Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks

·4 min read

Thursday brings a light schedule with only eight games scheduled to be played across baseball. Matchup wise, the highlight of them all figures to be when the Mets host the Dodgers. Chris Bassitt will be starting for the Mets, while Clayton Kershaw will make his return from the IL to start for the Dodgers. They aren't the only big names scheduled to start, either, with Shane Bieber, Brandon Woodruff and Spencer Strider all expected to be in action. Let's get down to the task at hand and highlight some players to target for the main Yahoo slate, which starts at 4:05 PM EDT.


It's no secret that the Rockies have historically not hit as well on the road as they do at home. This season has been no different, considering they have a .803 OPS at home and a .635 OPS on the road. They will take on Strider ($50) in Atlanta, which will only make matters more difficult for them. Strider has produced a masterful rookie campaign, posting a 2.87 ERA, 2.05 FIP and a 36.7 percent strikeout rate.

Merrill Kelly ($42) loves pitching in Arizona. For his career, he has a 3.31 FIP and a 1.17 WHIP at home, compared to a 4.68 FIP and a 1.30 WHIP on the road. While he's normally not a great source for strikeouts, he could provide added value in that department during his home start against the Brewers, who have struck out the sixth-most times in baseball.

The Athletics were sellers again at the trade deadline, and one of their big moves was shipping Frankie Montas to the Yankees. One of the key pieces that they received in return was Ken Waldichuk ($27), who was selected in the 5th round of the 2019 Draft. He's been a strikeout machine throughout the minor leagues, including registering 91 strikeouts over 66.1 innings at Triple-A this year. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him start off his career on the right foot in a matchup against the Nationals, who have scored the fifth-fewest runs in baseball.

Top Targets

Kyle Bradish ($32) twirled a gem in his last outing, pitching eight shutout innings against the Astros in Houston. Even with that effort, though, he still has a 5.63 ERA, 4.90 FIP and 1.54 WHIP for the season. Given this limited slate, it might be worth taking a chance that he reverts back to his previous struggles. The Guardians have continued to receive steady production from Steven Kwan ($20), who is 24-for-81 (.296) with one home run, four doubles and two triples over his last 21 games. The other top hitter to target on the Guardians is Jose Ramirez ($22), who has a 150 wRC+ this season.

Bargain Bats

As we continue to attack Bradish, Josh Naylor ($12) also provides some upside at a cheap salary. He's gone deep 16 times this season, and Bradish has allowed 1.7 HR/9.

If you want to take a shot on a player to hit a home run, then Bubba Thompson ($10) probably isn't your guy. He's a speedster, though, recording 49 steals over 80 games at Triple-A and eight steals over 25 games in the majors. Add in his .358 wOBA at Triple-A and he could be worth the risk in a matchup against lefty Rich Hill ($34), who has been underwhelming with a 4.01 FIP and a 19.7 percent strikeout rate this season.

Stacks to Consider

Red Sox vs. Glenn Otto ($31), Rangers: Rafael Devers ($11), Xander Bogaerts ($15), Alex Verdugo ($16)

Otto couldn't take advantage of a favorable matchup against the Tigers in his last outing, giving up four runs across five innings. He's had control issues, with his 12.4 percent walk rate contributing to his 1.39 WHIP. His underwhelming 16.9 percent strikeout rate isn't helping his cause, either. This could be a difficult opponent for him, considering that the Red Sox have a .759 OPS at Fenway Park. Although his power numbers are down compared to last season, it's difficult to complain about Bogaerts, who has a .364 wOBA and a 135 wRC+.

Braves vs. Chad Kuhl ($25), Rockies: Austin Riley ($17), Matt Olson ($20), Dansby Swanson ($15)

Kuhl made it through five innings in his first start off the IL last week against the Mets. He wasn't great, though, allowing three runs and a home run. He's been taken deep in each of his last seven starts, and has allowed 18 home runs over 108 innings this season. That might be a big problem against the Braves, who have hit the second-most home runs in baseball. Riley and Olson could be particularly troubles, given that they have hit 32 and 27 home runs, respectively.