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.
Top Play SP: Chris Sale, BOS ($10,000) vs. TB
Today’s top dog Chris Sale is a surprisingly light favorite (-152) against the Rays and Tyler Glasnow. The concern for Sale having thus far tallied a 7.44 ERA and 1.52 WHIP appears to be real. I’m going to bite the bullet here and go with the arm whose had a long track record of success. Sale was good, not great in his last start against Detroit racking up 10 K’s but needing 97 pitches to get through just five frames. The added silver lining in that last start being an excellent 37% Called Strikes+Whiffs (CSW).
Glancing at the weather the night before there could be some rain in the forecast in Boston so keep an eye out. If that game gets washed out I’d have no problem pivoting on over to Jack Flaherty as a top SP. A pair of clunkers against the Brewers have dragged down his ratios, but he’s otherwise been in good form. He’ll be at home against a Reds offense that has been dreadful in the early going (.285 wOBA and 72 wRC+).
Honorable Mention: Jack Flaherty, STL ($10,300) vs CIN
Value SP: Kyle Gibson, MIN ($7,400) vs. BAL
I have to say it’s extremely odd to see a slate that features Chris Sale at home and yet the biggest favorite is (-190 as of this writing) a guy who is currently rocking a 6.10 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. To be fair, his true talent level is probably closer to around an ERA of 4.30 or so (4.25 SIERA last year). This is really a matchup play more than anything else as a big home favorite against an Orioles offense that so far this year has managed an anemic .305 wOBA and 88 wRC+. Last time out against these same O’s Gibson managed a reasonable line of 6 IP 6 K’s and 2 earned runs.
If you’re a squeamish about Gibson I can’t blame you. Kevin Gausman ($8,200) at a similar price point is another arm to consider. He’s another reasonable home favorite (-150 as of this writing) against an offense that’s been more bark than bite in the Rockies (.295 OBP .296 wOBA).
Honorable Mention: Kevin Gausman, ATL ($8,200) vs COL.
OF: Mike Trout, LAA ($5,600) at KC
What can we say about Mike Trout at this point? The greatest player in baseball heading into the year may very well be reaching another level. We’re right around the point where K rates are pretty reliable. Trout’s now sits at 11.3%. That’s backed by a 2.3% swinging K rate. Last year his K rate was 20.4%. Yeah, he’s pretty good. The Angels will face Homer Bailey this afternoon. He got some nice results two starts in a row against Cleveland and the Yankees before not surprisingly crashing back down to earth against Tampa his last time out. The BAT has his ERA projected at just under five, so chances are good that those two good starts was a mirage. This is as good of a spot as any for Trout and the Angels offense against Bailey and a suspect KC bullpen.
Eddie Rosario‘s price is tough, but it’s awfully hard to argue against it given his performance to start the year. He gets Dylan Bundy here whose long been both home run prone and much more suspect against lefty hitters.
3B: Josh Donaldson, ATL ($4,400) vs COL
The Atlanta Braves get a favorable matchup against Tyler Anderson who is off to a horrible start this year with an ugly 4.8% K-BB%. Going back to last year, Anderson was pretty close to an average starting pitcher with a 4.22 SIERA and 22.3% K rate. This figures to be a pretty reasonable spot for the Braves to score some runs. This is a very appealing price point for the Braves’ likely two-hole hitter in Josh Donaldson who will hold the platoon advantage and boasts very strong batted ball metrics so far this year (94 MPH EV). The Braves implied run total of just over five runs leads this ten game slate.
Honorable Mention: Vladimir Guerrero Jr, ($4,300) vs OAK (Chris Bassitt)
Value: 3B Manny Machado, SD ($3,900) at WAS
In just over 18 innings this year Jeremy Hellickson has shown the lowest K rate of the slate at 11.6% which coincidentally matches his walk rate. Yikes. This is a good spot to take a chance on some Padres hitters. Manny Machado is off to a slow start but this way too cheap of a price for a hitter of his talent level. And it’s a legitimately good matchup to boot. His teammate Eric Hosmer is never a thrilling roster given his groundball tendencies but he can also provide salary relief here too.
Top Stack: MIN vs BAL (RHP Dylan Bundy)
Over the past two seasons, Dylan Bundy has allowed a whopping 67 home runs. And it would appear he’s well on his way to continuing that trend in 2019 having allowed seven so far this year. Bundy has shown a very respectable K rate of 24.5% this year and last but he’ll face a Twins offense that excels at making contact with a 19% K rate (4th best). In particular, look out for the left-handed hitters in Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Polanco as Bundy allowed a .399 wOBA to left-handed hitters last year. Nelson Cruz is certainly a great play too but just know that Bundy has been a little better against righties (.325 wOBA allowed last year). And Byron Buxton at the bottom of the order is an interesting play if you are searching for a lower owned tournament play.
Honorable Mention: ATL vs COL (Tyler Anderson).
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.