Max Scherzer- After a down stretch, Max ramped his strikeouts back up to 11 in his last game against the Marlins, and he leads the slate with a 34% strikeout rate this season. The Reds have been slumping, coming in 23rd in wRC+ over the last two weeks and outside of Joey Votto they lack any lefty power that can hurt Max. The Nats need to make a run starting now if they expect to make the playoffs, and I could see Scherzer starting that off tonight with a big game.
Zack Greinke- If you can’t quite get all the way up to Max, I’m completely comfortable with Greinke against the San Francisco Giants in all formats. Greinke has been the same pitcher for a few years now, he sacrifices generating soft contact to go for swings and misses and strikeouts, which is perfect for DFS. The problem is when he runs into solid offenses that can tag him, but given that the Giants rank bottom-five in ISO against righties, I’m not too worried. He’s also been better at home each of the last two seasons and is one of the top plays on this slate.
Nick Pivetta- Pivetta should be one of the most popular options on Thursday night given his price and matchup with the Miami Marlins. If you have read my content this season you know that I love Pivetta, and he is the midst of a breakout season for the Phillies posting a 3.27 SIERA and 29% strikeouts. The Marlins rank 24th in wRC+ against righties and Pivetta is at home, where he has been borderline untouchable this season. Pivetta is a smash play in all formats, I just hope the ownership stays under control.
Pablo Lopez- The Phillies are getting love from Vegas today, so I don’t expect Lopez to be popular but I am very interested in his price. He isn’t a huge strikeout pitcher, but he could be due for some regression in that department citing his 10.6% SwStr%. He has been fantastic at generating ground balls, making it tough for him to get really blown up and he could pick up some extra K’s against the Phillies who come into tonight 2nd overall in K% against RHP.
Top Tier: Bryce Harper- Bryce has looked like…well, Bryce…since the trade deadline passed doubling three times and posting two huge fantasy games. Tyler Mahle is allowing over 40% hard-contact and fly-balls to left-handed batters and could be in for a long night against the Nat lefties, starting with Bryce.
Mid Tier: Joc Pederson- I’m going right back to the Joc well tonight against Chacin who, like Mahle, struggles mightily with left-handed batters. I wrote yesterday how Pederson has changed his approach at the plate this season, and his 150 wRC+ and 43% hard-hit rate is right there with Max Muncy for tops on the Dodgers.
Low Tier: Chris Davis- If you watch our live shows at all, you know how much I despise Chris Davis, yet here we are. He’s actually been seeing the ball extremely well over the last two weeks with 40% hard contact and 63% fly balls, and his price is ripe for the picking. This game owns a huge 11 O/U in Vegas and it could turn into home run derby with Andrew Cashner and Yovani Gallardo squaring off.
Tournament Stack of the Day
Texas Rangers- The Rangers are not going to be a secret tonight, but that’s fine by me as they take on Andrew Cashner in the Texas heat. Cashner has actually been a bit worse against righties than lefties this season so I’m going to be looking for a full-stack here. Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Adrian Beltre are my favorite four, but you can filter in other cheaper options as well.