<
>

Top MLB DFS building blocks for Thursday

It's hard to pass up lefty-killer Wilmer Flores in daily fantasy contests on Thursday given his price tag. Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Our experts are here to provide the best hitters and pitchers for you to build your daily fantasy baseball lineups around on Tuesday.


Hitters to build around

Eric Karabell: Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers

The numbers are certainly all there for Avila against right-handed pitching ( .333 batting average and OPS better than 1.100), and he's facing Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, who is allowing way too many hits. Cobb has seemed more comfortable this season pitching at home, and this game is in Detroit; Cobb's road ERA is 5.01. Perhaps it's just noise, but Avila is the rare catcher hitting in the top two spots of a lineup and the matchup works.

Joe Kaiser: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

Arenado is absolutely tearing it up against southpaws like Matt Moore this season, posting a .412/.414/.838 slash line and seven home runs. This game is at Coors Field, where he hasn't hit as well as he has on the road, but are we really going to downgrade Arenado (or anyone else, for that matter) when playing at Coors? No, no we are not.

Kyle Soppe: Wilmer Flores, 3B, New York Mets

With Chris Sale potentially tying up a large percentage of your budget, Flores is nearly a must-own at his price point. There are 245 players with at least 200 plate appearances against southpaws since the beginning of 2015, and just four of them have a higher weighted on-base average (wOBA) than Flores. And you may have heard of the other four: Giancarlo Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt, Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout. Not a bad list of players to be associated with, and when you notice that all 10 home runs allowed by Gio Gonzalez this season (and 20 of 22 extra-base hits) have been hit by righties, Flores' price tag is the top bargain on the board tonight.


Pitchers to build around

Eric Karabell: Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies

Perhaps the rookie right-hander, with sparkling numbers so far, will struggle at Coors Field like so many before him. After all, Hoffman's past three outings (during which he's only allowed three runs total) were on the road, and two of them were against sputtering offenses in the Padres and the Phillies. We don't really know if Hoffman can be as effective in Denver. Well, I think he can be. The price and foe (the Giants) is certainly right, and at the very least we should get as many strikeouts as innings.

Joe Kaiser: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Tampa Bay has 81 home runs against right-handers this season -- the third-most in the majors -- but the Rays also have a contact problem. In fact, their 465 strikeouts vs. RHP ranks second to only San Diego (466), and a pitcher of Verlander's caliber has the ability to avoid the long ball and induce the whiff. Verlander has a 2.10 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 30 IP at home this season, which also bodes well heading into this one.

Kyle Soppe: Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals

Sale is going to cost you an arm, a leg, and the naming rights to your first born tonight ... and there's a good chance he is worth the price of admission. I'll assume you go that direction on one-pitcher sites, but how can you work him into a two-pitcher lineup? For me, rostering Wacha makes a lot of sense, as the Cards are the third-biggest favorite in the eyes of the sports books, but Wacha is the fifth cheapest pitcher on DraftKings. That's value, and considering the Brewers rank fourth in strikeout percentage against righties this season, the ceiling is worth chasing at this price point. Opponents are making hard contact at an exceedingly low rate against Wacha thus far in 2017, a trend that has me thinking he can give you six quality innings.