There are some very nice values today, some that I feel super confident about, so feel free to take some liberty with your pitchers. Meaning: don’t get caught up in name recognition alone. If you’re doing that, then you’re likely not a successful DFS player anyway. Still, it’s worth mentioning with today’s matchups at hand.
Good luck on Wednesday, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @TheRolyPolyBoy
Cream of the Crop
1) Jake Arrieta @ Pittsburgh Pirates ($14,000) – Any MLB pitcher that has a strand rate (LOB%) at 80% is A-OK in my book. Arrieta really can’t do much better than he has this season, as he’s on the verge of locking down his 20th win of the season on Wednesday. There is no other pitcher I have more confidence in right now – even Clayton Kershaw – so don’t fret about the salary. Don’t be surprised if Arrieta wins the NL Cy Young award in 2015.
2) Dallas Keuchel @ Texas Rangers ($11,600) – Keuchel is averaging OVER 7 IP on the season. Yes, I said OVER! Yeppers, dude is a DFS monster and an AL Cy Young candidate and he’s only given up 15 XBH, two of which are HR, to Rangers’ batters 212 career at-bats. You’ve got to love a pitcher that can limit damage by not serving up XBH, rack up strikeouts and net over 7 IP on average per start? Outstanding and enough to make Keuchel a Top 5 stud play of the day.
3) Chris Archer vs. New York Yankees ($11,900) – If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know my affinity towards Archer. The guy deserves it, doesn’t he? Archer actually handles the Yankees well for the most part, keeping their current hitters at .248/.314/.372. He’s not my favorite play on Wednesday; however, he certainly makes my Top 5.
4) David Price @ Atlanta Braves ($12,500) – I’ve got Price pegged for at least 7 IP and 7 K on Wednesday, which immediately pushes him up to elite level. His price tag obviously reflects that, although I’m okay forking over the dough here. Price should have an easy time facing the Braves’ bats, giving DFS owners a 20-plus fantasy point game.
5) A.J. Burnett vs. Chicago Cubs ($7,900) – The difference in Burnett’s DFS performance this season has been the amount of free passes he’s limited to hitters, and I, for one, appreciate his efforts. Burnett’s carries an excellent 3.08 strikeout to walk ratio, a personal best in his career to this point. Burnett will get you deep into the game and bring you K’s, while limiting the potential for mistakes.
Middle of the Pack
6) Jaime Garcia @ Milwaukee Brewers ($9,100) – I expect Garcia to bounce back after his last start facing the Reds. The Brewers’ bats are solid, but Garcia has been fairly dominant this season in limiting base runners. You have to love his wonderful 3.65 GB/FB ratio and that he barely allows home runs. Overall, Garcia is a good start for DFS play considering his great 3.07 FIP.
7) Danny Salazar vs. Kansas City Royals ($9,500) – Salazar may be wearing down a bit as the season winds down, with a 8.10 ERA and 1.90 WHIP over his last two starts. Still, he remains an attractive play keeping current Royals’ hitters in check with a slash line of .232/.267/.626 in 142 at-bats. The major-negative on Salazar is that he allows too many homers, with 22 on the season so far. Salazar is a decent start in the right lineup.
8) Ervin Santana vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,500) – I dig how Santana has turned things around with how awful he was for most of August. Santana has lowered his ERA from 6.05 to 4.73 over his last three starts, notching 27 K’s in 22 IP. Santana is in a groove and is doing everything right and I really like the value on him considering his price tag. Santana is a good pitcher to use in a mid-range duo format with your pitching slots. Don’t be surprised if he nets you 20-plus fantasy points or more in this one.
9) Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8,800) – Iwakuma catches my attention a bit with his excellent 4.15 K/BB and 1.76 BB/9 rates, although his knack for giving up home runs is maddening. Iwakuma is averaging a homer for every start he’s made this season – 16. I’ve got Iwakuma as a mid-range play only with his declining velocity on his fastball and that hitters aren’t having a problem going yard on him.
10) Gio Gonzalez @ Philadelphia Phillies ($8,000) – Gonzalez has only allowed 1 ER over his last 11.1 IP, although he gives up far too many bases on balls and hits this season. I like that Gonzalez is facing the Phillies’ bats and that he isn’t giving up as many hits as he was early on in the season. Just keep in mind that Gonzalez is a moderate risk.
11) Bartolo Colon vs. Miami Marlins ($8,100) – Colon has been brilliant over his last 31.2 IP, only giving up 2 ER. I wish Colon was bringing more K’s to the party, but it’s hard to argue with his production since the end of August. I also love that Colon hasn’t given up a home run over his last five appearances. The salary is borderline to me, although I can see reaching a bit on Colon who should put up solid number facing the Marlins.
12) Erik Johnson vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,400) – The price isn’t bad on Johnson, who is intriguing to me facing the Athletics. He did give up 5 BB in his last start, so there’s that to worry about. Johnson isn’t a bad pairing with say Jake Arrieta, Chris Archer or Dallas Keuchel, assuming you want to still have a decent hitting core locked in. Don’t completely ignore Johnson, but make sure you don’t build a roster around him.
13) Robbie Ray vs. San Diego Padres ($7,000) – Ray is a sneaky play here if you can come to terms with his declining innings pitched per game average. Let’s hope he’s efficient and can reach the 6th inning, at least that’s my hope for the youngster. In the right circumstance, Ray is another pitcher I wouldn’t mind starting on Wednesday. And, if you’re going with an extreme max-salaried hitting lineup, Ray paired with Erik Johnson could work.
14) Shelby Miller vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($8,300) – How does a pitcher have a 5-14 record with a 2.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 156 K? He gets no offensive support whatsoever. And, maybe there’s a bit of bad luck involved too. Even so, we don’t need Miller to get a win for him to put up good points for DFS purposes. The first half/second half splits tell the true story on Miller, however, who just isn’t the same pitcher he was in April, May and June. What about today’s game? I’m not thrilled enough with Miller to roster him facing the heavy Toronto bats. I wouldn’t avoid Miller altogether, but I’d use him very carefully in lineups today.
15) Jorge De La Rosa @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($7,700) – I’ve been preaching this all season long: De La Rosa is a good pitcher to use on the road. His home splits are awful but he’s very solid on the road. What about facing the Dodgers’ bats? That’s the key, isn’t it? I’m not thrilled with the idea, so I’m a bit reserved starting De La Rosa. Still, not a bad play considering he’s 6-4, with a 3.22 ERA and 1.20 WHIP away from Coors Field.
16) Alex Wood vs. Colorado Rockies ($6,600) – Wood’s peripherals are weak. I’m sort of amazed that he’s actually been able to do as well as he has to this point with the underlying numbers at hand. Some pitchers are like that, right? I do like that Wood matches against the Rockies offense on the road, which is highly favorable for him. Weird to see the home/road splits for the Rockies’ bats, although they are telling. Make sure if you roster Wood you’ve got a star pitcher in your other slot.
Rest of the Field
17) Danny Duffy @ Cleveland Indians ($6,200) – You can do better than Duffy, although he isn’t the worst choice on Wednesday. He’s been striking out more hitters of late, but the walks kill any advantage there for the most part. Duffy’s 1.78 K/BB rate and 3.50 BB/9 rate should give you a better idea.
18) Luis Severino @ Tampa Bay Rays ($8,400) – The young Severino had his first taste of bitterness when the Blue Jays tore him up for 6 ER in only 2.3 IP last start out. Up until then, Severino was cruising along for the Yankees and doing fairly well for DFS owners. He could bounce back against the Rays but I’m not counting on it. Tread lightly here with the $8.4 K salary showing a too high for my tastes.
19) Adam Conley @ New York Mets ($4,500) – There’s potential with Conley considering his 8.14 K/9 rate, but everything else points to avoiding. Maybe with more seasoning Conley could be useful in 2016, if he sticks in the rotation, although there’s no reason to put your lineup into disarray on Wednesday. Pass.
20) Jake Peavy vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6,900) – I think the salary is too high on Peavy, so I’m avoiding just for that reason alone. He does have some promise in this game, but how much is too much? Plus, Peavy no longer has an overpowering arsenal, so his 90 MPH fastball gets hit around too much for my tastes.
21) Jered Weaver @ Seattle Mariners ($5,800) – After giving up 14 ER in 11.2 IP over his last two starts in August, Weaver starts September well by allowing only 3 ER in 12 IP. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come for the last few starts that Weaver has on the docket, although I’m not terribly confident he’ll do the job. Look for Jesus Montero to be in the lineup against Weaver, who is 5-for-10 with FOUR home runs. Yikes for Weaver.
22) Mike Wright vs. Boston Red Sox ($4,000) – With only 25 strikeouts in 39.7 innings, I’m avoiding Wright. I could forgive the strikeouts if Wright was taking care of business elsewhere but he’s not. You’re taking a huge risk if you’re relying on Wright to bring you a solid FPPG total. Even in a contrarian lineup I’m passing on Wright.
23) Andrew Cashner @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,300) – Blah. Cashner is giving up too many walks, too many hits, while not going deep into games. What’s to like about that? I don’t trust Cashner to give me anything more than 10 fantasy points.
24) Henry Owens @ Baltimore Orioles ($5,200) – Owens offers massive potential down the line for DFS owners considering his intimidating skill set. I’m just not ready to take a chance on his inconsistent command and control during his rookie trial.
25) Wily Peralta vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4,800) – While Peralta has been tossing the ball better, his almost 95 MPH fastball gets smacked around too much for my tastes. This is the best matchup draw for Peralta as I’m staying away from him facing a potent Cardinals lineup.
26) Michael Lorenzen @ San Francisco Giants ($4,300) – Lorenzen is far too hittable to be in my lineups. I have no interest in him, and you shouldn’t either. True, he’s only given 4 ER over his 10.1 IP but he’s allowed 18 hits. Don’t take the chance here.
27) Adam Morgan vs. Washington Nationals ($4,600) – When you average a home run given up in each game started in a season, you’re not fooling anyone. Don’t mess around with Morgan in any of your DFS lineups on Wednesday. When you add in his lack of ability to strike hitters out, Morgan becomes one of the worst options to roster.
28) Martin Perez vs. Houston Astros ($4,200) – Avoid Perez at all costs, even this low-salary cost. Over Perez’ last four starts he has given up no less than 3 ER, which keeps him off my rosters. No K’s, too many walks and his 3.84 FIP is yucky. You don’t want Perez.
29) Daniel Norris @ Minnesota Twins ($5,000) – Anibal Sanchez was supposed to be activated and get the start for the Tigers on Wednesday, although now it looks like he’ll stay on the DL with Norris getting the full start. I don’t expect Norris to pitch more than 5 IP, if that. Stay away just for that reason – you can’t get fantasy points if your starting pitcher isn’t long for the game.
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