Pitcher List is proud to partner with DraftKings for the 2019 season. We’ll be featuring our top picks for every daily slate through the season and feature articles dedicated to the GPP.
SP: Robbie Ray, ARI ($9,400) vs. TEX
Today’s top-priced pitcher Noah Syndergaard ($10,400) finds himself in an interesting position against a Twins team fresh off of their throttling of Jacob deGrom. The aforementioned Thor has been a little underwhelming in his first two starts and, combined with the rough outing from deGrom last night, I wonder if some will be a little gun shy to go there despite him being the biggest favorite of the night. I’ll pass on Thor and take a discount here with Robbie Ray.
The early returns haven’t been great for Ray. Yeah, 10 walks in 10.1 IP will do that. But his volatile ways figure to keep his ownership levels relatively low. What I like about this spot for Ray is that the bulk of the Rangers’ best hitters in Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, Shin-soo Choo, and Rougned Odor are left-handed, which figures to leave Ray at an advantage here. And he’ll also see the unfamiliar AL pitcher try to swing.
SP: Yusei Kikuchi, SEA ($8,000) at KC
This is a pretty nice spot for Yusei Kikuchi where he’ll battle an offense in the Royals who have a team OBP below .300 in the early going. Yeah, not too good. The strikeouts have been fairly modest so far, but I like his chances of spiking a big performance against the free-swinging Royals. Last year the Royals had a team wOBA of .293 and a wRC+ of 81 vs southpaws — both ugly marks.
Also, keep a lookout for the Angels lineup today. Last night Mike Trout left the game early with what is being called a groin strain; if he should miss that would, of course, be a big boost for Brandon Woodruff ($8,300) who despite only going four innings managed to rack up 8 Ks in his last turn against the Cubs.
One last arm worth mentioning for tournaments is Yu Darvish, who is at an extremely tempting ($7,400) price point against a relatively unimposing Pirates lineup. If you want to take a leap of faith after two terrible starts to begin the year, Darvish is your pick.
OF: Juan Soto, WAS ($4,800) at PHI
We’ve got Jeremy Hellickson on the other side of this game, so expect to see a fair amount of Phillies bats. But I don’t mind picking on Nick Pivetta either in this game. He’s got the stuff to spike big performances, but so far the command just hasn’t been there. The precocious Juan Soto could certainly look to take advantage of any mistakes in the zone.
OF: Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($4,200) vs. PIT
Jordan Lyles actually pitched reasonably well last year, posting a decent 22.6% K rate and an xFIP just over 4.00 across 87 innings. So he wasn’t terrible by any means. He is, however, someone who, prior to last year, showed some pretty noticeable splits in favor of LHB. To lefty hitters, he allowed a wOBA of .431 in 2017 and .384 in 2016. Meanwhile, Kyle Schwarber has managed a pretty gaudy xwOBA of .480 against RHP the past two years. You could certainly look to his teammate Anthony Rizzo here too.
1B: Pete Alonso, NYM ($4,600) vs. MIN
The Met rookie Pete Alonso has been as advertised in the early going with five home runs and a 1.352 OPS. The statcast data is excellent too, showing an xwOBA of .464 and a hard hit rate of 63.4%. Ahhh yes, the glory of early season samples. He’ll get Jake Odorizzi here, who promptly reminded everyone that he is in fact who we thought he was, despite his stellar first start against the Indians. In his past three seasons combined, Odorizzi has allowed a total of 79 home runs. Advantage: Alonso.
Tournament Stack: Mariners at Royals (RHP Heath Fillmyer)
It’s awfully hard not to want to stack the Oakland Athletics today against Dan Straily. His sub-par 19.1% K rate and fly-ball tendencies against a powerful lineup in Camden Yards should put him squarely on the stacking radar.
I’ll instead look to the Mariners here, who will get to tee off on the recent call-up Heath Fillmyer. In 82 innings last year, Fillmyer managed a dreadful 16.6% K rate and 4.84 SIERA. He had an even worse 15.4% K rate along with an ugly 5.48 xFIP across 67.1 innings in AAA last year too. Meanwhile, the Mariners will look to keep up their major league lead in home runs. I certainly wouldn’t rule out the Cubs against Jordan Lyles either.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sammybaugh) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.