Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (vs. Braves) – Let’s check in on what Kershaw has been up to recently. In his last start, he notched a complete game shutout, allowing the Giants just three hits while striking out seven. It was his third complete game in his last seven starts. In that span, he has surrendered a grand total of four runs and 23 hits with 70 strikeouts in 57 innings. He draws a Braves team on Thursday that has a 22.1-percent strikeout rate, the sixth highest in the league. This is a simple choice.
Jose Abreu, White Sox (@ Tigers, Drew Smyly) – Abreu is riding a 19-game hit streak in which his slash line has moved to .299/.348/.628 from .276/.326/.621. He has gone hitless in just one game in July and once in his last 38 games. And let’s not forget that he leads the majors in homers, RBI and slugging percentage. Abreu has one hit in three career at-bats against Smyly. That hit was, of course, a home run.
Austin Jackson, Tigers (vs. White Sox, John Danks) – Jackson has cooled off a bit since posting seven consecutive multi-hit games from July 19 through July 24, but he’s still a strong play on Thursday thanks to a great matchup. Jackson and Danks are familiar foes, having faced each other 47 times in their respective careers. Jackson has gotten the best of Danks, slashing .381/.447/.643 with three homers, two doubles, six RBI and five walks.
Julio Teheran, Braves (@ Dodgers) – Teheran’s 11-point projection is driven by the expectation that Kershaw will beat the Braves. That makes him a huge bargain.
Jake Arrieta, Cubs (vs. Rockies) – The Colorado offense is a whole lot different with Troy Tulowitzki on the DL, and Arrieta can take advantage.
Ian Kinsler, Tigers (vs. White Sox, John Danks) – Kinsler has a career .342/.375/.747 slash with four homers in 40 plate appearances against Danks.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (vs. Pirates, Jeff Locke) – Goldschmidt hasn’t seen a ton of Locke, but he has liked what little he has seen. The Arizona first baseman is 4-for-6 with a walk against Locke.
Josh Hamilton, Angels (@ Orioles, Bud Norris) – Hamilton is 6-for-15 with a homer, double and two RBI against Norris.
Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays (@ Astros, Jarred Cosart) – Cabrera has been raking over the last two weeks, going 21-for-49 with three homers, seven doubles and 13 RBI in his last 12 games.