This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
Thursday's slate brings a heavy dose of day games. Among the pitchers to take the mound early will be George Kirby, who will be looking to improve the Mariners' playoff positioning in a favorable matchup against the Athletics. For the night slate, Aaron Judge will try to continue his assault on the record books when the Yankees host the Red Sox. We also have the potential for a stellar pitching matchup out West with Julio Urias and the Dodgers facing Zac Gallen and the Diamondbacks. Let's get to the task at hand and highlight some players to consider for the main evening slate on Yahoo.
Shane Bieber ($52) has been locked in during the Guardians push for the AL Central crown. Over his last 10 starts, he has a 1.68 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and has 74 strikeouts over 69.2 innings. He didn't log fewer than six innings in any of those outings, and he allowed two or fewer runs nine times. That makes him a great option against the White Sox, who only have a .686 OPS versus right-handed pitchers.
Hunter Greene ($36) couldn't have looked any better in his first start off the IL. He mowed down the Cardinals, striking out 11 batters over six shutout innings. He has a 29.8 percent strikeout rate for the season, which makes him especially appealing in DFS. Plenty more of them could be coming against the Brewers, who have struck out the fifth-most times in baseball.
The Astros have the sixth-highest OPS in baseball, which means they usually aren't a good team to use starting pitchers against. However, Jose Altuve left Wednesday's game after being hit on the elbow. The Astros have already locked up their division, so they can afford to be cautious with him and give him a day off. If he is indeed out, he leaves a huge hole in their lineup. It might be worth taking a chance on Kyle Bradish ($31), who actually shut them out across eight innings in a meeting about a month ago.
Aaron Judge ($30) didn't hit a home run Wednesday, leaving him at 60 for the season. He did record two hits, though, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. During that span, he is 22-for-44 (.500) with five home runs, five doubles and a .574 OBP. His salary is expensive, but with the heater he is on, he's a top target in a matchup versus the Red Sox and Michael Wacha ($45).
Xander Bogaerts ($21) has thrown his name into the race for the American League batting title. Over his last 22 games, he is 35-for-85 (.412) with four home runs and seven doubles. More success could be coming in a matchup against the inconsistent Jameson Taillon ($31), who is also not an overpowering force when you factor in his 20.3 percent strikeout rate.
Bryan Reynolds ($13) has launched 24 home runs through 133 games, matching the total that he hit over 159 games last season. His strikeout rate has increased by nearly five percentage points, though, which has contributed to a steep decline in his batting average. Still, he's a dangerous hitter with a cheap salary, which makes him worth considering against the inexperienced Hayden Wesneski ($38).
It took some time, but Oswaldo Cabrera ($10) looks to be more comfortable in the majors. He's become an everyday player for the Yankees, and is 11-for-33 (.333) with three home runs and a .436 OBP over his last nine games. At such a cheap salary, adding him to your lineup could help soften the blow that comes with Judge's salary.
Stacks to Consider
Blue Jays vs. JT Chargois ($25), Rays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($15), George Springer ($17), Teoscar Hernandez ($12)
Chargois will serve as the opener for this game, with Ryan Yarbrough expected to follow him and pitch the bulk of the innings. With Yarbrough sporting a 4.45 FIP and a 1.34 WHIP, that puts the Blue Jays' hitters into play for stacking purposes. Finally healthy, Springer is starting to heat up, hitting a home run and three doubles during his current five-game hitting streak.
Guardians vs. Johnny Cueto ($35), White Sox: Jose Ramirez ($19), Steven Kwan ($15), Myles Straw ($9)
Cueto doesn't miss many bats, posting a 15.4 percent strikeout rate this season. The Guardians have struck out the fewest times in baseball, so expect a lot of balls to be put into play in this matchup. Cueto has taken a step back of late, allowing at least seven runs in two of his last four starts. A prime option for a Guardians stack is Kwan, who is batting .298 with a 123 wRC+.
Braves vs. Ranger Suarez ($35), Phillies: Ronald Acuna Jr. ($18), Dansby Swanson ($14), Austin Riley ($17)
Suarez also faced the Braves in his last outing, holding them to one run over six innings. The Braves have hit lefties well, though, recording a .784 OPS against them this season. With so many aces on the mound for the main slate, finding viable stacks might not be as easy as usual. Despite Suarez's success the last time around, the Braves' production against left-handed pitchers makes them a viable option.