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
1) Taijuan Walker @ San Diego Padres ($9,200) – Walker has been incredible over his last 10 games, averaging 19.8 FPPG. He’s had a couple of rough outings, but he’s more than made up for them over his last six outings averaging 27.1 FPPG. I love Walker at Petco Park, and he’s my No. 1 overall option on Wednesday considering his less-than-$10 K price tag and dominant ways.
2) Johnny Cueto vs. Minnesota Twins ($10,900) – This is a gimme start as far as I’m concerned. I love Cueto’s 42:9 K: BB rate at home in Cincinnati. The Twins’ bats aren’t nearly as bad as they were early on in the season, but I don’t see them handling Cueto. The advantage goes to Cueto here, where the Twins rank in the lower half of nearly all offensive categories.
3) Chris Heston @ Miami Marlins ($6,500) – Since Heston’s perfect game at the beginning of June (54.5 fantasy points), his salary has jumped up to the highest point of $7.5 K. Right now, it’s at $6.5 K, which isn’t bad at all with the matchup he’s got facing the Marlins in Miami. I really love Heston here. I love the park factor; love the matchup facing the Marlins’ bats and the overall consideration that Heston is a good shot to reach his 17.4 FPPG seasonal average. Heston is a sly play for Wednesday. Hint, hint.
4) John Lackey vs. Chicago White Sox ($9,300) – If you’re looking to use Lackey in your lineup it’s now. He’s been miserable on the road this season (5.40 ERA, 12 BB and 23 K), but he’s been outstanding at home (1.91 ERA, 12 BB and 48 K). And, the kicker? Lackey has one more start at home (8 starts in 56.2 IP) than he has on the road (7 starts in 40 IP). I love this matchup and even dig the price somewhat. Take a chance on Lackey.
5) Carlos Carrasco @ Tampa Bay Rays ($10,200) – Over Carrasco’s last 10 games pitched, he’s had only ONE bad start, but he’s had SEVEN 20-plus point fantasy starts. So, that’s why his salary is above $10 K, right? Right. Carrasco is one pitcher I don’t mind spending the bucks on. Why? Even with his seasonal 4.16 ERA, dude wins games, strikes out hitters, while keeping them off the base paths via the walk. All of that equals lovely DFS totals.
Middle of the Pack
6) Brett Anderson @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,700) – I hated this signing by the Dodgers, mainly because of the dollars spent to land Anderson. I don’t want to say that Anderson is proving me wrong, but he is playing better than I expected. Anderson lacks in K totals, but he does have the stuff to dig deep into games. I like the matchup facing the D-Backs.
7) A.J. Burnett @ Detroit Tigers ($9,800) – Now, let’s say I’m not crazy about trotting Burnett into Detroit. And, let’s say I’m not crazy about him facing the likes of Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez. And, let’s say that I’m still okay using Burnett in the right DFS lineup, but I’m not crazy about you expecting a 19.9 FPPG outing from him, which is what his seasonal production has been to this point. Okay, so, what does that mean exactly? Use Burnett if you feel like you want to, just be wary. Even so, dude can shut it down.
8) Mark Buehrle vs. Boston Red Sox ($6,900) – It’s funny, but Buehrle really hasn’t had a horrible game. If you’re okay without dominant numbers from your pitchers, then Buehrle just may be your guy. He’s never pitched a game where he produced single-digit numbers, and while that might be an interesting stat, Buehrle is still only averaging 13.8 FPPG this season. I like him on Wednesday, considering his price tag and his below $7 K price.
9) Matt Shoemaker vs. New York Yankees ($7,200) – Shoemaker has no history against Yankees’ hitters except Garrett Jones, so chalk the advantage up to Shoemaker. Is there a ton of confidence on my end? Not really, but Shoemaker isn’t a horrible option. If you’re going with a couple of mid-range pitching options on Wednesday you could do worse.
10) Alfredo Simon vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,600) – Simon has had a bad run of it over his last two games, giving up 12 ER over 9 IP. Still, I like Simon to get back on track at this price tag. He’s worth the risk if you’re wanting to dig deeper for your pitchers. Let’s remember: Simon has four 20-plus fantasy point games over his last 10 started. So, he’s got the stuff – it’s just been a bit lost of late.
11) Dan Haren vs. San Francisco ($7,300) – For the price, Haren isn’t horrible. His 3.38 ERA and 1.01 WHIP are desirable production traits, and the same with his 15.3 FPPG average, but his numbers at home give him special DFS mark-up. Haren gives up less HR at home than he does on the road, which has hurt him in the past.
12) Wei-Yin Chen vs. Texas Rangers ($8,200) – Aside from Chen’s 37-point fantasy outing a couple of starts ago, his salary and reliability are worrisome. Chen hasn’t been bad actually, although I can’t see myself wanting to run him out in my lineups. You can find better values overall, even with Chen’s success to this point. Chen’s efficiency comes into question at times.
13) Jon Lester @ New York Mets ($10,300) – I know Lester is a top arm in the league, but three out of his last five outings have been UNDER the 10.0 fantasy point mark. Makes you think, huh? Lester is bound to have dominant games over the rest of the season, but why spend $10.3 K to find out? I want to see consistent contributing numbers before I slot Lester in my lineups at this price.
14) Doug Fister @ Atlanta Braves ($6,600) – Tempting, isn’t he? Hmm. Fister looked outstanding in his last start facing the Braves’ bats, and he gets them again on Wednesday. I’m not going to say “avoid”, but no way Fister puts up the 24.2 fantasy point game he did last start out. I want to believe that Fister is back, but I think at this point we want to see a good string of games from him.
15) Robbie Ray vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,700) – You have to be impressed with what Ray has done since he’s been up in the Big Leagues, averaging 17.8 FPPG in six starts. Ray is one of the better values of the night, even facing a potent Dodgers’ lineup. Batters are having a difficult time hitting against him, and Ray has been quite selfish with the free passes. Ray is a perfect “Studs-and-Duds” pitching option. Pair him with an Carlos Carrasco-type and you just might have something here.
16) Nathan Eovaldi @ Los Angeles Angels ($6,200) – Eovaldi is pitching much better of late, averaging roughly 20 fantasy points over his last two starts. Eovaldi is giving up limited hits, even though his K total isn’t anything to get overjoyed over. We know how bad he can be, so the wishy-washy feeling on him is certainly validated. I’d steer clear for the most part, but won’t be surprised if he has a stellar night. I have always dug Eovaldi, back to his Dodger days, but I’m not a huge fool for him today.
17) Edinson Volquez @ Houston Astros ($6,800) – Volquez only has FIVE total strikeouts over his last three games pitched. I want more from my starters as the strikeout is huge for me, as well as the ability of a pitcher to go deep into games. Quality Starts means something, tossed in with the strikeout. One key statistic: Volquez has won his last four decisions averaging 14.43 FPPG. Still, it’s not enough for me to run Volquez out there without worry.
18) James Shields vs. Seattle Mariners ($10,100) – Shields is not worth the $10 K-plus price, even facing the Mariners at home in Petco Park. Yes, Shields is coming off two road games where he only combined for 10.1 fantasy point total, and maybe I see Shields bouncing back… just not for the $10 K price tag.
19) Chad Bettis @ Oakland Athletics ($6,300) – In three out of Bettis’ last four starts, he’s given up three earned runs or more. His peripheral stats are solid though, so Bettis isn’t someone you should completely ignore. He does gain a slight statistical advantage pitching in Oakland. Bettis is risky, but not as risky as others.
Rest of the Field
20) Aaron Harang vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6,300) – Harang has been sucking wind over his last five starts, which isn’t surprising to me one bit considering his luck to this point. Yes, his luck. I would only use Harang if you’re banking on a crappy start by Lohse, or if you’ve got a major gut feeling. I say ignore your gut.
21) Kyle Lohse @ Philadelphia Phillies ($5,900) – Yikes. No thanks. It’s hard to believe that Lohse has been in some trade rumors, with other teams WANTING his services. Maybe a change of venue? Maybe, but not for me today.
22) Matt Wisler vs. Washington Nationals ($6,000) – Lots of future talent with Wisler, but not a ton of experience to this point. You’re at risk starting Wisler, as he was bombed by the Nationals last game out for a negative-4.4 fantasy night.
23) Bartolo Colon vs. Chicago Cubs ($7,000) – Maybe it’s Colon’s age that is wearing him down? Who knows for sure, but the guy certainly isn’t the young pup he was back in the day. Props to Colon for surviving this long, but his 11.9 FPPG average over his last 10 games does NOT make me want to spend $7 K on him.
24) Jose Quintana @ St. Louis Cardinals ($6,900) – It’s my fault for liking Quintana more than I should have, but he’s still an intriguing pitcher to roster… just not on Wednesday heading into St. Louis. Even though my personal liking for Quintana has showed previously, I’m not falling for him facing the Cards’ bats.
25) Vincent Velasquez vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,400) – The talent of this kid is super exciting, but right now his learning curve is something to watch. His teammate, Lance McCullers, has been dominant and it’s not fair to expect Velasquez to equal the output. I’m not fond of the Royals’ matchup or that Velasquez is struggling to get past the fifth inning in his starts. No thanks today, but in the future? Yes, please.
26) Jesse Hahn vs. Colorado Rockies ($7,900) – Hahn just doesn’t strike out enough hitters for my liking, although there is potential with him. No reason to risk this kind of dollar value on Hahn. You can find a better option.
27) Alex Colome vs. Cleveland Indians ($5,400) – Lack of consistency keeps Colome out of my lineups. Don’t spend the $5.4 K price to lock him in.
28) Trevor May @ Cincinnati Reds ($5,600) – I think I may have “recommended” May last rankings out for me, and, if you used him… sorry – my bad. His negative-12.9 fantasy night surely lost you some change. May is someone to avoid heavily here, even though I do like his future.
29) Rick Porcello @ Toronto Blue Jays ($5,900) – Blah. Inconsistency at it’s finest, and struggling to feel comfortable in his new Boston home. Still. I think you can steer clear of Porcello confidently, especially facing the top-shelf Toronto bats.
30) Nick Martinez @ Baltimore Orioles ($4,600) – Nope – Martinez won’t be pitching in my DFS lineups. The risk is far too great, even at $4.6 K and with his okay 11.8 FPPG average. You just don’t need to go digging this deep, into the dregs of the DFS abyss.
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