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.
Please note, this article is being written for the all-day slate that starts Monday at 2:10 PM.
Top Play SP: Blake Snell, TBR ($10,600) @ CHW
Last year’s AL Cy Young faces the team that was dead last in wOBA versus lefties last year — is that a matchup I can interest you in? Well then welcome to the Blake Snell party. Snell gets a dream matchup facing the light-hitting San Francisco Giants in the best pitcher’s park in the league. There’s a good chance that Snell is chalk today, but I’m in on this chalk.
Snell is starting at the White Sox, definitely a tougher park than SF (not a high bar), but he gets what is arguably a better strikeout matchup. Every batter in the projected White Sox lineup has a 20%+ K rate versus left-handed pitchers and only Jose Abreu had an ISO greater than .200 in 2018 against LHP.
Honorable mention: Justin Verlander, HOU ($10,400) vs NYY.
Value SP: Kyle Freeland, COL ($6,200) vs ATL
Using a starter in Coors? Against a good team? Hear me out. The lower-priced options on this slate are pretty bad. If you’re into using Homer Bailey or Andrew Cashner then more power to you — I’ll be looking to Kyle Freeland who I feel has a much higher upside than the other options. Between 2017 and 2018, Freeland has pitched 180.2 innings in Coors and turned in a 3.04 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. To start 2019, Freeland has increased both his swinging strike rate and O-Swing% and consequently increased his K rate from 20.5% in 2018 to 31.3% in 2019 (small sample).
Honorable mention: Marco Estrada, OAK ($7,300) @ BAL.
Top Play: OF Khris Davis, OAK ($5,200) @ BAL
Khris Davis checks multiple boxes for me today. First, he gets a really nice matchup against Andrew Cashner. One of the few knocks against Davis is his upper-20 K%, so facing Cashner who only strikes out 14.5% of batters (22.3 K% was league average in 2018) is a big upgrade. This game being played in Camden Yards takes Davis from being in the third-worst park for home runs to the ninth-best park. Davis is always a threat to have a multiple home run game and taking away his two biggest weaknesses puts him in a really nice spot.
Honorable mention: OF Mitch Haniger, SEA ($4,600) @ KCR.
Top Play: SS Adalberto Mondesi, KCR ($4,800) vs SEA
Adalberto Mondesi and the Royals get a premium matchup against Felix Hernandez. In 2018, Hernandez allowed a 41.2% hard-hit rate to left-handed batters, which led to lefties having a .361 wOBA and .259 ISO. Mondesi is off to a hot start, batting .300, and the Royals’ lineup has had some surprising pop out of Alex Gordon, who bats right behind Mondesi.
Honorable mention: 1B Edwin Encarnacion, SEA ($4,300) @ KCR.
Value: OF Hunter Renfroe, SDP ($3,900) @ SFG
In 2018, Madison Bumgarner allowed a 43.6% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters, while only striking out 18.1% of them. On Monday, San Diego should roll out at least seven right-handed batters, with Hunter Renfroe batting right in the middle of all the action. Renfroe had a .240 ISO and .346 wOBA in 2018 versus left-handed pitchers and, for what it’s worth, is 5/13 with two homers against Bumgarner in his career.
Top Stack: Athletics @ Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner)
As noted in the Khris Davis writeup, the Athletics get a really nice matchup facing Andrew Cashner. In 2018 Cashner struck out only 14.5% of the batters he faced while allowing a .365 wOBA to left-handed batters and .377 wOBA to right-handed batters. The Athletics also get a huge park upgrade, so feel free to stack up whatever Athletics bats that tickle your fancy. For me, I love Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Stephen Piscotty.
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.