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 - LHP James Paxton, Mariners (vs. Angels)
Just how good has Paxton been so far this season? All five runs he has allowed came in an April 20 start against Oakland; in his other four outings, he has limited opponents to just 12 hits and five walks while striking out 31 batters over 28 shutout innings. The hard-throwing southpaw has been the best pitcher in the American League to date, and has a plus matchup at home against an Angels lineup that is batting just .239 on the season. He'll be expensive, but the potential return is immense.
Wednesday - RHP Jacob DeGrom, Mets (at Braves)
As bad as things have gone for the Mets in 2017 - and trust me, it has been bad - DeGrom has remained one of the brightest lights in the league. The veteran right-hander has recorded double-digit strikeouts in each of his past three starts, and leads all National League hurlers with 44 Ks in 31 2/3 innings. The Braves have been the third-hardest team to strike out so far this season, but managed just two hits in six shutout innings against DeGrom in their previous meeting April 5.
Thursday - RHP Max Scherzer, Nationals (vs. Diamondbacks)
After looking like he might be finally turning the corner with regard to home-run prevention, Scherzer has proceeded to give up a pair of long balls in each of his last two starts. But that's really the only drawback to starting the flame-throwing righty, who is averaging well over a strikeout per inning while going at least six frames in each of his first five starts. The Diamondbacks come into the week with the fourth-most strikeouts in baseball, and might drop even further down the standings against Scherzer.
Friday - RHP Chris Archer, Rays (vs. Blue Jays)
Lost in the attention Archer generated when throwing behind Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista over the weekend was the fact that he posted yet another stellar outing against Toronto, allowing just one run on four hits over 7 1/3 solid innings. Archer has limited the Jays to three runs in their two meetings so far this season, and is a good bet to continue his success on Friday. He doesn't carry huge tournament upside, but you would be hard-pressed to find a more reliable cash-game option on the slate.
Saturday - RHP Lance McCullers Jr., Astros (at Angels)
On a slate with no truly outstanding options, strikeout upside is pivotal - and it doesn't get much bigger than McCullers, who has averaged at least a strikeout per inning in each of his first five starts of 2017. And while two of those starts were clunkers - he allowed five runs in both - he also limited the Angels to three hits while racking up eight Ks over 6 2/3 innings in their first meeting of the season. The risk of an implosion is there, but McCullers is far and away Saturday's top tournament pitching option.
Sunday - LHP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (at Padres)
You probably work hard during the week - so why not treat yourself on the weekend? Kershaw will never come cheap - and in a tasty matchup like this one, you're likely going to pay an even stiffer price. But consider that Kershaw came into the season 5-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 79 strikeouts over 57 1/3 innings against the Padres from 2014-16, then opened his season by limiting San Diego to a run on two hits with eight Ks in seven innings, and it's easy to see why he's a must-roster option.