Fantasy Baseball Pitcher Rankings, Lineup Advice For Thursday’s MLB Games

Check out our daily rankings of starting pitchers, batter upgrades and downgrades to help you make smart decisions about fantasy baseball lineup and MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice focuses on ESPN 10 team leagues with standard scores.

Remark: This file has been updated to reflect changes in pitching during the night or postponements of matches due to weather, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the stated time of publication.

What you need to know for Thursday’s MLB Games

By Mike Sheets

  • Thursday’s 13-game slate is led by Hunter Greene (28% on the list in ESPN leagues), who has been dominant against a tough St. Louis Cardinals lineup in his first IL start on Saturday, firing six scoreless frames. with a career-high 11 strikeouts, no walks and only four hits allowed. He showed no lingering effects from his right shoulder strain as he averaged 100.7 mph with his four seam, generating 13 sways and misses. When his control wanes, Greene can get in trouble, but he’s one of the game’s most dominant young pitchers when everything clicks. Against a Milwaukee Brewers club that is fan 26.2% of the time in September, Greene is one of the most intriguing streaming options on the slate.

  • Ho-hum, just another week in which George Kirby (64%) is criminally understaffed. We’ve highlighted the young right-hander in this space several times already, so here’s a quick recap: As of July 1, Kirby holds a 2.09 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 over his last 12 starts. During that period, he has only once surrendered more than two earned points (3 ER) and walked no more than once at the start all season. Among pitchers with at least 110 innings thrown, Kirby’s 8.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks best in baseball. If he’s available in your league, pick him up and start him against an inept attack from Oakland A on Thursday.

  • Mitch Keller’s (7%) material doesn’t compare to Greene’s or Kirby’s, but he’s still established himself as a quality streamer, with a 3.17 ERA since the All-Star break. And he’s not just benefiting from favorable matchups, as he’s made four straight starts, two against the New York Mets and one against the Cardinals. On Thursday, Keller will get a favorable draw against the Chicago Cubs, who have committed a bottom-five offense in the past 30 days (82 wRC+, .285 wOBA).

  • Many top contenders make it to the majors and struggle initially, but that has not been the case for Gunnar Henderson (30%). Since his promotion in late August, the 21-year-old has set a .324/.378,574 slash line with three homeruns and a steal in 22 games. That impressive stat is backed up by a hard hit rate of 49% and a barrel rate of 10.2%, which would be in baseball’s top 10 if he had enough at bats to qualify. Thursday’s game against Justin Verlander is clearly not a great place for the rookie, but Henderson is still a great pick-me-up for the final two weeks of the season (and even more so if your league has a goalkeeper component).

  • In Thursday’s Coors Field game, the San Francisco Giants will meet the Colorado Rockies. Colorado starter Jose Urena has really struggled with the thin air, with a 6.57 ERA in Coors this season. He was particularly brutal in the second half and was tagged for a 7.17 ERA in 11 starts. Most of the Giants’ bats are widely available in ESPN leagues, but Joc Pederson (58%), Mike Yastrzemski (51%) and David Villar (1%), who has 33 dingers this year between Triple-A and the majors, are the top names to consider.

Starting pitching list for Thursday

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