FanDuel MLB: Thursday Targets

FanDuel MLB: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

The main slate of games starts at 7:05pm ET and features five games, with three games taking place earlier in the day. The limited slate with a smaller player pool means some deeper digging is on tap for today, so let's dive right in.

Pitching

Typically, I love to use an elite pitcher coming off a bad outing, as usually it's just an anomaly and they usually bounce back immediately. I hesitate today with Joe Musgrove ($11,000), given that he's on the road and facing the Dodgers. Los Angeles is the top team in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .335 wOBA (.338 at home) and Musgrove's salary cap hit is significant. However, I can see using Musgrove in cash games given his consistency this season. FanDuel Sportsbook does have the Padres as an underdog (+108), but Musgrove's strikeout prop is at 6.5.

Logan Gilbert ($10,400) is my preferred option for cash games, as he's a home favorite (-220) and has the same strikeout prop (6.5 strikeouts) as Musgrove. Gilbert has been a nice surprise for the Mariners this season, supporting his 2.44 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP. The Athletics have the second-worst wOBA against right-handed pitching (.262) and have the seventh-worst strikeout rate (23.7 percent) in baseball.

With few options available for tonight's slate, Adrian Houser ($8,400) is definitely on the radar for tournaments. He's been up and down all season, but he's provided solid value when he's pitched well. Houser has scored 26 or more fantasy points in eight of his 14 starts this season, and if he gets to 30 fantasy points tonight it would represent the same dollar-for-dollar value as Musgrove getting 39. The Pirates are an excellent matchup, as they own the fifth-worst wOBA (.291) against right-handed pitching. Their team strikeout rate of 25.2 is the fourth-highest in baseball.

Top Targets

The Rays/Blue Jays game should be one of the highest-scoring games of the night, making Vladimir Guerrero ($4,100) a great play for cash games. Guerrero has a .999 OPS over the last three weeks and owns a .994 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. Jeffrey Springs has pitched well this year, but the regression monster has reared its ugly head lately as Springs has allowed seven earned runs over his last two starts (10.1 innings, three home runs, 6.09 ERA).

Willson Contreras ($3,400) has been one of the hotter hitters in baseball recently and has a 1.152 OPS over the last week. He's riding a run of three straight multi-hit games, with two doubles, a home run and six RBI over that stretch. This game has one of the higher over/under totals at 9.5 runs, and the Cubs are a home favorite. Graham Ashcraft has allowed a home run in three straight games and has cooled off after a hot start, allowing 12 earned runs over his last three outings (17.2 innings, 6.12 ERA). 

Bargain Bats

Wander Franco ($3,000) has to be considered a bargain, though this likely won't last long now that he's back and healthy. Franco has crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .958 OPS since getting to the big leagues. He's a great player to use tonight given the positional scarcity at shortstop and his favorable matchup against Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi has allowed a .407 wOBA this season to right-handed hitters after allowing a .357 mark last year.

I'm not going to lie, every time I see H. Ramirez in the Rays' lineup it makes me think that I somehow missed a Hanley Ramirez comeback. On a more serious note, Harold Ramirez ($2,300) has been a nice find for the Rays, batting .311 and showing an improved approach at the plate (increasing his BB/K from .25 to .52). Ramirez went 2-for-3 the one time he faced Kikuchi and has a .946 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. FanDuel has him listed as the cleanup hitter today, putting him in a great RBI spot.

Stacks to Consider

Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays (Yusei Kikuchi): Wander Franco ($3,000), Harold Ramirez ($2,300), Isaac Paredes ($3,200), Randy Arozarena ($2,900)

This stack isn't going to break the bank and features three right-handed hitters who should be in the top part of the Rays lineup tonight. Yusei Kikuchi's struggles against righties have already been noted, and there's a good chance the Rays put up a big number here tonight on the road.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks): Jonathan India ($2,900), Joey Votto ($2,600), Tommy Pham ($3,100), Brandon Drury ($3,400)

This is my favorite stack of the night for several reasons. The Reds haven't been a great offensive team this season, and they're in the bottom-half of the league in every offensive category I could find against right-handed pitching. They're also on the road tonight, so they're going to be a very unpopular play in GPPs. Kyle Hendricks has been either boom or bust this season. He's scored 30 or more fantasy points in five of his starts, but he's also allowed six or more earned runs in four games this season and has seven games with 13 or fewer fantasy points. Votto and Pham have combined for seven home runs against Hendricks in 57 at-bats, and all four of these players are hitting .316 or better against him. Hendricks is coming off a great start in St. Louis (zero earned runs, 7.1 innings) but only once this season has put together back-to-back quality starts.

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 over 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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