Thursday’s main slate features eight games starting at 1:05 pm ET.
The four pitchers to have the highest projected ownership on Bales Model are:
- Gerrit Cole, NYY vs. HOU
- Brandon Woodruff, MIL @ PHI
- Nathan Eovaldi, BOS vs. DET
- Michael Pineda, MIN vs. TEX
The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole has been as good as advertised through the month of April, racking up a 4-1 record with 62 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. Cole will look to continue his fine form against his former team, the Houston Astros, on Thursday.
Through their first 30 games of the 2021 season, the Astros have the lowest strikeouts per game in all of baseball at only 7.3. Today, the Astros’ projected implied runs total is the lowest on the slate (3.3 runs). Cole has reached double-digit strikeouts in four of his six starts this year and is the top-priced on both DraftKings and FanDuel by a wide margin.
Looking to stay undefeated on the year, Brandon Woodruff of the Milwaukee Brewers is another top pitching option to consider. The Brewers have lost their last four games and will be trying to avoid a sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon. Woodruff has thrown 40 strikeouts in 35 innings and has allowed only two home runs so far this year. Through their first 31 games of the season, the Phillies have the sixth-most strikeouts in MLB (306). This seems to be a great spot for the struggling Brewers to get back on track.
Nathan Eovaldi will try to keep Detroit Tigers’ batters guessing this afternoon as they lead MLB with 330 strikeouts in 31 games played. Although Eovaldi boasts a 4-2 record, his 14 earned runs in 34.2 innings is a bit concerning. Pro Trends has the Red Sox right-handed pitcher projected as a 70% bargain rate on FanDuel but only 30% on DraftKings. If Eovaldi can avoid crooked numbers on the scoreboard, he should be able to take advantage of the swing-happy Tigers ball club.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda has started the season strong with 27 strikeouts in 27.1 innings to go along with an ERA of 2.31. Hoping to continue his form in May, Pineda will be pitching to the Texas Rangers this afternoon, a team that has struck out the second-most times in baseball as a team (327).
My only concern with Pineda is that his season-high pitch count through five starts is only 90 pitches. But his price on both DraftKings and FanDuel makes him a solid value play to consider.
The highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model who has not already been discussed is Zach Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies. Normally, I would not consider a pitcher priced at $9,100 on FanDuel as a value option, but Pro Trends considers Wheeler a 88% bargain today. As previously mentioned, the Brewers have struggled in their last four games and are still missing former MVP Christian Yelich.
Jordan Lyles from this Texas Rangers is another value play worth considering today. Although he has really struggled to start the 2021 year, allowing 23 earned runs in 28 innings pitched, Lyles’ extremely low price is noteworthy. He will pitch against the Minnesota Twins, who have surprisingly stumbled out of the gates. They currently have the second-worst record in MLB (11-18).
Today’s top stack comes to you from the -109 Atlanta Braves:
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)
- Freddie Freeman (L)
- Marcell Ozuna (R)
- Ozzie Albies (S)
Projected to have an implied runs total of 4.6, the Braves batters will face Jon Lester from the Washington Nationals. The Braves have won the first two games of this three-game series and will look to close out their road trip with a sweep. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $14K in salary and is projected for a combined 49.4 fantasy points.
The highest floor play on the slate not previously mentioned is Trea Turner, who has gone 3-for-8 with a home run already in the series. Now, the Nationals’ leadoff man will look to continue his hot hitting. Turner has reached base safely in six of his last seven games and will look to add to his National League-leading seven steals.
The highest-rated batter on Bales Model today is Max Kepler from the Minnesota Twins. Kepler will look to regain his form of yesteryear as he has yet to hit a home run in 2021 and has a career-worst batting average (.197) through 19 games played. Kepler’s price has continually fallen with his struggles, but we’re expecting a different outcome today.
There are no major weather concerns to speak of on the slate, which is always a great sign, but I would like to bring up a couple of games in which the wind is projected to be blowing in the hitters’ favor.
The Mets-Cardinals and Blue Jays-Athletics games are the two games worth looking at as there is an increased chance of home runs. Some names that stand out on Bales Model from these two games are Kevin Pillar, Jonathan Villar, Harrison Bader, Joe Panik, and Stephen Piscotty.
Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images.
Pictured: Gerrit Cole.