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.
MLB is back to playing games that count this Tuesday night. Since teams reset their rotations late last week, few (if any) legitimate aces take the hill tonight. That makes some streakers and matchup plays a bit too pricey, but two pitchers particularly stand out above the fray. Keep in mind that these recommendations all follow the goal of playing Trevor Story ($5,400) and/or Nolan Arenado ($5,100) at Coors against lefty Drew Pomeranz.
Top SP: Brandon Woodruff, MIL ($8,700) at TOR
The Braves lead MLB in wOBA since the start of June. This is a bad matchup for Woodruff, and DraftKings knows it. He’s cheaper than nine other starters despite depositing the fifth-most DraftKings points per game (16.1) among Tuesday’s probables. That includes small samples from Jordan Yamamoto and Alex Young. Beyond a trip to Coors, $8,700 is too cheap for a burgeoning ace who has amassed a 3.67 ERA, 2.91 FIP and 23.1 K-BB% in 2019. Before the Braves caught fire last month, the Brewers righty stifled them to two runs over eight innings on May 19. While Woodruff comes with considerable risk, the same can be said for Lance Lynn and Walker Buehler, each of whom cost five digits in tough ballparks.
Value SP: Jack Flaherty, STL ($7,400) vs. PIT
Gamers seeking a cheap pitcher with a great matchup can plug their nose and hope Austin Voth or Zach Plesac excels against the Orioles or Tigers, respectively. Or they can spend a few extra bucks on Flaherty. He has fallen way short of preseason expectations, posting a 4.67 ERA and 4.74 FIP. Enduring a relatable problem, the righty has already relinquished as many home runs (20) this season as he allowed during a breakout 2018. For all his troubles, the 23-year-old has still stockpiled 107 strikeouts in 97 innings. He touts a 3.48 ERA at home, which is good news for the Cardinals, who are hosting a beatable Pirates lineup. The boom-or-bust play contains too much upside to fade at this generous cost.
DeSclafani has delivered a 3.32 ERA over his last six starts, a stretch that includes six shutout innings against the Cubs on June 30. Although he’s an intriguing hurler who’s striking out over a batter per frame, he’s still getting pummeled (.309/.376/.591) by lefties. He’ll face a darn good one in Rizzo, who sports a .307/.409/.571 slash line against righties. This is a tremendous price for an opportune matchup. That also applies to Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber ($3,900) and Robel Garcia ($3,400).
I feel like a broken record, but time is running out to take advantage of Altuve’s mitigated DraftKings price. As of Monday, the 2017 AL MVP is hitting .322 (29-for-90) in 20 games since returning from the IL. He especially rocketed into form over the weekend, collecting two doubles and a homer among his seven hits. Altuve is hitting a preposterous .411/.443/.821 against lefties this season and .341/.396/.508 over his career. He’d be a fine play even against an All-Star southpaw, but Heaney has gotten hemorrhaged to a 5.18 ERA and 1.94 HR/9 despite his superb 28.0% strikeout rate.
Khris Davis is nearly getting the Chris Davis treatment on DraftKings. The same slugger who led the majors in home runs from 2016 to 2018 costs $3,400. He hasn’t gone yard since June 18 or even tallied an extra-base hit since June 25, but the DH also has the platoon advantage in his favor. The righty has registered a .357 wOBA against lefties during his down year, and Gonzales got shelled to a 5.55 ERA from May 1 to June 30 before bouncing back against Oakland prior to the All-Star break. A streaky slugger even when fully healthy, Davis is always a threat to heat up in seismic fashion.
Lineup Stack: Rockies vs. Giants (LHP Drew Pomeranz)
This one comes straight from the Duh Doy department. Despite pitching in baseball’s best pitching park, Pomeranz has gotten smacked around to a 6.42 ERA. Righties are hitting .314/.402/.588 against him. Lefties haven’t been too shabby (.280/.345/.453) either.
Playing at least one of Arenado or Story is virtually mandatory, and there are enough intriguing bargains to clear cap space for both. Those who don’t want to splurge have a couple of other strong 3B/SS options in Alex Bregman and Manny Machado, each of whom is available at both positions. After the Colorado studs, exposure will depend on the starting lineup. Despite wearing a golden sombrero Monday afternoon, Ian Desmond ($4,400) torches lefties (.417 wOBA) and is batting .306 at home. Should he or another outfielder sit, slide in Raimel Tapia for $4,200. Any of Chris Iannetta ($4,100), Garrett Hampson ($3,300), or Mark Reynolds ($3,200) also warrant a look if given the starting nod.
Honorable Mentions: Giants at Rockies (Lambert); Astros at Angels (Heaney); White Sox at Royals (Sparkman).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is akgould4) 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.
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).