FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Thursday doesn't have early action, but FanDuel's main slate of games begins at 7:07 p.m. EDT. The main slate features only eight contests as the resting teams prepare for their weekend series. There isn't a game in Coors Field or in Arlington but there are games in Petco Park and Oracle Park. 

Pitching

Depending on how much you want to spend for your starting pitcher in cash games, you have expensive and mid-tier pitching to consider. Starting with the expensive side, the Phillies' Aaron Nola ($10,800) is the most costly option, and rightfully so. He moves to a pitcher's park in San Francisco, and the Giants have struggled offensively all season against right-handed pitching. The Giants' .269 wOBA at home against that handedness is the worst in baseball, while their 24.4 percent strikeout rate is the eighth highest. Nola has been on a roll over his last nine games with at least 38 fantasy points in eight of them while hitting 55 or more fantasy points four times.

The more economical option to consider is the Rockies' Jon Gray ($7,900), who moves from an extreme hitter's park (Coors Field) to an extreme pitcher's park (Petco Park) and has a good matchup. The Padres' .309 wOBA against righties is in the bottom third of the league, while their 26.2 percent strikeout rate is the third-highest. While Gray's ERA is higher on the road this season, his 9.8 K/9 on the road is an elite number mitigating the ERA in fantasy terms.

With nine pitchers at $8,400 or more, the Braves' Dallas Keuchel ($8,700) might go overlooked despite his matchup. He'll get the Marlins in Miami and although this is a road game, the Braves are a -200 favorite in a game with an over/under of 8.5 runs. The Marlins haven't struck out a lot against left-handed pitching (21.8 percent), but their .285 wOBA is the second lowest to only the Pirates. Keuchel is a good GPP play given he's had games of 38, 43 and 52 fantasy points in his nine starts but has also had 20 or fewer fantasy points in four of those assignments.

Key Values/Chalk

The argument for using Gray over Nola is that multiple bats from the Red Sox lineup can be used, including Boston's J.D. Martinez ($4,300), who holds has a ridiculous .541 wOBA against left-handed pitching, and that number goes up to .569 at home. He'll face Dillon Peters, who had a 6.47 ERA at Triple-A as a starter before being called up. Martinez can be faded in GPPs but should be the first player put in every cash game lineup.

The slate has several good options at shortstop, but they all are priced around the $4,000 mark. A cheaper option who could pay off is the Marlins' Jon Berti ($2,700). In only 93 plate appearances, he has hit a respectable .286 with two home runs and four stolen bases. He's been moved into the leadoff spot, and most of his damage has come against lefties like Dallas Keuchel (.536 wOBA).

Another cash game staple (if he can be afforded) is the Cubs' Kris Bryant ($3,900). He has the favorable lefty matchup against Cincinnati lefty Alex Wood, and Bryant's wOBA against southpaws is up to .459 (.475 on the road). You can also consider Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez ($3,700) against lefty Cole Hamels.

The Tigers' Niko Goodrum ($3,200) has quietly crushed left-handed pitching this season and will get Danny Duffy at home. Goodrum has a .406 wOBA against that handedness and should be hitting in a good RBI spot. Duffy has struggled this season with a 4.93 ERA and has allowed a .357 wOBA against right-handed hitters on the road.

As mentioned already, using as many Red Sox as possible, including Sam Travis ($2,600), is a good idea. Travis has received the bulk of his plate appearances against left-handed pitching and looked more comfortable at the plate during July posting a .459 wOBA. The Red Sox will likely be the most popular stack, but using Travis instead of one their other stud bats could bring salary relief.

Stacks

Red Sox vs. Angels (Dillon Peters)

J.D. Martinez (OF - $4,300), Sam Travis (C/1B - $2,600), Xander Bogaerts (SS - $3,900), Christian Vazquez (C/1B - $2,700)

Again, this will likely be the most popular stack of the night. However, we have two wrinkles thrown in here with Travis and Vasquez. I have difficulty wagering against Mookie Betts ($4,200), but he only has a .318 wOBA against lefties this year, while Vasquez has a .361 wOBA.

Twins vs. Indians (Mike Clevinger)

Nelson Cruz (OF - $4,600), Max Kepler (OF - $4,100), C.J. Cron (C/1B - $3,400), Miguel Sano (3B - $3,500)

Clevinger has arguably only had one bad start this season, and this might be the most unlikely stack to use. However, that also means it will have a low ownership for a team that has a .344 wOBA against right-handed pitching (third best in baseball). All four players are capable of going deep, but their prices will likely mean Jon Gray or Dallas Keuchel will have to used with them.

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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