SETTING THE OPTIMUM STARTING PITCHERS FOR THURSDAY
Finding quality pitching in the early games today will be a significant challenge with a very limited schedule. Sure, Justin Verlander looks like a prime start against any opponent, but spending $13,000 on him on DraftKings could really limit the rest of your roster maneuverability. Matt Cain seems very reasonable at 10,700, but you must consider current Milwaukee hitters are batting .275 against him, and he is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in his career against Milwaukee.
Alexi Ogando is priced at 9,200, and most of the Chicago Cubs starters have never seen his before, so he should have an advantage there with his potent stuff. Yovani Gallardo (10,600) has held current San Francisco hitters to a .222 combined average and can quell some noise about off-field issues with a solid start today. Take a chance that Gallardo should show his better form and pair him with Ogando, as those two appear to be the best bets to deliver solid early outings if you don’t want to overspend above them.
In the night games, it is once again time to exploit the Miami Marlins, as Tony Cingrani is priced at $5,000 and allows you to frontload your lineup with a lot of quality hitting. Cingrani will make his first Major League start, and opposes Jose Fernandez, but you have to take the shot on the top pitching prospect given the matchup. That move also allows you to potentially go with Chris Sale or David Price. Current Toronto hitters who have faced Sale (11,800) have a rather small sample size against him, but they have delivered only three hits in 12 at-bats against him. Current Orioles have hit .249 against Price (11,600) with one home run in 209 at-bats. If you elect to go a bit cheaper, though, current Rays have hit a combined .202 against Miguel Gonzalez (8,000).
Here are some other top bargains for Thursday’s games:
Yuniesky Betancourt is looking like the top low value play of the day at 2,000. He is 3 for 6 with a double against Matt Cain.
Cliff Pennington (3,000) is 4 for 8 with a double and a home run against Phil Hughes.
Daniel Nava (3,200) 2 for 3 vs. Zach McAllister.
Kyle Seager (3,700) is 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI against Justin Verlander. Kendrys Morales (3,900) is 7 for 18 with three doubles and a home run against Verlander. But obviously, both are risks at any time against the Detroit ace.
These are some more notable hitters to slide into your rosters, as their past numbers against opponents are pretty impressive and solid choices may be limited with a split day/night schedule on sites like DraftKings.
Jacoby Ellsbury (4,500) has two doubles in three at-bats against Zach McAllister
Nick Swisher (4,200) 15 for 46 (.308) with six doubles and two home runs vs. Jon Lester. Swisher is playing well early and is a strongly recommended option.
Paul Konerko (4,600) is 4 for 10 with a double and two home runs against R.A. Dickey. Lock him into your lineups.
Norichika Aoki (5,000) has a double and triple in four at-bats against Matt Cain. Rickie Weeks (4,800) is 6 for 18 with three doubles against Cain.
Angel Pagan (5,200) is 5 for 13 with a double, triple and a stolen base against Yovani Gallardo.
Jimmy Rollins (4,600) is 7 for 20 with three doubles against Adam Wainright. He should be your prime option at a thin shortstop position.
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