P- Tanner Roark (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $9,300. Roark has dominated the Phillies this year. In four starts against Philadelphia, Roark has a 0.64 ERA. In his last start against the Phils, he went seven scoreless innings. Over his last three starts, he has a 1-2 record, 3.18 ERA, and 12 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.
P- Yordano Ventura (vs. Chicago White Sox): $8,600. Over Ventura’s last three starts, he has a 2-0 record with a 2.20 ERA. He has struggled with control at times, but if he can limit his walks, he has the potential to put up a huge game on Friday. In 115 career at bats against Ventura, the White Sox offense is batting .209, with a .264 OBP, and 29 strikeouts.
P- Ivan Nova (vs. Cincinatti Reds): $9,800. Over his last three starts, Nova has a 2-0 record, 1.71 ERA, and 16 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. He has been absolutely dominant since joining the Pirates at the trade deadline. In six starts in the Pirates rotation, he is 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA. The Reds offense is average at best, so hopefully Nova can take care of business at his home field on Thursday.
P- Trevor Bauer (vs. Houston Astros): $7,900. Considering there is only seven match-ups on Thursday, there were some very slim pickings for starting pitching. The Houston Astros offense can be dangerous, but Bauer has done a great job against them in his career. In 51 career at bats against Bauer, the Astros are batting .137, with a .226 OBP, and 21 strikeouts.
P- Noah Syndergaard (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $11,000. Syndergaard appears to be back folks. Over his last three starts, he owns a 1.23 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. In his last start against the Reds, Thor went 6.2 innings and struck out nine, while giving up three earned runs. If he pitches to his full potential, Syndergaard is easily capable of a 25+ point performance.
P- Marcus Stroman (vs. New York Yankees): $7,400. Stroman has struggled over his last few starts, but he has shown great career success against the Yankees. In his sole start against New York this season, he allowed only two runs over eight innings pitched. In 72 career at bats against Stroman, the Yankees are batting .139, with a .194 OBP, and a .281 slugging percentage. Over the last seven games, the Yankees are ranked 27th in OPS, 24th in OBP, and 27th in slugging percentage.
P- Gio Gonzalez (vs. Washington Nationals): $9,300. Over his last three starts, Gio is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA, and 17 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched. He has yet to win against the Braves this season, but he has a 2.31 ERA against them in his two starts. Atlanta’s offense has actually been pretty successful over their past seven games, but they rank 28th in OPS against left-handed pitchers in 2016. Based on their struggles against lefties and Gio’s career success against the Braves, I think he is a no brainer.
P- Jason Hammel (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $7,500. Hammel has struggled a bit over the last few starts, but he got back on track after throwing six innings of one run ball against the Pirates his last time on the mound. In 107 career at bats against Hammel, the Brewers’ offense is batting .243, with a .327 OBP, and a .432 slugging percentage. These stats are average, but I think Hammel can take care of business on Tuesday. The main reason I’m starting him is because I think his price is very fair and brings about a lot of value. In three starts against the Brewers this season, Hammel has thrown 18 innings, giving up six runs, and he has struck out 18 batters.
Jose Altuve, 26 years old, has a very good chance at winning the American League MVP Award in 2016. So how in the world could a potential MVP Award winner be undervalued? In 2013, the 5’4 Houston Astros’ second baseman signed a four year/$12 million contract. The contract also has a $6 million fifth year club option and a $6.5 million sixth year club option. Since signing the contract in 2013, Altuve has earned the honors of being an American League All-Star in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
I think it’s hard to say a player is undervalued if they are still under team control or arbitration eligible, but Altuve’s long-term contract is way under his specific value. He is one of the best all-around players in all of baseball. He is currently batting .346, with 22 home runs, 95 runs, 90 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, .409 OBP, and a .557 slugging percentage. Out of all players in baseball, I can’t think of any other players who put up similar all-around numbers outside of Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. Altuve also won a Gold Glove award last year, which shows his value is much more than just his bat.
P- Masahiro Tanaka (vs. Toronto Blue Jays): $9,900. In 127 career at bats against the Blue Jays, Tanaka has a .197 opposing batting average, 36 strikeouts, and a .246 OBP. Over his last five starts, he owns a 4-0 record, 1.93 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. Toronto has been hitting fairly well recently, but Tanaka has been dominant on the mound, which should counteract the Blue Jays’ bats.
P- Ian Kennedy (vs. Minnesota Twins): $9,100. Prior to his last start, Kennedy was 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA over his previous six starts. He did give up four runs over 6.1 innings in his last start, but as you can tell, Kennedy has been very reliable recently. The Twins offense has been decent recently, but I don’t think that will stop Kennedy from succeeding.
P- Carlos Martinez (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $10,600. Martinez is coming off one of his best starts of the season after striking out 13 Brewers hitters on Monday. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 1.29 ERA, and 25 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. In 70 career at bats against Martinez, the Reds’ offense is hitting .229 with a .289 OBP and 17 strikeouts.
P- Eduardo Rodriguez (vs. Oakland A’s): $6,500. The Oakland A’s have really struggled over the past week hitting only .184, with a .260 OBP, and a .278 slugging percentage. On the other hand, Rodriguez has been very good recently. In his last three starts, he has a 3.31 ERA, and 14 strikeouts. Since being called up from Triple-A, E-Rod has given up three or less earned runs in seven of his eight starts. Sunday will be his first start against the A’s.
P- Tanner Roark (vs. New York Mets): $9,100. Roark has thrown seven or more scoreless innings in eight starts this season, which is the most in Major League Baseball. Over his last three starts, he has a 1-1 record, 3.44 ERA, and 12 strikeouts. In 80 career at bats against the Roark, the Mets’ offense is batting .187, with a .261 OBP, and a .258 slugging percentage.
P- Ivan Nova (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $8,900. Nova is coming off a start in which he dominated the Brewers. Well, guess who he is pitching against on Saturday? You got it, the Brewers. He went six innings, giving up three hits, and only one run. In his five starts with the Pirates, he has a 4-0 record, 2.87 ERA, and 22 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched.
P- Jose Quintana (vs. Minnesota Twins): $10,700. There is only four games on Thursday, so the pitching match-ups are very limited. With that said, Quintana is by far the best option available. He pitched great in his starts in August, so hopefully he will continue his success. He has now thrown eight straight quality starts. In 191 career at bats against Quintana, the Twins’ offense is batting .246, with a .308 OBP, and a .377 slugging percentage.
P- Jacob deGrom (vs. Miami Marlins): $9,000. deGrom has really struggled recently, but the Mets gave him a few extra days of rest to work on his mechanics. Considering there are so few options to choose from on Thursday, deGrom’s price and upside are really attractive. In 131 career at bats against deGrom, the Marlins’ offense is batting .282, with a .294 OBP, and a .345 slugging percentage.
P- Carlos Martinez (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $10,300. Carlos Martinez has been an incredibly reliable option in daily fantasy throughout the 2016 season. Over his last three starts, C-Mart has a 2-0 record, 2.14 ERA, and 16 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. He has won both of his starts against the Brewers this season, allowing one run on nine hits in 13 innings pitched.
P- Matt Boyd (vs. Chicago White Sox): $6,700. Boyd has been really good since joining the starting rotation. He is now 5-0, with a 2.38 ERA in eight starts. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 1.89 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. If he can pitch like he has been recently, I don’t think the Chicago White Sox offense can touch him.
P- Madison Bumgarner (vs. Atlanta Braves): In his last seven starts against the Braves since 2013, Bumgarner has won six of them. He has held their offense to a .209 batting average throughout his career. He has struggled some over his last two starts, but I don’t foresee Bumgarner struggling in three starts in a row.
P- Ivan Nova (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $8,000. Nova is coming off his best start of the season, which he threw a complete game against the Houston Astros. Since joining the Pirates rotation, Nova is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA, 18 strikeouts, and one walk in four starts. The Brewers’ offense hasn’t faced Nova in a few years.
P- Jameson Taillon (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $9,900. Taillon has been incredibly consistent all year long. He is coming off one of his best performances on the mound this year after throwing eight innings of two run ball against the Houston Astros. His last eight outings have been quality starts. In two starts against the Brewers this season, Taillon has thrown 12 innings while giving up only three runs.
P- Marcus Stroman (vs. Minnesota Twins): $9,100. Stroman struggled mightily throughout the first half of the season, but he has done quite well recently. Over his last six starts, he own a 2.45 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 40.1 innings pitched. He has been racking up the strikeouts over his last few starts, which is obviously great for daily fantasy. Minnesota’s offense has been absolutely terrible over the last few weeks, so this should be great for Stroman.
P- Justin Verlander (vs. Los Angeles Angels): $10,400. Verlander has been absolutely dominant since the All-Star break. Over his last three starts, he has a 1-1 record, 2.25 ERA, and 17 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. In 72 career at bats against Verlander, the Angels’ offense is batting .153, with a .247 OBP, and a .256 slugging percentage. In his last start against the Angels, Verlander went 7.1 innings, giving up four runs, and he struck out seven batters.
P- Bartolo Colon (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $7,600. Colon has been very consistent all year long. During his starts in August, he owns a 2.25 ERA. In three starts against the Phillies this season, Colon has held them to a .206 batting average. In 117 career at bats against Colon, the Phillies’ lineup is batting .231, with a .272 OBP, and a .372 slugging percentage.
P- Robbie Ray (vs. Atlanta Braves): $10,400. Over Ray’s last three starts, he has been absolutely dominant. Those starts include 19 innings pitched, 2-0 record, 0.95 ERA, and 22 strikeouts. He is facing a mediocre Braves lineup, so this shouldn’t be a tough matchup for the left-handed pitcher. His hot streak and opponent makes me believe he is the best top-tier pitcher available on Thursday.
P- Tom Koehler (vs. Kansas City Royals): $7,100. Koehler has been great since the All-Star break. Since July 21st, the righty has thrown 39 innings, with a 1.62 ERA, 26 hits allowed, and 30 strikeouts. Kansas City’s offense has been very average all year long, so it shouldn’t pose a huge threat for Koehler.
P- Masahiro Tanaka (vs. Seattle Mariners): $10,800. There are a lot of great options at starting pitcher for Wednesday. Based on the prices and competition of some of the elite tier starts, I think Tanaka provides the most value. Over his last three starts, he has struck out at least eight batters, with zero walks, and a 2.18 ERA. In 67 career at bats against Tanaka, the Mariners’ lineup is batting .164 with a .200 OBP.
P- Marco Estrada (vs. Los Angeles Angels): $8,600. Estrada is coming off a rough start, but that is very uncommon of the righty this season. It was the first time since May 13th that he allowed more than three earned runs in a game. Over the last seven days, the Los Angeles Angels have a .241/.304/.366 slash line, which isn’t superb by any means. Estrada is going to be hungry to get out on the mound and succeed after a tough loss last week, which could be great for a start in daily fantasy.
P- Madison Bumgarner (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers): $13,100. Bumgarner has been a beast all season long in daily fantasy. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-1 record, 21 strikeouts, and a 2.25 ERA in 20 inning pitched. During his career, he has shown plenty of success against the Dodgers at their home stadium. He currently owns a 8-5 record to go along with a 2.40 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
P- Anibal Sanchez (vs. Minnesota Twins): $6,900. Sanchez is coming off a start which he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. In 124 career at bats against Sanchez, the Twins’ lineup is batting .242, with one home run, and a .291 OBP. Over the last seven days, the Twins offense is ranked last in OPS and slugging.
P- Jon Lester (vs. San Diego Padres): $12,500. Just to warn you, Monday could be a brutal day for pitching match-ups. Some of the top tier starters who find themselves on the bump have been struggling recently (Strasburg and Carrasco specifically). Lester has been very consistent this season though and he is facing a pretty mediocre offense. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 2.29 ERA, and 21 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched. Over the last seven days, San Diego has the worst OPS in baseball.
P- Zack Godley (vs. Atlanta Braves): $5,500. Like I said, the pitching match-ups are brutal, so I’ve decided to start a pitcher just based off of his opposing team. The Braves offense has been brutal all year long and they have been exceptionally bad over the last seven days with a .236/.305/.380 slash line. Godley hasn’t been spectacular this year, but he is coming off a very good start his last time out against the Mets. He went 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits. This cheap play really opens up the rest of the offensive picks.
P- Jose Quintana (vs. Oakland A’s): $9,900. Unfortunately for Quintana, his team doesn’t give him much run support, which doesn’t lead to a lot of wins. Of course that isn’t great for DraftKings scoring, but he has still been dominant on the mound. He has made six straight quality starts, which is obviously a great sign for Sunday. In 68 career at bats against Quintana, the A’s lineup is batting .162, with 21 strikeouts, and a .239 OBP.
P- Julio Urias (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $5,600. This is a high risk, high reward pick for Saturday. If you are looking for a safer pick, take a look at someone like Ervin Santana (more expensive option) or Matt Garza (cheaper option). Cincinnati’s offense has struggled against left-handed pitching this year (ranked 26th in OPS, 26th in slugging, 30th in OBP, and 28th in batting average). Their offense has also struggled over the last seven days. If Urias can put up six or seven innings of work, his strikeout potential could make for a huge game in daily fantasy.
P- Max Scherzer (vs. Atlanta Braves): $13,600. Everyday is a good day to start Max Scherzer, unless he isn’t starting of course. In 162 career at bats against Scherzer, the Braves’ lineup is batting .204, with a .267 OBP, and a .358 slugging percentage. As you can tell by the numbers, they have not faired well against this righty. Over the last seven days the Braves’ offense has a .717 OPS, which ranks 26th in Major League Baseball.
P- Matt Moore (vs. New York Mets): $8,400. Over his last 13 starts, Moore has gone at least six innings, which is great for any daily fantasy league. Over the last seven days, the Mets have a .740 OPS, which ranks 24th in Major League Baseball. They also rank in the bottom third of the league in almost every offensive category against left-handed pitchers in 2016. The Mets have struggled offensively all year long, so hopefully that continues against Moore on Saturday.
P- Homer Bailey (vs. Miami Marlins): $8,900. Bailey looked really good in his last start. He went six innings, giving up three hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts. He will be facing the Marlins on Wednesday, who just recently lost Giancarlo Stanton for the year. Over the last seven games, the Marlins have a .686 OPS, which ranks 26th in Major League Baseball.
P- Yordano Ventura (vs. Detroit Tigers): $7,800. In his three starts against the Detroit Tigers in 2016, Ventura has put up 15.85, 24.65, and 18.35 points in DraftKings. He has also not allowed more than three runs in a start since July 3rd. In his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 2.89 ERA, and 15 strikeouts. Over the last seven games, Detroit has a .693 OPS, which ranks 24th in Major League Baseball.
P- James Paxton (vs. Los Angeles Angels): $9,400. Over Paxton’s last four starts, he has a 1.59 ERA. Unfortunately, is last time out he was hit in the elbow, and he hasn’t pitched since. Luckily he is coming back on Tuesday against a team he has dominated throughout his career. In seven starts against the Angels, he has a 3-2 record and a 2.17 ERA. Keep an eye on his injury status heading into this game just in case he doesn’t start.
P- Ervin Santana (vs. Atlanta Braves): $9,000. Over Santana’s last three starts, he has a 2-1 record, 2.11 ERA, and 18 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. In 185 career at bats against Santana, the Braves’ lineup is batting .222, with a .243 OBP, and 37 strikeouts. The Braves offense has struggled this year, so hopefully Santana’s recent success can shut them down.
P- Drew Smyly (vs. San Diego Padres): $9,000. The slate for pitchers is very weak for Monday. With that said, I’ve decided to go cheap on pitching and hope for the best. Smyly has been very good recently. He has thrown four straight quality starts, with a 2-0 record, and a 2.52 ERA. Over the last seven days, the Padres have a .669 OPS, which ranks 27th in Major League Baseball.
P- Bartolo Colon (vs. Arizona Diamondbacks): $6,800. This play doesn’t excite me, but hopefully Colon can repeat his performance from Wednesday. In his last start, he faced the Diamondbacks, and he did quite well. Over seven innings of work, he gave up one run, and struck out eight batters. At only $6,800, he provides the rest of the lineup with a great amount of cash.
P- Jake Odorizzi (vs. New York Yankees): $8,200. Odorizzi entered his last start with a 20.2 inning scoreless streak. Unfortunately, he lost that streak, but he still pitched decent. In his last three starts, he is 2-0, with a 1.00 ERA, and 15 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. In two starts against the Yankees in 2016, he has a 1-1 record, 1.12 ERA, and 11 strikeouts.
P- Tom Koehler (vs. Chicago White Sox): $8,600. Koehler has been lights out recently. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 0.47 ERA, and 18 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. With that said, he is going up against a pretty weak Chicago White Sox lineup. Over the last seven days, the White Sox have a .695 OPS, which ranks 20th in Major League Baseball.
P- Tyler Anderson (Philadelphia Phillies): $9,500. Anderson is coming off a very strong start, which he gave up one run, on two hits, and five strikeouts over seven innings pitched against Rangers. Over his last three starts, he has given up a total of four runs (1.80 ERA) with 16 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. Philadelphia has the worst OPS and OBP against left-handed pitching this season, which is clearly favorable for Anderson.
P- Zach Davies (v. Cincinnati Reds): $7,600. Davies has faced Cincinnati twice this season, which has has done quite well in those starts. In 12.2 innings, he has given up only two earned runs to the Reds. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 3.32 ERA, and 12 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched.
P- Stephen Strasburg (vs. Atlanta Braves): $12,400. In two starts against Atlanta this year, Strasburg owns a 1.98 ERA. He is 15-2 on the year, with a 2.80 ERA, and 169 strikeouts. He is putting up a Cy Young caliber season and the Braves won’t stand in his way on Friday.
P- Joe Musgrove (vs. Toronto Blue Jays): $8,300. As many of my readers well know, I am quite a fan of Joe Musgrove. He is incredibly efficient on the mound, issues very few walks, and has an above average strikeout rate. Over the last seven games, the Blue Jays have struck out 70 times (4th worst in baseball) and have a .686 OPS (ranked 19th in baseball).
P- Jameson Taillon (vs. San Diego Padres): $8,600. Taillon has been the definition of consistent. Over his last five starts, he has thrown exactly six innings, with a 2.40 ERA, and 28 strikeouts. Each one of those outings led to a quality start. He will be facing the Padres on Thursday, who doesn’t have a very impressive lineup.
P- Matt Garza (vs. Atlanta Braves): $5,700. In 120 career at bats against Garza, the Braves’ lineup is batting .217, with a .280 OBP, and a .331 slugging percentage. Garza has been very effective in his last three starts, which is a great sign for hopeful success against the Braves on Thursday. Over those starts, he is 2-0, with a 3.12 ERA, and 10 strikeouts.
P- Jake Odorizzi (vs. Toronto Blue Jays): $9,900. In 99 career at bats against Odorizzi, the Blue Jays’ offense is batting .141, with a .274 OBP, and a .341 slugging percentage. This includes a .053 batting average from Jose Bautista, .214 from Josh Donaldson, .091 from Edwin Encarnacion, .083 from Russell Martin, and a .143 batting average from Troy Tulowitzki. Not only have the Jays struggled against Odorizzi, but they have also struggled over the last seven games, with a .201/.276/.370 slash line. Odorizzi has not allowed a run in 20.2 consecutive innings, so clearly he is on a roll.
P- Zach Davies (vs. Atlanta Braves): $8,600. Davies has been incredibly consistent over his last few starts. He has won his past three starts and holds a 2.45 ERA in that time span. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since June and he owns a 1.97 ERA over that stretch of starts. The Braves’ offense isn’t overpowering, so Davies should be able to take care of business.
P- Aaron Sanchez (vs. Kansas City Royals): $10,800. Over the last seven games, Kansas City has struggled at the plate. They have a .202 batting average, .251 OBP, and a .300 slugging percentage. Sanchez has been dominant all year long and it shouldn’t be any different on Saturday as he faces this mediocre Royals’ offense.
P- Jose Berrios (vs. Tampa Bay Rays): $7,100. Tampa Bay’s offense has been lackluster in 2016. Berrios has struggled in his rookie season, but he continues to rack up the strikeouts. In 2016, the Rays have struck out 971 times, which is ranked 26th in baseball. Berrios has the potential to put up a huge game on Saturday if he can stay ahead in counts and keep the Rays lineup off balanced.
P- Jeremy Hellickson (vs. San Diego Padres): $9,300. Many people believed Hellickson was going to be traded at the trade deadline, but the Phillies decided to hang on to him. He has been dominant on the mound recently. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 1.83 ERA, and 11 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched.
P- Blake Snell (vs. Minnesota Twins): $8,700. Snell has been fantastic on the mound since the All-Star break. His last three starts have come against very tough opponents and he has faired very well. In that time span, he threw 18 innings, with a 2-0 record, 2.00 ERA, and 22 strikeouts.
P- Matt Moore (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $8,400. Thursday is an absolutely brutal day for potential starting pitcher choices in daily fantasy. I decided to go with Matt Moore as he makes his debut for the San Francisco Giants. Over his last three starts with the Rays, he has a 2-1 record, 2.14 ERA, and 12 strikeouts. Over the last seven games, the Phillies have a .694 OPS, which is ranked 20th in baseball. They also rank 28th in OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, which is a great sign for Moore. If Moore can limit his walks, he could go very deep into this game.
P- Nathan Eovaldi (vs. New York Mets): $7,300. Eovaldi had a terrible June, but he has been very sharp recently. Over his last six appearances, he has only allowed six runs. The New York Mets’ offense has been very lackluster this year, so hopefully Eovaldi shows more success. I would typically go with a more “for sure” option, but the pitching slate is very slim on Thursday.