Good luck on Wednesday! Feel free to Tweet me at your own risk @TheRolyPolyBoy.
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.
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Cream of the Crop
1) Tyson Ross @ New York Mets ($10,800) – Ross has a 2.59 ERA on the road this season in 12 games started, pitching better than he does in home games, which is quite odd when you consider the cavernous home stadium that is Petco Park. Ross gives DFS owners a good high-K risk, one that will usually go deep into games, without having to pay too much (ahem). I actually consider Ross a slight value at $10.8 K.
2) John Lackey vs. Cincinnati Reds ($8,600) – Lackey is about as consistent as it gets these days, with 17.2 FPPG over his last 10 starts. Lackey is reliable, stubborn and he keeps you in things as a DFS owner. What more do you want at $8.6 K? As a special treat: Lackey owns a 1.97 ERA at home this season for the Cards. I’m locking Lackey in. Yeah, seriously.
3) Patrick Corbin @ Seattle Mariners ($7,900) – Corbin is one of my favorite plays of the day. I love the venue (favorable to pitchers), love that his control has been outstanding (3 BB in 22 IP) and his velocity is rising. And, the price is a value in my mind at $7.9 K. Corbin faces a Mariners’ club that has had a difficult time scoring runs as they rank 25th in the league. The one worry with Corbin? The homers he’s given up since returning from injury.
4) Felix Hernandez vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($11,200) – I’ve got King Felix pegged for a 20-point fantasy night. Is that worth $11.2 K? I think so, certainly in this case when the field is dominated by high-end options at high-end prices. The King Felix play is smart and worth rostering at home facing a substandard D-Backs offense.
5) Ervin Santana vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($9,400) – Santana has 15.2 scoreless innings over his last two starts, which certainly makes you take notice, making him another under-the-radar type play for me on Wednesday. While most will be locking in Kershaw, Ross, Tanaka or even Liriano, Santana provides similar overall worth at a sub-$10 K price. He’s striking out hitters and getting himself deep into games, averaging almost 8 IP in three of his four starts since coming off suspension. One thing I am wary about though: As of this writing, the wind is blowing out to left field at Target Field at 20 MPH.
****Editors Note: Kershaw has now been officially scratched. Mike Bolsinger will be starting in his place.****
6) Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland Athletics ($15,000) – Yikes. $15 K for Kershaw? Talk about lineup conviction, eh? Kershaw is averaging over 48 FPPG over his last three starts so it’s easy to understand why his salary is this high. Hey, it all depends on how you want to build your lineup. Would I roster Kershaw? Sure, if I could find the right amount of value-hitters. Feel confident with Kershaw if you go with him, but you’ll have to be mindful of hitter values. The only thing keeping Kershaw from my No. 1 ranking is the salary I have to spend to lock him in.
7) Jon Lester vs. Chicago Cubs ($9,100) – There really isn’t much more you can ask from Lester over his last five starts. He’s averaged just a smidge over 7 IP, while netting 25.4 FPPG during his last five-game stretch. Lester gets the Rockies’ bats away from Coors Field, which is always a huge advantage. Lester is limiting his free passes and keeping the ball down, two more reasons to roster him if you’re not spending super big bucks on your pitching slots.
Middle of the Pack
8) Garrett Richards @ Houston Astros ($9,300) – Richards has had a couple of stinkers over the last few weeks, but he’s still a starter I feel confident about. He’s a hit-or-miss guy at times, but the Astros’ bats haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire lately. Look for Richards to net around 17-20 fantasy points, but keep in mind he’s not your DFS savior.
9) Corey Kluber vs. Kansas City Royals ($10,600) – Even when Kluber manages to stay on the bad side of things, he’s still an attractive option facing the Royals. The Royals are one of the best hitting teams in the league, but I’ve got to believe that Kluber is going to bounce back from his last showing.
10) Francisco Liriano @ Minnesota Twins ($10,300) – I’m not thrilled with Liriano playing at Target Field on Wednesday considering the park factor for hitters, although he has been quite dominant on the road this season with a 2.00 ERA in eight games started. Liriano is almost always good for strikeouts and a late-inning push for fantasy points.
11) Jake Peavy vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6,000) – No respect, no respect! Considering that the Brewers’ offense is average at best this season, Peavy has a chance to surprise in this one. I love playing Peavy if I’m spending $15 K on Clayton Kershaw. If Peavy can get me 12-to-15 fantasy points on Wednesday, while Kershaw nets me 70 or 80 (haha), then I’m golden. Seriously, 12-to-15 fantasy points is fine return for only spending $6 K on the Peavster. There’s excellent potential for top return on investment.
12) Lance McCullers vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8,800) – The lack of strikeouts is concerning with McCullers of late, but the kid has mad skills. The big concern is that the Astros may limit his innings at times, so you’re likely not looking at a guy that will get you into the 7th or 8th innings moving forward. You’d be taking a chance at 7 IP and 6 K in this game, especially at $8.8 K.
13) Chris Archer vs. Detroit Tigers ($11,300) – Archer has given up more homers than I’d like to see over the last couple of weeks, although he’s still one of the best pitchers in the game. What about facing Detroit, you ask? Tough call. If Archer’s price tag wasn’t $11.3 K, I could see giving him a go even facing the Tigers offense. Still, it’s too big of a risk for me to take considering the price. Archers gets bumped a bit in my rankings this week.
14) Jose Quintana @ Boston Red Sox ($8,300) – Surprising, isn’t he? Quintana put up a 41.1 fantasy point showing last game out, although we’d be happy and fine with about half that… wouldn’t we? Still, even expecting only half, Quintana is a risk. I don’t like that he’s tossing at Fenway – a boom hitter’s park – even with Santana’s 19.2 FPPG production over his last 10 games.
15) Tom Koehler vs. Washington Nationals ($7,000) – Can we say underrated? Yeah, baby. Way underrated. The Nationals aren’t friendly with the bats, so Koehler will need to stay away from the long ball a the Nats are a solid homer-hitting club, but as long as Koehler keeps the ball down, which he has in the past, then we’re looking at a value-play on Wednesday. I really, really dig the price on Koehler. You should too.
16) Jesse Chavez @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,200) – The Dodgers are struggling to win games of late and Chavez is affordable and highly underrated in my book…IF he was pitching at home. But, he’s not. He’s in Los Angeles and not getting too deep into games. I like Chavez still, even with the negatives against him, but only in the right lineup circumstance.
17) Masahiro Tanaka @ Texas Rangers ($10,200) – Tanaka has actually pitched better on the road this season, but don’t fall for the numbers here. Tanaka is pitching at Arlington on Wednesday, where balls fly away to Never-Never-Land. I dig Tanaka, but I’m wary of this start against the Rangers, who are one of the best 10 hitting teams in the league this season. Look elsewhere.
18) Mike Fiers @ San Francisco Giants ($8,600) – Fiers gets hurt by allowing too many walks, although he stays in contests for DFS owners by limiting his hits. The worry here is that Fiers faces one of the better hitting clubs in the league, and that’s enough for me to bump him down a bit. Fiers is always tempting due to the fact he can put up fantasy points even when he’s getting lit up. Tempting, but there are better options.
19) Bartolo Colon vs. San Diego Padres ($7,300) – Colon is an under-the-radar play, even with his 5.57 ERA on the road this season. Okay, so maybe you’re not looking at the best play of the night, but Colon does offers some sub-$8 K reliability. One good thing? The Mets’ are alive these days and they are actually fighting for a playoff spot. Colon draws a disappointing Padres’ offense.
20) Colby Lewis vs. New York Yankees ($7,600) – Lewis is a contrarian pitcher for Wednesday’s games, nothing else. So, if your willing to risk Lewis and not play things safe… fantastic. I’m not thrilled with Lewis pitching in Texas and facing one of the hottest teams in the league in the Yankees, so I’m actually avoiding. If you’re brave and playing the contrarian role, great. Lewis is not for me.
21) Mike Foltynewicz @ Baltimore Orioles ($4,100) – Okay, so maybe there’s a bit of love here with my Folty affliction, and the $4.1 K price tag is highly attractive, but you’ve got to decide if you’re okay with Folty giving you nothing. Folty is highly volatile considering his youth, although he’s intriguing at heart. Your call, but I’m only taking a chance with him if I roster Clayton Kershaw and want solid hitting still.
Rest of the Field
22) Chris Tillman vs. Atlanta Braves ($6,000) – Tillman has only given up 5 ER over his last five starts for the Orioles, but the wheels will fall off… and soon… if not today. Tillman offers massive potential, but not enough for me to give him a go.
23) R.A. Dickey vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($6,500) – No thanks. I just can’t get into knuckleballer’s for DFS play. Can you blame me? It’s so hit or miss for Dickey, even with his salary somewhat attractive against the pathetic Phillies.
24) Anthony DeSclafani @ St. Louis Cardinals ($6,400) – DeSclafani can get going at times, but he’s been far too hittable over his last 10 games (71 hits in 61 IP). Stay away from DeSclafani heading into St. Louis. You’re much better off avoiding.
25) Rick Porcello vs. Chicago White Sox ($6,100) – Hmm. I want to be a sucker for Porcello, considering my past allegiance towards him and how he improved over his first three seasons with the Tigers, but the White Sox are hot. And, I just don’t see them being stifled by Porcello.
26) Justin Verlander @ Tampa Bay Rays ($7,200) – The inconsistency is maddening with Verlander. I’m not touching him at all in Tampa Bay even with his solid road numbers in 2015.
27) Doug Fister @ Miami Marlins ($5,500) – With only 38 K in 74 IP this season, Fister is not someone you want to lead the way for you. You can do better.
28) Jerome Williams @ Toronto Blue Jays ($4,000) – You’ve got to be kidding me, right? If you’re rostering Williams pitching in Toronto then you’re throwing your chances away. But what about for a contrarian play? Come on.
29) Jeremy Guthrie @ Cleveland Indians ($4,800) – There’s just nothing here to get excited about. Why drop down in salary and take the massive risk that is Guthrie, when you can go up to a bit in salary for Jake Peavy? Guthrie’s 7.19 road ERA and his inability to strikeout hitters leaves a lot to be desired.
30) Eddie Butler @ Chicago Cubs ($4,300) – Nope, not gonna do it. Not gonna do it.
Tweet me at your own risk @TheRolyPolyBoy.