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
Jake Arrieta vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($11900) – Arrieta is a big favorite against the Phillies, despite having a matchup with Cole Hamels. The Phillies are not a great hitting team, but they are also not a great matchup as they do not strike out a ton. They currently own the 20th highest strikeout rate, which limits the upside for Arrieta a lot. The Phillies do only own the 24th ranked batting average against right-handed pitching, so Arrieta should be able to limit the damage and get the win. How many strikeouts he is able to get will be the deciding factor that makes this a good or great start.
Middle of the Pack
Erasmo Ramirez vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6100) – Erasmo has actually been sneaky good lately. After allowing 5 runs in his first start, he has only averaged one run per start since. He tends to only go about 5 or 6 innings per outing, but he has been striking out 4-6 batters per start, so he has been solid. Since he does not pitch deep, he does not have a ton of upside, but at only $6100, he has pitched well enough to return good value. It’s not that Erasmo is a better pitcher than most of the guys listed below him, but he is on a hot streak and price wise makes a ton more sense.
Madison Bumgarner vs. Oakland Athletics ($11000) – The Oakland team does not hit left-handed pitching well. They have the 19th highest batting average against lefties. They do have the second lowest strikeout rate though at only 16.9%, so that limits the upside for Bum. He is a big favorite here in a low total game, but it is going to be tough for him to pay off his price. He has also labored through his recent starts, having thrown about 100 pitches and only making it through to the middle of the fifth inning in his last three or four starts.
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($7100) – Tampa Bay struggles against right-handed pitching with a righty dominant lineup. They have the second lowest batting average of any team in the league in this type of matchup. They also have the fourth highest strikeout rate at 22.1%, so that makes this a nice spot for Gonzalez. His price here is higher than normal, but the matchup is good. Gonzalez is also favored for the win so it makes sense his price is elevated and he should be able to pay it off.
Rest of the Field
JA Happ vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($6100) – I actually like JA Happ and he has been solid this year, but a left-handed pitcher against the Blue Jays is one of the worst matchups in all of baseball. The Blue Jays bat .294 as a team with a OPS that is .050 points higher than any other team in the league against left-handed pitching. The game being in Seattle is better than the game being in Toronto, but it’s still a very tough spot for Happ. Happ has averaged six innings and about 3 earned runs per start over his last seven and none of those have been against an offense as explosive as the Blue Jays. Even at the discounted price, he is tough to recommend.
Cole Hamels vs. Chicago Cubs ($9900) – Hamels is a big underdog with a weak offense going up against a team that hits left-handed pitching well. He is also on the road, which is actually a park bump for him though. Hamels has been horrendous lately. In his last two starts he has only gone about 3 innings in each. He has allowed 20 hits, 14 runs and finished with two negative scores against weak hitting teams in Miami and at San Fransisco. Hamels is just not right and not someone who should be in play.
Chris Bassit vs. San Fransisco ($5500) – In three starts so far, Bassitt has not made it past five innings. He has also not scored over 12 points in any of those starts. He is not a high strikeout guy and he is the underdog. That pretty much shuts off all the paths to scoring points and upside. We have not even talked about negative events which will drag down his score. He can get you 10-12 points. If you are happy with that, then he might be your man.
Alfredo Simon vs. Boston Red Sox ($5100) – In his last six starts, Simon has not scored more then 9 fantasy points which includes two negative numbers. He is not pitching well at all and is someone who should be targeted against at the moment. Neither him nor Steven Wright make a lot of sense to use here today and this should be one of the higher scoring games on the slate. Simon does not pitch deep and has never been a high strikeout guy. The path to a big upside game is very cloudy.
Steven Wright vs. Detroit Tigers ($4500) – The Tigers are one of the best hitting teams against right-handed pitching. Wright has struggled with negative scores in his last few appearances, although not all of them as a starter. Wright will not pitch deep, is not favored for the win, and is not a high strikeout guy. That limits his upside and the fact he has been knocked around means a lot of negative events are likely. Lowupside and a high likelihood of negatives makes this a bad spot for Wright.
Drew Hutchinson ($7200) – THIS IS A WARNING. Hutchinson was scratched with an illness yesterday. He may or may not even take the mound today. If he does than he will not be 100% and should be faded. Check on his availability before you use him.