FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

PITCHING 

The top-priced pitcher for Thursday night is Joe Musgrove ($9,000), who has yet to allow an earned run this season. The Pirates righty had a 55-point fantasy effort against the Reds, which is likely why his price is so high. 

However, a matchup with the Cubs in Wrigley is less than ideal, and he should probably be left for GPPs considering some of the other options at the position. Chicago leads baseball in wOBA (.405) against right-handed pitching, so this looks like a matchup to avoid in cash games. 

Arguably the best option for cash is Jon Gray ($8,500), who leads the Rockies into San Francisco to take on Jeff Samardzija ($5,900) and the Giants. This is a great matchup for Gray as the Giants are dead-last in baseball in wOBA against right-handed pitching (.242). They also strike out a healthy amount (25.8 percent), and Gray is a slight favorite in a game featuring an over/under of seven runs, the lowest mark on the slate. 

After getting roughed up in his first start against the Dodgers, Zack Godley ($8,000) settled down in his second start against the Red Sox, finishing with 35 fantasy points. Getting the Padres at home is a good matchup as they're in the bottom half of the league in both wOBA (.298) and strikeouts (23.1 percent) against right-handed pitching. The Diamondbacks righty has promising strikeout potential (9.34 K/9 last season), and since the start of the 2017 season, his home ERA (3.62) is more than a run lower than on the road (4.69). He's in play for both cash games and GPPs. 

The sleeper for the night (who should be left for GPPs only) is Nathan Eovaldi ($6,800). His price is greatly depressed after he's yielded nine earned runs in 10 innings over his first two starts, but he's in a good spot to turn it around as Boston faces the Blue Jays. Toronto has the fifth-worst wOBA against right-handed pitching (.255), and the Jays' 29.7 percent strikeout rate is the second worst, only to the Marlins.

KEY VALUES/CHALK 

Ronald Acuna ($4,200) seems like a good building block for lineups, considering the Braves' home matchup against the Mets' Steven Matz. Acuna is off to a great start this season and had a .417 wOBA against left-handed pitching in 2018. He's been hitting in the cleanup spot, and he's affordable tonight considering the pitching options are all at $9,000 or below. 

A cheaper outfielder to consider is Acuna's teammate Johan Camargo ($2,400). He gets the same righty-versus-lefty matchup against Matz and had a .347 wOBA against southpaws last season. 

As usual, shortstop seems like a good spot to spend up a little with the lack of reliable, cheap options at the position. Boston's Xander Bogaerts ($3,700) at home against Toronto's Aaron Sanchez seems like a good target when looking at his splits from a season ago. Bogaerts' best split was at home against right-handed pitching (.420 wOBA). He's been hitting in the middle of the order (fifth) and should have some good RBI opportunities.  

The Rockies' Josh Fuentes ($2,000) is an interesting punt at third base with him coming in at the minimum price. Fuentes had a respectable .871 OPS last season at Triple-A so there's some upside with his bat. Samardzija is a good draw. He hasn't looked great since dealing with shoulder issues last season, and walks have been a big issue for the 34 year-old. 

If you're not believing in Eovaldi, Lourdes Gurriel ($2,100) could be a way to open up some salary cap space at second base. He's a good power threat (11 homers in only 263 plate appearances) which is rare for the lesser-known options at the position. Gurriel might be showing signs of breaking out of his early-season slump after going 2-for-4 in the opener with the Red Sox including a stolen base (21.7 fantasy points). 

Looking at the coveted C/1B spot, the slate has a couple of different options. Anthony Rizzo ($4,100) is home and facing a right-handed pitcher, a place where he had a .411 wOBA last season against that handedness. The other option to think about is Pete Alonso. He's probably best left for tournament plays given he likely has a low floor against Kevin Gausman. Alonso has hit or surpassed 12.7 fantasy points in eight of his 10 starts this season. 

STACKS 

Let's start with the obvious: the Red Sox. In a surprise, Rafael Devers ($3,000) hasn't had a home run or RBI this season. That should change tonight. Roll with him and some combination of Mookie Betts ($4,800), J.D. Martinez ($4,600), Mitch Moreland ($3,700) or Andrew Benintendi ($3,600). With the cheap prices at pitcher, this is a doable stack.

Watch the weather in this one, but a good contrarian stack tonight for big tournaments is the Cubs. Most will shy away from the Musgrove matchup, and as a result, they'll be one of the lower-owned stacks of the night. Use a combination of Kyle Schwarber ($3,800), Anthony Rizzo ($4,100), Jason Heyward ($3,300) and either Ben Zobrist ($2,900) or Javier Baez ($4,400) to fade Musgrove. 

Finally, consider a stack of the Diamondbacks; Chris Paddack has been moved to Friday, and Double-A pitcher Pedro Avila will take the hill for the Padres. Avila was called up on short notice and had only a 4.27 ERA at High-A ball last season. The experienced Diamondbacks hitters – Eduardo Escobar ($2,700), David Peralta ($3,700), Ketel Marte ($3,600) and Adam Jones ($3,800) – should take advantage of the matchup with the young hurler. 
 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Payne
Kevin has worked for RotoWire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. You can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.
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