Max Scherzer will be excluded from this list as he is the obvious cash game option tonight against a lackluster Cubs team who ranks 3rd last in total hits. If you are willing to cough up $12,000 for him then you should be starting him.
Top Tier ($9,000 and above)
There aren’t a whole lot of great options in this tier so Scherzer looks even more appealing. On paper, the best matchup appears to be Severino against the White Sox but I’m a bit worried about his last 2 outings where he has given up 9 earned runs combined against 2 very average teams (Oakland and LAA). Verlander is coming off of an 11 strikeout outing against Seattle and 5 consecutive starts yielding less than 3 earned runs but he gets a Royals team tonight who doesn’t strikeout much. Throwing any pitcher, and in this case, Carlos Martinez, against the D’Backs scares me as we have all been exposed to how good their hitters are, so I will be fading him. I also do not feel even remotely comfortable paying $9,400 for Jake Arrieta against the Nationals. It’s a close call between Severino and Verlander but I would go with Severino for this Tier (if fading Mad Max) as he has yet to lose a road game this year and found success against the Sox earlier this year to the tune of 11 Ks over 8 innings. Verlander shouldn’t be a bad option as well but I have personally had troubles trusting him lately.
Mid Tier ($8,000-$9,000)
This tier features some intriguing options that have forced me to consider fading Mad Max such as Sean Manaea, Taijuan Walker, Mike Fiers, Chacin and the most expensive, James Paxton. While his numbers have been dismal as of late, Paxton offers the highest upside against a Phillies team that only has 10 road wins. His 24 hits given up in his last 3 starts combined should steer some people away from him but when this dude is on, he’s on. He should have absolutely no troubles getting the win and has been much more effective at home this season carrying a 4-1 record with a 2.48 ERA. If Paxton can limit the long ball, which shouldn’t be an issue, I see about 45 FDP which is effective for his price at $8,500.
Low Tier ($7,900 and below)
Due to Mad Max on the mound and the loaded Mid-Tier pitching options, I would advise shying away from anyone under $8,000. Having said that, I am still going to suggest one pitcher who you may want to take a glance at if you feel you need to pay up for hitters tonight, likely the Red Sox. Sean Newcomb ($7,700) will face the Padres tonight who rank dead last in total hits and #4 in most strikeouts. Sean has only given up 4 earned runs in his 3 starts this season and has been fairly effective flying under the radar. He has gone at least 6 innings in each outing averaging 6 Ks per. This game also features the 2nd lowest projected run total on the slate according to Vegas.Newcomb is an interesting option but as I noted before, I would stick to either Big Max or one of the many good Mid tier options, most notably Paxton.