Below we’ve got a discussion of the starting pitching situation as well as the best teams to use for stacks for Wednesday’s 11-game evening slate on DraftKings. We’ve also got projections derived from Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, and we have rankings of the top plays at each position.


Games to keep an eye on rain-wise are Seattle at Cleveland and San Diego at Atlanta. The Cleveland game looks like it has some chance of postponement, but just delays are more likely. As for the game in Atlanta, a delayed start looks like a possibility, but they may be good there once the game gets going. If they do play in Cleveland, there’s a nice wind blowing out to right field, and that park plays up for left-handed power to being with, so lefties could be pulling balls and riding that wind.

Given how often forecasts change between the time this post is written late the night before and when games actually start, make sure to follow @KevinRothWx for updates.

Pitching Perspective

According to my model, Tyson Ross ($9,300) has the top projection of the day on a day where the pitching options are less than stellar. Ross has a decent matchup with the Braves, though they aren’t a team who strikes out a lot, and he’s getting a slight bump pitching in Atlanta, though the park isn’t as pitcher-friendly as San Diego. As for Ross himself, he’s had a bit of a weird year in that his walk rate has spiked up into double digits despite the fact that his first pitch strike rate and percentage of pitches thrown in the zone are both noticeably higher than his career averages. I expect his walk rate to come around a bit and pair nicely with his 25 percent strikeout rate backed up by a 13.5 percent swinging strike rate. Ross is your SP1 for cash games tonight.

Matt Harvey ($10,700) has the second best projection of the day, but given that he’s $1,400 more expensive than Ross, I won’t be rostering Harvey.

From the mid-price range, I like (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) Jered Weaver ($7,100). Why? Just because the model says so. Weaver has just a 12.7 percent strikeout rate this year, but his swinging strike rate isn’t far from what it was last year when he had a near league average strikeout rate. I expect some more strikeouts to come and for Weaver to continue to keep the walks to a minimum. He’s got a decent matchup with the Rays, and pitching in Tampa is always helpful. I don’t like him in tournaments because of a lack of upside, but I could get on board with him in cash games.

The other mid-price option I can get on board with is Jose Quintana ($6,800). He’s a bit risky because his opponent, Houston, has an all-or-nothing offense, but they’ve been ‘nothing’ far more than they’ve been ‘all’ lately. They’re averaging about 2.5 runs per game over the last seven days, and they continue to lead the league in strikeout rate, so Quintana has plenty of upside. Quintana has been about the same as he always has been this year, but a bit of bad luck on balls in play so far has his ERA a little inflated.

If you’re looking for a bargain, how about the pitcher going opposite Quintana, Vincent Velasquez ($4,300)? Velasquez will be making his first career start tonight. Velasquez racked up a 36.6 percent strikeout rate in Double-A in five starts this year, so he has some stuff. He only managed 26 1/3 innings in those five starts because in addition to the high strikeout total his walk rate was a little higher than average as well. But if he could go five innings and rack up a few Ks, he’d provide value at his price tag. The matchup with the White Sox is a good-not-great one, and the game being played in Chicago makes it a bit dicey from a park factor perspective. But the value potential may make it worth the gamble in a GPP. For what it’s worth, the Steamer projections project Velasquez very favorably (ZiPS does not yet have a Velasquez projection), and he’ll pay off big time if he lives up to that projection.

If you’d like less risk and less upside in a bargain play, consider Kyle Lohse ($5,600). While his ERA is over 6.00, his xFIP remains right around 4.00 where it has been in recent years. His control is still there, and his strikeout rate isn’t too far off league average, so his skills have not disappeared. He’s just been undone by fly balls leaving the park at an unsustainably high rate. He’ll be pitching pitching in Pittsburgh tonight which had the second lowest home run park factor last year, so that should help. Plus, the Pirates have a below average ISO against right-handed pitching, so hopefully home runs will not be an issue for Lohse tonight.

Here are our projections for today’s starters. You’ll see each starter’s salary, the average number of fantasy points the starter is projected to score per game and how far above or below average his projection is compared to his salary in the value column. You’ll also see adjustments being made for matchup and ballpark. As for the colors, they rank as follows from good to bad: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, burgundy.

Stack Options

According to Vegas, both Chicago teams have the highest projected run totals of the night. As mentioned, I’m probably going to roll the dice with Velasquez against the White Sox, so I’ll probably ignore them. But the Cubs make plenty of sense against Shane Greene. Left-handers have a .383 wOBA against Greene this year, so Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo make for a nice little mini-stack atop the Cubs order. For a more complete stack you could also use Kris Bryant and Miguel Montero and roll with the likely top four in that order.

The team that comes up with many players with a projection at least one standard deviation better than the mean today is the Dodgers against Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson hasn’t been brutal this year, but there’s nothing in his stat line to scare you off. And the Dodgers continue to be the league’s best offense against right-handed pitching with a 123 wRC+. I expect the top four to be Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Howie Kendrick with Alex Guerrero hitting fifth or sixth. I could get down with a Dodgers-heavy stack in a GPP today.

And as mentioned above, the wind in Cleveland is forecasted to be favorable for left-handed hitters. The Indians will face right-handed Taijuan Walker, so that’s another factor working in the favor of the Indians‘ left-handers. The top four in that lineup should be Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Brandon Moss, who make for a nice stack.

You can view and download our hitter projections here. These projections are an average of what each hitter is projected to do on a per game basis according to the ZiPS rest-of-season projections. The projections have then been adjusted for splits, quality of the opposing starting pitcher and ballpark.

Player Rankings


  1. Miguel Montero – $3,400 – Chicago Cubs
  2. Jonathan Lucroy – $3,500 – Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Yasmani Grandal – $3,200 – Los Angeles Dodgers

First Base

  1. Anthony Rizzo – $5,500 – Chicago Cubs
  2. Chris Davis – $3,900 – Baltimore Orioles
  3. Mike Napoli – $3,800 – Boston Red Sox

Second Base

  1. Jose Altuve – $4,300 – Houston Astros
  2. Dustin Pedroia – $4,100 – Boston Red Sox
  3. Howie Kendrick – $4,100 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Third Base

  1. Kris Bryant – $4,600 – Chicago Cubs
  2. Alex Guerrero – $3,100 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Manny Machado – $3,800 – Baltimore Orioles


  1. Marcus Semien – $3,500 – Oakland Athletics
  2. Jimmy Rollins – $3,500 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Addison Russell – $3,500 – Chicago Cubs


  1. Mike Trout – $5,400 – Los Angeles Angels
  2. Dexter Fowler – $4,000 – Chicago Cubs
  3. Yasiel Puig – $4,300 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Mookie Betts – $4,100 – Boston Red Sox
  5. George Springer – $4,400 – Houston Astros
  6. Melky Cabrera – $3,600 – Chicago White Sox

Starting Pitcher

  1. Tyson Ross – $9,300 – San Diego Padres
  2. Vincent Velasquez – $4,300 – Houston Astros
  3. Jered Weaver – $7,100 – Los Angeles Angels
  4. Kyle Lohse – $5,600 – Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Jose Quintana – $6,800 – Chicago White Sox
  6. Matt Harvey – $10,700 – New York Mets

*Rankings are price sensitive

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