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 ($12,000) vs. TB
Even on a loaded 15-game slate featuring plenty of talented arms, Astros ace Justin Verlander is in a tier of his own. He’s been magnificent this year with a sizzling 30% K-BB% (second today is Walker Buehler‘s 24.8%) to go along with a spotless 0.81 WHIP, 2.77 ERA and 3.01 SIERA. The great thing about Verlander too is that he’s always a strong bet to pitch deep into games, with his most recent outing, a complete-game, 99-pitch performance against Detroit, being the latest testament. The visiting Rays have been more or less an average offense against RHP this season with a .321 team wOBA and 102 wRC+ and tonight they have the second-lowest implied team total, just barely ahead of the Marlins.
And speaking of those Marlins, if you’re wanting to save a little at SP, then you have to consider Luis Castillo (18.8% K-BB%, 3.95 SIERA) who gets the dream matchup at Miami tonight. Castillo and the visiting Reds are solid (-150) favorites tonight.
Honorable mention: Castillo, CIN ($10,000) at MIA (Caleb Smith).
Value SP: Adrian Houser, MIL ($5,000) vs STL
I’m a little leery of this one because he’s facing the same Cardinals lineup that he just saw his last time out, but the value in price here just looks too good to ignore. Adrian Houser has provided some much-needed quality innings (16.6% K-BB%, 3.90 SIERA) for a beleaguered Brewers staff. He’ll face the Cardinals tonight, a team that he just faced and staved off for one earned run across five and a third innings. The Brewers are solid (-147) home favorites this evening while the visiting Cardinals have a modest implied team total just north of four runs. Rostering Adrian Houser in order to save salary for Coors bats will likely be a path taken by many this evening, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to be different in tournaments.
If you’re looking for possible alternative to Houser in tournaments, Drew Smyly may be worth a look. Considering that he has a hideous 6.99 ERA and 1.69 WHIP to his name he may go overlooked but he has at the very least shown some reasonable ability with a 22.3% K rate and the Pirates have been a sneakily dreadful team against LHP, with a .280 team wOBA and 70 wRC+ both representing league worst marks. Yes, even worse than the Marlins.
Honorable mention: Smyly, PHI ($4,600) vs PIT (Steven Brault).
Top Play: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,500) at SEA
Granted, Yusei Kikuchi was great—ok more like phenomenal—in his last start against the Jays, needing just 96 pitches on his way to a complete-game shutout. The proverbial Maddux. Still, we’re talking about a guy whose season totals are less than exemplary. He is, after all, rocking a 5.05 SIERA, 10.1% K-BB% and 1.44 WHIP, and what’s more, he’s also allowed a .358 wOBA to opposing RHB this year. Enter Aaron Judge, who has been kicking things into gear lately and knocking home runs in three of his past four contests. The Yankees’ implied team total is sitting just shy of six runs. He’s just too cheap here.
Honorable mentions: 1B Daniel Murphy ($4,700) vs BOS (Rick Porcello); C J.T. Realmuto ($4,600) vs PIT (Steven Brault); 3B Matt Chapman ($4,800) at KC (Mike Montgomery); C Gary Sanchez ($4,500) at SEA (Yusei Kikuchi); 1B Rhys Hoskins ($4,500) vs PIT (Steven Brault).
Top Play: 3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,800) at COL
Tonight the Red Sox head to the BABIP haven that is Coors Field. As of this writing, the Rockies have yet to tab an official starter for tonight’s tilt, though regardless, whoever gets the nod here should present a positive matchup for one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Rafael Devers (.392 wOBA, 142 wRC+) is in the midst of a huge breakout season for Boston, as he’s managed to slash his K rate from 24.7% to 16.2% while also tallying vastly superior batted ball metrics including a .373 xwOBA (.303 last year), 49.2% hard-hit rate, 92.8 average exit velocity (90.8 last year) and a .303 xBA (.239 last year). He’s expensive, but the ceiling here is massive for the burgeoning phenom.
Honorable mentions: OF Mookie Betts ($5,500) at COL (TBD); OF J.D. Martinez ($5,600) at COL (TBD); OF Juan Soto ($5,400) vs. BAL (Brooks); 3B Anthony Rendon ($5,500) vs BAL (Brooks); OF Ronald Acuna Jr ($5,300) at TOR (TBD); SS Trevor Story ($5,600) vs BOS (Porcello); Charlie Blackmon ($5,700) vs BOS (Porcello).
Value: OF Khris Davis, OAK ($3,400) at KC
Oh boy, what are we to do with Khris Davis? His dreadful season (.660 OPS, 74 wRC+) has caused his price to plummet to $3,400. Who else is at that price you might ask? Melky Cabrera, Billy McKinney, Carlos Gomez and…. Rajai Davis. You get the point. He’s cheap, really cheap as he probably should be at this point. Tonight, though he gets a shot to capitalize on a really good matchup against the southpaw Mike Montgomery, who is just not very good, with a 10.1% K-BB% (3rd lowest on tonight’s slate), 4.72 SIERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Here’s to hoping that the guy who bopped 40 home runs in each of the past three seasons shows up for at least one night.
Honorable mentions: OF Jorge Soler ($4,000) vs. OAK (Fiers); OF Justin Upton ($3,500) vs. TEX (Minor); 1B/3B Jake Lamb ($2,800) at SF (Samardzija); 2B Brian Dozier ($3,900) vs BAL (Brooks); OF Josh Rojas ($2,000) at SF (Samardzija); OF Victor Reyes ($3,800) vs CLE (Plutko); 2B/OF Harold Castro ($3,500) vs. CLE (Plutko).
Top Stack: COL vs BOS (Porcello)
As mentioned earlier, this is a probable eruption spot for Boston as they head to Coors against a Rockies mystery starter. The Red Sox are definitely a top stack for tonight. But let’s instead take a look at the flip side of this game in the Rockies. Like Boston, they also carry a robust implied total just shy of seven runs and plus, it’s not like Rick Porcello profiles as someone who should be able to survive an outing at Coors. Really the only thing he has managed to do well this season is to keep the free passes to a minimum with a 6.6% BB rate. One thing is for sure balls will be put into play, as his 7.7% swinging K rate is actually the lowest mark on the slate and at Coors, that presents a potentially scary outlook. By the splits, he’s been noticeably worse against LHB this year with a .342 wOBA allowed (.325 wOBA vs RHB) and 15.7% K rate (19.4% K rate vs RHB). Nolan Arenado (.362 wOBA, 108 wRC+ vs RHP in 2019), Trevor Story (.373 wOBA, 114 wRC+ vs RHP in 2019) and the leadoff man Charlie Blackmon (.394 wOBA, 128 wRC+ vs RHP in 2019) are the spend up options here. Both Daniel Murphy (.319 wOBA, 80 WRC+ vs RHP in 2019) and Ryan McMahon (.335 wOBA, 90 wRC+vs RHP in 2019) haven’t exactly lit it up this year, but they present a potentially cost-effective way (both are $4,700) to get exposure to the middle of the Rockies lineup and both will hold the platoon advantage against the righty Porcello.
Honorable mentions: BOS at COL (TBD); WAS vs BAL (Brooks); NYY at SEA (Kikuchi).
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.