MLB DFS: Thursday's top targets, bargain bats and stacks to consider

·4 min read

There are 11 games scheduled to be played across baseball Thursday, about half of which have early start times. The evening portion of the DFS schedule also has plenty of pitching intrigue, which is highlighted by Jacob deGrom taking the mound against the Braves. Only five games will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo, so while we don't have as many options as usual, let's highlight some pitchers and hitters to consider.

Pitchers

For the second time in as many starts, Yu Darvish ($51) will take on the Nationals. His last outing wasn't great, with him giving up four runs over six innings. He did at least have nine strikeouts, which was the sixth time he recorded at least that many over his last nine starts. The Nationals have a stripped-down lineup, so Darvish could provide a much more valuable stat line in their rematch.

The Braves will activate Max Fried ($44) from the 7-day IL to start this key matchup with the Mets. He last pitched August 6, so he should resume his usual workload now that he's recovered from his concussion. He's faced the Mets three times this season, allowing 8 runs (six earned) and recording 16 strikeouts over 17 innings. While this won't be the easiest of matchups, Fried is still one of the best pitching options for this limited slate.

Nathan Eovaldi (neck) was originally scheduled to start for the Red Sox against the Pirates, who have scored the third-fewest runs in baseball. However, he's been scratched, setting up Josh Winckowski ($25) to try and advantage of this favorable matchup. His overall numbers don't look great, including his 1.49 WHIP, but he has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of his last 10 starts.

Top Targets

Jose Berrios ($36) has had a disappointing season with his 5.61 ERA and 5.07 FIP. His strikeout rate is down to 20.3 percent, which is nearly six percentage points lower than last season. However, maybe his most glaring area of concern is that he's allowed 1.9 HR/9. That could spell trouble against the powerful duo of Aaron Judge ($29) and Anthony Rizzo ($19). Although Rizzo has been slumping of late, he hit a key home run Wednesday against the Rays in a game that the Yankees ultimately came from behind to win.

Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are both appealing DFS plays on the Thursday slate. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are both appealing DFS plays on the Thursday slate. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Bargain Bats

As of early Thursday morning, it was unclear who was going to start for the Royals against the Rays. Brad Keller was originally lined up to start, but he's been moved into the bullpen. He could still pitch in a bulk relief role, but even if the Royals do roll with a traditional starter, it's not like they have a bevy of viable options. This could be an opportune time to take a chance of Jose Siri ($10), who is 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles and two steals over his last eight games.

Going back to the Yankees' matchup versus Berrios, Gleyber Torres ($10) could also be worth a look at his cheap salary. He went deep in Wednesday's victory and has five hits over the last three games. He's already launched 17 home runs, which is nearly double his total from last season.

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Stacks to Consider

Padres vs. Anibal Sanchez ($25), Nationals: Juan Soto ($25), Manny Machado ($25), Jake Cronenworth ($17)

Sanchez has made six starts this season, failing to log more than 5.2 innings in any of them. He allowed at least three runs each time, leaving him with a 7.20 ERA and an equally poor 7.48 FIP. The Padres figure to be one of the most, if not the most, popular teams to stack for this slate. Soto has been excellent since being acquired from the Nationals, hitting 16-for-50 (.320) with a .469 OBP over 14 games.

Red Sox vs. JT Brubaker ($30), Pirates: Rafael Devers ($15), Tommy Pham ($13), Alex Verdugo ($15)

Brubaker has been brutal at home, where he has a 5.44 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. He has a 1.50 WHIP for the season, overall, which puts him in a spot to potentially be clobbered whenever he takes the mound. Pham has been swinging a hot bat since coming over from the Reds, and Verdugo is starting to heat up, hitting 17-for-38 (.447) with a home run and eight doubles over his last 11 games.