Thursday night brings us a limited but still interesting slate of games. As you set up your pitching for tonight, these are the five options I think make the most sense:
1. Marcus Stroman – TOR @ ATL – $11,300
Stroman is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the options as his salary would seem to indicate. He gets a good matchup against the Braves as the looks to post 21+ DKFP for the sixth time this season as he makes just his ninth start.
He comes into tonight’s start with a 3-2 record and a 3.33 ERA. He has struck out 40 batters in 51 innings but has allowed opponents to hit .291 against him. Stroman has either been great (two runs or fewer in six starts) or struggled badly (five runs or more three times). Given his matchup, I think we’re more likely to get the dominant version of Stroman making him my top arm to target if you can afford his expensive salary.
2. Julio Teheran – ATL vs. TOR – $8,800
If you can’t get the money together to spend on Stroman, the next best option isn’t far away since I think Teheran is the second-best play on the board tonight. The Atlanta ace righted the ship after a run of rocky outings and held the Marlins scoreless for six innings his last time out.
Teheran is 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA, but he has five quality starts in his eight outings. His bad games came against the Nationals and Mets who have good histories against him, but tonight he’ll face the Blue Jays who don’t have a lot of familiarity with him except for Russell Martin who could return from the DL.
3. Danny Duffy – KC vs. NYY – $8,900
Duffy has bounced back with good outings in his last two starts after getting shelled in back-to-back starts against Chicago. He allowed a total of three runs on 14 hits in 13.2 innings over his last two outings striking out eight and walking only three.
Those two good outings have lowered his ERA to 3.38 with a 1.34 WHIP. His strikeout rate is down so far this season, but he did have six in his last outing which may be a sign he’s starting to find his groove again. The lefty has a tough matchup tonight against New York which is why he isn’t higher on this list.
4. Jordan Montgomery – NYY @ KC – $8,100
The Yankees send their own southpaw to the mound in Kansas City tonight as they give the ball to Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery will be making his seventh start of the season and has 14-17 DKFP in each of his previous six starts. He has three games with seven strikeouts but gave up too many runs in those outings for them to allow him over the 20 DKFP threshold.
He gets a good matchup tonight against the Royals’ struggling offense as he tries to improve to 3-2 on the season. He has a 4.19 ERA and 1.40 WHIP so far this season. He’s low-risk, but he also has a limited ceiling since he hasn’t put together a high-fantasy-point start yet this year.
5. Hector Velázquez – BOS @ OAK – $6,400
The Red Sox will call up Valázquez before their series opener in Oakland, and he’s scheduled to make his MLB debut. Velázquez has been lights out in Triple-A posting a 1.55 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. He had 20 strikeouts in 29 innings and a 2-1 record in his five starts for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Tonight, he gets the call the Majors and faces the A’s in a favorable matchup at Oakland Coliseum. He has a hot lineup behind him as he tries to get the win against Sonny Gray, and he makes a good cheap flier with upside tonight.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.