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
Julio Teheran vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8800) – The Brewers have the worst team batting average in all of MLB. They also have the third most strikeouts. Teheran gets the matchup today in his pitcher friendly home parkand is a -125 favorite in a game with a 7.5 expected run line. He has been up and down this year as he has a handful of starts with single digit fantasy points and a couple in the twenties already. He has the talent to go out and pitch well and the matchup today is one of the best for any pitcher on the late slate. He has tremendous GPP upside, but I do not know if he is safe enough for me to love him in cash games. He has not been consistent so far.
Jesse Chavez vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($7200) – Tampa Bay has a bottom third batting average and the sixth most strikeouts in all of MLB. Chavez has already returned scores in the 20s and 30s this season, so he has the talent to pitch well for fantasy. In his last 17 innings, he has allowed 15 hits, 5 walks, and six runs while striking out 18. He is a strikeout per inning guy right now, and if he limits the damage, he should have a huge game. At his price of only $7200,he presents the most upside on a per dollar basis today.
Middle of the Pack
Matt Shoemaker vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($7600) – Shoemaker has one problem on the mound and it’s with allowing homeruns. He has allowed 11 jacks in 38 innings so far this year. Sometimes he goes out and pitches seven innings with only 3 hits allowed (one for a homer) and strikes out seven batters like he did last game, and other times he gives up three homers as he did the two games before it. That is what is scary here for him as he goes up against a homerun hitting team in Toronto in a homerun friendly stadium at the Rogers Centre.
Clay Buchholz vs. Texas Rangers ($7900) – He looks like an average pitcher most of the time, but every third or fourth start he throws up a 30 point game on DraftKings. They tend to coincide with the games where he dials it up for 7 or more strikeouts as he has done four times this year. He gets a Texas team at home today that is seventh in the league for strikeouts overall. He is also a big favorite at -165 for the win, so there’s a lot of probable points he should be able to accumulate. He’s been tagged for 4 or more runs on a few occasions, so the Jekyl and Hyde stuff makes him more of an option for GPPs only.
Danny Salazar vs. Chicago White Sox ($9300) – Salazar has been pretty good to start his season. He finally had a bad start last time and finished with only 2.5 DK points. The games before that, he had been between 20 and 39 points, which would be good value on the day if he could get back to there. Salazar is a high strikeout guy, but the White Sox do not strikeout a ton. While I think he racks up a few today, I doubt he matches the 10 per game he was getting earlier. He is a -125 favorite, but the run line is high at 8.5. He has been prone to giving up a few runs, so without the strikeouts to balance them, he could fall short of value here today.
Wandy Rodriguez vs. Boston Red Sox ($5700) – Wandy had been good up until his last start. The Red Sox have been bad against left-handed pitching. Wandy is really cheap and when you look at those two facts, he could surprise to the upside today. He was a guy who got lit up last year and DFS players targeted batters against him often. He can still be that guy as we saw last time out, so this is purely a GPP play.
John Danks vs. Cleveland Indians ($5300) – Danks has been solid in three of his last four starts. He averaged 7 innings, 7 baserunners, 6 strikeouts, and only 2 runs in those three. He is a left-hander facing a lefty heavy lineup with it’s best right-handed bat banged up in Carlos Santana. He is an underdog today in a game with 8 runs expected, but if he pitches to his recent averages, he will be returning three to four points per thousand dollars of cost. While he is prone to blowups, he could make for a nice low priced SP2 in tourney play with the potential upside he has shown recently if he can keep it going.
Alex Colome vs. Oakland Athletics ($5500) – He is cheap and he has been pretty good to start his season. He is also an underdog against a lineup with some solid left-handed bats and some patient professional hitters. Colome was shelled vs. the Yankees, but in his other starts he has allowed about 1 baserunner and 1 strikeout per inning, which is what you want from a solid starter. He does tend to get pulled early which hurts his chance for a win and innings, so his ceiling is limited, but he could provide a nice floor with a 5 inning 5 strikeout performance at this price.
Rest of the Field
Matt Garza vs. Atlanta Braves ($7000) – Garza got shelled last time out and his struggles are with left-handed bats. Despite being in a good pitcher’s ark for this one, he will have a lot of lefties to face on top of that Atlanta lineup. He is an underdog here to Teheran in a low total game, but I expect the Braves to get to him today and his strikeout totals are too erratic to make me think he has enough of a floor at that price.
RA Dickey vs. Los Angeles Angels ($6200) – Do not be fooled by his low price, Dickey is a horrendous option for fantasy right now. I do not even care about the matchup, but he has no upside as a pitcher and no safety to even make him a cash game play. So far this year, at his best, Dickey is about a 16 fantasy point per game producer. At his worst, he is a guy who just put up back to back negative numbers. The game is in Toronto, which is a good park for hitter’s and Dickey is not pitching well as he has allowed 13 runs on 17 hits with only 3 strikeouts over his last two starts.
Kyle Hendricks vs. San Diego Padres ($6700) – He is the favorite in a game with a total expected of just seven, but he rarely pitches more than a batter or two past the fifth innings. He averages about 4 runs and 4 strikeouts a game, so that basically cancels out and you are left with the fantasy points from his innings pitched minus the excessive number of hits. That and the fact he rarely lasts to the six means even as a favorite the win is uncertain.
Odrisamer Despaigne vs. Chicago Cubs ($4900) – In his last two starts he has allowed 20 hits, 15 runs, and has two strikeouts while only lasting8 innings. Do I even need to explain further why he is the bottom of the list? He does pitch in a good park for pitchers in a low run total game, so there’s some upside if you want to call it that. Normally we target pitches facing the Cubs, because they do strikeout a lot, but Despaigne is not striking anyone out lately, so it does not help.