We have a solid six-game slate on Thursday night, and these picks will be focusing on the main slate only. We have some reliable pitching options and a few ways to be contrarian in FanDuel tournaments. With that said, I don’t think it’s a night to shy away from the top pitching options.
I’m not usually a fan of six-game slates, but I really like this one tonight.
Jake Arrieta, CHC, $12,100 – Targeting pitchers in Cincy isn’t something I typically do, but this is a great spot to target Arrieta. Since the start of the 2014 season, Arrieta has posted a SIERA under 2.80. His numbers in 2015 were beyond good, and he finished the season with an 11.1% swinging strike rate. The Reds have the lowest team total tonight, and Arrieta is the biggest favorite according to the MLB odds board. If you’re playing any type of cash game, I have Arrieta as the number one option.
Gerrit Cole, PIT, $9,700 – Cole has struggled to start the season, but he gets a very favorable matchup against the Padres tonight. The Padres are coming off a big game on Wednesday night, and I hope this lowers the ownership of Cole. We are going to pick on the Padres a lot this season, and I really like right-handed pitchers in Petco. Cole will face a lot of right-handed bats in this lineup, and he posted a 24.3% strikeout rate with a 2.85 xFIP against righties last season. Cole was beyond great on the road last season, and I have him as my top tournament pitcher on the slate.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DET, $3,200 – I don’t typically target hitters against the Royals, but it’s hard to overlook how hot Saltalamacchia has been over the last week. He has at least 18 fantasy points in five of his last six games, and he has a home run in four of those games. Volquez is allowing a .302 wOBA to lefties since the start of last season, which isn’t the worst, but he does allow a 32.6% hard contact rate. On a six-game slate, catcher is a good spot to target power.
Russell Marin, TOR, $2,600 – Martin is off to a very slow start this season, but he’s in a really good situation here. He was out of the lineup on Wednesday and should be back in the lineup tonight. Tillman is allowing the highest wOBA to right-handed hitters on the slate. The Blue Jays are by far my favorite team tonight; Tillman is allowing a .354 wOBA with a 1.74 HR/9 over his last 93 innings against right-handed hitters.
Eric Hosmer, KCR, $3,300 – Hosmer is always a guy I consider for cash games, but I think he’s playable in all formats. He had a .378 wOBA with a .384 OBP against right-handed pitchers last season. He’s a pretty safe option tonight, and his price tag is still very reasonable. Mike Pelfrey is someone you want to target. He is allowing a .375 wOBA with a 32.3% hard contact rate to left-handed hitters dating back to last season.
Tyler White, HOU, $3,000 – I didn’t know much about White on Opening Day, but I was really impressed with him from watching the game. I jumped on the train after Opening Day, and I have been playing him almost everyday. White had a very high contact rate in the Minors, and continues to put the ball in play at the Major League level. He is hitting .340 on the season, and this is a great ballpark to target hitters in. Griffin doesn’t have a lot of stats to look at, but he is allowing a high hard contact rate to right-handed hitters.
Ben Zobrist, CHC, $2,900 – I always feel like Zobrist should be highly owned against left-handed pitching, but he usually goes underowned. He had a .298 wOBA with a .409 OBP against left-handed pitching last season. On top of the very good matchup, this is one of the best ballparks to target hitters in. Finnegan has 49.2 innings against right-handed hitters dating back to last season, and he’s been really solid for the most part. The one thing that I like, he’s allowing a 30.3% hard contact rate to right-handed batters.
Josh Harrison, PIT, $3,100 – I really don’t love anyone outside of Zobrist, but I think Harrison is a sneaky GPP option tonight. The ballpark isn’t the best for hitters, but you’re not targeting a guy like Harrison for home runs. He has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games. Shields not a guy I’ll be targeting a lot tonight, but he is allowing a high hard contact rate to hitters dating back to last season.
Josh Donaldson, TOR, $5,100 – It’s really hard to pay over 5k for a player, but I really like Donaldson in this matchup tonight. Tillman is allowing a .354 wOBA with a low strikeout rate to right-handed hitters dating back to last season. Donaldson hit 32 of his 41 home runs against right-handed pitchers last season. He finished the season with a .390 wOBA and a .256 ISO against righties. He’s an elite target tonight, and I’m sure the price tag will scare some people away.
Mike Moustakas, KCR, $3,600 – If you’re building a cash lineup, I really like the Royals bats tonight. Pelfrey had a 4.59 SIERA with a 1.48 WHIP in 2015. He has a very low swinging strike rate, but he doesn’t tend to give up a lot of home runs. I like the Royals because they’re not a big home run team, but they can score runs in bunches. Moustakas comes in with hits in eight of the last ten games.
Troy Tulowitzki, TOR, $3,100 – I don’t ever play Tulo anymore, but shortstop is pretty weak tonight outside of Carlos Correa. Like I mentioned above, Tillman is allowing a .354 wOBA with a low strikeout rate to right-handed hitters dating back to last season. Tulowitzki is off to a very slow start this season, but I think he will be very popular in cash games tonight.
Marcus Semien, OAK, $3,200 – Severino has 33.1 innings against right-handed pitching dating back to last season. He’s allowing a .344 wOBA with a 1.32 WHIP in that time. Semien is usually a guy I only target against left-handed pitching, but he has shown some upside against right-handed pitching as well. This is a good ballpark to target hitters in, and I like to go after hitters in this ballpark for home run upside.
Dexter Fowler, CHC, $3,800 – Like Zobrist, Fowler hits better from the right side of the plate, and he’s usually overlooked. The .517 wOBA with a 226 wRC+ is going to regress, but Fowler is off to a very hot start this season. He has a .376 wOBA with a .399 OBP against left-handed pitching last season. Fowler’s always a guy to target for a multi-hit game, and he still offers stolen base upside.
Colby Rasmus, HOU, $3,500 – Rasmus is one of my top overall plays on the slate tonight, and he comes at a very nice discount to a lot of the top guys. He’s not a big average guy, but he presents a ton of pop. He finished last season with a .218 ISO and a 33.7% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size, but it’s certainly something to note, Rasmus has a 53.9% hard contact rate against righties this season. Griffin has struggled with lefties this season, and I really like the left-handed bats for the Astros tonight.