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: Cole Hamels, CHC ($9,400) at MIA
Cole Hamels will be really popular this evening against the Marlins, whose offense’s 26.4% K rate and .275 wOBA present just such a great opportunity to spike a ceiling type performance. Unfortunately, this slate is bereft of pitching and there really aren’t too many arms that figure to carry any appreciable upside. Some may be tempted by Lance Lynn who is coming off a nine-strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks. He’ll get the Angels tonight. Yes, the Angels are indeed a weak offense as a whole, but it’s worth mentioning they have a very low team K rate of just 15%; once you consider that the game is in Texas (a great hitter’s park) it might be best to look elsewhere.
SP: Jeremy Hellickson, WAS ($7,100) vs. SF
Oh boy. Well, I did say this is a really rough slate for pitching and we have to take two of them. This is just a matchup play: Jeremy Hellickson gets a really anemic Giants offense that so far has been good for a .249 wOBA and 52 wRC+ along with a 24.9% K rate. Jake Odorizzi is also worth a mention too. He’ll get the Blue Jays whose 28.5% K rate leads baseball. However, that game looks very messy weather wise.
OF: Juan Soto, WAS ($4,800) at TEX
Juan Soto could look to take advantage of some pretty gaudy splits this evening. Last year Jeff Samardzija showed no ability to control batted balls against left-handed hitters. Both his sinker and four-seam fastball which he combined to throw just over 60% of the time returned xwOBAs greater than .460. Not good. At this stage in his career with diminished velocity, Samardzija just doesn’t have much room for error.
2B: Brandon Lowe, TB ($4,600) vs. BAL
The Rays get a great matchup for hitters in David Hess. Hess doesn’t have much bat-missing ability (16.3% K rate last year) and he’s shown next to no ability to control batted balls — evidenced by a .350 wOBA allowed last year including 22 home runs in just over 100 innings. Outside of one great game against the Blue Jays, it’s been more of the same from Hess this year with an ugly .382 xwOBA and 15.4% barrel rate. Brandon Lowe has shown some good power in the early going both this year and last year, with a .309 ISO in AAA. His 30.5% K rate will be mitigated a little with Hess’ below-average strikeout ability.
1B: Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4,200) at MIA
Anthony Rizzo is off to a rough start at the dish hitting just .182. But we all know he’s way too talented of a hitter and that he’s certain to rebound. Coincidentally he also got off to slow start last year too. The discounted price is the main selling point here — it’s just too cheap for a hitter of his caliber. Sandy Alcantara has got good stuff in terms of velocity: His fastball has averaged 95.5 mph the past two seasons. But he can really get himself in trouble with walks. Last year he managed a pretty dreadful 4.8% K-BB%. So Rizzo could be in a good spot to drive in some runs this evening if Alcantara shows poor control.
OF: Joey Gallo, TEX ($5,300) vs. LAA
It’s a little odd to see Joey Gallo as the second-highest-priced hitter of the slate. So it’s quite the price to pay. But it could be worth paying up for tonight in his matchup against Matt Harvey. The early returns for the ex-Met have not been too encouraging in 2019, evidenced by a .434 xwOBA and a 40% hard-hit rate. Gallo’s propensity for the swing and miss is mitigated by Harvey’s pedestrian K rate of just 15.7% so far this year. Harvey’s K rate last year was also well below average at just 19.8%.
Tournament Stack: Braves vs. Diamondbacks (RHP Zack Godley)
All eyes will be on Texas this evening for bats — and rightfully so. It’s the best hitter’s park of the slate and that will feature two exploitable arms in Lance Lynn and Harvey. And of course the Rays against Hess. The Twins are also worth a look against the rookie Trent Thornton, but the weather in that game looks like it could be rough.
I’ll mention the Braves here against Zack Godley and the visiting Diamondbacks. Godley was a season-long target for some last year and he ended up being a huge disappointment finishing the season with a ghastly 1.45 WHIP and 10.2% walk rate. The walks have continued this year too. The other huge problem for Godley is that his fastball is just so hittable. Last year his sinker and cutter were hit hard to the tune of a .365 and .421 wOBA allowed, respectively. The Braves are one of the most patient offenses in baseball: Their current team walk rate of 13.2% paces the league. And they certainly have the power to take advantage of traffic on the basepaths, evidenced by a .355 team wOBA (good for third in baseball). Their current implied team total of just under five runs is good for third best on the slate — behind the two teams in Texas.
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.