We have a slate with seven games starting at noon and three late games starting at 7pm that we will analyze separately. This breakdown will concentrate on the early slate of games. Those with start times before 7 PM EST.
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
Shelby Miller vs. Philadelphia ($7300) – Miller is a pretty solid pitcher who is an elite play Saturday. Miller has some strikeout upside and that Phillies team tends to disappear on offense for long stretches. The Phillies line up is one of the worst I have seen in a long time. Outside of Chase Utley, they really do not have any professional hitters at all. Miller is not a guy who goes deep into games, but he should get you 6 innings with 5 or more strikeouts and limit the runs against. If he also picks up a wins, he should finish around 21 points on the day for 3 points per $1000.
Adam Wainwright vs. Milwaukee ($9400) – Milwaukee has yielded a few of the top scores to pitchers over the course of the last week in fantasy. That lineup is not hitting well right now and is weakened by a few injuries. They also have a severe lacking of quality left handed bats. Wainwright is usually tougher on right-handed batters, so this is not a good matchup for the Brew Crew. Wainwright’s strieout are down a little to start the season, but he is still going deep into games. His price is a little high, but I think he can pay it off today against a weak opponent.
Brandon McCarthy vs. San Diego Padres ($8800) – McCarthy’s strikeout game has been on point to start the year. He has 25 of them in his first 18 innings so far. He is also a -125 favorite in a low run total expected game. He is pitching in San Diego, which is a great pitcher’s park and he has a solid offense behind him. He does goes opposite Ian Kennedy who is good when he is going well, but is coming off injury. McCarthy does not usually go deep into games due to a high pitch count to go along with the high K rate, but he can rack up points quickly with those strikeouts and should return nice value.
Middle of the Pack
CJ Wilson vs. Texas Rangers ($7600) – If I knew which CJ Wilson would show up today I may have to move him up or down a tier, but that inconsistency has me in the middle. He gets to go up against a Texas team that has really struggled to start the year. They have one of the lowest batting averages in the majors and a lot of weak bats in that lineup overall. Wilson has thrown two very god starts that earned him 20+ fantasy points each and sandwiched them around a big blowup, which he has been know to do sometimes.He has some K potential and can get deep into games at times. He does tend to get touched up a little bit, but the positives usually outweight the negatives. Given the matchup I think he is still safe to roll out there.
Justin Masterson vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6300) – Masterson seems to be a little bit too cheap today based off his start to the year. He had a very poor start against the Nationals where he was lit up for 7 runs on 8 hits in five innings of work to finish with a negative score. In his other two starts though, including one against these Orioles, He has 11 innings pitched with six hits, five walks, and only three runs scored while striking out 13 batters. Masterson is a high K guy who does not usually go deep into games. I can see a nice 6 innings out of him today with five or six strikeouts. If he can limit the walks and keep the runs scored low, it could be a really nice return at his price.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6100) – Rubby is pretty cheap again today and he has not been horrible. He is a high strikeout guy so he has a nice floor under him. He usually only goes five or six innings, but can pay off his value due to his low price. Pittsburgh’s offense has not been clicking yet to start the season. His counterpart in Burnett has also had a few rough outings, so there’s a chance he pitches with a lead today as well. He is more of a GPP play for me, because he too is prone to a blow up, but he can return good value for you at a low price point if he pitches his normal game.
Ian Kennedy vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($8000) – Kennedy is coming back off injury after making only one start. When healthy, I would have him higher on this list. I’m not sure how well or how long he will go in this one and that is why I moved him down some on this list. He normally has a decent strikeout floor and pitches deep into games, but again I am not sure if he does that here. He also faces a pretty solid Dodgers lineup today that has some big bats. He does pitch at home in a pitcher friendly park, so there’s positives and negatives to it as well.
AJ Burnett vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($7600) – AJ Burnett has always been his own worst enemy. He has some nasty stuff, but he is prone to some epic blowups. So far this season he has been very good. He has three straight quality starts. In the first two he was the high strike out guy we know him as, and in the third he sort of fell off the table with the Ks. I expect him to bounce back as he usually does strike out a lot of batters. He gets an Arizona offense today that is literally middle of the league in almost every category, so it’s not an easy matchup, but not exactly the worst one either. His offense has also struggled, so the win is not a certainty, but he should be serviceable today.
Rest of the Field
James Paxton vs. Minnesota Twins ($7000) – So far the youngster has not lived up to the hype for fantasy purposes. You can see glimmers of his talent, but he still has not put it all together, which happens with young pitchers. He is a highly touted lefty prospect who has not pitched poorly, but has not show the upside we want at this price. He has 12 K’s in 14 innings, but has also given up 14 runs and was shelled in his last start. He did not make it through three innings in that one and makes me nervous about today. The Twins are a weak hitting team, so I expect a better showing, but it’s a high risk, low reward play at that price.
Colby Lewis vs. Los Angeles Angels ($7100) – Lewis tends to give up a lot of hits and that leads to runs. He also is a low strikeout guy, but does pitch deeper into games then most cheap options. He gets a solid hitting team for tomorrow to go up against and I am a little worried about him. He was a guy many targeted against last season, and he only has one decent start this year, so I do not know how much that has changed.
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Boston Red Sox ($6800) – Chen is a solid, yet unspectacular fantasy option. In a matchup with a weak hitting team against left-handed pitching I can see using him, but Boston hits pretty well against pitchers from either side of the plate. Chen is an underdog today in a pitcher’s park against a good hitting team, so the risk outweights any reward at his price.
Tim Hudson vs. Colorado Rockies ($5500) – Hudson strikes nobody out and plays in Coors field. There is no upside to using a guy like this today as Coors can humble any pitcher and without the safety of strikeouts, the floor is a negative number on his start.
Wily Peralta vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($6800) – This is way too expensive for a guy who gave up 10 hits and four runs against this same team a few days back in only 4 or 5 innings. This game switches from a pitcher friendly park in St. Louis last time to his home hitter friendly stadium in Milwaukee. That can not improve his chances much.
Trevor May vs. Seattle Mariners ($6200)- May was pretty solid last time out. He tends to go about 6 innings with 4 strikeouts and does not walk guys. When he limits the hits and gets ground balls he can be serviceable. Of all these cheap guys down here, I would probably use him if I needed to. With that being said I do not really feel the need to. He threw a great game last out though, so if you need a cheap guy, you could do worse.
David Buchanan vs. Atlanta Braves ($4800) – He has given up 14 runs in under 14 innings with only 8 strikeouts and 22 hits. Plus he pitches today in a hitters park. I’d target bats against him, but he has no value for me to want to use him.
Jorge De La Rosa vs. San Fransisco Giants ($6100) – The Lefty is at home in Coors Field again. He made his first start off an injury last time out and looked as rusty as we would expect him to be. I’m not sure he fixes that this quickly or that he fixes it pitching in Coors. The Giants have some nice righty bats to target against him and I would expect another bad performance.