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: Shane Bieber, CLE ($10,400) vs. KC
The Indians and Shane Bieber are tonight’s biggest favorites at -281. Bieber has really burst onto the scene this year, boasting an excellent 3.50 ERA and even 1.00 WHIP. He’s gotten plenty of outs via the swing and miss too, with a dazzling 31.6% strikeout rate. His 26.5% K-BB rate leads tonight’s slate that includes two longtime aces in Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom. The Royals are a well-below-average lineup (.311 team wOBA, 91 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers), and don’t forget they will also be without a key cog in their lineup tonight in Adalberto Mondesi.
Mets ace deGrom is of course also worthy of consideration. His skills remain among the best in baseball (3.31 xFIP, 3.13 FIP, and 30.6% strikeout rate). His Mets are heavy road favorites (-174) tonight taking on what has been an anemic Giants offense (.303 wOBA, 87 wRC+ vs RHP). Both the Giants and Royals feature the lowest implied totals of the slate at right around 3.5 runs.
Value SP: J.A. Happ, NYY ($6,400) vs. COL
The Yankees and J.A. Happ are another big home favorite this evening (-219). Happ has had a very tough time with the longball this year as he’s allowed 20 so far this year (16.8% HR/FB). Then again I suppose you could say that about every pitcher this year with the home run epidemic that has seemingly taken the league by storm. Happ’s underlying numbers don’t really scream upside (19.1% strikeout rate, 4.91 xFIP, 5.17 FIP), but the hope here is that he can take advantage of a perhaps sneakily dreadful road Rockies offense as their road wOBA of .277 is easily the worst in baseball. There’s risk here given the home run issues, but at this price, Happ could easily return reasonable value.
There are a couple of other interesting arms to consider in this cheap price range too. Tyler Mahle ($6,000) has shown some pretty decent strikeout ability this year (24.3% strikeout rate) and gets a matchup against the Cardinals, who have been a below-average offense against right-handed pitchers (.304 team wOBA vs RHP). Though, similar to Happ, there is power risk here given the hitter-friendly venue of the Great American Ball Park.
And there may still be hope yet for Giants righty Tyler Beede ($6,200), who as our own Daniel Port points out here has been riding his slider to some success of late. He’ll have the advantage of pitching at an extremely friendly hitter’s venue at home in Oracle Park. The Mets though do have a high implied team total in excess of 4.5 runs, so there is certainly quite a bit of risk here too. He seems best reserved for those aggressively multi-entering tournaments.
OF: Aaron Judge, NYY ($5,300) vs. COL
2019 has not been kind to Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland—an egregious understatement as his ugly 7.39 ERA and 1.61 WHIP can attest. He’s struggled in particular against righty batters. Whereas last year his fastball allowed an xwOBA of .313 to right-handed hitters, that mark is all the way up to .434 this year. At least he’s not in Coors tonight. Though in this case, it’s an out of the frying pan and into the fire type situation as he’ll face one of the deepest lineups in baseball that’s loaded to the brim with right-handed power at Yankee Stadium. Enter Aaron Judge, who will look to take advantage of the struggling lefty. The Yankees have a huge implied total just shy of seven runs.
Honorable mentions: C Gary Sanchez ($4,600) vs. COL (Freeland), 1B Edwin Encarnacion ($5,000) vs. COL (Freeland), OF Mookie Betts ($5,200) at BAL (John Means), OF J.D. Martinez ($4,700) at BAL (Means), OF Shohei Ohtani ($4,700) at SEA (Mike Leake), OF Eddie Rosario ($4,600) vs. OAK (Chris Bassitt).
2B/3B: Mike Moustakas, MIL ($4,800) at ARI
Small sample size caveat for Taylor Clarke (42 innings) aside, the batted-ball results have been decidedly dreadful. He’s allowed a .395 wOBA, .378 xwOBA, and an ugly 12.9% barrel rate. Clarke has allowed a wOBA over .380 to hitters from both sides of the plate this year. Mike Moustakas will hold the platoon advantage against the righty and should be able to do some damage in the middle of the Brewers order tonight. The same could certainly be said for other lefties here in: Yasmani Grandal, Eric Thames, and of course Christian Yelich.
Honorable mentions: C Grandal, ($4,400) at ARI (Clarke), OF Joc Pederson, ($4,200) vs. MIA (Zac Gallen), OF Nelson Cruz, ($4,400) vs. OAK (Bassitt), 1B/3B Jake Lamb, ($4,000) vs. MIL (Jhoulys Chacin), 1B Luke Voit, ($4,600) vs. COL (Freeland).
Value: OF Justin Upton, LAA ($3,900) at SEA
Mariners innings-eater Mike Leake has allowed 24 home runs this year. So he’s already exceeded last year’s tally of 24 in roughly 70 fewer innings. Needless to say, the soft-tossing righty presents a nice matchup for Justin Upton, who looks a bit underpriced considering his long track record.
There is also some good value with the Blue Jays tonight. They’ll be set to face the righty Jordan Zimmermann, who in addition to not being particularly good at this stage in his career (14.6% strikeout rate, 4.64 FIP, 5.26 xFIP) has been absolutely shellacked by lefties the past few seasons (.390 wOBA allowed to left-handed batters this year). The switch-hitting Justin Smoak is priced affordably at $3,700 and will look to take advantage here. He’s been very effective against right-handed pitchers this year with a .370 OBP and .366 wOBA. The rookie Cavan Biggio ($3,900) has been really quiet lately, but this could be a bounce-back spot here too. The same could be said of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at $3,700; we know there’s a world of talent there, and he’s priced to move against a pitcher who has long been in decline. The Jays boast a nice implied total of about 5.5 runs.
Honorable mentions: 1B Smoak ($3,700) at DET (Zimmermann), 2B/OF Biggio ($3,900) at DET (Zimmermann), 3B Guerrero Jr. ($3,700) at DET (Zimmermann), 2B Robinson Cano ($3,200) at SF (Beede), 3B Kyle Seager ($3,100) vs. LAA (TBD), OF Khris Davis ($3,400) at MIN (Jake Odorizzi), 1B Joey Votto vs. STL (Wainwright).
Top Stack: NYY vs COL (Kyle Freeland)
As mentioned earlier with Judge, the Yankees find themselves in a potential boom spot at home against the struggling lefty Freeland. There’s a bevy of right-handed power here, and that starts with Judge. Encarnacion, Voit, Sanchez, and leadoff man DJ LeMahieu will present stiff tests for the Colorado southpaw. The Yankees currently boast a slate leading implied team total just short of seven runs.
The Red Sox will be set to take a trip to Camden Yards. The Orioles’ All-Star representative Means has held his own this year with a sparkling 2.94 ERA, but the underlying numbers are less impressive (20.2% strikeout rate, 4.24 FIP, 5.15 xFIP). Worth noting too is that this will be the fourth time the Red Sox will be seeing Means this year. Boston’s loaded lineup could easily blow up the slate tonight on the road against one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball should Means falter.
The Brewers will be on the road taking on Diamondbacks righty Clarke. He hasn’t been very good to put it nicely, with just a 16.7% strikeout rate, 6.29 FIP, and 5.82 xFIP. This year, he’s allowed a wOBA in excess of .380 to hitters from both sides of the plate. The Brewers may be overlooked tonight on a full slate, but they are definitely worth a look in tournaments.
Honorable mentions: BOS at BAL (Means), MIL at ARI (Clarke), MIN vs. OAK (Bassitt).
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.