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
Chris Sale vs. Chicago Cubs ($12500) – Sale snapped his string of consecutive 10+ K games last time out, but still managed to put up 30 fantasy points on the back of his complete game. That now makes 7 of his last eight games with a fantasy score of 30 or better. He does not have an easy matchup here as the Cubs have the 11th best batting average against left-handed pitching and are 14th in strikeout percentage. Sale is actually a slight underdog here and the lack of an early Vegas line leads me to believe the wind will be blowing out. Since Sale is so good at missing bats though, the wind matters little.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($10300) – Keuchel has been great lately. In fact, his numbers all season have been elite. He has a 2.14 ERA and a WHIP under 1. He has 110 strikeouts in 130 innings of work. On top of that, he has a solid matchup against a weak offense. The Rays have the ninth highest K% against left-handed pitching and a middle of the league batting average. The game is also in Tampa which is a nice park bump for Keuchel. He is a -110 favorite in a game with a run line of only seven. He has averaged 34 fantasy points over his last three, so he has definite access to his ceiling today.
Middle of the Pack
Jon Lester vs. Chicago White Sox ($9500) – Lester has a really good matchup. The White Sox have the second worst batting average and the 11th highest K% against left-handed pitching. Lester has gone seven innings in back to back starts, allowing averages of five hits, one run, and 7.5 strikeouts. Lester is the favorite in this one, but he is lower on the rung than his opponent due to the high price, lower strikeout rate, and the fact he has not pitched more than seven innings in awhile. He lacks the upside for a tournament play, but has a safe solid matchup for cash. He has scored over 22 fantasy points in three of his last four.
Phil Hughes vs. Detroit Tigers ($7600) – The homerun problem that has plagued Cruz for his entire career has reared it’s ugly head again. He has allowed a homerun in eight of the last ten games, and four of those have been multi-homer games. He faces a Detroit team here that has the highest batting average in the league and a good amount of homeruns. The Tigers lineup is much weaker though without Miggy and with JDs hand still hurting after taking a fastball off of it two days earlier. Hughes is a huge favorite at -145 in a game with 8 runs expected. Despite the weakened lineup, Hughes lacks elite K upside to really pay off the high price.
Carlos Carrasco vs. Oakland Athletics ($11000) – Carrasco had the inevitable bounce after a 124 pitch, 8.2 inning, 13 strikeout performance in his clunker against Houston. He does not have an easy spot here to bounce back, especially when he is the second most expensive pitcher on the board. The As have the fourth lowest strikeout percentage at only 17.6% against righties and they have the seventh highest team batting average. Carrasco will be enticing, because of his strikeout rate, but he faces a team that does not K often and has a lot of lefties that hit right-handed pitching well. I would be running to target many As bats, but it’s also unlikely Carrasco gives ou upside at his price.
Patrick Corbin vs. New York Mets ($6500) – Corbin had a solid start in his successful debut. He only threw 76 pitches and will likely be limited again here, so it’s not a great play for tournament upside. Still he faces a Mets offense that is one of the worst in the league. They have the third worst batting average at .233 and the 9th highest strikeout percentage at 20.5% against right-handed pitching. Corbin will probably no go past six innings, but if he limits the damage with the positive park switch and gets a few Ks, he can return value at the low price.
Matt Harvey vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($10500) – When Matt Harvey is right, he is really tough at home. He has been knocked around a bit lately, so there’s some reason for caution. His teammate Noah Syndergaard threw a gem with 13Ks at home against this same team Friday, so there’s definitely a chance for upside. Harvey has not made it into the seventh inning of any of his recent starts. He also has not had over 5 Ks. The most alarming part is he also has been giving up a lot of hits. When right, Harvey is a stud. Lately though he has not been pitching deep enough, striking out enough guys, or limiting the damage.
Jake Odorizzi vs, Houston Astros ($8300) – A healthy Odorizzi would be a cream of the crop pick in this matchup. The Astros have been better lately, but they still have the highest strikeout rate by a good margin. The problem is Odorizzi did not make it into the sixth inning of either rehab start, so it’s unlikely he even gets to 100 pitches here. While he could go five and strike out a bunch of hitter’s, that will likely not be enough to get him to value at $8300.
Rest of the Field
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Atlanta Braves ($6800) – If this game was in Turner Field, there would be a good case to make for using De La Rosa. Unfortunately it is at Coors, so you would be playing with fire. The Braves have a very lefty heavy lineup that does not hit left-handed pitching well. De La Rosa has not been dominate against same handed batters either, so there is still some risk. Add in the Coors effect and the price of $6800 seems too high to compensate for the risks.
Matt Wisler vs. Colorado Rockies ($5700) – It rarely ever makes sense to take a pitcher in Coors, and even at this price Wisler is no exception. The kid is a solid pitcher and will likely have a major league carer, but he has not shown high strikeout ability, although he was better in his last two. He likely will not pitch deep here and he almost certainly will allow some negative events. There’s just no safety or upside with him in this spot.
Alfredo Simon vs. Minnesota Twins ($5400) – The Twins are not great against right-handed pitching, but Simon has been horrendous. He has not allowed less then five runs in any of his last four games. He has been hit hard by batters of each handedness. Vegas expects him to get lit up again as they have installed Hughes as the heavy favorite. Simon has not been going deep into the game, does not strikeout a lot of batters, and has a lot of negative events. None of that is positive for his overall fantasy score.
Chris Bassitt vs. Cleveland Indians ($5500) – Bassitt was recalled from the minors for this start and based on his recent performances, he is not likely to go deep into this game. He is not a high strikeout guy, but he has done a solid job of limiting damage. He will not have enough positive scoring events to give him much of a ceiling, so he does not make much sense to roll out there.
Rasiel Iglesias vs. Miami Marlins ($5500) – Matchup aside, he is fresh off the DL. He only threw 68 pitches in his rehab start, so it is doubtful he gets 80 today. That means 5, 6 innings tops if he is cruising. The Marlins looked awful on Friday, so there is some glimmer of hope, but if five innings and 3 Ks are the likeliest outcome, he would have to throw up zero’s to really continue.