Keep in mind that this piece was mostly written before games were completed on Wednesday, just in case you notice a variance in stats. Good luck on Thursday, and feel free to Tweet me at your own risk: @TheRolyPolyBoy
Sonny Gray @ Texas Rangers ($9,500) – Gray is about as reliable as it gets on Thursday, although Jacob deGrom is nice play too if you want to pay the extra dough. Everything you want to see from a pitcher, you’re getting it from Gray: 7.97 K/9, 0.35 HR/9 and a 79.2 % LOB. I’m not thrilled about the venue in Arlington, but with the way Gray has been straddling the rubber I’m all-in.
Dallas Keuchel vs. New York Yankees ($9,000) – I have to say, I love Keuchel at home where he sports ridiculous numbers: 6-0, 1.62 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 50 K in 55.2 IP and 25.2 FPPG. Keuchel has been a bit prone to the home run ball of late, but I’m not worried – some home cooking will do him some good.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Baltimore Orioles ($7,600) – Other than a 9 ER blowup that Rodriguez suffered against a surging Toronto Blue Jays club 10 days ago, Rodriguez has been magnificent. I dig that he was able to bounce back from such a nightmarish game, beating the Royals in Kansas City in his next start, only giving up 1 ER over 6.1 IP. Look for Rodriguez to get around 20 fantasy points on Thursday.
Matt Wisler @ Washington Nationals ($6,900) – You have to love the fact that Wisler only needed 88 pitches to beat the Mets over 8 IP during his Major League debut. Maybe we won’t get such a dominant performance, aside from the lack of strikeouts, but I like Wisler to fall somewhere in the 15-point fantasy mark. The efficiency surely catches your eye, right?
Stephen Vogt @ Colby Lewis – TEX ($4,300) – There just aren’t that many stud catching options these days, a complaint of mine the last few weeks, but Vogt surely catches my eye as he’s 6-for-10, with three walks, three extra-base hits, one homer and four RBI over his last three games. And, his salary really hasn’t jumped up too much either, making him a valuable catcher option on Thursday. Funny, though, Vogt is hitless in 10 at-bats against Lewis over his lifetime, but expect him to get “off the Schneid”.
Brian McCann @ Dallas Keuchel – HOU ($4,000) – McCann is really starting to heat up of late, and he’s showing why he’s one of the best power bats at the catcher slot. You want McCann in your lineup due to his power, right? I don’t know about you, but almost anytime I’m rostering a catcher in DFS play it’s a catcher with a meaty bat. McCann’s above average .354 wOBA is something to admire, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see him hit another power streak when you add in his .209 ISO. Yow-za.
Buster Posey vs. James Shields – SD ($3,900) – I’m liking the price tag on Posey, who is obviously undervalued here and is one of the best hitting catchers in the game. With the power numbers he provides, and his general ability to hit for extra-base hits, Posey is always a threat for a monster night at a shallow position.
Nick Hundley vs. Rubby De La Rosa – ARI ($3,500) – As with quite a few Rockies’ players historically, they hit better at Coors Field than they do on the road. That’s certainly the case with Hundley, who is slashing .330/.352/.528 at home in 2015. Hundley also has four of his five homers at Coors and has averaged 8.9 FPPG there. Make sure he’s in the starting lineup before automatically slotting him in.
Paul Goldschmidt @ Jorge De La Rosa – COL ($6,300) – You’re wondering if you can afford Goldschmidt, right? Well, you can. There are enough pitching values, or enough pairings to go with a “Studs-and-Duds” pair at pitcher, to get Goldy in your lineup. I’m just too geeky about him these days to ignore the fact he’ll be hitting in Coors Field against De La Rosa, with Goldy having a .940 OPS in 12 lifetime at-bats. The cards are in Goldy’s favor on Thursday.
Todd Frazier @ A.J. Burnett – PIT ($5,000) – With the power that Frazier is bringing this season, and with his boom games of late, he’s a great option to roster at either first base or third base. Frazier has an insane .340 ISO – yeah, insane – and a .419 wOBA that is off the charts. It would take a major brain-fart for me NOT to have Frazier in my lineups these days.
Stephen Vogt @ Colby Lewis – TEX ($4,300) – I dig Vogt enough to slot him here as well, in case you don’t want to use him in your catcher slot; however, you’d be better off sticking him at catcher.
Adam LaRoche @ Alfredo Simon – DET ($3,500) – Call it a hunch, but remember LaRoche’s drastic pre/post All-Star break splits from yesteryear? Well, it’s about that time isn’t it? Where his bat starts to heat up? Yeah, you’re right… that’s more useful for seasonal leagues, but I still think there’s some playable history here, especially with LaRoche starting to show a smidge of life with the bat. And, hey, he can still power out some good ol’ fashioned home runs.
Jose Altuve vs. Adam Warren – NYY ($4,900) – Guess who’s healthy again, and guess who is just about always an auto-start in my DFS lineups? Okay, maybe not an auto-start, but, man, I sure am tempted each day. Altuve will be facing Adam Warren, who I think is in for a rude awakening against the Astros’ bats. I admire what Warren has done to this point, but there are some underlying signs he’s about to get ripped. Sure, add in some “gut feeling” with Altuve, but it’s hard to ignore his seasonal output to this point and that he’s extremely consistent whether on the road or at home (7.8 FPPG at home, 7.8 FPPG on the road).
Dee Gordon vs. Lance Lynn – STL ($4,900) – Yep, it’s just too easy to keep Gordon slotted here. You know if Gordon gets on base, there’s a fantastic shot he’ll be swiping the next one. I just feel comfortable having Gordon in my lineups, even though Lance Lynn does have his number to this point in their careers. Gordon has been caught stealing 9 out of 33 attempts, but I’ll take that considering his groovy .347 wOBA.
Derek Dietrich vs. Lance Lynn – STL ($3,500) – With Martin Prado laid up with injury, Dietrich has benefited as he’s been facing right handed pitching. Dietrich is known for the pop in his bat in the Minors, and it’s starting to translate a bit with the opportunity he’s been given. I’m taking a chance here facing Lynn, but I’m betting not many DFS owners will use Dietrich on Thursday, giving you that contrarian view to your lineup.
Todd Frazier @ A.J. Burnett – PIT ($5,000) – Mmm. Frazier. As stated above at first base.
Alex Rodriguez @ Dallas Keuchel – HOU ($4,500) -Regardless of the matchup, sometimes you just have to get a hot player into your lineup. And, that’s the case with A-Rod who has certainly redeemed himself over the first half of 2015. Take a look at A-Rod’s numbers over his last 10 games played: 35 AB, .362/.390/.697, 4 HR, 8 R, 6 BB, 12 RBI and even 1 SB. Gimme, gimme.
Luis Valbuena vs. Adam Warren – NYY ($4,000) – The power comes in bursts for Valbuena, who is currently hitting under the Mendoza line. That’s okay, though, as long as he keeps piling onto the 19 HR he’s got on the season so far. Also, I’m starting to pick on Warren a bit too, and I’m liking the idea of an Astros stack. Hmm. Valbuena is an underrated DFS dream, with some owners ignoring him altogether because of his .195 AVG. But, we know better than that, eh?
Yunel Escobar vs. Matt Wisler – ATL ($3,800) – Even though I like Wisler on Thursday, that doesn’t mean I don’t like hitters going against him. Escobar has outplayed any expectations I had coming into the season, and while his production comes in bursts, it’s quite lovely to catch him on one of those nights. Escobar is better used as your shortstop, but if you’re looking to save some bucks at third base he’s not a bad play. Escobar’s .365 BABIP is uncharacteristically high compared to his career, so there’s likely a slowdown period ahead. I just think we can squeeze a bit more out of him.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Rubby De La Rosa – ARI ($5,500) -There hasn’t been any power of late, but we all know that Tulo can bring it with the best of ’em at shortstop. Plus, De La Rosa has been known to have a volatile arm at times. Add that in with the Coors factor, and with Tulo hitting well of late and getting into double-digit fantasy point production, I’m good spending the $5.5 K.
Carlos Correa vs. Adam Warren – NYY ($5,000) – Yep, poor Adam Warren. I’m either going to look like a fool, or I’ll help some of you cash out. Correa has not disappointed with the showing of his power and ability to swipe bases. A double threat, eh? Me like-y. Since the call-up to the Big Leagues, Correa is averaging 11.1 FPPG. I know it’s a small sampling to this point, but I’m riding the wave until it crashes.
Yunel Escobar vs. Matt Wisler – ATL ($3,800) – Like I said above, I actually like Escobar at shortstop over third base, but either in the right circumstance will work.
Jung Ho Kang vs. Anthony DeSclafani – CIN ($3,500) – Kang has definitely cooled down over the last few games, but this price tag still grabs my attention, enough that I’m willing to ignore the yuck-factor in recent games played. Call Kang a gut-play on Thursday.
Brett Gardner @ Dallas Keuchel – NYY ($5,200) – In five out of the last six games played for Gardner, he’s put up well over 20-plus fantasy points. How is he doing it? Gardner is driving the ball like crazy, with 4 HR, 10 R and 9 RBI over his last six contests. Yes, I’m recommending another hot player. We all know they slow down at some point, but this is something we rarely see from Gardner regarding the power stroke.
Mookie Betts vs. Miguel Gonzalez – BAL ($4,900) – Speaking of “hot”, there just isn’t a hotter hitter in the game right now over the last week of play, except of course for Manny Machado. Betts has been lighting up the world to the tune of a .557 AVG over his last 10 games played, including 3 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB and 1 SB. You have to love Betts’ overall gamesmanship, and he finds his way into my lineup with the hot streak he’s on.
J.D. Martinez vs. Carlos Rodon – CHW ($4,900) – Talk about a streaky hitter, huh? Still, when Martinez is on he is on. Martinez has six hits over his last four games, with three homers in one game against the Yankees. I’ll take just one of those homers, thank you very much. Martinez doesn’t hit left handed pitching very well, however, so something to keep in mind.
Billy Hamilton @ A.J. Burnett – PIT ($4,100) – Hamilton averages 8.0 FPPG by stealing bases, and the Pirates are the easiest team in the Majors to steal on, with the pitching staff giving up 62 on the season so far. Burnett has allowed 14 all by himself, so if Hamilton can get on base… look out!
Randal Grichuk @ Dan Haren – MIA ($3,900) – You want to use Grichuk in a risky lineup, one where you’re not looking for safe averages. Grichuk can blast home runs, but he gets pretty streaky at times and is actually in the middle of an 0-for-7 mini slump. Still, reasonably-priced power goes a long way in my book.
Brock Holt vs. Miguel Gonzalez – BAL ($3,900) – Don’t forget you can slot Holt in at third base instead of outfield if you want. I like Holt, although I wasn’t so crazy about him that I wanted him listed above at third. Still, not a bad outfield option if you’re looking to save a few bucks. Holt has been hitting very well for the Red Sox, as the rest of the team (other than Mookie Betts) tries to figure themselves out. You gotta love Holt’s slash line over his last 10 games: .343/.440/.618.
Gerardo Parra vs. Jacob deGrom – NYM ($3,400) – The pitching matchup isn’t normally what I’d want facing my hitters, as deGrom has been lights-out, but Parra has notched double-digit fantasy point days in six out of the last seven games he’s played. Stolen bases have been key for Parra, having swiped four bags over his last seven games. He’s not powering balls out, but he is chipping away to solid success. Parra sort of goes against my general thinking in giving me power for my bats, but there’s enough to keep me interested for $3.4 K.
Domingo Santana vs. Adam Warren – NYY ($3,100) – Santana may not get the start after going 0-for-5 on Wednesday, but just on the off-chance that he does, he’s an interesting boom-or-bust option on Thursday. The price tag is certainly tempting, isn’t it? Santana was killing minor league pitching before being called up not long ago, and he’s managing to show that he’s got talent enough to stick around in the Big Leagues for a bit.
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