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
Danny Salazar Vs. Baltimore Orioles ($8800) – Salazar has averaged 6 innings, 2.5 runs, a little over a hit per inning, and 8 strikeouts so far this season. That would generate a DK score of 20.5 before factoring in a win. He plays a high strikeout team in the Orioles who are tied for the third highest strikeout percentage in the league at 23%. That is over 15% above league average, which would put the Indians starter in line for a nine strikeout game. The Orioles are just below the middle of the pack for runs and batting average against RHP. The Orioles have also been slumping lately and have a negative park bump, so all the pieces fit together here for an outsized game.
Yordano Ventura vs. Texas Rangers ($7900) – I love this price on the Royals Ace. Ventura needs to get about 24 here to pay off his salary. He has averaged about 23 in his last three starts, so it’s right n line with his recent performance. He gets to pitch at home in this one as well. H faces a Texas team that has the 18th best batting average and is 21st in runs scored. They are also 12th with a K percentage of 20.3 which is slightly above average.
Middle of the Pack
Andrew Cashner vs. Cincinnati Reds ($7800) – Cashner has huge strikeout potential, but he also allows a ton of base runners and gives up quite a few homeruns too. Cincy is a good park for homerun hitters and they have a few lefty sticks they can throw at him, so this is not an ideal spot. The Reds are also 24th in the league for Ks, so the upside is likely limited with him. Still he should be able to keep the damage to a minimum as long as he does not allow too many jacks with guys on base.
Madison Bumgarner vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($10500) – Price is the main reason why Bum is not the top option, but it also is not the only reason. The Phillies have the fifth lowest K % of any team vs. LHP. They also have the seventh highest batting average. Bum Garner gets a negative park switch as well and has not come close to three points per $1000 in any of his last four starts. He also has not made it out of the sixth inning in any of his last three starts, so it’s going to be tough for him to make value without going deeper. With a lot of hits and less strikeouts than usual expected, he is a good candidate to miss value and burn money in what many think is a great matchup.
Jesse Chavez vs. Boston Red Sox ($6600) – Chavez has been pitching really well and has a great price here. The drawback is he has a very tough matchup against a good hitting team. He has averaged over 20 fantasy points in his last six starts, so he looks like a huge bargain at only $6600. The Red Sox are near the bottom of the league for runs scored, but they also do not strike out a ton. That is the reason why Chavez is so cheap today. He could still pitch a solid game though here and make value, but the upside for a tournament is lacking if the strikeouts are likely to stay low.
Drew Hutchinson vs. Houston Astros ($7000) – Hutchinson is going to be a sneaky GPP play as many will assume the Astros power in the Rogers Centre will shine through, but this is a really good matchup for him. Hutch has been much better at hom, averaging just shy of 7 innings per start, with a WHIP of 1, 2.2 earned runs per start, and a strikeout per inning. He faces the team with the second highest K% against right-handed pitching and a very righty heavy lineup. Hutchinson has flashed 40 point ceilings already this year and while I think he falls short of that, it still should be a top end score for him.
Michael Lorenzen vs. San Diego Padres ($4300) – He is the best of the bargain basement options here. In his last two starts he has averaged 17 fantasy points and those were against Colorado and Washington at home. He gets San Diego at home who is ranked 20th for batting average against right-handers while Colorado is secod and Washington is 11th, so this is the softest spot yet. He has averaged 6.2 innings which would give him and 15 points and create a nice floor. He also plays the team with the fourth most strikeouts, so he has a chance to pick up more than the three or four he has averaged. If he can continue to limit the oppositions base runners and runs scored, he can return a nice value number, although probably will not be anywhere near the top scorer on the day.
Matt Garza vs. Minnesota Twins ($6100) – Garza does not go deep into games and does not strikeout a lot of batters. He also has given up a lot of baserunners and runs. The only two reasons he is not on the bottom rung are because Minnesota has allowed some big games to right-handed pitchers and his price is cheap. Beyond that I can not really make a case for him.
Ubaldo Jiminez vs. Cleveland Indians ($7100) – Ubaldo is lights out at home and mortal on the road. He also struggles with left-handed batters. He travels to Cleveland to face a line up loaded with left handed regulars, so there’s nothing good about this matchup for him. Throw in the high price and he is easily not someone to target.
Wandy Rodriguez vs. Kansas City Royals ($5900) – I do not think I trust Wandy against bad teams, so I definitely am not going to trust him against the team with the highest batting average and least number of strikeouts. He also has a tough opponent in Yordano Ventura, so the win is not likely which leaves him little upside in any tournament or cash game.
David Phelps vs. Colorado Rockies ($4200) – This price may seem too cheap to pass up, but do not be fooled. This is a huge negative park switch for a guy who struggles to reach double digit fantasy points on most nights. Phelps rarely pitches into the sixth inning, rarely strikes out a lot of batters, and rarely does not allow a few runs. All those things he rarely does also do not happen in Coors field, so the increased in hits that park yields is really going to hurt his score, since he has such a low floor and low ceiling potential anyway.
Severino Gonzalez vs. San Fransisco Giants ($5200) – Talk about A guy who is as different as Jekyl and Hyde. He never pitches deep into games, but sometimes he racks up huge strikeout numbers and other games he strikes out nobody, LITERALLY. He has had two games where he went about five innings with zero K;s and two others were he finished with 5 and 8 of them. San Fran does not strike out a ton and has some big bats and a park bump here. He also goes opposite Madison Bumgarner, so there’s very little chance of a win. Low Ks, low innings, and no win is not the recipe for a good fantasy score.
Chris Rusin vs. Miami Marlins ($4000) – Rockies starter has averaged 17 DK points in his last two starts, but both of those have come on the road. He did not make the fifth inning of his last game, so without doing that the potential to points in Coors and the fact that he is basically an erratic rookie may be his downfall. The Marlins do have a high strikeout rate, but they also have a high batting average and score runs.That’s not ideal for a matchup at Coors field.
Brett Oberholtzer vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5200) – He does not pitch deep into games, he does not strike out a lot of batters, and he gives up too many walks. He also plays in a horrible park for pitchers against one of the league’s best offenses on the road. This is about the complete opposite of what we look for in a guy who is in a good spot.
Joe Kelly vs. Oakland Athletics ($4700) – Kelly has not only been largely ineffective, but the rumor is his rotation spot is in danger. Kelly flashed upside once earlier this year, but also recently threw up some clunkers, which included a -15 fantasy point day. Oakland is a patient team who hits weaky pitching well, so theres really nothing to hang your hat on with him.
JR Graham vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4000) – This guy is a reliever who gets a spot start here and this wil likely be a bullpen game for the Twins. He will not go deep in the game, as he has not pitched over 3 innings all season, so there’s no way he can get points if he has no chance for a win and low innings unless he is flawless and strikes out everyone. Neither of those is likely based on history.