FanDuel MLB: Thursday Targets

FanDuel MLB: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and the MLB regular season is almost over. Thursday, typically a pivot day for MLB, sees most of the league in action. However, perhaps to account for travel, a lot of the games have early starts. In fact, the eight-game slate Thursday on the DFS front has to start at 6:35 p.m. ET to even get to that level. With that in mind, here are my recommendations.


Brandon Woodruff, MIL at CIN ($10,500): Woodruff is truly an elite pitcher, but people often overlook him. He has a 3.20 FIP, which is actually tied for his highest FIP in a season since 2019. Also, he's allowed three runs over his last two starts across 14.0 innings and has struck out 21 batters. Now he faces a Reds team that sits 19th in runs scored.

Julio Urias, LAD vs. ARI ($10,300): There's no real "bargain" option at pitcher Thursday that entices me. So why not just get somebody you can trust? Urias hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start over his last 11 outings. Dodger Stadium tends to be pitcher friendly, and Urias has held lefties to an .193 average since 2020. That's particularly notable here, as the Diamondbacks have a lot of lefties they prefer to have in their lineup.

Johnny Cueto, CWS vs. CLE ($8,800): Cueto isn't striking anybody out, but he has a 3.09 ERA. He's had a couple rough starts recently, but since the start of July he has a 2.94 ERA. Additionally, he was dealing with dizziness recently, and perhaps whatever was ailing him goes back to his last start, which went poorly. Both of these offenses are middling, but the White Sox are slightly better, as the Guardians rank 18th in runs scored.

Top Targets

Shortstops have more power than once upon a time, but Willy Adames ($3,500) still has impressed with his 31 home runs this year. He has a .958 OPS over the last three weeks as well. Adames should be able to tee off on Mike Minor, a southpaw with a 6.18 FIP who has allowed 2.20 home runs per nine innings.

We have seen the batting average and OBP of Giancarlo Stanton ($3,100) sink this year, but the power remains. He's barely over the Mendoza Line but has 26 homers in 100 games with a .451 slugging percentage. Also, Stanton has an .876 OPS at home this year. Michael Wacha has a 2.61 ERA, but a 3.51 FIP. On top of that, he has an 1.76 home ERA but a 3.36 ERA on the road.

Bargain Bats

Since 2020, Alex Verdugo ($2,800) has an .824 OPS versus righties. The lefty also has a .769 OPS on the road, much better than his home OPS this season. Over his last nine starts, Jameson Taillon has a 4.78 ERA, in part because he's allowed 10 home runs over those 49.0 innings.

After hitting 24 home runs and stealing five bases in 2021, Bryan Reynolds ($2,700) has 23 home runs and six stolen bases. He's a switch hitter and has an .829 OPS versus lefties and an .824 OPS versus righties since 2020. Hayden Wesneski has looked good in three MLB appearances, but it's been just 15.1 innings. He had a 3.92 ERA in Triple-A this year.

Stacks to Consider

Braves at Phillies (Ranger Suarez): Dansby Swanson ($3,600), Vaughn Grissom ($3,200), William Contreras ($3,000)

Suarez doesn't allow many home runs, and yet he has a 3.71 FIP. He has a 2.67 ERA on the road but a 4.70 ERA at home. The southpaw has kept lefties in check, but righties have hit .261 against Suarez. Fortunately, a three-righty stack is easy to find with Atlanta.

Swanson has hit .280 with 20 home runs and 18 stolen bases. He has an .859 OPS versus lefties as well. Grissom is back in a regular role due to Ozzie Albies unfortunately suffering another injury. The 21-year-old has slashed .306/.368/.468 with five homers and five stolen bases. You don't need a catcher on FanDuel, but who wouldn't want a guy with a .276/.344/.515 slash line in their lineup? That's Contreras, who has a .990 OPS against southpaws as well.

Astros at Orioles (Kyle Bradish): Yordan Alvarez ($4,700), Jose Altuve ($3,900), Jeremy Pena ($2,700)

Bradish is the clear pitcher to hammer Thursday. He has a 5.05 ERA overall and a 5.80 ERA at home. The righty has also allowed 1.42 home runs per nine innings. I do have two right-handed hitters in this stack, though, because righties have hit .307 against Bradish.

Alvarez has hit everybody from all walks of life, but he has an 1.063 OPS against righties and an 1.048 OPS on the road. Also, after a brief dip in production, the Cuban has a 1.294 OPS over the last three weeks. Altuve has slashed .295/.383/.513. On top of that, he's tallied 18 stolen bases to go with his 25 home runs. He did apparently bang up his elbow Wednesday, so keep an eye on his status. The rookie shortstop Pena has 18 homers and 10 stolen bases. Additionally, he has a .751 OPS across the last 14 days.

Blue Jays at Rays (JT Chargois/Ryan Yarbrough): Bo Bichette ($4,200), Vladimir Guerrero ($3,900), Teoscar Hernandez ($3,000)

I listed two pitchers because Chargois is the opener, but Yarbrough is going to be the bulk reliever. Thus, I am mostly focused on Yarbrough's numbers. Numbers like, say, a 4.45 FIP and a .302 average allowed right righties. Fortunately, the Jays are a righty-heavy team.

Bichette has been scorching hot, notching an 1.236 OPS over the last three weeks. On top of that, he has an .857 OPS on the road this year. Guerrero just hit his 30th home run of the season, making it two 30-homer campaigns in a row for him. He's not all power, as he has a .279 average and .343 OBP. Hernandez is elite when facing lefties. Since 2020, he has an 1.041 OPS versus southpaws.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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