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: Robbie Ray, ARI ($10,800) at MIA
No surprise here we’re targeting the Marlins. Robbie Ray can be a tough guy to roster at times given his struggles with walks, but the matchup here more than makes up for that. On the year, the Marlins have the third-worst team wOBA vs LHP at .282. And what’s more is they don’t walk much versus LHP, with just a 5.5% BB rate (second lowest). Considering the prime matchup and the fact that Ray’s 31% K rate actually leads the slate ahead of both Stephen Strasburg (29.3%) and Walker Buehler (28.2%), this sets up really well for the lefty—at least on paper.
If you’re playing tournaments though, Ray should garner a lot of ownership given the cookie matchup, so consider Trevor Bauer as a possible pivot. The Indians are big road favorites (-177) against the Royals who have been a well below-average team against RHP this year (.309 team wOBA). In addition there is Aaron Nola ($9,600) who gets a tough matchup against the Braves, but there is certainly value in his discounted price today.
Value SP: Kyle Gibson, MIN ($7,700) at CWS
The Twins, who are on the road finishing up their series against the White Sox, are currently today’s biggest favorites at -185. Kyle Gibson has been very solid this year with a career-best 23.2% K rate, 4.16 FIP, and 3.77 xFIP. The White Sox have been a really bad offense against righties too, with a meager .299 wOBA (fourth lowest) and a 25.9% K rate (fourth highest). With the loss of Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez, this lineup has lost some firepower. You know things aren’t going too hot when Ryan Goins is hitting fifth.
1B: Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($5,300) at MIL
He’s been good on the surface with a tidy 3.17 ERA, but Brewers righty Zach Davies is someone worth picking on with bats. His 8.1% K-BB% is among the worst of today’s slate, and his indicators (5.32 SIERA and 5.08 xFIP) point to a pitcher whose true talent level is most likely below average. He’s struggled notably more against lefties this year too (.343 wOBA allowed vs LHB), so this looks to be a matchup that an elite lefty hitter like Anthony Rizzo should have no problem with.
Speaking of pitchers that are overperforming—I’m looking at you Jason Vargas! Pirates slugger Josh Bell, who is in the middle of an enormous breakout season, faces off against Vargas and is priced at just $4,500. He’s certainly worth a long look at that price, if you’re looking to save some salary at first base.
OF: Yasiel Puig, CIN ($4,500) vs COL
The Reds are another team that gets a favorable matchup in the Colorado rookie righty Peter Lambert. In 41 innings this year, he’s shown a well below-average 17% K rate (12.6% K-BB%), 4.58 SIERA, 4.31 xFIP, 5.61 FIP. In addition, he’s had a really ugly 25.6% HR/FB rate. Now, part of this is certainly bumped by pitching his home games at Coors, but he’ll find little reprieve today at the home run friendly Great American Ball Park. The Reds have a robust implied total of over five and a half runs. This should set up nicely for the Reds’ cleanup hitter Yasiel Puig.
Honorable mentions: 1B Nate Lowe ($4,000) at TOR (Sanchez), OF Eddie Rosario ($4,900) at CWS (Covey), OF Michael Conforto ($4,000) vs PIT (Archer), OF Jesse Winker ($4,100) vs COL (Lambert), SS Jorge Polanco ($4,900) at CWS (Covey), OF Michael Brantley ($4,800) at STL (Hudson), 1B Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400) vs. HOU (Miley), 3B Nolan Arenado ($4,600) at CIN (Wood)
Value: 2B Robinson Cano, NYM ($3,400) vs PIT
In the year 2019 I don’t think anyone really wants to roster Robinson Cano, but he had at least one big game recently, and against Chris Paddack of all pitchers. Go figure. Huge game aside, it’s painfully obvious at this point that Cano is long into the twilight stage of his career. But, at this very low price tag, we can afford to temper our expectations. The Mets as a team are in an interesting spot on today’s slate, as they carry a decent but otherwise-nondescript implied total of under five runs against the Pirates. The thing to note here is that Chris Archer’s batted ball data as a whole this year has been very poor—most salient of which is a 12.2% barrel rate (bottom 4%) and a .362 xwOBA. Both of those marks are the worst he’s had in the Statcast Era. So there could be some value here with Cano given the matchup. Similarly, his teammate Michael Conforto ($4,000) will also hold the platoon advantage and is priced to move.
There looks to be some potential value with the Rays today in their matchup against Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez. He’s been brutal this year with a 6% K-BB rate, that’s good for second worst on today’s 10-game slate. About the only thing he’s done well is keep the ball on the ground (1.63 GB/FB ratio). He’s been out of the lineup the past few games because the Rays have faced a bunch of lefties, but Ji-Man Choi ($3,600) could also provide some salary relief today. He’s hit righties well this year with a .342 wOBA.
Honorable mentions: 1B Ji-Man Choi ($3,600) at TOR (Sanchez), 2B Cesar Hernandez ($3,600) vs ATL (Gausman), 2B Scooter Gennett ($3,400) vs. COL (Lambert), 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.($3,500) vs TB (Chirinos), 1B Jesus Aguilar ($3,500) vs. CHC (Quintana).
Top Stack: MIN at CWS (Covey)
The Twins have easily the highest implied total on the board at over six runs. They get a great matchup against the Righty Dylan Covey, who has terrible indicators including a 5.57 xFIP, 5.61 FIP, 5.74 SIERA, and a slate-worst 4.2% K-BB rate. Yikes. Meanwhile, we know what the Twins are capable of offensively, as they still hold the Major League lead in home runs—by a good margin too. For his career, Covey has been a little more giving to LHB (.363 wOBA) as opposed to RHB (.334 wOBA allowed). So perhaps a slight edge to the big lefty bats Max Kepler ($5,300), Jorge Polanco ($4,900), and Eddie Rosario ($4,900). He may not match up on paper by the splits but you, of course, can’t go wrong with Nelson Cruz here either, provided you can swallow the huge $5,800 price tag. And in tournaments both Miguel Sano ($5,200) and Byron Buxton ($4,400) provide upside hitting lower in the lineup.
Another team to consider if you’re multi-entering tournaments is the Rockies. They usually carry very little ownership on the road; they have been a legitimately bad road offense this year, but there is still good power in this lineup that could take advantage if Alex Wood struggles in his first start after a long layoff from injury. It may not be Coors, but this is still an excellent stadium for offense in the Great American Ball Park.
Honorable mentions: CIN vs COL (Lambert), CHC at MIL (Davies), TB at TOR (Sanchez), COL at CIN (Wood) (GPP)
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.