It is a packed Tuesday-night MLB slate, and it is even more crowded when you consider the myriad options on the daily fantasy baseball board among starting pitchers. There doesn't look like there is much to choose between them, but we take our stab at outlining the best DraftKings pitcher picks for May 12.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays ($8,300)
His scoreless streak evolved into a two-start slump, but Archer has the most DraftKings points per game to date, among the arms on the board, because of his strikeout totals. The pitch counts get high quickly with the whiffs, but those are the fastest way to score fantasy points, too. We will say a quality start and seven strikeouts is a good baseline. Not bad for the price.
A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates ($8,200)
The veteran has gotten off to a great start this season with his 1.66 ERA, but we are going to stick with the strategy of lining up our arms against the bottom-feeding Philadelphia Phillies. They are last in runs scored, last in home runs, last in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and therefore OPS. Burnett is the safest play on the board.
Ranking the Premium Guys
- Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox ($9,400)—The matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers is enticing, but he just hasn't been pitching well enough to justify the price.
- Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals ($9,200)—He has been underperforming this season, even if the strikeouts are still there. We would like this shoulder/back issue flush itself out before you trust your top dollars on him.
- Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs ($8,600)—The 2014 breakout had gotten off to a great start, but like the two above him here, he has been mediocre at best the past two outings. We like the matchup against a fairly threat-less New York Mets offense, but we would put our top dollars more on the bigger arms above.
Best of the Bargains
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets ($7,200)
The big, power right-hander makes his major league debut against the Cubs and comes to us at a fairly significant price for a sight-unseen rookie. We will say, though, the juice is worth the squeeze, particularly in his strikeout potential. His stuff profiles to be at least a strikeout-per-inning pitcher, and the unfamiliarity against a young Cubs lineup could get him a pretty snappy debut.
Collin McHugh, Houston Astros ($7,400)
We are not sold on McHugh's pure stuff, but we are going to miss out on opportunities in daily fantasy if we keep saying that. McHugh is following up on his 2014 breakthrough with a strong start to the season and is facing that weak San Francisco Giants offense that is 29th in runs scored. We understand Houston is a hitter's park, but this is a strangely discounted price otherwise.
Shot in the Dark
Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins ($5,700)
We don't have complete confidence that Gibson's 17-inning scoreless streak is going to make it out of his start against the Detroit Tigers alive, but you have to pay attention to what he has put together of late. Gibson's price remains low amid this hot streak because he is not a strikeout pitcher, but he has posted three consecutive quality starts. He should get another one here at a near-basement price.
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Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.