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Top Play SP: Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($11,200) vs. MIA
I’m just doing a hard pass on the early slate today and focusing on the main slate. Even the night slate is underwhelming. Clayton Kershaw faces the Diamondbacks who have been one of the best teams against left-handed pitching this year. The D-Backs have the third-best strikeout rate against lefties in the second-half.
Stephen Strasburg is my cash game pitcher on tonight’s slate. Strasburg has the highest strikeout rate of any pitcher on the slate and gets a matchup against the Marlins. In the second half, the Marlins have put up a 76 wRC+, while striking out at a 25.4% clip.
Value SP: Dylan Bundy, BAL ($7,300) at KC
Dylan Bundy has been such a headache to own this year. The homer problems that he had in 2018 followed him to 2019, but maybe August has turned him around. In five starts this month, he’s only given up two bombs. One of those homer-less starts came against today’s opponent, the Royals. On August 20th, Bundy threw seven one-run innings while striking out seven against the Royals. In the second half, the Royals have an 81 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Today’s projected lineup for the Royals has a combined .294 wOBA.
Honorable mention: Logan Webb, SF ($7,900) vs. SD.
Top Play: OF Mookie Betts, BOS ($5,200) at LAA
The best bats on today’s slate are without a doubt the Rockies and the Pirates, so I’d plan on squeezing in as many as you can. However, that analysis doesn’t really add anything to your process, so I’m going to provide a couple of pivots from the Coors game in this and the”Top Play” infielder spots.
Instead of paying between $5,400-5,800 on Blackmon, Marte, or Reynolds, might I introduce you to this shiny Mookie Betts. In Friday’s series opener against the Angels, Betts crushed two bombs and gets another good matchup against a mediocre lefty.
Angels starter Dillon Peters, has allowed 10 runs (seven earned) over his last two starts. In fact, since his first start with the Angels on June 8th, Peters has allowed a 43.1% hard-hit rate, while striking out just 18.7% of the batters he’s faced.
A couple of other decent pivots off of the Coors bats are Mike Trout and J.D. Martinez.
Honorable mentions: OF Trout, LAA ($5,500) vs. BOS; 1B/OF Danny Santana, TEX ($5,100) vs. SEA.
Top Play: 2B/SS Jonathan Villar, BAL ($5,100) at KC
Here’s a little inside baseball for these writeups. I look at the starting pitchers a couple of days in advance and make some quick initial notes (without looking at prices) before diving deeper. When I saw the Mariners were facing a mediocre lefty in Brock Burke, I immediately wrote down Tom Murphy, who’s been on a major heater. Apparently, DraftKings also has noticed this heater, because he’s priced up at $4,900. I love the matchup, but I don’t think I’ve paid that much for catcher all year.
I wish the Orioles were a better team today. They face Jorge Lopez, who might be the worst pitcher on today’s slate. Lopez’s role has switched from starter to long-reliever/opener, so he’s only expected to pitch three innings max. In 22.2 second-half innings thrown for Lopez, he’s allowed 19 runs (16 earned). Following Lopez will be the Royals bullpen that’s put up a 5.50 ERA since the All-Star Break.
Jonathan Villar is my favorite Oriole today. He’ll bat leadoff, has some power/speed upside, and had himself quite the month of August—seven bombs, nine steals, and a .431 wOBA.
Honorable mention: 1B Freeman, ATL ($5,500) at MIA; 1B/OF Santana, TEX ($5,100) vs. SEA.
Value: OF Samuel Hilliard, COL ($4,100) vs. PIT
If the last two days have taught me anything, it’s that mediocre pitchers do not survive Coors at a high rate. We’ve seen 32 runs scored in the Pirates/Rockies series over the last two days, so I want a part of that game today. Samuel Hilliard offers that as the cheapest, non-catcher option. Hilliard was brought up on August 27th and in the four games, he’s mashed two bombs.
Joe Musgrove will oppose the Rockies today and he’s been a giant ball of “meh” all year long. I don’t expect Musgrove to put it all together today.
Top Stack: Red Sox at Angels (LHP Dillon Peters)
The stacks today are pretty tough to get to because of pricing. The Rockies and Pirates have the highest implied run total, but 10 of the 14 non-catcher batters are priced at $4,900 0r more. The Nationals have a 5.5 implies run total, but I like Pablo Lopez‘s skills and don’t want to target against him.
The Red Sox are my choice, specifically, the righty bats. I went over Dillon Peters in the Mookie Betts writeup, but the gist of it is he’s allowed a high hard-hit rate since joining the rotation and has given up a boatload of runs recently.
I’ll be starting my Red Sox stack with Betts, and will be targeting J.D. Martinez ($5,400), Xander Bogaerts ($5,400), Christian Vazquez ($4,000), and either Sam Travis ($3,600) or Chris Owings ($2,100) to finish out my stack. Good luck today!
Honorable mention: Mariners at Rangers (LHP Burke); Reds at Cardinals (RHP Michael Wacha).
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.