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Top Play SP: Mike Clevinger, CLE ($9,600) vs. MIN
I totally get it if this one makes you wince. Just don’t look at that box score for his most recent start against Baltimore. Oh, the pain. Granted we are talking about a very, very limited sample size with just 24 innings, but Mike Clevinger has shown some truly stellar bat-missing ability with a whopping 41.7% strikeout rate backed by a 15.9% swinging-strike rate. This is a tough matchup in the Twins, certainly, but there is still excellent upside here.
If you’re looking to avoid Clevinger at the top I can’t necessarily blame you. This is a tricky slate if you’re looking to pay up for pitching. At the top, there is Gerrit Cole ($11,600), but he gets a less than ideal matchup at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington against a Rangers team with good power (.192 team ISO). Domingo German is certainly also worth mentioning too. He was wonderfully efficient in his return against the Mets, needing just 80 pitches to navigate through six innings. He and the Yankees are massive home favorites (-273) against a light-hitting Blue Jays team.
Value SP: Robbie Ray, ARI ($7,900) at STL
Robbie Ray is a never an arm you feel really comfortable with given his struggles with walks (12.1% walk rate this year), but thankfully, he makes up for the free passes with an excellent strikeout rate north of 30%. At this price point, he carries excellent profit potential. Don’t forget Ray has been an arm that has carried a price tag well into the $10,000 range, so this looks like a really nice price discount to take advantage of. The Cardinals are a patient team (9.4% walk rate rate against left-handed pitchers), but they have otherwise been just about middle of the pack against southpaws with a .322 team wOBA and 100 wRC+.
OF: Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,800) vs. TOR
Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez has been an unmitigated disaster this year with a 4.9 K-BB% 5.56 FIP, 5.57 SIERA, and 1.75 WHIP. For his career, he has been much more successful against right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters (.332 wOBA allowed vs. left-handed hitters, .284 vs. right-handed hitters). But this year, hitters from both sides have really hit him hard, with right-handed hitters at a .377 wOBA allowed and left-handed hitters at a .347 wOBA. This has all the makings of a possible eruption spot for the Yankee offense as they are currently tied to an implied total of seven runs. That’s a lot! Aaron Judge would appear to carry some added upside this evening at the Bandbox in the Bronx against a seriously struggling Sanchez.
Honorable Mentions: OF Aaron Hicks ($4,400) vs. TOR (Aaron Sanchez), OF Austin Meadows ($4,400) at BAL (Dylan Bundy), OF Christian Yelich ($5,200) vs. SF (Shaun Anderson), 1B Daniel Murphy ($4,200) vs. CIN (Sonny Gray), OF David Dahl ($4,600) vs. CIN (Sonny Gray), OF Shohei Ohtani ($4,800) vs. SEA (Mike Leake).
OF: George Springer, HOU ($4,800) at TEX
This could be a nice opportunity to buy Astros leadoff man George Springer at a small discount. Chavez has shown some noticeable reverse splits this year with a .353 allowed to right-handed hitters. This could bode well for Springer as well as his righty teammates Alex Bregman (if healthy), Jose Altuve, and Yulieski Gurriel. The big rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez may not be a righty, but we know the massive upside he brings. The Astros carry a nice implied total of over five and a half runs tonight.
Another interesting name to keep an eye out on particularly in tournaments is Adalberto Mondesi. As of this writing, the Tigers have yet to announce a starter for tonight’s game. Rest assured I think we’re safe here in assuming whoever gets the assignment isn’t someone to fear considering the sorry state of the Tigers staff. Mondesi always carries monster upside as a dual threat, and he could be worth it tonight in a potentially overlooked matchup on a near full slate.
Honorable Mentions: SS Adalberto Mondesi, ($4,700) vs. DET (TBD), OF Yordan Alvarez, ($4,800) vs. TEX (Jesse Chavez), OF Michael Brantley, ($4,700) at TEX (Jesse Chavez), 3B Mike Moustakas, ($4,700) vs. SF (Shaun Anderson), OF J.D. Martinez (GPP), ($4,400) vs. LAD (Kenta Maeda), 3B/SS Alex Bregman at TEX (Jesse Chavez).
Value: 2B Scooter Gennett, CIN ($3,800) at COL
Scooter Gennett missed the final game before the break with a groin strain, though he was evidently available to pinch-hit, so thankfully it sounds like it was precautionary. Assuming he’s in there tonight and ready to go, he stands out as a nice potential value at second base especially when you consider the Coors boost. He’ll get Jon Gray tonight, so it’s not an easy matchup by any means, but again, given the venue and the fact that Scooter mauled righties last year to the tune of a .375 wOBA, this looks like a rock-solid value tonight.
There are a pair of very good hitters who are priced at noticeable discounts tonight in Justin Upton and Khris Davis. Upton and the Angels will face Mike Leake. Leake hasn’t been terrible by any means (13.8 K-BB%, 4.88 FIP) but he has allowed 23 home runs so far and is more or less the definition of a hittable pitcher. This is a matchup that a hitter of Upton’s caliber could certainly take advantage of. Davis has been underwhelming this year, but part of that could definitely be blamed on injuries. It’s fair to wonder if he’s still fighting through some lingering injuries, but hopefully the All-Star break afforded him an opportunity to get fully healthy. He’ll get an opportunity against a well below average opponent tonight in Ivan Nova.
Honorable Mentions: OF Justin Upton ($3,800) vs. SEA (Mike Leake), SS Andrelton Simmons ($3,600) vs. SEA (Mike Leake), OF Kris Davis ($3,700) vs. CWS (Ivan Nova), C Buster Posey ($3,600) at MIL (Chase Anderson), OF Jackie Bradley (GPP) ($3,700) vs. LAD (Kenta Maeda), OF Eloy Jimenez ($3,700) at OAK (Mike Fiers).
Top Stack: NYY vs. TOR (Aaron Sanchez)
As you could probably guess from Judge earlier, we should have a lot of interest in the Yankees tonight. Sanchez has shown an ugly walk rate (13% rate) along with a .360 xwOBA. A trip to the Bronx against a patient and powerful lineup is just about as tough as a spot as you could conjure up for Sanchez. Of course, their gaudy implied total of seven runs will certainly garner a lot of attention.
Fortunately, though, there are a ton of places to look for offense tonight. The Rays head to Camden Yards against Dylan Bundy. Bundy has been pretty solid this year, so I can’t knock on him too much. Still, we know he’s very home run prone (20 allowed this year), and the Orioles pen is a treasure trove for bats should he struggle early.
Also on the board tonight are the Astros, who will continue their series at Texas. After getting shut down last night by the resurgent Lance Lynn, this is a bounce-back spot for one of the best offenses in all of baseball as they’ll get Jesse Chavez tonight. He’s shown some significant reverse splits this year evidenced by a .353 wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters, so we could certainly see the Astros stack up some runs tonight too.
The Brewers offense also find themselves in a potential get right matchup against Shaun Anderson. He’s looked very susceptible across his 55 innings this year with just a 13.3% strikeout rate (4.9 K-BB%) and .361 xwOBA. The Brewers, similar to the Astros, have an implied total just over five and a half runs.
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.