We’ve got an early start to today’s baseball action, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some top FanDuel MLB picks that you should consider for your lineups on Thursday.
Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs NYM - $10,500 - It’s a little unfair that this is Washington’s #3 starter. It’s not an elite matchup, as he’s facing off against Matt Harvey, but Strasburg is the clear best starter on the board today. You need to get strikeouts when you can on FanDuel, and Strasburg struck out 10.1 per 9 innings in 2014. Look for him to pick up where he left up as a high floor/high ceiling option.
Ian Kennedy – SD vs SF - $8,300 - If you don’t want to pay up for Strasburg, Ian Kennedy looks like the next best option. He ramped up his strikeout rate in his first season in San Diego and the ballpark gives him a nice safety net for his fly ball tendencies.
Victor Martinez – DET vs RHP Kyle Gibson - $4,200 – Martinez qualifies at catcher to begin the season on FanDuel. This is a great situation to capitalize on as you’re getting a top DH at a difficult position. Detroit has come out of the gate on fire this season and Martinez should be able to fill the stat sheet against Kyle Gibson. Victor hit .323 off righties with a .390 wOBA in 2014. You need some exposure to the Tigers offense today, and this is a great place to start.
Salvador Perez – KC vs LHP John Danks - $3,400 – The Royals’ right-handed bats are in a good spot against John Danks on Thursday. He has given up over 20 homers to right-handed batters each of the last two seasons. Perez has an elite contact rate against left-handed pitchers, and has a good chance to do some damage in this matchup.
Edwin Encarnacion - TOR vs LHP CC Sabathia - $4,700 – I expect a bit of a bounce back season for CC Sabathia, but this is not a good matchup for him to start the season. Toronto is going to be crushing left-handed pitching all year, and even before Sabathia was injured he was beginning to slip against righties. Encarnacion has big upside in this matchup.
Ike Davis - OAK vs RHP Nick Martinez - $2,600 – If you want to save salary cap at first base, but still have a big upside player, Ike Davis is worth a look going against Texas pitcher Nick Martinez. Davis is in play against weak right-handed pitchers, and Martinez was lit up by left-handed batters in 2014, allowing a .366 wOBA and an xFIP of 5.68. Davis is a risk in cash games, but great upside here to play in a tournament.
Chase Utley - PHI vs RHP Justin Masterson - $3,500 – Justin Masterson is a completely different pitcher against left-handed batters; he just cannot get them out. He allowed an astounding .400 wOBA in 2014. Meanwhile, Utley continues to excel against right-handed pitching, batting .286 with a .344 OBP in 2014 and .302/.360 in 2013. This is a great situation for Utley.
Ben Zobrist - OAK vs RHP Nick Martinez - $3,200 – As I mentioned previously, Texas pitcher Nick Martinez looks to be in a tough spot against the A’s on Thursday. Zobrist is batting in the middle of the lineup, and as a switch hitter he is not as vulnerable to bullpens as other Oakland batters. Oakland should be able to put some runs on the board and Zobrist is likely to be involved in the action.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs LHP CC Sabathia - $3,900 - Like his teammate Edwin Encarnacion, Donaldson is going to do a lot of damage against left-handed pitching this season. He had a ridiculous wOBA of .429 against lefties last year and homered 14 times in 153 at bats. Those are video game numbers; he is a big upside play against CC Sabathia.
Pablo Sandoval – BOS vs RHP David Buchanan - $3,000 – I’m looking for a big year out of Pablo Sandoval hitting in the middle of a great lineup. Sandoval is a better hitter from the left side of the plate - he had a .317 average and .359 wOBA last season against right-handed pitching.
Alcides Escobar – KC vs LHP John Danks - $3,000 – Shortstop is often a tough position to fill, but this is an easy choice for me today. Escobar will be leading off against John Danks, who allowed a .355 wOBA to right-handed batters last season. Escobar hit .313 off lefties, and will have plenty of chances to cross the plate today.
Melky Cabrera – CWS vs RHP Edinson Volquez - $3,000 - The White Sox left-handed batters should be in line for a good day against the Royals Edinson Volquez. Cabrera has been put in the #2 spot in a good lineup and he is a switch hitter who excels from the left side of the plate. He had a .310 average and .358 wOBA last season against RHP. At $3,000, he is considerably cheaper than the top echelon of outfielders, but offers plenty of upside.
Adam Eaton - CWS vs RHP Edinson Volquez - $3,000 – It could be a good day to double down on the top of the White Sox lineup against Volquez. Like Cabrera, Eaton has a very nice salary on FanDuel that will allow you to fit some higher priced players elsewhere in your MLB lineups. He should be able to find his way on base today, and see plenty of chances to score.
Anthony Gose – DET vs RHP Kyle Gibson - $2,500 – Gose hit leadoff on Wednesday and was all over the stat sheet, going 3-for-6 with a double, triple and 3 RBI. He should get another chance at the top of the order today and is close to a must play at his salary. Detroit should be one of the highest scoring offenses of the day, so lock in their leadoff hitter at $2,500.