MLB Pitcher Rankings: April 13th early slate

We have a split slate with eight games starting at 7PM EST 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 is also a write up for the early games today if you are playing those start times or any of the all day slates.

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

Scott Kazmir @ Texas ($7200) – Kazmir was awesome in his first start, striking out 10 batters and only allowing one hit and two walks with no runs scored. He gets an Astros line up that has struck out over 10 times per game already on average and is scoring under 2.7 runs per game. He has had a minor back issue which is really the only thing that gives me a little pause. He is a -125 favorite with an offense that is fresh off of chasing Felix Hernandez early in what was his worst start in a long stretch. Kazmir should be in line for a win, a high strikeout game, and very few runs scored against him.

Jon Lester vs. Cincinnati ($9300) – Lester struggled in his first start this season, but now gets to come home and face a Reds team that has a .205 Batting average against left handed pitching this year with a 30% K rate. He is in a good splits match up against a lefty heavy top of the order and should be able to get back on track here. The high K rate and weak batting average are both good signs he is in a god spot for a bounce back game as a -155 favorite.

Andrew Cashner vs. Arizona ($8300) – Cashner got rocked in his first trip to the mound in 2015 and will be really happy not to see Adrian Gonzalez step to the plate against him. A. Gonz blasted three long balls off of Cashner who had a solid outing outside of that match up. He had six K’s in six innings and now gets to pitch in his friendly home park against an Arizona team that has 34 strikeouts in 119 ABs against right handed pitching to start 2015. Lester is the big shiny object that most will gravitate towards, but Cashner could wind up the better pitcher on the day and at much lower ownership rates.

Matt Shoemaker @ Texas ($7200) – Shoemaker burst onto the scene last year and was a darling of the DFS world for a time. He was pitching lights out and his price was slow to catch up with him. The Algo’s must hate this guy, because he seems to be underpriced again here today despite being a -130 favorite. He gave up three runs on six hits through six innings with five strikeouts in his debut and today gets an anemic Texas offense to navigate. Texas is batting just .197 through the first seven games and has struck out over 7 times per 9 innings so far. They do have a bunch of lefty bats, but none are really scary at this point in the season.

Middle of the Pack

Michael Pineda @ Baltimore ($7400) – Pineda is healthy and showed it with a strong first outing. He went six innings, gave up six hits and one walk, two earned runs, and struck out six. He is a slight underdog tomorrow, but with the Yankees’ bats waking up and the likelihood of him throwing a few more pitches this time out, I think he is a great play at a very fair price.

Wei-Yen Chen vs. Yankees ($6900) – This price is more than fair for the favorite today. He labored a little and was pulled midway through the fifth in his first outing as he was unable to get the win because of it. He gets a Yanks team today that is fresh off an epic 19 inning game and a sound drubbing of Clay Bucholz on Sunday. Chen’s outings tend to go the same way when he is good. He pitches six innings, gives up two runs, strikes out four, and has a slightly over a walk/hit per inning. When he is bad though, he does get knocked around at times. Still I expect a mid teens score from him that could climb over 20 if he gets himself a win. At his price and as a big favorite, I think he is a decent SP2 option for tournaments.

RA Dickey vs. Tampa Bay ($7700) – Dickey has pitched against the Rays often and with a lot of success. He limited them to under a .187 batting average in each of the last three years. Most Rays are hitting for an anemic average against him, with the exceptions being Logan Forsythe, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Evan Longoria who should all be near the top of the order in this lineup. While Dickey’s past has been good, they do play this one in one of the best hitters parks in the show and there’s always a chance Dickey’s pitches are not dancing this early in the season.

James Paxton @ Dodgers ($7300) – Paxton had a really solid first outing. He only gave up four hits and one walk over six innings with five strikeouts and two runs allowed. He has the upside of a solid park to pitch in, a low total on the game, and a Dodgers offense that has struggled in limit at bats against LHP this year. He is also not cheap, a +110 underdog, and a young pitcher who will probably not go through five innings. While I do not think he is a bad play, I also do not see him being the best guy to have on the day.

Shelby Miller vs. Marlins ($7100) – Miller saw some solid results in his first outing, but labored to do it. He only went five innings, but only allowed 6 base runners, no runs, and struck out four. I would not say he was lucky as much as I would say inefficient. His price has climbed and he does not pitch deep enough into games or strike out enough batters to support that price. Still he moves to his home park, which is not exactly hitter friendly and he could improve on that first showing. i just do not think there is enough upside to consider it outside of a GPP.

Jake Odorizzi @ Toronto ($7000) – If this match up were better, I would be excited. He had a great first outing with 7 strikeouts over six and two thirds innings of work. He allowed only two hits and no runs against a team many thought would rough him up. He gets another team with the chance to do that in Toronto and has to play this game in the Coors field of the American league. Still he has some upside with a low price, although I am always weary of using guys in Toronto against the Jays.

Scott Feldman vs. Oakland ($5600) – He threw a great game his first time out this year. He went 6.2 Innings with five strikeouts, one run, and only five total base runners allowed. He is very cheap which puts him in play for me here, but the way the As bats have been mashing, it also gives me pause. Still he does not belong in the bottom rung at this price, so there’s upside and downside risk to both.

Rest of the Field

Brandon McCarthy vs. Seattle ($8100) – There is a lot to digest from his first outing of the year. The upside is he struck out nine San Diego hitters. The Downside is he only lasted 5.1 innings as he gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk. At $8100, you need him to eat up innings, strike out a lot of batters, and limit the other teams walks, hits, and runs. He gets a lefty dominate Mariner’s line up that hits right handed pitching really well. He is too expensive and risky for me to use today and that is why he leads the bottom tier.

Mat Latos @ Atlanta ($7800) – Latos got rocked in his first outing. He was chased in the first inning after giving up seven runs on six hits and two walks. He comes right back for the return game on the road against the same team that just lit him up. While I do not think Latos is as bad as his first appearance this spring, I also do not think Latos will be able to right the ship this quickly and dominate the same lineup this time around. Atlanta has won five in a row and are not the doormat many predicted they would be. not only would I not start him today, but a stack of Braves is not the worst idea given the low price and recent performance.

Mike Leake @ Chicago Cubs ($6700) – He was lucky to get through five innings in his first start while giving up only three runs. He walked six guys and had control issue’s all game. He’s not a high K guy and he allows a lot of base runners. If he gets in a jam, it could turn ugly on him.

Rubby De La Rosa @ San Diego ($6400) – Rubby pitched five innings in his debut and gave up six runs, but still managed the win. He now has a WHIP over 1.5 and an ERA over 4.5 since the start of the 2014 season. San Diego is a pitchers park, but I think he is more a guy to targt against than to consider using here.

Ross Detwiler vs. Angels ($4300) – He is horrible. There’s no need for analysis here. Target against him.