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: Zack Greinke, ARI ($10,100) at TOR
Zack Greinke gets the coveted “Top Play” award mostly due to his price. The three pitchers listed below have just as much upside but are significantly more expensive. Greinke’s been really good this year, keeping his ERA hovering just above 3.00, while managing to get his minuscule walk rate down to 3.8%. Greinke’s opponent, the Blue Jays, has disappointed all year and have just a 78 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, second-worst in the league.
Honorable mention: Rich Hill, LAD ($11,000) at SFG, Max Scherzer, WAS ($12,000) at SDP, Lucas Giolito, CHW ($11,200) at KCR.
Value SP: Framber Valdez, HOU ($7,400) vs. BAL
Clickity-clack, time to roll the dice on the Astros newest man in the rotation, Framber Valdez. Valdez has been, well, serviceable out of the bullpen this year, sporting a 3.12 ERA over 26.0 innings. In his most recent appearance, Valdez went four scoreless innings, while allowing just four baserunners. On the downside, Valdez is striking out only 18.9% of batters, while walking 11.7%. The good news is he gets a matchup with the Orioles, who have the league’s worst K%-BB% against left-handed pitching at 20.0%. This is far from a sure thing, but I’m willing to roll the dice on Valdez’s rotation debut.
Honorable mention: Zach Davies, MIL ($6,700) vs. PIT.
Top Play: OF Ronald Acuna, ATL ($4,400) at MIA
This price is just entirely too cheap for a player of Ronald Acuna’s stature. I love that Acuna’s back to hitting out of the leadoff spot and he always seems to crush the Marlins. Today, Acuna will look to pick on Trevor Richards, who’s 3.53 ERA is not supported by his 4.85 SIERA. Richards is allowing a ton of free passes (10.8% BB%), but so far has managed to strand most of those runners (83.1% LOB). The righty Richards has reverse splits thanks to a changeup that he throws around 38% of the time, putting Acuna in a perfect spot to smash.
Honorable mention: OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,500) vs. CIN, 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, LAD ($5,600) at SFG, OF Nelson Cruz, MIN ($4,200) at DET.
Top Play: 3B Matt Chapman, OAK ($5,000) at TEX
The Athletics and Rangers play two today, but this pick is more specific to games one, where Matt Chapman will face Joe Palumbo. Palumbo, who will be making his major league debut, is the Rangers’ sixth-ranked prospect according to Fangraphs but has yet to pitch above AA. In fact, he’s accumulated just 60 total innings at the AA level. In this writeup over at Fangraphs, he’s described as having a good changup and curveball, and sits 93-96, but is not pitch efficient. Matt Chapman has destroyed lefties this year. For the season he has a 41.5% hard-hit rate against lefties, which has led to a .412 ISO and .420 wOBA. Being that this game is also in Arlington, the Athletics get a nice park bump.
Honorable mention: SS Trea Turner, WAS ($4,700) at SDP, 3B Yoan Moncada, CHW ($4,900) vs. KCR, C Yasmani Grandal, MIL ($4,600) vs. PIT.
Value: 2B Cesar Hernandez, PHI ($3,700) vs. CIN
Cesar Hernandez was the primary beneficiary of the Andrew McCutchen season-ending injury, at least from a lineup position. Hernandez found himself back at the top of the Phillies lineup, a role in which he held in previous years. The switch-hitting Hernandez has always been better from the left side of the plate and this year is no exception, where he has a .199 ISO and .373 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Today, Hernandez gets a matchup with Tanner Roark, who’s struggled against lefties pretty significantly. For the year, Roark has allowed a .218 ISO and .411 wOBA to left-handed batters, making Hernandez a really nice value play.
Honorable mention: OF Victor Robles, WAS ($4,000) at SDP; 3B Josh Donaldson, ATL ($4,000) at MIA; SS Jean Segura, PHI ($3,900) vs. CIN; OF Jesse Winker, CIN ($3,700) at PHI, 2B Travis Shaw, MIL ($2,400) vs. PIT.
Top Stack: Brewers vs. Pirates (RHP Jordan Lyles)
The Brewers hung a ten spot on the Pirates last night and I’m going right back to the well today. They face Jordan Lyles, who’s been decent against right-handed batters, but had some real struggles with lefties, allowing a .200 ISO and .354 wOBA. It just so happens the Brewers have one of the best lefties in the league in Christian Yelich ($5,900). While that price tag might be a little daunting, it’s easily offset by Travis Shaw’s ($2,400), which should let you get in a couple of the other lefties like Mike Moustakas ($5,200), Eric Thames ($4,300), and Yasmani Grandal ($4,600). I don’t even mind adding Lorenzo Cain ($4,000), who will be leading off at a cheaper price tag. Good luck today!
Honorable mention: Phillies vs. Reds (RHP Tanner Roark), Yankees at Indians (RHP Adam Plutko), Astros vs. Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner).
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.