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: Justin Verlander, HOU ($12,400) at BAL
Justin Verlander lead’s today’s 11-game slate with a 28.6% K-BB%. The matchup today is a great one against an Oriole’s offense that ranks 26th in wOBA against RHP for the year at .303 and 25th in OBP at .305. Outside of Camden Yards being a great park for power, there is very little reason not to like Verlander today as the plus matchup adds to the fantastic floor and ceiling he always provides.
Also in the ace tier, today is Jacob deGrom. Needless to say, he’s been fantastic with a 25.5% K-BB%. Although he’ll draw a seemingly tougher assignment against the division-rival Nationals who have been a better offense than the Orioles (shocking, I know) with a .320 wOBA against RHP (15th) and .328 OBP (12th). Verlander’s easier matchup as well as being the much bigger favorite (-340) makes him the priority play if you’re spending up but deGrom is, of course, more than a worthy option if you want to be a little different and take a small discount at $11,800.
Honorable mention: deGrom, NYM ($11,800) vs WAS (Anibal Sanchez); Castillo, CIN ($11,000) vs. CHC (Jon Lester).
Value SP: Mike Foltynewicz, ATL ($7,000) at MIA
Mike Foltynewicz was given a tough assignment in his first start since back in June when squaring off against the Twins. He returned a solid line across five and a third innings allowing three earned runs while striking out seven. Today, though he gets the dream matchup against the Marlins who have been, as everyone expected, beyond awful offensively with a .281 team wOBA and 75 wRC+ against RHP. The Braves are sizable (-190) road favorites today. The price and matchup make him a great option today, though keep in mind he should carry quite a bit of ownership in tournaments.
A similar matchup boost goes to Jakob Junis. He’ll get the Tigers at Detroit who have been, similar to the Marlins, terrible against RHP with a .281 wOBA (2nd worst), a 26% K rate (3rd worst), and a 76 wRC+ as a team.
Honorable mention: Junis ($7,900) at DET (Daniel Norris)
Top Play: 1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,500) at MIA
Last time we saw Hector Noesi in the Majors you have to go back a bit to 2015 for the Chicago White Sox. He was not very good in those days posting a 6.23 FIP, 5.61 xFIP, and a 14.3% K rate across 32.2 innings. For his career he’s allowed a .342 wOBA to lefties and a .365 wOBA to righties. This sets up really well for Freddie Freeman who leads the Braves with a .417 wOBA against RHP this season. The Braves might go a little overlooked today since they don’t have an eye-popping implied total of just about five runs but this is a genuinely great matchup against a very poor RHP in Noesi who hasn’t pitched in the bigs in four years.
J.D. Martinez has been on a roll lately and there’s no reason to expect him to slow down today. He’ll go against the rookie lefty Patrick Sandoval who has shown some control issues in AAA this year with a 11.6% BB rate. This should bode well for Martinez who leads the Red Sox with a .467 wOBA against LHP the past two seasons.
Honorable mentions: OF Ronald Acuna Jr ($5,400) at MIA (Noesi); OF George Springer ($5,300) at BAL (Wojciechowski); OF Mookie Betts ($5,000) vs. LAA (Sandoval); OF JD Martinez ($5,100) vs. LAA (Sandoval); 3B/SS Alex Bregman ($5,600) at BAL (Wojciechowski); OF Mike Trout ($5,800) at BOS (Cashner).
Top Play: OF Michael Brantley, HOU ($4,900) at BAL
No surprise here we want to target the Astros offense as they get a fantastic park shift at Camden Yards. Their typical 3-hole hitter Michael Brantley provides some cost-effective exposure to the Astros lineup in relation to the more expensive bats of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Yordan Alvarez who all cost well north of $5,000. Brantley, who is 3rd on the team with a .390 wOBA against RHP, will hold the platoon advantage against the righty Wojciechowski who has allowed an eye-popping .410 wOBA against LHB.
Aaron Judge has been mired in a long power drought, but his current price point of $4,400 is simply too good to ignore. Today he’ll face Blue Jays RHP Trent Thornton who has had some good performances but has struggled as a whole in his first year with an underwhelming 11.9% K-BB%, 4.90 FIP, and 5.11 xFIP.
Honorable mentions: OF Aaron Judge ($4,400) at TOR (Thornton); SS Bo Bichette ($4,800) vs. NYY (Tanaka); OF Michael Conforto ($4,800) vs WAS (Sanchez); SS Didi Gregorius ($4,200) at TOR (Thornton); 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr./strong>. ($4,300) vs. NYY (Tanaka); SS Jorge Polanco ($4,700) vs CLE (Civale)
Value: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($4,000) vs PIT
Lefty Steven Brault hasn’t been very effective this year with just an 8.9% K-BB% and 5.18 xFIP. He’s also shown sharp splits this year allowing a .358 wOBA to opposing RHB. This sets up well for Paul Goldschmidt who will hold the platoon advantage and has seen his price drop following a slow start to August. He provides some excellent value at his current price especially today with the Cardinals implied total sitting at over five runs.
Andrew Cashner has managed to limit lefties this year to a .262 wOBA due to increased use of his changeup but righties are hitting him hard to the tune of a .362 wOBA. Justin Upton is priced really affordably here at Fenway Park where righty power is amplified.
Top Stack: HOU at BAL (Wojciechowski)
One of the best offenses in baseball in the Astros (5th in wOBA, 4th in OBP, 2nd in wRC+ at 116, and 7th in Runs scored vs RHP) will wrap up their three game-set at Camden Yards. Their opposition in Asher Wojciechowski has shown some real bat-missing ability with a 28.8% K rate across 38 innings. But, unfortunately for him this is about as brutal of a matchup as you could ask for in the Astros who have the lowest K rate in baseball against RHP at 18.6%. It’s a small sample size but Wojciechowski has thus far shown very little ability to control batted balls with an elevated 14% barrel rate allowed along with an average launch angle of 24.5. So he’s allowing some very loud contact and if he struggles with his efficiency and gets knocked out early we know there is an atrocious O’s pen lurking. The Astros are expensive but they look like the top stack if you’re spending up on bats this afternoon. As mentioned earlier Wojciechowski as really struggled badly against lefties (.410 wOBA allowed to LHB for his career) so Alvarez and Brantley look like priorites here with Josh Reddick ($3,600) providing some potential salary relief at the bottom of the order.
The Red Sox are also a strong team to consider stacking this afternoon. They’ll face Angels rookie left-hander Patrick Sandoval. We don’t have much to look at since he’s only thrown five innings this year in the Majors but in AAA this year (60.1 IP) he showed a modest 21.9% K rate along with an alarming 11.6% walk rate and 5.02 xFIP. He’ll be a given the thankless task of trying to tame the powerful Red Sox offense at Fenway Park. The same offense that pasted Jamie Barria and the Angels pen for 16 runs this past Friday. The Red Sox implied total of over six and a half runs tops today’s slate.
Honorable mentions: BOS vs. LAA (Sandoval); ATL at MIA (Noesi); NYM vs. 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.