Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ MLB salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each pitcher.
Cream of the Crop
Chris Archer vs. Texas Rangers ($9400) – Archer is the most expensive option on the board, but he is also the best strikeout pitcher on this slate. He has 42 strikeouts in 38 innings of work with an ERA of 1.64 and a WHIP of 0.89. In fact he has started six times and gone at least 5.2 innings in each of them. In 4 of his six starts, he has not allowed a run to score. That is a pretty impressive stat. He takes on a Texas team with the second worst batting average so far this season, is bottom third in runs scored, and top third in most strikeouts per game. It is a good matchup for Archer who has been on fire to start the year.
AJ Burnett vs. Cincinnati Reds ($8600) – Normally the top priced options are not the guys that are the cream of the crop for value, but today this looks like the way to go. Burnett has quite possibly been the best pitcher to not win a game yet in MLB this season. He has an ERA of 1.45, a WHIP of 1.16, and 27 strikeouts through 31 innings of work. He gets a Cincy team that has the fourth worst batting average against right-handed pitching and he gets to face them in his pitcher friendly PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Middle of the Pack
Colin McHugh vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8100) – This is a tough one for me. McHugh is solid, but he is a lefty and the Angels have some righty bats that hit lefties well. He is a very good pitcher, but does not have huge K upside. McHugh is good, but I do not think he makes value today. He is good enough that I do not think the Angels go off either though, so I will be staying away from both him and the Angels bats. The price is my main concern.
Anthony DeScalfani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6800) – Descalfani offers the best price break of the top guys today. He was red hot in his first few starts before coming back to the mean. Yet he gets a Pirates team that has really struggled today. They have the fifth worst batting average and the sixth most strikeouts against right-handed pitching to start the year. DeScalfani does go up opposite AJ Burnett, but his offense has been playing better anyway. He has averaged 6 IP per start and just over 5Ks. If he limits the walks, he should be fine here.
Nick Martinez vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5600) – Martinez has been better this year than he was last season when he was a target against candidate. In five starts, he has only given up 3 earned runs and has a Whip of 1.13. He has been going at least 6 innings in each and the big knock on him is a lack of Ks. He gets the Rays today who are fifth worst in runs and seventh worst in batting average against righties. Martinez is very cheap and he does not need to do much at his salary to pay it off. If he gives you six and gets a win, then he will be one of the better value guys today. Although opposite Archer that will not be easy.
Dan Haren vs. San Fransisco Giants ($7400) – Dan Haren is pitching as well as he has in over two years. He has five starts, averages 6 innings, 4 K’s, and less than 2 runs. I’m not worried about his low strikeout number today, because San Fran does not strikeout often anyway, but they are second to last in runs scored and that means we should be able to limit the negative events on Haren. I feel better about the Marlins getting to Hudson, so I think he may be in line for a win, and while pitching deep into the game he should rack up a few Ks on his way to 7 strong innings. Add those positives together with few negatives and he should return good value with a DK score near 20.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. San Diego Padres ($6600) – Rubby gets a bump up the list for his strikeout potential. He has averaged over a K per inning so far this year and that can not be ignored. He does have a tough matchup against a team that has hit well, but he does better vs. RHB and San Diego is filled with them. I’m not expecting a safe 20 point return, but he is a GPP play due to his strikeout potential and low price.
Rest of the Field
Chris Tillman vs. New York Yankees ($7000) – Tell me which Tillman shows up and I could move him up, but so far he has alternated befuddling teams with 6+ innings one run performances and getting shelled by teams for 5+ runs per game. He has really struggled with Walks and given up a few too many homeruns. When you are able to link the walks and the homerun, it turns out bad. If he limits the HR damage to solo shots, it seems he has good days. Yankee Stadium yields Homers and especially with the lefty heavy lineup they have. If Tillman struggles with control, this could turn ugly.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6400) – Eovaldi is another guy with K potential and blow up potential. He throws hard, which means he can rack up the Ks or give up a ton of runs. His price is cheap, which puts him in play. Baltimore struggled in their recent series with the Mets crosstown and those bats are asleep. Eovaldi hopes they stay that way one more night, because the park bump alone from Citi to Yankee Stadium means the O’s hitters should do much better.
Odrisamer Despiagne vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5900) – Despaigne pitched well and then went back to the bullpen when Ian Kennedy was healthy. He is a starter and one that gets better as the game goes on. He does not strikeout anybody really, but he keeps batters off balance with different arm angles and breaking pitches. He could pitch 7 innings easily, but will likely have few Ks. If he gives up a few runs and does not get the win, there’s no way his style gets enough fantasy points to be a good value.
Hector Santiago vs. Houston Astros ($6500) – Some may be surprised to see him this low as he has not been horrible this year. The problem is the Astros hit lefties really well with a righty power heavy lineup. Vegas and DK pricing Algo all agree with me as he is way under where you would expect at first glance. Too many red flags against him for me to think he can repeat some of those 20 fantasy point games from earlier.
Tim Hudson vs. Miami Marlins ($6700) – Tim Hudson flashed his ceiling while going 8 strong innings last out and finishing with 19 DK points. That’s the problem with using Tim Hudson. Even on his best, the strikeouts are low and he allows a few baserunners. Even on his best he fails to really return value. He is a better real life pitcher than a fantasy pitcher, but I still do not think he is useable for fantasy with no K upside at all anymore.