Even though Wednesday afternoon/evening gives us a ton of pitchers to choose from to fill out your DFS lineups, the day doesn’t bring any superstar ace-like No. 1 options. It’s sort of interesting, actually, so keep that in mind when choosing your pitchers.
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
1) Collin McHugh vs. Oakland Athletics ($7,700) – McHugh is as good as it gets on Wednesday, and a bit of a value at $7.7 K. Look for McHugh to continue his success from last season making hitters miss with his off-speed stuff, where he achieved a 25.4% strikeout rate in 2014.
2) Drew Pomeranz @ Houston Astros ($6,100) – Pomeranz is a solid value overall, and one of my favorites on the day. He’s coming off a 30.6 fantasy point debut last week, although it’s certainly not indicative of what to expect this season. And, not that Pomeranz has had many opportunities to face Astros’ hitters, he only allowed four hits in his one start against them in 2014 – no extra-base hits, by the way. I like Pomeranz to keep it rolling heading into Houston, where he’ll be apart of a fine pitcher’s battle on Wednesday evening facing Collin McHugh.
3) Lance Lynn vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8,700) – Lynn has had the Brewers’ number over the last three seasons, with a 2.35 ERA and a 5-2 record. The Brewers are only hitting .233 against Lynn, with 70 K in 65.0 IP. Lynn is a confident play in the “Cream of the Crop” section.
4) Edinson Volquez @ Minnesota Twins ($6,200) – As a team, did you know the Twins only have two home runs on the season so far? Sort of pathetic, yet it light’s me up. Volquez is a value I want to take advantage of on Wednesday. Volquez took care of business for the Pirates, netting DFS owners 26.4 fantasy points in his season debut. I’d be happy with a 20-point night, but considering the matchup at hand I’ve got an excellent feeling Volquez will get close to his last-start total. A bit of a gut play? Sure, although it’s more about the Twins’ bats than anything.
5) Francisco Liriano vs. Detroit Tigers ($8,700) – If it wasn’t for the fact that Tigers’ hitters smack Liriano around pretty good (.311/.401/.574) , namely Victor Martinez, I’d have Liriano a bit higher on this list. Still, he’s one of the best hurlers of the day considering his arsenal of pitches.
Middle of the Pack
6) Jonathan Niese vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($7,600) – I usually want more strikeouts from my DFS pitchers, but Niese is a “safe” play considering his improvement last season from 2013. Even though he’s not a strikeout-king, you have to dig his K/BB rate jumping up from 2.19 to 3.07 . Niese’s dramatic cut in walks per innings pitched is the reason why. Plus, don’t forget about the Phillies and their inability to score runs, with only 16 so far this season. Yeah, 16!
7) Brandon Morrow vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,700) – I like this acquisition by the Padres, even with Morrow’s injury history. Morrow has a pretty nice shot at a career season with the Padres pitching a good chunk of his games at Petco Park. Expect Morrow to keep the ball down, enough anyway to keep the Diamondbacks’ hitters in check. Morrow struck out seven batters, while only allowing one fly ball on his April 10 start compared to 10 ground balls.
8) Brett Anderson vs. Seattle Mariners ($6,700) – I was a bit high on Anderson last week in his first start, and even though he didn’t live up to expectations I still like him enough to keep him in the “Middle of the Pack” section. Anderson has had good success against current Mariners’ hitters (.193/.233/.298) in 57 at-bats. The Mariners are only hitting .197 on the season so far.
9) Alfredo Simon @ Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,300) – I sort of like Simon in this game. He’s only allowed eight extra-base hits to Pirates’ hitters in 116 at-bats, and he gives you the chance at a “Hurrah” play. At this price, he would be a lovely Stud-and-Dud option, of course playing the “Dud”.
10) Mark Buehrle vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($6,200) – With the other options at hand on Wednesday, Buehrle isn’t a bad option. The value isn’t tremendous, by any means, but he gives owners a decent play in the $6 K range.
11) Wily Peralta @ St. Louis Cardinals ($7,400) – It’s really the matchup facing the Cardinals that concerns me on Peralta, although his price tag isn’t a confidence booster either. Peralta improved quite nicely over 2014, and he’s a good breakout candidate this year, but his .299 BAA keeps him lower in these rankings. I see Matt Holliday tuning Peralta up pretty good (.429 AVG, 2 HR and 5 RBI in 21 at-bats).
Rest of the Field
12) Nathan Eovaldi @ Baltimore Orioles ($6,200) – I personally dig Eovaldi, although maybe in the past I’ve overrated him. Even so, I’m still not overly confident in Eovaldi traveling to Baltimore, where the O’s have smacked 12 home runs on the season so far.
13) Tim Lincecum vs. Colorado Rockies ($7,400) – 37 earned runs in 66.2 IP facing the Rockies over the last three seasons? I’ll pass. Lincecum has given up an incredible amount of free passes to the Rockies as well historically, and a risk I’m not willing to take at $7.4 K.
14) Taijuan Walker @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($7,400) – Walker can only get better from here on out with his awful season debut, giving up 9 ER over 3.1 IP. Was it just a bad day? More than likely, considering Walker’s young career at this point. You have to figure he’ll have rocky outings like his last game. Walker has never faced the Dodgers before, and usually I give the advantage to the pitcher, but not with the outstanding Dodgers’ bats through and through. Walker is not a good value at all, even though I love his future.
15) Tyler Matzek @ San Francisco Giants ($6,200) – Matzek averaged roughly 92 pitches per 6 innings pitched last season, so he’ll need to be more efficient moving forward if DFS owners are going to take a chance on him. His 2.07 K/BB rate was mainly to blame, walking 44 hitters in 117.2 IP. Use Matzek at your own risk.
16) Travis Wood vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6,100) – To put it frankly, Wood scares me. I know he’s done well facing the Reds over his career, but in this price range you can find more trustful options. Do you really want any part of him, even with a BABIP (.320) last season that pointed to a bit of poor luck? Nah.
17) Chase Anderson @ San Diego Padres ($5,900) – 100 pitches in 5.0 IP in Anderson’s last start? Sheesh. If new manager Chip Hale is going to let Anderson go this far with his pitch count, considering the inefficiency and youth, I say we’ve got a problem. I’m sure, moving forward, Anderson will improve but facing the Padres’ bats on Wednesday? Uh-oh.
18) Kyle Gibson vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,500) – Gibson had a brutal outing in his first start, putting up -11.6 fantasy points, as he struggled mightily against the Tigers. He only went 3.2 innings, and he did so without a strikeout. The offensive run support, something you should always consider when choosing your pitchers, just isn’t there.
19) Bud Norris vs. New York Yankees ($7,400) – I’d stay away from Norris until he bounces back from his abysmal season opener where he scored DFS owners – 12.7 fantasy points. Yikes. Norris will get better, but risking him facing a potent Yankees lineup for $7.4 K? A big mistake.
20) Jason Marquis @ Chicago Cubs ($4,600) – No thanks. I mean, Marquis did some wonderful things for me back in the day, but I’m not thrilled with the idea of him pitching at Wrigley Field facing mashers like Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo.
21) Jerome Williams @ New York Mets ($5,100) – This guy has been around forever, and he’s only 33-years old. If my math is correct, Williams has been pitching at the Major League level since he was 20-years old. Wow. I’m not buying Williams’ hot start to the season, even shutting down the Nationals, as every fiber in my being says to stay away.
22) Erasmo Ramirez @ Toronto Blue Jays ($5,000) – A bullpen guy forced into a starting role this season, you should consider other options than Ramirez. As soon as the Rays can find another option to start, they will. The Blue Jays’ offense should tear Ramirez up.
Tweet me at your own risk @TheRolyPolyBoy.