Thursday Night Matchups and Your Weekend Primer

Matchups To Target Tonight and Your Weekend Primer

Thursday has a light slate of games, with only seven games on the docket, and only three of those being night games. So below are some targets to consider for your lineups and some other informational nuggets to get you ready for the busy weekend schedule.

Claim your BONUS and bet on LAA @ HOU at DraftKings Sportsbook

Download Caesars Sportsbook and place your bet on CLE @ MIN

Claim your bonus and bet on CIN @ BOS at FanDuel Sportsbook

DFS Matchups to Target

The three Thursday night games feature two pitchers with sub-3.00 ERA’s (Bibee – CLE, Valdez – HOU) and four pitchers with ERA’s north of 4.00 (Greene – CIN, Sale – BOS, Lopez – MIN, Detmers – LAA). Tanner Bibee has been good since his promotion, with 2 earned runs or less in five of his six starts. Pablo Lopez has been a little Jekyll and Hyde, allowing 4 or more runs in four of his starts, and 2 or less in his other seven starts. Cleveland and Minnesota are both bottom quartile in batting average, matching each others futility to this point in the season, as each team’s batting average sits at .233 to date. Cleveland is averaging second-fewest runs per game in the MLB on the season, second only to the lowly A’s, while Minnesota is middle of the pack, ranked 14th in runs per game. Maybe there is a bet-the-under somewhere in this game. Or perhaps Royce Lewis can stay hot and give Minnesota a spark after a night off for him Wednesday. How about the other games, you ask?

Cincinnati (Greene) @ Boston (Sale) – 7:10 PM EST – O/U 9.5 runs

This seems to be the juiciest game on paper, and Vegas agrees, giving it the highest over/under run total of the three night games. Both starters have 4.00+ ERA’s, so which batters stand to benefit?

Matt McLain – the 23-year old prospect has come up and hit the ground running, slashing .361/.541/.967 so far in his 14 games played, including 5 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI, and 6 walks. He also hits lefties well, batting .429 vs lefties (21 AB) and .325 vs righty (40 AB). He’s also got a nine-game hit streak going, with 5 multi-hit efforts in there, so he’s still hot.

Spencer Steer – Steer had a nice month of May, hitting .318 (35-for-110) during the month, with 8 doubles, a triple, and 6 HR. He’s been on base in 13 straight games, with 8 multi-hit games in his last 15. He’s been hitting lefties slightly better on the year, .291 vs .288 against righties.

Nick Senzel – the former Reds top prospect is finally healthy (knock on wood) and having a decent year. Also, over the last 8 games he’s 11-for-30 (.366), and while he’s been putrid against righties so far (.190 in 105 at-bats), he’s raked versus lefties, going 20-for-43 (.465), with a .500 OBP and 1.174 OPS.

Alex Verdugo – “Dugie” has been a fairly consistent contributor through the first two months of the season, and is 7-for-17 (.411) over his last 4 games. He’s got 5 HR on the year, 4 of which have come at Fenway.

Masataka Yoshida – the current AL Rookie of the year frontrunner (+155 at FanDuel) has a nice little 4-game hit streak going where he’s gone 9-for-14 (.642).

Honorable Mentions
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Rafael Devers – the average isn’t there (.246) but if you’re looking for someone to turn around on a 100 mph Hunter Greene fastball and hit it deep into the Boston night, then Devers could be the guy. He leads Boston with 13 HR on the year, and despite not allowing a HR through 5 April starts, Greene gave up 7 HR through 5 May starts.

Kevin Newman – he’s had exactly 2 hits in 6 of his last 7 games, going 10-for-22 (.454) over that stretch.

TJ Friedl – slashing .326/.496/.873 so far, adding 6 stolen bases, but keep an eye on his health – he’s nursing a sore hammy. If he’s playing, he can contribute, and despite being a lefty himself, he’s 7-for-21 (.333) against lefties this year.

Check out my GameTime Sharks colleague Adam Lowenstein’s betting preview of this game for some more info!

LA Angels (Detmers) @ Houston (Valdez) – 8:10 PM EST – O/U 8.5 runs

Despite some big names on the Angels side, they haven’t had much success off Framber Valdez. Notably, Mike Trout is 2-for-16 lifetime off of him with 8 K’s. Ohtani is 4-for-28 with 8 K’s. Being such good hitters, perhaps one can expect a regression to the mean, so if you feel that way go ahead and play them. However, there’s also an old saying, “the trend is your friend.” If you’re looking anywhere here I’d be on the Astros side of things, specifically Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez. Altuve, who had a night off last night, is 11-for-34 (.324) since coming off the IL and has a couple hits off Detmers in his career (2-for-7 with a HR) and Yordan is, well, Yordan. He’s got 14 HR on the season and is second in the league with 48 RBI, and actually has a higher batting average off lefties (.318 in 66 AB) than righties (.255 in 110 AB). You could also look to Jeremy Pena who is 4-for-7 off Detmers in his career.

Weekend Fantasy Primer

As we go into the weekend, here are some things to keep in mind as you think about your lineups. It’s nice sometimes to look at various reports to see what’s going, you might see some names you didn’t expect to see who could be a “diamond in the rough” or somewhat of a sleeper contributor for your lineups.

Current Hit Streak Leaders (and average during streak) courtesy of

  1. Freddie Freeman – 20 games (.457)
  2. Marcus Semien – 20 (.310)
  3. J.D. Martinez – 15 (.333)
  4. Josh Jung – 14 (.434)
  5. Eloy Jimenez – 13 (.396)

Highest Batting Average last 10 days (min 20 at-bats) courtesy of Statmuse:

  1. Freddie Freeman (.474)
  2. Josh Jung (.472)
  3. Kevin Newman (.435)
  4. Michael Conforto (.433)
  5. Matt McLain (.429)

Most Stolen Bases last 10 days:

  1. Jake McCarthy (6)
  2. Taylor Walls (6)
  3. Wander Franco (6)
  4. Willi Castro (5)
  5. Ronald Acuna Jr.(5)

Most HR last 10 days:

  1. J.D Martinez (6)
  2. Aaron Judge (5)
  3. Jorge Soler (5)
  4. Ryan McMahon (4)
  5. Matt Olson (4)
  6. Jose Siri (4)
  7. Shohei Ohtani (4)
  8. Jack Suwinski (4)
  9. Yordan Alvarez (4)

Most Runs per Game: Texas (6.29); Fewest Runs per Game: Oakland (3.45)

Lowest Team ERA: Houston (3.25); Highest Team ERA: Oakland (6.63)

Betting Angle

CLE @ MIN under 8.5 runs (-120 on FanDuel): as I mentioned above, I just don’t see how these offenses get to this number unless Lopez is Hyde.

McLain/Altuve to get a hit parlay (+103 on FD): outlined above!

Claim your BONUS and bet on LAA @ HOU at DraftKings Sportsbook

Download Caesars Sportsbook and place your bet on CLE @ MIN

Claim your bonus and bet on CIN @ BOS at FanDuel Sportsbook

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Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod is a long-time fantasy sports veteran, with over 20 years of experience using salary cap, season-long, best ball, and DFS formats - mainly centered around MLB and NFL. Ever since the "Sid Bream Slide" he has been a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. He also enjoys collecting trading cards and memorabilia from his favorite teams and players.

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