After our two most profitable days of the season, so far, the week gets to the homestretch with a light day that doesn't have many compelling matchups. Still, the chances to profit remain, especially as we have a short afternoon slate.
In total, there are 8 games on the schedule, but we will ignore the two early contests as it is better to check all the lineups before the afternoon games begin. Thursdays tend to be days in which managers rest some players, so paying attention to the starting batters right around lock time is key to get every possible edge.
Thursday, April 30
Locks: 7:10 ET (Blue Jays @ Indians)
Boy, was Wednesday huge all around. To wit, the early slate saw Michael Pineda fail to get the win, but still post 8.6 points to begin the day. The offense is what really stood out, as the Orioles hit well, and I ended up subbing Adam Lind for Joey Votto, as the latter didn't start. As a whole, the offense went for a whopping 33 as Jay Bruce, Lind, and JD Martinez homered (and that's not even counting Ryan Braun, who was posted as an alternate pick). In the end, 41.6 points.
For the afternoon, pitcher Carlos Martinez earned an unspectacular win, but went for 11 points. The offense went for 34.5 in total, with homers from Jimmy Rollins, Mike Trout, and Nelson Cruz. As you can see, it pays off to go for the best players on some days. 45.5 points should have been enough to win in many formats, and provide a nice return on your investment. So, you're welcome.
Keep an eye on the game between the Jays and Indians, as there is a sustained forecast of rain for pretty much all the game. While it may not be fully postponed, possible rain delays and the bad weather is bound to suppress some of the potential offensive fireworks that would occur in better weather.
The other 5 games shouldn't have any problem, though the game between the Nats and Mets should have moderate winds blowing in.
Biggest Money Line Favorites
Well, today may be a bit tough to place some bets, as 5 of the afternoon games are practically pick'ems with parity abounding. The only big favorites are the White Sox, on the road against the Twins. Starting Chris Sale gets you that, as the -150 line makes a lot of sense.
All over/unders are either 7 or 8 runs for the afternoon, predicting a low-scoring day with plenty of pitching.
Pitcher – Chris Sale ($10,000)
You could make a case for several hurlers, as we have Strasburg, deGrom, Shelby Miller, Mike Leake, and the surprising Alfredo Simon as possible options. Still, would you trust either of them? This is why we are going big with Sale, as he is far and away the best option. In his first start against the Twins in 2015, he racked up 17 FanDuel points, well in line with his career numbers versus Minnesota. He is 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA overall, and 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in Target Field.
Others to Consider: deGrom ($9,400), Leake ($7,300)
Catcher – Evan Gattis ($2,700)
The Blue Jays are a great stacking option, but the rain threats make them a bit risky. Elsewhere, you can make a case for the Tigers' righties, the White Sox, and Astros. Speaking of the Astros, they are on a serious roll, especially now that their early disappointments like Gattis and Chris Carter are finally hitting. Returning to the AL, Gattis should at least see the start at DH.
Others to Consider: Alex Avila ($2,400)
First Base – Jose Abreu ($4,100)
Abreu has picked up the pace in the last week after a slow start, and now gets to face Trevor May, who has allowed 3 hits in 6 at-bats versus the Cuban slugger. In 9 games at Target Field, Abreu has hit 2 homers, 2 doubles, and owns a nice .943 OPS.
Others to Consider: Edwin Encarnacion ($4,000), Kendrys Morales ($2,500)
Second Base – Brandon Phillips ($2,500)
This is strictly a matchup play, as Phillips has hit well against Shelby Miller (6 for 17), and this week finally hit his first homer of the season. At this price, he is worth the shot, though if you have the budget, the diminutive Altuve is the best play of the day.
Others to Consider: Jose Altuve ($4,400), Devon Travis ($3,600)
Third Base – Danny Valencia ($2,400)
Valencia is a major leaguer for one reason only: he crushes lefties. For his career, he owns a .880 OPS against southpaws, reaching base almost 40% of the time. This season has been no different, with Valencia serving as a platoon player who has seen his only 23 plate appearances against lefties. He is hitting .455 in this limited action, and though he is yet to hit a homer, it could come at any time. If the game is played without a problem, he is a great value play.
Others to Consider: Mike Moustakas ($3,000)
Shortstop – Jose Iglesias ($2,600)
Shortstop is a wasteland in FanDuel, and so going for a cheap option with moderate upside is the play almost every day. In this case, Iglesias has been surprisingly consistent so far for the Tigers, and now gets the platoon advantage against Danny Duffy.
Others to Consider: Marwin Gonzalez ($2,200)
Outfield – George Springer ($3,900), JD Martinez ($3,400), Jake Marisnick ($3,000)
If the Toronto game starts normally, I'd probably save a spot for Jose Bautista, but for now we can stack the red-hot Astros. Aside from their power potential, they are stealing bases at an alarming rate, and now get a boost for returning home. There is just no wrong answer here. JD Martinez continues to be consistent at a moderate price, but you could also give a look to Yoenis Cespedes, or another speedy Detroit outfielder like Anthony Gose.
Others to Consider: Jose Bautista ($5,000), Cespedes ($3,200), Brandon Moss ($3,400)