Thursday's can sometimes bring a light slate in the majors, but that won't be the case with 12 games on the schedule this week, 10 of which will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo. There are several juicy matchups to exploit, so let's jump right in and discuss the best ones to consider for your entry.
Jake Odorizzi ($50) will be starting against the Royals for the second time in as many appearances. Although he recorded seven strikeouts, the Royals got to him for four runs across six innings the last time they met. That was rare considering he had allowed four runs over his last eight starts combined. With how well he has pitched, look for him to rebound with a valuable performance this time around.
The A's have to be ecstatic with the production that they have received from Frankie Montas ($47), who has a 2.85 ERA and a 2.89 FIP through 14 starts. After not having much of an impact in the strikeout department last year, he has a 25.7 percent strikeout rate this season. He's even allowed just 0.7 HR/9 in this homer-happy environment. The Rays aren't exactly a pushover, but Montas is still a very appealing option.
As far as cheaper options go, Wade LeBlanc ($28) could be worth considering against the Orioles. He likely won't be included in a lot of entries based on his 5.28 FIP and 1.47 WHIP and the fact that he's scheduled to follow an opener. However, the Orioles are in the bottom-five of baseball in both runs scored and OPS and don't have many intimidating bats to speak of. If you want to load up on high-priced hitters, rolling with LeBlanc can go a long way towards facilitating that within your budget.
With Noah Syndergaard (hamstring) out, the Mets will turn to Walker Lockett to start against the Cubs. Lockett didn't pitch well at Triple-A for the Padres last year, posting a 4.58 FIP, 1.34 WHIP and a 20.6 percent strikeout rate. He's been even worse in the strikeout department this season with only nine of them over 24.2 innings. Expect to see lefties Anthony Rizzo ($23) and Kyle Schwarber ($20) in plenty of lineups.
The Royals will not only face a tough task in Odorizzi, but trying to slow down the Twins lineup has been a bear. Glenn Sparkman allowed five runs (four earned) over five innings when these two teams met over the weekend and he hasn't been fooling many hitters, in general, with his 13 percent strikeout rate. There are plenty of Twins to target based on this matchup with the best of the bunch possibly being Max Kepler ($25), who has a .393 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.
The Mariners receive another crack at the Orioles atrocious pitching staff with Dylan Bundy scheduled to start. Despite trading away a couple of key hitters in Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce, this is still a great spot for them to produce against the homer-prone Bundy, who has given up 15 long balls across 75 innings. Daniel Vogelbach ($17) stands out as the top Mariner to target.
The Blue Jays starting pitching options are pretty laughable. Richard is certainly one of their more underwhelming arms and he has been crushed in his last two starts, allowing 12 runs across 7.2 innings against the Diamondbacks and Astros. Things won't get much easier for him in this game, especially with the Angels getting an excellent right-handed hitter in Upton back in the lineup. For as much as Pujols has declined, he has managed a 115 wRC+ against lefties.
With Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) now on the IL, the Cubs will be forced to turn to Chatwood to help fill the void in their starting rotation. His 3.60 ERA this season might not look bad, but he had a 5.17 FIP to go along with a 1.46 WHIP. He's still having control issues with his 14.1 percent walk rate, making this a matchup to exploit. Alonso and Conforto carry tremendous upside while Smith has certainly held his own with a 169 wRC+.
Brewers vs. Tanner Roark (Reds)
Roark has allowed a .381 wOBA against left-handed hitters, so he could be in for a long night against Yelich. Mike Moustakas would also be a great option, but he might not be ready to return yet after getting hit in the hand Tuesday. Thames has started to show some signs of life with three home runs and two doubles over his last 28 plate appearances. Shaw is still scuffling along, but if there was ever a time to take a chance on him in tournament play, this is it.