Thursday’s main slate on FanDuel features five games starting at 8:10 pm ET.  The DraftKings main slate tonight also includes the Reds vs. Nationals game starting roughly an hour earlier that is only scheduled for seven innings.

Projected weather is a concern tonight in both the Orioles/White Sox and Rangers/Mariners games.

Pitchers

The highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model for FanDuel is Dylan Cease from the White Sox.

As previously mentioned, weather is a major concern in this game tonight as precipitation is currently projected at 73%. If the game does run its course, I really like Cease as the top option on FanDuel. The Bales Model projects Cease to have over 30 fantasy points with the highest ceiling on the slate. Tonight, he will be pitching against an Orioles team that owns the worst record in MLB (17-32) and is currently on a nine-game losing streak.

The top-rated pitcher on Bales Model for DraftKings is Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals.

Strasburg has pitched in only three games this year and has an inflated ERA for that reason.  In two of his starts, he gave up only one hit while allowing eight runners to cross the plate in the other start. Tonight, he will be pitching against the Reds, who have the lowest projected runs total on the slate at 2.8. After starting the 2021 season strong, the Reds batters have been somewhat quiet recently, averaging just over three runs per game in their last eight.

The top-priced pitcher on FanDuel is Shohei Ohtani of the Angels.

I’m sure everyone is aware of his robust hitting numbers, but Ohtani has pitched extremely well this year, too. In 30.1 innings, he has allowed only 16 hits while striking out 45 opposing batters. If you’re looking for a flaw in his game, it would have to be his strikeout-to-walk ratio. Although his strikeout numbers are great, he has also walked 22 batters on the young season. Tonight, Ohtani throws against the Athletics, who boast the seventh-most walks in MLB (180).

The top-priced pitcher on DraftKings is Sonny Gray from the Reds.

Although Gray’s 0-3 record is concerning, he does have the second-highest K/9 rate on the slate (11.254). The Bales Model considers Gray the fourth-best pitching option tonight on DraftKings due to the Nationals having the second-lowest projected implied runs total (3.3). In what is projected to be a pitching duel, this seven-inning game sparks my interest strictly because of the pitching.

Value

Two value pitchers to consider are Kolby Allard and Chris Flexen, who are facing each other in tonight’s game for the Rangers and Mariners, respectively. Regarding potential, I would give Flexen the advantage, as he boasts the ability to throw for a higher pitch count.

At the same time, Allard is projected to throw more than three innings for the first time this year. In only 20 innings pitched, Allard has struck out 23 opposing batters. Both the Rangers and Mariners rank top-10 in MLB for team strikeouts, which is another reason to consider these value pitchers today.

Hitters

Notable Stack

Today’s top stack comes to you from the St. Louis Cardinals:

  • Tommy Edman (S)
  • Dylan Carlson (S)
  • Paul Goldschmidt (R)
  • Nolan Arenado (R)

With the second-highest implied runs total of 4.8, the Cardinals batters will look to take advantage of the Diamondbacks, who have the second-worst record in MLB (18-32) and are currently on a 10-game losing streak. Tonight is the opener in what projects to be a high-scoring four-game series. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $10.8K in salary and is projected for a combined 46.4 fantasy points.

Other Hitters

In the same game as the top stack, there are a handful of Diamondbacks hitters who are highly rated on the Bales Model.  Players such as Ketel Marte, Pavin Smith, Josh Rojas, Eduardo Escobar, and David Peralta are all near the top of the list. The Diamondbacks are projected to have the exact same projected implied runs total as the Cardinals at 4.8.

The Bales Model considers Jose Abreu as the highest-floor play on tonight’s slate. In his last four games, Abreu has hit safely four times, including two home runs. Although his batting average of .259 is moderately low, when Abreu does make contact on the baseball, it usually flies quite a distance.

Another strong batting option to consider is 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis of the Mariners. Although Lewis has struggled to find consistency in the first two months of the season, he has swung a hot bat lately, as he has reached base in seven consecutive games. With Lewis’ fantasy price continually on the rise, it is recommended to take advantage of the value before he becomes too expensive.

Value

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

  • Alex Dickerson (SF)
  • Matt Carpenter (STL)
  • Ty France (SEA)
  • Josh Reddick (ARI)
  • Edmundo Sosa (STL)

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Pictured: Shohei Ohtani.