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
Gio Gonzalez ($8100) – I know it’s Matt Harvey day, but Matt Harvey doesn’t get to pitch against his own lineup. Gio is favored at -120 in this matchup against a Mets team that is struggling. They have a ton of left-handed regulars that do not match up well against the lefty. The Mets have the worst batting average in the league vs. Southpaws and they just lost one of the bigger right-handed bats they had in Michael Cuddyer. The Mets also have the third highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching at 24.1%, so this sets up as a great matchup for him with a really nice price point of only $8100.
Andrew Heaney ($8400) – Heaney has been a stud since coming up. He was a huge prospect for the Marlins and it seems they gave up on him a little early. In his last three starts, he has averaged a tad over 7 innings pitched, 6 baserunners, 6 strikeouts and only one earned run. He faces a Red Sox team that struggles with lefties. They have the fifth lowest batting average and a strikeout rate above 21%. This is a great matchup for the youngster who has really been very good lately. At only $8400, his price is right as well and should be a top option today.
Middle of the Pack
Matt Harvey ($11100) – Harvey is not favored and his offense is not that great. He also is pretty pricey on the day which is why he is not a top option. The Nat’s have a middle of the road batting average against right-handers, but do strikeout 7th most at 21.1%. It’s not that they have a good chance of going off against Harvey, so It is not a place to target Nationals, but with the win not certain and the high price tag, Harvey is unlikely to be a top scoring option on the day.
JA Happ ($6100) – This is an interesting spot for Happ. He faces a Tigers team that has the second highest batting average against left-handed pitching, but also strikes out the 6th most at 23.6%. Happ is the underdog here in a game with a run line of 9. The strikeouts may create a nice floor for him, but the key will be if he can limit the damage. Miggy is still hurt and guys like JD and Cespedes have not been hitting very well. It’s not a play I think has the safety for cash games, but Happ could put a nice start together here and be a upside tournament option.
AJ Burnett ($9900) – Burnett is a solid option today for cash games, but he lacks elite upside. He has been good this year, so there is no arguing that, but he faces a team who does not strikeout much at only 16% which is the lowest in the league. They also have the third highest batting average, so this is a very tough spot for him. The real kicker is the price. At almost $10K, he has very litle chance of giving you 30 fantasy point upside which is what you would need to justify using him.
Yordano Ventura ($5900) – Ventura is making his first start after the break and second since returning from injury. He faces a Pirates team that is mid pack in both K% and batting average. His strikeouts are down and he likely will not pitch deep into the game, but his price is very friendly and he is in a good pitcher’s park. There is not a ton of upside to be expected, but he should pitch well enough to reach a solid value number.
Matt Wisler ($7900) – Wisler has been real solid, but not solid enough to really justify a price tag of almost $8K. He is a +135 dog and faces a Dodgers team that has a lot of left-handed bats to throw at him. The Dodgers batting average and K% are both middle of the pack. They do have very good power numbers and have scored a lot of runs though, so that is not good for Wisler. Wisler does not usually pitch deep into games either, so he has limited upside. He is not a gas can though, so be careful targeting too many Dodgers bats. He likely will not make value at almost $8K, but he also will probably not blow up.
Ian Kennedy ($6600) – Kennedy has not been great this season as his per game average is around 12-18 points. He has not been going past six innings, has not been striking out a batter per and is getting tagged for negative events more often this season. His price is cheap and the ballpark is great, so he may be able to pitch decently, but there is little faith in him having a huge upside game.
Michael Lorenzen ($4400) – This is not really a good matchup for Lorenzen, but he may be able to do enough to make value anyway. The Cubs are a high strikeout team. They are second in the league with a 24.6% rate. They also have the third lowest batting average. They do have a lot of upside though as they are one of the more power laden teams in the league as well. They may be able to get a few runs via the longball against Lorenzen, but he may also get enough Ks against this free swinging team to reach or exceed value. It’s not a cash play by any means, but there is an argument to make about using him for tourney upside.
Steven Wright ($4000) – The young righty from the Red Sox has not been horrible. Both sides of the plate are only hitting about .240 against him in limited innings of work. His price in incredibly low which is why he is not on the bottom rung. He does not have huge upside, but can return decent value and free up money to be used elsewhere.
Rest of the Field
Chris Rusin ($4800) – Rusin has not been horrible considering the price, but he is pitching in Coors today. He has flashed mid teens fantasy upside, but he has a tougher matchup today against a lefty heavy squad. The Rangers have the 11th highest batting average and the 17th highest K%, so this is a tough match in any park for a righty. The run line here is huge and Vegas expects both teams to do some damage, so it’s better to stay away.
Alfredo Simon ($5500) – Simon is favored, which is good, but he has not pitched well recently. He has given up at least 5 runs in five straight starts and has not gone past the sixth inning in any of them. He does face the team with the worst batting average against right-handers and a K% of 22%, which is fifth highest. If he was even pitching decently, he would be in a good spot, but he has allowed 28 runs in his last 24 innings of work, so he is hard to recommend here even with the numbers in his favor and a cheap price.
Matt Moore ($7200) – The price here is a tad too high on a guy who has allowed both sides of the plate to hit over .300 against him in his first few starts back from injury. The ballpark bump with this game in Philly is also not great. The Phillies actually have the 8th highest batting average against left-handers and the 17th highest strikeout rate, so this is not a soft spot. Moore also has not pitched deep into games as he builds stamina, so this is an easy stay away spot on him.
Clayton Richards ($4400) – The veteran Lefty was in triple A before the Cubs bought him for cash from the Pirates. He had one decent start and then was lit up in his second. He is not a very good pitcher at the moment and I think the Reds can get to him today. Even at $4400, he has very little upside against a team that has some righty bats that hit lefties well.
Rubby De La Rosa ($6500) – De La Rosa has been lit up recently. He has allowed 7 homers in his last 21 innings of work. Lefties have done the most damage and despite the weak lineup, the Marlins do have a ton of lefty bats. This is a bad matchup in a good hitter’s park, so don’t be fooled by the weak showings. The MArlins are the ones to look at here instead of De La Rosa.
David Buchanon ($4200) – Buchanon has no redeeming qualities that would make me want to use him. He is not a high strikeout guy, he does not pitch deep into games, and he does not limit the oppposing teams damage. The Phil’s are in a good spot today, so there is hope he might be able to steal a win, but he rarely goes past 6 innings so it’s still not a certainty. I know the price is cheap, but his upside is about 10 points, which is not enough to win a tournament and certainly not safe enough to use him for cash.
Brandon Beachy ($7100) – He is making only his second start this year in the bigs and last time went only 4 innings. He was not a great pitcher two years ago when we last saw him either. If he is not pitching deep and does not have a ton of Ks, then reaching value at $7100 is a pipe dream. If he was $5K, it would definitely be a flyer worth considering, but this price is outrageously bad, so stay away.
Nick Martinez ($5200) – Martinez has allowed 16 runs in his last 25 inning over four starts. He tends to go about 6 innings with 4 Ks and give up 4 runs. Those numbers also will be worse since he pitches at Coors today. There is nothing that makes me believe he will be able to shut down the Rockies, so this is not a spot I would use him. In fact there are 11 runs expected in this one and it makes sense to take bats from both sides.