Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -$10,300 on Fanduel/$10,700 on DraftKings: In my “heart of hearts”, I still consider Kershaw to be “the man”, however, his strikeout upside (or lack thereof- 23.3 K%, 12.2 SS%) doesn’t warrant his current pricing level. That being said, he’s still projected to be one of the top scoring starting pitchers on the slate. Most will prefer to roster beefcake hitters with multiple juicy hitting environments tonight (including a Coors Field game and a “wind game” at Wrigley Field). It doesn’t make “cents” to roster Kershaw in “cash” games (see what I did there?) when he takes on the Philadelphia Phillies tonight (ranked 13th in wRC+ versus left-handed pitching), however, he’ll be a contrarian target of mine in GPPs.
James Paxton (NYY) -$9000 on Fanduel/$9300 on DraftKings: Paxton is another pricey starting pitching option that carries higher strike out upside than Kershaw for tournaments (28.9 K%, 13.9 SS%). He’s the second highest projected starting pitching option on the slate in a decent matchup, (the Rays are ranked 17th in wRC+ versus left-handed pitching), but his price makes rostering strong hitters rather difficult. I wouldn’t sacrifice hitters in cash games, but pairing Paxton up with a cheap stack in tournaments will likely be a low-owned strategy that could catapult you to the top of the leaderboard in GPPs.
Jacob Junis (KC) -$6800 on Fanduel/$7500 on DraftKings: I am by no means a Junis fan, however, he “checks off all of the boxes” when it comes to being a viable starting pitcher tonight. For starters, he’s in a good (but not great) matchup against a Chicago White Sox team that posts poor numbers against right hand pitching (25.9 K%, ranked 21stin wRC+ versus right-handed pitching). He’s also relatively cheap and will be a very chalky option tonight. I don’t expect him to set the world ablaze, however, given these factors, I don’t need him to put on a “Cy Young impression” tonight in order to be viable in cash games.
Joe Musgrove (PIT)– $8300 on Fanduel/$5800 on DraftKings: When it comes to Musgrove, it’s basically a “copy and paste” of the above analysis for Junis. He’s another example of a guy that is cheap and in a good enough matchup to allow you to roster heavy hitters, without ruining your night in cash games (fingers crossed). Tonight, Musgrove faces the St. Louis Cardinals (22.6 K%, ranked 23rd in WRC + versus right-handed pitching), so go ahead and roster him as an SP2 (weather permitting).
Rick Porcello (BOS) -$7000 on Fanduel/$6300 on DraftKings: The parade of mediocre starting pitching in the setting of multiple desirable beefcake hitters continues with Porcello (18.3 K%, 7.9 SS%). Tonight, he faces a Toronto team that, while on the surface seems rather timid (24.2 K%, ranked 25thin WRC+ versus right-handed pitching), could end up flexing some muscle when everything is said and done. By the end of the night, Porcello should be able to maneuver through enough Blue Jays bats to make it worth your while in cash games, however, a contrarian Toronto stack is certainly in play in GPPs.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC)- $8700 on Fanduel/$9500 on DraftKings: I admit that rostering a starting pitcher in a “wind game” at Wrigley Field is a scary proposition, however, Hendricks is currently projected to produce the third most fantasy points at the starting pitcher position tonight. He isn’t an exceptional value play and doesn’t have the best strikeout upside (21.5 K%, 9.6 SS%), however, he does provide a nice leverage option for the cheap Cincinnati Reds stacks I expect to see out there in tournaments (ranked 28th in WRC plus versus right-handed pitching).