Thursday’s Major League Baseball main slate features four games, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The top rated pitcher on Bales Model for DraftKings is Vince Velasquez from the Philadelphia Phillies. Although Velasquez has allowed a solo home run in each of his last three starts, he has been dominant in the month of May. Those three homers are the only runs he has allowed in his last 17 innings, while striking out 19 batters. Velasquez will be pitching against the Miami Marlins who have scored the sixth lowest amount of runs this year (164) in baseball. With the highest K/9 on the slate, Velasquez is a strong option to consider.
The highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model for FanDuel is Drew Smyly from the Atlanta Braves. Similar to Velasquez, Smyly struggled in the month of April, however, has really found his form this month. In his last 12 innings pitched, he has allowed only one earned run, while striking out eight opposing batters. He will be pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates who are on a three-game losing streak. Being priced much lower on FanDuel allows Smyly to be a great value play, while he is still a decent option on DraftKings.
The most expensive pitcher on the main slate is Nick Pivetta from the Boston Red Sox. Pivetta has had a strong start to his 2021 campaign, currently holding an undefeated record of 5-0 with an ERA of 3.16. He will be facing the Toronto Blue Jays who have the highest projected implied runs total on the slate (5.4). In their last three games the Blue Jays have scored a combined 21 runs and they currently have the fourth highest team batting average in MLB (.253). Pivetta is consider one to fade on the slate as there are better options to pick from.
Although he is priced as the fourth highest pitcher on DraftKings, Merrill Kelly is ridiculously under priced on FanDuel. Kelly has pitched well in his recent four starts and will be looking to amend is 5.24 ERA against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Facing the Dodgers is always a tough task; however, their projected lineup tonight is missing a couple key players. Both Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger are out with injuries for the time being which is only beneficial for opposing pitchers. In their absences the Dodgers have won three games in a row, but might have a different ending.
A value option to consider on the slate is Wil Crowe from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although he has allowed a run in every start this year, Crowe has struck out 10 batters in his last 11 innings, which is a new foundation he is hoping to build on. He is pitching against Atlanta, which has the tenth most strikeouts in baseball (397) through its first 43 games.
The top stack comes to you from the Braves:
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)
- Freddie Freeman (L)
- Marcell Ozuna (R)
- Ozzie Albies (S)
Projected to have the second highest implied runs total of 5.3, the Braves batters will be hoping to take advantage of inexperienced Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Crowe. If they can make contact on the baseball and keep their strikeout numbers down, they might put up a few crooked numbers on the scoreboard. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $14.6k in salary and are projected for a combined 50.5 fantasy points.
Bales Model projects that the highest floor play on the slate is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from the Toronto Blue Jays. With three home runs in his last five games, Guerrero is looking to keep his robust form going. The only flaw I see to picking any Blue Jays batters’ is that there is a projected 19-mph wind blowing in from left field.
The highest rated batter on Bales Model for FanDuel is Kike Hernandez from the Boston Red Sox. Coming off a three-hit performance last game, Hernandez is hoping to keep swinging a hot bat as he has it safely in his last six starts.
As there are no major weather concerns to mention on the four-game slate, finding players that are low owned will be at a premium. Contrarian approach, I don’t mind rostering a few Arizona Diamondbacks players as there are some that standout being highly rated on Bales Model. I would consider players such as: Ketel Marte, Pavin Smith, Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta.
Lastly, here is a handful of value batters to consider while completing your lineups:
- Domingo Leyba
- Josh Rojas
- Kevin Newman
- Danny Jansen
- Stephen Vogt