Good luck on Wednesday as you weed through all the lovely top-tier pitching options, but beware: Just because a pitcher has a high price point that doesn’t mean you should automatically expect high production. Tweet me: @TheRolyPolyBoy
Cream of the Crop
1) Jacob deGrom vs. Colorado Rockies ($11,400) – I love upper-echelon pitching against the Rockies offense on the road. The Mets and deGrom get to face a .240 road hitting club in the Rockies, rather than their .303 home hitting team – a huge difference, and one that stares me right in the face. deGrom is my favorite pitcher on Wednesday, and deservingly so. He’s had only ONE bad start over his last 10 outings, and believe it or not, I consider $11.4 K a bit of a value.
2) Michael Wacha vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($10,100) – Wacha is getting into that “untouchable” realm again with his pitches, only allowing eight hits over his last 14 IP. Dude has been on fire, allowing ZERO runs in the process while striking out 13 hitters. I love Wacha against the Pirates, who only have a measly .624 OPS with ONE home run in 80 career at-bats facing the Cards’ ace. Wow-zers! Wacha is easily a Top 5 pitcher for me on Wednesday.
3) Jake Odorizzi vs. Atlanta Braves ($9,900) – Odorizzi is a fairly dependable arm to roster just under the $10 K mark and he’s facing a less-than-stellar Braves lineup. Odorizzi can attribute some of his success to his GB% jumping from 29.9% in 2014 to 40.6% in 2015, while also cutting down on the homers he’s given up to this point. The introduction of a cut fastball, while scrapping his slider, has improved Odorizzi’s overall repertoire. I like this matchup and expect at least a 20-point fantasy game from Odorizzi.
4) Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals ($14,200) – Can believe that Kershaw has almost 200 K’s on the season and he’s got at least 10 more starts to go in the regular season? Yes, we love Kershaw in all league formats, but in DFS play we love him the best-est. Kershaw will be worth every dollar spent, but building a top-notch lineup around him will be a tough task.
5) Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Baltimore Orioles ($10,400) – Iwakuma is starting to settle in finally, after coming off the DL in early-July. Sometimes it takes pitchers some time to warm up, to get their groove back, and I’m willing to bet that Iwakuma is back. We see a significant jump in salary last start out, but I’m okay with it. Iwakuma is getting deep into games, striking out hitters and getting tons of groundball outs.
Middle of the Pack
6) Chris Heston vs. Houston Astros ($9,000) – Over his last two starts, Heston has combined for negative-0.7 fantasy points in fantasy production. Yep, he had a negative-3.8 game against the Cubs last start, and a 3.1 point start against the Rangers in Texas. The good news? Heston is a MUCH better pitcher at home than on the road, by almost 2.00 ERA points. I feel confident that Heston will pitch well, but he won’t be dominant. I see a 16-18 fantasy point night from him.
7) Danny Salazar vs. New York Yankees ($10,500) – You just can’t ask for better production from a pitcher over his last five starts. I mean, you could ask for more, but I think you catch my drift. Salazar draws the Yankees on Wednesday, which isn’t the most ideal matchup, so he gets a slight drop in my rankings with the Bronx Bombers heading to town. I’d rather see you spend the dough on deGrom, or drop down to Odorizzi, although if you have a special affinity to Salazar I understand if you just can’t keep him out of your lineup.
8) Eduardo Rodriguez @ Miami Marlins ($9,900) – If you get Rodriguez away from Fenway Park, you get a favorable chance at 15 fantasy points or so. I like the idea of slotting him in, pitching at Marlins Park, but is the price tag worthy? That’s the real question, if you’re willing to go this high on him. I’d like to see Rodriguez $1 K lower, but, alas, ’tis not to be.
9) Gerrit Cole @ St. Louis Cardinals ($10,900) – I think Cole is wearing down a bit, with his depth into games cut back a bit. Plus, he’s not keeping the ball down of late, which concerns me as he’ll face a solid Cardinals lineup. There’s no denying Cole’s superstar abilities, but this game isn’t attractive to me.
10) James Shields vs. Cincinnati Reds ($10,900) – The price is a bit inflated for my tastes in rostering Shields. He does get the Reds at home in Petco, and Shields has been stringing together solid starts of late although certainly nothing dominant. Again, I hate to say this but you can get more for your dollars. For almost $11 K, you should be able to envision Shields giving you a studly 30-point fantasy night, but I just don’t see it.
11) Edinson Volquez vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,600) – Even though the sample size is fairly small (48 at-bats), the Tigers are only hitting .188 against Volquez. I like the consistency that Volquez has given this season regarding FPPG totals, averaging 15.2 FPPG on the road and 16 FPPG at home. The $7.6 K price tag isn’t great, but it’s an okay mid-range price point if you’re going heavy on the bats.
12) Kevin Gausman @ Seattle Mariners ($7,400) – This is an intriguing play for me, taking into account that the Mariners’ bats are putrid and Gausman gets a Park Factor boost. Pairing Gausman with Edinson Volquez and going with dominant bats isn’t a horrible strategy, although using Gausman with deGrom or Wacha limits your risk and you can still build a solid hitting core.
13) Andrew Heaney @ Chicago White Sox ($8,600) – It’s possible that Heaney is wearing down after only eight starts on the season, but that’s doubtful. Recently, the youngster is giving up more long balls and he’s becoming more hittable. That doesn’t mean Heaney doesn’t have value heading into Chicago, but you should be able to squeeze more bang for your buck. I’d actually rather spend another $2 K and lock up more of a sure thing.
14) Mark Buehrle vs. Oakland Athletics ($7,000) – Buehrle’s real-life baseball numbers don’t really translate well to good DFS production. There are some positives, however, pointing mainly to Buehrle’s ability to go deep into games (6.72 IP per game average). I just wish the guy could nab some more strikeouts, but he does have the best offense behind him and he’s tossing in a pitcher’s park.
15) Jordan Zimmermann @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($8,000) – Zimmermann is averaging 17.7 FPPG over his last 10 starts for the Nationals, although he’s struggled to maintain consistency. J-Zimm is a much worse pitcher on the road and he faces one of the more stout offenses in the league. One stat that sort of scares me: J-Zimm has given up 9 HR over his last 10 games AND the Dodgers rank 5th overall in HR this season as a club.
16) Scott Feldman @ San Francisco Giants ($7,600) – The wind has been blowing out quite a bit at AT&T Park, and while the weather is only one small factor in evaluating a pitcher’s potential DFS output it does play into things. Feldman is decent on the road, though, and isn’t a bad play at all. I expect Feldman to keep the ball down enough that the wind (up to 15 mph gusts during game time) won’t play a major role anyway.
17) Matt Garza @ Chicago Cubs ($5,700) – If I’m digging deep for a low-end pitcher on Wednesday, Garza isn’t a horrible option. He’ll usually get into the 6th inning of games and he’s been keeping batters off the basepaths lately via the hit, only allowing six hits over his last 13 IP, but the concern is the free passes Garza allows. Garza is worth considering if you’re rolling with Clayton Kershaw or another $10 K-plus pitcher, assuming you don’t want to limit yourself with your hitters.
18) Jorge De La Rosa @ New York Mets ($6,600) – De La Rosa actually pitches well on the road and he gets decent enough support from the Rockies’ hitters, so you could do worse. I know I’m not really selling De La Rosa for your lineups, but I don’t really feel like selling him. I’m not that confident in his abilities facing a tough Mets lineup.
19) Jason Hammel vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8,500) – 11.2 FPPG over his last 10 starts? Lets say that Hammel has lost his oomph and attraction as a starter in my lineups. It’s in the stars for a Hammel to have a bounceback game, one that reminds us why we liked him early on in matchups, but I’m not sold enough to spend $8.5 K.
Rest of the Field
20) Aaron Nola @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($9,600) – Really? I mean, really? Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not buying into a crazy jump in salary for Nola, regardless of how well he’s been pitching since his MLB call-up. Why would you spend almost $10 K on Nola when you’ve got so many more reliable plays in a similar price range? Y’all move along now, ya hear?
21) Raisel Iglesias @ San Diego Padres ($8,700) – This is a case where Park Factor plays too much of a role in a player’s salary. Iglesias is coming off two good starts averaging over 21 FPPG and gets to throw the ball at Petco Park. But, does that justify an almost $3 K hike in salary from his last start? No way. Sorry, I’m a huge Park Factor guy but not enough to where I’m paying almost $9 K to roster Iglesias! Yikes. If I’m spending that kind of dough on a pitching, I want someone I feel much more confident about.
22) Chase Anderson vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($7,400) – Anderson is coming off his best DFS start of the season last week, and even though he’s facing the Phillies I’m not expecting a follow-up performance. I don’t feel confident about starting Anderson.
23) John Danks vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,700) – I know, I know, it’s difficult to get excited about Danks, but trust me when I say that he’s an under-the-radar play on Wednesday in the right circumstance. His starts have usually been hit-or-miss this season, but Danks is starting to settle down some. Too bad it’s taken him until August, eh? His strikeouts are up over his last two starts and his BABIP has been quite awful for the year, suggesting that maybe there’s some positiveness coming from Danks and that he’s been a bit unlucky. Or, maybe not. Just keep in mind that if you do roll with Danks he can implode on you, destroying a lineup.
24) Matt Wisler @ Tampa Bay Rays ($5,600) – Wisler leads the pack of underwhelming starters in a highly divided group. I’m never a fan of struggling pitchers facing AL East opponents on the road. Wisler has given up 12 ER over his last 10 IP, which means I’m avoiding.
25) Daniel Norris @ Kansas City Royals ($5,100) – There’s potential with Norris over his career, but a one game start in DFS play facing the Royals in Kansas City? Come on now. There are better options on Wednesday.
26) Aaron Brooks @ Toronto Blue Jays ($6,500) – Brooks has done well since the trade that brought him to Oakland, striking out 12 hitters and only allowing one walk in 14.1 IP. Good, right? Yep, although I can’t help but think he’s in for some trouble facing the Blue Jays’ bats. The Jays lead the entire MLB in team Total Bases, Runs Scored and RBI. Plus, they rank only second to the Astros in HR. Stay away from Brooks on Wednesday.
27) C.C. Sabathia @ Cleveland Indians ($6,300) – Sabathia has allowed 24 HR so far this season, and he’s having trouble reaching 6 IP as an average. The Indians have had some trouble facing left handed pitching this year, so there is something positive if you really like Sabathia. I just have hard time spending the money on him, when I could give Matt Garza a whirl instead.
28) Nick Martinez @ Minnesota Twins ($5,500) – The Park Factor is bad for Martinez playing at Target Field and his 69:44 K:BB rate over the season leaves a lot to be desired. Yuck.
29) Mike Pelfrey vs. Texas Rangers ($4,300) – I just don’t see why anyone would take a chance on Pelfrey. The lack of strikeouts alone is enough for me to ignore Pelfrey forever.
30) Adam Conley vs. Boston Red Sox ($5,100) – You should avoid Conley, mainly since we have no idea how many innings he’ll even pitch. The risk is just awful.
Tweet me: @TheRolyPolyBoy.