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) Sonny Gray vs. Boston Red Sox ($9,200) – Over Gray’s seven starts this season, he’s averaged 23.7 FPPG – a DFS superstar. In fact, I like Gray so much I’m locking him in as my No. 1 starter of the day. Gray’s 1.65 ERA is about as good as it gets right now.
2) Francisco Liriano @ Philadelphia Phillies ($8,900) – So, Liriano gives up 5 ER in his last start, but manages to strike out 10 hitters totaling 20.1 fantasy points. Not bad, eh? Liriano has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the game in 2015, averaging 22.1 FPPG this season. Don’t worry – the only way DFS owners get destroyed here is if Liriano sees a very early exit and doesn’t K anyone. I don’t see that happening.
3) Gio Gonzalez @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($8,700) – Gonzalez is a pretty good pitcher to roster on Wednesday, as the current D-Backs’ hitters are only hitting .206; plus, Gonzalez averaged seven innings and a smidge over 30 FPPG over his last two starts. He’s pitching well, and worth his $8.7 K tag.
4) Hector Santiago vs. Colorado Rockies ($6,200) – Wait, what? 16.8 FPPG average over the season? From Santiago? Yep, I’ll take that everyday for $6.2 K spent. The wheels will fall off at some point, but it won’t be this week. Santiago really grabs me if I’m looking at value for my SP slots.
5) Matt Harvey @ Chicago Cubs ($10,400) – Look! Harvey IS human. He puttered last game out facing the Phillies, but will we see a bounceback game? Tough call, knowing Harvey’s skill set, but the current Cubs’ hitters have hit him well. I like Harvey, he’s just not my favorite play-for-the-day.
Middle of the Pack
6) James Shields @ Seattle Mariners ($9,500) – Shields has given up 14 ER over his last four games played, while averaging less than six innings over that time frame; however, Shields still puts up points due to his ability to strike hitters out, so his $9.5 K salary isn’t too bad considering. Even so, Shields has been hurt by the home run, allowing seven in his last two games. Ouch. Still, Shields isn’t a “Cream of the Crop” option, but he’s still tops just after.
7) Miguel Gonzalez vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5,700) – Gonzalez is a bit unlucky to this point over the season, so expect better things out of him on a more consistent basis. For the price, Gonzalez represents a solid risk to me. He’s limiting his walks, striking out hitters and keeping the ball down. The Blue Jays aren’t a bad hitting club at all, but I like Gonzalez to walk away with a 20-point fantasy-point victory.
8) Jason Hammel vs. New York Mets ($7,700) – The Mets’ hitters don’t have much of a history facing Hammel, which bodes well for Hammel. The salary is a tad high, so not a great value by any means, although I do expect DFS owners to get enough production to meet the dollars spent. Hammel just needs to build up more consistency from game-to-game for my confidence level to climb on him.
9) Jimmy Nelson vs. Chicago White Sox ($6,200) – Wow, nice to see the K’s from Nelson, huh? The White Sox, as a club, have only whiffed 202 times this season, so Nelson will have to work for his strikeouts. Still, with his recent success (17 K over his last two starts), I like Nelson in this game. Don’t be surprised to see him walk away with the win, while striking out seven hitters on Wednesday.
10) Taijuan Walker vs. San Diego Padres ($7,000) – I love the pitching venue for Walker, with Safeco Field being one of the better parks in the Majors for pitchers (0.869 Park Factor). Walker has given up 4 HR over his last two starts, while allowing 10 ER, and while there are safer pitchers to roster, the home cooking will help. Walker is an under-the-radar risk worth taking a chance on if you’re looking to save some bucks at pitcher on Wednesday.
11) Jose Quintana @ Milwaukee Brewers ($7,500) – Quintana hasn’t given up a home run over his last three starts, while limiting free passes given to hitters. We’ve seen some consistency and improvement from Quintana, averaging 18.3 FPPG over his last three starts. As a team in 2015, the Brewers are only hitting .231. Quintana is a decent mid-range play.
12) Carlos Frias vs. Miami Marlins ($5,100) – Frias is an under-the-radar play, and it’s quite difficult to beat the price on him. The Dodgers aren’t letting him go too far into games, capping his last start at 84 pitches. I like the matchup for Frias and if you’re playing the Stars-and-Scrubs approach with your pitchers, here you go.
13) Cole Hamels vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($10,100) – I like Hamels to go seven innings on Wednesday, while striking out five Pirates’ hitters, but I’m not convinced he’s going to get a win or get by without giving up more than three runs. I just don’t think the price tag is worth locking in Hamels.
14) John Lackey @ Cleveland Indians ($8,200) – Lackey had the game of the century (35.7 fantasy points), going 7.2 innings with 10 K’s last time out. While those numbers were quite bitchin’, I’m just not convinced Lackey will produce enough in Cleveland for the price. We’re certainly not going to see those kind of strikeout numbers again.
15) Wade Miley @ Oakland Athletics ($6,400) – When Miley’s been bad, he’s been WAY bad, with two negative-11 starts this season. Yikes. I’m not thrilled about Miley, although he wasn’t bad at all his last start out. The good news if you run with Miley? He has gone over 100 pitches in his last two starts, averaging 6.5 innings. I wouldn’t completely avoid Miley, but I’m definitely not endorsing him.
16) Corey Kluber vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($9,000) – Kluber hasn’t been himself this season, and I’m staying far away at this price. Kluber is definitely going to turn things around, but I’m not convinced he will facing the Cards. I’d avoid Kluber.
Rest of the Field
17) Yordano Ventura @ Texas Rangers ($6,800) – Maybe I was expecting too much from Ventura this season, but dude is having some real issues right now. Should we be concerned that Ventura’s velocity is down some when throwing his cut fastball? Maybe I’m reading too much into things, but so far his cutter is only at the 92.1 MPH mark, while last season it averaged 94.9 MPH. I like Ventura to straighten out and I love the offense behind him, although I’d pass on using him this Wednesday throwing in Arlington.
18) Kyle Lobstein vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,800) – You don’t get a lot of strikeouts with Lobstein, but you don’t get a lot of damage via the walk either. I’m a bit indifferent towards the kid, although the matchup is a bit intriguing as Lobstein draws the Twins. Maybe on another night I’d use him if I didn’t think there were better and safer options, but there are.
19) Nathan Karns vs. New York Yankees ($6,600) – This will be the third time that Karns has faced the Yankees this season, and surprisingly he hasn’t done too badly averaging a bit over 16 FPPG over the two games; however, I’m not confident enough in Karns to think that he’ll do well enough to get to that mid-teen level again. The Yanks will catch up to him this time. What’s the old saying? Third time’s a charm?
20) Aaron Sanchez @ Baltimore Orioles ($5,900) – If Sanchez could just cut down on his walks, and if I could just stop eating lemon-flavored desserts, I’d be a much happier and healthier DFS-guy in the long run. Sanchez has given up 25 BB in 32.1 IP. Y-I-K-E-S. Nothing like a 1.55 WHIP to get your DFS juices flowin’, right? I love this kids future, but as a DFS play he’s pretty risky right now.
21) Brett Oberholtzer vs. San Francisco Giants ($5,400) – Oberholtzer is being activated form the DL to face the Giants in his first start of the season. Excited? Neither am I. I’d rather see you spend similar dollars on Miguel Gonzalez.
22) Jeremy Hellickson vs. Washington Nationals ($5,300) – Hellickson is struggling far too much right now, giving up 12 ER over his last three starts. He’s only averaging a bit over five innings this season. You’d be much better off spending extra bucks on another pitcher.
23) Jarred Cosart @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,300) – Cosart has only gone beyond six innings once this season and the Dodgers have hit 49 long bombs this season, best in the league. On the road, facing the Dodgers’ power bats and not going far into games? Pass.
24) Tim Hudson @ Houston Astros ($6,000) – Sheesh. Hudson was destroyed in his last outing, giving up 6 ER on 15 hits. Yeah, that’s right – 15 hits! I don’t see things getting any easier for Hudson in Houston.
25) Adam Warren @ Tampa Bay Rays ($5,200) – Warren just doesn’t strike out enough hitters with the limited innings he pitches, so he’s not for you. I dig Warren as a reliever, and believe he could turn into a manageable starter down the line, but he’s someone to avoid in DFS play for now.
26) Eric Stults @ Cincinnati Reds ($5,500) – Stults is still giving up home runs at a rate I hate, and the Park Factor is enough to drive me away with Stults heading into Cincinnati. I really don’t like rostering soft-tossing pitchers like Stults anyway.
27) Yovani Gallardo vs. Kansas City Royals ($6,500) – Nah, Gallardo isn’t for me today. I want someone that doesn’t walk a ton of hitters and that can go deep into games. Gallardo’s just not doing enough to find his way onto my rosters, even at $6.5 K. And, the Royals are the best hitting team in the league so far this season (.287 AVG) – this is a recipe for disaster.
28) Jordan Lyles @ Los Angeles Angels ($5,600) – Inconsistent production and being far too hittable keeps me away from using Lyles, so… move along. You don’t want any of this.
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