Thursday’s main MLB DFS slate features eight games starting at 7:05 pm ET.
The four pitchers projected to score the most fantasy points today are:
- Walker Buehler (R)
- Charlie Morton (R)
- Blake Snell (L)
- Sean Manaea (L)
The highest-priced pitcher on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Walker Buehler from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Currently leading all of baseball with 16 quality starts, Buehler is hoping to build on his impressive 10-1 record. In addition to the stellar record, he has pitched 121.1 innings pitched, and struck out a total of 122 batters.
On Thursday night, Buehler will be on the mound against the San Francisco Giants, who have a two-game lead in the NL West. A strong reason to back Buehler is that the Giants have the lowest-projected implied runs total on the slate (3.3 runs). Bales Model projects Buehler to be the best pitching option on DraftKings, well worth the high salary price tag.
The pitcher that the Bales Model considers the third-best option on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Charlie Morton of the Atlanta Braves. Like Buehler, Morton has struck out exactly 122 opposing batters, however he’s done this in only 105 innings pitched.
Although considered a quality start, Morton was less than impressive his last time on the mound. In six innings, he allowed six hits including one home run. Hoping to get back into the win column, Morton will be on the hill against the Philadelphia Phillies, who have a .500 record on the year and are only 3.5 games back from the division-leading New York Mets.
Bales Model projects the highest-rated pitcher on FanDuel for the slate is Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres. Snell has struggled in his 2021 campaign — in 74.1 innings pitched, he has a 5.21 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a 3-3 record. Although these numbers are not pretty, he will have a lower ownership, which makes him an attractive GPP play.
Snell will be pitching against the Miami Marlins, who have only won three of their last 10 games. Another reason to back Snell is that the Marlins are projected for the third-lowest implied runs total on the slate (3.8 runs).
Another pitcher with a .500 record that rates highly on Bales Model today is Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics. Manaea has been decent throughout the 2021 season: In 109.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 115 opposing batters and has an ERA of 3.28. My concern with Manaea is that he has been prone to allowing home runs lately. In his last three starts, he has given up a total of five home runs. Manaea will be pitching against the Seattle Mariners, who ranks 11th in MLB with 119 home runs.
The pitcher with the highest projected points/salary is Luis Patino of the Tampa Bay Rays. Easy to say, but if Patino can keep runners off base, he might be set for a breakout game. Last start, he did all seven runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. However, what stands out to me is that he threw a season high pitch total (94).
Patino will be on the mound against the Cleveland Indians, who have the third-lowest on base percentage in all of baseball (0.298).
Thursday’s top projected points stack comes to you from the -140 favored Tampa Bay Rays:
- Brandon Lowe (L)
- Ji-Man Choi (L)
- Austin Meadows (L)
- Randy Arozarena (R)
The Rays have the third highest projected implied runs total on the slate (4.9 runs) and are hoping to continue their hot run as they have won seven of their last 10 games. Bales Model has quite a few Rays batters that rate highly. I recommend taking a further look to determine projected ownership percentages for each. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $11,200 in salary and are projected for a combined 47.5 fantasy points.
Bales Model projects the highest floor play on the slate is Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins. In the first three months of the season, Cruz hit 18 home runs, but has hit only one in July. And I think we all know what that means — he is more than due. Facing pitcher Andrew Heaney, who has allowed six home runs in his last four starts, is just what the doctor ordered to get Cruz back in form.
The highest-rated batter on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel per Bales Model is Luis Arraez, also a Twin. He has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games including six multi-hit games.
If you have not gotten the hint yet, the Twins have the highest projected implied runs total on the slate (5.2 runs).
Lastly, here is a handful of batters to consider who are projected for high fantasy points/salary:
- Jon Berti
- Mitch Garver
- Amed Rosario
- Tyler Wade
- Jarren Duran