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.
We have a split slate today, with four early games and six late games. The majority of this article will focus on the main slate, but I’ll include at least one pick from the early slate in the honorable mentions of each category.
Top Play SP: Lance Lynn, TEX ($10,000) vs. SEA
If you’re willing to pay the toll for Jacob deGrom, I’m in support of you as he has the highest upside on the slate. However, my wife’s a teacher and hasn’t gotten paid in two and a half months, so I’m all about the discount life. Up until his last start, Lance Lynn had been cruising, allowing just seven earned runs over his past five starts. However, Lynn ran into the buzzsaw offense of the White Sox (huh?), who managed to tag Lynn for seven earned runs on 11 hits. The start wasn’t without some positives, as Lynn struck out 10 batters and nine of the 11 hits were singles.
I’m putting my money on Lynn getting back on track against the Mariners. Since the All-Star break, the Mariners have batted just .224 against right-handed pitching, while striking out at a 26.9% rate, fifth-highest in the league.
Value SP: Dereck Rodriguez, SF ($4,600) vs. SD
Remember Dereck Rodriguez’s 2018 second half? I bet if we focus all our positive energy on that, the universe will provide us with a good “baby-Pudge” start. Joking aside, this will be Rodriguez’s first start in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park after having to pitch in Colorado, Philadelphia, Arizona, and Arizona in his four starts since rejoining the rotation.
Not only does Rodriguez get to pitch in his happy place, but he gets a righty-heavy Padres lineup, who collectively have struggled against right-handed pitching in the second half. Since the All-Star break, the Padres have put up just a 79 wRC+ against righties, compared with a 115 wRC+ against southpaws. In addition to missing Fernando Tatis Jr.’s bat at the top of the lineup, the Padres lineup has been really brought down by Hunter Renfroe. After having an excellent first half of the season, Renfroe has put up a .170 average while striking out 40% of the time in 100 plate appearances against righties since the All-Star break.
Top Play: 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, LAD ($5,600) at ARI
This spot was difficult for me to choose just one as the options up at the top are really good. That matchup in Coors with the Rockies and Pirates is so juicy, but I felt that was too much of a cheat code to tell you to play Charlie Blackmon at home against a righty. Instead, I wanted to highlight a potential pivot from Blackmon.
For $100 cheaper, you can get Cody Bellinger, who offers some position flexibility and finds himself in the middle of an MVP race. Bellinger has earned his price tag this year, putting up a .349 ISO and .441 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Bellinger faces Merrill Kelly, who needed the old “vote of confidence” that he’d remain in the rotation after giving up 32 earned runs over 41.1 innings since the All-Star break. In the second half, Kelly has allowed a 51.6% hard-hit rate to lefties, which has led to a .375 batting average.
Top Play: 1B Josh Bell, PIT ($5,400) at COL
Unlike my outfielder top play, I have no problem pandering to the Coors crowd in this spot. Josh Bell has fallen off his torrid first-half pace, but since getting a couple of days off in the second week of August to “recharge his batteries,” Bell has hit six bombs and 26 runs+RBI over his past 18 games.
The switch-hitting Bell has been significantly better against righties than lefties this year, making the matchup with righty Chi Chi Gonzalez even juicier. In 35 innings pitched in the majors, Gonzalez has a 6.37 SIERA, along with a -.6% K-BB%. Gonzalez has struggled with allowing baserunners, allowing 58 batters to reach base safely in his 35 innings pitched, which is not going to end well today.
Value: 2B Starlin Castro, MIA ($3,600) vs. CIN
I included Alex Wood above as a potential value pitcher, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play against him too. Wood has struggled mightily since his return from the IL on July 28. In six starts this year, Wood has a 6.07 ERA and has been very generous with the longball, allowing eight taters.
The Marlins make for a nice, cheap mini-stack against Wood as they have not been the worst against lefties this month. Starlin Castro has three bombs against lefties in August, along with six runs and seven RBI.
TL;DR: Castro fills up the stat sheets against lefties, making him my favorite value play on today’s slate.
Top Stack: Rangers vs. Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez)
It goes without saying that if you can afford the Rockies or Pirates stacks, they are my favorite bats on today’s slate, but I wanted to highlight an affordable stack that has almost as much upside as those teams. The Rangers have struggled at times in the second half, which is to be expected when you lose a massive power bat out of the middle of your lineup. Joey Gallo was putting together another solid season when the slugger landed on the IL with a broken wrist. The only silver lining that came from that was the call-up of top prospect Willie Calhoun ($4,900). Calhoun has slotted nicely into the cleanup spot.
The Rangers face Felix Hernandez, who is not enjoying his age-33 season. Hernandez has allowed a 6.09 ERA over his nine starts, giving up 11 bombs while striking out just 19.3% of the batters he’s faced. In addition to Calhoun, I’m locking in Shin-Soo Choo ($4,800), Danny Santana ($5,400), Elvis Andrus ($4,400), and either Rougned Odor ($3,700) or Nick Solak ($3,700) if you need a value bat. Good luck today!
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) 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.