Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs. SDP – $12,000 – Bumgarner is the most expensive pitcher on the slate, but with the high price, comes one of the best matchups tonight. Facing the Padres who average 8.8 strikeouts per game, Bumgarner enters tonight with an 11.3 K/9 in three starts this season. It also doesn’t hurt that the Padres are in the bottom 20 in almost every offensive category to start this season.
Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs. CIN – $11,400 – I promise I’m not just going down the list of pitchers in order of their salary. They just happen to have the best matchups tonight. CIN isn’t a bad team by any means, but Syndergaard is just pitching out of his mind at this point. Owning an absurd K/9 of 13 in three starts and a 0.95 WHIP, it’s easy to see why Syndergaard is averaging 31.9 DKPPG. Just be aware that the Reds are one of the toughest teams to strikeout.
Danny Salazar – CLE vs MIN – $10,700 – Continuing to go down the list (not on purpose!) Salazar checks in at the number three spot. After Minnesota started to go on a bit of a “hot streak,” they’ve come crashing back down to earth. Striking out 24.7% of the time against right-handed pitchers this season, it bodes quite well for Salazar with his 11.2 K/9 this season. Truly, the Twins don’t pose much of a threat and Salazar shouldn’t have much issue here.
“Stroman at $8,700 screams value…”
Marcus Stroman – TOR vs. CHW – $8,700 – The White Sox haven’t dominated opposing pitchers whatsoever in the early going of the 2016 season. Ranked at least 25th or below in batting average, OPS, SLG and OBP, Stroman at $8,700 screams value. Stroman is posting some solid opposing wOBA thus far, with .268 against lefties and .255 against righties. While the White Sox don’t strike out a ton, ranked 24th, Stroman can at least save you some money, especially if you’re going after that Coors stack.
Raisel Iglesias – CIN vs NYM – $9,200 – Iglesias gives you quite the savings over his counterpart Syndergaard tonight, with a potentially better chance to rack up some Ks. Iglesias enters this matchup with an 8.4 K/9 in 2016, with the Mets ranked 9th in strikeouts so far this season. The Mets average 9.1 strikeouts per game, which makes it a solid spot for Iglesias. My only gripe with Iglesias is that he hasn’t gone deep into a game, as he hasn’t seen past the sixth inning in four starts.
Drew Pomeranz – OAK vs. SFG – $6,600 – I’ve come to light on Pomeranz even with the potential tough matchup ahead. In 2015, the Giants owned a .320 wOBA against left-handed pitchers. Pomeranz is cheap enough that he carries immense value tonight, especially with how he’s looked in the early going. In three starts, Pomeranz owns a 2.04 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and a K/9 of 12.7.
Zack Greinke – ARZ vs. STL – $9,700 – After this stellar start against the Giants, everyone is proclaiming that Greinke is back, baby! Well, not so fast. While it was certainly encouraging, I’m not jumping on that bandwagon just yet. The Cardinals are one of the best hitting teams in the majors right now, ranked first in SLG and OPS, second in OBP and home runs. This is not exactly the kind of start I’m hoping to see if Greinke actually has his stuff back or not.
Taijuan Walker – SEA vs HOU – $9,000 – Here’s my issue with Walker. He has stellar stuff, fantastic strikeout potential (8.3 K/9 in 2015) and pitches great against right-handed batters with a career .294 wOBA. The problem is his control, or lack thereof. In the early going, he’s looked great, issuing only two walks in 18 innings. Tonight against the Astros though, they’re a patient team capable of taking a walk as they rank sixth in the league. If Walker can continue to keep that under control, he could be one of the best pitchers on the night. I just like a lot of guys tonight that are a bit more consistent than Walker.
Jordan Zimmermann – DET vs OAK – $8,200 – Zimmermann has come out of the gates on fire. Having not let up a run in 19 innings thus far, Zimmermann is certainly a candidate for a steal on the night as well, going up against the less than stellar A’s. My concern here is that Zimmermann has never been good against lefties, and this lineup is stacked with them. Owning a .336 wOBA against them last season, the last time the A’s played against a pitcher who was weak against lefties (Nathan Eovaldi), they had six players who either hit left or was a switch hitter.
“. . . it’s going to take A LOT to get him on my roster and feel good about it tonight”
Chris Archer – TBR vs. BAL – $10,300 – It’s definitely eye opening to see Archer all the way at the bottom of the list tonight. I had him off completely until I changed my mind recently because, quite honestly, we all know what he’s capable of. I just don’t think this is the matchup it will happen, however. Facing an Orioles team that is in the top ten in batting average, runs, OPS and HR, Archer has quite the daunting task ahead of him. With a 2.09 WHIP for Archer in four starts so far, it’s going to take A LOT to get him on my roster and feel good about it. The one thing I do like is he should be low owned, and he does have the ability to make some magic happen.