Surprises

Vince Velasquez

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies, RHP (33.8 DK PPG)

No pitcher is even close when it comes to Velasquez in DraftKings points per game for starting pitchers. His season highlight is a complete game, three hit shutout that included SIXTEEN strikeouts for almost 60 DK points vs. the Padres. Otherwise, he has good and not so good start against the Mets. There’s clearly a lot of potential here with a crazy high ceiling.


Drew Smyly

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays, LHP (26.3 DK PPG)

After getting knocked around by the Blue Jays in his first start (as all lefties do), Smyly has yet to disappoint. Over his next three starts he’s only allowed 10 hits and three earned runs over 22 innings to go along with 28 strikeouts. Smyly is pitching like the clear ace in Tampa.


Kenta Maeda

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers, RHP (24.8 DK PPG)

Maeda has been phenomenal in his first four big league starts. He hasn’t blown us away with any huge performance, but he’s consistent and doesn’t allow runs (0.36 ERA). Until the Dodgers take the chains off him, you can pretty much pencil him in for six scoreless innings with a handful of strikeouts.


Rick Porcello

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves

Boston Red Sox, RHP (24.5 DK PPG)

After a horrible first season in Boston, Porcello has been a totally different pitcher in 2016. He’s 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA on the year after pitching 6.1 scoreless innings on Monday night. Like Maeda, Porcello usually pitches 6-7 innings, so he doesn’t have a ceiling like the elite guys do, but both are exceeding value by far this year without laying an egg yet.


Taijuan Walker

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners, RHP (22.8 DK PPG)

Walker began the season with a couple of average outings but has been improving with each start. Here’s a look at his DK points for his four starts in order: 13.3, 15.3, 27.1, 35.6. If he keeps pitching around his average, he’s going to exceed a lot of expectations this season. His 1.44 ERA is very encouraging, too.


Disappointments

Alfredo Simon

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds, RHP (-1.8 DK PPG)

Simon was one of my go-to guys when it came to cheap pitching last season. He had some really consistent stretches for Detroit. Simon has not been able to carry any of that success over to Cincinnati with him. After a nice start against the Pirates, Simon has deliver three consecutive starts with negative DK points and got yanked before the end of the third in each. His 16.39 ERA tells the story here.


Shelby Miller

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks, RHP (1.5 DK PPG)

Miller’s been a really talented pitcher in the past and was supposed to thrive as the No. 2 behind Greinke this season (who has also not been himself either). Miller hasn’t even cracked double-digits in DK points this season and has back-to-back games in the negatives. If you want to be contrarian, Miller has a nice shot to bounce back despite how brutal he’s been.


Adam Wainwright

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals, RHP (2.1 DK PPG)

Wainwright had such high hopes this season and just can’t seem to break through. He’s been good enough to keep pitching through six innings even without his best stuff, but eventually the runs catch up to him. That makes for bad performances when you’re not striking people out. Wainwright is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA and only 9 K’s in four starts.


Taylor Jungman

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers, RHP (2.3 DK PPG)

Jungman has shown potential in the past, but he’s having an eerily similar season to Wainwright — 0-3, 8.47 ERA and just 11 punch outs. The Brewers’ offense is off to a surprising start which makes Milwaukee’s pitching on the whole even more disappointing.


Joe Kelly

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox, RHP (4.2 DK PPG)

Kelly is on the DL now with a shoulder injury that looks like it may bother him all season. Rewind to spring training, though, and Kelly was being mentioned as a potential No. 2 starter for the BoSox. When healthy, Kelly had a mess of a start against the Jays, but did go on to redeem himself against the Orioles. Then he had to leave his third start vs. Tampa without making it through an inning. It’s taking on the feeling of a lost season for Kelly after expectations were high. It seems like he and Porcello switched places pretty quickly.

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