With just a single day game on Tuesday, there is a full slate of options at every position for the evening contests, including a pair of top fantasy options this season. Here are the ten pitchers I like most, ranked according to their value at their price, not just total projected fantasy points.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Masahiro Tanaka – NYY @ CWS – $9,800 – Tanaka is my #1 choice for today despite giving up six runs to the Rangers in his last start for a few reasons, but they mainly boil down to one word: consistency. On a night where it would be easy to mistrust the top options, feeling like your SP1 isn’t going to leave you completely wanting is comforting in any format contest, and Tanaka now has a quality start in seven of eight. He has a 3.36 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to help demonstrate the consistency he has brought to the mound this season, and he has six or seven strikeout potential, at least, against an offense like Chicago’s, making him a good choice if you’re thinking 25-30 fantasy points might be the high mark for pitchers tonight.
2) Kenta Maeda – LAD vs. BAL – $8,800 – Not a great matchup on paper, but the Orioles have never seen him either, and the way he methodically attacks the strike zone could be a good recipe for handling this offense as long as he isn’t leaving too much meat over the plate. But a 2.82 ERA and 1.09 WHIP both indicate an ability to avoid that particular issue. With Tillman struggling lately on the mound opposite, the Dodgers offense might be able to get going enough to cover up for a couple of runs allowed, giving Maeda a solid chance at returning 20 DKFP – good value for the price, just without a lot of upside (making him a solid cash game option).
“Carrasco might be the man to slow them down, with four straight quality starts and a complete-game. . .”
3) Carlos Carrasco – CLE vs. DET – $11,500 – Detroit’s offense has been surging lately, slugging .460 with an OPS over .800 in June, numbers that jump to .498 and .865 over the past week. Carrasco might be the man to slow them down, with four straight quality starts and a complete-game, four-hit shutout of this same Tigers team just ten days ago. It’s hard to see history repeating itself in the form of another 40 fantasy points, but he could certainly recreate enough of that success to put him in the running with any other pitcher on the board for top performer tonight.
4) Dallas Keuchel – HOU vs. SEA – $7,600 – Seattle has been a somewhat surprisingly explosive offense this year, but their numbers do dip somewhat across the board against left-handed pitching (slugging and OPS are both down 30-40 points). Keuchel has thrown three straight quality starts, and has been over 15 DKFP in four of his last five outings, sporting a K/9 ratio of 8.24 over that span.
5) Madison Bumgarner – SF vs. COL – $11,700 – He has given up seven runs in his last two starts, so I don’t blame you for looking for savings on the board tonight, but even in those games, he gave you a 16-point fantasy average. But he is facing a Colorado team that not only sees it’s slugging % drop more than 50 points on the road, they also see it drop more than 20 points overall – home and road – against lefties. The matchup shouldn’t intimidate you, and the upside is there to make him a worthwhile consideration, especially in larger GPPs.
6) R.A. Dickey – TOR vs. KC – $7,100 – The Royals have been scuffling all season long, and it hasn’t stopped: they just dropped two out of three to Philly and started this series off with their third loss in four games. Dickey is not the guy you use to get your bats right – in fact, you’re usually just hoping he doesn’t screw up your swing for the next month. He is someone who has been able to score consistently in the teens, with 20+ upside when he gets the run support for a win, not bad for the price, but more useful in a cash game setting.
7) Jake Odorizzi – TB vs. LAA – $6,500 – If you look at recent history only, you have to love the matchup with Lincecum, who has gone 7.1 innings and given up nine runs in his last two starts. Odorizzi has had at least seven K’s in four of his last five, and while Baltimore and Seattle both touched him up for a few runs over that stretch, he managed to stifle to other top-ten offenses in San Fran and Detroit. He hasn’t had a matchup with an offense as ineffective so far this year as Tampa Bay since a run of five straight quality starts in May through the beginning of June.
“If he returns to that sort of form quickly, he is a value at this price.. . .”
8) Mike Foltynewicz – ATL @ PHI – $6,200 – His ERA is standing at 3.72 after a successful return from the DL last week. He threw only 61 pitches after being removed from the game after the third inning and an hour long rain delay, but he should have been able to use the short outing to his advantage in his return from some elbow soreness. He was solid in his first handful of starts on the season, striking out 28 batters in 35 innings of work while maintaining an ERA of 3.51. If he returns to that sort of form quickly, he is a value at this price.
9) Taijuan Walker – SEA @ HOU – $8,400 – Coming off a solid win against Baltimore in his last start, he should have plenty of confidence coming in tonight. The biggest concern is that he came back from a stint on the DL with a foot injury and came away from a game in which he threw only 84 pitches saying that the foot had been bothering him on the mound. We have to wait and see if this is going to be a long-term issue for him, but with 75 punch-outs in 82 innings on the season, the upside is still there at this price.
10) Sean Manaea – OAK @ MIN – $7,300 – The rookie just spent some time on the DL with a muscle strain in his arm, but returned to throw 5 2/3 shutout innings against San Francisco last week, earning the win for the A’s. With four K’s, he was able to get you up over 20 DKFP despite throwing only 83 pitches, and he will look to stretch out his appearance and keep up the momentum in this start against the Twins.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.