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Top Play SP: Mike Clevinger, CLE ($9,600) at BAL
Injuries have picked apart most of Mike Clevinger‘s season thus far, but what we have seen of him through his first two starts was just lovely with two double-digit strikeout games back in April supported by an excellent 16.5% swinging-strikeout rate. This play might be a little ambitious considering he wasn’t too efficient in his first start back from his back ailment, and he’s now once again coming off the IL albeit from a minor ankle tweak. Still, the combination of price discount off tonight’s top ace Jacob deGrom and matchup is too good to ignore. The Orioles have predictably been a great team to pick on this year with a dreadful .296 team wOBA and 24% strikeout rate.
Value SP: Eric Lauer, SD ($6,200) vs. STL
Eric Lauer hasn’t really shown much strikeout upside at all (18.3% strikeout rate), but this is all about the very cheap price here. Pitching is tricky tonight in that there aren’t too many standout options, especially in the mid-tier range, so I wouldn’t mind the idea of completely punting at SP2 with Lauer. The Cardinals have been a surprisingly weak team offensively this year too (.309 team wOBA, 90 wRC+). The Padres are modest home favorites (-124) here tonight.
In that same game, Michael Wacha ($5,900) may gain some traction tonight as a value play, but he’s someone who I’d be looking to fade. The underlying skills are not sharp with Wacha, evidenced by a 5.81 FIP/5.19 xFIP and 8% K-BB%. Wacha has also been a guy with very strong reverse split tendencies for his career and that has shown up this year too with an ugly .419 wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters. That could be a problem tonight against a Padres lineup that features a lot of righty power.
3B: Anthony Rendon, WAS ($5,300) at DET
Anthony Rendon has continued to be one of the best hitters in all of baseball, posting a .313 average and an excellent 1.027 OPS near the midway mark of the season. He’ll hold the platoon advantage against the lefty Daniel Norris tonight, who, similar to Danny Duffy, has dealt with a sharp drop in velocity the past couple of seasons. To his credit, however, Norris’ changeup has really helped him mitigate righties this year with a 40% whiff rate and just a .264 xwOBA. Still, the Nationals are certainly a team worth targeting as their robust implied total of over 5.5 runs can attest.
Honorable Mentions: SS Francisco Lindor ($5, 000) at BAL (John Means), SS Fernando Tatis ($5,600) (GPP option) vs. STL (Michael Wacha), 3B/SS Alex Bregman ($4,700) vs. SEA (Tommy Milone), OF Christian Yelich ($5,900) (GPP option) vs. PIT (Chris Archer).
OF: Nelson Cruz, MIN ($4,900) at CWS
As of this writing, the White Sox have yet to announce a starter for tonight’s game. Whoever ends up getting the start for the White Sox could end up being a nice matchup for the visiting Twins, and Nelson Cruz should be right in the thick of things hitting third.
Also worth mentioning is Bryce Harper, who has been a disappointment in year one of his mega-deal with the Phillies. Tonight, the Phillies will square off against Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez. Hernandez has shown off some increased strikeout ability in the minors this year (34.3 K% in 48 IP in Triple-A), but he’s still, of course, far from proven at the MLB level. At a depressed price point against an inexperienced right-handed pitcher, Harper is worth considering tonight.
Honorable Mentions: 1B Anthony Rizzo, ($4,800) at CIN (Sonny Gray), OF Bryce Harper, ($4,100) at MIA (Elisier Hernandez), OF Kyle Schwarber ($4,100) vs. CIN (Gray), 3B Mike Moustakas, ($4,900) vs. PIT (Chris Archer)
Value: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr, TOR ($3,400) vs KC
Duffy has had some good starts this year, but he’s just not the same guy he was at his peak back in 2016, when his fastball averaged a robust 95.5 mph as opposed to the 92 he mostly sits at now. This is simply put just way too cheap of a price for one of the most talented rookies in baseball. And as you’d venture to guess, Duffy has been notably worse against righties for his career, allowing a .333 wOBA to righties as opposed to just a .261 mark against lefties.
Top Stack: LAD at COL (Antonio Senzatela)
Despite a big 14-game slate this evening, most eyes will be drawn to Coors field, and with good reason as one of the best offenses in baseball will get to take advantage of the elevation. The Dodgers’ current implied run total sits at just under seven runs and easily leads the slate. Add to that a matchup with Antonio Senzatela, who hasn’t been very good to put it nicely—posting a hideous 3.2% K-BB% through 77 innings, which puts him right at the bottom of the list of tonight’s starters. Keep in mind, too, that this will also be the Dodgers’ second time seeing him in quick succession as his last start was at Chavez Ravine. Looking at Senzatela’s splits for his career, he’s been slightly more susceptible against left-handed hitters (.333 wOBA vs. left-handed hitters and .324 vs. right-handed hitters).
Honorable Mention: MIL vs. PIT (Chris Archer), MIN at CWS (TBD).
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.