar is 7-for-11 against him over his lifetime. Yes, yes, sample size is weak, but SEVEN hits?
Bryce Harper @ Dan Haren – MIA ($5,600) – Harper hasn’t hit a home run since July 18th (as of this writing). Me? I’m rostering Harper for his power and his massive ability to stay selective at the plate. Did you know that Harper has almost as many walks (73) as he does strikeouts (80) this season? Yee-haw.
Nelson Cruz @ Phil Hughes – MIN ($4,800) – It’s not that crazy to understand, but 19 of Cruz’ 26 homers this season have come on the road. Again, I’m picking on Target Field and Phil Hughes, but Cruz makes a fine play on Thursday.
Yoenis Cespedes @ Miguel Gonzalez – BAL ($4,500) – I love this matchup for Cespedes. I’m not expecting another homer-night from him, considering his barrage over the last few days, although it’s not out of the realm. Cespedes is seeing the ball very well right now.
Ben Zobrist @ Marco Estrada – TOR ($4,200) – Tagging Zobrist here from the 2B slots. All of Zobrist’s power comes facing right-handed pitching, although he’s a much better hitter overall facing lefties.
Justin Upton @ Jon Niese – NYM ($3,800) – Upton is hitting almost .400 against Niese over his career in 23 at-bats. Plus, Niese has given hitters too many opportunities this season. Niese is far too hittable to ignore in this case.
Jorge Soler @ Jimmy Nelson – MIL ($3,700) – Soler hasn’t been in the league for very long, but he does have history against Jimmy Nelson with four XBH in 12 at-bats with a homer and 3 RBI. Soler is a sly play on Thursday if you’re looking to save a few bucks in the outfield.
Rajai Davis @ Miguel Gonzalez – BAL ($3,300) – If Tigers’ coaches are looking at past history, they’ll see that Davis has 3 HR and 6 RBI against Gonzalez over his career. Davis is not a home run hitter by any means, but there’s something to this matchup.
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