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
David Price vs. New York Yankees ($11800) – Despite the lack of success Price has had against the Yankees, this looks like a good spot for him. He faces a lefty heavy lineup in a ballpark that he should be able to neutralize them in. He has been pitching extremely well lately, going about 7 innings per start with two runs or less allowed and 7 or 8 strikeouts each game. He has gone 5-1 over his last seven starts, and he has a potent offense backing him up. Price is also not too expensive as he has averaged around 25-30 points a game, which is a solid value return based off his price here. I know the track record has not been great, but the numbers point in his favor, so I am willing to accept it.
Bartolo Colon vs. Atlanta Braves ($7900) – Since getting rocked for 7 runs at Coors field, Bartolo has gone 25 innings with 19 hits, 3 walks, 21 strikeouts, and zero runs allowed. The Braves offense is nothing special, so this is a solid matchup for Colon in a good pitcher’s park. Bartolo has not been the model of consistency this year, but he is pitching well down the stretch and is looking to keep that going. He has a tough matchup with Shelby Miller on the other side of the hill, but the Mets offense behind him is now a solid group, so I like there chances of getting to Miller a little more today. His price is very reasonable for a guy who has been throwing up 30 fantasy point games recently, which is why the combination of price and talent have him on top of my list today.
Middle of the Pack
Jake Arrieta vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($13700) – After the initial sticker shock of seeing Arrieta’s price, I looked through his game log. n seven starts since the beginning of August, he has given up a grand total of 2 runs. He has struck out 50 batters while only giving up 23 hits in 50 innings. I had to go back and double check those numbers, because I almost did not believe them myself. With all this being true, you might wonder why he is not in the cream of the crop section? The answer is his price prohibits it. Excluding the no hitter, he tends to return 26-33 points and that is only a decent value for a guy who basically costs $14000.
Jamie Garcia vs. Cincinnati Reds ($9900) – They price here is interesting as Garcia has paid it off in recent turns. The lefty s having a very solid season as many tend to do when they end up in St. Louis. He has a 1.89 ERA and a WHIP of only 0.95. It is crazy to think that all season we have waited for regression and really have not seen it. He has about 73 strikeouts in 99 innings of work, which is my biggest concern here. He lacks elite strikeout upside, which makes it very tough for him to pay off a salary of $10K. Cincy has some weak bats at the bottom of that lineup, but some power up top. It’s not the softest spot for him, but not the worst either. I think Garcia will throw a good game here, but my concern is whether a good game is enough to pay off the salary.
Luis Severino vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($9100) – The Blue Jays have one of the best offenses in the league, but Severino has proven to be one of the better young pitchers so far in his young career. In five of his six starts, he has scored between 20-23 fantasy points which makes him a great cash game option based on the numbers. He is a little bit riskier today because of the opponent and the opposing pitcher. He tends to go about 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and limits the opposition to two runs or less. Those are all very good numbers for the youngster, but does not give him a ton of upside if he does not pitch deeper into games. With the tough matchup here, I do not love him as much as I have in other spots, especially with his price climbing with each start.
Shelby Miller vs. New York Mets ($8600) – Miller is a decent player and a decent cash game option with little upside. He has a weak offense behind him, he faces a solid team, and he has not been great. He also has not been bad though as he tends to score a number in the high twenties for fantasy. This is my biggest problem with him in that he lacks elite upside. While there is a good chance he does not get rocked, he probably also finished shy of 20 fantasy points again here, which makes the price tag look a little bloated if that is the best return you can expect.
Danny Salazaar vs. Detroit Tigers ($10300) – Salazaar had been great for most of the season. He was cruising through games with 25-35 fantasy points on average before running into a buzz saw in his last start. The problem is that last start was against this same Tigers team he faces here today.He gave up six runs on 8 hits and walk over 3.2 innings with only one strikeout. He had been going 7 innings, limiting both sides of the plate to an average under .220 and not giving up a ton of runs. I would normally be able to excuse one bad outing, but it is back to back starts against the team that knocked him around, so it’s much tougher to look the other way here. Detroit has a potent offense and they are healthy again, so I do not see Salazaar dominating them. Maybe he can right the ship and throw a decent game, but at the price I do not see upside and based on his last start I do not see safety, so it is probably a day to pass on him for me.
Rest of the Field
John Lamb vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($6500) – Lamb is not too expensive and his matchup is only somewhat tough against these Cardinals. He has flashed 20+ point upside recently, but has only averaged about 11 fantasy points which is not even two times value. He has no safety for cash games and is not a likely winner going opposite Garcia. If you wanted to take a flyer on him for a tournament, hoping he can limit the damage and win up with a score just shy of twenty, I can see the merit for a tournament on a short slate like this. With that being said though, I do not think it is the likely outcome and will probably not end well for you.
AJ Burnett vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8100) – This has very little to do with AJ as a pitcher and even less to do with the Brewers bats. Burnett has been sidelined for over a month. Even though he threw a bullpen the other day, I doubt he is ready to stretch out to his normal load. Burnett will likely not make it through six here, so even if he is pitching well, he will fall short of reaching value.
Adam Morgan vs. Chicago Cubs ($4500) – Morgan is a huge – 300 underdog today. He faces a right-handed heavy Cubs lineup that profiles well against him. The Cubs hit left-handed pitching pretty well, even Anthony Rizzo who is a lefty himself. They have been scoring some runs lately and the rookie has been giving them up in most of his starts. At $4500, he has a chance for some upside, just because he is cheap. It is not a likely outcome though.
Wily Peralta vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4900) -Something is physically wrong with Peralta. He has now had two abbreviated appearances where he had to come of of the game early. Of course in true unpredictable fashion they were sandwiched around a gem that makes this a head scratcher. It’s too risky to use a guy who is going through a “DEAD ARM” period in cash games, no matter how cheap he is. The Pirates offense has been hitting well lately to, so it is not an easy matchup. If you wanted a low owned guy who is cheap for a tournament, Peralta fits that bill, but he also is not a safe bet by any stretch, so it might be better to shy away from this one.