Thursday’s main slate features five games starting at 6:10 pm ET.
The top-priced pitcher on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Walker Buehler from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Buehler is rated in the top three for both DFS sites on Bales Model and will be facing a San Diego Padres offense that has the lowest projected runs total (3.5) for tonight’s slate. The Padres really struggled against the Milwaukee Brewers last series, only scoring three runs in three games. Buehler’s last start was against the Padres and he allowed seven hits in six innings.
Joey Lucchesi from the New York Mets is a value pitcher to consider who rates very highly on Bales Model. Although he has only thrown a total of 91 pitches in his two starts, Lucchesi is expected to be allowed a much higher pitch count today against the Chicago Cubs. Through their first 17 games, the Chicago Cubs still have the lowest team batting average in all of baseball (.201). Cubs bats seemed to wake up Wednesday during a 16-4 victory in which they only hit one home run. I’m cery interested to see what the Mets’ left-hander can accomplish with the higher pitch count.
One of the pitchers projected among the highest owned is Nick Pivetta from the Boston Red Sox. Pivetta has started the season strong, striking out 14 opposing batters in 14 2/3 innings. Tonight, he will be facing the Seattle Mariners in a game that is projected to be cold and windy. Current weather projections show that there will be a 16 mph wind blowing out to right center and a temperature around 40 degrees. Through their first 18 games, the Mariners have struck out 172 times and have the fourth-lowest team on-base percentage (.292).
I am curious to see which Trevor Williams shows up to Wrigley Field today. In two of his three starts this year he looked like a stud pitcher. Projected wind blowing out to right-center will not be in the pitchers’ favor, however a temperature in the 50s should help the Chicago Cubs righty. Williams will try to keep the Mets’ batters guessing as he looks to lower his inflated early-season ERA.
Justin Dunn is projected to be the lowest owned pitcher on tonight’s five-game slate, and it’s easy to see why. The Red Sox currently lead the MLB in both runs scored and team batting average to start the young season. Dunn has collected nine strikeouts in the 9.2 innings he has pitched. Dunn is definitely a contrarian play today.
Miami Marlins pitcher Daniel Castano is another value play to consider on today’s main slate. Castano allowed only one run in his first five innings of the 2021 campaign but did not have any strikeouts. Pro Trends projects Castano to have four strikeouts today, which will only increase his low-priced value.
Today’s top stack comes to you from the -127 Houston Astros:
- Myles Straw (R)
- Michael Brantley (L)
- Alex Bregman (R)
- Yordan Alvarez (L)
The Astros will be facing Los Angeles Angels pitcher Alex Cobb, who has done well to start the season. Cobb has 17 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings, however, he has an ERA of 4.63. If the Astros’ batters are able to make contact on Cobb’s pitches, I expect that they will easily surpass their projected runs total of 4.8. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $14.6K in salary and is projected for a combined 48.1 fantasy points.
Another stack to consider is from the -162 Boston Red Sox:
- Enrique Hernandez (R)
- Alex Verdugo (L)
- J.D. Martinez (R)
- Xander Bogaerts (R)
On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $13.7K in salary and is projected for a combined 47.5 fantasy points. As previously mentioned, the projected weather may be a factor in this game as the temperature is expected to be low and the wind blowing out to right center. The Boston Red Sox have a projected implied runs total of 5.1, which is the highest on today’s slate. This stack is projected to be higher owned, so I recommend using these players in Cash games rather than GPP.
The highest floor play not previously mentioned is Mike Trout. Trout’s home run in Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers had the highest exit velocity (115.5 mph) since Statcast began tracking in 2015. Having multiple hits and home runs in back-to-back games, Trout may be overlooked as he has a projected ownership of less than 20%.
A few players to consider who may have low ownership from the San Francisco Giants are Austin Slater, Darin Ruf and Mauricio Dubon. All three of these players are highly rated on Bales Model and deserve strong consideration as the Giants have a projected runs total of 4.7 today.
Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Pictured: Walker Buehler