Jake Arrieta @ STL ($9,500) – The Cardinals are only hitting .183 against Arrieta in 109 at-bats. Arrieta is one of the most underrated pitchers in the game, with a 21.1 FPPG average this season. That’s higher than Chris Sale, David Price and Corey Kluber, all excellent pitchers in their own right.
Collin McHugh @ LAA ($8,100)– Sure, there are other stud pitchers that you could roster, although they won’t offer the same sort of value that McHugh does. Example: McHugh has given up 10 ER over his last three starts, but has still managed to secure a 13 FPPG over those three games. I love McHugh on Thursday – it’s hard to beat what he potentially provides at $8.1 K.
Tim Hudson vs. MIA ($6,700) – Hudson has had two quality starts in a row now, going at least 7 innings in both while only allowing 3 ER or less. Hudson is hittable at times, although this matchup facing the Marlins is enticing as he’s allowed only 6 XBH in 138 at-bats facing the Fish.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. SD ($6,600) – The Padres’ bats may be coming back to life, so it’s something to consider if you take the plunge with De La Rosa. I’m a fan, I won’t lie, mainly since De La Rosa whiffs batters at an excellent rate. His 5.40 ERA may scare you some, but keep in mind that De La Rosa has averaged 15.7 FPPG this season, even with that naughty ERA of his.
Evan Gattis @ Hector Santiago – LAA ($4,400) – Gattis is finally giving DFS owners the power that we expected. As of April 28, Gattis has hit 5 home runs. Before then? He only had ONE. His batting average sucks your eyeballs out of your head, but, hey, that’s okay… just keep bringing that power potential.
Stephen Vogt @ Ricky Nolasco – MIN ($4,000) – Vogt put up two 30-point fantasy days over the last few days, which certainly jumps up his FPPG average. I like how well he’s hitting, and that he’s got a favorable venue matchup. I’ve got Vogt listed in the stud section, but he’s actually a solid value right now too.
Brian McCann vs. Chris Tillman – BAL ($3,900) – At one point in the middle of April, McCann was only hitting .179. I know it was only a couple of weeks into the season, but it’s still nice to see his average now floating around the .250 mark. McCann is one of many hitters I like against Tillman on Thursday, with Tillman giving up 5 HR to current Yankees hitters.
Alex Avila @ Jose Quintana – CHW ($3,100) – Avila sure took a dive after his hot start to the season, but it seems he’s pulling out of his funk with four hits in his last two games, equaling to a two-game FPPG average of almost 15 fantasy points. Avila could be finding his groove again, and he’s worthy of the risk at $3.1 K.
Miguel Cabrera @ Jose Quintana – CHW ($5,400) – It’s been feast-or-famine for Cabrera over the last 10 days, where he’s had three monster showings to go along with underwhelming fantasy days. I mean, the guy is still hitting .351 on the year so how much fault can you find in that? Miggy handles Quintana well over his career, so this just may be one of those monster-explosion fantasy days.
Matt Adams vs. Jake Arrieta – CHC ($4,200) – It’s taken awhile for Adams to get his bat going, but those who have hung tough? Good for you. Sometimes when a player stinks it up you end up ignoring him for future lineups – not good. Still, Adams is a solid pick on Thursday facing Arrieta, where he’s batting .417/.500/.500 in 12 career at-bats.
Nick Swisher @ Edinson Volquez – KC ($3,800) – I’m banking on Swisher not blanking another day, like he did in his 2015 debut on Tuesday night, although he did get a hit on Wednesday. Still, this is more gut than anything. The Indians are going to keep plugging Swisher in at DH for the time being.
Ike Davis @ Ricky Nolasco – MIN ($2,600) – I love this “Diggin’ Deep” play in Davis. The price tag alone is extremely attractive, and with a right-hander on the mound Davis should get into the lineup. I like the venue as well for Davis, playing at Target Field (4th best park in 2015 for hitters) in Minneapolis.
Jose Altuve @ Hector Santiago – LAA ($4,900) – I’m just not worried enough about Altuve’s two hitless days of late, certainly not enough to keep him out of my lineups. He’s one of the most sure things in DFS baseball right now with his ability to do so much with the bat. And, let’s not forget about his ability to steal bases, eh?
Dee Gordon @ Tim Hudson – SF ($4,700) – I’m sure by now you know that Gordon is hitting .422 on the year. Yep, that’s right. Dude is on an amazing run, where he’s gone 22-for-40 over his last 10 games. Now, keep in mind that 19 of those hits were singles, but you have to also consider Gordon’s ability to steal bases, which is his bread-and-butter.
Kolten Wong vs. Jake Arrieta – CHC ($3,800 ) -Wong has 8 hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 4 runs scored over his last three games, so you could say he’s a tad hot. Getting all this potential for under the $4 K mark? That’s value to me. Arrieta is tough against the Cards, however, but don’t let that stop you from rostering Wong.
Yangervis Solarte @ Rubby De La Rosa – ARI ($3,400) – I love the salary here for what Solarte has been doing with the bat, even unseating Jedd Gyorko at times. If Gyorko doesn’t get his bat going, he could find himself on the bench most of the upcoming weeks giving way to Solarte.
Miguel Cabrera @ Jose Quintana – CHW ($5,400) – Yes, you can use Cabrera at third base if you want, just in case you don’t slot him in at first base. If you need more convincing, go ahead and re-read what I wrote above.
Chris Davis @ Nathan Eovaldi – NYY ($5,100) – So far, Davis has shown that he still has power, with 6 HR and 18 RBI on the year. And, with last season behind him, with no injuries and no suspension to wrangle with, Davis is on track for a fantastic power-year. Davis has never faced Eovaldi, but the Yanks pitcher is known for leaving balls up in the strike zone.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Chris Tillman – BAL ($3,900) – A-Rod is giving DFS owners an 8.2 FPPG average in 2015, and that, to me, is value for $3.9 K. Plus, A-Rod kills Tillman: 3 HR and 7 RBI in only 15 at-bats.
Mike Moustakas vs. Corey Kluber – CLE ($3,500) – Moustakas has slowed quite a bit over his last bunch of games, although I still believe in his skill set. Moose gets to face Kluber, where he has lit up the Indians’ pitcher in 25 at-bats: .440/.481/.760, 1 HR, 6 XBH and 3 RBI.
Marcus Semien @ Ricky Nolasco – MIN ($4,200) – I’m not big on many shortstops in this price range on Thursday, but Semien is a solid choice for the price. Over his last 10 games, Semien has averaged 7.3 FPPG.
Addison Russell @ John Lackey – STL ($3,600) – Russell has a 9-game hitting streak on the line as he faces Lackey. I really dig the price tag with what Russell is doing in his young rookie year, plus he also has a couple of homers over his last six games.
Stephen Drew vs. Chris Tillman – BAL ($3,200) – Drew is more of a gut-play than anything, although his history against Tillman isn’t bad: .333 AVG and a home run in 15 at-bats. It’s a hero-or-zero day for Drew, but I like the hero way on Thursday, hence the gut-play!
Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Chris Tillman – BAL ($5,300) – Hmm, I’m starting to think a Yankees stack might be a good idea. Ellsbury is showing us that last year was a fluke, so feel free to lock him in with confidence. In three games against the Orioles this season, Ellsbury is averaging 7.3 FPPG.
Rajai Davis @ Jose Quintana – CHW ($4,600) – Check MLB starting lineups to make sure Davis is in there, but with his career numbers against Quintana I believe he’ll find his way in. Davis is 11-for-29 facing Quintana, with a homer and 4 XBH. Look for Davis to get on base at least twice, while adding a stolen base.
Kole Calhoun vs. Collin McHugh – HOU ($4,100) – I wish Calhoun was building a bit more consistency to this point, but it’s tough to keep him out of my lineup facing McHugh, who I happen to dig as well on the pitching side. Sometimes you run into these situations, but, depending upon how you build your lineup, Calhoun could be a sneaky sort of play. He has 5 hits in 12 at-bats against McHugh over his career.
Kyle Blanks @ Chris Archer – TB ($4,100) – The matchup isn’t great for Blanks facing Archer, so I should be looking elsewhere, right? Wrong, as I just can’t get over Blanks’ current hot streak. I love a player in a good hot streak, in case you haven’t noticed, as Blanks is hitting .391 AVG, 3 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI and 1 SB since his call-up on April 29.
Jorge Soler @ John Lackey – STL ($3,900) – I really don’t think it’s going to be a good night for Lackey, and Soler’s bat is starting to show life again. You have to figure Soler will fight some up-and-down streak issues at times, so it’s understandable if you want to avoid; however, it’s been awhile since he’s smacked a homer and I just don’t think Lackey has what it takes to keep Soler off the bases.
Nick Swisher @ Edinson Volquez – KC ($3,800) – I actually like Swisher more in an outfield slot than I do at first base, but either is fine if it you can work it out. This will be Swisher’s first big game in 2015.
David Peralta vs. Odrisamer Despaigne – SD ($3,900) – Peralta is 4-for-10 against Despaigne and I’m betting he finds a start on Thursday because of it. Don’t forget to check lineups just in case.
Lorenzo Cain vs. Corey Kluber – CLE ($3,800) – Cain returned to action on Wednesday after a two-game layoff due to suspension, but he picked up right where he left off with a hit and two runs scored. He hasn’t fared well against Kluber over his career, but with his salary below $4 K, I’m taking the risk on Cain.
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