Thursday DFS MLB Plays


Welcome to Thursday’s edition of RotoMinds Daily MLB Plays. The odd scheduling continues…. tonight we have a 5 game slate that locks at 10:05 PM ET. We will be playing at a reduced volume again tonight due to the expected overlap in players in cash games.

Pitching Rankings

  1. Corey Kluber
  2. A.J. Burnett
  3. Shelby Miller
  4. C.J. Wilson
  5. C.C. Sabathia
  6. Ian Kennedy

Pitching is pretty obvious tonight. Corey Kluber is easily the top play and a near must play in your cash games tonight. Kluber is on the road against a lefty heavy lineup but he does get a decent boost in park factor. There is a pretty large drop off after Kluber. A.J. Burnett is next in line pitching in another great pitchers park at PETCO against a watered down Padres team with Myers on the DL. Shelby Miller is next in line and that is largely due to his success this season. He is pitching above his head in my opinion… we will see how long he can keep this up. The Giants have finally started to play better but this is a nice park to pitch in for Miller and the Braves hitters draw a nice matchup with Heston who really struggles with LHB.

Catcher Rankings

  • Brian McCann
  • Francisco Cervelli
  • Carlos Santana (DraftKings only)
  • Chris Iannetta
  • Yan Gomes

Brian McCann earns the top spot tonight but he isn’t a must play and doesn’t rank in the top 20 overall tonight on a 5 game slate… catcher is pretty weak tonight. McCann has an okay matchup with Graveman but suffers from a large negative park shift in Oakland. Tonight is unique in that literally every game is being played in a “pitchers park”. Most teams are experiencing a negative or neutral park shift tonight. Carlos Santana makes a lot of sense on DraftKings where he is catcher eligible. Tonight is a night where we will often punt catcher on a team that projects well in order for use the cap on the core players.

1st Base Rankings

  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Freddie Freeman
  • Albert Pujols
  • Billy Butler
  • Pedro Alvarez

Miguel Cabrera is the top play at 1B tonight against a LHP. Wilson is a very solid LHP and not the easiest matchup for Miggy but Miggy is still the clear cut top play if salary cap is no concern. Freddie Freeman is having a pretty mediocre season so far but he is next in line against Heston. Heston really struggles with LHB and we expect Freeman to land on base a few times tonight. Albert Pujols and Billy Butler make the most sense for cash games due to their extreme value on FanDuel. Billy Butler has seen Sabathia several times in his career so there shouldn’t be many surprises there. Pujols gets a AAA call-up that we expect to struggle in this spot start on the road.

2nd Base Rankings

  • Neil Walker
  • Ben Zobrist
  • Jason Kipnis
  • Stephen Drew
  • Johnny Giavotella

Neil Walker is the clear cut top play tonight against Ian Kennedy. Ian Kennedy is really struggling with LHB this season. We do expect these numbers to regress (they have been significantly regressed in our model) but Walker is still the top play who also has a nice BvP that you can’t ignore on a short slate like tonight. Walker makes the most sense in your cash games. Ben Zobrist is back for the A’s and is in an “okay spot” tonight on a short slate. If you have some issue with Neil Walker then Zobrist is likely your guy in cash games. Personally I like Jason Kipnis a lot tonight despite the L vs L matchup. Paxton has extreme reverse splits over a relatively large sample size. The reverse splits on Paxton are some of the worst I’ve seen from a pitcher over the last 3 years. Safeco isn’t exactly a hitters park but Kipnis should have a nice day and provide some run support for Kluber.

3rd Base Rankings

  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Chase Headley
  • David Freese
  • Josh Harrison

Alex Rodriguez is the clear cut top play by a wide margin. The positional gap and price point are both extreme here… the gap is extremely large and the price is extremely fair…. just lock in A-Rod and move on.


ShortStop Rankings

  • Erick Aybar
  • Jose Iglesias
  • Marcus Semien

Shortstop is another relatively weak position again tonight. Erick Aybar is the top play assuming he is leading off again for the Angels. Aybar is finally starting to steal bases again which provides a huge bump in his value. Aybar is a great way to get more LAA exposure tonight. Jose Iglesias is next in line and a fine play if you’re feeling contrarian. Marcus Semien is also an okay target due to his power upside against CC. The price has finally come down on Semien where he is priced in the same range as Aybar.

Outfield Rankings

Mike Trout is the clear cut top play and a near must play in your cash games tonight. Trout is the #1 hitter overall for us tonight and gets a juicy matchup with a AAA call up making the spot start on the road. It’s not too difficult to get Trout and Kluber together tonight… so just lock him in.

Other top OF targets: Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Kole Calhoun, Matt Joyce, Rajai Davis, Michael Brantley, J.D. Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, Will Venable, Nori Aoki.

Team Stacks

Angels – Trout, Aybar, Pujols, Joyce

Yankees – Gardner, Rodriguez, Beltran, McCann

Tigers – Davis, Kinsler, Cabrera, Cespedes

Indians – Kipnis, Santana, Brantley, Perez

Pirates – Walker, McCutchen, Polanco, Cervelli

Good luck!

Be sure to use the our optimal lineups when they are posted later this afternoon. 

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