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: Mike Clevinger, CLE ($11,100) vs. LAA
Mike Clevinger leads tonight’s slate with a sensational 37.5% stsrikeout rate (29.7% K-BB rate). It’s not the greatest matchup tonight against the Angels, who have been a pretty solid offense against right-handed pitchers this year with a .337 team wOBA and most notably the second-lowest team strikeout rate at 18.7% (the Astros are first at 18.5%). Still, Clevinger comes with a great strikeout floor and ceiling that make him an appealing option in all formats.
Lance Lynn (21.6% K-BB rate, 2.94 FIP, 3.68 xFIP) has been a revelation this year and unlike Clevinger gets a much more exploitable matchup in the Tigers, who have been a toothless lineup against right-handed pitchers all year with a truly awful .281 team wOBA and 26.6% strikeout rate. Those numbers probably won’t improve with Nick Castellanos out of town.
Honorable mention: Lynn, TEX ($11,700) vs. DET (Shaun Alexander).
Value SP: Martin Perez, MIN ($7,900) vs. KC
The Twins and Martin Perez (-240) are the second-biggest favorite on the board as of this writing. Perez hasn’t shown a ton of upside lately, failing to exceed four strikeouts in his past four starts. But a matchup against the Royals sets up well for Perez as they have just a .288 team wOBA (fourth-lowest) and 24.6% strikeout rate against lefties this year.
Steven Matz took advantage of this same aggressive Pirates team (league-worst 4.7% walk rate vs. left-handed pitchers) en route to a monster complete-game shutout (40.3 DK points) his last time out. So at his price point, he’ll likely garner a good amount of ownership. Still, given what we’ve seen from Matz to date (21.4 strikeout rate, 4.88 FIP, 4,46 xFIP), that seemed like such an outlier performance that there could be some merit in playing the fade game in tournaments and looking elsewhere.
Big Dodger prospect Dustin May will be get the call to face the Padres this evening. Rookie debuts are always tough to figure, but he has shown plus strikeout ability (25.8% strikeout rate in Double-A this year) and gets a nice matchup against the Padres, who do strike out quite a bit against right-handed pitchers (26.1% strikeout rate—third-highest). He’ll be working with a strict pitch count, so he’ll need to be efficient to pay off. He is at the very least worth considering provided you’re playing multiple tournament lineups.
Last but not least is James Paxton. Fresh off a seven-run (four home runs) drubbing against these same Red Sox, he’ll get a chance to exact revenge tonight at home as the scene shifts to the Bronx. We know there is big downside here (see: last start), but also keep in mind he did come away with nine strikeouts last time. He also has a huge eight-inning, 12-strikeout performance against the Red Sox back in April. So there is certainly upside here at this price provided he can somehow manage to keep the ball in the park. He’s definitely an option to consider for tournaments.
3B: Nolan Arenado, COL ($5,200) vs. SF
Nolan Arenado and the Rockies get a great matchup tonight against Giants righty Shaun Anderson. Anderson doesn’t miss too many bats (16.1% strikeout rate in 2019). So tonight, he’s in a tenuous spot at best in the BABIP haven that is Coors Field. Meanwhile, Arenado, like many if not all hitters, loves Coors Field, where this year he has posted a .410 wOBA as opposed to .329 on the road. His teammate Charlie Blackmon ($5,800) holds the platoon advantage and is a fine play too provided you can swallow the exorbitant price tag.
OF: David Peralta, ARI ($4,000) vs. WAS
Nationals righty Joe Ross has long struggled against lefty batters. And in a tiny sample size (24.2 innings), we can see the same trend this year as his strikeout rate to left-handed hitters drops to just 14% in addition to a .530 wOBA allowed. For his career, Ross has allowed a .375 wOBA to lefty batters. David Peralta meanwhile has hit right-handed pitchers to the tune of a sharp .374 wOBA for his career. This looks like an excellent price point for Peralta, who should be hitting cleanup for the D-Backs this evening.
Similar to Peralta, Bryce Harper gets a great matchup tonight against Ivan Nova, who has not been too sharp this year (9.1% K-BB rate, 5.22 FIP, 4.78 xFIP) and has struggled against lefties for his career (.358 wOBA allowed to lefties this year). The Phillies have a solid total tonight too at just about five and a half runs.
Honorable mentions: OF Eddie Rosario ($4,700) vs. KC (Glenn Sparkman), OF Harper ($4,400) vs CWS (Nova), OF Michael Conforto ($4,500) at PIT (Williams), 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,500) at BAL (Brooks), SS Jorge Polanco ($4,700) vs KC (Sparkman), SS Bo Bichette ($4,200) at BAL (Aaron Brooks), 3B/SS Alex Bregman ($4,600) vs. SEA (Kikuchi), 3B Justin Turner ($4,500) vs. SD (Lauer).
Value: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($3,900) vs. BOS
This one is just hard to ignore. Granted, Aaron Judge has been quiet of late, but this $1,000 price drop seems peculiar. Tonight, he’ll face Eduardo Rodriguez, who has pitched really well of late (seven earned runs combined in his past five starts). And he has put together a very strong 2019 with a 24.1% strikeout rate, 4.23 FIP, and 4.19 xFIP. Still, it is worth noting that he did just face this same lineup in his last start, only this time, the scene shifts to the Bronx. It’s certainly not a perfect matchup as the changeup-throwing E-Rod has allowed just a .303 wOBA to opposing right-handed hitters this year, but given the huge discount and the upside Judge possesses, this seems like a price point we should look to take advantage of.
Honorable mentions: OF Randal Grichuk ($3,800) at BAL (Brooks), 2B Robinson Cano ($3,200) at PIT (Williams), 2B Scooter Gennett ($3,500) at COL (Peter Lambert), OF Franmil Reyes($3,900) vs. LAA (TBD), OF Josh VanMeter ($3,700) at ATL (Kevin Gausman), OF Eloy Jimenez ($3,500) at PHI (Jason Vargas), 1B/3B Jake Lamb ($3,800) vs. WAS (Ross), OF A.J. Pollock ($3,800) vs. SD (Lauer).
Top Stack: COL vs SF (Shaun Anderson)
Not surprisingly, we’ll focus on the game at Coors Field here. The Rockies will garner a lot of attention in terms of ownership, and rightfully so. Their current implied team total sits at roughly six and a half runs. We know what an offensive haven Coors Field can be, and when you add to that the Rockies’ matchup against Giants right-handed pitcher Shaun Anderson, there is a lot to like here. In 74.2 innings this year, Anderson features the slate’s second-worst K-BB rate (the Royals’ Glenn Sparkman carries that dubious distinction tonight at 7.1%). His xwOBA allowed of .358 doesn’t inspire too much confidence here either. The Rockies are expensive tonight as they always are during homestands, but there is certainly upside here given the matchup against a subpar pitcher in Anderson.
The other side of the Coors game features the much weaker offense in the visiting Giants, but the nice thing here is that they are priced more affordably. That starts with likely leadoff man Brandon Belt ($4,000), who has shown strong road splits once again this year (.353 wOBA away vs. .293 at home). He’ll hold the platoon advantage against the righty Lambert, who, similar to his counterpart Anderson, also has not been good with a meager 17.2% strikeout rate. Buster Posey ($4,400) is also a reasonable albeit unexciting choice considering the salary and circumstances. And lastly, Gennett ($3,500) would shape up to be an excellent value play if he’s in there for his new team tonight.
And despite a game at Coors Field for these teams, the Twins actually hold the highest implied total of the slate at just under seven runs. They’ll get to face Royals Sparkman, who holds the worst K-BB rate of the night at 7.1% and an xwOBA allowed of .365. An edge to lefties here as Sparkman has allowed a .382 wOBA and 15 of his 19 home runs to lefty hitters.
Honorable mentions: SF at COL (Lambert), MIN vs. KC (Sparkman), HOU vs. SEA (Kikuchi), TEX vs. DET (Alexander).
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.