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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 2018-19 MLB seasons combined unless otherwise noted below.
OK% = Opponent team strikeout rate (2019 year to date).
ML = Money Line.
This article was written the night before; some money lines may not yet be available (TBD).
SP: Aaron Nola, PHI ($9,000) vs. DET
Owner of a 5.68 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, Aaron Nola is tonight’s biggest favorite (-215 as of this writing) against Daniel Norris and the Detroit Tigers. He’s been a big disappointment so far this year, but tonight presents a nice buy-low opportunity for Nola against a Tigers team that has struck out a league-worst 27.1% clip. They’ve shown very little power too, hitting a league-low 19 home runs to date. So this is a great chance for Nola to post a ceiling-type game at a nice discount from the top guns tonight in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
SP: Caleb Smith, MIA ($8,600) vs. CLE
The Indians currently have a pretty meager implied total of right around 3.5 runs so there’s some respect for what Caleb Smith has been doing thus far. And really last year too, if you happened to notice before he got hurt. So far this year in addition to the shiny 2.17 ERA and .83 WHIP he’s shown a superb 33.9% K rate backed by an incredible 15.6% swinging K rate. His price is on the rise, but I still think there is upside even at this elevated price point especially tonight against an Indians offense that’s been susceptible to striking out in the early going.
3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR ($4,000) at LAA
This is all about the price. It’s difficult to find huge upside bats at just $4,000, so the biggest rookie in baseball Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sticks out like a sore thumb at this price. To be perfectly honest, the matchup doesn’t stand out by the numbers. Felix Pena has been pretty decent the past two seasons with a 4.07 SIERA and 15 K-BB% and he’s actually been noticeably worse against lefties (.336 wOBA allowed vs LHB for his career). So this is really all about buying a huge talent at a discount while we still can.
If you’re looking to attack Pena strictly by the numbers, then the lefty-hitting Rowdy Tellez ($3,900) provides some good power at a reasonable price and has been impressive so far this year with a .367 xwOBA and 92.6 average exit velocity. He does swing and miss a lot (29.3%) so he has the makings of a boom/bust option.
OF: Michael Conforto, NYM ($4,700) vs. CIN
On the surface, Anthony DeSclafani hasn’t been too bad especially lately coming off of two nice starts on the road against San Diego and St. Louis. But a closer look reveals that he’s really struggled with his control this year, evidenced by an elevated 10.1% BB rate. So a patient Mets team, whose 10.1% walk rate is good for eighth best, could look to take advantage. Throughout his career, lefties have really been Disco Stew’s undoing, as he’s allowed an alarming .360 wOBA to lefties as opposed to just a .285 mark against righties. So it certainly makes sense to look at the lefty bats here. I’ll highlight Michael Conforto here as he has the most power of the bunch, though also keep a look out for Robinson Cano ($3,900) — he would provide nice value at a tough position provided he returns to the lineup tonight.
SS: Trevor Story, COL ($5,200) at MIL
As of this writing, the Rockies have a fairly modest implied team total of just over four runs, so chances are that away from Coors they could be overlooked. That could be a mistake though, as they get an exploitable matchup against Chase Anderson who has a 4.61 SIERA and about an average K rate of just 20.6% the past two seasons. For his career, Anderson has shown some pretty noticeable reverse splits, allowing a .341 wOBA to righties as opposed to .300 against lefties. This is a spot to attack with Trevor Story who makes for a really nice GPP bat to consider as the most expensive SS of the slate.
Tournament Stack: COL at MIL (RHP Chase Anderson)
There are a couple of spots that really stick out for stacks tonight, with the Phillies at home in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park against a suspect Daniel Norris, as well as the Braves at home against the Padres’ Cal Quantrill who will be making his MLB debut.
I’ll go with the road Rockies for some of the same reasons I mentioned with Story above. Chase Anderson is a pitcher with a mediocre K rate, in addition to leaning heavily in favor of flyballs (0.77 GB/FB past two seasons). He’s no stranger to the long ball either, having served up 30 last year across 158 innings. So we could certainly see a talented Rockies lineup take advantage tonight on the road in a nice hitter’s park.
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.