The race for the 2019 MLB playoffs heats up as the calendar turns to August on Thursday. Lineups, rotations and bullpens across the league will look different after the trade deadline saw several big names move teams on Wednesday. Now MLB DFS players will need to make adjustments as they set lineups for Thursday’s MLB schedule, which includes four afternoon games and then six games in the evening. With Clayton Kershaw, Max Fried and Gerrit Cole among the big names scheduled to take the hill during the evening main slate, there will be some tough calls to make. So before finalizing any MLB DFS picks of your own, first be sure to see what DFS pro Mike McClure has to say. He has almost $2 million in career winnings and his optimal lineups, top picks, player pool and MLB DFS advice can help you crush your selections on Thursday. 

When it comes to MLB, McClure is at his best. Recognized in the book “Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Fortune” as a top MLB DFS player, McClure’s proprietary projection model simulates each game 10,000 times, taking factors such as matchups and recent results into account. This allows him to find the best values on every site.

He got off to a hot start in 2019, producing lineups on SportsLine that have returned as much as 30x in the first half of the season. He’s also finished in the top 1 percent of tournaments four times and the top 0.1 percent of tournaments twice this season already. He cashed huge in three consecutive tournaments in mid-June, which included a top 2 percent finish when his DraftKings lineup generated a whopping 185.9 points. He also had an optimal lineup on FanDuel that cashed 8x for followers right before the All-Star break. 

Then on Wednesday, he rostered Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval on FanDuel at just $2,700. The result: Sandoval went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk — returning over 20 points and 8x value. Now, McClure has set his sights on Thursday’s MLB DFS slates. You can see his full roster at SportsLine.

One of McClure’s top MLB DFS picks for Thursday is Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts at $4,300 on FanDuel and $5,500 on DraftKings. Betts (.288/18/56) hasn’t put up the MVP-caliber numbers he did in 2018, but he’s been a solid producer for MLB DFS players. He leads the AL in runs scored (99), is third in walks (77) and is ninth in stolen bases (12). He’ll look to exploit a matchup against the Rays and lefty starter Brendan McKay, who got shelled for five earned runs in 3.1 innings in his last outing. 

Part of his optimal MLB DFS strategy includes rostering Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi ($2,700 on FanDuel, $4,000 on DraftKings), who has been on a roll his past two games, recording five hits and scoring four runs during that span. Choi, a lefty, does most of his damage against right-handed pitching, and that’s what he’ll see from Andrew Cashner on Thursday. When facing righties, Choi has a .280 average and has hit nine of his 10 home runs, so you can confidently lock him Thursday and look for a big return on value. 

McClure is also targeting an undervalued player who is set to explode for huge numbers on Thursday. The stars are aligning for him to return tournament-winning value and he comes at a price that won’t break the bank. This pick could be the difference between cashing in big or going home with nothing.  

So what are the optimal MLB DFS lineups for Thursday? Visit SportsLine right now to see DFS millionaire Mike McClure’s complete optimal tournament lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings, and cash in big on MLB DFS.