Thursday’s main slate features six games, starting at 7:10 pm ET.

Pitchers

The four pitchers that have the highest projected ownership on Bales Model are:

  • Cristian Javier HOU vs TEX
  • Jameson Taillon NYY @ TB
  • Zach Plesac CLE @ SEA
  • Trevor Rogers MIA @ ARI

After a strong opening month of the 2021 season, Cristian Javier has struggled in his two outings in May. In 10.1 innings pitched, he has allowed eight earned runs, including three home runs to opposing batters. Now, Javier will be looking to rebound against the Texas Rangers in the opener of a four-game series. One big advantage to picking Javier in lineups is his high strikeout rate. Averaging 11 K/9, he will be looking to make the most of his opportunity against the team that has the fourth most strikeouts (374) in Major League Baseball.

The highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model for the slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Jameson Taillon from the New York Yankees. Considered a value play due to his moderately low price, Taillon will be hoping to avoid the long ball tonight as he has allowed seven home runs in his 26 hits. Taillon will be facing the Tampa Bay Rays, who lead MLB with 397 strikeouts through their first 38 games of the year. Another significant reason to consider Taillon is that the Rays are projected to have the lowest implied runs total on the slate (3.6) in the category.

Zach Plesac of the Cleveland Indians will be looking to continue his robust recent form today as he has not allowed a run in his last 13.2 innings pitched. A reason why I like using pitchers on the Indians is that manager Terry Francona is willing to keep his starters in the game as long as possible. In his last two starts, Plesac has thrown 112 and 110 pitches respectively. Plesac will be pitching tonight against the Seattle Mariners who are currently on a four-game losing streak. During this losing streak the Mariners have scored an average of 3.75 runs, and tonight will be returning to their pitcher friendly ballpark.

Although Trevor Rogers is projected for high ownership, he actually does not rate highly on Bales Model.  One reason may be that the Miami Marlins pitcher has much stronger stat splits at home compared to pitching on the road.  Another reason for his low rating on Bales Model is that is due to Rogers’ salary price on DraftKings and FanDuel.  On FanDuel Rogers is considered the second lowest bargain on the slate. He will be pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have an implied runs total of 4.1 in the category.

Value

Logan Gilbert of Seattle Mariners is a strong value play to consider as he is the lowest priced pitcher on the slate. Per mlb.com, Logan Gilbert is ranked as the 28th best prospect in baseball and the top pitching prospect of the Mariners.  Very interested to see how his first big league start goes, as he has dominated in all of the minor league levels he has pitched in. Although he has the lowest projected pitch count on the slate (65), Gilbert is a viable option to pick from as his minor league K/9 average is 10.93.

Another value play worth considering is Merrill Kelley of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bales Model rates Kelley as the fourth best pitching option on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel. He will have a tough task facing the Cleveland Indians, who have won eight of their last 10 games.

Hitters

Notable Stack

The top stack comes to you from the -141 Cincinnati Reds:

  • Nick Senzel (R)
  • Jesse Winker (L)
  • Nick Castellanos (R)
  • Mike Moustakas (L)

Projected to have the highest implied runs total of 6.3, the Reds batters will be facing Colorado Rockies pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez.  Already tied for third in MLB with 48 home runs, the Reds will be looking to take full advantage of the high altitude at Coors Field.  On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $15.4k in salary and are projected for a combined 52.8 fantasy points.

Other Hitters

Staying in that same game, the Colorado Rockies have the second highest projected runs total of 5.3 tonight.  After a slow start to the 2021 season, Charlie Blackmon has done very well at the plate recently. Blackmon has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and will be hoping to continue his fine run of form.

The highest rated floor batter on Bales Model not previously mentioned is Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros. Bregman has scored double digits fantasy point on DraftKings in three of his last five games, while not hitting any home runs. With five home runs on the young season, I have a feeling the Astros’ third baseman is due for a big game.

As there are currently no major weather concerns to speak of on the slate, I would like to mention that the only game with a projected wind in the batters’ favor is the Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox. Although the “Green Monster” is always a beast to tame, baseballs should carry well in the game.

Value

Lastly, here is a handful of value batters to consider while completing your lineups:

  • Connor Joe
  • Tim Locastro
  • Josh Fuentes
  • Elvis Andrus
  • Evan White