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Top Play SP: James Paxton, NYY ($9,500) at CWS
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! We’ve got an 11-game slate to look at this afternoon. A total dud of a performance in his last outing against the crosstown rival Mets has given us a decent discount on the Yankee lefty James Paxton. That last start was a total disaster as he failed to get out of the third inning all the while allowing nine base runners and six earned runs. But I think we take the discount here on the Big Maple who has been routinely priced past $10,000 throughout the year. His 21.3% K-BB% leads the slate just ahead of the very impressive Angels rookie Griffin Canning (20.4%) who himself is a nice tournament option to consider at $8,800. This is a nice bounce-back spot for Paxton as the White Sox have been a really friendly matchup for strikeouts with their 25% team K rate being good for fourth highest. Worth mentioning too that Paxton and the Yankees are the second biggest favorites on the board at -202. We’ve seen the massive upside that Paxton presents (4/16 vs BOS) and at this price he’s awfully hard to overlook.
Value SP: Martin Perez, MIN ($7,300) vs KC
If you have shares of Martin Perez in season-long it’s been a really frustrating stretch lately. The added velocity (94.3 MPH average FB velocity in 2019; 92.6 in 2018) has helped spike his K rate to a career-high 21.8% this year and that’s made him a guy worth chasing especially on an exceptional Twins team. But the walks (10.7 % BB rate) have really held him back. The good thing about Perez this afternoon is that the Royals present a favorable matchup for him in that they are a fairly aggressive team with a walk rate at just 7.8% (23rd). The Twins are big home favorites as of this writing (-172) too and at just $7,300 there’s some nice upside for Perez here.
3B: Josh Donaldson, ATL ($4,000) vs PHI
The Braves will be facing the Phillies’ rookie lefty Cole Irvin this afternoon. Irvin has struggled through his 21 innings this year in the show to the tune of a 5.48 ERA. He’s thus far shown very little in terms of bat-missing ability with just a 15.9% K rate in AAA this year. This looks like a tough spot for the young lefty who will be facing a really talented Braves lineup on the road and on short notice as he was called up just prior to his scheduled start for the AAA Iron Pigs last night. The veteran Josh Donaldson is really reasonably priced here and will hold the platoon advantage.
OF: Mookie Betts, BOS ($4,800) at BAL
Last year’s AL MVP seems underpriced here considering he’ll be leading off at Camden Yards. Now, in fairness to John Means, he’s actually pitched really well to the tune of a 2.60 ERA and 1.10 WHIP due in large part to a very effective changeup. But I don’t think it’s too terribly surprising that we see some regression coming for the Orioles lefty considering the BAT has him pegged for an ERA north of 5.00. Worth noting for today especially that this will be the Red Sox third time facing Means this year and their implied team total currently sits at over five and a half runs making the dynamic Boston leadoff man an appealing target.
Value: Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($4,100) at NYM
I know, I know. Paul Goldschmidt has been decidedly bland this year but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention him here in his matchup against the soft-tossing lefty Jason Vargas. Vargas, well, the results have been impressive lately as he’s managed to eat some serious innings for a beleaguered Met bullpen and against good hitting teams too in the Yankees and Dodgers in two of his last three turns. But we know this can’t last. Or can it? Nah. We’ve seen this before. And Vegas doesn’t appear to be buying the Houdini act either as the Cardinals have a solid implied total of over four and a half runs.
Top Stack: MIN vs KC (Jakob Junis)
The Twins have one of the more notable implied totals of the slate at over five and a half runs. They’ll face off against Jakob Junis who last year was tied for third in home runs allowed at 32. This year hasn’t been too different as he’s allowed 14 so far. Looking at his splits the last two years Junis has allowed big power to both sides but he’s been a little more giving against left-handed hitters allowing a .353 wOBA and .190 ISO as opposed to a .324 wOBA and .199 ISO against righties. While the big righties in Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, and Miguel Sano always carry power upside it’s worth noting that Junis’s K rate against lefties drops to just 19.2% (23.2% against RHB) so we can give an edge to the lefties here in Max Kepler ($4,900), Jorge Polanco ($5,000) and Eddie Rosario ($4,700).
Honorable Mention: NYY at CWS (Odrisamer Despaigne).
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.