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Top Play SP: Aaron Nola, PHI ($9,700) at SD
This is a really short four-game, all-day slate, so at my SP1, I’m going straight to the top with Aaron Nola. Nola’s had a rough go against lefty-heavy teams, but thankfully the Padres’ projected lineup only includes two left-handed batters in Eric Hosmer and Greg Garcia. The Padres currently have the lowest implied run total (Cubs/Angels total isn’t out yet) on the slate at 3.6 runs, and Nola gets a nice park upgrade going from hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park to Petco Park.
Honorable mention: Walker Buehler, LAD ($8,900) at ARI.
Value SP: Jon Lester, CHC ($7,000) vs. LAA
This is certainly not my favorite spot as the Angels strike out at the lowest rate in baseball against left-handed pitching. I’m not a big Jon Lester fan, but $7,000 is just a nice price for the starter on the team with the highest odds of winning today (-160). Just like everyone else, I’ve been anticipating the Lester regression monster showing up for the past year and a half, and he’s still managing to avoid it (3.59 ERA, 4.23 SIERA). The Angels are pretty much league average in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, which on a short slate like today makes Lester in play as my SP2.
Honorable mention: Corbin Martin, CLE ($7,100) at SEA.
Top Play: OF Mitch Haniger, SEA ($4,300) vs. HOU
I wanted to touch on the Mariners some, so while I’m not taking anything away from Mitch Haniger, I don’t want to use the phrase “Top Play” with him either. Corbin Martin has had a tumultuous start to his MLB career, going more than four innings only once and allowing two or more earned runs in all four starts this year. It’s a very small sample, but he’s allowing a 40% hard-hit rate to right-handed pitchers, which has led to a .485 ISO and .503 wOBA against. The Mariners have cooled off significantly from their early season surge, but this could be a matchup where the righties—Haniger, Edwin Encarnacion, and Domingo Santana—get a little on track.
Honorable mention: OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($5,200) at SDP.
Top Play: 3B Alex Bregman, HOU ($4,900) at SEA
This article might get pretty repetitive with anti-Wade LeBlanc propaganda, but Alex Bregman is the first batter I’m locking into my cash game lineups today. He currently has a .359 wOBA against lefties, and LeBlanc is allowing a 44.6% hard-hit rate to righties this year that has led to a .408 wOBA allowed. That hard-hit rate also comes along with a 41.0% fly-ball rate, which has helped lead to the .278 ISO allowed against right-handed batters.
Honorable mention: 2B/SS Javier Baez, CHC ($4,800) vs. LAA.
Value: OF Myles Straw, HOU ($3,500) at SEA
When I started my research on today’s slate I looked at all the projected lineups and made little notes for myself. I wrote down the Astros’ projected leadoff man with a question mark behind it because I had no idea who Myles Straw was. Straw profiles as a speedy top of the lineup bat, who has an 11.1% walk rate in Triple-A this year. Straw can get on base and steal a bag and gets a matchup against LeBlanc. Those attributes combined with his price make him an easy play today.
Honorable mention: OF Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($4,100) vs. LAA; 2B/OF Enrique Hernandez, LAD ($3,900) at ARI; 3B Maikel Franco, PHI ($3,600) at SDP; 1B/3B Yuli Gurriel, HOU ($3,500) at SEA.
Top Stack: Astros at Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc)
Haven’t you heard enough against bad LeBlanc? Maybe, but I haven’t touched on the fact that he’s also been bad against lefties as well. LeBlanc is allowing a 40% hard-hit rate and a 40% fly-ball rate, which has led to allowing a .241 ISO and .346 wOBA to left-handed batters. This puts the entire Astros’ lineup in play. I’ve already covered Straw and Bregman, but my other favorites are Michael Brantley ($4,600), Yuli Gurriel ($3,500), and Robinson Chirinos ($3,800). Good luck today!
Honorable mention: Cubs vs. Angels (RHP Cam Bedrosian).
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.
Danny Santana, have any lift in that Texas lineup? In light of the Gallo injury? Unless we see a time share with the DDS?