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Top Play SP: James Paxton, NYY ($9,400) vs. KC
Any worries about James Paxton were assuaged his last turn when he became the first Yankee to strikeout 12 Red Sox since…yep you guessed it, Joba Chamberlain. Paxton’s 2018 strikeout rate of 32.3% leads the slate, and as of this writing, he is today’s biggest favorite (-230). The appeal is furthered by an unimposing Royals offense (.314 team wOBA 97 wRC+).
Honorable Mention: Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($10,700) at MIA
Value SP: Chris Archer, PIT ($8,900) vs. SF
Through his first three turns, Chris Archer has been impressive, tallying 31.8% called strikes+whiffs, good for a sparkling 34.3% K rate. That K rate won’t hold, but the main appeal this afternoon is a draw against an anemic Giants offense. So far in 2019, they’ve managed an MLB-worst .260 team wOBA and 60 wRC+. So there’s a good chance we’ll see Archer continue his strong start to the season in Pittsburgh.
Honorable Mention: David Price, BOS ($8,300) at TB.
OF: Charlie Blackmon, COL ($5,000) vs. PHI
There’s a game in Coors today, and as always it’s one of the first places to look for bats. Jerad Eickhoff does have some potential, so I don’t want to completely disregard that, but the lack of an appreciable track record makes him a target at a very tough park. Going back to 2017 when Eickhoff last saw a decent amount of innings, he showed a fairly pronounced split, allowing a .375 wOBA to lefty hitters. You can certainly look to Charlie Blackmon’s teammates David Dahl ($4,900) and Ryan McMahon ($4,400) as well.
OF: Michael Brantley, HOU ($4,600) at TEX
This is a fantastic spot for the Astros once again in Texas. They’ll face Shelby Miller, who in a brief stint last year showed a pretty nice strikeout rate at 24% that was supported by a subpar 8.5% swinging-K rate. He also struggled mightily with both walks (10.1%) and hard hits (53.8%). Fast-forward to this year and Miller has seen his K rate plummet to a ghastly 5.1% while allowing a .419 wOBA. As the cleanup hitter for a great Astros lineup, Michael Brantley should be looking at plenty of opportunities to drive in runs this afternoon against a struggling Miller at a great hitter’s park in Texas.
Value: 2B Robinson Cano, NYM ($3,600) at STL
The Mets will be going against Dakota Hudson this afternoon in St. Louis. In 27 innings, Hudson showed a well-below-average K rate of just 16.1% and poor control with an ugly 15.1% walk rate. Lefties, in particular, hit his sinker hard for a .377 wOBA. This year he’s managed to allow four home runs to lefties via his sinker. So this looks to be a potential weakness to exploit. Coming off his three-hit performance on Saturday, look for Robinson Cano to come out of an early-season malaise in a good matchup here.
Top Stack: HOU at TEX (RHP Shelby Miller)
The Astros disappointed last night in their matchup against Adrian Sampson. But there’s no reason to not go right back to the well this afternoon. I mentioned Brantley earlier, so you know I’m a big fan of the Astros’ matchup against Miller. So far, the former Cardinal has struggled mightily this year, allowing 11 walks and getting just three strikeouts. His struggles with control will do him no favors in a matchup against a really talented Astros lineup. So far he’s also allowed a .428 xwOBA—good for the bottom 1% of MLB.
The Twins in their matchup against Dylan Bundy at Camden Yards are also worth a long look. Through 171 innings last year, Bundy allowed 41 home runs, and so far this year he hasn’t fared much better. While he has a strong K:BB ratio, his tendency to give up the long ball hasn’t gone away this year as he’s given up seven through his first four starts. Don’t forget the O’s played in a doubleheader yesterday that saw the Twins post 16 runs in Game 2. So the O’s may be forced to go a little deeper into an already awful bullpen.
Honorable Mention: MIN at BAL (Dylan Bundy).
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.