We have an unusually full slate for a Thursday night with 11 games to choose from. You should always be sure to double check starting lineups before locking in your rosters on FanDuel, but even more so on a Thursday, as this is a common day for players to be rested unexpectedly. In addition, with the trade deadline looming, you’ll need to keep an eye out for trades that come down throughout the day. Here’s a look at some players that can help you in your FanDuel contests tonight.
Chris Sale – CWS at BOS - $11,800 – At first glance, it might look tough to pay this high price for a pitcher on the road against Boston, but Sale is just too good of a pitcher to avoid. While he has come back to earth after his incredible month of June, he still has a 29:2 K:BB ratio in July. On the season, he trails only Clayton Kershaw for the league’s highest strikeout rate and lowest SIERA. His price point, coupled with the fact that there are some other good pitching options, could make him less owned than he should be in tournaments tonight.
Carlos Martinez – STL vs COL - $10,100 - After Sale, there are at least four other upside pitchers worth considering tonight. Out of the group of Jake Arrieta, Scott Kazmir and Carlos Carrasco, the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez has the most favorable matchup at home against Colorado. Martinez is striking out over a batter per inning this season, and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since early May. Adding to his value, the Cardinals are the biggest favorites on the MLB odds board on the night, giving Martinez the best chance for those crucial four points for a win on FanDuel.
Russell Martin – TOR vs KC – $3,400 - The entire Toronto lineup is in play at home against left-handed pitching. The Blue Jays lead the league in scoring by a wide margin, and Danny Duffy looks to be in a tough spot here. While Duffy has looked good in July, a below average strikeout rate and high walk rate are not going to allow him to have consistent success. Martin has been great against left-handed pitching this season with a .417 wOBA and more walks than strikeouts. If Martin were to get the night off, don’t be afraid to use his backup, Dioner Navarro, at the minimum salary of $2,200.
Evan Gattis – HOU vs LAA - $3,400 – The catcher position is unusually strong tonight, and Gattis could go overlooked in tournaments. I would not recommend him in cash games, as the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker has the ability to pitch well when things are working for him. However, for much of this season, he has struggled, allowing 17 home runs in 97 innings. Gattis has been more effective against right-handed pitching this year, and throughout his career has generated most of his power against righties.
Jose Abreu – CWS at BOS - $3,900 – The White Sox are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, having scored 54 runs in their last seven games. They are one of the highest projected scoring teams tonight facing knuckleballer Steven Wright and his 4.71 SIERA. Both Wright and Abreu have reverse splits this season, making for a solid righty-righty matchup.
Anthony Rizzo – CHC at MIL – $3,000 - The Brewers Jimmy Nelson is a pitcher with extreme splits, struggling to a .372 wOBA against left-handed batters. Rizzo has had a bit of a slow month, but that has only helped bring his salary down this playable level. He homered yesterday, and is due for an improvement on his .260 BABIP against right-handed pitchers.
Brian Dozier – MIN vs SEA – $3,600 - Dozier has been better against left-handed pitching his entire career and this season is no exception, as he comes in with a .383 wOBA against lefties. Seattle’s JA Happ is not looking good against right-handed hitting this year with a 14.5% strikeout rate and 4.50 xFIP.
Jimmy Paredes – BAL vs DET - $2,600 – Paredes continues to hit near the top of the Orioles lineup on most nights, and as long as he’s up there again, he makes a great way to get some affordable exposure to the Baltimore offense. Detroit’s Alfredo Simon has been hit hard with a .388 wOBA against left-handed batters.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs KC – $4,600 - If you’re looking for a big bat to pay up for tonight, look no further than Donaldson against Danny Duffy. Donaldson is dominating left-handed pitching for the third straight season with a .434 wOBA. He has a career wOBA of .412 and 168 wRC+ against lefties.
Kyle Seager – SEA at MIN – $2,800 - Seager is likely to see plenty of pitches to hit against the Twins’ Phil Hughes. Hughes is pitching to contact this season with a very low 12.1% strikeout rate against left-handed batters. Seager has just a 12.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching and is likely to see an increase in his .264 BABIP as the season moves along.
Troy Tulowitzki – TOR vs KC – $3,500 - The Blue Jays did not appear to be in need of another big right-handed bat, but adding Tulowitzki only cements their status as the best offense in the game. Tulo is heads and shoulders above any other shortstop option tonight. Even though he is leaving Coors Field, he does not lose much in ballpark factors going to Toronto. He fits right in with this Blue Jays team with his .411 wOBA against lefties. At this price Tulo is an easy choice for cash games and tournaments tonight.
Other Shortstop Options – Jung-ho Kang: $3,100, Jhonny Peralta: $2,700
Andrew McCutchen – PIT at CIN – $4,400 - The Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista is the chalk option among high priced outfielders tonight, but we’ve already talked about the Blue Jays’ right-handed bats. If you want to go a different direction with a top outfielder, look towards McCutchen facing young left-hander David Holmberg. In his brief major league experience, Holmberg has looked overmatched, and his minor league numbers don’t show anything special. McCutchen and the Pirates get a big ballpark boost playing in Cincinnati, and they are an intriguing tournament team that is not likely to be highly owned.
Jacoby Ellsbury/Brett Gardner – $4,200/$3,700 - Texas starter Yovani Gallardo had an excellent first half of the season, but is beginning to look like his old self with 14 runs allowed in 19 innings in July. He is very hittable against left-handed batters with a 14.7% strikeout rate and 4.42 xFIP. Both Ellsbury and Gardner have good on-base skills against right-handed pitching and will be setting the table for this Yankees offense.
Adam Eaton/Melky Cabrera - $3,800 – Both Eaton and Cabrera have been hot along with this entire White Sox offense. In Chicago’s seven-game scoring binge, Cabrera has an incredible 18 hits with 10 runs and 10 RBI. Eaton has a .400 on base percentage in the month of July out of the leadoff spot.
Baltimore Outfield – If you’re looking to save some money in the outfield tonight, the Orioles are likely to present some opportunities after their lineup is released. They have a trio of minimum priced left-handed outfielders in David Lough, Travis Snider and Chris Parmelee. There is no way to guess how they’ll set the lineup tonight, but any of these players would be a good source of salary relief against Alfredo Simon.