This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
It's a typical slow Thursday with only four games on the main slate. The Red Sox at the Blue Jays is likely the most interesting matchup (for fantasy purposes, at least).
Sandy Alcantara, MIA at PHI ($9,300): I don't think Nick Pivetta at $9,800 is in the circle of trust tonight given the 10.5 run over/under in the BOS/TOR game. Instead, I'll look at Alcantara, who should rebound off his worst outing of the season. Before his last start, he had at least 21 fantasy points in his other eight outings including five with at least 37 fantasy points. The Phillies are in the bottom half of the league in wOBA (.303) against right-handed pitching, and their 26.0 percent strikeout rate is the sixth highest.
Drew Smyly, ATL vs. PIT ($7,300): Smyly is an excellent GPP play tonight given his hit-or-miss performances this season. He has 37 fantasy points in three of his six starts but has less than 10 fantasy points in the other three. A home matchup against the Pirates is ideal given that they have a .281 wOBA against southpaws, which is the third worst in baseball.
Vladimir Guerrero, TOR vs. BOS ($4,500): It's never rocket science to take the highest-priced hitter on the night, but Guerrero might be less popular than you'd expect. Pivetta comes in with a 5-0 record and a 3.16 ERA, so DFS players might shy away from Guerrero. However, the young Toronto slugger is averaging just under 14 fantasy points per game and has at least 9.5 fantasy points in each of his last five games.
Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. PIT ($4,100): Freeman's .227 batting average doesn't seem appealing until you look at the 12 home runs and 28 RBI. The best splits of his career are at home against right-handed pitching, where he has a .402 wOBA., so Wil Crowe offers a favorable matchup – more on that later.
Enrique Hernandez, BOS at TOR ($2,700): Hernandez is always a good guy to target against lefties and that'll be the case tonight as he squares off against Steven Matz. Hernandez has a career .345 wOBA against LHP and the Red Sox have been using him in the leadoff spot in these situations this season.
Corey Dickerson, MIA at PHI ($2,300): Dickerson offers both salary-cap relief and upside. He should be hitting in the middle of the lineup and will be swinging in a hitter's parks on the road. Vince Velasquez also has a career .349 wOBA against left-handed hitters, making this a plus matchup for Dickerson.
Stacks To Consider
If you read this column regularly, you might be experiencing deju vu. This blurb was written for yesterday's games but Kelly's start got pushed back to tonight. My feelings haven't changed and he's still a guy to target on the road. Here's what I wrote:
Normally I would use names like Bellinger and Seager here, but they're both dealing with injuries. Beaty has performances of 19.5, 25.4 and 55.1 fantasy points in three of his last 12 games, so there's nice upside for his salary. I feel like Smith gets no respect because he's a catcher, but his stats show he's a very viable option. Again, Kelly doesn't pitch as well on the road as he does at home.
It's never a bad idea to use Acuna in a lineup, as he has as much upside as any hitter, especially on this small slate. Riley looks like he's in the middle of a breakout season and has at least 18.2 fantasy points in four straight games. Ozuna's .207 batting average is a bit worrisome but he hits in the middle of the lineup, and his 23 RBI show he can be counted on to drive in baserunners.