Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Thursday’s MLB games

Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.

What you need to know for Thursday’s MLB Games

By Mike Sheets

  • After getting roughed up in his major-league debut, Matthew Liberatore (7% rostered in ESPN leagues) looked better in his second outing, spinning five shutout frames with six strikeouts against the Milwaukee Brewers. The 22-year-old still has some kinks to work out, as he needs to show improved command and gain some consistency with his secondary offerings, but the pieces are there for him to be a fantasy-relevant starter. The former first-round pick finds himself in a favorable spot on Thursday, squaring off against a Chicago Cubs team that posted the second-highest strikeout rate (25.6%) in May.



Eric Karabell explains why Matthew Liberatore is an intriguing option for strikeouts and run prevention at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

  • Corey Kluber (33%) has battled inconsistency this season, but when he’s been good, he’s been really good, registering a Game Score of 70 or higher in three starts. To compare, Gerrit Cole has only two starts this season that registered at 70 or higher. Plus, if you remove his one blowup outing against the Los Angeles Angels in early May (8 ER in 3 IP), Kluber sports a 2.59 ERA in his other eight starts with nearly a strikeout per inning. On Thursday’s abbreviated slate, the veteran right-hander makes for a solid streaming option against the Texas Rangers, who rank bottom-five versus right-handed pitching with a .288 wOBA.

  • Tyrone Taylor (6%) is finally getting everyday at-bats in the Milwaukee Brewers outfield, and he’s making the most of it. Over his last 13 games, he has hit .341 with five home runs, 18 RBI, and nine runs while slotting into the heart of the batting order. If Taylor keeps hitting like this, he’s going to stay in the lineup — even when Hunter Renfroe returns from the IL. On Thursday, he gets the platoon edge against Sean Manaea, who has been more vulnerable against right-handed batters this season. Scoop up Taylor for this matchup and ride out his current hot streak.

  • Alex Faedo of the Detroit Tigers has a 3.00 ERA over five big-league starts, but the underlying numbers suggest some regression is coming. That regression could very well begin on Thursday against a Minnesota Twins club that put up a 123 wRC+ last month. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to get exposure to the Twins lineup, as Gary Sanchez (44%), Gio Urshela (21%), Trevor Larnach (3%), and Jose Miranda (1%) are all widely available. All four hitters have been doing damage at the plate over the last two weeks — particularly Urshela (.390/.458/.585) and Miranda (.348/.375/.609).

Starting pitcher rankings for Thursday


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