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: Max Scherzer, WAS ($11,100) vs. MIA
Max Scherzer hasn’t exactly been the Cy Young winner he’s been in the past, but what better of a get-right spot than facing the Marlins. Despite his slight struggles, Scherzer still has a 32.4% strikeout rate to go along with a 2.99 SIERA. The Marlins, on the other hand, have legit struggled. They’re dead last in wOBA and ISO against right-handed pitchers and have the fourth-worst strikeout rate at 26%. Scherzer has a hefty price to pay, but in cash games, he’s worth the security as my SP1.
Honorable mention: Clayton Kershaw, LAD ($10,200) vs. NYM.
Value SP: Yonny Chirinos, TB ($7,900) vs. TOR
Any time the Rays actually announce that Yonny Chirinos is starting the game and I don’t have to play their opener shell game, I’m happy. Chirinos has been decent this year, sporting a 3.20 ERA; however, his 4.30 SIERA predicts some darker days ahead. Diving in a little, Chirinos has some troubling numbers this year in his swinging-strike rate and strikeout rate being down from last season. He relies heavily on his sinker, throwing the pitch almost 60% of the time, but only has a 38.5% ground-ball rate. While Tropicana Field will help to hide some of those fly balls, I’d be weary of using him in a more batter-friendly park. Thankfully, we get him at home today against a Blue Jays team that has struggled against right-handed pitching. They have the sixth-highest strikeout rate at 25.4% and the fifth-worst wRC+ against righties.
Honorable mention: Mitch Keller, PIT ($5,900) at CIN.
Top Play: OF Andrew Benintendi, BOS ($4,500) vs. CLE
This is my favorite play on today’s slate. I get the top of the Red Sox lineup at this price against Jefry Rodriguez, who’s allowed a .377 wOBA to left-handed batters, while striking out just 15.6% of batters. The Red Sox will put the ball in play all day, and I get their leadoff hitter, Andrew Benintendi, at $4,500? Yes, please.
Top Play: 1B Matt Olson, OAK ($4,000) vs. LAA
The Athletics have a matchup with Trevor Cahill and frankly, Cahill has been lit up against left-handed batters. He’s allowed a 50.7% hard-hit rate to lefties, which has led to a .283 ISO and .423 wOBA. Batting in the middle of the Athletics’ lineup is Matt Olson. Since the beginning of 2018, Olson has a 47.8% hard-hit rate against lefties, along with a .243 ISO. At this price, Olson is an easy lock into my first base slot in cash games.
Value: C Tucker Barnhart, CIN ($3,400) vs. PIT
Sorry Nick, but today we’re picking on Nick Kingham. Kingham’s struggled this year to a 5.09 SIERA, and left-handed hitters have crushed him to the tune of a .388 ISO and .516 wOBA, along with giving up a 44.2% hard-hit rate. So Tucker Barnhart fits multiple categories for me. Numero uno is that he fills the catcher position with a relatively nice pay-down price. Numero dos is that he actually has upside at this pay-down price. This combo makes it easy to lock Barnhart into my catcher spot.
Honorable mention: OF Geraldo Parra, WAS ($3,900) vs. MIA, 2B Nicky Lopez, KCR ($3,600) at CHW.
Top Stack: Red Sox vs. Indians (RHP Jefry Rodriguez)
The Red Sox have the highest implied run total on today’s Memorial Day slate at 5.8 runs. They get a matchup with right-handed pitcher, Jefry Rodriguez, who is only striking out 15.2% of the batters he faces, while having a 5.14 SIERA. Since the start of 2018, Rodriguez has done a relatively decent job of limiting damage by right-handed batters but has gotten lit up by lefties, allowing a .257 ISO and .387 wOBA. While I’m not against playing Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts, the left-handed bats will be my primary targets. As I mentioned earlier, I love Andrew Benintendi, and we can add Mitch Moreland ($4,700), Rafael Devers ($5,300), Brock Holt ($4,200), and the suddenly hot Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,500) to our stack. Devers is the only one whose price makes him a little tough to fit in if I’m paying up for Scherzer, but that should keep his ownership somewhat low as well.
Honorable mention: Twins vs. Brewers (LHP Gio Gonzalez).
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.