DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

A busy afternoon across baseball leaves just six games for the main evening slate on DraftKings. Still, there are several appealing matchups to exploit, so let's discuss some hitters and pitchers to target for your entries.

Pitchers

The Marlins may have found themselves another young starting pitcher who will be a member of their rotation for years to come in Trevor Rogers ($9,300). He's off to a terrific start, posting a 1.89 ERA and a 2.50 FIP through his first seven outings. His 9.9 percent walk rate is a bit of a concern, but he's helped offset it with a 33.1 percent strikeout rate. While the Diamondbacks aren't an easy opponent, Rogers' strikeout upside still makes him appealing.

Is Jameson Taillon ($7,700) starting to find a groove for the Yankees? He hadn't pitched since 2019, so it wasn't a surprise to see him record short outings his first two times through the rotation. However, he's logged at least five innings in three of his last four starts, including throwing 6.1 innings versus the Nationals in his last outing. In all three of those starts, he allowed three or fewer runs. Add in his 34 strikeouts across 28.2 innings and he could take advantage of a Rays' lineup that entered Wednesday with the most strikeouts in baseball.

Going back to the Diamondbacks game against the Marlins, Rogers isn't the only pitcher in that contest to consider. Merrill Kelly ($7,900) has historically pitched well at home, posting a 3.53 FIP and a 1.16 WHIP there compared to a 5.33 FIP and a 1.42 WHIP on the road. Across his two starts at home this season, he allowed three runs and recorded 11 strikeouts over 11.2 innings. With the Marlins entering Wednesday sporting the eighth-worst OPS in baseball, Kelly should be on your radar, especially if you want to fade Rogers.

Top Targets

Rich Hill's ($7,200) tenure with the Rays has not started off on the right foot. He has a 5.17 ERA and a 4.38 FIP across seven starts, although his WHIP hasn't been bad at 1.12, His problem has been allowing five home runs across 31.1 innings. Facing the Yankees at home is much better than trying to slow them down at Yankee Stadium, but Giancarlo Stanton ($5,400) and DJ LeMahieu ($5,400) could still be two of the top players to target. Stanton has been scorching hot at the plate, entering Wednesday hitting 27-for-66 (.409) with six home runs and five doubles over his last 16 games.

J.D. Martinez ($5,300) loves hitting against left-handed pitching, recording a .404 wOBA and a .284 ISO against them for his career. He'll be facing one in Sean Manaea ($8,800) who won't be starting within the pitching-friendly confines of his home park. He has a 3.72 FIP and a 1.12 WHIP there for his career, but he has a 4.27 FIP and a 1.26 WHIP on the road.

Bargain Bats

Kyle Tucker ($3,500) is off to a slow start, but he's starting to show signs of turning things around. Entering Wednesday, he's 5-for-9 with two home runs, a double and a triple over his last three games. He's been a victim of bad luck with a .194 BABIP despite a 49.5 percent hard-hit rate. He could continue his turnaround against Mike Foltynewicz ($6,400), who enters with a 4.50 ERA and a 5.70 FIP.

Another struggling outfielder has been Aaron Hicks ($3,600), who entered Wednesday with a .289 wOBA. However, the switch-hitter has a .364 wOBA versus lefties and has recorded a wOBA of at least .343 against southpaws in three of the last four seasons, so he could be another Yankees hitter consider against Hill.

Stacks to Consider

Reds vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez ($5,500), Rockies: Nick Castellanos ($6,000), Jesse Winker ($5,100), Mike Moustakas ($4,700)

Gonzalez is a pitcher to attack in DFS given his career 5.25 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Add in this game being played at Coors Field and the Reds figure to be one of the most, if not the most, popular teams to stack for this slate. This power-hitting trio is particularly appealing. Winker has stood out with his hot start, entering Wednesday with a .308 ISO and a .473 wOBA. His .434 BABIP likely won't hold up over the long haul, but him dropping his strikeout rate to 20.3 percent is a promising sign.

Rockies vs. Luis Castillo ($6,200), Reds: Trevor Story ($5,300), Ryan McMahon ($5,000), Charlie Blackmon ($4,500)

Talk about a slow start. Castillo has allowed at least four runs in four of his seven starts, leaving him with a 6.42 ERA. His FIP is significantly better at 4.56 and his 37.6 percent hard-hit rate allowed isn't too far off from his career mark, so he could turn things around sooner rather than later. However, a start at Coors Field probably won't help his cause. Blackmon is off to a sluggish start, but this might be just the matchup that he needs to get back on track given that he has a career .411 wOBA at home.

Athletics vs. Garrett Richards ($8,200), Red Sox: Matt Olson ($4,200), Ramon Laureano ($4,900), Seth Brown ($3,100)

Richards has lacked control out of the gate, posting a 9.6 percent walk rate on his way to a 1.46 WHIP. He can't afford to be wild given his career 20.8 percent strikeout rate that doesn't leave him with a ton of room for error. This could be an opportunity to cash in with an A's stack that has several players at appealing salaries. One of them is Brown, who has a career .350 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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