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Today we have a doubleheader on tap with the White Sox and Orioles during the day. Otherwise all of the six other games are night time affairs for this Thursday.

With no afternoon-only Daily Fantasy contests I would stay away from setups involving the day games unless you want to play the “I know who will be in the starting lineup better than you other fools” game.

When looking at the evening games you may notice all of them are in pitcher friendly parks, but we do have a couple guys being called up from the minors to fill in.

Still, Vegas puts the totals low overall tonight so runs could be a little tough to find. For cash games the standard strategy of going heavy on pitching and cherry picking underpriced bats looks like a good move tonight.

If tournaments are more your style I would probably still try to get a decent pitcher in there, but would be willing to go down a little to Shelby Miller, C.J. Wilson, or maybe even James Paxton if I’m feelin’ lucky. This will get you into contrarian territory and off the herd. Here’s what we’ve got to pick from tonight.

FanDuel Picks for Thursday, May 28

Starting Pitchers

Corey Kluber, RHP, Cleveland at Seattle, $10,500

I don’t care if Kluber costs 15K right now, I want him on my squad. After bad luck early this season the baseball gods also known as statistical correction are favoring the Indians ace. His FanDuel points for his last three starts are 18, 20, and 30 points. He also gets pitcher friendly Safeco Field to throw in tonight. Seattle Ks 24% of the time and is hitting just .232 against righties. The only downside is that everyone knows Kluber is smoking right now so you could see 70-80% ownership in cash games.

A.J. Burnett, RHP, Pittsburgh at San Diego, $9,600

Burnett just keeps rolling this year. He has now had eight quality starts in a row, had 10 strike outs in his last start, and gets a great stadium in Petco Park to pitch in. Add to that the Padres have been cooling with their bats and are now hitting .243 and striking out 24% of the time against right handed pitching and you have a reason to start the Pirates pitcher yet again. This setup sounds like Kluber light tonight.

Catchers

Brian McCann, N.Y. Yankees at Oakland, $3,100

McCann has hit two long balls in his last two games and has hits in his last five. He also gets the platoon advantage today against Kendall Graveman. Oakland’s pitcher looked pretty good in his last start after being brought back up to the majors but if you look back at his starts earlier in the year there were problems. If the good Graveman was a mirage the Yanks will eat him up, even in Oakland.

Robinson Chirinos, Texas vs. Boston, $2,600

When you look Chirinos’ batting average it is ugly. But, then look at his platoon splits. He hits 40 points higher for his career against left handers and this year is actually hitting .333 against southpaws. Now, that looks more promising than his .198 season batting average right? Tonight Texas is facing a highly touted call up, but a call up from triple-A nonetheless. Plus, here it comes, he’s a lefty. Take the discount and toss in Chirinos in this sort of situation.

First Basemen

Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh at San Diego, $3,300 

The Pirates first baseman has hits in his last five and eight of his last ten games. Throw in four homers, eight RBI, 10 runs, and a couple doubles and you have your first base for tonight.

Billy Butler, Oakland vs. NY Yankees, $2,500

I think we need to seriously consider targeting C.C. Sabathia this year whenever he takes the mound. He did have a couple good starts this month, but he let in six runs in just over two innings his last time out. Butler is the guy normally starting at first now against lefties, so he’s a cheap option going into a good matchup.

Second Basemen

Ben Zobrist, Oakland vs. NY Yankees, $3,100

Another Athletic you can throw in against Sabathia. Zobrist has slotted right back into the the three hole with the A’s since returning from the DL. If Oakland hits Sabathia, Zobrist is bound to score some points.

Dustin Pedroia, Boston at Texas, $2,800

Pedroia has been seeing the ball well hitting safely in his last seven games. With the limited number of games being played tonight Vegas thinks this will be the highest scoring and I still don’t believe Nick Martinez is any good. One of these days the wheels are going to fall off Martinez, maybe its today.

Third Basemen

Adrian Beltre, Texas vs. Boston, $3,000

Beltre started out the year ugly and many might still be scared of him. He’s started putting hits together lately and is showing signs of blowing up. Enter the left handed triple-A pitcher and watch as the Texas veteran clubs him.

Brett Lawrie, Oakland vs. NY Yankees, $2,200

Lawrie took a couple days off with back soreness but is now in the daily lineup again. He will hit in the middle of the order, has a little pop, and is darn cheap.

Shortstops

Elvis Andrus, Texas vs. Boston, $2,800

Another Texas hitter showing some spark is Andrus. He’s got nine hits in his last six games. If the Rangers can get to Boston’s fill in pitcher Texas stacks will be rewarded.

Erick Aybar, LA Angels vs. Detroit, $2,700 

Aybar is sticking at the top of the Angels order and producing some fantasy value. After he lost his 11 game hitting streak he started another and is up to six games now. He is throwing in a mix of extra base hits, steals, and even a home run during his hot streak.

Outfielders

Mike Trout, LA Angels vs. Detroit, $5,000

With cost savings elsewhere I just fit Trout into a lineup with Kluber and am feeling pretty happy about it. Trout and the Angels face Buck Farmer tonight and it just seems appropriate for Trout to go yard on a night like this against a pitcher with that name.

Cole Calhoun, LA Angels vs. Detroit, $2,900

Calhoun has stumbled just a little since moving into the cleanup spot with the Angels. While he hasn’t hit for much power he has hit safely in eight of his last ten games. He does have the ability to smack the ball though and while the Angels are not hitting right handers as a team, Calhoun is batting .274 against the opposite hand for him. The Angels bats will inevitably wake up together at some point, and what better time than when facing a fill in triple-A call up?

Nick Markakis, Atlanta at San Francisco, $2,600

This choice is really based more on Chris Heston than Markakis. Heston has looked really bad in his last two starts and I’m tempted to throw Braves into my lineups tonight. Markakis is the only Atlanta regular with an average north of .300 and is a nice bet to produce some runs at a relatively cheap price. I might try to get creative and add another one or two in a lineup somewhere to stack against Heston.

Good luck today — hopefully, our FanDuel picks for Thursday end up treating you right!

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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.
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