Thursday always means a shorter slate and thanks to the scheduling, an early slate of games. The top tier of starting pitching is strong and then it starts to get scarier and scarier the farther down the list you get. Never fear my DFS loving readers, I still have found you the best options no matter how much you are looking to spend on pitchers to help those lineups turn green as we get closer and closer to the weekend! 

Top Tier

Brandon Woodruff, MIL – He is nearly a must start on Thursday, as there is nothing not to like here. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in over a month, and Woodruff has an impressive 10.5 K/9 for the season. He has faced the Cubs four times this year and has pitched a combined 25 innings, allowing just two runs on just ten hits while striking out 30 batters. All of these were before the trade deadline when the Cubs still had Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. Imagine what Woodruff will do with this lineup that Chicago has now?!?!?! He didn’t allow a single earned run in either start at Wrigley, so I am not worried about it being a hitter’s park either. 

John Means, BAL – His first two starts after coming back from injury were shaky but Means has been solid the last two times out, allowing just two earned runs over his last 11 innings while striking out 11. One of those starts was against the same lowly Tigers that he is facing on Thursday. Detroit has the fourth most strikeouts in all of baseball and Means allowed just one run on four hits over six innings against them on July 31st while striking out six. It is hard to not use a guy who just had success against the team with an ERA well under 3.00 and a WHIP under 1.00 for the year. 


Eli Morgan, CLE – This is where the warm and fuzzies about the options end. I like Morgan. He is improving the more he pitches, and he has allowed just four runs in his last 13 innings. He is facing the A’s who he did pitch decently against with three runs over five innings and struck out six. It is a bit of a risk with the A’s throwing Chris Bassitt, but in this middle tier I fell like Morgan is a solid option given how well he has pitched his last two times out. 

Marco Gonzales, SEA – Gonzales has allowed just five earned runs in his last four starts, striking out 16 guys over 22 innings. He isn’t a dominating strikeout pitcher, but he did just handle the Rangers quite well just 11 days ago. Back on August 1st he allowed just one run over six innings and struck out four. Sure, he did also get roughed up by Texas in early June, but Gonzales has been on a nice roll since. The Rangers are hitting just .229 as a team against left-handed pitching and only the Mets and Pirates have scored fewer runs than the Rangers in all of baseball. 

Value Tier 

Trevor Williams, NYM – He hasn’t pitched in nearly three weeks, but Williams was great the last time we saw him as he shutout the Diamondbacks over 6.1 innings with six strikeouts. He was also solid in his two starts down in the Minors since then. He did face the Nationals for the Cubs back in May and allowed two runs over 4.2 innings. Of course, that Washington lineup had Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber in it, both who have been traded since then. He should find the confines of Citi Field preferable to pitchers, and a Nationals lineup that is far easier to navigate