Ten games are on tap for Thursday with three matinee matchups and seven night games as the majority of the league’s teams enjoy an off day before opening up some key weekend series. Contest players would be wise to consider some early contests with just three teams because going contrarian or picking up some underpriced guys can be profitable. Seven games in the night contests can mean the same thing, so there is a lot more strategy with these smaller samples of games. As always, I’ll try to incorporate an early player/team in every section of suggestions.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from the twice-a-week MLB betting podcast, The Bettor’s Box, to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 4:
Houston – I’ve been looking for spots to fade Wei-Yin Chen and I’ve found one in DFS. Chen has a high fly ball split and his HR/FB numbers don’t play well with this start in Minute Maid Park against a team with a lot of right-handed power. Nine of the 10 home runs that Chen has allowed have come off right-handed bats. Surprisingly, this will be Chen’s first road start since May 9 and just his fourth of the season. It’s a bad park for him and the matchup certainly favors the Astros. Chen has allowed a HR in four straight starts. The reason his ERA has been so much better than his advanced metrics is because he has walked two or fewer in nine of his 10 starts. The Astros may hit a handful of solo shots today.
Chicago White Sox – The White Sox are starting to get things going offensively as Adam Eaton has improved at the plate. Gallardo’s strikeout rate has dropped for the third straight season as his velocity continues to dissipate. The White Sox have some guys that generate some excellent bat speed, so Gallardo’s pitch-to-contact style could lead to a lot of scorchers off the barrel. Gallardo has that ground ball ability to work out of jams, but the White Sox are worth a gamble as a stack.
St. Louis – The Cardinals has some trouble with Carlos Frias when the two teams last met, but they could have better fortunes in this one. Frias is a pitch-to-contact guy that has a 4.29 ERA with a 3.90 FIP and a 3.91 xFIP. Frias has always been a high BABIP guy, even throughout the minor leagues, and the Cardinals do a lot of damage on balls in play. This one could be surprisingly high scoring with a total of 7 and a pitcher due for regression in Wacha on the mound.
Here are the top value hitters for June 4:
Stephen Vogt ($4,100) – Vogt just continues to put up numbers and has regularly put up good point totals for DFS players. At $4,100, he’s on the higher side of the salaries for the early games, but a matchup against Shane Greene should allow him to live up to that price. Vogt’s selectivity at the plate has allowed him to really elevate his hitting and he won’t chase the pitches that Greene needs him to chase in order to be effective.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,800) – The Dodgers catcher has performed well this season with a .294/.410/.471 slash line on the season. He has struggled from a batted ball standpoint lately with a .248/.417/.373 slash over his last 10 games, but that’s the key to me. He’s still drawing walks and hitters that are drawing walks in a mini slump are staying to their process. With Wacha due for some regression, Grandal could be in a position to do some damage.
Eric Hosmer ($4,200) – Eric Hosmer terrorizes Indians pitching and his ability to use the opposite field is a big reason why. Hosmer is priced a couple notches below the other top first basemen for Thursday night’s action and it seems like that salary is a little bit low for him. Bauer has limited batting average and slugging percentage for lefties, but he has walked 13.3 percent of the lefties he has faced. Hosmer can be selective and do some damage.
Here are the top value pitchers for June 4:
Jesse Hahn ($6,100) – The pitcher options aren’t very good for the day games. With such a heavy focus on strikeouts and innings pitched in DraftKings formats, nobody outside of Dallas Keuchel shows a propensity for doing that on Thursday. But, Hahn has some good potential to work deep because the Tigers have really struggled as an offense over the last couple of weeks. Hahn is throwing the ball well with good advanced metrics and a low strand rate. If he can sequence better with runners on, run prevention will improve.
Matt Harvey ($10,400) – Sometimes you just have to pay a price to get production. That’s the thing to do on Thursday. There aren’t a whole lot of strikeout artists on the schedule for Thursday night and Harvey is definitely at the top of the class of the probables. The Diamondbacks have some guys that will swing away and Harvey should work deep into the game and take care of business.
Jake Arrieta ($9,600) – Find cheap hitting because the best thing to do on Thursday is pick the top two starting pitchers. Arrieta has been very good throughout the season with a great K/BB rate. The Nationals offense has been carried by Bryce Harper throughout the season. As he cools off, this is not a good lineup overall. DFS players should be able to exploit that on Thursday night.