With a full slate of games on Tuesday, there are plenty of options at every position as you build your lineups, including a few top pitchers. Do you spend up for those aces, or try to find a few cheaper gems to load up on hitters? Either can work, so here are the ten pitchers I like most from every price range, ranked according to the value I see at the price – not just projected fantasy points.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Corey Kluber – CLE @ ATL – $13,400 – When the hottest pitcher available also has the best matchup, you end up with a price tag like this one. But when the hottest pitcher with the best matchup goes out and gets you 40+ DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP), it was worth it. I think Kluber is a viable option in any format tonight. He is coming off a complete-game shutout of the Rays, his fourth start in his last six that was good for 27 or more fantasy points.
2) Jose Quintana – CWS vs. MIN – $10,400 – He had his worst start of the season against the Red Sox last time out, but the Twins are not the Red Sox. Minnesota is one of the weakest hitting teams in the league, as well as coming into the game inside the top-10 in most strikeouts by any offense. This should mean Quintana has no trouble doing what he does best – hammering the strike zone (his 13th-best 3.67 K:BB ratio was up at 4.83 prior to the Red Sox game). If he can return to that form, a 25+ DKFP outing is well within reach, and for a slight discount over a few other top options, that makes him very enticing to me for tonight.
. . . he is working on a run of three straight quality starts with 18+ DKFP in each
3) Michael Wacha – STL @ KC – $7,600 – You have to love a pitcher trending in the right direction and on a team that gives him the chance to win every time out. The Cardinals have scored the fourth most runs in the majors so far this season, going against a Royals offense that has underperformed from the get-go. Wacha seems like he could be in the process of turning his season around – the 4.41 ERA and 1.32 WHIP are far from impressive, but he is working on a run of three straight quality starts with 18+ DKFP in each, more than useful at this price.
4) Jon Lester – CHC @ CIN – $11,700 – It’s a simple fact: pitching with a great offense supporting you makes you a much more consistent fantasy option. Of course, six straight quality starts with at least seven K’s in each does a pretty good job of that too. Maybe in Lester’s case the increased likelihood of earning the win can just count as a little extra upside. I’ll take it: he has had no fewer than 18.9 DKFP in any of those last six starts, with 30+ DKFP in three of them.
5) Zack Greinke – ARI vs. PHI – $10,600 – He has earned a win in seven of his last eight, and the Diamondbacks have won all eight of those starts. He is drawing Philly, a team that is hitting a collective .165 against him in 97 career at-bats, so he will be looking to extend that winning streak to nine here tonight. He hasn’t had huge strikeout numbers, so all you’re really looking for him to do here is plow through innings and put his team in a position to win – that’s enough to make him a very viable SP1 in cash games.
6) Julio Urias – LAD @ MIL – $7,400 – He is 19 years old, but he has gone at least five innings in each of his last three starts, and is boasting a K/9 rate of 11.66 so far in his six starts on the season, a figure that has jumped up over 13.00 for his last four. And now he is drawing the Brewers, who have the second most K’s in the majors, so he should be able to do some damage in this match-up.
7) Cole Hamels – TEX @ NYY – $11,300 – The Yankees’ overall stats are still not pretty, but their offense is trending in the right direction in June, making them not quite so appealing on the schedule for opposing pitchers. Their primary strength is still their ability to make a pitcher work, so Hamels will really have to work to keep the ball in the zone and his pitch count down to be valuable at this price. His 2.57 K:BB ratio shows he is capable of it, and with 20+ DKFP in three straight, he is easy to trust.
. . . he had gone at least seven innings in five straight, which is a good base on which to build some fantasy value
8) Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA vs. PIT – $6,800 – Iwakuma’s big problem this season has been giving up the long ball (17 in his 15 starts). But he is getting a Pirates team that is 25th in the league at hitting them, so the hope would be they fail to capitalize on a few of their opportunities which then allows Iwakuma to get deep into the game with a shot at a W. Before his last start, a disaster against the Tigers, he had gone at least seven innings in five straight, which is a good base on which to build some fantasy value.
9) Adam Conley – MIA @ DET – $7,900 – The argument against Conley is mostly matchup, but on the bright side, the Tigers do see most of their numbers go down across the board against left-handed pitching (their slugging % and batting average both drop more than .015 points). Conley has never faced them before, but he is coming off a great game against Atlanta and has quality starts that were good for 21+ DKFP each in three of his last five.
10) Ubaldo Jimenez – BAL @ SD – $4,800 – So, it’s a long shot – but if you want top options at every position, he sure is cheap. This is based on one thing only: his last start, also against the Padres, which resulted in seven Ks and just four hits and two runs in six innings. This time, it’s in San Diego, where the Padres have actually slugged twenty points lower so far on the season.