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I’m back in NY for a few days, but I’m here to provide some Thursday DFS content. Now that Stephen Strasburg has been placed on the DL again, the pitching is absolutely horrendous to pick through. Ultimately lineups will play a huge part in determining the best cash play, or you can play it a different way and just make it a GPP night. I will attempt to be back in FTA+ chat tonight, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Nick Kingham, PIT ($8500)
This is the state of pitching now, with a completely risky Kingham ranking as the “top play”. His 1.74 HR/9 allowed is a huge red flag, but he’s got a 22.7% K rate in his rookie season and is facing a Mets squad that ranks 20th in wRC+ against RHP and is last against them since the allstar break. There is no safe choice, but Kingham’s price is decent enough in a good matchup, and the Mets have an IRT of only 3.6 runs.
Other options – Rich Hill
Sonny Gray, NYY ($7800)
This play makes me nauseous, even as a Yankee fan. Gray has been AWFUL in Yankee Stadium this year, but is coming off back to back good starts and faces a Royals squad that ranks 29th in wRC+ against RHP. Despite his struggles, Gray’s xFIP is a full run lower than his ERA and he has a 21.2% K rate. He’s a massive -275 favorite with a 3.6 IRTA, and the win counts bigger on FD. You’re not going to feel comfy with any pitcher today.
Other options – Anibal Sanchez, Trevor Cahill, Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley, Ranger Suarez
Matt Olson, OAK ($3500)
The A’s have absolutely crushed Rangers pitching this week and now they get one more against Bartolo Colon. The ageless righty has allowed a .360 wOBA and .209 ISO to LHB since the beginning of last year and Olson has destroyed RHP in that span for a .393 wOBA and .331 ISO. Oakland has an incredible IRT of 5.9 runs which is tied for the highest on the slate, and they’re firing on all cylinders right now. Olson is a lock for me at his price tag.
Other options – Max Muncy, Joey Votto, CJ Cron
Carlos Santana, PHI ($3300)
Santana is a solid pivot for a couple hundred dollars less, and he can even be used in the UTIL spot alongside Matt Olson at 1B. The Phillies are getting a huge park boost going to Cincinnati, and Tyler Mahle has been obliterated by LHB since the beginning of last season for a .410 wOBA and .273 ISO. During that span, Santana has a .198 ISO against RHP.
Other options – Mitch Moreland, Greg Bird, Matt Adams, Lucas Duda
Catcher values – Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, Tucker Barnhart, Austin Romine
Jed Lowrie, OAK ($3500)
Lowrie will hit third for the aforementioned A’s, and he’s a switch hitter which means he’ll maintain the platoon edge throughout the game against the Rangers’ 27th ranked bullpen in xFIP. Lowrie is viable in all formats tonight, and he’s currently rocking a .205 ISO, his highest mark since 2010.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Brian Dozier, Rougned Odor, Gleyber Torres
Cesar Hernandez, PHI ($2900)
The Phillies only have an IRT of 4.5 runs which isn’t elite, but he should lead off for Philly against a pitcher with both wide platoon splits and also one who has struggled controlling the running game. Hernandez isn’t a power hitter but he’s posted a highly respectable .343 wOBA against RHP since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Josh Harrison, Starlin Castro, Eduardo Nunez
Manny Machado, LAD ($4200)
Machado has done nothing but rake since joining the Dodgers, and now gets a solid matchup despite the Dodgers only carrying a 4.4 IRT. Anibal Sanchez has been successful with the Braves this season, but he’s allowed a .374 wOBA and .228 ISO to RHB since the beginning of last year and Machado is a career reverse-split hitter.
Other options – Eugenio Suarez, Anthony Rendon, Matt Chapman, Mike Moustakas
Adrian Beltre, TEX ($2800)
Beltre looks like the clear cash value at the position on FD. The Rangers have an IRT of 5.1 runs, causing the total of this game to be a whopping 11 runs. Trevor Cahill has nice numbers, but he’s really struggled with righty power (.210 ISO allowed to them since the beginning of last year). Beltre should hit cleanup for Texas, and he’s rocking a 39% HHR over his last ten games.
Other options – Miguel Andujar, Rafael Devers, Matt Duffy
Didi Gregorius, NYY ($3500)
We haven’t mentioned the Yankees yet, but they’re tied with Oakland for this highest IRT on the slate at 5.9 runs. They’re taking on Jake Junis who cannot keep the ball in the park (2.12 HR/9 allowed) and Didi has an insane .303 ISO against RHP at home this season (which makes sense given the park dimensions of Yankee Stadium). He’ll hit third, and his floor and ceiling are both through the roof in this one.
Other options – Elvis Andrus, Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts
Tim Bechkam, BAL ($2800)
Beckham is always viable as the leadoff hitter with a sub-3k price tag. Targeting Tampa’s pitching staff is always a bit scary given the unorthodox methods they use, but this is a GPP value you can definitely target. In cash, I would look to pay up a little bit more given the fact that the studs aren’t really priced fully either.
Other options – Trea Turner, Jose Peraza, Jorge Polanco
Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge, NYY ($4200/$4400)
You want one of these guys in cash tonight, if not both. Judge is technically the better play as he’s had a .428 OBA and .323 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year, but Stanton has been no slouch with a .365 wOBA and .263 ISO. Stanton’s HHR is much better lately, so my lean would be to him with the slight discount, but both are top plays on this slate.
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Khris Davis, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Rhys Hoskins, Starling Marte, Ronald Acuna
Brett Gardner, NYY ($3200)
Gardner is underpriced and a great cash value as long as he leads off tonight (which he should). He has sneaky power (.171 ISO against RHP the last three years) and is running a bit more this year than the previous two. He’s a great cash play on this slate, and of course is a key fixture in Yankees stacks.
Other options – Aaron Hicks, Stephen Piscotty, Dustin Fowler, Mark Canha, Chad Pinder, Shin Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, Cody Bellinger, Adam Eaton, Adam Duvall, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo
Jamie Calandro (DFS alias jac3600) is the President of Operations and was an FSWA finalist in 2018 for basketball writer of the year. He has been playing fantasy MLB, NFL, and NBA since 2001. He has won various titles and is a 10-time NFBC and 14-time NFFC champion. He is a seasoned daily fantasy sports player, logging in 7 days a week on multiple sites and winning multiple large-field GPPs while being a prolific cash game grinder. Jamie is FantasyPros' 2016 MLB Daily Fantasy Accuracy Cup champion and earned a top five finish in 2017 as well. Look for him in chat on FTA, and follow him on twitter @jac3600.