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.
|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.
Banuelos*= 2018 AAA.
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).
Chris Sale, BOS ($8,600) vs. DET
Update: The game in Boston tonight has been cancelled. So unfortunately an already-thin pitching slate just got a lot worse with no Chris Sale or Matt Boyd. I’ll be honest, I’m having a difficult time landing on just one guy so I’ll run through some quick thoughts on guys that could provide reasonable returns.
Yonny Chirinos ($7,400) showed some reasonable skills last year including a modest 20.3% K rate and decent indicators (4.04 xFIP/3.96 SIERA). He gets a beatable Kansas City Royals team tonight. He and the Rays are one of the bigger favorites of the night, currently sitting at -164. Worth noting too that KC has one of the lower implied team totals of the night at just over 3.25 runs. The one thing that has me a little hesitant here is Chirinos’ pitch count. Last time out he only threw 70 pitches, so keep that in mind.
Brad Peacock ($8,200) is in a similar spot to Chirinos in that he’s one of the larger home favorites of the slate (-171), but he’s also facing a relatively uncertain workload. This will be his first start since an April 7th start against Oakland. In his latest relief appearance he threw 17 pitches. The other thing here to note is while Peacock has one of the higher K rates going tonight (35.3% last year in 65 IP) the Twins have been a very legitimate offense in the early going posting a team wOBA of .357, good for second best. They’ve also struck out just 18.8% (third best) so it’s hard to love this matchup. But again considering he’s a big, home favorite I think he’s a reasonable play.
Tonight’s top dog, Jack Flaherty ($9,800), gets the Brewers who have had his number twice so far this year; while it’s interesting in terms of an ownership perspective, it’s otherwise hard to get really excited there given the tough matchup.
Instead, let’s go with Chris Sale at a price point that I never would have guessed we’d see him at prior to the season. There’s no sugarcoating it: Sale has been disappointment personified for his fantasy owners so far, but we saw good velocity from him in his last start and tonight presents an excellent get right opportunity for the Boston ace. He’ll face an anemic Detroit Tigers offense that thus far has hit for a dreadful .274 team wOBA (27th) and 25.5% K rate. He’ll certainly be popular tonight on a slate that really lacks a lot of appealing options at SP, but it’s one of those things where I’ll lock this discount in and look to be different elsewhere.
SP: Joe Musgrove, PIT ($8,100) vs. ARI
I wish I could be a little more creative here, but similar to Sale this just seems like too cheap of a price for this version of Joe Musgrove. He’s been throwing his slider more this year (29.4% as opposed to 18.7% last year) and the results have been superlative, including a nice bump in K rate from just over 20% last year to 25.6% this year. While he’s never going to wow you with his velocity, Musgrove has been incredibly efficient in the early going, allowing just four walks through his first four turns. He’ll get the Diamondbacks here and while they have been an above-average offense this year, Musgrove appears to be set up well here as he’s the third-highest favorite on the board as of this writing (-140).
OF: Michael Conforto, NYM ($4,400) vs. PHI
Considering Jake Arrieta has an excellent 2.25 ERA and is coming off a nice outing against these very same Mets, I doubt we see too many Mets bats tomorrow. But for me, Michael Conforto is always an excellent tournament play to consider when he’s set to go against low-strikeout RHP. For the year, Arrieta has a well below average 16.4% K rate, backed by an even less inspiring 6.6% swinging K rate. Arrieta does have a very good groundball rate, but Conforto’s fly-ball tendencies give him power potential here at a really nice price.
2B/SS: Jonathan Villar, BAL ($4,500) vs. CWS
This game figures to be a great spot to go for bats. Most will look at the White Sox side of this game as they set to tee off against David Hess and the atrocity that is the Orioles pen — Chris Davis anyone? But don’t forget the White Sox are starting Manny Banuelos. As a Yankee fan, I’ll be a little curious to see one of the former Killer B’s has a chance to shine. In case you were wondering, Banuelos has logged all of 26.1 MLB innings in his entire career. The last time we saw him in the Majors? 2015 with the Atlanta Braves. Oh, how time flies! I will say in his defense he showed pretty decent numbers in AAA last year with the Dodgers: most notably a 27% K rate and 4.09 xFIP. Still, all things considered, it’s hard not to look at this as an exploitable matchup for O’s bats. Jonathan Villar provides excellent power/speed potential at a tough position for a reasonable cost.
OF: Victor Robles, WAS ($5,200) at COL
Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to see Victor Robles hit near the top of the order much. Yesterday he hit second between Adam Eaton and Juan Soto. But keep in mind that was most likely due to Anthony Rendon being out with an elbow injury. If he hits second again this evening then he’ll figure to be a very popular play in all formats. But assuming that Rendon is back tonight and Robles is shuffled back to the ninth spot in the order, he’ll make for an interesting target in tournaments. A great way to be different at Coors is to take a chance on hitters at the bottom of the lineup because they usually come with significantly less ownership. Taking hitters at the bottom of the order is usually never something anyone wants to do because it’s suboptimal. The silver lining here though is that you’re taking a chance on a player in Robles who is a phenomenal talent. He has the sort of hit/speed skill set that could absolutely wreak havoc at Coors. As the eighth most expensive hitter on a 10-game slate, I don’t think we see too many people go there if he’s hitting ninth. As of this writing, the Rockies have yet to announce an official starter for tonight’s game though Tyler Anderson looks to be the likely option.
SS: Carlos Correa, HOU ($4,300) vs. MIN
As an extreme flyball pitcher who is currently sporting an ugly 14.5% walk rate, Jake Odorizzi is seemingly always teetering on the brink. At this stage, he’s one of the more susceptible pitchers having allowed 50 home runs the last two seasons. And when you pit him against an offense that features plenty of talent, like the Astros, it’s not hard to imagine some runs being scored. What I like about Carlos Correa especially is the price. At $4,300 he provides excellent power upside at SS if you don’t quite have the capital to reach up to Trevor Story ($5,100) at Coors.
3B/OF: Chad Pinder, OAK ($3,500) vs. TEX
Through his first four starts, Mike Minor has been superb sporting a 2.60 ERA and WHIP under 1.00. But if last year was any indication (4.18 ERA and 4.53 xFIP) we shouldn’t be too terribly surprised if we see some regression. Worth noting too that his current K rate of 21% is just about what we saw last year at 20.5%, so really what we are seeing could just be the result of a favorable .211 BABIP and elevated strand rate in the early going. Chad Pinder, who figures to be in the lineup against the lefty Minor, provides some salary relief along with some good power evidenced by last year’s excellent 14.2% barrel rate and .363 xwOBA.
If Pinder doesn’t crack the lineup you can also look to his teammate Stephen Piscotty ($3,300) who has good power potential at a dirt-cheap price.
Tournament Stack: Astros vs MIN (RHP Jake Odorizzi)
With a game at Coors, we should see a ton of Rockies stacks this evening against Jeremy Hellickson and his lack of swing-and-miss ability (17.6% K rate last year). On the other side, it looks to be Tyler Anderson who is certainly a pitcher worth targeting against with Nationals bats.
I may have spoiled it earlier by mentioning Correa, but the Astros offense draws an exploitable matchup against Odorizzi, whose really poor control and flyball tendencies could get him in trouble against a very talented offense. Also worth noting here that, going back to 2016, Odorizzi has allowed a noticeably higher wOBA to right-handed batters at .331 as opposed to just .285 against lefties. So Jose Altuve ($4,900), George Springer ($5,000), and Alex Bregman ($4,800) all carry good power upside here and come at a nice discount off of the big name bats in Coors.
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.