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: Max Scherzer, WAS ($11,000) vs. BAL
It’s rare to see a slate where Max Scherzer isn’t the highest-priced starting pitcher, as Gerrit Cole ($12,200) will cost you the most tonight. You can’t go wrong with either Cole or Scherzer as your top starter, but I prefer the cheaper option in Scherzer against the Orioles. Baltimore’s lineup has been very weak against right-handed pitching, with just a .303 wOBA, and they are even worse away from their hitter-friendly park at home. Expect nothing but the best from Scherzer, who has ridiculous numbers including a 2.18 FIP, 34.8% strikeout rate, and a 2.35 deserved run average. Assuming that he’s back at full strength for this outing, he can be considered in any contest where you’re willing to spend the payroll.
Honorable mention: Cole, HOU ($12,200) vs TB.
Value SP: Anthony DeSclafani, CIN ($7,800) at MIA
DeSclafani’s value this year has mainly come from strikeouts, as he’s got 131 strikeouts in 128.2 innings. He’s struggled to prevent runs, but this is the perfect matchup to deploy him against an awful Marlins lineup. The Marlins’ .285 wOBA versus right-handed pitching is tied for the lowest mark in all of baseball, and it also comes with a 25.0% strikeout rate. The park shift also makes a big difference here, as DeSclafani avoids a hitter’s park at home and instead gets an extremely pitcher-friendly environment. When in doubt, you can always stream against the Marlins, and on a night where pitching is thin, DeSclafani is a great option as a value starter.
Top Play: 1B Jose Abreu, CWS ($4,300) vs. MIN
Abreu has been hitting the ball well over the past two weeks, batting .321 with a .962 OPS and four homers. He’s also got 17 RBI in that stretch, which shows how valuable it is to bat third—even in a weak lineup such as Chicago’s, batters can rack up counting stats in the middle of the order. Abreu is a power-upside bat to consider in GPP contests, as he’s already got 28 homers and 100 RBI this season. Because of his low-OBP profile, you may want to consider other options in cash games, but a matchup with Jake Odorizzi is ideal for him in tournaments. Odorizzi is a fly-ball pitcher, with a 45.6% fly-ball rate, which is what we like to see when trying for a homer.
Top Play: 2B/OF Josh VanMeter, CIN ($4,200) at MIA
VanMeter has been a very productive fantasy bat in his small sample this year, posting a 127 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. He’s a target in cash games batting leadoff for the Reds, as an extra plate appearance boosts his floor. Of course, VanMeter is also in a fantastic spot to score some runs atop the linuep against Sandy Alcantara. Alcantara has a poor 4.80 FIP with just a 16.8% K-rate, making him a starter to target tonight.
Value: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR ($4,100) vs ATL
Guerrero has had himself a phenomenal past 30 days at the plate, batting .348 with a 1.026 OPS. Vlad has a 150 wRC+ in the second half, and yet he’s still extremely affordable at this price. Guerrero is at home in a hitter’s park facing Mike Foltynewicz, owner of a 5.68 ERA and a 2.19 HR/9. Until Guerrero’s price corrects to reflect the caliber of hitter he is, he’s a no-brainer option at third base.
Top Stack: Indians at Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann)
The Indians lineup should have a big performance against Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann, who has an abysmal 6.48 ERA. There are plenty of affordable options from which to choose here, including Yasiel Puig ($4,100) out of the cleanup spot and Franmil Reyes ($4,000), who has four home runs in his past three games. Francisco Lindor ($4,800) is certainly one of the top overall bats on the night and can be used an elite member of the stack.
Honorable mentions: Twins at White Sox (Detwiler); Braves at Blue Jays (Waguespack).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is troyklauder) 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.