Thursday’s main slate features six games starting at 7:05 pm ET. We’ll be using the FantasyLabs MLB Player Models to break it down.
The four pitchers projected for the most fantasy points tonight are:
- Max Scherzer
- Frankie Montas
- Eduardo Rodriguez
- Mike Minor
No surprise who the highest priced pitcher on the slate is. As expected, Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals is fully deserving of his high price tonight. Bales Model rates Scherzer as the top pitching option on DraftKings and second-best option on FanDuel. Leading all pitchers on the slate with a 11.934 K/9, Scherzer will be hoping to slow down the best team in the NL West (record wise), the San Francisco Giants.
Although his numbers are elite, Scherzer has allowed at least one run in seven of his last eight starts, including seven home runs. Another concern of mine is the weather for tonight’s game. Currently, weather projections are 59% precipitation and 88% humidity, which may cause delays in the start time. But all in all, the Giants are projected to have the lowest implied runs total on the slate of 3.3.
Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics is considered to be the top pitching option on Bales Model for FanDuel. Personally, I’m not even going to look at nor worry about his last start at Coors Field as pitching numbers are usually inflated at the Rockies ballpark.
With that in mind, Montas did lose his three prior starts, but he pitched very well in each outing. In a combined 16.2 innings, he struck out 24 batters and only walked six. Like Scherzer, Montas has been prone to allowing the long ball this season as he has given up 11 home runs in only 12 starts. Today, he will be pitching against the Kansas City Royals who are projected to have the second lowest implied runs total of 3.6.
A pitcher projected to have a high ceiling but is not highly rated on Bales Model is Eduardo Rodriguez from the Boston Red Sox. After a dominate month of April in which he won all four starts, Rodriguez has really struggled since losing four of his last five outings. In eight of his 11 starts this year, he has allowed three or more runs including nine home runs. On a positive note, Rodriguez has struck out 65 batters in 58 innings, while pitching four or more innings in every start.
That tells me that even when he does not have his best pitches working, Red Sox manager Alex Cora does trust him enough to let him try to ride it out. Tonight, Rodriguez will be pitching against the Houston Astros who have won eight out of their last 10 games and third best run differential in MLB (+80).
Bales Model rates Mike Minor as the fourth best pitcher on both DraftKings and FanDuel today. Although he gave up three home runs in his last start against the Minnesota Twins, Minor has pitched well this year. Tonight, he will be facing the Oakland Athletics in a game which may be a pitcher’s duel. The Royals are hopeful for a strong performance from Minor as they are currently on a five-game losing steak after winning five straight.
If you are looking for a low-priced pitcher to fill out your lineups, it may be worth your time to look at Chi Chi Gonzalez from the Rockies. If he can keep his walk numbers down today, Gonzalez will be set up for a nice start away from Coors Field. Tonight, he is pitching against the Miami Marlins who rank 22nd in MLB with 179 walks in 61 games.
Another cheap pitcher to consider is J.A. Happ from the Minnesota Twins. After spending his last three seasons with the Yankees, Happ gets to face his former ball club tonight as he will be looking for revenge. The Bales Model does rate Happ as the worst pitching option on the slate, so this would strictly be a contrarian play due to low projected ownership.
Today’s top stack comes to you from the New York Yankees (-129 on the moneyline):
- DJ LeMahieu (R)
- Aaron Judge (R)
- Gleyber Torres (R)
- Giancarlo Stanton (R)
Projected to have the highest implied runs total on the slate of 5.6, the Yankees batters will be hoping to take advantage of their former pitcher J.A. Happ.
This will go one of two directions, either great for Happ as he does know the batters’ preferences better than most, or terrible for Happ as the Yankees batters will know exactly what to be looking for. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $14.3k in salary and are projected for a combined 50.4 fantasy points.
Bales Model predicts the highest floor play on the slate is Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals. Soto has five double digit point performances on DraftKings in his last eight games which includes four home runs. These four recent home runs have come in the month of June after Soto only hit four home runs in the first two months of the season. As the temperature rises, it seems Soto’s batting statistics will follow suit.
The second highest rated batter on Bales Model for both DraftKings and FanDuel is Jorge Polanco from the Minnesota Twins. Projected to be the leadoff man for the Twins, Polanco has five extra base hits in his eight games played in June, including a two-home run performance yesterday.
Lastly, here is a handful of batters to consider while completing your lineups today that are projected for a high fantasy points/salary:
- Myles Straw
- Ryan Jeffers
- Adam Engel
- Danny Santana
- Nicky Lopez