I’m running a little behind today so I don’t have time to do the full rankings.
I narrowed the field down to a couple pitchers, did some research, and came up with a list of options I’ll use today.
Pitchers to start for Thursday, April 30
1. Stephen Strasburg, $10,400 — $10.4 is salty, but Strasburg is the third-most expensive pitcher today (behind Chris Sale and Garrett Richards) but is arguably the biggest strikeout threat pitcher in the game. His WHIP is 1.63. That’s going to correct hard to the 1.10 to 1.15 rane by the end of the season. You might not get Strasburg cheaper than this for the rest of the year.
2. Jacob deGrom, $9,100 — Starting both pitchers in a game feels risky, but this Nets-Nats game has an over/under of 6.5, the lowest total of the day, and it’s in Citi Field, considered a pitcher’s park. And the Las Vegas moneyline is pretty much a coin flip. Also working in deGrom’s favor: The Nationals have struck out fifth-most in MLB this season.
3. James Paxton, $6,800 — Do you like to play with fire? Sure, Paxton has an excellent strikeout profile, his opponents, the Astros, have struck out more than any MLB team this season. Like Strasburg, his WHIP should also correct by .20 or .30 points by the end of the season. However, the game is in Houston and Paxton’s a lefty and the Astros have a couple dangerous right-handed bats. The 8.5 over/under for this game is the highest of the day.
4. Shelby Miller, $7,400 — Miller has slightly favorable indicators at WHIP and strikeout and he’s pitching at home against the Reds, who he has had some success against.
5. Chris Sale, $11,300 — Our most expensive pitcher of the day is a stud worth considering. I’m going with other options, however. The game is in Minnesota, a hitter’s park. The left/right matchup is unfavorable. Sale is, however, pitching for the team that is second-most likely to win.
6. Tim Cooney, $5,700 — This play is very much site and game dependent because the Phillies-Cardinals game is at 1:45 p.m. The Cardinals are the most likely team to win today. It probably has more to do with the Phillies than Cooney, but he could take advantage. His minor league stats — this is his MLB debut — indicate a K/9 in the 6.5-7 range which isn’t great and the Phillies haven’t struck out a ton this season, but the hitters probably don’t have a ton of info on Cooney. I’ve got him in my only early lineup.
Other pitchers with some favorable conditions: Garrett Richards, Danny Duffy, T.J. House.