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

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Thursday brings yet another doubleheader among the 12 total MLB games on the schedule. There aren't many top-tier starting pitchers scheduled to take the mound, which could lead to plenty of runs in several games. One of them could take place at Coors Field, where Austin Gomber and the Rockies host the Braves. Five games will make up the main slate on Yahoo, so let's discuss which pitchers and hitters to target from those matchups.

Pitchers

Outside of one bad start against the Dodgers, Sean Manaea ($36) has been a reliable member of the Padres starting rotation. He's logged at least six innings in eight of his nine outings, posting seven quality starts along the way. More success could be on the horizon for him in a matchup against the Brewers, who only have a .648 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

The Padres have gone cold at the plate, averaging 2.4 runs over their last nine games. Adrian Houser ($33) gave them trouble the first time he faced them, allowing one run over six innings. While you can't expect many punchouts from Houser, given his career 19.7 percent strikeout rate, he could still take advantage of the Padres' recent struggles.

Keegan Thompson ($34) won't be able to maintain his current 1.58 ERA, but his FIP is a respectable 3.49, so he could continue to have success for the Cubs. His biggest improvement has come in limiting home runs. Last season, he was taken deep nine times over 53.1 innings. This season, he's only given up three home runs over 40 innings. He might be worth a look in tournament play against the Cardinals, who have just a .696 OPS versus right-handed pitchers.

Top Targets

Mookie Betts ($27) carried his hot hitting into the month of June, going 3-for-5 with a home run against the Pirates on Wednesday. After hitting 23 home runs across 122 games last season, he's already hit 16 home runs over 48 games this season. Expect him to be a tough out for Taijuan Walker ($29), who has a 13.2 percent strikeout rate over seven starts.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Ian Anderson ($34) is off to a slow start for the Braves. His 11.3 percent walk rate has contributed to a 1.34 WHIP, and his strikeout rate has dropped to 17.6 percent. That doesn't leave him with much margin for error in a start at Coors Field. Looking to capitalize on his struggles is C.J. Cron ($20), who has a .456 wOBA at Coors Field since joining the Rockies last season.

Bargain Bats

One of the reasons for the Mets success this season is that their lineup makes a lot of contact, striking out the seventh-fewest times in baseball. Jeff McNeil ($12) is among their better contact hitters, posting a 10.1 percent walk rate on his way to a 140 wRC+. As good as Tony Gonsolin ($46) has been for the Dodgers, McNeil could still be worth considering at this cheap salary.

The hope was that a move to the Rockies would help Randal Grichuk ($13) take off at the plate. His .275 batting average is a dramatic improvement compared to his .241 mark last season, but his 27.7 percent strikeout rate is holding him back. Also, his power numbers have surprisingly declined, generating just a .128 ISO. Still, he's a talented hitter and is playing in a great hitting environment, which makes him a viable option for this limited slate.

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Stacks to Consider

Braves vs. Austin Gomber ($29), Rockies: Austin Riley ($21), Ozzie Albies ($17), Dansby Swanson ($22)

Gomber was lit up in his last start, allowing eight runs while recording only four outs against the Nationals. He didn't allow a home run in that outing, but giving up 10 base runners is what ultimately did him in. His WHIP has increased to 1.37 for the season, and he only has 35 strikeouts over 47.1 innings. A matchup against a dangerous Braves lineup at Coors Field could result in plenty of runs being scored. This is a particularly appealing matchup for Albies, who has a career 142 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers.

Orioles vs. Chris Flexen ($31), Mariners: Austin Hays ($17), Trey Mancini ($15), Anthony Santander ($14)

Flexen has faced the Astros three times this season, allowing five runs over 18 innings. In his other six starts, he's allowed 20 runs over 32.1 innings. His overall WHIP checks in at 1.41, and he's allowed nine home runs, so this could be a great opportunity to roll with a seldom-used Orioles stack. Hays has been particularly impressive, reducing his strikeout rate to 15.3 percent on his way to building a 142 wRC+.

Mariners vs. Jordan Lyles ($31), Orioles: Ty France ($20), Julio Rodriguez ($21), Adam Frazier ($15)

The Orioles might not be the only team in this game to score a lot of runs. Lyles hasn't been great, either, with a 4.26 ERA and a 4.05 FIP. His numbers could get even worse if he doesn't improve his 1.42 WHIP. Improvement in that area might not be likely, given his career 1.43 WHIP. A great option for a Mariners stack is Rodriguez, who is 21-for-65 (.323) with five home runs, three doubles and four steals over his last 16 games.