On Thursday night, Major League Baseball has a light slate, but there are still three games on DraftKings’ night fantasy baseball slate. The Astros visit the Yankees in the first game of their four-game series in the Bronx to start the slate at 7:05 p.m. ET. The White Sox host the Orioles in the middle game of the night, and the action shifts to the West Coast where the Phillies take on the Padres in the nightcap.
With just those six teams scheduled to play under the lights, there are still plenty of options for fantasy baseball. You can keep tabs on all the latest availability news and player updates by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also available on Twitter (@ZT_Sports).
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($9,900) – It’s not the best matchup for Musgrove as he returns from the COVID-19 list, but he makes the most sense of the available options on this small slate. He was pitching well before landing on the IL and is only on one extra day of rest, so there’s no need to avoid him for that reason. He posted over 29 DKFP in each of his three most recent games with over 20 DKFP in seven of his past eight. On the season, he’s an impressive 8-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 2.66 FIP in 12 starts. His strikeout rate is a little down so far this season, but he still has produced over one strikeout per inning. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any start this season, and at home, he has 36 strikeouts and only 23 hits allowed in 32 innings.
Johnny Cueto, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6,300) – Cueto has been a solid addition for the White Sox and has had three starts of at least six innings without allowing a run. His best fantasy outing came in his last start despite a tough matchup against the Astros. He blanked Houston for seven innings while allowing two hits and striking out five on his way to 27.4 DKFP. He only has 33 strikeouts in 42 2⁄3 innings, so he doesn’t have the high ceiling that Musgrove brings, but he has a favorable matchup against the Orioles and has allowed three runs or fewer in six of his seven appearances this season, which makes him low enough risk to be a good value play on this limited slate.
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,100) – Anderson rested on Wednesday afternoon after collecting multiple hits in each of his first two games off the injured list. He totaled 20 DKFP in those two games, going 4-for-10 with a walk and three runs scored. On the season, he’s hitting .358 with a .139 ISO and .390 wOBA. The average and wOBA would be new career bests if he keeps up the production, and he should be in a good spot to stay hot against Dean Kremer ($5,500) and the Orioles.
Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros ($4,300) – Torres also got Wednesday off, but he was rolling before going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on Tuesday. In his 11 most recent games, he went 14-for-40 (.350) with six doubles, three home runs, a .375 ISO and a .478 wOBA. Torres has gone 2-for-5 with a home run against Framber Valdez ($9,100) in the past, and he is the only Yankees batter with a long ball in the past against the Astros’ scheduled starter. Eight of his 13 homers on the season have also come against southpaws, so there’s nice home run potential with Torres at a lower cost than the Yankees’ biggest bats.
Other Options – José Altuve ($5,300), José Abreu ($4,100)
Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox ($3,700) – Mountcastle has been one of the Orioles’ best hitters this season, and he has been heating up lately, making him a solid sub-$4K play against Cueto. The 25-year-old is hitting .273 with a .339 wOBA on the year, but he has multiple hits in six of his past 10 games, going 16-for-40 (.400) with five doubles and four homers. He averaged 8.2 DKFP per game over that stretch and produced at least 12 DKFP in five of those contests.
Mauricio Dubón, Houston Astros at New York Yankees ($2,600) – Dubon has started three of the past four games for Houston with Jeremy Peña (thumb) and Aledmys Diaz (shoulder) banged up. Dubón hit safely in two of those three games with 12 and 21 DKFP and has gone 9-for-29 (.310) over his past 12 games overall. Dubón brings a little pop with three homers and a .148 ISO on the season, making him a decent punt play at SS or in the OF against New York.
Other Options – Alec Bohm ($3,300), Jake Berger ($3,200)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros ($5,900) – Judge is the priciest hitter on the slate, but he has been hot enough to justify the salary and remains on pace to post one of the best offensive seasons ever. He hit two more home runs on Wednesday, bringing his season total to 27 through his first 67 games. He is also hitting .302 with a .361 ISO and .431 wOBA on the season with nine home runs and a .434 wOBA in his 20 games in June. Fifteen of his 27 homers have come at Yankee Stadium, where he has a .447 wOBA on the season. You’ll have to be creative to fit his salary under your cap, but he has been putting up such good numbers that he has usually been worth the expense so far this season.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at New York Yankees ($5,500) – Alvarez hit two blasts on Wednesday against the Mets and has four homers in his past four games, bringing his season total to 21 in 61 games. He has an impressive .342 ISO on the season with a .447 wOBA. Eighteen of those 21 homers have come off of right-handed pitchers, so the power-hitting lefty should be able to take it to Jameson Taillon ($7,900) and take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch. In his career, he is 12-for-30 (.400) with five home runs and a .553 wOBA in six games at Yankee Stadium.
Other Options – Kyle Tucker ($4,900), Jurickson Profar ($4,800)
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles ($3,700) – Vaughn’s salary has stayed under $4K even though the 24-year-old has caught fire lately. Over his past 20 games, Vaughn has collected 10 multi-hit games while going 36-for-87 (.414) with seven doubles and two home runs. He has a .442 wOBA over that span and is a consistent producer even though he doesn’t bring as much power potential as Alvarez and Judge. He typically puts up his numbers from the second spot in the White Sox order and makes a nice one-two combo with Anderson.
José Azocar, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($2,400) – Azocar has been part of the Padres’ OF rotation and has typically been in the starting lineup against lefties like Ranger Suárez ($7,500). He’s hitting .267 with no home runs and three stolen bases on the season but has hit safely in three of his four most recent games with multiple at-bats. He is 12-for-39 (.308) in his 20 games since May 30 and went 3-for-5 with a single, double, triple and 20 DKFP on Wednesday. If he gets another start on Thursday, he’ll be a nice way to save salary and still get upside in one of your OF spots.
Other Options – Austin Hays ($3,800), José Siri ($2,100)
TEAMS TO STACK
New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros – The Yankees have been the best offense in baseball this season and provide plenty of power potential throughout their lineup. Even in a less-than-ideal matchup against lefty Framber Valdez, they are a strong option to consider. Torres and Judge (highlighted above) are where I would start the stack with righties DJ LeMahieu ($4,700), Josh Donaldson ($4,000) and Jose Trevino ($3,200) also on the better side of the splits. The Yankees have already smashed an MLB-leading 115 home runs in their 69 games this season and have averaged over 5.0 runs per game in their 36 home games. Since there aren’t any matchups against awful SP to attack, when in doubt go with the best lineup in baseball.
San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Phillies’ starter Ranger Suárez has scuffled a little bit lately, allowing multiple runs in seven straight games. On the season, righties have a .363 wOBA against him while lefties have only managed a .238 wOBA, clearly pointing to stacking right-handed hitters from the San Diego lineup. Switch-hitting Jurickson Profar ($4,800) usually fares better against southpaws anyway, and righties Luke Voit ($4,700), Jorge Alfaro ($3,500), Ha-seong Kim ($3,400) and José Azocar (highlighted above) all come at affordable salaries given their upside. I’d probably pass on Jake Cronenworth ($5,400) at his elevated salary in this lefty vs. lefty matchup, but he has been red hot, so he could end up being a steal with a low ownership percentage.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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