Daily Fantasy Baseball Value Pitchers for April 4

Tom Koehler
Tom Koehler
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports

As we near the end of the first week of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we have a light slate of Friday night games, and that means a shorter list of players to choose from when filling out a Draftstreet daily fantasy lineup. It also means that this is the last day before we start seeing some pitchers start to pop up for their second time through the rotation. For now, though, here are some lower priced hurlers to keep in mind when putting together your team for tonight.

Best Bet

Tom Koehler – $8,974

Koehler does not bring an extensive major league resume to the table with him, as the 27-year-old has only made appearances at the big league level during parts of two seasons. Even then, he struggled. In 37 games, 24 of them starts, he had a 5-11 record and a 4.41 ERA. That hardly sounds like a guy who is worth a spot on a daily fantasy team. But there is a good pitcher mixed in with the mediocrity. In the little time he spent in AAA last season, he averaged nearly six innings a start and held opponents to just a .200 batting average. And he showed a lot more this spring, which makes him an intriguing play tonight. He appeared in five games in March, throwing 18 innings. He gave up 12 hits and three runs and batters hit only .194 against him. That put him in the top 10 among pitchers this spring who threw that many innings. With the lowest salary of any starter tonight, he makes for a nice start against the Padres.

Double Down

Dustin McGowan – $11,879

If you feel like a bit of a gamble, then McGowan is your man. The Toronto righty is making his first start in about two-and-a-half years tonight against the Yankees. A decade ago, he was the Blue Jays’ top prospect and a key piece of their future. But control problems and injuries kept him from ever realizing his full potential. After surgeries on his shoulder and other injuries, he has worked his way back to a starting job. Though he did make 25 appearances for the Jays out of the bullpen last season, he hasn’t taken the ball from the start since September of 2011. But he’s earned his way there. He was solid in relief for Toronto last season, and earned the team’s fifth starter’s spot after a nice spring. He wasn’t even a contender for the job entering March, but pitched himself into it. In seven innings, he allowed just three hits and picked up seven strikeouts. He will now open the home schedule for Toronto against the Yankees. There will be a lot to contend with for him because of the sold out home crowd and a huge contingent to watch Masahiro Tanaka‘s major league debut for New York.  But after his last couple of years, it shouldn’t be something he can’t overcome.

Roll of the Dice

Lucas Harrell – $10,023

When looking for value plays on a short schedule when teams’ fifth starters are lined up, finding good options can be tough. If you’re not thrilled with either Koehler or McGowan, you can cross your fingers with Harrell. The Houston righty was knocked around pretty good this spring. His ERA was a not-so-encouraging 7.80. He gave up 24 hits and 13 runs in 15 innings. Batters hit 3.68 against him and he had a WHIP of nearly 2.10. It wasn’t a good month for him. So what value does he have? Well, this mainly comes down to the matchup. He gets the Angels tonight, and L.A. couldn’t do much with him last year. He made three starts against them and averaged nearly six innings an outing, while limiting them to one earned run in each game. It’s not as if he was in the midst of a hot streak during those times, either. In the outings before and after each one, he gave up five or more runs in all but one of those six games. So there is something about the Angels that brings out his best. Just proceed with caution.

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Tony Consiglio
Tony Consiglio is a lifelong baseball fan and has worked for television and radio stations throughout New England. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');