DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

A short four-game slate comprises the main contest Thursday, where DFS players will find one no-brainer option followed by pitchers who all have warts to one degree or another. The upshot of this, of course, is that we find no shortage of hurlers we can potentially target for stacks.

Pitching Overview

There may not be a price large enough to get players to fade Stephen Strasburg ($11,900) on such a short slate, as he will face a Marlins offense that has logged the lowest ISO and the second lowest wOBA against right-handed pitching so far this season. It is also worth noting that they have logged a 25 percent strikeout rate. Strasburg has been a bit better than the 3.79 ERA he has notched in 102 frames, combining a 29 percent strikeout rate with a career-best groundball rate.

Similarly. Prospective owners won't wait to get a pitcher like Walker Buehler ($8,900) in their lineups after the incredible 16-strikeout complete game he tallied against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, which netted him 53 DraftKings points. The fact that we will be in Colorado for this trip is factored into the price, as he is nearly $2,000 less expensive than he was for that outing. While no one likes selecting pitchers at Coors Field, Buehler's potential based on what has already been done will likely make him a popular play regardless.

Griffin Canning ($8,500) features a decent strikeout (25 percent) and strong walk rate (six percent) but gives up far too many homers (1.6/9) to be considered a reliable option. The A's are a middle-of-the-road team in most relevant categories but strikeout just 21 percent of the time against righty pitching, which should work to limit Canning's upside.

Sandy Alcantara ($8,300) has the ability to put up big scores but walks far too many batters without big strikeout numbers to offset the balance, leaving him with a 5.06 xFIP in 15 starts. He does feature a strong groundball rate, which could be enough to get him on DFS radars against the Nationals, who, to the surprise of some, hold a bottom-10 wOBA and ISO against right-handed hurlers.

Tanner Anderson ($6,700) has the skill set you might expect from a young Oakland pitcher, as he has logged a six percent walk rate and an elite 60 percent groundball rate in three starts with the big club this year. The Angels are a top 10 team in the league against righties according to wOBA but hit the ball on the ground at a 44 percent clip, which may be enough to put Anderson in play.

Finally, we'll take a look at Alex Young ($6,300) making his major league debut for the D-Backs. Young's 6.09 ERA at Triple-A this year isn't pretty but he carries a big enough strikeout and groundball percentage to be a low-cost option against the Giants, who hold the lowest wOBA in the league (.266) against lefty pitchers.

Key Values

Max Muncy ($5,600) will be a popular target against Peter Lambert in a hitter's haven. Lambert has logged a 5.85 ERA in his four starts with the big club after posting a 5.07 ERA in 60.1 innings at Triple-A earlier this year. Meanwhile, Muncy has notched a .323 ISO on the road in 173 at-bats.

Eduardo Escobar ($4,600) has swung the bat better against southpaws in 2019 but has still managed to tally a .213 ISO against right-handed pitchers. Tyler Beede has been hammered by lefty bats this year, as evidenced by the .611 slugging percentage he has allowed in 13 innings.

Justin Upton ($4,500) has been on fire since his return from the injured list, logging a .313 ISO in 32 at-bats. Upton may have just the right profile to find success against Anderson, as he has hit the ball in the air at a 46 percent clip.

The end result of that high walk rate and mediocre strikeout rate for Alcantara is a 5.39 xFIP against lefty hitters. Matt Adams ($4,300) has shown big power against both sides of the platoon this year, contributing to a .277 ISO in 56 games.

Kevin Pillar ($4,000) won't be in many player pools when we have full slates but it's worth mentioning that he has notched a .208 ISO against lefty pitchers in 77 at-bats this year. As we noted above, Young comes into this matchup far from a perfect asset, which should allow for some room to fit Pillar into lineups.

Stacks

D-Backs against Tyler Beede (Giants)

Eduardo Escobar (3B - $4,600) David Peralta (OF - $4,200) Jarrod Dyson (OF - $4,300)

It's refreshing to see such reasonable prices against a pitcher as troubled as Beede. While it's true that we're selecting these hitters in a tough ballpark, it should be noted that the lowest ISO from this bunch on the road comes from Dyson, who has logged a respectable .188 in 96 at-bats.

Angels against Tanner Anderson (A's)

Justin Upton (OF -$4,500) Kole Calhoun OF -$4,100) Luis Rengifo (2B/SS - $3,700)

Recommending a stack at Coors Field strikes me as a bit too easy, so we'll see if we can exploit a debutant against a tough lineup. Aside from the GB/FB dynamic, we will stick with lefty hitters, as Anderson has allowed a .533 slugging percentage in 6.2 frames against his opposite hand.

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. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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