itcher 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.
Top Play SP: James Paxton, NYY ($9,600) @ SFG
There are a lot of awesome options on today’s massive 15-game slate but none more awesome than James Paxton facing the Giants in Oracle Park. Paxton has been nothing short of phenomenal over his past two starts, going 14 innings pitched with zero runs, and 24 strikeouts. The Giants rank bottom three in the league in wOBA and walk rate versus left-handed pitching, and today’s lineup will feature just one batter with an ISO greater than .200 over the past two seasons. Paxton will be popular today, but it’s justified and necessary in a cash lineup.
Value SP: Jerad Eickhoff, PHI ($7,900) vs. MIA
Jerad Eickhoff was thrown back into the proverbial frying pan in his first start back this year and survived. He managed to go six innings, four runs (meh), four walks (meh), eight strikeouts (YES), in Coors. I’d even describe this start as a Careful, Icarus, as three of those earned runs came in the sixth inning. Small sample, but so far, Eickhoff has a 33.3% strikeout rate and gets a lovely matchup with the Marlins, whose projected starting lineup has struck out 27% of the time against right-handed pitchers this year. I’m confident that Eickhoff can build on his previous strong start, but just keep an eye on the weather in this game. There’s rain in the forecast well into first-pitch time, so they should be able to get this game in, just with a late start.
Honorable mention: Martin Perez, MIN ($6,800) vs. BAL.
Top Play: OF Domingo Santana, SEA ($4,800) vs. TEX
Domingo Santana and the Mariners have one of my favorite matchups on the slate facing Shelby Miller and then that awful Rangers bullpen. My favorite stacks come from games when there’s a bad starter combined with a terrible bullpen. Miller comes into this game with a 7.49 SIERA along with a -8.5% K%-BB%, which is worst among pitchers who have thrown at least 10 innings this year. When he’s not walking batters, he’s allowed a 47.5% hard-hit rate. Following Miller will be the bullpen with a league-worst 4.81 SIERA, who also have the league’s worst strikeout rate of all bullpens in baseball. In other words, Santana and the Mariners are facing terrible pitchers all night. Santana is off to a hot start, sporting a .383 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers and should hit third in today’s lineup.
Top Play: 3B Matt Carpenter, STL ($4,100) vs. CIN
This is without a doubt my favorite play on today’s slate. Matt Carpenter gets a matchup against Anthony DeSclafani, whom he’s completely owned in his career. I know BvP is small sample size data, but it’s impossible for me to ignore the line of 9-22 with three homers, six walks, a .607 wOBA and a .591 ISO. Between 2018 and 2019, DeSclafani has allowed a .394 wOBA and .290 ISO to left-handed hitters, while allowing a 41.8% hard-hit rate. At just $4,100, Carpenter is an easy lock for my cash-game lineup.
Value: OF Nick Castellanos, DET ($3,900) @ CHW
This is just too cheap of a price for Nick Castellanos, despite his slow start. In 2018, Castellanos ranked 13th in wOBA against left-handed pitching at .424. Castellanos will face lefty Carlos Rodon, who throws a fastball, slider, and changeup, with the slider being his primary offspeed pitch. Since 2016, Castellanos has a .444 wOBA and 359 ISO against sliders coming from left-handed pitchers, along with a 56.0% hard-hit rate. So I’m looking past Castellanos’s early-season struggles and grabbing this value to add to my lineup today.
Top Stack: Twins vs. Orioles (RHP Alex Cobb)
The last time the Twins saw Alex Cobb, he was just allowing nine runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings pitched on April 20, and I don’t expect much to change today. Cobb throws his splitter 50.7% of the time, and over just two starts this year, the pitch has earned a -6.5 pVAL. The Twins bats are not cheap, but that should keep the ownership down. My favorite play is Nelson Cruz ($4,700), who has a .383 wOBA in the young season. In additions, you can grab Max Kepler ($4,200), Jorge Polanco ($5,100), Eddie Rosario ($5,300), and everyone’s favorite catcher Willians Astudillo ($4,200), if he’s in the lineup. As of this writing, the Twins have the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.7 runs.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) 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.