DraftKings GPP Plays of the Day — 4/19
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|Road SP||xFIP||K%||K-BB%||ML||OK%||Home SP||xFIP||K%||K-BB%||ML||OK%|
All pitcher stats seen above are from the 2018 MLB season unless otherwise noted.
Brooks*= 2018 AAA.
Smyly**= 2016 (last MLB season).
OK%= Opponent team strikeout rate (2019 year to date).
This article was written the night before; some money lines may not yet be available (TBD).
SP: Caleb Smith, MIA ($8,100) vs. WAS
It’s not the easiest matchup for Caleb Smith; he’ll get the Nationals at home here. Smith has continued where he left off last year, when he showed off an impressive 27% strikeout rate. Through 17 innings thus far, he’s managed to tally 21 strikeouts good for a 32.3% strikeout rate backed by an excellent 14.5% swinging-strike rate. Control can still be a problem though, shown by his 9.2% walk rate. Know that this isn’t the safest play in the world, but there is certainly strikeout upside to be had here in Smith.
Touki Toussaint, ATL ($7,300) at CLE
Update: The game in Cleveland has been canceled. So no Toussaint tonight unfortunately. At a similar price point, I would consider Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,800) in tournaments because he carries good K upside. You could also look to Anibal Sanchez ($8,100) in a friendly matchup against a very weak Marlins lineup.
Touki Toussaint was electric in his debut, going six strong innings and striking out seven in relief of Sean Newcomb. He’ll get the Indians on the road here. So far, the Indians offense has really struggled with a 26.9% strikeout rate (second in MLB) along with a woeful .266 team wOBA. To be clear, there is a significant risk with Toussaint as he’s a young pitcher making his first start of the year, and he’s had command problems in the past, shown by an ugly 17.1% walk rate during his brief stint in the majors last year. But there is also wonderful strikeout upside here too.
OF: Eloy Jimenez, CWS ($3,800) at DET
I just really like this price for Eloy Jimenez. The power is enormous, and he gets a beatable draw against a long-declining Jordan Zimmermann, who after getting off to a strong start in his first two turns has fallen victim to Cleveland and Minnesota most recently. Strictly speaking, you’d prefer to target lefty bats against Zimmermann, but I’ll gladly take a shot on the rookie phenom against a pitcher who has coughed up 57 home runs the past two years.
OF: Michael Conforto, NYM ($4,800) vs. STL
Chances are we’ll see quite a few shares of Cardinals hitters this evening going against Jason Vargas. And with very good reason. But don’t forget about the Mets on the other side of this game. Adam Wainwright’s skills have been on the decline the past few years, evidenced by a WHIP above 1.40 the past three seasons. So he’s someone to pick on, particularly with lefty bats. Lefties teed off on Waino’s fastball, cutter, and sinker last year with a wOBA above .380. Michael Conforto is off to a wonderful start to the year, posting a .442 wOBA with an equally impressive .402 xwOBA. So he’s legitimately hitting the ball well right now.
OF: Joc Pederson, LAD ($5,200) at MIL
Jhoulys Chacin was pretty effective last year, logging 192 innings of a 3.50 ERA. But I think based on indicators, most are speculating that what we saw last year was a bit of a mirage. There are certain things he does well — he has shown excellent command of his slider (45.8% zone rate on his slider last year). But he’s still a hittable pitcher who has shown some pretty wide splits in favor of lefty bats. His sinker has shown an xwOBA of .380-plus the past two years to lefty hitters. Chacin also has a little bit of a ground-ball lean, but you can combat there here with Joc Pederson and his fly-ball tendencies. I like Pederson as a price pivot off Charlie Blackmon ($5,000), who should be really popular tonight against Vince Velasquez in Coors. He’s always killed righties, evidenced by last year’s .374 wOBA and .295 ISO against them. The other lefties here in Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Max Muncy are great places to look too.
SS: Adalberto Mondesi, KC ($4,900)
This is really an ownership play as there isn’t really anything that stands out numbers wise with C.C. Sabathia. The veteran was a little more giving to right-handed hitters last year, like you’d suspect, but not terribly so, allowing a modest .317 wOBA. On a big 14-game slate, I don’t think too many DFS players will be looking to spend near full price on Royals bats, so consider Adalberto Mondesi as a hitter who carries an immense ceiling at potentially low ownership.
3B: Alex Bregman, HOU ($4,600) vs. TEX
It hasn’t been a great return for Drew Smyly, who prior to this year, hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2016. So far, he’s shown no command, with a 12.7% walk rate, so there should be plenty of runners on base for Alex Bregman to do some damage here. This just simply seems like too cheap of a price for a hitter as talented as Bregman in an exploitable matchup. The Astros currently have the highest implied team total at just under six runs.
Twins at Orioles (RHP Alex Cobb)
Update: The game in Baltimore has also been canceled. We can cross off the Twins tonight. Instead, look to the Dodgers tonight as a potential GPP stack. There is a lot of lefty power there that could do damage against Chacin at hitter friendly Miller Park.
We’ve got a game at Coors this evening, so that should garner a fair portion of ownership along with the Yankees against Jakob Junis. At least the Colorado side as I don’t think too many people are going to want to stack against German Marquez. I love Marquez and think he is tremendously skilled, but it is Coors and we’ve seen the best of the best have rough days at that park. So I understand the logic of going to the Phillies this evening as I think they present an excellent tournament stack in terms of potential upside relative to their likely low ownership. But I just can’t bring myself to do it, so I will look elsewhere for bats tonight. Let’s instead go to the next best thing, and that is insert team at Camden Yards. This evening, it’ll be the Twins’ turn to tee off in Baltimore. They’ve been an impressive offense in the early going. Their team strikeout rate of 19.3% is third from the bottom, trailing only the Athletics and Angels. Their team wOBA of .345 is also good for sixth-best on the year so far. So they’ve been putting the ball in play a lot and making some noise with it. They’ll be opposed by this evening by Alex Cobb, who is making his triumphant return from the IL to a much beleaguered O’s staff. Is ‘The Thing” back? Who knows. It’s been a long while since we’ve seen vintage Cobb and his formerly excellent split-finger changeup. The 2018 version of Cobb was decidedly poor; his strikeout rate of 15.4% is one of the worst of tonight’s big 14-game slate. And his 40.2% hard-hit rate from last year was in the bottom 9% of the league. It would appear until further notice at least, that Cobb is someone to pick on. This is a really nice spot for the likes of Eddie Rosario, Nelson Cruz and Jorge Polanco, who is simply killing it at the dish lately, hitting a blistering .429 thus far.
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