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SP: Yu Darvish, CHC ($7,800) at MIA
This is just a get right spot for Yu Darvish. The combination of discounted price and stellar matchup make him an appealing option that will likely be popular. Normally I’d be a little more inclined to look elsewhere with a pitcher whose performance can be as sporadic as Darvish’s, but the toothless Marlins lineup really adds to the upside tonight. So far, they’ve been as dreadful as expected, hitting a .284 team wOBA.
SP: Yusei Kikuchi, SEA ($7,700) vs. CLE
I wrote up Yusei Kikuchi in his last start against the Royals. Welp, that didn’t work. He was decidedly underwhelming, allowing three earned runs and just three Ks across six innings. The upside just really hasn’t been there thus far. But I’m going to try one more time tonight. Because he gets the Indians and their 28.8% K rate. Like clockwork, Homer Bailey struck out six in his last start while firing seven scoreless innings against this Indians team. Yes, that Homer Bailey. Insert the Jumanji what year is it? GIF here.
1B: Justin Bour, LAA ($4,000) at TEX
The Angels will get to see Shelby Miller here, who is probably the worst pitcher going tonight. Really, really small sample size caveat, but in 16 innings last year Miller a hard hit-rate over 50%. Even going way back to his days as a Brave, Miller has had control issues. After two starts this year he’s managed to collect eight walks and just two Ks. Justin Bour may be off to a slow start, but he’s always hit righties well, as evidenced by a .376 wOBA against them the past two years.
OF: Franmil Reyes, SD ($3,900) vs. COL
Antonio Senzatela is someone to pick on. Last year he struck out just 17.7% overall while allowing a .347 wOBA and .217 ISO to right-handed hitters. Franmil Reyes has been hitting second in front Manny Machado the past couple of games. If it sticks, that’s a great spot to hit where he’ll figure to see plenty of good pitches. The surface stats aren’t there yet for the big man, but his batted-ball data has been excellent—highlighted by a 94.5 mph average exit velocity and a stellar .494 xwOBA.
3B/OF: Kris Bryant, CHC ($4,000) at MIA
Trevor Richards is off to a great start, and he certainly has an awesome changeup. But what he also showed last year were some serious reverse splits. Righties roughed him up a bit for a .361 wOBA and .212 ISO. His fastball, in particular, was hit really hard by righties to the tune of a .415 xwOBA. This is a nice price to take a chance on an extremely talented hitter in Kris Bryant ($4,000), who may be a little overlooked tonight.
OF: Jorge Soler, KC ($4,200) at CWS
No one likes to roster Royals hitters. But this is an interesting draw against Ervin Santana. Last year in just 24.2 innings, Santana was an absolute disaster, allowing nine home runs while featuring a woeful 14.2% K rate. There is no denying the power potential with Jorge Soler. The only problem that keeps him from being a more viable option most nights is his high K rate (26.8% last year). Santana mitigates that risk some. His teammate Ryan O’Hearn ($3,700) is another power gamble to consider here. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Adalberto Mondesi ($5,100) here, too. The power/speed combo is what GPPs are made for, and I’m not too sure many people will be looking to play him at that high of a price tag.
Tournament Stack: Brewers vs. STL (RHP Dakota Hudson)
There are quite a few good quality arms pitching, so stacks are a little tricky to come by on tonight’s nine-game slate. Skills-wise, Shelby Miller is probably the worst pitcher of the slate, but it’s tough to get behind an Angels team that may be without Mike Trout once again. Even if he’s in, the lack of a decent supporting cast makes the Angels a tough sell in terms of upside.
Through 27.1 innings last year, Dakota Hudson posted an ugly 15.3% walk rate along with just a 16.1% K rate. So command issues and a lack of swing-and-miss ability could get him in trouble against a really talented Brewers lineup this evening. The Brewers do have the highest implied team total, sitting just over five runs, so chances are we’ll see a good amount of ownership—but it’s with good reason. One thing worth noting with Hudson is he’s shown a pretty decent ground-ball rate, so attacking with the lefty bats that have a strong fly-ball lean in Mike Moustakas ($4,300) and/or Travis Shaw ($3,900) could be a good way to start. Also, it might not be a bad idea to include Jesus Aguilar ($3,900), as this could be a nice potential slump-busting spot at likely reduced ownership relative to the other Brewers bats.
On the other side of this game, you have Freddy Peralta coming off a shellacking by a light-hitting Angels team. In his first start, he was forced from the game after just three innings by this same Cardinals offense. They could certainly stack up some runs against Peralta, who is one of the most volatile arms you’ll see.
The White Sox against Heath Fillmyer and his 7.3% K-BB rate are a team to consider, too. This may also be our last chance to play Eloy Jimenez ($3,900) at this price.
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.