Thursday's main slate gets going a little later than usual, with the first game beginning at 7:40 pm ET. Two aces lead the way at pitcher, but offense could be tougher to figure out, as implied totals are rather low tonight.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Shohei Ohtani ($11,100): The Angels have nothing left to play for, but they still let Ohtani go 100 pitches in his last start, which is a good sign that they'll just allow him to do his thing against the Athletics tonight.
Ohtani will still have bouts of wildness here and there -- he issued a season-high six walks last week -- but he's the complete package on most nights, putting together a 2.78 SIERA, 32.9% strikeout rate, and 6.8% walk rate across 26 starts. He's logged at least eight strikeouts in half of those starts and hit double-digits on nine occasions.
He should be able to take care of business against a weak Oakland lineup. The A's active roster has the fifth-worst wRC+ versus righties (90), and they aren't expected to get much going tonight with a 2.79 implied total.
Carlos Rodon ($10,800): Rodon is the other clear-cut choice on this slate. The southpaw is facing the Rockies at Oracle Park, and Colorado is notorious for seeing a major dip in production on the road. When away from Coors Field, the Rockies' active roster has the league's worst wRC+ (75) and third-worst strikeout rate (25.4%). Unsurprisingly, the result is a middling 2.85 implied total.
The Giants technically haven't been eliminated from the wild card, so they'll presumably roll out Rodon for his usual workload. He's wrapping up a fantastic 2022 campaign with a 2.90 SIERA, 32.9% strikeout rate, and 7.5% walk rate, and he piled up double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back games earlier this month.
While Garrett has only made 15 starts this season, he's quietly produced a 3.42 SIERA, 24.5% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate. He's also induced grounders at a 47.1% clip, which has helped him keep home runs down.
His matchup against Milwaukee could give his upside a boost, as well. The Brewers' active roster owns a 94 wRC+ and 26.0% strikeout rate versus southpaws this season.
Seeing as Garrett returned from the injured list earlier this month and the Marlins have little reason to push their young starters, we probably won't see him logging a massive workload. But he did get to 6 innings and 80 pitches in his last start, so perhaps we'll see him get to 90-plus pitches if he's dealing tonight.
Los Angeles Dodgers
As of this writing, the San Diego Padres haven't officially announced their Thursday starter, but it's expected to be Sean Manaea. If that ends up being the case, the Los Angeles Dodgers should shoot up to the front of the line for tonight's stacks.
Dating back to early August, Manaea has posted a 19.3% strikeout rate over his last eight starts, and over that span, he's exceeded four strikeouts in a game only once. In this time, he's allowed 11 home runs to right-handed batters off a 50.5% fly-ball rate and 37.5% hard-hit rate.
This is a money spot for Mookie Betts ($4,200), Trea Turner ($3,900), and Will Smith ($3,000), and then we can look to Chris Taylor ($2,000) and Trayce Thompson ($2,600) for some value righties. It also isn't like Manaea has been anything special versus lefties this year (4.62 xFIP), either, so left-handed bats can be included in full stacks, too.
Los Angeles Angels
It's a little weird to see the Los Angeles Angels with one of the night's higher implied totals again (4.21), but this is just an odd night for offense all around.
Still, their matchup versus left-hander Cole Irvin checks out. Although Irvin has gotten solid overall results in 2022, things have begun to unravel lately, and he has a 5.11 xFIP over his last five starts.
For the season, he has a mediocre 18.1% strikeout rate against righties while allowing a 45.0% fly-ball rate and 36.3% hard-hit rate.
Mike Trout ($4,500) is one of the top overall options on the slate, and Taylor Ward ($3,500) and Luis Rengifo ($2,600) are two of the better Angels bats to attach to him.Matt Duffy ($2,200) isn't super exciting on his own, but he could move up the order against a lefty, and his punt salary can help with rostering tonight's top pitchers.
San Francisco Giants
Feltner has a thoroughly mediocre 19.8% strikeout rate and 7.9% walk rate, and he's been coughing up 1.48 home runs per nine innings this year. He can be attacked from both sides of the plate, but lefties could have the advantage, as Feltner is showing a 4.68 xFIP, 42.2% fly-ball rate, and 37.0% hard-hit rate in the split.
If he's batting leadoff again, Joc Pederson ($2,400) is a gift at his salary, and fellow leftyMike Yastrzemski ($2,800) should also start. It's difficult to predict how the lineup will shake out overall, but the good news is not a single batter has a salary over $2,800, so this will be an appealing value stack no matter who gets the nod.