We all know by now that rostering an elite starting pitcher is a must when it comes to daily fantasy. So here at Covers we break down your best options for each day of the upcoming week in MLB.
Here are the top daily fantasy starting pitchers of the week:
Tuesday - RHP Max Scherzer, Nationals (at Braves)
This choice comes down to Scherzer or Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish - and while both starters have favorable matchups, Scherzer has higher upside against the Braves than Darvish does versus the host Athletics. Scherzer's strikeout upside is always immense, and superior command compared to Darvish means he's more likely to pitch deeper into the game. Both guys give up their share of homers, but Scherzer deserves the edge in this one by virtue of his higher propensity for throwing strikes.
Wednesday - LHP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (vs. Rockies)
You have another difficult decision Wednesday, as you'll need to decide between Kershaw and San Francisco Giants superstar Madison Bumgarner. This one comes down to location - and I don't mean pitch location. Kershaw pitching at Dodger Stadium has been one of the few automatics in daily fantasy in recent history; the future Hall of Famer has posted a sub-2.00 home ERA every season since 2013, and is off to another great start in 2017 with just two earned runs allowed over 15 1/3 innings there.
Thursday - RHP Noah Syndergaard, Mets (vs. Phillies)
Options abound on getaway day, with Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and other star hurlers toeing the rubber. But none hold a candle to Syndergaard, who has been utterly dominant in limiting opponents to two earned runs over 19 innings. While you'd like to see a few more strikeouts (20 through three starts), the zero walks and zero home runs allowed is a terrific trade-off. The Phillies aren't likely to do much against one of the hardest-throwing starters in baseball; fire him up in all formats.
Friday - RHP Lance McCullers Jr., Astros (at Rays)
Winning large-field tournaments requires taking big risks - and that goes for every daily fantasy price point. It might make you nervous to lean on McCullers knowing his propensity for wildness, but there's no better strikeout play on Friday's slate. The Rays enter the week leading the majors in team strikeout rate at 28.6 percent - and McCullers has excelled in that area, fanning 23 hitters over his first 17 1/3 innings. He can implode at any time, but he's perfect for a high-risk GPP lineup.
Saturday - RHP Michael Pineda, Yankees (at Pirates)
Pineda has been one of the most enigmatic pitchers in fantasy - capable of racking up double-digit strikeouts with ease but seemingly unable to get through a start without getting hit hard for an extended stretch. His last two starts have been a different story, as he has limited the Rays and Cardinals to three runs on eight hits over 14 2/3 innings while striking out 17. He's one of the top control pitchers in the majors, and should have little trouble returning at least cash-game value in Pittsburgh.
Sunday - RHP Yu Darvish, Rangers (vs. Royals)
You'll have another Scherzer-Darvish matchup to decide on at the end of the week, but Darvish's matchup is just too good to pass up. The Royals come into the week with the fourth-worst team K rate in the majors (23.7 percent), and a wRC+ of 72 isn't helping their cause, either. Darvish is prone to bouts of poor control and homer-itis, but he's still one of the most dominant starters in the American League and should cruise past a Kansas City lineup still working its way out of some early-season struggles.