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Top Play SP: Gerrit Cole, HOU ($12,200) at KC
Fittingly Friday the 13th greets us with a 13-game slate. Gerrit Cole (33.4% K-BB rate, 34.7% CSW, 2.67 SIERA) represents the top of the board today. The man has posted a 39.4% strikeout rate this year and gets the Royals tonight. Best not to overthink this one as he’s the clear guy on whom to spend. The Astros are the biggest favorite on the board (-350) while the Royals have the lowest implied total of the evening at under three runs.
And of course, we’d be remiss to not mention Max Scherzer (30.1% K-BB rate, 34,7% CSW, 2.95 SIERA). He managed to throw 98 pitches in his most recent start, so he looks to be nearing full strength, though he gets a matchup against a stiffer opponent in the Braves (.335 team wOBA). One last name very much worth mentioning if you’re looking to save a little salary is Andrew Heaney (21.9% K-BB rate, 31.6% CSW, 3.83 SIERA) this matchup sets up well for him as the visiting Rays boast the third-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers at 25.5%.
Honorable mentions: Heaney, LAA ($9,900) vs. TB (TBD); Scherzer, WAS ($11,400) vs. ATL (Soroka).
Value SP: Tyler Beede, SF ($6,300) vs. MIA
We’ll pick on the Marlins here and their league worst .285 team wOBA against right-handed pitchers. Tyler Beede (11.4% K-BB rate, 27.7% CSW, 4.89) hasn’t been great particularly with his lackluster control (9.3% walk rate), and poor command has led to an elevated hard-hit rate as well as a .351 xwOBA. But he has shown some strikeout ability with a 20.7% strikeout rate in the majors and a 34.8% mark in Triple-A. As a decent home favorite (-140) against a toothless Marlins lineup, he’s a reasonable play as a salary saver.
Top Play: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,400) at TOR
This just looks like too cheap of a price for Aaron Judge (.426 wOBA, 172 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers 2018-19). Anthony Kay was impressive in his first outing, netting eight strikeouts (23.9% CSW) in 5.2 innings, and he showed some plus strikeout ability in Triple-A this year, evinced by a 24.5% strikeout rate. Though one thing does stand out, and that’s a rather ugly 13.8% walk rate. This could spell trouble against a patient Yankees lineup that has one of the higher implied totals of the evening at over six runs just behind the A’s and both Coors teams.
Honorable mentions: 1B Carlos Santana ($4,400) vs. MIN (Jake Odorizzi); 2B/SS Jonathan Villar ($4,400) at DET (Jordan Zimmermann); 2B/SS Gleyber Torres ($4,600) at TOR (Kay); 3B Kyle Seager ($4,400) at SD (Dylan Covey); 3B/SS Manny Machado at COL (Jeff Hoffman).
Top Play: 3B Matt Chapman, OAK ($4,600) at TEX
Brock Burke is someone who has shown some decent ability in Double-A this year with a 26.8% strikeout rate, but the early returns in the majors haven’t been good. He’s got the lowest K-BB rate on the board tonight at 4.2% and the lowest CSW as well at 23.4%. Oakland also boasts one of the night’s more robust implied totals north of six runs, so this looks like a plenty reasonable spot to target bats. Matt Chapman has been fantastic against lefties the past two years, amassing a .358 wOBA and 129 wRC+.
Honorable mentions: 3B Nolan Arenado ($5,400) vs. SD (Joey Lucchesi); 3B/SS Alex Bregman ($5,400) at KC (Danny Duffy); OF Mark Canha ($4,600) at TEX (Burke); OF Mike Trout ($5,100) vs. TB (TBD); 1B Dan Vogelbach ($4,200) vs. CWS (Covey).
Value: OF Christin Stewart, DET ($3,900) vs. BAL
Into Detroit comes Aaron Brooks (11.2% K-BB rate, 26% CSW, 4.89 SIERA) who has allowed a .385 wOBA and .254 ISO to opposing left-handed hitters. So this is not a bad time to try and target some cheap Tigers bats. Christin Stewart was a popular target toward the end of seasonlong drafts as a potential breakout candidate, but it wasn’t meant to be as he struggled posting a .310 wOBA before eventually being demoted. He had a strong showing in Triple-A though, with a .388 wOBA and 131 wRC+. He’s a cheap bat with good power upside here in a plus matchup.
Honorable mentions: 3B Jeimer Candelario ($3,300) vs BAL (Brooks); OF Josh VanMeter ($3,700) at ARI (Mike Leake); 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,800) vs. NYY (Masahiro Tanaka); OF Khris Davis ($3,800) at TEX (Burke); 1B Luke Voit ($4,000) at TOR (Kay); Franmil Reyes (GPP) ($4,000) vs. MIN (Odorizzi).
Top Stack: OAK at TEX (Burke)
As mentioned earlier, the A’s get what looks to be an exploitable matchup against the lefty Burke, who has been basically the antithesis of Cole in his stint in the majors. The nice thing about the Oakland lineup is that it features quite a few quality right-handed hitters who have hit lefties well the past two years. Here’s a quick glance at their numbers against left-handed pitchers the past two seasons, starting from the top with Marcus Semien (.340 wOBA, 117 wRC+), Mark Canha (.367 wOBA, 136 wRC+), Ramon Laureano (.338 wOBA, 115 wRC+), Khris Davis (.340 wOBA, 117 wRC+), Jurickson Profar (.357 wOBA, 127 wRC+) to go along with the aforementioned Chapman (.358 wOBA, 129 wRC+). Chad Pinder (.333 wOBA, 113 wRC+) could also be a potential salary saver here too at just $3,500, and he has the added bonus of second base eligibility.
Honorable mentions: NYY at TOR (Kay); HOU at KC (Duffy); SD at COL (Hoffman).
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.