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
Dallas Keuchel vs. Baltimore Orioles ($9000) – Keuchel has been dominate to start this year. He averages over 7 innings per start with over 5 strikeouts, a WHIP of 0.97, and an ERA of 1.67. He gets a matchup with Baltimore who currently sports a 25.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, so the strikeout upside is here for Keuchel today as well. He always pitches deep into games, so he has two positive ways to score points today. He is a slight favorite at -110 in a game with 7.5 runs expected, so he should be able to limit the damage to three runs or less according to Vegas. Since he is not a huge strikeout guy, he does lack elite upside, but he is a very safe and solid option for cash game play today.
Bartolo Colon vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($7200) – Bartolo has been lit up in his last two starts, but Vegas still has him as the biggest favorite on the board at -165 for the early slate in a game with only 7.5 runs expected. Philadelphia’s offense has been epically bad. They are the lowest scoring team in MLB and currently sport the sixth worst batting average. Colon has been hit hard, because he “Pitches to Contact”. Philly has the second lowest Slugging percentage in the league, so pitching to contact against them is not as bad as it might be to other teams. Bartolo has allowed homeruns in all but one start this year. In Citi Field against a weak hitting lineup, that is less of a concern. He has also seen his price drop to the lowest level all season, so A bounce back game for him would return nice value at this price.
Shawn Marcum vs. Texas Rangers ($5600) – Marcum had not pitched in the majors for a year and a half, but his return has been pretty good so far. He has gone 11.2 innings, given up only 7 hits, walked three, and allowed only three runs. All three of those runs were on solo shots though, so the homerun ball is a problem for him. Those two starts were also against Detroit and Chicago(AL) which are both in the top half of MLB for offenses. This one is against a Texas team that has been better, but is still in the bottom 25%. Marcum progressed from 69 pitches in his first start to 89 in the second, so he should go deeper here which helps his innings bonus and he has struck out about a batter per inning so far. He’s averaged almost twenty points in his two starts, so he is both averaging his value number and coming off a start where he far exceeded it, yet is still dirt cheap.
Middle of the Pack
Carlos Martinez vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($8500) – Martinez has been up and down over his last few starts. He was on fire to start the year, before having a few really bad starts and then righting the ship in his last few. He has flashed elite upside with 330+ point games, but his price is almost $2000 higher here than in his last start, which is a concern. He also faces one of the highest scoring offenses in all of MLB today who have a high batting average against right-handers, but also strike out more than most. The strikeouts will attract players to Martinez today as they could provide a nice floor for him. He does get to pitch at home in a pitcher friendly park, and is the second biggest favorite at -160 in a game with 7.5 runs expected. There’s a lot of positives with Martinez today, but he’s been volatile, so it makes more sense to use him in tournaments for the strikeout upside.
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Houston Astros ($8200) – Chen has been very solid over his last five starts. He has gone 27 innings, allowing 8 runs, on 25 hts, 5 walks, and striking out 22. That give him averages of aboute 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5.5 strikeouts and two earned runs. He was on two Moonshot winning lineups two weeks ago in the same week, but he price is up almost $2000 since those performances and he looks expensive today. He faces a high strikeout Houston team that also has some sluggers. He goes opposite Keuchel and is a slight underdog here. I have no doubt Chen pitches a decent game, but he likes upside at $8200, so he’s not much of a tournament play unless you think he can get you 25+ fantasy points which would be one of the best starts of his season.
Tanner Roark vs. Chicago Cubs ($6400) – He is just too cheap tomorrow for a guy who faces the highest strikeout team in the majors as a favorite. He also has not pitched that badly. People will look at the scores and say no way, but he’s been a middle reliever who has pitched 3 innings at most in any game, so what do you expect his scores to look like? He likely will not go deep into this game, but he could get you five innings and strikeout a batter per. I was hoping he would limit the damage, but the wind blowing out has me a little concerned. Still he has a solid matchup as the favorite on the road, so there are some positives to like.
Shane Greene vs. Oakland Athletics ($7400) – Greene is a solid pitcher and has shown some ability, but this price is too high. His salary jumped from $6000 to $7400 for this start and that limits his upside potential today. He did not have a ton to start with as he was struggling in recent starts to get 18 fantasy points, but he will need about 22 here to justofy the salary and he has not done that since his second of eight starts and there’s been two negative numbers along the way there too.
Kyle Lohse vs. San Fransisco Giants ($8000) – Lohse could be a sneaky start on Monday. It’s tough to justify paying $8000 for a guy with an ERA over 5, but Lohse is in a good spot today. He is a -110 favorite here against the national league’s third worse offense statistically. Those numbers are a tad misleading though as Pence and Belt missed most of the season and Pagan was out for a few games as well. That’s 3 of the best bats on the team who missed some time and that would show up on the numbers of any offense. The game is also in Milwaukee which is a hitter friendly place, so it makes it even tougher to see a huge upside. Still, he is favored for the win today and likely to pitch six or seven innings with five or six strikeouts. If he can limit the damage, he can return a solid number here, which Vegas thinks is probable.
Ricky Nolasco vs. Boston Red Sox ($6800) – Nolasco will likely get hit some today. Vegas has him as a slight underdog in game with 8.5 runs expected. Yet he has pitched well enough lately to still give him some upside potential. He only goes about 5 innings per start, but lately he has dialed up 7 and 8 strikeouts in back to back games. Those numbers were great value when he was priced below $6000, but may not be repeatable or enough with his price jumping up to $6800.
Severino Gonzalez vs. New York Mets ($4800) – This is not the craziest of price plays. It’s a weak day for pitching and that is not a doubt. The Mets bats have been cold and Bartolo has been lit up in two straight starts. It’s not hard to see him giving up a few runs early and Severino cruises through five or six innings easily as all he does is throw strikes. In his last two starts, he has gone five innings in each, given up five hits in each, with an average of 1.5 runs, 0.5 walks, and 2.5 strikeouts. He had a five strikeout game and than had no strikeouts last time out, so there’s a lot of variance to it as well. He doesn’t need to do much to pay off a sub $5K salary, as long as he limits the damage enough to not get blown up.
Joe Kelly vs. Minnesota Twins ($6000) – The Twins do struggle some against right-handed pitching and Kelly is coming off a nice start in his last outing. He has flashed some flashed some strikeout upside, but has given up more than a hit per inning and more than half a run per as well. He is a -120 favorite in a game with 8.5 runs expected.
Rest of the Field
Chase Anderson vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($6900) – Anderson has been consistently average so far this year. His worst start was a fantasy score of four and his best was 25, but the other six have all fallen nicely along the line between 11 and 22 with stops at about every two points. When his price was closer to $6K, those numbers were fine, but at almost $7 K, his average would be two points per thousand and his best would be three points as his ceiling. St. Louis is pretty solid against right-handed pitching and do not strike out a ton. Although St. Louis is a pitcher friendly place, so that may limit some of the damage. Chase is also the second biggest underdog going opposite Carlos Martines and without a win, it becomes even harder for him to pay off the salary. He has upside and safety for a score in the mid teens if that is what you are looking for, but I don’t see a use for that at his price with other options.
Tim Lincecum vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8700) – Lincecum has been shelled in three starts away from home. He has only last 15.2 innings in those with 17 hits, 11 walks, and 7 runs allowed. He faces a Milwaukee team that has a few big bats to attack him with on top of that lineup. Milwaukee does have a hig strikeout rate, but they also have a lot of power. Lincecum is an underdog in this one at -105, so it’s close but he is still the smaller number of the two negatives. The game total has crept up to 8, so Vegas expects four or five runs out of the Brewers today. If Lincecum again fails to go deep into one of these road starts, there is no way he can make value with the inflated salary.
Tsuyoshi Wada vs. Washington Nationals ($7200) – Wada made his first start of the season last time out and went 4.2 innings with nine strikeouts over about 70 pitches. He gave up a two run homer, but was otherwise pretty good in that start. His price has jumped, so he will need to pitch deeper into the game today to qualify for the win and get more of an innings bonus if he is going to pay it off. The nine strikeouts are also not likely to be repeated as he is currently averaging an unsustainable 17 K per 9 inning average. He is the underdog, but still a negative number at -102. The real concern is the wind though as Vegas took down the run line, which usually means the wind is blowing out to dead center today in Chicago. That would make it a good spot for the homerun hitters and Wada has been known to give a few up over his short MLB career. Still the strikeout potential gives him a nice floor, so he has some merit today on a bad slate for pitching.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Kansas City Royals ($6700) – While he is favored today, he still faces the Royals. The Royals are a team that does not strike out, and they also have a solid offense that gets hits. Neither of those things will be positives for his overall score. This game also has a high run line at 8.5, so Vegas expects some runs to be scored on both sides. Eovaldi is also barley getting through more than six in his starts, so there’s not much upside with the strikeouts expected to be low as well.
Jeremy Guthrie vs. New York Yankees ($6200) – Guthrie has always struggled with left handed bats. The Yankees have a lot of good left-handed bats on top of that lineup and play in a park that plays well with left-handed power due to the short porch in right field of Yankee Stadium. Guthrie has been pretty solid in his last three starts, but he does not go deep into games often, is not a strikeout pitcher, and is prone to big blowups. He is a +115 underdog in this one with a run line of 8.5 so he’s not in line for the win and expected to give up a few runs. None of these things are positives for his fantasy score.
Phil Klein vs. Cleveland Indians ($5100) – Klein is being stretched out and starting his second game ever. The lifelong reliever threw five solid innings last out vs. the Red Sox and will be overowned because of it. He likely will not make it out of the five inning, due to a pitch limit, he does not profile as a high strikeout guy, and he will face a lefty heavy lineup. Not a ton of upside or safety with hi today.
Jess Hahn vs. Detroit Tigers ($6500) – Hahn has not scored more than 15 fantasy points in any of his starts. He maxes out at six innings with about four strikeouts as an average. He also has given up 22 earned runs in 44 innings of work, so he is not exactly shutting down offenses. The Tigers have one of the best offenses in the league, so this one scary matchup for him today.
Jason Marquis vs. Colorado Rockies ($4400) – The game is not in Colorado, but Cincy is not a great ballpark for pitchers either. Marquis has been rocked in his last three starts for negative scores. If His opposition was not just as bad and his matchup not better than his opponents, I would have him last. In fact the only saving grace is Cincy has a decent back end of the bullpen, so if he can get a lead, they will likely keep it for him once he gives it up.
Eddie Butler vs. Cincinnati Reds ($4600) – Most games he does not make it out of the fifth inning and in this one he faces a team with some lefty power bats that could be a problem for him. He is an big underdog to Jason Marquis and his lineup has not hit a lick away from Coors. I can not make a case for him even if I tried.