We have a slate with twelve games starting at 7 pm EST and two early games starting at 6:10pm that we will not include. This breakdown will concentrate on the late slate of games. Those with start times after 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
David Price vs. Minnesota Twins ($10400) – Price was shelled in his last start and tanked a ton of rosters for everyone around the industry. He finished with -15 DraftKings points in one of the worst blowups I have ever seen out of a huge favorite. He was the highest owned pitcher that night in both cash games and GPPs and everyone touted him as a top play. There’s a lot of people who will probably say, “I will never roster him again!” Hopefully they do not and he goes off lower owned, because he again is the best pitcher on paper. He gets a matchup with a Twins team that has the sixth worst batting average in the league, is fourth worst in runs scored, and twelfth for most strikeouts. The game is in Minnesota where it is a pitcher friendly park where Price is a -155 favorite vs. Tommy Millone in a game with an expected total of 7.5. He is Pricey, but he is the most talented pitcher on the day in a good matchup as a large favorite.
James Shields vs. Houston Astros ($9600) – Big Game James Shields has not lived up to the nickname in some spots, but when it comes to early season 2015, he is a beast. He has 29 strikeouts in 25 innings with a WHIP of 1.12 and an ERA of 3.24. He gets to go up against the team who is leading the league in Ks, so this is a chance for him to really put up some big strikeout numbers. Houston also has the fifth worst batting average, so that should limit the negative of hits, and they only have one batter hitting over .263 on the season. To top it off, Shields is a -141 favorite in a game with an expected total of 6.5 runs and being played in San Diego’s Pitcher friendly Petco Park. There is a ton to like herewith Shields and the high price may scare some away, but the matchup is too good to ignore.
Jimmy Nelson vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6900) – Nelson has thrown two gems sandwiched around a clunker. His last gem was actually against this same Cincinnati team. He went eight innings while allowing only three hits, two walks, one earned run, and had five strikeouts. The Cincinnati team he faces has the fourth worst batting average in the league at .219. They are 11th in the league for most strikeouts and only have three guys (Votto, Cosart, and Pena) who hit over .265 against right handed pitchers in 2015. The line opened with Nelson as a slight underdog at +108 and quickly moved with the early money to a pick em with both pitchers at -105. Nelson’s price discount also makes him an attractive option to pair with one of the guys above and leave yourself enough money to spend on bats.
Middle of the Pack
John Lackey vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($8000) – Lackey has been erratic to start the season. He was lit up by Cincy and Washington, but threw an absolute gem in the middle of those against Milwaukee at home. He returns to his pitcher friendly home park and gets a matchup against one of the worst offenses in the league. The Phillies are dead last in runs scored, second to last in batting average, and the only positive they do have is a low strikeout rate in the bottom third of the league. That actually helps Lackey as he can induce a lot of ground balls (14 last game) against a team that hits a lot of weak infield shots. It should help him pitch deeper into the game which would be a huge boost for his fantasy score. Lackey is a -135 favorite pitching at home in a good pitcher’s park in a game with a seven run total. There are a lot of positives which should help him turn the tables.
Colin McHugh vs. San Diego Padres ($8700) – McHugh has had a solid start to the year. He has won all three starts and currently sports a 2.41 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He has 18 strikeouts through 18.2 innings of work and gets to pitch in the lowest total game tomorrow in the best pitcher’s park in the league. He is an underdog to James Shields and that San Diego offense is much improved. Still He has been right around 20 DK points in his down starts and has flashed 30 point upside in the good ones. While he is not expected to get the win tomorrow, I could see him pitching deep into the game, racking up some strikeouts against a team who has the seventh most in the league, and limiting the runs.
Cole Hamels vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($9800) – Hamels has been the unluckiest pitcher in the show based on a number of metrics. He has 23 strikeouts in 24 innings of work, which is very solid. He is 0-2 so far, but his ERA is only 3.75 and his WHIP is 1.21, both of which are a tad high for him. He has allowed 16 Fly balls all year and seven of them have gone for homeruns. That is a very unsustainable 43% homerun to fly ball ratio. He has induced 37 ground balls to his 16 fly balls, so his GB/FB ratio is over 2.3 times. He should have better numbers so far if not for the bandbox he pitches in allowing all those balls in the air to get out and the lack of run support he has received from his anemic offense. The switch to St. Louis for his start should help the flyball to homerun ratio as that park tends to yield less long balls than his home stadium. The Cardinals are also struggling on offense with the seventh fewest runs in the league. Hamels is a tough matchup for the Cards as his left-handedness will negate a lot of those bats at the top of the order. The total runs here is also low, so he could be in line for a nice game. The drawbacks for him are he is a big underdog at +144, His offense lacks any pop, and he is very pricey. Otherwise he would be higher on the list.
Taijuan Walker vs. Texas Rangers ($6500) – Of the cheap pitchers going on Monday, Walker has the most upside and best matchup for me. He got shelled to start the season, but this guy is a top prospect many were drooling over. He had his first solid start last time out going 5.1 innings and striking out eight, while only giving up four walks, four hits, and one run. Texas has the worst batting average and third worst slugging percentage in the league. While they do not strike out much, Walker should be able to limit the negative events. He is the underdog here and the total is a tad high, otherwise he might have been higher on this list.
Doug Fister vs. Atlanta Braves ($7600) – Doug Fister is a better real life pitcher than he is a fantasy pitcher. His price drop is starting to show that the algorhythm agrees. He faces a Braves team that is in the bottom third of the league for runs scored and batting average, but that doesn’t strikeout often. This is actually fine for Fister who does not strike out many guys anyway. He has a shot to limit this struggling offense, pitch deep into the game, and get the win. He is a pretty big favorite at -135 and in a game with a 7.5 run total so it makes a lot of sense that all these pieces fit together.
Chase Anderson vs. Colorado Rockies ($5400) – Anderson is a -129 favorite against the Rockies who are throwing an absolute gas can in Tyler Matzek. Anderson has been good to start the year, 16 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a WHIP of 1.11 with an ERA of 3. He is not a huge upside guy, but he could return nice value at rock bottom prices if he can limit the damage and get through five innings with a lead.
Jason Marquis vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4700) – Marquis has not been horrible so far as a fantasy option on DK. While his ERA is 7and WHIP is 1.7, his price is so low that he makes value. He has averaged five innings pitched per start. He gives up seven hits, four runs, and 1 and a half walks per start. He also strikes out about 7 batters. That means he is averaging over 13 DK points per start so far, gets a struggling Brewers team, and is cheap enough to offer a return of over 3 points per $1000 of cost based on his average vs. his price today.
Jason Hammel vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7100) – Hammel has 16 strikeouts in 17 innings over his first three games. He gets a Pittsburgh team that has the eighth worst batting average in the league and is eighth for most strikeouts. This is not a great matchup for him per se, or a great price, but he also has more upside than those on the bottom part of the list. It would not be fair to list him with most of those gas cans.
Yovani Gallardo vs. Seattle Mariners ($7100) – Gallardo has not been horrible, but this is a tough matchup for him. Texas is known as a homerun hitter’s park, and Gallardo is known as a guy who can serve up some long balls. Seattle is known as a team that can hit them, especially against right-handed pitching. Cano, Cruz, and Seager in the middle of that order have a lot of power upside against a guy who normally struggles with power bats. Yovani has averaged over 5 innings and over five strikeouts per start, and is a -113 favorite for the win. If he was cheaper than he would be a value play, but at his price here it is a risky bet.
Tim Lincecum vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($6900) – Lincecum is a big favorite at -125 in a game expecting only seven runs and being played in a pitcher’s park. He has reached over 20 DK points in two of his three starts and that would be excellent value at his price if he did so in this one. The Dodgers lineup is pretty solid and his offense is anemic though, so it’s no slam dunk despite what odds Vegas is giving him.
Adam Warren vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($4300) – The Cheapest pitcher on the board has a chance to reach value and more tomorrow and makes a nice tournament play. Warren moves to Yankee Stadium from where he first faced the Rays down in Tampa. He was roughed up that day a little, but so far he has gone five or more innings in both of his other starts. The Rays strike out the seventh most in the league and have not been putting up runs. If warren could go five with four strikeouts and less than two runs, he would return over three points per $1000 and that would jump to over four points per $1000 if he tacks on a probably win as a -125 favorite.
Rest of the Field
Vance Worley vs. Chicago Cubs ($6200) – This is more on the Cubs offense improving then it is on Worley, but I can not put him higher than the top of the lower rung. He will probably pitch his usual six innings with five or six strikeouts, but he will also likely walk multiple batters, give up a bunch of hits, and have a few runs scored on him.
Ubaldo Jiminez vs. Chicago White Sox ($7200) – Ubaldo has been very Ubaldo-ish to start the season. For those of you who have not followed him recntly, he tends to throw an absolute gem and get you thinking about the guy he was a few years ago, than he comes back and gets shelled for a bunch of runs. It’s been a pattern of erratic performances for him and you never know what Ubaldo you are going to get. Chicago is literally neither here nor there in most statistical categories as the reside right in the middle of almost all of them on offense. The one they underperform a tad is runs scored, but the ballpark bump from Camden Yards probably makes that a middle of the road proposition as well. He has a floor because of K’s but will likely see a lot of negative events as well. He might be a sneaky play, but not one I have confidence in outside of a GPP.
Jared Cosart vs. New York Mets ($6200) – Cosart is a -113 favorite in a game with an expected run total of only 7. It will be played in Miami which is a good pitcher’s park, and that Mets lineup is nothing special, especially with a few injuries early on. Cosart should chew up a few innings, but the Mets have roughed him up once already, so there is no confidence in his upside today.
Tommy Millone vs. Detroit Tigers ($5900) – Tough Matchups for Millone lately. He started the season with a 7 innings 2 hit, 2 walk, shutout of the White Sox with seven strikeouts. He then got two matchups with the Royals where he underperformed, which seems to be a theme against them. He now gets the Tigers who have the highest batting average and second highest OBP in the league. Not good news for a guy who has allowed 19 baserunners in his last eleven innings. I think Millone is decent in some matchups, but this is not one of them and why he is all the way down here.
Nathan Karns vs. New York Yankees ($) – has the upside of a 17 and 27 point DK score this season. He also has the downside of two scores below 3, where he gave up 5 or more runs and a bunch of hits. He has allowed five long balls in 20 innings of work and racked up fourteen walks as well. Putting guys on base and giving up long balls are a bad combo for a pitcher. When he blows up, he blows up and gets shelled for five or six runs in as many innings.
Dillon Gee vs. Miami Marlins ($6400) – Gee has already thrown one decent game against the Marlins, and is in a low total game in a good pitchers park. He is pretty cheap based on his 7 K performance two back against this team. That seems like an outlier based off his other performances lately, and without the strikeouts to offset his runs and hits allowed, it makes little sense to use him.
Brett Anderson vs. San Fransisco ($6000) – San Fransisco has some solid right handed bats and those bats just lit Anderson up a few days ago when these two teams met. Anderson has not gone deeper than six innings, nor has he had over four strikeouts. He is an underdog to Tim Lincecum, so not much is expected here.
Tyler Matzek vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5600) – Matzek is a guy daily fantasy players love to target against. Normally it is better to do so in Coors Field, but Arizona is not a horrible hitter’s park either. Matzek is a lefty who struggles with right handed bats. Arizona has a bunch of good ones like Goly and Hill in the middle of that order. It is a bad combination for Matzek.
Eric Stults vs. Washington Nationals ($5500) – Stults was a guy daily fantasy players targeted against, even when he was at home in Petco Park, which is one of the majors best pitcher paradises. That shows how bad he can be. He had a great start last out vs. the Mets and watched his bullpen blow the win. He does throw in a pitcher’s park against a team that has seen some struggles, but overall there is not much upside. He would need to repeat his last effort, but his first few were much worse, so there’s no consistency.
Hector Noesi vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5500) – Noesi is one of the biggest underdogs in one of the highest projected total games. He has not been good and that Baltimore offense is on fire right now. They scored over 15 runs last game vs. Boston and I expect those bats to keep mashing. Noesi has a tough matchup in a tough park on pitcher’s, so this is one of the easiest calls to make. Do not use him.