If you’re a daily fantasy baseball owner, it’s a good idea to pay attention to pitcher rankings in Thursday’s games, as this can help you decide which pitchers to start. For the most part, pitchers with lower roster levels are streaming options. However, there are some risky matchups that might require you to roll the dice. For example, Cole Irvin has a risky matchup against the Astros, while Brady Singer and Aaron Ashby are both against the Cardinals. In such a case, you may want to wait a day or two before making your lineup and rely on a better matchup.
If you’re considering streaming Keegan Thompson in your fantasy baseball lineup for Thursday’s game against the Reds, you should take a look at his recent stats. Thompson has pitched well since early June, posting a 3.06 ERA over 50 innings while allowing just 13 walks and five home runs. His 2.87 WHIP is also below average, which is a good sign. However, you should consider the Reds’ offense, which is league average at home.
Thompson’s most recent start was a rough one. He gave up five runs in four innings against the Brewers, walking two and striking out three. He was also tagged with a solo home run by Luke Voit in the sixth inning. While Thompson has shown good signs in the early part of his season, he’s been losing effectiveness since his breakout summer campaign. In his last four starts, he’s failed to pitch more than five innings, posting a 6.59 ERA in 27.1 innings.
If you’re looking for an effective reliever for Thursday’s MLB game, consider using Chris Flexen of the Seattle Mariners. His 3.63 ERA over three starts is impressive, and he has been exceptionally effective in July. In fact, he has only allowed two earned runs over his last three starts. Despite his relatively high ERA and xFIP, Flexen isn’t a desirable option against the powerful Astros lineup.
In addition to Flexen, you may want to consider Jose Urquidy, a former top prospect who has compiled respectable numbers over his career. His 4.53 xFIP isn’t great, but his 3.86 ERA makes him an acceptable choice in 81 percent of leagues. In addition to being cheaper than Flexen, Urquidy is rostered in more than eighty percent of leagues, so he’s worth a look.
If you are in a DFS tournament, you may want to consider Marcus Stroman as a pitching option in your starting pitcher lineup. He’s also a solid choice in the MLB player props market. His strikeout prop is a decent bet at 3.5. Awesemo MLB Projections has him at 5.1. Despite the low strikeout projection, Stroman has a history of good starts and has struck out at least four hitters in his last six starts. In addition, he has an impressive strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers (24.6% since last season) and a high K/9 ratio.
As a fantasy baseball pitcher, Stroman isn’t as available as Hudson, but his skills make up for the low price. He has a 2.23 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over his last eight starts and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of those starts. Moreover, he faces a weak Pirates offense and the strikeout-heavy Angels, making him a good backup option.
After missing the entire 2018 season to Tommy John surgery, Dane Dunning has bounced back with an impressive rookie season. His 3.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP followed by a 4.16 xFIP are solid numbers. His 24.6 K% is in line with minor-league average. And he mixes up his four pitches well, generating 11.4 swinging strike rate. That makes him a solid option for your starting rotation.
Dunning is available in eighty-five percent of Yahoo leagues. He is a top-10 CSW starter for this season. If you are a deep leaguer, you can consider streamers such as Ethan Small and Merrill Kelly.
Jacob deGrom is the best option on the main slate today. He has been absolutely dominant since coming back from the injured list. His ERA is just 0.92, his strikeouts are at 50 percent, and he has a low walk rate (1.6 percent). His last two starts have been very strong as well, each of which produced solid FanDuel scores.
However, he could be a risk. While the Mets are in need of a starter, the offense isn’t at its best. Severino, who threw just 76 pitches on Thursday, could have a higher ceiling. The biggest concern with Severino is his health, but he is still a top option to build around.
Chris Freeland is currently the top fantasy baseball pitcher to start on Thursday, and with good reason. The veteran left-hander has put up some very solid numbers over the past month, and he’s a must-start in deep points leagues. However, you should avoid starting him in roto or points leagues unless you are desperate for stats or just feel lucky.
While Freeland’s ERA has been on the rise recently, he’s never been as good as his career. He had a career-worst 6.73 ERA last season, but improved in 2020, posting a 4.33 ERA, 4.55 xFIP, and 4.95 SIERA. His 15.1 K% last season was the second-worst among qualified starters, and he hasn’t been very consistent at limiting hard contact. This season, Freeland is pitching in Coors Field, which could make life tough for the pitcher.