There’s no day baseball today, but we do have one wonky game that starts before the rest of the slate begins at 6:05 PM EST. The Cardinals and Indians get things started a few minutes early, but it’s enough to take them out of the majority of tonight’s contests, but 15-game contests are available if you want to do so.

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. To determine the best values in today’s rankings, I run projections that include opponent’s strength, betting situation, handedness, park factor, projected Game Score, power/finesse pitching tendencies along with ground-ball/fly-ball tendencies. We want to take everything into consideration when making our pitcher choices, because they’re the backbone of the lineup. If you have any last-minute questions, please find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.

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Cream of the Crop

ArrietaJake Arrieta vs. New York Mets ($8,600)

Jake Arrieta is coming off of a couple of sub par outings by his standards, but I don’t think it should’ve resulted in a nearly $1,000 dip in price as it has here tonight. For a multitude of reasons, Arrieta hasn’t worked deep into games of late, but everything else is still ‘ace’ quality. His 3.41 ERA to-date isn’t going to elicit excitement, but his 2.53 FIP tells a different story. He’s in a perfect spot to bounce back.

Collin McHugh vs. San Francisco Giants ($7,400)

I don’t remember another full-slate night that didn’t offer a single $10,000+ starting pitcher, but here we are. The ceiling may not be quite as high for McHugh when compared to other options on the board tonight, but it’s not that far off and he offers the safest floor. The Giants don’t strikeout a lot, but they’re slugging just .381 which is in the bottom third of the league.

Chris Sale @ Milwaukee Brewers ($9,400)

We’re seeing a bit of recency bias here with Sale, but it’s understandable when factoring in how he’s looked of late. The truth is, Sale got off to a slow start last season as well and then was a legitimate Cy Young candidate for the season’s final five months, so fear not DFS’ers. The Brewers have struggled against left-handed pitching, walking a league-worst four-percent of their at-bats, while striking out nearly 23-percent of the time.

A.J. Burnett @ Philadelphia Phillies ($8,200)

A.J. Burnett has been pitching well, but is a bit out over his skis. Regardless, he’s facing the Phillies so he needs to be taken seriously here. There’s the former team narrative if you’re into that sort of thing, but as I’ve noted consistently, the Phillies are historically bad against right-handed pitching right now. Their 57 wRC+ is hard to fathom. If you’re not familiar with wRC+, it essentially means that the Phillies are 43-percent worst than a league-average team in the same situations. Burnett’s ability to miss bats solidifies his spot in the top tier.

Stephen Strasburg @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($9,200)

Stephen Strasburg is quite polarizing in DFS circles. Always offering tantalizing upside, any time Strasburg gets hit around you’re sure to hear about it. The general perception is that he’s overrated and never quite lives up to the hype that’s surround him since he debuted. He may never live up to the expectations bestowed upon him, but that’s not his fault. His velocity has dipped and subsequently his strikeout rate has gone with it, but he still possesses elite swing-and-miss stuff. His .394 BABIP-against is nearly 100 points above his career mark, and his 2.77 FIP shows that his true talent is still strong. I don’t love him in this spot tonight but this is still an elite arm, folks.

{color:#FF6C00; font-size:14pt}*Middle of the Pack*%

Edinson Volquez @ Texas Rangers ($5,600)

Perhaps it’s strange to see Edinson Volquez this high on the list, and ahead of some ‘better’ arms, but I like him quite a bit today. Blisters cut his last outing short but the issue appears to be be behind him here today, and that abbreviated outing dropped his price below $6,000 and I’m ready to pounce on that. Volquez has managed to keep the ball in the yard this season, so he’s due for some fly-ball regression, but he’s a ground-ball pitcher who’s facing the third worst offense in terms of wOBA against right-handed pitching. He offers enough strikeout upside to make him an interesting GPP play today.

Carlos Carrasco vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($8,400)

The silly start time will Carlos Carrasco out of the mix for most today, which is fine because I’d be tempted to play him despite a less than ideal matchup. The Cardinals are one of the best offenses in baseball when faced with a right-handed pitcher; the not only walk a higher-than-average clip but they rarely strikeout as well. With that said, I love Carlos Carrasco moving forward. I expect the effects of the Melky Cabrera liner to be behind him, and he’ll continue to make a name for himself as one of the best in the game. I hope he’s only $8,400 next time he takes the mound.

Mike Fiers vs. Chicago White Sox ($8,500)

Late last season there were few pitchers that were as dominant as Carlos Carrasco was, but one of them was Mike Fiers. He hasn’t been as sharp to start 2015, but I’m not ready to bury him and leave him for dead quite yet. That 30.2-percent strikeout rate may have something to do with it. The problem right now is that he’s been generous with the free pass as well, which is driving up his pitch count and extending his innings. His matchup against the White Sox is fairly neutral, keeping Fiers on GPP radars today.

Lance Lynn @ Cleveland Indians ($8,800)

As I mentioned previously, Lance Lynn isn’t available in the large slate today as he takes on the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are slightly above average when it comes to facing right-handed pitching, but they’re an above average slugging team here. Big picture though, I’m encouraged by the continued improvements of Lance Lynn. He’s continued to improve his strikeout totals while driving his walks down, and when his strand rate and BABIP-against regulate I believe we’ll see even better numbers from the big right-hander.

Chris Archer vs. New York Yankees ($8,800)USATSI_8525814_168381090_lowres

We know that there’s an exceptional amount of variance on a day to day basis in baseball but there are so many predictive variables, particularly on the pitching side of things, that can help us make better decisions. I’ve had some questions about why I’ve had Chris Archer so low in my rankings and it had little to do with the clear gains that Archer has made, and more to do with what I saw to be unsustainable levels of improvement. His minuscule BABIP-against (it was below .200) and strand rate (around 95-percent) were due to come crashing down, and they have in his last two outings. It’s a lot easier to gauge what we have now in Archer, and that’s a young arm that’s clearly taken a step forward this season. His arsenal has improved with the increase use of his slider, and it’s been a real weapon when attempting to neutralize left-handed bats.

Drew Pomeranz vs. Boston Red Sox ($5,500)

Drew Pomeranz is better than what he’s showed us so far in 2015, and he gets a nice park factor bump at home against the Red Sox. The Sox are patient which may not bode well for Pomeranz, but he possesses better than average strikeout upside for a pitcher at his price. I wouldn’t role him out in cash, but if you’re looking for a minimally owned GPP arm, Pomeranz may be your guy.

Chris Heston @ Houston Astros ($4,800)

Chris Heston isn’t going to blow you away when you watch him, but he’s been effective, particularly in starts where he’s minimized the walks. Obviously this could apply to any pitcher, but Heston needs to be efficient because he’s not going to blow you away with his low-90’s heat. I like the price here, but I wish this game were in San Francisco instead of Houston.

Nathan Eovaldi @ Tampa Bay Rays ($6,500)

If you watch Eovaldi pitch for a few minutes, there’s a good chance you could see a snippet of action that’d make you think that he’s one of the best in the business. Well, forgive me for this reference but the carpet doesn’t match the drapes here. His arsenal is the stuff that you’d expect to see a 10 K/9 pitcher have; he sits comfortably at 98 mph with his heat, has a devastating slider and a strong curve. The fact that the results are another K/9 that’s below 7, I’m going to stop holding my breath.

Ian Kennedy @ Seattle Mariners ($8,100)

Ian Kennedy has been doing his best Marco Estrada impersonation this season, as he’s continued to throw batting practice long after the game has started. A quick look at Kennedy’s pitch mix shows that he’s leaning heavily on his fastball this season, throwing it about 14-percent more than he has in previous seasons. Hey, Ian…it ain’t workin’, bud. His HR/FB rate of 27.8-percent will come down, but it’s likely to remain above average unless the pitch mix changes.

C.J. Wilson vs. Colorado Rockies ($7,500)

The Rockies have one of the lowest wRC+ marks in the game when facing a left-handed pitcher; their 77 is the fourth lowest in all of baseball. Is C.J. Wilson the type of pitcher that can exploit that? I’m not sure I’m willing to pay $7,500 to find out. This will likely be the popular sentiment, making Wilson a GPP option for the contrarian among us.

Noah Syndergaard @ Chicago Cubs ($7,200)

A rookie making his debut against a hot-hitting Cubs team? I’m not going to chase the upside here. There’s no doubt that Syndergaard possesses the pedigree to be exceptional in the years to come, but I’m not paying up for his debut in DFS. I’d roll him out in season-long if need be, but this ain’t that! I’m not quite sure what I’d need the price to be to consider him, but it’s not $7,200.

James Paxton vs. San Diego Padres ($7,200)

All of the Padres’ bats that I’d fear here are right-handed which is enough to give me pause when considering Paxton today. He’s been a tad unlucky with balls in play thus far, and does have the arsenal capable of racking up the strikeout totals that we want to see, but there are enough options at this price point to pass on Paxton here and not look back.

Rest of the Field

Per usual, the Rest of the Field is essentially a list of players that I wouldn’t consider viable options today. Sure, you can make a case for some of the next few arms, but there are better ways to allocate your funds today.

Anthony DeSclafani vs. Atlanta Braves ($7,300)

The Braves have been better than we anticipated coming into the season, and currently sit slightly above average when facing a right-handed pitcher. We also have a young pitcher here that’s slightly above his head currently, with an ERA 1.5 points below his FIP, and a BABIP-against that’s just .216. The Braves make a sneaky stack.

Mike Foltynewicz @ Cincinnati Reds ($5,900)

Working deep into games is an underrated aspect when selecting your starting pitcher, particularly if you’re looking to get a cheap SP2 to pair with a top tier starter. Mike Foltynewicz is not that guy. He hasn’t seen the sixth inning yet this season, and the Reds will likely keep this ominous streak alive.

Dan Haren @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,900)

No strikeouts and a ERA that’s two points lower than his FIP. If you’re paying up for Dan Haren then you’re chasing a ghost. Add to the fact that the Dodgers are far and away the best hitting team against right-handed pitching thus far, and you can move on from considering Haren.

Rubby de la Rosa vs. Washington Nationals ($6,700)

Rubby de la Rosa looked like the front line starter that some expect him to be his last time out, and if he can keep his walks in check this could be a trend. Unfortunately, I trust the Nationals offense more right now than I do Rubby. I can’t recommend rolling out Rubby in this spot with the game in Arizona.

Alfredo Simon vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,000)

Alfredo Simon pitches well early in the season, that’s just what the numbers say. This season though, what he’s doing looks a lot more sustainable than what we saw from him last season when he barely missed a bat and had an astronomically high strand rate that he carried into the summer. The Twins are swinging it well lately, but they aren’t a team to avoid.

Mike Bolsinger vs. Miami Marlins ($6,100)

Mike Bolsinger is a lot like Mike Foltynewicz in the sense that we can’t expect him to work deep into this game. When you look at his AAA starts this season, the strikeouts have been there but he’s rarely working in to or past the 6th inning. There just isn’t enough upside here yet.

Chris Tillman vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($6,400)

It hasn’t been a pretty start to the season for the Orioles Chris Tillman. After a few season making steady gains in both raising his strikeout rate and lowering his walk rate, that all appears to be lost in 2015’s version of Tillman. There’s no need to roll him out on a full slate against a Blue Jays team that can run up the score in a hurry.

Nick Martinez vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,400)

A starter with a 1.47 ERA that’ll cost you $5,400? Seems like an error but it’s not. I’ll continue to keep Martinez down in my rankings because you just can’t buy in to what we’re seeing. There certainly have been some improvements, but his strikeout rate is under four (4!!!) and he’s somehow managed to not allow a home run yet. This too will end. #Math.

Mark Buehrle @ Baltimore Orioles ($5,100)

The Orioles are off to a slower than expected start offensively, particularly against left-handed pitching. They’ve seen Buehrle a lot in seasons past, and already twice this season. The upside here is 10 DraftKings points. Interested?

Justin Masterson @ Oakland Athletics ($6,000)

This sets up as a difficult spot for Masterson. He’s had some encouraging moments this season but he’s notoriously awful against left-handed bats, and the Athletics will likely have seven or eight in the lineup tonight. Not only can the throw on lefty bats, but they’re good ones too. The A’s .339 wOBA against right-handed pitching is the sixth best mark in the league.

Kyle Gibson @ Detroit Tigers ($5,700)

It’s incredibly difficult to have a strikeout rate that’s lower than your ERA, especially when your ERA is under 3. Good work, Kyle Gibson! I’m only taking on the Tigers with an elite pitcher on a short slate, and neither of those things are in place today.

Kyle Kendrick @ Los Angeles Angels ($4,900)

The Angels are worse than you think against right-handed pitching, but Kyle Kendrick is not the pitcher that’ll be able to take advantage of it.

Good luck tonight!