Tonight there are only five Major League Baseball games in the evening slate, the focus of this article, with most of today’s schedule taking place in the afternoon. However, the ten teams under the lights still give us a solid slate of options for the evening contests. None of the 10 starters taking the mound are “ace” material, but some of them do make much more sense than others. Check out these five who I think make the most sense tonight.
1. Chase Anderson – MIL @ STL – $6,100
Yesterday, Anderson was $7,300 before rain pushed his start back to tonight against the Cardinals. He’s even more affordable after the further price reduction and makes for a very nice play. The only blemish on Anderson’s season so far is his last start when the Braves knocked him around scoring four runs on four hits in six innings. Anderson walked a season-high three batters while posting a season-low 5.3 DKFP. All the damage came in one inning, though, and he has been excellent the rest of the year.
Before that start, Anderson posted over 16 DKFP in each of his four starts getting his ERA all the way down to 1.13 with a 2-0 record. Anderson will be facing the Cardinals for the second time this season after holding them to just one unearned run in six innings striking out six and walking one in a no-decision that earned him 20.7 DKFP. His 1.07 WHIP and 24:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio show he should be set up to bounce back tonight. He’s not low-risk, but he is the lowest risk of any pitcher on tonight’s limited slate.
2. Dan Straily – MIA @ TB – $9,600
Straily is the most expensive pitcher on the board tonight despite a hit-or-miss start to the season for the Marlins. Straily comes into tonight’s start 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA. He has been held under 20 DKFP in all but one of his starts this year and got shelled in his worst outing giving up five runs in 3.1 innings to the Nationals finishing with -7.3 DKFP.
He does have upside, though, which was evident when he dominated the Padres striking out 14 and allowing just four hits and two runs in seven innings. In that start, he had an impressive 37.4 DKFP. Straily could be set up for that kind of outing again tonight since he’ll be facing the Rays who lead the Majors in strikeouts with 292 in their first 29 games. If Straily can get double-digit K’s, he’ll be the top pitcher to own. However, I think he’s riskier than Anderson which is why I have him at #2 on this list.
3. Ariel Miranda – SEA vs. LAA – $7,700
Miranda has looked very sharp in two of his last three starts and comes into tonight’s start 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA. His last time out, he limited the Indians to just one run on two hits while striking out a season-high seven and walking two. He only lasted 5.1 innings, but he still got the win on the road.
In his last start at Safeco Field, Miranda threw seven scoreless innings against the Marlins posting a season-high 27.4 DKFP. He’ll be back on the mound in Seattle tonight against the Angels who rank 24th in the Majors in runs scored per game. Last season, Miranda made three starts against LA going 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA.
4. Zack Wheeler – NYM @ ATL – $9,000
Wheeler has yet to post a quality start in his five games this season, but he’s still good enough to grab the fourth spot in tonight’s rankings since he does bring solid strikeout potential and is in a good matchup against the Braves in Atlanta.
Due mostly to his 25 strikeouts in 26.1 innings, Wheeler has over 15 DKFP in three of his last four starts. He struggled in his last start in Washington walking four not getting out of the fifth inning while throwing 96 pitches. Hopefully, he can be more efficient tonight against the Braves who he is 4-2 against in his career with a 2.94 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 49 innings.
5. Kyle Kendrick – BOS vs BAL – $5,500
After a strong Spring Training, Kendrick was left out of the Boston rotation, but he will get the call tonight in place of the injured Steven Wright. Kendrick can’t be sent back to Triple-A due to his contract, so expect him to stick in the Majors especially if Chris Sale is suspended.
This spring, Kendrick was a promising 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA and 31 strikeouts with only four walks in 34 innings. Those are the numbers that show he could be worth a flier tonight, but on the other hand, the veteran has struggled with the Pawtucket Red Sox posting a 6.00 ERA in 27 innings while going 1-3. He’s high-risk tonight in his first MLB start of the season, but he could end up as a solid option if you want to save salary on pitching and stack your lineup with big bats.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.