DAILY MATCHUPS: Bauer leads us out of the break

As a way to preview the day's games, the 2018 Daily Matchups column will provide a list of all SP scheduled to start that day as identified by the HQ Pitcher Matchup tool (also available as an 8-day scan). It will group the day's SP into strong starts, judgment calls, or weak starts and will provide an analysis of the most noteworthy SP along the way.

For additional DFS coverage collected in one place, see our Daily Dashboard page. Also reference our three-year ballpark factorsteam indicator pages, and SP Buyers Guide columns to help you optimize your SP utilization.

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Today's schedule overview: Friday's full slate features six NL matchups, six AL matchups, and three interleague matchups, which will add a DH to the Giants, Marlins, and Mets. The STL at CHC matchup is the only afternoon game, which starts at 2:20 PM (EST). Three matchups will start the evening slate at 7:05 PM (EST). Monitor the weather forecasts, as there is a chance of rain for the STL at CHC, BOS at DET, and PIT at CIN matchups. Be sure to check updated weather forecasts closer to first pitch on Friday. 

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Strong Starts (top tier starts rated >1.0; starts in 0.50-0.99 range also favorable)

 


  SP   Tm Opp   RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Trevor Bauer CLE @TEX   2.11 3.37 1.47 1.77 1.84 5 5 5 5 3
  Rich Hill LA @MIL   1.22 1.91 0.81 1.16 0.98 4 2 4 4 3
  David Price BOS @DET   1.20 1.25 1.03 1.53 0.99 1 3 1 2 4
  Nathan Eovaldi TAM vMIA   1.16 0.58 1.29 1.64 1.13 2 4 2 5 0
  German Marquez COL @ARI   1.13 1.21 1.57 1.35 0.39 1 1 4 3 3
  Stephen Strasburg WAS vATL   1.00 -0.18 1.69 1.64 0.84 5 3 4 3 0
  Kyle Gibson MIN @KC   0.95 1.80 0.89 0.64 0.48 1 3 0 3 5
  Robbie Ray ARI vCOL   0.84 2.20 1.04 0.85 -0.73 2 4 2 2 3
  Jack Flaherty STL @CHC   0.81 1.10 0.59 0.61 0.95 4 1 3 1 3
  Noah Syndergaard NYM @NYY   0.68 1.18 0.54 1.21 -0.20 1 3 5 2 1
  Jake Arrieta PHI vSD   0.67 0.86 0.85 0.53 0.44 2 2 2 4 3
  Tyler Skaggs LAA vHOU   0.64 1.20 0.91 0.88 -0.42 5 4 4 4 4
  Tyler Mahle CIN vPIT   0.63 0.98 0.62 0.53 0.39 2 2 2 3 0
  Dallas Keuchel HOU @LAA   0.52 0.33 1.11 0.72 -0.08 3 1 5 3 2

Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, TAM) did not fare well in a July 13 start at MIN, as he allowed eight ER in 2.2 IP. He may find a softer landing against the Marlins' below-average offense vs. RHP. In a July 2 outing at MIA, the right-hander struck out five and allowed two ER in six IP. His 65% FpK and 1.4 Ctl contribute to a strong WHIP rating, and his 49% GB% and 3.54 xERA can give ERA aid. 

German Marquez (RHP, COL) owns a 2.62 away ERA, as limiting the walks (2.3 Ctl) and home runs (14% hr/f) on the road have boosted his results. In a March 31 start at ARI, he struck out four and walked four in five scoreless innings. Arizona's .295 wOBA vs. RHP ranks in the bottom five, and they have provided below-average offense in home games. 

Kyle Gibson (RHP, MIN) earns a strong strikeout rating by using a slider more that creates swings and misses (27% SwK) often. Kansas City has been a bottom-five offense vs. RHP with a .291 wOBA, and the right-hander threw seven scoreless innings at KC on May 29. Even though he has a decent chance at earning a win, his 58% FpK and 3.6 Ctl could add WHIP inflation. 

Robbie Ray (LHP, ARI) rematches vs. COL after striking out eight Rockies and giving up two ER in 5.1 IP on July 12. While his velocity has dipped to 93.2 MPH in 2018, his 14% SwK and 13.6 Dom contribute to the second-highest strikeout rating on Friday. Unfortunately, his 5.0 Ctl and 1.49 WHIP can hurt a roster. A 39% hr/f and 52% hard-contact rate have led to a 7.97 home ERA. 

Jack Flaherty (RHP, STL) backs his strikeout rating with a 13% SwK and 10.4 Dom. On June 17, he struck out seven Chicago hitters in five scoreless IP. The right-hander's 3.38 xERA contributes to a decent ERA rating, but a 4.44 ERA in his last five GS adds risk. The Cubs have been the second-best offense in the majors vs. RHP with a .335 wOBA, and they have been an above-average lineup at home. 

Jake Arrieta (RHP, PHI) draws a soft landing after the All-Star break with a matchup against a Padres offense that is the worst in the majors vs. RHP. While his 8% SwK has led to a 6.3 Dom, the Padres' 25.9% K% vs. RHP boosts his strikeout rating. He has had better command (2.7 Cmd) in home starts, and his 55% GB% has played a role in his 4.09 xERA. 

Tyler Skaggs (LHP, LAA) fared well in his return from the DL on July 12, as he struck out five and allowed one ER in six IP vs. SEA. He will look for his sixth-straight PQS-DOM against an Astros offense that hits LHP well with a .343 wOBA. The southpaw's 12% SwK and 9.6 Dom bode well for strikeouts, but Houston does not swing and miss often vs. LHP. In an April 23 start at HOU, Skaggs struck out three and threw seven scoreless innings for a PQS-4. 

Tyler Mahle (RHP, CIN) carries a 11.5 home Dom and 2.9 home Ctl into a matchup with the Pirates' average offense vs. RHP. As HQ analyst Greg Pyron mentioned in Facts/Flukes, he has been better in home starts. LHH are worth a start, as they own a .953 OPS against him with a 46% hard-contact rate. 

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)


  SP   Tm Opp   RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Domingo German NYY vNYM   0.47 0.79 0.48 0.92 -0.30 4 0 1 2 2
  Danny Duffy KC vMIN   0.39 1.45 0.46 0.23 -0.60 3 3 0 3 4
  Anibal Sanchez ATL @WAS   0.26 0.92 0.43 1.03 -1.34 1 3 0 5 4
  Sam Gaviglio TOR vBAL   0.10 -0.53 0.10 0.59 0.22 2 3 2 1 0
  Jon Lester CHC vSTL   0.10 0.81 0.09 0.13 -0.64 3 3 1 2 1
  Wade LeBlanc SEA vCHW   0.06 -0.44 0.07 0.57 0.04 1 0 3 2 0
  Jameson Taillon PIT @CIN   0.01 1.17 -0.22 -0.03 -0.89 2 3 0 5 3
  Dylan Bundy BAL @TOR   -0.08 0.97 -0.55 -0.02 -0.72 5 2 4 0 0
  James Shields CHW @SEA   -0.13 0.65 -0.33 -0.18 -0.65 0 4 2 2 5
  Dereck Rodriguez SF @OAK   -0.24 -0.69 -0.30 -0.18 0.20 2 3 4 4 3
  Clayton Richard SD @PHI   -0.41 -0.25 -0.02 -1.00 -0.36 3 3 0 1 1
  Dan Straily MIA @TAM   -0.48 0.49 -0.48 -0.31 -1.63 0 4 3 2 4

Domingo German (RHP, NYY) owns a 7.87 ERA in his last five GS, and he allowed six ER in four IP at CLE on July 13. The Mets have been a below-average lineup with a .306 wOBA vs. RHP, and they have been the worst MLB offense in July. His 15% SwK can increase strikeout totals, and he struck out nine Mets and allowed three ER in six IP on June 9. 

Anibal Sanchez (RHP, ATL) threw two PQS-DOM outings at MIL and vs. ARI in his last two starts. His 65% FpK and 2.6 Ctl can lower WHIP, and increasing his soft contact to 23.6% has contributed to his 3.87 xERA. Against RHP, the Nationals have been an average offense. In ten scoreless innings vs. WAS, the right-hander has struck out seven with four walks. 

Sam Gaviglio (RHP, TOR) toes the rubber against the Orioles, who have been the third-worst MLB offense vs. RHP before losing Manny Machado. The right-hander finds the strike zone early with a 68% FpK, and his 50% GB% has contributed to a 4.09 xERA. He has fared better in home starts, as a 54% home GB% and 11% hr/f have helped his efforts. 

Jon Lester (LHP, CHC) posted a 26% H% and 84% S% in the first half, as his 4.50 xERA looms above his 2.58 ERA. His hard-contact rate has increased to 33% in 2018, and more fly balls add ERA risk. His 1.7 home Cmd cuts into his WHIP rating, and Lady Luck has helped the lefty limit the Cardinals to four ER in 17 IP. 

Wade LeBlanc (LHP, SEA) faces a White Sox lineup that has a below-average .302 wOBA vs. LHP. While his 66% FpK and 1.8 Ctl lead to a strong WHIP rating, his 6.6 Dom contributes to a poor strikeout rating. In an appearance at CHW on April 23, the lefty struck out six and allowed two ER in 4.2 IP. He has posted three PQS-DEC starts in his last four home starts, even though he has allowed more home runs (15% hr/f) in home starts. 

Jameson Taillon (RHP, PIT) backs his 3.67 xERA with a 63% FpK, 10% SwK, and 50% GB%. The right-hander has made two 2018 starts vs. the Reds' above-average offense vs. RHP. On April 8, he pitched a complete-game shutout vs. the Reds, and on May 22 at CIN, he punched out eight and allowed six ER in six IP. 

Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL) owns a 5.22 ERA in his last five GS, but his 14% SwK and 9.8 Dom can add strikeouts to a roster. He has better command (3.9 Cmd) in away starts, and allowing fewer away HR (14% hr/f) has helped his 3.97 away ERA. While he posted a PQS-4 vs. TOR on April 9, his ratings and two poor starts in his last two tries add risk to his start. 

Dereck Rodriguez (RHP, SF) makes a start versus Oakland's above-average offense against RHP. His 57% FpK will make it difficult to maintain his 2.5 Ctl, and a 78% S% has kept his 2.89 ERA below his 4.25 xERA. His negative ratings and 39% hard-contact rate carry risk. 

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)


  SP   Tm Opp   RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Matt Boyd DET vBOS   -0.52 0.22 -0.61 -0.19 -1.49 1 1 3 1 3
  Edwin Jackson OAK vSF   -0.91 -0.59 -0.96 -1.37 -0.70 3 4 2 2
  Wade Miley MIL vLA   -1.00 0.03 -0.87 -1.66 -1.48 2 1 3
  Martin Perez TEX vCLE   -1.36 -1.26 -0.84 -1.32 -2.01 0 0 2 0 3

Matt Boyd (LHP, DET) carries his 46% FB% and 36% hard-contact rate into a matchup with a Boston lineup that has been a top-three offense in July. The Red Sox have improved to an above-average lineup vs. LHP, and his 4.61 xERA adds ERA risk. Three PQS-DIS outings and a 9.78 ERA in his last five GS move the southpaw down the ratings. 

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ALL NEW FORMAT FOR 2018!

Our Starting Pitcher Matchup Scores algorithm has been completely revamped for 2018. Based on this research piece from Arik Florimonte, we now calculate a pitcher's individual Matchup Score for a single start by first calculating an individual score representing his potential performance for each rotisserie category, and then rolling those into an overall rating for the day's start. 

This rating assesses each starter's outlook on a given day, taking into account the pitcher’s inherent ability, recent performance, strength of defense, ballpark, and opposition’s offense recent history.

There are roughly 150 starting pitchers in MLB rotations at any given time. For different league sizes, we can estimate the number of SP in the useable pool, and then determine the overall ratings that correspond to worst, 25th percentile, median, and 75th percentile SP.      

                 Overall SP Rating
                    SP      by SP league percentile
League size       Pool*     .00    .25    .50    .75
==============    =====    ====   ====   ====   =====
12-team “only”     120     -.73   -.22   +.22   +.74
10-team “only”     110     -.54   -.11   +.30   +.79
20-team mixed      110     -.54   -.11   +.30   +.79
15-team mixed      105     -.46   -.05   +.34   +.82
12-team mixed       80     -.07   +.22   +.55   +.97
10-team mixed       60     +.22   +.46   +.74   +1.12

So if you’re in a 12-team “only” league, the median start should have a rating of about 0.2. The 120th start is around -0.7. In a shallower, 15-team mixed, the median start is 0.34 and a top pitcher +0.82.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.