In my never-ending quest to find value pitchers for my MLB DraftKings teams, I've landed on a sweet Top 3. The names should be familiar to all fantasy baseball fans: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kevin Gausman, and Trevor Bauer.
All fantasy baseball fans should also know the three that I feel should be avoided on Saturday, August 19. Who doesn't know Zack Greinke? Or, Stephen Strasburg? Or, even Jose Quintana? Keep reading to see which pitchers I believe are worth adding, which starters offer value, and which pitchers I'm staying away from for this Saturday's MLB DraftKings Team!
Top 3 Value Pitchers to Add
1. Hyun-Jin Ryu, L.A. Dodgers
Ryu's been much better on the mound than before the All-Star Break. His ERA is down to 3.63. He struck out 7 San Francisco batters on July 30. On August 8, he struck out 8 New York Met batters. Ryu should have a decent game versus the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
He's only faced Tiger batters 14 times. That's not nearly enough of a sample to figure out how well (or how badly) Ryu pitches. I'm willing to take a shot on him because Detroit is, for the most part, unfamiliar with his pitches.
2. Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
The L.A. Angels, Baltimore's opponent on August 19, took Gausman to the woodshed in the last battle. The game was on August 9. Gausman lasted 5.1 innings. He allowed 4 earned runs off 8 hits. My hope is that Gausman adjusts to Mike Trout and company this Saturday.
If he doesn't, this could be a terrible pick for my MLB DraftKings team. My guess is that Gausman does make the necessary adjustments. Just to be clear, although KG only lasted 5.1 innings the last time he faced the Halos, he did strikeout 6 Angel batters. That's not terrible.
3. Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
Bauer pitched .2 of an inning on August 17. That shows you how far he's come this season. At the beginning of the season, there's no way manager Terry Francona puts in Bauer for needed outs. Just yesterday, Bauer struck out 1 batter and allowed a hit in 2 innings of work.
His ERA has dropped to under 5.00. That's a good thing. It was out of control before the All-Star Break. Saturday's opponent, the Kansas City Royals, bat .241 versus Bauer. I think there's a good chance he steps it up big time in the Tribe's road matchup against the Royals.
Top 3 Pitchers to Avoid
1. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
There's a chance Greinke dominates the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. After all, his name is Zack Greinke. But, there's also a chance that Greinke doesn't pitch as well as you'd expect. He's faced Minnesota batters 75 times. The Twins have a .307 ERA versus Greinke.
I don't believe he offers any value comparable to his likely salary cap cost. That's why I'm leaving him off my August 19 team.
2. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
Strasburg returns to action on Saturday. He hasn't pitched in MLB since lasting only 2 innings on July 23. What it means is that Stras should be on a pitch count on Saturday. Sure, he could throw for 7 innings and strike out 10 Padre batters since the game takes place at Petco Park. Or, because Washington is so much superior to San Diego, manager Dusty Baker could pull Stras after 4 or 5 innings.
3. Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs
Quintana was fantastic versus the Cincinnati Reds in his last start. Unfortunately for Quintana and the Cubbies, Saturday's opponent knows Jose well. The Toronto Blue Jays have faced Quintana 149 times. The Jays bat .282 versus Quintana.
He's too much of a risk to put on the team, I think. I'll leave him off since he faces an AL squad that he's faced many times before.