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
Anibal Sanchez vs. Minnesota Twins ($9200) – The Twins have been allowing some huge games to starting pitchers recently, especially right-handers. They are in the bottom third of the league for batting average and they have a 25.8% K rate. That is incredibly high and a big reason why we have seen some 20 and 30 point performances from those who take the mound to oppose them. Sanchez is one of the biggest favorites on the board tomorrow at -160. He has strikeout ability and should be able to rack up a few against a high strikeout team. He tends to pitch deep into the game as well, so all the boxes check off for him to have a good day.
Travis Wood vs. New York Mets ($7100) – This might seem crazy to some of you if you look at game logs, but everything that made his last matchup with the Brewers tough is reversed today. He is at home instead of in a hitter friendly Miller Park, so that is a bump. He faces a Mets team that is lefty dominant right now with David Wright on the shelf and the replacement right-handed bats are weak. Wood has alternated some great games with some blowups. As long as the wind is not blowing out in Wrigley tomorrow, the matchup looks to favor him getting back on form. He will likely be low owned and has a better matchup than most of the more expensive options below.
Middle of the Pack
Michael Wacha vs. Cleveland Indians ($9000) – Wacha has been pretty good as he is 5-0 to start the year with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Yet he has not been a great fantasy option as his strikeouts are pretty low and his price is stubbornly high. He also has a tougher matchup tomorrow as he is a right-handed pitcher and will face a very lefty heavy order for Cleveland. He is a slight favorite at -115 in a game with a 7.5 run line. While he should pitch well, if he is not able to dial up the strikeouts, than he will not make value.
Vance Worley vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($6600) – This is more about his opponent than it is about his own skills. The Phillies are dead last for batting average against right-handed pitching. While they had been a low strikeout team, those numbers are creeping up. The current K rate sits at 21.9% which is right around league average and slightly towards the higher end. The cherry on top is they are also dead last for runs scored vs. right-handed pitching. Worley has flashed a ceiling of right around 20, which would be three DK points per thousand of cost based on his price today. Considering this is literally the easiest matchup in all of baseball, I think he has a shot to meet or exceed that again here today.
Aaron Harang vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6900) – Harang has been really solid to start the year. He has gone at least 6 innings of every start, and he has done so to the tune of a 2.38 ERA with a WHIP of only 1.02. He has has 31 strikeouts in his 45 innings of work. Harang is the underdog here and has a putrid offense playing behind him. Despite not being in line for the win, he should have decent enough numbers that if his bats wake up, he could potentially return 20 DK points if he secures the win bonus. That is not bad at his price and more than we can say for some others.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Detroit Tigers ($4900) – Pelfrey is obnoxiously cheap today in what many feel is a horrible matchup, but he is 3-0, with a 2.62 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a gem against this lineup under his belt in 2015. Pelfrey went 7 innings with only 5 baserunners allowed, one earned run, and 7 strikeouts against Detroit two weeks ago. I do not expect him to repeat that, but even half of it would return solid value. He has flashed the upside to make himself a viable play here, but you have to wonder if he is consistent enough to do it again?
Rest of the Field
Trevor Bauer vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($7500) – After starting the season with three straight gems, it seems that Bauer’s time in the spotlight has past. He has three straight horrible starts and today gets a very bad matchup. The Cardinals have the best batting average in MLB against right-handed pitching. They are also top 10 for runs and bottom ten for strikeouts, so nothing about this will be easy. He is a slight underdog at even money on the opening line and he does not look primed for a great fantasy day.
Jonathon Niese vs. Chicago Cubs ($7900) – Niese will be highly owned by those who check the game logs and see his 28 DK point performance last time out. Doing that against the league worst Philly lineup is one thing, but the Cubs have a top 5 batting average against left-handed pitchers this year in MLB. They have a ton of right-handed bats to throw against the lefty, and Vegas has him as an underdog. The Wind has been a factor in the series recently, and when it blows out to center field, the balls tend to fly out of Wrigley. His price is jacked up in a tough matchup here, so it’s smarter to stay away.
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Texas Rangers ($5900) – Guthrie does not normally pitch deep into games, strike out a lot of batters, or limit the other team to a few runs. Those are the three worst things for a starting pitcher in fantasy. There is very little upside to taking a guy who can not do at least one of those three things. Still he is a slight favorite today, and he is cheap, so he does not need to do too much.
Ross Detwiler vs. Kansas City Royals ($5400) – Detwiler already has three negative scores so far this season and gets a matchup against one of the MLB’s best hitting teams. The Royals have the highest batting average in the league and gt a positive park bump for this one. Detwiler is overmatched and the most expensive he has been all season. None of that makes him a guy who should be anywhere near your rosters.