A quick word of advice on these MLB fantasy Thursday slates:  for many MLB teams, Wednesday games are referred to as “getaway games,” meaning that it concludes a Mon-Wed three game series ahead of an off day. It’s an ideal situation for teams to give players days off, so it’s not uncommon for backup catchers and utility infielders to get a start. While it’s always important to check lineups before lock time, Thursdays can throw you a slider low and away when it comes to resting players.

Today’s Pitchers

With the unfortunate news of Noah Syndergaard hitting the DL, Jacob deGromm, NYM ($15,200) will assume the Ace role in the Mets rotation. He’ll be a popular play and is fairly well priced considering the Mets will be able to tee off on former teammate Bartolo Colon. The Braves are a pretty good hitting team, but if deGromm can get through six innings, he should be well placed for 40+pts.

Drew Pomeranz, BOS ($11,900) has 27 strikeouts in 21 innings and faces an Orioles lineup that is currently striking out almost 30% of the time versus lefties. The RedSox face Kevin Gausman and his 7.50 ERA, so a win seems there for the taking for Pomeranz (as long as he keeps the ball in the yard!)

I have a feeling that Anthony Senzatela, COL ($9,100) is going to have a fair bit of ownership facing the Padres and with good reason.  The Padres rank last in the NL in On Base Percentage and second overall in strikeouts against righties this year. If this were in Colorado I’d pass, but Senzatela is a great value play today.  Oh, and to make things a little sweeter, the Rockies face Jered Weaver and his 57mph fastball…more on that to follow.

Hitters and Stacks

Tinfoil Hat Stack Theory

Yesterday, Chris Sale threw a pitch that sailed behind Oriole star Manny Machado and it didn’t go unnoticed. As mentioned earlier, Kevin Gausman is off to a terrible start despite entering the season with high hopes. Gausman can also throw an upper 90s fastball. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some retaliation that leads to ejections and long relief bullpen usage. Because of that, the RedSox are a lock to score 22 runs. Seriously though, Mookie Betts OF, BOS ($7,600) has a .435 AVG and three homers in 23 at bats vs Gausman and if you love Short Sample Sizes, Andrew Benintendi OF, BOS ($5,600) is a perfect 3 for 3 vs the Oriole hurler.

Dream Weaver (he can help you get to the target)

As long as the Padres use Jered Weaver, I will use hitters against him.  No offense to Weaver – he was a great pitcher at one point, finishing 2nd in Cy Young voting in 2011, and he and brother Jeff are probbaly guys you’d want to sit around and drink beers with. Unfortunately, he’s just plain bad now. A part of me wants to be wrong, but I’ll be trying to fit in Charlie Blackmon OF, COL ($7,200), Nolan Arenado 3B, COL ($7,300), Trevor Story SS, COL ($6,300) and whichever catcher gets the start.

Bigger In Texas

The Juice Box (Minute Maid Park) is the AL’s version of Coors Field. Park Factor data may say otherwise, but this place turns lazy fly balls into homers like nowhere else. Delino Deshields even hit one out yesterday! The Rangers are sending out their 5th starter Nick Martinez, who is just not very good.  Like the Rockies, the Astros will be expensive, but it’s probably a good idea to make a lineup with their big guys along some value plays like Carlos Beltran OF, HOU ($5,700), Josh Reddick OF, HOU ($5,400) and Yuli Gurriel 1B, HOU, ($4,800).  Also, be sure to keep an eye on whether Marwin Gonzalez 1B, HOU ($4,400) gets a start because he has been absolutely raking lately.

Good luck everyone, the Target is up to $1,100 so let’s go get it!