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 ($10,500) at MIA
The grizzled veteran Zack Greinke has aged like fine wine. Through 135 innings this year, he’s sporting a sharp 20.4% K-BB rate (3.3% BB rate) which is good for fifth on tonight’s slate just in back of short sample size heroes Asher Wojciechowski and Jose Urquidy. But no secret here the matchup with the Marlins is the big selling point. They’ve been making pitchers of all sorts look stellar throughout the year (.281 team wOBA) the latest case being Ivan Nova, who threw a complete game against these same Marlins this past Monday. The Diamondbacks are big home favorites tonight (-168), and the Marlins have the lowest implied team total of the night at a shade over three runs.
Angels rookie Griffin Canning has shown some exceptional swing-and-miss ability with a 25.5% strikeout rate backed by a 13.8% swinging-strike rate, which is good for fourth among tonight’s starters. Canning hasn’t posted a great line in his past few turns, but this matchup sets up well for him tonight, as the Orioles have been a very anemic offense vs. right-handed pitchers this year with a .301 team wOBA (fifth-lowest). He and the Angels are also huge home favorites tonight (-213) with the visiting Orioles sporting an anemic implied total of under four runs.
On the other side of this very same game will be the Orioles’ Asher Wojciechowski, who is fresh off a phenomenal performance against the Red Sox. It’s only been 23 innings, but he’s sporting an electric 33% strikeout rate (16.8% swinging-strike rate). That will almost certainly come down a bit, but his slider as proven to be an extremely effective weapon in the early going, returning an excellent 47.4% whiff rate, so there could definitely be some stickiness here. For tonight, however, the opposing Angels present a stiff test since they don’t strike out much (18.9% strikeout rate vs. right-handed pitchers), and given their robust implied total of just under six runs, it’s probably best to save the de facto Orioles ace for tournaments as a very risky play with potential upside.
UPDATE: Originally scheduled Angels starter Griffin Canning won’t start tonight, as he was used last night in relief. So we’ll pivot to Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi ($7,700), who gets to face a Giants offense that has cooled off of late. For the season, the Giants’ .283 team wOBA vs. LHP ranks third from the bottom. The Padres are home favorites tonight (-137) while the visiting Giants have a very modest implied total short of four runs.
Honorable mention: Asher Wojciechowski ($7,100) at LAA.
1B: Pete Alonso, NYM ($5,000) vs. PIT
It’s not too often you’ll see the Mets at home with an implied total in excess of five runs. But here we are. The Mets will get a matchup worth targeting tonight in the Pittsburgh Pirates righty Dario Agrazal, who in 28 innings this year is sporting a ghastly 1.7% K-BB. rate Meanwhile, what can you say about Rookie of the Year candidate Pete Alonso? He’s been nothing shorting of phenomenal, with a whopping 33 home runs so far this year. Alonso will strike out a bit, but that risk is mitigated tonight with Agrazal’s complete lack of strikeout ability (10.4% strikeout rate).
Honorable mentions: 1B Freddie Freeman ($5,200) at PHI (Arrieta), OF Cody Bellinger ($5,600) at WAS (Sanchez), OF Aaron Judge ($5,500) at BOS (Cashner), SS Javier Baez ($5,200) at MIL (Gonzalez), OF Mike Trout ($5,800) vs. BAL (Wojciechowski).
OF: Joc Pederson, LAD ($4,700) at WAS
Anibal Sanchez has not surprisingly regressed a bit this year at least in relation to last year’s 2.83 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He hasn’t been awful by any means as he’s got a perfectly fine 3.80 ERA. His strikeout rate though has dipped noticeably from 24.4% last year down to 19.4% this year. The Dodgers, of course, are an elite offense against right-handed pitchers as their team wOBA vs. righties of .349 is just below the Yankees (.352) for the top mark in all of baseball. Their leadoff man Joc Pederson has made a career in mashing righties (.376 wOBA vs. right-handed pitchers this year), and he’ll look to take advantage of Sanchez, who himself has struggled noticeably more against left-handed batters this year (.342 wOBA allowed vs. lefties).
Honorable mentions: 1B Nate Lowe ($4,000) at TOR (Waguespack), OF Shohei Ohtani ($4,800) vs. BAL (Wojciechowski), OF Nelson Cruz ($4,900) at CWS (Cease), OF Eddie Rosario ($4,800) at CWS (Cease), OF J.D. Martinez ($4,500) (GPP) vs. NYY (Paxton), 3B Mike Moustakas ($4,500) vs CHC (Hendricks).
Value: OF Nomar Mazara, TEX ($3,900) at OAK
The Athletics’ Daniel Mengden has not pitched particularly sharp this year with a 4.59 FIP, 5.70 xFIP, and a well below average 16.4% strikeout rate. He has also shown next to no ability to control batted balls against lefties as they’ve hit him to the tune of a .407 wOBA. And that’s backed up by the batted-ball data too as both his four-seamer and sinker have allowed an xwOBA in excess of .400 to lefties. Nomar Mazara hasn’t made the jump in power some were hoping for this year, but this is a perfectly fine price point against a very beatable right-handed pitcher in Mengden.
Honorable mentions: OF Khris Davis ($3,100) vs. TEX (Lynn), 2B Robinson Cano ($3,900) vs. PIT (Agrazal), 1B Miguel Cabrera ($3,000) vs. TOR (Waguespack), OF Justin Upton ($3,900) vs. BAL (Wojciechowski), 1B Eric Hosmer ($3,700) vs. SF (Samardzija), 2B Jason Kipnis ($3,300) at KC (Junis), 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,700) vs. TB (Castillo).
Top Stack: NYY at BOS (Cashner)
The Red Sox recently acquired Andrew Cashner, who has pitched reasonably well this year with a 4.19 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The indicators though are still fairly unimpressive (4.94 xFIP, 5.02 SIERA). And the strikeout rate remains very low at just 16.7%. If you’ve been playing DFS for a while, then you’re very familiar with Cashner as he’s been a favorite target to “stack” opposing hitters against for a while. This year, though he’s proven to be stingy. As our own Shelly Verougstraete points out here, part of this stinginess could be attributed to him doubling the use of his changeup this year. And it really shows when you look at his splits as Cashner has limited lefties to just a .250 wOBA while righties are hitting him significantly harder at a .350 wOBA. This could play into the Yankees’ hands, however, as their lineup although missing Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez still features a ton of right-handed power. They have the highest implied team total of the evening just shy of six runs.
There’s no denying that Dylan Cease has a world of talent, but he’s still a little raw and has struggled with his efficiency, having failed to get past the fifth inning in two of his first three starts. The Twins still lead the majors in home runs, and by a good margin too, so we know what their offense is capable of should the rookie struggle here.
Honorable mentions: MIN at CWS (Cease), CHC at MIL (Gonzalez), LAD at WAS (Sanchez).
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.