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.
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Cream of the Crop
Jose Fernandez vs. San Diego Padres ($12,300) – Fernandez is the most expensive pitcher on the day and he will be getting all my money. Fernandez has been nothing less than stellar since his return from Tommy John surgery and today he gets a real nice matchup against the strike out happy Padres. Yes, you read me correctly, the Padres have a love for striking out as they rank the 3rd easiest team to strikeout in the majors. With a K/9 of 10.4, you can’t deny that Fernandez isn’t going to have a high total on the day. When you add on the fact that the Padres rank near the bottom of every offensive category in the league, it’s just the cherry on top. Enjoy Fernandez today.
Noah Syndergaard vs. Washington Nationals ($10,800) – It’s hard not to love Syndergaard against the Nationals today. Funny I say that because two starts ago, Syndergaard had one of his worst starts of the season against him. Why am I suddenly so confident that Syndergaard will turn it around? It truly seemed like Syndergaard was having an off day, as he walked five runners during that start, something he’s shown very rarely happens. Prior to that start, Syndergaard haden’t waled more than two hitters in 12 starts. With that being the case, I’m writing that start off and really confident he comes in fresh today. The Nationals can certainly strike out a lot, as they rank 9th in the league. Syndergaard owns a 9.5 K/9 on the season and I fully expect him to have more than four like he did the last start against the Nationals. Everyone has bad starts, I just don’t see one coming from him today.
Middle of the Pack
Sonny Gray vs. Cleveland Indians ($11400) – Gray has been everything I expected this season. He’s such a solid starter that can be relied on no matter who he’s facing. I knocked him off the top section only because of the strikeouts, or lack of, that I expect today. Gray only owns a 7.7 K/9 on the season, which truly isn’t that bad but it feels like it should be higher with how well he pitchers. Cleveland is a tough team to strike out, as they rank near the bottom of the league at 25th. So, while you may get a high scoring game from Gray, someone who averages 22.5 per start, he certainly can help you today. Cleveland is not a team that is going to scare you off with their offense.
Jordan Zimmermann vs New York Mets ($7700) – Zimmermann is awfully cheap today against a very weak Mets offense. The case can be made that Zimmermann has been hard to trust this season and I couldn’t agree more. However, his price is almost too good to not start him. Last time out against the Mets, Zimmermann scored 17.8 points in a seven inning effort, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out six. It’s not numbers that blow you away, but clearly the potential is here. Zimmermann does have to deal with a new power threat, as Yoenis Cespedes has joined the team, but Zimmermann has done a great job keeping the ball in the park, allowing only nine this season. He’s hard to trust this season, but it’s hard to fade someone at $7700 against the Mets with some strikeout potential.
James Shields vs. Miami Marlins ($8200) – Another good matchup for a solid pitcher on the cheap today. Shields goes up against the weak Marlins lineup in Miami today. One of the biggest issues for Shields this season, has been the home run ball. Coming into today’s start, Shields has let up 21 home runs, with 11 of those coming on the road. Shields has bounced back after a really rough June, which saw Shields owns a 5.52 ERA that month with a 32:16 K:BB. In July, Shields ended with a 2.50 ERA that month and a 32:16 K:BB. Going against a team that is ranked 27th in walks, 29th in runs scored and 28th in home runs, all the factors that have haunted Shields this season, this could be a great start for him today. You can’t deny the price, that’s for sure.
Jake Odorizzi vs. Boston Red Sox ($8100) – In another lost season for the Red Sox, they’re doing a lot of experimenting for next year. Thus, some of the lineups they’re running out lately are very much in line with Triple-A teams. This is just one of the reasons I like Odorizzi today. Odorizzi comes into today’s start with a 2.77 ERA to go with a 1.11 WHIP and K/9 of 7.6. Odorizzi has been having issues pitching deep into games, as he’s only made it out of the six inning twice since May 31st, but his shorter outing have been effective. Averaging 17.6 fantasy points per start, he’s certainly a candidate to have an effective game against this Red Sox lineup, but I would take a look at the Sox lineup before I officially throw Odorizzi in my lineup.
Ivan Nova vs. Chicago White Sox ($5900) – A few weeks ago, I’d have Nova higher than he is now. I mean c’mon, it’s the White Sox, what could go wrong? Well guess what, a lot of things can go wrong all of a sudden. Literally out of no where, the White Sox learned to hit and are crushing pitching right now. Add in the fact that Nova left his last start with “dead arm” symptomps and suddenly we don’t have a highly favorable matchup. But I will mention that his price is really cheap and we all know that Nova is a solid pitcher. Once upon a time, the White Sox were almost dead last in every offensive category. Coming into today, they rank 19th in batting average, 26th in runs scored, 25th in OPS and 27 in home runs. Certainly still not that great, but they’ve moved up the ranks and fast. Now it’s just a question of, can they keep it up or not? Nova is either going to be a sneaky play tonight, or just another vicitm.
Mat Latos vs. LA Angels ($7800) – If you still have those memories of Latos as a Marlin in the month of April burned in your mind, I don’t blame you. It was an epic month of bad pitching. But, Latos has since turned things around this year. He gets the Angels today, who are in the middle of the line offensively, as they are 21st in batting average, 14th in runs scored, 15th in OPS and 8th in home runs. Latos, for all his struggles early this season, has allowed three or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts with a K:BB ratio of 43:9. A vast improvement if I may say so myself. Again, price wise, it’s a decent one against an average offense.
Jaime Garica vs. Colorado Rockies ($9700) – I might be the only one ranking Garcia as low as I am. But I just can’t get past the fact that the Rockies are one of the best offensive clubs in the league. So for me, it’s hard to recommend someone, even if they have been as good as Garcia has been this season. Garcia enters today with a 2.00 ERA to go with a 0.89 WHIP and 6.2 K/9. All great numbers, I can’t deny that at all. But then again, the Rockies rank 2nd in batting avearge, 4th in runs scored, 2nd in OPS and 6th in home runs. So, something has got to give here. With Garcia running you at almost 10K today, I don’t know if I want to pay such a high price for a start that is certainly not a sure thing.
Trevor Bauer vs. Oakland A’s ($9000) – Another pitcher who is hard to trust, Bauer gets the start against the Oakland A’s today. Bauer owns a 4.13 ERA to go with his 1.21 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.8. The A’s are certainly not an offense that strikes fear into their opponents, but rather Bauer and his inconsistency that scares me. Bauer has a nice K:BB ratio, coming in a 122:48, but the A’s are the toughest team to strike out besides the Kansas City Royals. So if you aren’t rostering Bauer for the strike out potenital, what are you rostering him for? Prior to his last start against the Royals, Bauer had given up a combined 11 runs to the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. If Bauer is going to get them out, who is he getting out? Oakland hits a ton of fly balls, 4th most in the league. This just doesn’t sound like a favorable matchup for Bauer, especially at that high price.
Robbie Ray vs. Houston Astros ($7300)- With any starter that goes against the Astros, it basically comes down to one factor, which Astros team shows up? The team that is ranked 1st in home runs, 3rd in runs scored and 6th in OPS? Or the team that ranks 1st in strike outs and 25th in team batting avearge. It’s truly hard to predict. Ray can certainly get a few strikeouts in this one, with his K/9 creeping up around 8 on the year. He’s also been solid all arond this season with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. It’s just tough to predict which team he gets. He could be a nice play though.
Wade Miley vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($6000) – I’m basing this more off of the Tampa Bay offense rather then what I’m expecting from Miley. Prior to his last start against the White Sox, Miley had posted back to back quality starts against the Houston Astros and the LA Angels, two offenses clearly better then Tampa. Miley has been extremely incosistent overall and it’s tough to trust him in any matchup. However, Tampa truly is a horrible offense, with a Triple-A caliber lineup. Miley is strictly a GPP pitcher at best to save you some money.
Mike Leake vs. Texas Rangers ($6600) Newly acquired Leake makes his first start with Giants, taking on the Texas Rangers. Leake is enjoying a good season, coming into today with a 3.56 ERA to go with a 1.15 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.9. The Rangers can certainly score some runs, as they rank 6th in the category, but getting on base as been a bt of an issue, with an OBP ranked 15th. Leake has a lot of good momentum coming into today’s start, as he owns a 1.25 ERA over his last five starts, which include starts against the Cardinals, Cubs, Indians, Marlins and Brewers.
Cory Ramus vs. LA Dodgers ($4000) – Rasums comes up to make a spot start for the Angels today. He gets a relatively tough Dodgers lineup, but Rasums has been solid down in the minors as well. This season Rasmus has made 15 appearances with three starts. He owns a 2.35 ERA in those appearances with a 25:2 K:BB ratio, but this is only in 15.1 innings, so don’t get too excited. If anything, he could be a great punt play today as his cost to you will be next to nothing. The potential is certainly here, but he could be on a pitch count today as well. You could do much worse at this price though.
Jeff Samardzija vs. New York Yankees ($8600) – I’m 100% off of Samardzija today. His $8600 price tag, in my opinion, is too expensive for a matchup against one of the best offenses in the majors. The Yankees come into today ranked 7th in batting average, 2nd in runs scored, 3rd in OPS and 2nd in home runs. Samardzija has been having his struggles this season and I just can’t see how this start is going to end well. For every good month Samardzija has had this season, he’s followed it up with a really bad one. $8600 isn’t a bad price usually, but against this Yankees club, I’ll pass.
Rest of the Field
Julio Teheran vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($6900) – It really says something about a pitcher who can’t even make the “middle of the pack” section in this article. Teheran has not been himself this season, entering today with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He’s given up a lot of home runs, 18 on the season, although he may not have to worry about that againt the Phillies today. Teheran is just impossible to trust at his point, even with a favorable matchup and a low price tag. His tendency to lose control is a huge factor for me to stay far far away.
Colin McHugh vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($7200) – Another pitcher who is just not the same as last year. McHugh enters today with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP to go with a K/9 of 7. The long ball has been an enemy of him this year, as he’s given up 15 this season. The Diamondbacks aren’t a big threat to go deep, as they’re ranked 18th in that category, but everything else they certainy can produce. His price isn’t bad by any means, but you can find a lot more value on the board today.
Kyle Lohse vs. Chicago Cubs ($4000) – No. Just no. I don’t even understand how Lohse is still pitching in the major league. Averaging a whopping 7.4 points per start, Lohse at least gets a start against a realtively weak Cubs lineup. However, they can hit for power, and Lohse is basicall the home runs king, giving up 24 on the season already. An obvious choice to roster Rizzo or Bryant. I wouldn’t start Lohse if he was free.