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
Jake Arrieta vs. Atlanta Braves ($11900) – Arrieta has been pretty solid lately with a whole bunch of starts between 20-29 fantasy points. He is very consistent and always throws a good game. The Braves lineup is pretty weak right now, so it makes a lot of sense to use a guy like Arrieta who should have no trouble limiting them and returning a solid score. The problem with him is that the Braves are not a high strikeout team which will limit his ceiling. As far as tournament options go, the top end today is priced up way too high to really be great options, but they are the safest and the most solid options for cash games.
Patrick Corbin vs. Cincinnati Reds ($9100) – Patrick Corbin has been looking really good lately. He has 24 -31 points in 3 of his last five starts. The strikeout numbers have been the reason too, as he rarely goes past seven innings. He had 10 last time out and games of 6 and 8 along the way as well. He has been lights out to left-handed bats who are hitting about .200 against him. Right-handed bats are the way to get him and even they are only about a .248 with a few homers. Cincy is not particularly good against left-handed pitchers and the big bats they do have like Frazier, who is struggling, and Votto who is a lefty, do not profile well against Corbin. This is a very tough slate for pitching, but Corbin could be the key to unlocking the value bats on it.
Colin McHugh vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($8700) – McHugh has three straight starts of 20+ points. He faces a Rays team that is fourth in the league for strikeout percentage, which means he should have a solid floor under him here and a chance for upside. Tampa Bay does not hit right-handed pitching well as they have very few left-handed batters and the right-handers they do have do not have high batting averages in same handedness matchups. McHugh is not a lock for the iwn going opposite Archer, but Archer has a few chinks in his armor today and may not be as great as some expect him to be. McHugh has won six of his last 10 starts, gone about 7 innings in each of them, and has recently managed to get his strikeouts up above that number too. At $8700, he is one of the better value options on the day and also has upside.
Middle of the Pack
Chris Archer vs. Houston Astros ($12400) – This is an ungodly price, especially for a guy who has not been very sharp lately, but the match up is ideal. The Astros have the highest strike out rate in the league against right-handed pitching and Archer is a high strikeout guy. They also have the fourth lowest batting average and archer has limited the opposition all season long. In fact the only real drawback here is the price. Archer would need a huge game to make himself a solid tournament option as this ridiculous number. I think he is a safe bet to be one of the higher scoring pitchers on the mound today, but he makes for a good cash game play only in my eyes. It’s tough to fit him in on a tournament roster without go really cheap at the other starting pitcher spot.
Max Scherzer vs. Colorado Rockies ($11400) – It pains me to not have Scherzer in the top tier, but there are reasons for it that are compelling. He is coming off his worst start where he was shelled for 6 runs in three innings. He has not scored 29 points or more in six straight starts and would need about 35 today to reach value. He faces a Colorado team that hits righties well with lefties like Blackmon and Car Go having great numbers and a righty like Arenado who does all his damage against right-handed pitching as well. Lastly the game is in Coors, which is not a pitcher friendly park. He is not a gas can and is still likely to score in the low 20s like he has in 5 of the last 6, but the upside for a 35+ point performance seems to be a stretch in a tough match up here.
Tyler Duffey vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4200) – Duffey threw a gem in his last start after getting roughed up against Toronto in his first. He goes on the road with a negative park switch to take on a team in Baltimore with some offensive firepower. This team also has a high K rate against right-handed pitching though and Duffey has good strikeout stuff, so those Ks can create a nice floor to offset any mistakes he likely will make. He has gone 6 innings and that is an acceptable expectation again here today. At a price of only $4200, a six strikeout performance over six innings would return value even if he gives up three or four runs and does not factor into the win. With that kind of potential upside, he is easily the cheap option I would roll out if I needed to ave money at Starting pitcher.
Jose Quintana vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8500) – Quintana has the upside to dominant some teams, but those teams are usually left-handed dominant. Right-handed bats are hitting just shy of .300 against the lefty and have given him problems. The Angels play in a pitcher friendly stadium, which should help Quintana, but they also have a bunch of right-handed bats they will throw at him. Quintana should be able to provide a decent return with a few strikeouts, but his numbers lately have been just shy of 20 points per start. while that is a solid return of 2-2.5 times value, unless he can get into the 7th or 8th inning today it will not be enough for tournament upside.
Danny Duffy vs. Boston Red Sox ($5500) – This has less to do with Duffy’s upside and more to do with his price and the Red Sox struggles with left-handed pitching. He is not a high strikeout guy, but he does tend to go 6 or 7 innings. He has returned about 15-18 points recently, which would be 3 points per thousand of cost here today. It’s not a slam dunk and Duffy always carries some risk, but the Red Sox are not great vs. lefties so he has a chance to make value.
Ivan Nova vs. Cleveland Indians ($7100) – This is not the most expensive we have seen Nova, but it would require a great effort for him to pay it off. Recently he has been more like a guy who struggles to reach the teens than a guy with 20+ point upside. The Indians have some left-handed bats like Kipnis, Almonte, and Brantley who hit right-handed pitching well and Nova has struggled while allowing left-handed bats to hit .281 against him. The game is in Yankee stadium which only plays into the hands of those lefties as well, so this is not an ideal spot for Nova, especially when you are asked to pay up for him.
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Minnesota Twins ($6400) – Gonzalez has not been good lately and faces a hot hitting team in a hitter friendly park here. Both sides of the plate are hitting about .265ish against him and he has given up 22 homeruns pretty evenly distributed to each side as well. The Twins have some big bats like Dozier and Sano who have shown good power against right-handers this year and that makes this a tough spot for Gonzalez. He does have a nice strikeout floor of about five per game, but he has struggled to even make it to the sixth inning and beyond which limits his upside. The Twins have not been great against righties this season, so there is a mixed bag of stats for Gonzalez here today.
Jake Peavy vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6700) – Peavy has not been horrible this year, but he has given up a lot of runs and has lower than normal strikeout numbers. He also has not been pitching deep into games, as he has averaged less then six innings over his last five starts. If his innings are low and so are his strikeouts, he will not return good value if he continues to give up a few runs. His price is cheap and his average score lately has been around 15, so while he doesn’t have a ton of upside, he also has been pretty solid. He is not the worst option for value at under $7K, especially in Pittsburgh which is very pitcher friendly.
Jerome Williams vs. Miami Marlins ($4400) – Williams is a gas can, but he’s also been pretty good lately. In his last three starts he has returned 15+ fantasy points each time. That does not seem like a lot, but for the price it’s good value. Williams is not going to have huge upside, but if he can put up a 15 against a struggling offense in a pitcher’s park, then he can help you afford the big upside bats who can get you those huge Scores. It’s a tourney play for sure, but guys like this at the price have been on winning rosters before when you need the cash for bats in places like Coors.
Rest of the Field
Martin Perez vs. Detroit Tigers ($4300) – Anyone who can flash 30+ fantasy point upside deserves a long look, but the match up and ballpark here makes it tough to stomach. Perez threw a gem two back going 8 and a third against a solid Giants offense, but also has a few blow ups for negative numbers sandwiched around it. Perez has allowed right-handed bats to hit .333 against him with a WHIP of 1.63 and the Tigers have a ton of those to throw at him. Kinsler, Miggy, and JD Martinez are all studs. Even guys like McCann, Castellanos, Iglesias, Davis, and Gose are in play against him. It is a tough assignment to expect a top effort from Perez and fading him seems to make the most sense. He has shown his upside, but a repeat of that effort is doubtful here.
Josh Tomlin vs. New York Yankees ($5300) – Tomlin was really good in his first start of the year and gets his second turn today. Last season he was knocked around for average by the right-handers and the left-handed bats hit him for more power. He faces a pretty good Yankees lineup that has a mixture of both today. While his price is low, so is his ceiling. He does not pitch deep into games and is not a huge strikeout guy. If he can limit the damage, he could pitch well, but his homerun problem to lefties could hurt him against a team in the Yankees who has some power hitters in a great hitter’s park. His price is low, s he may be able to return nice value, but he is also prone to the big inning which could be what ultimately kills his score.
John Lamb vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5500) – The Diamondbacks have a top five slugging percentage over the last few weeks, so they have been hitting it well. They have a few guys on top of that order like Goldy, Castillo, and Pollock who have mashed left-handed pitching this year. Lamb is new to the league, but his weakness so far and in the minors has been getting out right-handed bats. The Diamondbacks are in a good hitter’s park in Cincy and have been putting up runs, so this is a tough spot to expect a good performance from Lamb.
Alfredo Simon vs. Texas Rangers ($5200) – Simon has really struggled this season. Left-handed bats are hitting .307 against him with a WHIP of 1.61 and 12 homers allowed in 74 innings of work. He faces a left-handed dominant Texas lineup in a good hitter’s park in Arlington, so this matchup does not play to his strengths. Guys like Odor, Choo, and Fielder will be tough outs on top of that order for him. Simon has one start over 10 fantasy points in his last ten games with 3 negative scores along the way too. There is not a lot to like with him in this matchup at all.
Wade Miley vs. Kansas City Royals ($6500) – Miley has thrown up a few big numbers recently which gives him some upside at this price. The problem for him is that the Royals are a tough match up. They are a little worse against left-handed pitching, which is a good thing for Miley. Miley has been going seven innings with about five strikeouts in his recent turns, so that would be a nice floor for him. If he is able to limit the damage to three runs or left, he would return good value at his price.
Brad Hand vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($4000) – Hand is a lefty pitching at home in the friendly pitcher’s park the Marlins play in. He has really struggled this year though with right-handed bats. Righties are hitting .307 against him with a WHIP of 1.54, so he has struggled to get them out. The Phillies will get very right-handed against him with guys like Ruf and Ruiz hitting lefties well, and guys like Blanco and Hernandez on top of the order who are switch hitters. Even a guy like Jeff Francouer who has homered in consecutive games is a threat against left-handed pitching. The Phillies have played some great baseball lately and the Marlins have not. Hand has done well in recent starts, but I can’t see him having huge upside here.
Yohan Flande vs. Washington Nationals ($4100) – Flande is a young lefty that tends to go about 5 innings with 3 strikeouts per start. That does not give him a lot of upside. Factor in that he gives up a lot of walks and hits and you can see why he is no lock to even reach value at this price. He is in Coors which is a favorable hitter’s park, probably the best in the league. He faces an offense that has not been great, but should be able to get to him tomorrow. This is too risky of a play in any format.
Mike Foltynewicz vs. Chicago Cubs ($4500) – He might be the worst pitching option on the board today and that includes the guy above him who is in Coors. Left-handed bats have absolutely mashed him to the tune of a .333 batting average with 8 homeruns allowed in 36 innings of work and a 1.75 WHIP. He faces two of the best in the game this season with Schwarber at a .460 wOBA with a .317 ISO and Rizzo at a .390 wOBA with a .261 ISO. Even guys like Fowler and Bryant should be in for good games as Foltynewicz has struggled against bats from both sides of the plate. He is an easy stay away for me.