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
Corey Kluber vs. Los Angeles Angels ($12900) – The price is the main issue here with Kluber, but he has throw up 33 or more fantasy points in four of his last six starts. Kluber is very tough on righties and had a high strikeout upside. He has struck out 11 and 14 batters in recent turns, so he can definitely dial them up. He faces an Angels team that has really struggled. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have the best numbers against righties and both have a tough splits matchup and a combined .218 batting average over the last 30 days. This Angels offense has been epically bad over the last two weeks, so Kluber catches a struggling team he matches up well against in the midst of a personal hot streak for him. All those things are positive for his fantasy score here today.
JA Happ vs. Colorado Rockies ($7700) – Happ has been really good in his last three games. He is averaging 22 fantasy points per start. He has been limited negative events, going about 6 innings and grabbing a few strikeouts. He is at home in a pitcher friendly ballpark and faces a team that is horrible against left-handed pitching. The Rockies also struggle mightily on the road, so you could not ask for a better situation here. Throw in the fact his opponent today is a guy who his team should be lighting up, so he should see run support.
Middle of the Pack
Hisahi Iwakuma vs. Chicago White Sox ($10000) – Iwakuma was good for a few weeks and 3 innings of his last start before it fell apart in epically bad fashion. I remember having him that night on a roster with a big score when he went from 20 something DK points to negative in one inning. To be fair, there was a comedy of errors that started the unwind, but the results were what they were. He gets to come back here and try to right the ship against a weak hitting White Sox team. Iwakuma does not have huge upside, which is the drawback to using him. He can however usually be counted on for a safe 20 points if you need a solid cash game option and do not think he will have a hangover from that horrible inning last out.
John Lester vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($10900) – Lester has been right around the mid to upper twenties in most of his recent starts. The Dodgers have some platoon guys to use vs. LHP, but the lineup is definitely not as strong when those guys are inserted in. While they are not exactly great against left-handed pitching, they also are not horrible. Lester should be able to throw a solid start, but he lacks elite K upside to justify the price. Unless he goes 8 innings of shutout ball, he too will not be anywhere near paying off the lofty salary. He is solid and would make a decent cash option if you can afford it, but I can’t see using him in a tournament today.
Luis Severino vs. Atlanta Braves ($10400) – Wow, this is a huge price bump for Severino. I realize the Braves offense is not that great and the kid has some talent, but this price is insane. Severino does not pitch past 6 innings. He has about 22 points in 3 of his 4 starts, but that is close to his ceiling right now. The kid is good and is in a good spot. It’s not crazy to think he matches those games again here today, but if those solid starts yielded him 22 and he cost almost $10.5K, then is twenty two pints enough? We would need him to basically get 30 or more and unless he goes 8 innings, that’s tough to see happening.
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Oakland Athletics ($6000) – Chacin is making his second start since coming off the disabled list. He was pretty good in his first one. The Athletics have really struggled to score runs, so Chacin could have a good start here. He will not go deep and plays in a hitter’s park here, so there is downside, but he also has the ability to strike batter’s out and is cheap, so he makes for a decent option in tournaments to fit in some big bats.
Garrett Richards vs. Cleveland Indians ($9700) – Richards is a talented pitcher, but not a big fantasy stud. He has struggled to reach over two points per thousand of cost quite often lately and may be one of those guys who we like more as a real life pitcher than a fantasy one. The Indians actually hit right-handed pitching well with all of their lefties, so this is a not going to be an easy task. Richards has failed to show upside recently, so I do not see this spot as the one where he turns it all around.
Jordan Zimmerman vs. Miami Marlins ($9500) – Zimmerman has tantalizing talent yet it rarely translate to his fantasy scores. He has one 22 one 30 and a while bunch of games where he fails to reach two points per thousand of cost. That is not the recipe we look for in a starter. Miami has a weak hitting team with very little power, but they also just knocked Max Scherzer around a bit, so they are playing well right now. Zimmerman has failed to reach his potential in many recent starts, so I have no faith in a tournament or GPP flyer on a guy who will likely finish between 16-23 points at a cost that makes him an easy fade.
Tom Koehler vs. Washington Nationals ($7000) – Koehler has a low batting average allowed, but has given up a good deal of homers to left-handed bats this season. There are not a ton of them on Washington though besides Harper, so there is some chance he could limit the damage. Koehler does not strikeout a lot of batters and that will be the thing holding him back. He is consistently around 2 points per thousand, but without the strike outs, he has no upside.
Matt Garza vs. Cincinnati Reds ($5600) – Garza has been lit up quite a few times this year. In 7 of his last 10 games, he has failed to reach what would be two points per thousand of cost at his price today. The Reds have hit better lately with the main exception being Todd Frazier. Garza has been real bad to lefties, so a guy like Votto and a guy like Bruce will be giving him trouble. The upside could be that Keyvius Sampson also is pretty bad, so Garza actually has some chance for a win here. If he can get through five, he might be in line for that and a 15 point game.
Rest of the Field
Jeff Samardzija vs. Seattle Mariners ($8300) – This is strictly a tourney play as he has no consistency at all. He has the upside to get you 20+ points, but he has also shown himself to be a guy can get you under ten twice as often. The Mariners are getting a park bump here and have scored a few runs, but they do not have an explosive offense. Overall the Shark seems to have lost his bite and will be no where near any of my cash games.
Felix Doubront vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5300) – Felix is coming off a slight foot injury that chased him early from his last start. He was pitching well there and before it, so it was tough to see that happen. I think he may still feel some of the lingering effects which makes him a risk to get yanked or get lit up if he is not 100% correct. It is a shame too, because his price was low enough where he might have been a tourney flyer, but against this offense which has been mashing, I just do not see it.
Mike Fiers vs. Minnesota ($10300) – This may be a hot take after the guy just threw a no-hitter, but that is precisely why I have him listed here. It took him 134 pitches to get the no-no and this is his next start. I have no evidence to support this, although I’m sure someone does, but I have seen too many guys get shelled and pulled early after throwing an obnoxious amount of pitches in their last starts. fiers is priced like he is going to go out and throw another no-no, despite the decent matchup here, I think he is in line for a poor outing, that does not go deep, and includes a few negative events.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Houston Astros ($5700) – Pelfrey has only been good in a few of his recent starts. He has reached 20 twice, 15 twice, and under 10 in the other 6 of his last 10. The Astros are a high strikeout team, but Pelfrey is not a high K guy to take advantage of it. Houston also has the ability to blow up as an offense, so Pelfrey could be really bad here today. I want to make a case for him, I really do with the strikeout potential here, but the numbers stil don’t point to a great start for him.
Colin Rea vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($5200) – Rea is making his fourth start and is in a tough spot. The Phillies team has been raking lately and somehow managing to put up runs daily. Rea has a huge park downgrade as he moves from Pet Co to Citizen’s Bank. He does not go past 6, he has low K numbers and he is giving up hits. It’s easy to see why he is priced so low and hard to justify using him.
Adam Morgan vs. San Diego Padres ($4800) – Morgan has alternated some good starts and some stinkers. One of the recent good ones though was a near twenty point game against this same San Diego Padres team. He switches from pitcher friendly Pet Co to hitter friendly Citizen’s Bank for the rematch and the second time around usually favors the team hitting. His best case scenario is a mid tens score and the likelihood of that is not high. You can hope for that gem from him here, but with the park switch I think it is just too unlikely to put real money behind.
Keyvius Sampson vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4500) – Sampson has some strikeout upside and put a few starts together that were useable to start his career. Lately though the strikeout floor has not been enough to save him when he has been getting knocked around like this. He never goes past six, and is usually right around a strikeout per inning. Those numbers would be fine for his price, but the high ERA and WHIP lead to so many negative events that he is even risky at that price.
Matt Wisler vs. New York Yankees ($4900) – Wisler has just been flat out bad lately. In his last seven starts, his high game was 15, followed by 11, and then three numbers below one with two other mid single digits. With 2 negative scores in his last four, I would even go so far as to say at $2K I would have to think hard about it. He faces a lefty heavy Yankee lineup and struggles with southpaws. Nothing here looks good for him today.
Chris Rusin vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4700) – Rusin is impossible to figure out. When everyone stacked against him, he threw up a 33 fantasy point performance. Last game against the Mets when some said he was sneaky at his price, he threw up a 19, a NEGATIVE 19 on 11 runs in 2 innings of work. He is a left-handed pitcher who faces a righty dominant lineup with a lot of guys near the top who hit lefties well. He is cheap and at least it is not in Coors. That’s the best upside case I can make for him though, so it makes sense to stay away.
Martin Perez vs. Baltimore ($4600) – Perez will struggle to make value. He rarely goes past six anymore and has never been a huge strikeout guy. Teams are managing a few runs off of him each start too, so those low positives and high negatives will not add up to much upside here. Baltimore does strikeout at a high rate, but they also have a few guys who can mash. Getting Perez in a hitter’s ballpark should help wake up the Orioles bats for the end of the year.