There’s a bevy of top-tier pitching options on Wednesday, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of the arms available on the upper end of the salary scale, but that also means there’s quite a few turds out there as well. Meaning? The middle salary game may not be your best play. You may also want to leave some added room for pitching salaries by not going with an All-Star hitting lineup. 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.
Cream of the Crop
1) Carlos Martinez @ Minnesota Twins ($8,400) – It’s hard to find a pitcher that’s been hotter than Martinez over the last six weeks or so. Martinez has only given up five earned runs in his last 33.2 IP. Yep, sah-weet! His arm is getting a workout though, averaging over 100 pitches in each of those six starts. Still, considering the $8.4 K salary and what you’re getting for the dough spent? Outstanding. Martinez is my favorite play of the day on Wednesday.
2) Michael Pineda vs. Miami Marlins ($8,600) – Pineda was destroyed in his last start, but if there’s a bounce-back candidate you want in your lineup it’s Pineda. Look for him to get back on track, avoiding the hittable-no-strikeout pitfall facing the Orioles in Baltimore. Miami ranks as one of the worst teams in the league in getting on base and producing extra-base hits. Pineda may not strikeout 10 betters, but I see 7 IP and 6 K on the day.
3) Johnny Cueto vs. Detroit Tigers ($10,000) – Did you know that Cueto has only given up five earned runs in 36 IP all season at home in Cincinnati? Opponents are hitting a measly .161 at Great American Ball Park against Cueto, while he’s averaging 27.5 FPPG there. I like David Price as much as I do Cueto, considering they are facing each other on Wednesday, but Cueto’s salary gives him the edge ever so slightly.
4) David Price @ Cincinnati Reds ($11,300) – Surprisingly, or maybe not when you think about Mr. Price and his abilities, Price has a 1.79 ERA on the road and has been killing opponents of late. How should we feel about Price in Cincinnati? Since it’s a hitter’s park? I expect Price to keep the ball down enough to pitch a 25-plus fantasy point night. Price’s K/9 rate is a bit lower than what I normally expect at this time of the season, but he’s one of the most dependable arms in the game.
5) Clayton Kershaw vs. Texas Rangers ($12,900) – This price is a sort of crazy, but Kershaw has averaged 34 FPPG over his last four outings. I mean, crazy, eh? I’m crazy for Kershaw, to the tune of “Crazy On You” by Heart…”Crazy, crazy on you!” I guess I’m showing my age. At any rate, Kershaw is about as “safe” as it gets on Wednesday assuming you’re ready to go all-in on his salary, which is always my hesitation when deciding to roster him.
Middle of the Pack
6) Madison Bumgarner @ Seattle Mariners ($10,700) – While I trust Bumgarner’s over skill set with the best of ’em, he’s not an in-the-bag play of late. Still, Bumgarner does gain some park advantage heading to Seattle, and has whiffed 18 hitters over his last two contests, so there is some positive outlook in this game. In fact, Mariners’ hitters are ranked 29th in the league with a .236 AVG. Bumgarner gets a real boost in this matchup, and his $10.7 K value isn’t bad at all.
7) Felix Hernandez vs. San Francisco Giants ($10,300) – If any pitcher can bounce back from the eight earned run drubbing given up in one third of an inning that Hernandez took on the chin last week, it’s King Felix; however, keep in mind that Felix has been inconsistent over his last four starts. The good thing? His salary has dropped almost $2 K since his May 27 start where he tallied 41.7 fantasy points. Since then, Felix has had two negative output starts and one 26.8 game. Tough call, but I’m knocking Felix down a bit with how well the Giants have been hitting of late overall.
8) Jesse Chavez vs. San Diego Padres ($6,800) – Chavez is my underrated Play-of-the-Day, looking at his affordable salary and his overall production this season. The Padres are facing a bit of turmoil these days too, with former manager Bud Black getting the axe. The Padres, with their current roster, should be in a much better position than they are right now in the NL West, but that isn’t the case. They aren’t producing consistently with the bats and Chavez will capitalize. The young A’s not-so-young pitcher has only given up three home runs to opposing batters all season long, which is another feather in his cap.
9) Hector Santiago @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,400) – If you read me at all, some of you may know my affections towards Santiago. Opponents are only hitting .220 against Santiago this season and he’s striking out almost a hitter an inning, while keeping his base-on-balls at a respectable level. Santiago has given up seven homers over his last 10 games pitched, which none of us should like. I like Santiago almost as much as Chavez as an underrated play.
10) Jordan Zimmermann vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($7,600) – It’s always difficult to ignore the trends when things are going poorly for a pitcher. I want to do that here, with the Rays a first place club right now; however, I don’t see Zimmermann tanking a third start in a row. His price tag is extremely attractive too. Zimmermann isn’t an upper-level play on Wednesday, but he’s a solid risk to get right.
11) Mike Fiers @ Kansas City Royals ($8,200) – Don’t completely shy away from Fiers heading into Kansas City, since he’s had two 25-point performances over his last three outings, but he’s a bit of a risk with the Royals bats facing him. The positive? Fiers carries a 10.43 K/9 rate into Wednesday. And, the .355 BABIP hitters carry against Fiers is obviously inflated. Fiers will obviously continue to get better, but will it be against the Royals? Your call to make, but I don’t have a problem taking a chance on Fiers in a hitter-heavy lineup.
12) Drew Hutchison vs. New York Mets ($6,200) – Hutchison has huge differential splits when he’s pitching at home, so he’s a shifty play in my book. I kind of like him, with his 2.72 ERA in Toronto compared to his pissy 9.46 ERA away. I’d like to see you go with a guy like Carlos Martinez or Johnny Cueto if you’re slotting Hutchison in there, so you have somewhat of a safety net to cash if Hutchison goes bad. Hutchison intrigues me, and you have to love his 37:7 K:BB rate at home.
13) Chase Anderson vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,900) – Anderson has only given up one earned run over his last 12.2 IP and gives owners a solid sub-$6 K option. What I really love is that Anderson has allowed only FOUR walks to hitters over his last five starts. The knock on Anderson, however, is his lack of K’s and that he doesn’t go deep into games on a consistent basis.
14) Shaun Marcum vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,100) – I actually kinda, sorta, maybe-ish like Marcum facing the Cubs on Wednesday. My like only goes so far, but it has it’s usefulness for today’s lineups. Marcum is coming off a solid start last time out where he improved dramatically on his HR/FB rate. It’s still sitting in a range I don’t like to see (17.5%), but let’s keep in mind that Marcum has NEVER been a ground ball-inducing pitcher. Again, Marcum has his place on Wednesday.
15) Brett Oberholtzer @ Colorado Rockies ($5,000) – Oberholtzer was masterful last time out against the Mariners, where he produced this line: 8 IP, 3 HA, 0 ER, 2 BB and 5 K. He gave DFS owners a 29-point fantasy night and had a 15:6 GB:FB rate which was quite lovely. The Coors Field starts makes me a bit nervous though, but if you’re trolling in this salary range I like Oberholtzer just a bit less than Marcum.
16) Joe Blanton vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,100) – Blanton has pitched great coming out of the bullpen in 2015, keeping hitters at a .196 BAA, so this start is way attractive to me at this price. The Brewers are fighting for the worst-team-of-the-award this season, so Blanton does draw a good matchup with the Brew Crew as one of the worst hitting teams in the game.
17) Jose Urena @ New York Yankees ($4,200) – Urena is averaging 14.2 FPPG over his last three starts, which isn’t bad at all for the $4.2 K price tag. In the right lineup, Urena could help. The Yankees have been struggling to score runs as a club and Urena could be catching them at the perfect time. There’s not a lot of statistical support in snagging Urena for your lineup, but, again, if you’re scrounging in this range consider Urena.
18) Alex Wood vs. Boston Red Sox ($8,000) – I’m not buying. For $8 K, I want a bit more reliability with my starters. Plus, Wood isn’t striking out enough hitters for my DraftKings tastes. And, he’s giving up too many free passes. I think you can do better for the dollars spent, especially considering Wood is only averaging 13.7 FPPG this season.
19) Matt Andriese @ Washington Nationals ($4,300) – Move along, move along. Andriese may feed AL-only league seasonal leagues some okay numbers, but in a DFS situation? Hard to project what his production will be. There are signs Andriese could be useful as a spot-starter down the line assuming he sticks in the rotation, although I’m not a fan of him heading into Washington to face the Nationals.
20) Ubaldo Jimenez @ Philadelphia Phillies ($7,200) – Jimenez’ command suffers at times, so be careful relying upon him as one of your starters… even facing the suffering Phillies. Jimenez’ ERA jumps up almost two points higher on the road than at home, which is a bit scary overall.
Rest of the Field
21) Joe Kelly @ Atlanta Braves ($5,600) – I want to have faith in Kelly, that he’ll show some of the talent he had in St. Louis, but when were talking about cold, hard DFS chips? Nah. Pass on Kelly heading into Atlanta.
22) Wandy Rodriguez @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,600) – What are the chances of Rodriguez reaching 20-plus fantasy performances three starts in a row? Facing one of the better hitting clubs in the league in the Dodgers, who are quite apt at getting the ball out of the park? If you’re looking for a Wandy positive, then go with the fact that the Dodgers aren’t great against left handed pitching, but that’s not enough for me to give him a go.
23) Tommy Milone vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($5,300) – To expect anything more than a 10-point fantasy night from Milone is not smart, so be extraordinarily happy if he nets you 15 points. And, if Milone chalks up another 25-point night like he did last start out? Then, praise the DFS gods! Yee-haw!. Milone doesn’t get too far into games and he’s been far too hittable this season.
24) Jonathan Niese @ Toronto Blue Jays ($6,300) – Niese is too fickle for my blood, so he gets pushed down the list. In two out of his last four starts, Niese hasn’t even hit the 5 IP mark. And, I’m not thrilled with him facing the Blue Jays with how well they’ve been playing as a club (yes, even with two losses in a row now). Hitters are getting a bit too friendly with Niese, with his 3.74 xFIP and 17% HR/FB rates. I smell a bad day for Niese.
25) Kyle Kendrick vs. Houston Astros ($4,000) – The Astros bats have certainly cooled, but that’s not enough of a reason to use Kendrick. He’s just too hot-and-cold for me.
26) Kevin Correia vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,800) – I’m not quite ready to be suckered into rostering Correia on Wednesday, even coming off a fantastic start for him last time out. It’s just hard to imagine Correia doing much better than a 17.2 fantasy point day considering his lack of strikeouts historically.
27) Odrisamer Despaigne @ Oakland Athletics ($5,800) – What’s the best you’ll get from Despaigne? A 20-point fantasy night? You’ll like net a 10-point night out of Despaigne, which isn’t enough for me. The only reason to slot Despaigne into your lineup is because you’re a contrarian and you’ve decided to play the homerun card with your lineup.
28) Tsuyoshi Wada @ Cleveland Indians ($5,700) – Wada has been awful on the road, while netting negative 1.2 fantasy points over his last two starts. I just don’t see any positives in playing him on Wednesday. He’s someone I want to see correct the trend he’s on before paying his salary, even at $5.7 K.
29) John Danks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,400) – Look for the Pirates to load their lineup with right handed batters, maybe even resting regulars. Danks is pitiful against right hander’s, where they have a .941 OPS. I don’t see any reason at all to slot Danks in, unless you’ve got a gut feeling on him. But, please, ignore your gut if you do.
30) Jeff Locke @ Chicago White Sox ($5,200) – With a 43:25 K:BB rate, Locke should make your stomach churn and that’s reason enough for me to look to another arm. You can do better, even at this price. Locke needs to cut down on the walks, increase the strikeouts and turn water into wine before I’d ever consider him these days.
Tweet me at your own risk @TheRolyPolyBoy.