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
Dallas Keuchel vs. Texas Rangers ($10,300) – So many big names on the board and Keuchel is my number one. I’d consider him a big name, no? Anyways, I like this matchup a lot of Keuchel as the Rangers continue to stuggle offensively. What entices me about Keuchel the most is his price point today, on a day where he’s the 9th most expensive pitcher on the day against a weak offense. The Rangers strikeout a ton, as they’re ranked 9th in the category. Sure, the Rangers can certainly hit some bombs, but Keuchel has been fantastic at keeping the ball in the park, giving up only seven on the season.
Johnny Cueto vs. Cleveland Indians ($10,700) – Cueto may be a man on the move soon, but he has at least one more start in a Reds uniform. Going up against Cleveland today, a team that ranks 20th or worse in team batting avearge, runs scored and home runs, Cueto should have a relatively easy start today. Cleveland may be one of the toughest teams to strikeout, but Cueto owns a K/9 of 8.6 with his insane 113:22 K:BB ratio. Being the 6th most expensive pitcher on the day, I like the matchup for Cueto, at home, in his potential last start for the Reds.
Max Scherzer vs. LA Dodgers ($13700) – It’s the price man! It’s so damn expensive. Scherzer is the highest priced pitcher of the night and the third overall favorite for Vegas today. He faces off against the power hitting Dodgers today at home. Luckily for Scherzer believers, he’s done a great job keeping the ball in the park, only allowing 10 home runs on the season and only four at home. Scherzer comes into today with a 10.2 K/9 against a team that strikeouts out at a fairly decent clip, ranked 17th in the league. With the Dodgers batting average ranked at 17th and Scherzers season WHIP at 0.78, it could be a tough night offensively for the Dodgers.
Cole Hamels vs. Miami Marlins ($10,100) – It’s hard not to like a pitcher going up against a team that’s ranked 26th in runs scored, 23rd in OPS and 23rd in home runs and those numbers are WITH Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon in the lineup. Without them, this team is really struggling. Miami is ranked 14th in the league in strikeouts with Hamels coming into today with a 9.5 K/9 on the season. Hamels has faced Miami twice this season and has had a good and bad start mixed in. In those starts, Hamels racked up 11 strikeouts in 12 innings in those starts. Remember, these games also had Gordon and Stanton in those lineups.
Chris Archer vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($10,500) – Normally, I usually don’t highly recommend a pithcer going up against the Blue Jays lineup. They’re one of the best offensive clubs in the league as they rank 5th in average 1st in runs scored and OPS and 3rd in home runs. Scary stuff right? Well, Archer has faced them twice now and has only given up one run in 15 innings while striking out 18. Is the third time a charm for Archer? It could be. I totally expect him to be low owned today which could spell good results if he can turn another great start.
Middle of the Pack
Jake Arrieta vs. Atlanta Braves ($11,900) – Truly, on any other day, Arrieta should be ranked higher than this. The price point for him though is a killer for me. He matches up against a weak Braves lineup that is still without Freddie Freeman. They rank dead last in home runs, 24th in OPS and 22nd in runs scored. What turns me off a bit about this price point for Arrieta is that the Braves don’t strikeout a lot, as they rank 26th in that category. At almost 12,000, Arrieta would have to throw a lot of clean innings to reach his value.
Zack Greinke vs. Washington Nationals ($11,500) – Again, this is purely based on his price point which is why he’s ranked a bit lower than you’d expect. The Nationals are a good offensive club. They rank 11th in batting average and home runs, 13th in runs scored and 12thn in OPS. However Greinke has been a freak of nature this season. For as good as Greinke has been, he’s only averaging 23.4 points per game. While that isn’t a horrible stat, for the high price point, you’d want a slight bump higher in your return.
Chris Sale vs. Kansas City Royals ($13,100) – Ok, I’ve avoided this long enough, it’s time to throw Sale on the list. You might think I’m crazy here, but at least hear me out. First, the Royals are the toughest team in the majors to strikeout. They rank last in strikeouts, the one stat that Sale exceeds in. If he’s not racking up the double digit strikeouts, it’s hard to justify the extremely high price tag today. At least with Scherzer, you now that the Dodgers are prone to striking out more than the Royals. This isn’t about the talent with Sale, it’s about if he can get the strikeouts or not.
Shelby Milller vs. Chicago Cubs ($9100) – Miller has what should be a good matchup against the Cubs today. At $9100 and facing a Cubs team that is ranked second in strikeouts, Miller could be one of those sneaky plays today in a slate dominated by big name pitchers. The Cubs can certainly bust out some runs at any given time, but as a whole they struggle offensively.
Felix Hernandez vs. New York Yankees ($10,800) – Pretty crazy how low Hernandez is today huh? Granted, my word is not the one all end all, but I’m not big on the King today. First, Hernadnez has been having some control issues this season. After only walking 46 batters last season, Hernandez is up to 35 in the first half of the season. The Yankees are ranked 5th in the league in walks. The Yankees are also tough to strike out, as they’re ranked 21st in the category. With the Yankees playing at home and ranked 2nd in home runs, Hernandez is going to have to be especially sharp today.
Madison Bumgarner vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($10,600) – Bumgarner has a tough matchup against the hard hitting Diamondbacks today, on the road where he’s seen his struggles this season. Bumgarner is sporting a 4.33 ERA on the road against a club that is in the top 10 in batting average, runs scored and OPS. His price tag isn’t crazy high, but I’m not a fan of his matchup. The one things Bumgarner does have going for him is that the Diamondbacks strikeout at a good clip, 9th in the league.
Jesse Chavez vs. Minnesota Twins ($6400) – Honestly, Chavez could be a lot higher today, he just ran into bad luck with the other names going today. Chavez is going against an average Twins team that doesn’t really scare you in any offensive categories. While nothing really stands out to make Chavez a true solid play today, his price tag is what’s hard to pass up on. On a day where so many high priced pitchers are going today, Chavez could be a sneaky play today.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. LA Angels ($8500) – Again, another pitcher that could be ranked much higher today, but today is just completely stacked. Rodriguez get a nice matchup against the Angles, who are in the middle of the pack offensively. Rodriguez has been the Red Sox best pitcher by a long shot this season. However, the Angels are a tough team to strikeout as they rank 23rd in the category. The price tag isn’t high, so it wouldn’t take a lot to get Rodriguez to reach value.
Carlos Carrasco vs. Cincinnati Reds ($9800) – Carrasco lacks one thing all season, consistency. He could be in the top five today to be quite honest, but I personally can’t get behind him. The Reds aren’t the best offensive club by any means, they rank 20th in batting average, 23rd in runs scored 14th in OPS and 7th in home runs. Again, Carrasco could be ranked a lot higher and I bet many of you disagree with this, I just can’t trust him until I see a string of three good starts.
Hector Santiago vs. Boston Red Sox ($9200) – Santiago has been a nice story for the first half of the season. He comes into tonight with a 2.33 ERA with 98 strikeouts and a 1.10 WHIP. Why isn’t he ranked higher? I think the Red Sox have finally figure out their offensive problems and on paper, they got a good club. The Red Sox are ranked 11th in average, 15th in runs and OPS, and 14th in home runs. I don’t see him as a bad play tonight, but he’s not high on my list either.
Marco Estrada vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5,700) – Estrada is quietly been putting up some solid numbers for the Blue Jays. He comes into today with a 3.52 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and 69 strikeouts. The Rays are a rough team offensively and Estrada should be able to handle them. Hes’ another one that could be a sneaky play tonight.
CC Sabathia vs. Seattle Mariners ($6,200) – Sabathia is not the Sabathia he was once before. His numbers against righties have been awful last year and it’s continues this year. Righties are hitting .331 against Sabathia, which doesn’t bode well in the majors. Seattle isn’t an offense that scares you, but you just can’t rely on CC anymore. He’s strictly a GPP play today.
Yovani Gallardo vs. Houston Astros ($7,200) – Facing the Astros is a hard team to predict against. On one end, they strike out the most out of any team in majors. An obvious boost to any pitcher. Next, they rank 25th in batting average. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The Astros are 1st in home runs, 4th in runs scored and 10th in OPS. So when the hits comes, they matter. Gallardo has been solid this season, but home runs have always been his problem.
Taylor Jungmann vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7,300) – Jungmann has been solid since his call up to the majors, I just haven’t seen enough from him to be fully on board as of yet. He gets the Pirates who are ranked 11th in batting average but in the bottom 20’s in the rest of their offensive categories. He’s not expensive by any means, but I’m looking elsewhere.
Rest of the Field
Jeff Locke vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6,500) – The Brewers have been hitting a lot better over the past month, which has me completely off of Locke. Once at the bottom of the barrel in every category, the Brewers are now 18th in average, 16th in runs, 20th in OPS and 13th in homeruns. No thanks, Locke.
Dan Haren vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($7100) – Haren continues to see his price rise, so I’m staying away. He does have a great matchup today against the light hitting Phillies, but only averaging 14.8 points per start is not really enough. Jungmann is averaging 5 points higher at just $200 more. Get it?
Jon Niese vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($7000) – Niese has been pitching much better as of late, except for the fact that his control has been a bit out of whack. Over his last seven starts he has a 33:16 K:BB ratio. Against a Cardinals team that is 8th in walks and 7th in batting average, you can find much better value.
Justin Verlander vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5000) – So crazy how much Verlander has dropped off. He has a tough matchup against the high powered Orioles today. I really don’t have anything nice to say here other than the fact that Verlander ended the All Star break in good fashion against the Twins. Stay far far away.
Tim Cooney vs. New York Mets- Cooney hasn’t been bad in his second stint in the majors, and he actually might have a decent start today, I just can’t see myself putting him on my roster today with the plethora of options going. The home run ball has been an issue, as he’s given up one in each of his three starts.
Patrick Corbin vs. San Francisco Giants ($6000) – Corbin is recently back from Tommy John surgery and he may be wishin he was still on rehab. He has a very tough matchup against the Giants, who have been crushing pitching all season. I wouldn’t even consider Corbin today.
Danny Duffy vs. Chicago White Sox ($4700) – Duffy even costs $4700 when going against the White Sox, for as bad as they are. Duffy is just getting whacked around by everyone, as his 1.55 WHIP is a clear indication. Even with an “easy” matchup, I’m not wasting my time.
Andrew Cashner vs. Colorado Rockies ($6300) – Cashner is honestly too expensive for this start. Going against one of the best offensive clubs in the majors, I don’t see Cashner having anything but a horrible start. With everyone going today, why even chance it?
Kyle Kendrick vs. San Diego Padres($4000) – Kendrick averages 6.8 fantasy points per start. Welcome to the basement.