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It’s Thursday again and as is the custom we have a fairly limited slate of games to work with. We’ve got three day games and seven games tonight to choose from so things are actually a little busier this evening than in previous weeks.

Vegas puts the Chicago White Sox at Texas matchup as the highest for potential scoring at 9.0, but after that we’ve got sevens and eights, not ideal for hitting.

We have got some decent pitchers going, but there are concerns for some of the obvious names. Matt Harvey is throwing in a hitter’s park, Trevor Bauer is a strikeout machine taking on a team that refuses to strike out, and Michael Wacha is going up against the Dodgers in a good stadium, but against a team with above average skill against right-handed pitching.

Things might be a little tougher to predict than typical tonight, but that is good for tournaments. We’ve seen this a couple times with limited options this year. If there are limited or no obvious choices at positions, ownership percentages will be down across the board and the good daily player can benefit when choosing wisely.

With that knowledge here are some options to help you put other players behind you tonight.

FanDuel Picks for Thursday, June 4, 2015

Starting Pitchers

Matt Harvey, RHP, NY Mets at Arizona, $10,700

I have some concern that Harvey is pitching in Arizona tonight. This is a big time hitter’s park and the snakes have some offense. They can hit right handers and if you get them on the wrong night the D-backs can ruin a pitcher. Still, Harvey is a true ace and while expensive still the best bet for a W, strikeouts, and a dominant performance.

Anthony DeSclafani, RHP, Cincinnati at Philadelphia, $6,900

Ok, you can go with the big names like Harvey, Gio Gonzalez, Michael Wacha, or Jake Arrieta, but all have concerns tonight. The Cubs hit lefties well, Wacha has the Dodgers, Arrieta has dropped down to earth recently and I could go on down the line with tonight’s hurlers. DeSclafani has his concerns too, but he’s way cheaper! Also, while the other pitchers have negative warning signs like a bad park, a good offense, or ugly platoon splits to battle, the Reds pitcher is throwing to the worst team in the majors at hitting right-handed pitching, batting a paltry .227 against the more common side. They strike out 22 percent of the time against righties, not great, but serviceable. Vegas puts this game almost at a push so there’s a decent shot he pulls out a win too. DeSclafani may be your shot at a contrarian play in a tournament that has as good a shot as anyone at looking bad tonight, but a better shot than some others at over-performing due to his matchup. What you want in a tournament is the pitcher with a plus matchup that people are scared of and thus low ownership. This will also give you the cost savings to load up on bats. This strategy could land you in last place on the wrong night, but who cares in a tournament? On the right night this strategy puts you in the big money.

Catchers

Robinson Chirinos, Texas vs. Chicago White Sox, $2,900

The Ranger’s catcher sat out yesterday with a bruised hand but could be back in the lineup today. He is an extreme platoon splits player batting over .300 against lefties. Texas gets the left handed prospect Carlos Rodon, who has had some struggles so far this year.

Yadier Molina, St. Louis at LA Dodgers, $2,200

Catcher is very thin today, so you can feel free to choose your favorite punt option. Molina may be a shadow of his former self to this point but he’s reached safely in seven of his last eight games. The Cardinals catcher is the minimum and as good a bet as any to produce positive value.

First Basemen

Lucas Duda, NY Mets at Arizona, $3,900

Duda travels to Arizona where he gets a great hitter’s park and a pretty decent hitter’s pitcher. Jeremy Hellickson has actually pitched ok during his last couple starts but might be due for some correction Duda style.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati at Philadelphia, $3,600

The Reds veteran started the year hot, then cooled, but seems to be cycling back on again right now. He’s 9-for-21 over his last five games and has three homers during that stretch. Votto is always a good bet to give you something in FanDuel’s format, but when he’s on he’s also got a chance to give you double digit points.

Second Basemen

Daniel Murphy, NY Mets at Arizona, $3,300

The Mets second bagger is starting to show a little life at the plate including his first home run in a month. He has a great matchup in Arizona and I’m thinking the Mets bats are going to be active today.

Robinson Cano, Seattle vs. Tampa Bay, $2,600

Seattle’s All-Star infielder has certainly struggled offensively this year. Still this price is too low for someone that can be a solid contributor. There’s quality north of $3,000 at the keystone today, but if you need to save money you can do much worse than Cano.

Third Basemen

Kyle Seager, Seattle vs. Tampa Bay, $3,400

The Mariner’s third baseman has five hits in his last three games  and gets the platoon advantage today against the righty Erasmo Ramirez. Seager’s about due to jack one out of the park and I’m thinking there’s a decent chance of that today.

Mike Moustakas, Kansas City vs. Cleveland, $2,600

I view Moustakas as a tournament play today. Absolutely everyone is going to be running to put Joey Gallo in their lineups after a couple homers in his first two games but don’t forget he is going to have some 0‘fer games too. I’m going contrarian with Seager when I can spend money or Moustakas if I need to budget. The Royals face an excellent strikeout pitcher in Bauer, but he often pitches himself into tight spots and the Royals are the sort of team that could take advantage. Moustakas is a sneaky play with some upside. I must mention though that it still feels weird actually recommending him this year…

Shortstops

Wilmer Flores, NY Mets at Arizona, $2,400

Flores has a modest five game hitting streak on the line as he arrives in Arizona. I bet he extends it to six tonight. He might even send one into the seats in a friendly park. Any shortstop that can hit home runs is a good shortstop in my book.

Brad Miller, Seattle vs. Tampa Bay, $2,400

Miller is hitting over 100 points better against right handed pitching this year compared to left. He has been calling it in at the plate lately so he’s likely to be lightly owned. If you want a contrarian play at short you could try Miller as long as you understand he could get you a negative score. However, if he does generate some points you will be one of the few that benefit.

Outfielders

Bryce Harper, Washington vs. Chicago Cubs, $5,800

You don’t need me to tell you to put Harper in. The question with him is how much is too much? He costs as much as some pitchers now so it is getting really tough to squeeze him in your lineup. If you go cheap with someone like DeSclafani today, this is the reward. Harper’s matchup is not perfect, but Arrieta has shown a couple chinks in the armor recently and Harper could hit just about anyone right now.

Delino Deshields, Texas vs. Chicago White Sox, $3,300

He’s been platooning lately with Leonys Martin but likely to get the nod today against a left handed pitcher. Deshields is hitting .277 for the season and while he doesn’t hit for power he is stealing bases. This is projected as the highest scoring game for the day so Deshields has a good chance to score some of those runs.

Seth Smith, Seattle vs. Tampa Bay, $2,500

A cheap option in the outfield Smith bats near the top of Seattle’s lineup and has the platoon splits on his side. He’s got an OBP of .323 this year and is a good bet to get on base and score a run or two.

Graham Briggs
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Graham Briggs

Graham is a 20-year veteran of Fantasy Sports and writes about Football and Baseball for SCFE. While he's both won and lost leagues over the years, he contends that fate alone is to blame for the losses. Graham’s days are spent working as an epidemiologist, but it is rumored that he spends every other waking moment studying Fantasy Sports.
Graham Briggs
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