There are 12 games scheduled across baseball Thursday, but most of them have early start times. That leaves us with just four games making up the main evening slate on Yahoo. While we don't have a ton of options to ponder, here are some pitchers and hitters to target.
Framber Valdez ($54) dominated the Angels in his last outing, throwing seven shutout innings. Over his last five starts, he allowed one or no runs in four of them. After posting a 1.16 WHIP last season, that mark has been even better this year at 1.03. While facing the Blue Jays in Toronto is no easy task, Valdez is still one of the best pitching options for this limited slate.
The Guardians are finally receiving reinforcements for their injury-riddled starting rotation. Aaron Civale ($38) made his return last week against Twins, logging five shutout innings. He threw 83 pitches, so he shouldn't be limited in this outing against the Red Sox. The Red Sox have a .831 OPS at home, but just a .671 OPS on the road, making Civale a viable option.
Jose Berrios ($38) has been performing better for the Blue Jays, allowing two or fewer runs in five of his last six starts. His WHIP is down to 1.25 for the season, although he has allowed at least one home run in five of his last seven starts. That could be a problem against Yordan Alvarez ($22), who has slugged 17 home runs on his way to a .308 ISO.
Mike Trout ($18) is worth considering for most slates, but he especially stands out for one with so few options. He hit a home run Wednesday, giving him 14 total for the season. Up next is a matchup against Drew Smyly ($39), who has a 1.63 WHIP over his last three starts.
There was a time when Jo Adell ($9) was one of the top prospects in baseball. He has hit for a ton of power in the minors, including launching 18 home runs at Triple-A this year. His problem has been a 34.8 percent strikeout rate during his time in the majors. He should be in the lineup against the lefty Smyly, and Smyly only has a career 23.1 percent strikeout rate, so Adell might be worth a look at such a cheap salary.
Stacks to Consider
Detmers has a 5.15 ERA, but his 3.62 FIP indicates that he probably hasn't pitched that poorly. However, he could have problems improving his ERA in a matchup against the Cubs, who have the seventh-highest OPS in baseball against left-handed pitchers. One of their leaders in that regard has been Swanson, who has a .196 ISO and a .364 wOBA versus southpaws.
Dermody has thrown 27.1 career innings in the majors, all of which have come in relief. He has started in eight of his nine appearances at Triple-A this year, allowing a 4.50 ERA and a 4.06 FIP. Despite his underwhelming production, he is expected to be called up to start this game. The Guardians don't normally score a lot of runs, but this is a rare matchup in which they might be worth stacking. While he is off to a slow start with a .172 ISO and a .316 wOBA, putting Ramirez in any Guardians' stack could prove to be crucial.