MLB Pitcher Rankings: April 13th early slate

We have a split slate with six games starting during the afternoon here and the rest being at 7PM eastern or later. While DraftKings is offering early, late, and all day slates for Monday, I find it easier to break the pitchers down by game time start. There will be a Pitcher ranking for the late slate to follow as well if you are playing that one or the all day variety.

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

Adam Wainwright vs. Milwaukee ($9500) – Wainwright is the biggest favorite on the day by a few dollars over DeGrom and therefore he is my top choice. He pitched against the Brewers 4 times last year and posted a 2.97 ERA while going 3-1 with 19 strikeouts. Both guys get offenses who have performed about the same this year, but I like the fact that Wainwright’s match up is against a predominately right handed line up, while there’s a few left handed bats that can do some damage against DeGrom. They are honestly 1 and 1a for me today, so I won’t knock anyone who rolls out either guy.

Jacob DeGrom vs. Phillies ($9000) – DeGrom was last year’s rookie of the year and picked up right where he left off in his first start. He made one mistake and gave up a 2 run jack in the first inning of his first start and then he shut down the Nationals for the rest of the game. He should be able to go 7 innings tomorrow with 5-7 strikeouts and less than two earned runs. If he can do that and pick up a win, then he will be well worth the price tag.

Anibal Sanchez @ Pittsburgh ($8200) – Sanchez goes up against the team that is leading the majors in strikeouts. They average over almost eleven per game through their first six. The Pirates are middle of the road so far in BA, OBP, and runs scored. It’s not the easiest match up on the night, but it does have a lot of upside. The Tigers are starting to hit as well, so even if he is off, they have a chance to score some runs and pick him up.

Jordan Zimmerman @ Boston ($8400) – Zim threw a gem in his first outing. He gave up one base runner per inning through his first six innings and struck out four on the way to picking up his first win of the season. This was on the heels of an excellent spring as well, so Zim looks to be locked in at the moment. He does face a tougher Boston team this time out and they have a lot of guys who can mash in that lineup. He should make for a nice low owned swerve off the top two and when linked together, provide enough salary relief to allow you to fit a stud or two in.

Middle of the Pack

 Gerrit Cole vs. Detroit Tigers ($8600) – Cole was a K per inning guy last season. He had 138 of them in 138 innings. His stuff is sneaky good and he tends to fly under the radar. He gets a start at home in a very pitcher friendly ballpark and should be locked in a Pitchers duel with Anibal Sanchez. If he was favored, had a softer match up, or opponent on the rubber, I would have him as a top 3 starter, but those things are not reality.

Aaron Harang @ NY Mets ($6500) – This is as much a price play as it is an upside one. Harang was really good out of the gate last year before he faded away. He had some nice season in Cincy when he first left them as well. He went 6 innings with 8 strikeouts in a much tougher match up to start the season. He is a high risk, high reward play that I think is definitely feasible.

Danny Duffy @ Minnesota ($7200) – Duffy gets to match up against a weak hitting Twins team in his second start of the season. The Twins have a 27% K rate against left handed pitching so far this season and Duffy is a -121 favorite for the win here. Joe Mauer is a professional hitter and Brian Dozier is good vs. LHP, but other than those two there is not much to worry about. The Twins have a lot of free swingers and Duffy should be able to continue to limit that offense from scoring while racking up a few strike outs in the process.

Rick Porcello vs. Washington ($6600) – Porcello is really well priced here against a struggling Nationals offense. They have a .213 batting average against righties so far this year with 47 strikeouts in only 169 at bats. That’s a 29% strikeout rate and should help bolster Porcello’s score. Porcello is much cheaper than his counterpart Zimmerman is, yet he is the favorite in this game to pick up the win at around -120. He has a quality offense behind him as well, so he should be able to take care of business and pick up 20+ fantasy points for you at a pretty fair price point.

Rest of the Field

Chris Heston vs. Colorado ($4700) – Young righty was pretty solid in his first start this season. He only gave up three hits, 2 walks, and 2 unearned runs while striking out 5 over 6 innings in his debut. He gets a much tougher test here against a deadly Rockies line up, but he is favored at -115 and is very cheap. He gets the added bonus of facing them in a pitcher’s park instead of in Coors. He’s not a great option given his match up, but he’s still not the worst start on the day either.

Matt Garza @ St. Louis ($7100) – I would not pay anywhere near this price for him today. In fact he would be my top choice as a fade. Garza struggled in his first start and probably should have given up even more runs. He gave up four runs on eight hits (4 extra base hits) and only struck out two in just five innings of work. Low innings, low K’s, with a lot of hits and runs is the opposite of what will get you a solid fantasy score. He faces a Cardinals line up littered with solid left handed bats that will give him trouble and to top it all off, he goes against Adam Wainwright who is the biggest favorite on the day. While I may not target bats against him, I also would not touch him with a ten foot pole even if I was playing with someone else’s bankroll.

Trevor May vs. Kansas City ($5800) –  May gets the big league call up with the injury to Ricky Nolasco opening up a roster spot for him. He had a cup of coffee with the big club last year and had a decent K rate despite giving up a lot of hits and runs. May is one of the better prospects in the Twins pitching corp, but he gets the defending AL champs who have started the season 5-0 so far. The Royals do not have a lot of mashers, but that is a solid line up from top to bottom with profession hitters like Sal Perez and Alex Rios batting in the lower half of it. Not only do I think he is a poor choice for a starter today, but he likely will struggle and give up a lot of runs.

Eddie Butler @ San Fransisco ($4700) – Butler was a big time prospect, but has not shown that in his two short stints at the major league level. He gave up 8 base runners in under 6 innings of work, but did strike out 4 to make it respectable. limiting runs and getting a few strikeouts could help him make value at such a low price, but I would expect no more than six innings and doubt he shuts the Giants down in that time frame either.