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Top SP: Carlos Carrasco ($9,800 DK, $9,500 FD) vs CIN
Carrasco has looked great through his first two starts of the season, notching back-to-back quality starts with 15 strikeouts to just two walks over 12 innings. FTN’s MLB Optimizer has Carrasco as the highest projected pitcher on Thursday, in large part due to such high strikeout upside. Carrasco survived a brutal matchup at Minnesota last time out and is a strong bet for a good outing at home.
Value SP: Mike Fiers ($8,100 DK, $7,000 FD) vs. TEX
Fiers gets a terrific matchup to take advantage of Thursday against the Rangers, who have been the fourth-weakest lineup against right-handed pitching this year with a .254 wOBA. While you can’t expect many strikeouts from Fiers, he is in an extreme pitcher’s park in Oakland and has a high floor for this matchup. Consider him as a value option to use in cash games.
Honorable Mention: Touki Toussaint, ATL ($8,300 DK, $6,300 FD) vs. TOR
2B Ketel Marte ($5,000 DK, $2,900 FD) vs HOU
Marte is already locked in at the plate, batting .319 with just a 12.0% K-rate in 2020. He can take advantage of an easy matchup against Brandon Bielak, who is making his first career start for the Astros after posting a 4.60 FIP in triple-A last season. Marte is criminally underpriced on FanDuel as the Diamondbacks leadoff hitter.
OF Luis Robert, CWS ($4,200 DK, $3,200 FD) vs MIL
Robert has started his career scorching hot, as he already has four steals and two homers to go with a .354 batting average and a .957 OPS. The phenom has already worked his way to the leadoff spot after an injury to Tim Anderson, so he is one of the highest upside plays you can find in a matchup with Josh Lindblom. This may end up being the cheapest we see Robert for the rest of the season.
Value Batter: 1B/3B Ryon Healy ($3,900 DK, $2,200 FD) at CWS
Healy is an interesting under-the-radar play as the Brewers have installed him as their leadoff hitter against left-handed pitchers, which boosts his value significantly. He’ll be facing a weak starter in Gio Gonzalez, who has allowed six runs through 7 1/3 innings. Healy will see extra plate appearances atop the lineup along with more run-scoring opportunities. He is a cheap option to consider by himself if you’re tight on payroll or to be used as part of a Brewers stack.
Lineup Stack: Cubs at Royals (RHP Brad Keller)
Keller is making his first start of the season coming off of a poor 2019 where he had a 5.23 SIERA with a poor 17.2% K-rate. The Cubs lineup should make some noise against him, with the top of the order in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant as your high-end plays to pair with Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras as mid-tier options. There are also budget plays in Ian Happ and Jason Heyward. This is a versatile stack that you can fit lots of ways into your contests.
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