This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday's four-game main slate has one main attraction in the pitcher's spot, leaving prospective owners to decide who fills the second slot. It must be noted that we have quite a few pitchers who may be targets for opposing offense, meaning that players will need to manage their bankrolls carefully.
Hyun-Jin Ryu's ($11,100) shaky outing at Colorado last week has not detracted from his incredible 2019 season. The 32-year-old holds a sparkling 1.83 ERA in 16 starts this season, having allowed one run or fewer in 10 of his last 12 starts. Ryu doesn't have the big strikeout rate we might like in a hurler at this price but he may be in line for a few more than usual against the Padres, who whiff at a 26 percent clip against southpaws.
Lance Lynn ($9,500) put an emphatic cap on June, throwing eight innings of scoreless baseball with 10 strikeouts against the Rays. He kept a 2.90 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 40.1 innings in the month. Lynn has been good enough to be trusted on a short slate but he will have his hands full with an Angels offense that boasts the seventh highest wOBA against right-handed pitching while striking out just 18 percent of the time.
Armed with the second most effective fastball in the league according to RAA, Mike Soroka ($9,000) has been a revelation for the Braves, posting a 2.13 ERA in 84.2 innings (14 starts). The 21-year-old should be able to control the action with his heavy groundball rate, as the Phillies hit the ball on the ground at a 44 percent clip.
The same caveats apply to Griffin Canning ($8,700) after his start was pushed back Wednesday. The 23-year-old strikes out enough batters to possibly be worth a look in a GPP on a short slate but he gives up far too many homers (1.8/9) to be trusted in a matchup in Arlington against the Rangers.
Those who were thinking of rostering Marcus Stroman ($7,600) for his matchup against the Red Sox are in luck, as he will not miss a start after dealing with a pectoral injury earlier in the week. Stroman has used his heavy groundball rate and ability to limit walks and homers to post a 3.18 ERA in 18 starts this year. The Red Sox are one of the best teams in the league against righty pitchers according to wOBA but do hit the ball on the ground at a 43 percent clip, which leaves Stroman a bit of room to get his game going.
Dinelson Lamet will make his return from Tommy John surgery and could get a rude awakening against the Dodgers as he allowed 16 runs in 24 innings in his minor league rehab outings. Lamet has always been a pitcher who has trouble keeping the ball in the park, which should work out well for Cody Bellinger ($5,600), who has notched a .367 ISO against righty pitchers.
Shin-Soo Choo ($4,600) had to wait a day to get his chance against Canning but the veteran should perform well against a young pitcher who has trouble keeping the ball in the yard due to the .236 ISO he has logged against righties.
There has been a lot of buzz around Austin Riley ($4,500) in 2019, and with good reason, as he has hit 15 homers and logged a .366 wOBA in his first 45 games in the big show. While he has had more success against lefties this year, he should get plenty of joy with his .261 ISO against righties, as Zach Eflin has logged a 4.46 xFIP against same-handed hitters in 54.1 frames.
Freddy Galvis ($4,000) has been deceptively powerful against right-handed pitching this year, as evidenced by the .210 ISO he has logged in 200 at-bats. Hector Velasquez hasn't thrown the ball quite as poorly as his 5.31 ERA might suggest but he still holds a 1.7 HR/9 rate and a 43 percent hard contact rate against lefty bats.
Rangers against Griffin Canning (Angels)
The nice thing about Canning for DFS purposes is he allows homers to righties and lefties almost evenly, so we can mix and match with opposing hitters. Guzman always works as a low-cost play against mediocre right-handers thanks to the .218 ISO he has logged against them in 124 at-bats.
Dodgers against Dinelson Lamet (Padres)
Lamet has not pitched in the major leagues since 2017 while recovering from surgery and was wild and homer-prone when he was healthy, making this powerful Dodger lineup a great stack to use Thursday. Turner is currently day-to-day with an elbow issue, but indications are that he should be ready to rejoin the lineup against Lamet.