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
Clayton Kershaw vs. Colorado Rockies ($10,700) – You will probably never see Kershaw this cheap again and the Coors factor probably affects him less than most. Kershaw has a huge GO/FO ratio because he rarely let’s people hit the ball in the air against him. He has already put up a 35 DK point performance against the Rockies, but that was at home. Still he is the reigning Cy Young award winner, a huge strikeout guys, and if anyone can go into Coors and throw a gem, it’s easily Kershaw.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8,600) – Keuchel has been a consistent stud so far. Through six starts, he has only one where he scored under 24 points. His ERA is 0.80, His Whip is .79 and he has 30 strikeouts in 45 innings of work. Keuchel tends to pitch deep into games as he averages seven and a half innings per start. His ability to induce ground balls is his best asset. It helps him out of a ton of jams, and he always racks up a few Ks along the way. The Angels have some big bats atop that order and many of them hit left-handed pitchers well, but once you get down past the top 4, there’s a huge drop off in potential offensive firepower.
Carlos Martinez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,900) – Martinez finally had a bad game last time out. In his previous starts he went a little over six innings each time. He averaged just shy of six strikeouts in each of those starts. He is a slight favorite at -110 in a game with a 7.5 run line. The Pirates are bottom third for batting average and sixth overall in strikeouts to a right-handed pitcher. He is also pretty cheap, so if he can avoid the base on ball problem he has had, he should return decent value.
Middle of the Pack
Madison Bumgarner vs. Miami Marlins ($11,000) – Madison Bumgarner has pitched some solid games to start the year, including back to back gems vs. the Dodgers and Padres where he went 15.1 total innings, with seven hits, two walks, one run and fifteen total strikeouts. He is a huge -165 favorite in a game with an incredibly small 6.5 run total. The Marlins have the third best batting average against left-handed pitching and struggle more against right-handers.
Matt Shoemaker vs. Houston Astros ($7400) – Shoe is a high strikeout pitcher who gets to go up against one of the highest strikeout teams in the league. Of course he also gives up a good amount of runs and Houston scores a bunch of them. Shoe’s problem has been homeruns allowed and Houston is actually second in that category. The upside is tantalizing, but the downside carries a lot of risk too. This is not much of a cash game play, but it works for tourney’s.
Jonathon Niese vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($7300) – The Phillies are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, but they do hit .289 against left-handed pitchers. They do not strike out a ton, but they also do not have much power. Niese is a favorite at -125 in a game that has a 7.5 run line expected. Niese has only allowed one earned run in four of his five starts. Against a team that struggles to score runs I think there is a good chance for that to happen again. In three of the five games, he has scored at least two and a half points per thousand dollars of salary.
Tyson Ross vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($8200) – Ross has the huge strikeout upside we like that gives us a nice floor. He also has walked way too many batters and has a huge WHIP. He is a slight favorite in a high run game and comes with volatility, but he also has upside.
Aaron Harang vs. New York Mets ($6500) – Harang has been serviceable through his first few starts. His price is cheap today and he has a matchup with a Mets team that is bottom six in the league for batting average against right-handed pitching. Harang averages at least six innings and 5 strikeouts per game. Those numbers create a nice floor and a weak offense may not provide a lot of negatives against him.
Chase Anderson vs. San Diego Padres ($5800) – The price is the real selling point here. The Padres do have a solid offense that can score a lot of runs, but Anderson has not been horrible. He goes about six innings per start, strikes out around five, and has put up some nice scores along the way. In his five starts, he returned two points per thousand or more in four of them based off his price today, and in two of them it was over four points per. The strikeouts give him a floor and he usually goes five or six innings as well. As long as he doesn’t give up a ton of runs, he will return decent value.
Jason Marquis vs. Chicago White Sox ($4600) – Marquis has not been that great to start the season, but he is 3-1 and has been really solid value in daily fantasy. He has multiple games in the mid to high teens already and at his price today, that would be excellent value. The White Sox do not strikeout a ton and getting those strikeouts will be crucial to offset the inevitable walks and hits Marquis routinely allows.
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($5700) – This is a sneaky good matchup for De La Rosa. Despite being at Coors, he is a lefty who can make it tough on some of those left-handed bats for the Dodgers. Guys like Gonzalez and Pederson prefer to hit righties, so this is a change. The right handed bats with Puig out and Hanley gone are no longer as scary in LA. De La Rosa return 3 points per $1000 in his last two.
Rest of the Field
Carlos Rondon vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6700) –Rondon is a stud young pitcher with a bright future, but a horrible fantasy play on Saturday. He has been pitching out of the bullpen, so there’s no way he goes deep into this game. He has also given up a good amount of walks and hits in limited action already, so there’s risk of a blow up. His price is also way too high for a guy who likely may not even it make it through five innings.
Vance Worley vs. St.Louis Cardinals ($6400) – Worley was good in his ast outing with the Cardinals, so I think this will be a much tougher go around. The game does have a low total and will be played in a pitcher’s ark, but those left-handed Cardinals bats should be able to get to him.
David Phelps vs. San Fransisco Giants ($5300) – I can see him actually returning a double digit number which would be decent value. In fact he could do even better as he has struck out some batters and pitched deep into the game. He does throw in a pitcher’s park Saturday, so he could be in line for another decent performance and the price is down.
Travis Wood vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6100) – Wood has a really tough matchup against the righty dominant Brewers regulars. The game is in a homer friendly Miller park, and Wood is a guy who serves some up. In his last three starts, he has allowed four so I think those big bats can connect against him here.
JA Happ vs. Oakland ($7200) – This price is way too expensive for the matchup. Oakland slapped him around earlier in the year and he finished with only 8 DJ points. I just do not see him having a huge upside in the rematch here. With the price the are asking, it just is not worth it.
Kyle Lohse vs. Chicago Cubs ($7100) – This is an obnoxious amount of money to ask someone to spend on a guy who has given up nine homeruns in six starts. Lohse has an ERA close to seven and you should be targeted bats against him in the homer friendly Miller Park.