This Thursday evening, we have an interesting nine-game slate. Although Cole Hamels and Tyler Skaggs are priced above $10,000 on DraftKings, I would hardly consider them top-tier options on any night. That being said, they are two of the more consistent starters throwing tonight and are both in great matchups. There is plenty of value with hitting stacks, so paying up shouldn’t be an issue. Let’s take a look at some GPP options for tonight’s MLB main-slate on DraftKings.

Pitchers

Cole Hamels (TEX): $10,800 @ CWS 
With the lack of stud pitching options tonight, Cole Hamels comes in as the most expensive starter on the night. The veteran is off to a solid start in 2018, showing that he can go deep into games and get strikeouts. He has pitched over 100 pitches in each of his last four starts and five of his last six. The 25.1% strikeout rate is up significantly from last year (17.1%). His xFIP at 4.12 suggests regression, however, he should be fine against the woeful Chicago White Sox. Chicago has the second lowest batting average against left-handed pitching and has shown to be very undisciplined. Facing James Shields, the Rangers should provide plenty of run support for Hamels giving him the win after a strong outing.

Chad Kuhl (PIT): $8,200 vs. SD
More of a matchup selection than actual talent, Chad Kuhl is a very serviceable SP 2 on DraftKings. The Padres have been absolutely terrible. Ranked second in the MLB in strikeout percentage, 27th in ISO, 26th in wRC+, and 29th in wOBA. Pittsburgh is an even more pitcher-friendly park than San Diego, and any decent starting pitcher should be able to put up good fantasy points against the Padres. Kuhl has shown 34 DK point upside and while has been inconsistent this year, is worth a shot on in GPP’s.

Andrew Triggs (OAK): $6,800 @ TOR
The Athletic’s will look to starter Andrew Triggs this evening as they kick off their series in Toronto. Triggs has shown strikeout upside this season with a 24.6% rate and 10.2% swinging strike rate. The Blue Jays are a very difficult team to figure out this season. They have shown that they can hit some of the very best pitchers in the game and string together runs. Justin Smoak is heating up and Teoscar Hernandez has shown more discipline to go along with his massive power. However, the rest of the lineup leaves a lot to be desired. In the last 14 days, the Blue Jays own the third highest strikeout rate, with just an 82 wRC+. It is hard to not look at Chris Archer for just $100 more, which will make Triggs one of the lowest owned pitchers on the night. I like the upside in this matchup against a struggling Jays team.

Hitting Stacks

Boston Red Sox
Once again the Red Sox are in a great spot to stack. Not because Kevin Gausman is a pitcher we want to target, but because of how good this team is right now. Especially against right-handed pitchers. They lead the league in almost every hitting category against righties and should continue their dominant ways. Gausman has actually been pretty good this year and might have a shot at quieting this team a bit. However, at Fenway, I like the Red Sox odds to put up runs a lot more.

Texas Rangers
This won’t be a sneaky stack. James Shields is one of the very worst pitchers in the MLB and deserves attention anytime he takes the mound. He has actually reduced his HR/FB ration a lot and the splits are not terrible. He is averaging four earned runs and 2.6 BB per game though. There is a regression for Shields and the power hitting lefties should take him deep. The Rangers strikeout a lot, but Shields has reduced his rate dramatically. He will struggle to get outs against a dangerous hitting team.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Right-Handed Hitters
The lefties in this Pirates lineup are much better overall hitters and can be considered. The righties are who we are looking at though. Eric Lauer is atrocious against right-handed bats. He has given up five homeruns to righties in just 16.1 innings of work. Hopefully, Starling Marte is back in the lineup and ready to take advantage of this incredible matchup.

Position-by-position

Catcher
Robinson Chirinos
Elias Diaz or Francisco Cervelli
John Hicks

First Base
Joey Gallo
Justin Smoak – Triggs is weak against lefties and Smoak is smashing the baseball right now.
Ryon Healy
Hanley Ramirez

Second Base
Ozzie Albies
Jed Lowrie
Cesar Hernandez
Rougned Odor

Third Base
Kris Bryant
Kyle Seager
Matt Chapman

Shortstop
Jean Segura
Xander Bogaerts
Max Moroff or Jordy Mercer
Manny Machado

Outfield 
Mitch Haniger
J.D. Martinez
Nomar Mazara
Shin-soo Choo
Mike Trout
Curtis Granderson – if lead-off
Starling Marte – check status before locking in
Khris Davis

 

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