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
Tyson Ross vs. Chicago Cubs ($9000) – There are really no standout pitchers on the slate tomorrow and Ross does seem to have more upside than most. He gets a match up with the Cubs who strike out a league leading 29% of the time against right-handed pitching. He plays them in his home park, which is very pitcher friendly and he is a -127 favorite in a game with a 6.5 expected run line. He goes opposite Tsuyoshi Wada who has not been great in limited experience in MLB. The downside is that although that offense strikes out a lot, they also have some homerun hitters who can mash.Vegas expects Ross to keep them in check and San Diego’s bats to do some damage against Wada, so there’s upside here without a doubt, but it is never a smooth ride when taking Ross, so be forewarned in cash.
Shane Greene vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6000) – While he may not be in line to be the top scorer on the day, Greene could be one of the better value’s. He threw three gems to start the season, followed by three clunkers, and then two more good ones in a row. At his price today, he would have returned three points per $1000 of cost in five of his eight starts. Greene has been much better at home, as his WHIP is only 1.08 and his ERA 3.33 in Tiger Stadium. The Brewers are also a high strikeout team, which could help create a nice floor for Greene in this one as well. He is a -145 favorite here, so Vegas also is expecting him to get the win. High strikeouts and a win could easily help him reach value at such a low price tag.
Carlos Rondon vs. Cleveland Indians ($6400) – The rookie left-hander has produced mix results so far. He pitched real well against Cincy, before laboring to get through four innings against the As. He is striking out a batter per inning or more, but not pitching deep into games due to his high walk numbers. Cleveland has a lot of left-handed regulars and there biggest bat vs. a lefty is Carlos Santana who is on the shelf. That means Rondon should have a solid matchup against a plethora of lefties and some weak right handed bats. He is a -135 favorite in a game with a descending run line that is now at 8. At his price, he could provide tournament winning upside in this one.
Middle of the Pack
Jake Odorizzi vs. Atlanta Braves ($8500) – Odorizzi has been brilliant so far. He has an ERA of 2.36 and a WHIP of 0.96 with 44 Ks in 53 innings of work. He is a big favorite here at -145 in a game with only 7.5 runs expected. He goes opposite Williams Perez who has been shelled so far in his only 3 innings of MLB experience. Odorizzi has thrown some really solid games, but this is not a great upside matchup for him. The braves have only struck out 181 times in over 1000 plate appearances so far against right-handed pitching. They have a plethora of lefty bats they can and will throw at Odorizzi. The game is in Atlanta, which is a pitcher’s park, so it’s kind of a mixed bag for him. I do think he pitches well, but may not have the upside if the strikeouts are not there to return value.
Jered Weaver vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($7400) – Weaver has turned around his season fast with two straight stud performances. He gets a Jays team in this one that is 10th worst in the league for batting average against right-handed pitching and has the fourth most strikeouts. The Jays are striking out at a 24% clip against righties, Which could help weaver who is averaging barely above four of them per game. He is starting to pitch deeper into games and throw a few more pitches which is needed at his price if he is to have any shot at reaching value. While many are scared of that Blue Jay lineup in that park, remember they are playing short handed and with a few of the regulars banged up. Weaver has returned 22 and 37 DK points in his last two starts, so there’s optimism he can keep the good starts rolling here.
Wei Yin-Chen vs. Seattle Mariners ($7000) – Chen was on two winning moonshot rosters two weeks back. That says a lot about how well he is pitching and how low his price has been. He returned 21 and 28 fantasy points in his last two starts, which is three and four points per thousand of cost based on his price today. He is a -130 favorite at home in a game with eight runs expected. Over his last four starts, he has averaged 7 innings pitched, 6 strikeouts, and has not allowed more than two earned runs. A repeat of those recent numbers would make him one of the best values on the day again.
Brett Anderson vs. San Fransisco Giants ($7100) – Anderson has been sneaky good so far in his starts. He has a 3.50 ERA and a WHIP of 1.33 on his way to a 2-1 start. He has been returning numbers in the teens and has a good matchup today in a great pitchers park. He is a -120 favorite in a game with only seven runs expected. The Giants are not a bad hitting team and they do not strike out a ton, so there’s not a great deal of upside, but he should be safe for six innings and four or five strikeouts. If he can add a win, he should end up around 20 points for good value.
Drew Hutchinson vs. Los Angeles Angels ($7200) – Hutch has had some good games and some really bad ones so far. He had back to back games where he did not make it through the fifth and gave up 6 runs in each. Then he came back in the last two and pitched 11 innings of 3 run ball with 15 strikeouts. He gets an Angels squad that has struggled offensively. They currently sport a league worst .225 batting average and have struggled to score runs at sixth worst in that category. He is a slight favorite at -110 in a game with nine runs expected. There’s not a ton of upside at the price, but he should be solid.
Bartolo Colon vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($7700) – Bartolo keeps getting it done at his advanced age, although he is coming off a game where he got shelled by Milwaukee last out. Bartolo is a machine and pounds the strikezone all game. He locates his pitches and has good late movement which keeps hitters from squaring the ball up often. He does not walk batters, but he has been homer prone so far this year with 8 of them allowed in 50 innings of work. The Cards have a lot of lefty bats and have done very well against right-handers so far this year. Bartolo should be able to pitch a decent game at home here, but may not strikeout enough guys to pay off his salary against a team with a K rate of slightly over 20%. He is favored in a game with a low seven run total, so there’s some merit to using him.
Jordan Zimmerman vs. New York Yankees ($8900) – So far this year, Zimmerman has walked too many batters, allowed too many hits, and struck out too few guys to be the Ace many thought he was going to become. His price is really high today, so it will take a game that is better than his last in order to pay it off and that was his best start of the season. He faces a Yankees team that is middle of the pack vs. right-handers, but does have some big lefty bats to attack him with. The games only has a total of 7.5 and is in a pitcher friendly National’s Park, so there’s upside to him if he can get some strikeouts and limit the damage.
David Phelps vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5200) – Phelps has been returning nice value to his backers. He gets another start in the pitcher friendly home park for the Marlins where he is a -130 favorite in a game with only 7.5 runs expected. Phelps has averaged over six innings in his last six starts while not allowing more than two runs. He has added over four strikeouts each time as well, which is a nice floor for him at his rock bottom price. There’s not a ton of upside for tournaments, but he is a decent cost saver with an above average chance to return value today.
Chase Anderson vs. Miami Marlins ($6100) – Anderson has thrown a few good games so far this season and been shelled in others. He gets to travel to a great pitchers park against an offense that has struck out the second most times in MLB against right-handed pitching. Anderson is not a huge strikeout guy, but he does have 32 in 41 IP, so he should get some here. He tends to go about six innings and except for one bad start, has limited opponents to 3 runs or less in the rest of them. Despite being the underdog, there’s only 7.5 runs expected here as the run line has dropped from 8 at the open. Anderson has returned 20 or more DraftKings points already in previous games, which would be over 3 points per $1000 of cost here. He is not a lock for upside as the Marlins have scored some runs, but the strikeouts and innings are a nice floor for him at the price on a tough day for pitching.
Tim Lincecum vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($7800) – Lincecum has been lights out at home this year. He has 25 innings of work in San Fransisco with a WHIP of 1.00, an ERA of 1.44, and a .195 batting average against on his way to a 3-1 record. He also has 21 strikeouts for an average of six innings, six baserunners, one earned run, and five strikeouts per start. That would be good for 20 DraftKings points if he pitched to his home averages. The problem here is the Dodgers have a potent offense. They are favored over Lincecum here and are expected to put up about four runs or more. As an underdog against a potent offense who has seen his strikeouts dip and his price rise, I’m not sure he is going to be able to return value in this one.
Carlos Martinez vs. New York Mets ($7200) – Martinez has not been great lately, but neither have the Mets. Both started hot and have cooled way down at the present. Martinez gets a good park to pitch in, a bad lineup to pitch against, and a solid lineup vs. right-handed pitching to try to slug him to a win. If he can limit the walks which hurt him in his bad starts, he could return around 20 DK points and be a great value.
Joe Kelly vs. Texas Rangers ($4900) – There is absolutely no upside to Kelly, even at this price. He struggles to return even double digit fantasy points as he has only one game with over 11.5 of them so far. Yet he is in line for a probable win according to Vegas, so he might be able to get there at his price. Texas bats are hitting better, but you do not need much out of him for value. It is definitely not a high upside or safe play, but he is cheap enough to consider.
Jeff Locke vs. Minnesota Twins ($5900) – Locke has struggled in his recent starts. He is averaging just over five innings of work with just under five earned runs allowed. Still Minnesota has allowed some big games to pitchers in recent starts, and he is a big -150 favorite in a game with an expected total of 8. He is in line for the win as Vegas thinks his opposition, Mike Pelfrey, will again get lit up. Despite his recent struggles, he makes some sense here at a low cost.
Rest of the Field
Kyle Lohse vs. Detroit Tigers ($7400) – Lohse is a victim of his own success here. He threw a gem against the struggling MEts last out, but gets a much tougher matchup with the Tigers today. His price is up for this one, which is a big reason he finds himself so low on the list. He is a big underdog in a game where 8.5 runs are expected, so there’s a chance he gets shelled. Detroit is one of the best hitting teams in the league and Lohse already has allowed four or more runs in five of his eight starts. He also has not been a high K guy, so there’s multiple reasons here not to use him.
Roenis Elias vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6900) – Elias has been lucky to keep his ERA down with all the hits and walks he has allowed. His WHIP is 1.40 and his ERA is 3.24. If he keeps allowing hits and walks at this rate, the ERA is going to rise. Baltimore has a .280 batting average against left-handed pitching to date. It does not look like a good matchup on paper for him.
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Cincinnati ($5000) – Despite being a big favorite, there is no upside in using Guthrie. He only goes about six innings per start, gives up a little over three runs, and has about two strikeouts. With those numbers, even a win will not get him up to value. Guthrie struggles vs. left-handed bats and the Reds have a few good ones with guys like Votto, Hamilton, Bruce, and Pena. Those guys alone should do enough damage to keep me away here, despite Guthrie being a big favorite.
Eddie Butler vs. Philadelphia Phillie ($4200) – This is a really low price for a favorite who is going up against one of the worst offenses in all of MLB, but that does not mean he is a good play. Butler’s high for the year is 11.1 DK points. He does not strike out a lot of guys, does not pitch deep into games, and does allow a lot of negative events to occur. None of those things are positive for his fantasy value.
Adam Warren vs.Washington Nationals ($4700) – Warren goes about five innings per start. He pitches in a pitcher’s park today, but runs into one of the hottest offenses in baseball. Warren has return numbers that are three and four points per thousand dollars of cost recently, but he is a big dog today and not expected to give a good showing.
Tsuyoshi Wada vs. San Diego ($6500) – This seems a little pricey for a guy making his first start this season. He was not great last year after coming up mid-season, but he has pitched solidly in AAA on his way back to MLB. He does pitch in a great park against an offense that has struggled recently after starting out red hot. Still he is not a big strikeout guy and he may be limited as he works his way back, so it will be tough for him as an underdog to reach value, especially f he does not get the win bonus.
Jason Marquis vs. Kansas City Royals ($4100) – Marquis is dirt cheap, but he has a tough matchup here against a Royals team that is one of the best hitting offenses in baseball. They rarely strike out and always put the ball in play. That’s a bad combination for a pitcher who has struggled so far this season. Marquis has an ERA over 6.5 and a WHIP over 1.60. None of that makes me think he is in line for a good upside game today, even at his depressed price.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4400) – Pelfrey has alternated solid starts with ones where he was blown up. He threw a gem followed by a negative number next out. He then threw another solid start and another negative number to follow that up. His pattern suggests a decent game coming, but he is an underdog again and has not been consistent enough with strikeouts to create a nice floor. He is a candidate for getting lit up and there’s no way I can recommend him with any certainty.
Severino Gonzalez vs. Colorado Rockies ($4200) – in seven big league innings, he has allowed 9 runs and 18 baserunners and none of those games were in Coors field. There’s a better chance of a negative score here than of anything positive. He is on the road as an underdog with an anemic offense behind him. No upside or safety here today.
Williams Perez vs. Tampa Bay ($4600) – Perez is a long reliever getting a spot start, so he probably will not go deep into this game. He has pitched limited innings and done so with even more limited success. This is not a horrible matchup against a Rays team who is not great, but there’s not much confidence in any chance for an upside and very little in him returning a safe number for cash game usage.
Phil Klein vs. Boston Red Sox ($4000) – Klein will not pitch five innings here so there’s no chance for a win and very little chance for a lot of innings to give him a floor. He allows a lot of negative events and does not strikeout a lot of batters, so there are no saving graces for his fantasy score today. He is a guy who they hope can get through three or four innings before handing it over to the bullpen and there’s not much here to get excited about for fantasy purposes.