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Top SP: Yu Darvish ($10,400 DK, $9,600 FD) vs MIL
Darvish is off to a tremendous start this season, with a 2.12 ERA through 17 innings. Most importantly, he’s got only two walks to 16 strikeouts. It’s no surprise that FTN’s MLB Optimizer has Darvish as the highest projected pitcher on Thursday with his dominance this season. He’s facing a Brewers lineup that has struck out at the second-highest rate against righties with a 28.9% K-rate.
Honorable Mentions: Julio Urias, LAD ($9,600 DK, $7,700 FD) vs SD.
Value SP: Anthony DeSclafani ($8,200 DK, $7,100 FD) vs. PIT
DeSclafani has yet to allow a run this year through 11 innings since returning from the injured list. He threw 88 pitches his last time out, so he should be ready for a full workload tonight against Pittsburgh. This is an easy matchup for DeSclafani, as the Pirates have been the worst lineup in the league against righties by a large margin — they have a measly .233 wOBA versus righties. While DeSclafani’s strikeout upside isn’t as high as other starters tonight, he is one of the safest options and should be considered in cash games.
Honorable Mention: Jake Arrieta, PHI ($7,300 DK, $8,300 FD) vs. BAL
2B Hanser Alberto ($4,000 DK, $3,300 FD) vs PHI
Alberto has quietly been one of the most reliable producers for batting average since the start of 2019, as he’s hit .310 with just a 9.0% K-rate. Opposing starter Jake Arrieta had a poor 18.5% K-rate last year, so Alberto’s skillset lines up well. Alberto will bat leadoff for an Orioles lineup that has been surprisingly good this season, as they’re eighth-best in wOBA versus righties with a .332 mark.
Honorable Mentions: Javier Baez, SS ($4,600 DK, $3,600 FD ) vs SF.
OF Andrew McCutchen, PHI ($4,300 DK, $2,400 FD) vs BAL
McCutchen’s results have been brutal in 2020, but it’s still been a small enough sample where it’s too early to panic. This is a perfect buy-low spot for him against Orioles starter Tom Eshelman, who has a career 6.02 ERA and 7.13 FIP in the majors. McCutchen is still batting leadoff for the Phillies, which gives him extra opportunities for plate appearances and runs against arguably the worst starter on the slate.
Honorable Mentions: Austin Meadows, OF ($4,900 DK, $3,600 FD) at BOS.
Value Batter: OF Hunter Renfroe ($3,400 DK, $2,800 FD) at BOS
Renfroe demolishes left-handed pitching, posting a .906 OPS against southpaws in 2019. After hitting 33 homers in just 494 plate appearances, he is a fantastic power flier in GPP contests in hitter-friendly Fenway Park. Renfroe faces Kyle Hart, a 27-year-old making his big league debut, so he and the Rays should be in for a big offensive performance.
Lineup Stack: Reds vs Pirates (RHP Trevor Williams)
While Pirates starter Trevor Williams has found some success in three starts, it’s tough to believe the owner of a 5.38 ERA in 145.2 innings last year will keep this up for much longer. There are plenty of Reds to choose from against Williams, with high-end options such as Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez leading the way. The Reds are also particularly attractive for their value options, such as Joey Votto, Shogo Akiyama, and Jesse Winker.
Honorable Mentions: Phillies vs Orioles (Eshelman); Rays vs Red Sox (Hart).
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)