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. Get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Cream of the Crop
Zack Greinke vs. New York Mets ($13,000) – We have three pitchers here today that could easily be a number one starter here. However, Greinke has to get the nod from me. It’s hard to go against a guy who hasn’t given up a run in 43 2/3 innings and faces the Mets today, right? Greinke comes into tonight with a microscopic 1.30 ERA to go along with his 0.82 WHIP and K/9 of 8. The Mets, as well all know, are ranked at the bottom of the barrel in almost every offensive category, except home runs, where they rank 20th. That’s not anything to brag about though. Greinke is expensive, but this should be an easy one for Greinke.
Andrew Heaney vs. Texas Rangers ($8600) – One of the biggest factors I LOVE about this matchup is the price for Heaney. $8600 for a pitcher that has made five starts and walked off the mound each time with a quality start. Heaney owns a 1.57 ERA in this five starts with a 0.82 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.1. The Rangers also strike out a good amount, as they rank 10th in that category. The only factor I do worry about is that Heaney is not getting a lot of groundballs, as only 38% of balls hit are grounders. However, pitching in Angles Stadium today should help calm those nerves.
Jacob deGrom vs. LA Dodgers ($11,500)- Even ranked at three, you might think deGrom is a bit low on the list today. I have my reason, so bare with me. Personally, I think deGrom has had a bit of an easy schedule this season. deGrom has only allowed more then three runs once since May 16th. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very impressive. During that time however, deGrom has faced the Cardinals, Phillies, Padres, Diamondbacks, Braves twice, Brewers twice, Cubs, Giants, and Nationals. Not exactly stealler offenses with the exception of the Giants and Cardinals. This is absolutely not to take away from deGrom and how he’s performing, I just worry about facing a good Dodger offene today and how he will end up doing. I’m not telling you to fade him or anything, just give it a thought when rostering him today.
Jason Hammel vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($8700) – Another starter who seems to be really underepriced for the matchup and for the way he’s been performing. Hammel gets the weak Phillies lineup that continues to show us how bad they really are. If you haven’t been following Hammel that closely, you might be surprised to see that he owns a 2.82 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Clearly not numbers that the Phillies salivate to face today. Again, a huge reason I have Hammel ranked so high is because his price is too good to pass up. Pairing him with one of the higher tiered pitcher would be a fantastic option for today.
Gerrit Cole vs. Washington Nationals ($10,600)- Cole gets the Nationals today at home. Coming into today, Cole owns a 2.31 ERA to go along with his 1.09 WHIP and K/9 of 8.8. One of the biggest factors for me when deciding to use a particular pitcher is their ability to rack up some strikeouts, and the teams they’re opposings strikeout totals. The Nationals strike out a lot, as they rank 9th in the league in that category. Cole has great splits on the year allowing a .246 avearge to righies and .225 to lefties, and is keeping the ball in the park, only allowing seven on the season. Against a middle of the pack Nationals offense, I think Cole could be a good play today.
Middle of the Pack
Dallas Keuchel vs. Kansas City Royals ($11,300) – I don’t have Keuchel in the top section simply because the Royals are indeed, a good offensive team. They can certainly hit, as they rank 2nd in the league in batting avearge. They rank 11th in runs scored, 7th in OPS and 24th in home runs. Keuchel did have a great outing against them earlier this season, where he went eight innings give up no runs and striking out seven. The Royals are the toughest team in the league to strikeout which is another reason why I don’t love Keuchel at the price of $11,300 today. I personally think you can do better.
Danny Salazar vs. Chicago White Sox ($10400) – On paper, Salazar has a pretty easy matchup today against the basement Chicago White Sox. The White Sox come into today ranked 24th in batting avearge, 30th in runs scored, OPS and 28th in home runs. Sound easy right? Well for whatever reason, the White Sox have been pounding good pitching lately. Corey Kluber, crushed. Trevor Bauer, crushed. Carlos Carrasco, crushed. I mean what the hell, man? One of the factors that crushes Salazar s the home run, which he allows 1.2 per start. The White Sox rank 28th in home runs as I mentioned, but they certainly have some players that can take Salazar yard. So, do you want to take the chance on Salazar today in what SHOULD be an easy matchup? Tough one.
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($8900) – Chen kind of feels like a forgotten man. He comes into tonight with a 2.86 ERA to go along with a 1.12 WHIP and a 7.2 K/9. He gets a matchup against the Rays, who are really struggling offensively and strike out a ton. The Rays are ranked 26th in average and OPS, 27th in runs scored and 16th in home runs. It really could be a sneaky play for Chen today, as the attention will certainly be on a lot of the other pitchers going. Chen isn’t a power pitcher, but with the Rays striking out the 4th most in the league, don’t be suprised if Chen can get eight or nine strikeouts. The price is certainly right for a spot in your lineup.
Michael Wacha vs. Atlanta Braves ($9700) – Wacha has been struggling a bit as of late, which of course every pitcher does, but it’s the teams that he’s struggled against that concerns me. First it was the White Sox, which if you really need an update on how they are, you’re clearly not reading this whole article. Then it was the Cubs, who are near the bottom of every offensive category besides home runs. In both of those starts, Wacha gave up five runs. Truly, it’s not the worst, but Wacha shouldn’t be struggling against against these teams. So today he gets another “easy” matchup against the Braves. At least for me, until he shows a solid start, I’m going to keep away for now. His price tag is too high to take a chance with so many viable options going today.
Mat Latos vs. San Diego Padres ($8000) – Do you have the first few starts of Latos as a Marlin burned in your mind? It’s completely understandable. But, lucky for you, I’m here to tell you it’s time to erase those memories. Since returning from the DL, Latos owns a 2.72 ERA and a 38:9 K:BB ratio in six starts. Four of those six starts also went down as quality starts. With a K/9 of 8.1 heading into today, Latos gets a Padres team that strikes out 3rd most in the league. They’re a mess offensively and at $8000, Latos is another candidate for a sneaky start today.
Joe Ross vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7500)- Ross has been stellar in his time up in the majors. He comes into today with a 2.70 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.1. This will be his fourth start in the majors going up against a decent Pittsburgh lineup. It’s still hard to gague what to expect from Ross since the sample is small, but if you’re feeling bold, Ross at $7500 could be a steal on the day. The Pirates have some issues scoring runs as they’re ranked 17th in that category and their power is almost non existant, ranked 27th in home runs. With a couple of more starts under his belt, Ross can certainly be ranked a lot higher on this list in the future.
Mark Buehrle vs. Seattle Mariners ($7700) – I don’t know what they’ve done to Mark Buehrle, but Toronto sure likes whoever he is now. Buehrle has been getting it done this season, coming into tonight with a 3.23 ERA with a really low 1.16 WHIP. The advantages here for Buehrle are pitching in Seattle for one, which of course if one of the best pitchers parks in the majors. Seattle is another club that’s struggling offensively, ranking near the bottom half of the league except for home runs, where they rank 7th. The loss of appeal in Buehrle comes with his lack of strikeouts, as he owns a 4.5 K/9 on the season. Buehrle hasn’t allowed mmore then two earned runs in a start since May 29th.
Kyle Gibson vs. New York Yankees ($7600)- Gibson has been having a great season, with a small blip coming in his last start against the Angels. Prior to that start, Gibson was riding a 0.86 ERA in his prior three starts. Those three starts weren’t against weak teams either, he faced Detroit, Baltimore and Kansas City. Today, he gets another tough matchup against the Yankees, who are one of the best offensive teams in the majors. Ranked in the top 10 in avearge, runs, OPS and home runs, Gibson might not have that easy of a start today. The price is cheap but the matchup is anything but that.
Aaron Nola vs. Chicago Cubs ($5600) – Nola has only made one start in the majors, but Phillies fans are excited for this kid. In the minors Nola put up a 3.58 ERA with a 33:9 K:BB ratio in 33 innings as well as a 1.88 ERA and a 59:9 K:BB ratio in 77 innings in Double A. Nola pitched extremely well against the Tampa Bay Rays in his debut, striking out six in six innings giving up five hits and one run. Today he gets the Cubs, who aren’t that much better offensively. It could be one of the sneaky plays of the day, but how he performs in the majors is still unknown.
Rest of the Field
Odrisamer Despaigne vs. Miami Marlins ($4800)- We have quite a few pitchers that im completely staying away from. But, I have to somehow sort through all the crap tonight and give you some sort of analysis! Matchup wise, Despaigne might have the best of the worst today, as he faces a really weak Marlins lineup. Without Dee Gordon or Giancarlo Stanton, they really have nothing to hang their hat on. Despaigne actually has a decenet K:BB ratio, at 48:19 to go along with his 1.26 WHIP. I wouldn’t go out and recommend him, but the matchup is decent.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Minnesota Twins ($5700) – Again, another decent matchup, but the pitcher is the biggest turn off here. Eovaldi comes into this start with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP with a K/9 at 6.5. The Twins have been hitting better this past week, and the danger for Eovalid is his .340 average he allows against lefties.
Yordano Ventura vs. Houston Astros ($5800) – After getting sent down to the minors, Ventura almost immediately called back up to take the place of Jason Vargas who has a torn left UCL. Ventura gets a matchup against the extremely hit or miss Astros. While they have the most power in the league and score a ton of runs, they also strikeout the most in the majors. Ventura comes in with a 7.7 K/9, which brings some hope to his start. But he’s been extremely incosistent to trust fully. This start is truly about which team shows up today.
Matt Garza vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5000) – Garza has a pretty tough matchup against the Diamondbacs today. However, in his first start since coming off the disabled list, Garza looked good, scoring 20.7 points against Cleveland. Is Garza fully healthy now and can start pitching to his full potential? He very well could be, but don’t trust him fully just yet. If he can make it though this start agains the Diamondbacks offense ranked in the top ten in batting average, runs scored and OPS, then maybe he can finally right the ship.
Carlos Rodon vs. Cleveland Indians ($6000) – Just when you think Rodon is finally starting to figure things out, he goes out and has another awful start. After scoring 20.7 points against the Cubs, striking out six in six innings pitched, Rodon goes out and allows seven runs in four inning against the Cardinals. Rodon leads the league in walks, which doesn’t bode well against the Indians, who rank second in the league in walks.
Eduardo Rodrigueuz vs. Detroit Tigers ($7400) – Rodriguez has some serious talent, but lately he’s been tipping his pitches, which hitters have been having a field day with. Rodriguez gets a tough matchup with the Tigers today, which if he hasn’t figured out how to stop tipping his pitches, is going to get crushed today. The Tigers rank 1st in batting average, 3rd in runs scored and 2nd in OPS. It’s all contingent on which Rodriguez shows up.
Shane Greene vs. Boston Red Sox ($4200)- It’s pretty sad that for a split second, I had to consider how bad Greene really would be tonight against the Red Sox. That’s how bad they’ve been. I mean, Alfredo Simon looked like Pedro Martinez the other day! But truly, Greene comes into tonight with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Even with how much the Red Sox have struggled, even they can’t be outdone by Greene.
Kendall Graveman vs. San Francisco Giants ($6500)- The problem with being a contact pitcher like Graveman, is that’s what exactly what’s going to take place, contact. The Giants is one of those teams that will feast on the type of pitcher Graveman is. The Giants rank 2nd in batting avearge, 5th in runs scored and 6th in OPS. I wouldn’t be trusting him tonight.
Matt Wisler vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($7200)- Wisler is not missing a lot of bats during his start, so this is going to lead to a lot of problems. Take for example his last start against the Dodgers, who tagged him for four runs off eight hits in six innings. The Cardinals offense is quite similar to the Dodgers, so this could be more of the same for Wisler. Don’t be fooled by his 14.1 points per game, Wisler is due for a tough outing.
Nick Martinez vs. LA Angels ($5100)- Martinez has had a really rough go of it lately. In his last five starts, Martinez owns a 6.98 ERA. Thoughts of that going down today will be disappointed. Martinez is giving up just about a home run a start against a team that ranks 6th in home runs. I don’t see this one ending well.
Tim Hudson vs. Oakland A’s ($5200)- Hudson is nearing the end of the road here. He’s not having a good season, as he owns a 4.77 ERA to go along with a 141 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.9. I honestly can’t reccommend Hudson against any team at this point, as he’s been giving up 13 home runs in just 16 starts this season.
Matt Moore vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4400)- Moore just hasn’t been the same pitcher since coming back from Tommy John surgery. He’s been having some serious command issues as his K:BB ratio is an ugly 11:10 and his WHIP stands at 1.88. Moore has another tough matchup against the hard hitting Orioles who rank 5th in home runs, with Moore giving up two in three starts this season. Stay far far away.
Taijuan Walker vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($6700)- The only saving grace for Walker against the Blue Jays is that this start is in Seattle. Everything else, is a mess. Walker gets one of the best offenses in the league during a time where his ERA stands at 9.39 over his last three starts. Ranked 2nd in home runs, the Blue Jays are looking to pad that lead against Walker, whos’ given up 18 on the year.
Mike Lorenzen vs. Colorado Rockies ($4600)- Does anyone actually start pitchers at Coors Field? I didn’t think so. Lorenzen has no command as of late, and thus is not going deep into games at all. His 3.77 ERA looks pretty nice, but his 1.51 WHIP is where I slam on the brakes. He should get crushed today.
Kyle Kendrick vs. Cincinnati Reds ($4000)- No.