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
Jake Arrieta vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($9500) – Jake Arrieta is consistently under rated. He has five starts with over 20 fantasy points in his first eight. He averages over 100 pitcher per start, so he is going deep into games. He has 55 strikeouts in 51 innings of work, so he is averaging over a K per inning. Finally he is a -125 favorite in a game with an eight run total expected. Arrieta has a 2.77 ERA and WHIP of 1.04. He is only 4-4 though, so the offensive support has been lacking. Arizona has some nice bats, buts Arrieta should be the top dog on the late slate today.
Mike Bolsinger vs. San Diego Padres ($7100) – Bolsinger has really been very good from the start. He has three solid games under his belt. His ERA is 1.04, his WHIP is 1.10, and he averages about 6 innings and five strikeouts per game. The San Diego bats have gone cold lately and Dodger Stadium is a bad park for hitters, so Bolsinger looks to be in a good spot again. He is a big favorite at -165 in a game with a total of only 7.5, so it makes a lot of sense to use him for salary relief as an SP2.
Edinson Volquez vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($6100) – Volquez has a low WHIP, Low ERA, but also low number of strikeouts which hurts his fantasy value. Still his price here is also very low. He is also a favorite at -115 in a low total game at 7.5 runs. Volquez has been pitching deep into games when he is on, and limited the negative events, so he could afford a low strikeout game and still make value at his price here. He had a great start last out for 27.4 DK points, so there’s upside with him as well for only $6100.
Middle of the Pack
Mike Wright vs. Miami Marlins ($6100) – Wright was dominate in his first big league start this year, and it was building on the strong season he had been having in AAA, so it is no fluke. He finished with 30 DK points in his first start while allowing 4 hits in 7.1 innings of work with no runs, no walks, and six strikeouts. He gets to pitch in a solid pitcher’s park in Miami, against a team that hits well, but also has a high K-rate. I do not expect another 30 DK points from him, but 20+ is not out of the question and at his price would be great value.
CJ Wilson vs. Boston Red Sox ($7000) – Wilson is a left handed pitcher facing a Red Sox team that struggles with Lefties. They are hitting a league worse .197 against southpaws and there’s a few guys who look like easy strikeouts in this matchup today. Wilson has returned over 20 points in four of his eight starts already, which would be three points per thousand of cost at his price today. His strikeouts are down, but his WHIP is only 1.13 and his ERA is 3.06.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Chicago Cubs ($7300) – De La Rosa has been pretty good lately. He is averaging 7 innings with 6 strikeouts per start. This is a good matchup for him on the strikeout upside, but the Cubs have the ability to pound some homeruns, and De La Rosa has struggled with allowing them so far this season. He is an underdog to Arrieta today and has the profile for a high strikeout game, but also one in which he allows a few too many runs. The win is in doubt with Arrieta opposite him, otherwise I could give him my recommendation.
John Lackey vs. Kansas City Royals ($8800) – Lackey has been very good lately, but goes up against a team everyone hates to target against. The Royals have one of the higher batting averages in the league and one of the lowest strikeout rates, neither of which is good when you choose a pitcher against them. Lackey is a slight favorite here at -112 in a game with only 7.5 runs expected. He is going a little less than seven innings per start, averaging under 5 strikeouts, but limiting negative events with an ERA of 2.96 and a WHIP of only 1.14. Again, this is not an easy matchup, so while I expect him to pitch well, I don’t think he has a ton of upside for a GPP.
Dan Haren vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6700) – Haren has been pretty solid this year. If you back out the blowup against the Dodgers, his ERA is under 3, his Whip would be under 1, and he would have a record of 4-1 while averaging about six innings and five strikeouts per start. Haren is favored at -111 with a total of 7.5 here. The Orioles look like that offense should be much better on paper, but they have not produced this year. Miami is a good pitcher’s park as well, so Haren has a lot of upside at a low price.
Rest of the Field
Ian Kennedy vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($8000) – Kennedy has got shelled in his last two starts and gets a good hitting team to go up against in this one. He is a big underdog as well, which would be surprising to me if I did not know he was struggling. In his last two starts, he has only gone 9.2 innings and allowed 11 runs. He has struggled with walks hits, and runs scored lately, while the Ks and innings are down. Less positives and more negatives is going to kill his fantasy score and he should not be on your radar today.
Steven Wright vs. Los Angeles Angels ($4900) – The Knuckleballer is making his fourth start today and has not really been any good. He averages about five innings per start, with 8 baserunners, 3 runs, and 3 strikeouts. He is a slight favorite, but the run line expected is huge at 9. Both of these teams have struggled offensively lately, so that run line is very telling to me. With low innings, low strikeouts, and a lot of negative events in his first three starts, it’s tough to envision him having a good upside game.
Yusmero Petit vs. Colorado Rockies ($6200) – Petit has been throwing long relief so far, and I doubt he gets past the sixth inning here. He has 15 strikeouts in 22 innings, so he is not racking up the Ks. He has not allowed a ton of hits or runs, but he also has not pitched all those innings in Coors Field. If he only goes 6 and strikes out 4, than he needs to limit the Rockies to two runs or less and keep the hits low in order to have any chance of paying off his salary here.