DAILY MATCHUPS: Bieber best of the bunch on a light Weds

As a way to preview the day's games, the 2019 Daily Matchups column will provide a list of all SP scheduled to start that day. The Daily Matchups column works hand-in-hand with 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. Tips on how to best use these SP tools can be found in this 2019 GM's OFFICE column.

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.


Today's schedule overview: A light Wednesday finds eight teams (five AL, three NL) off for the day. Eleven games – all of the intraleague variety – make for the abbreviated slate coming off the holiday weekend. Wet weather isn’t forecasted as an issue anywhere, but keep an eye on the East Coast for any spinoff effect from Hurricane Dorian. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber draws far-and-away the highest Matchup Rating of the day. Bieber will take the mound at home against the White Sox (.631 OPS since Aug. 23, .690 OPS vs. RHP).


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

  Shane Bieber (R) CLE vCHW 3.46 3.40 3.28 3.72 3.42 3 2 3 4 5
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA vCOL 1.55 0.91 1.34 1.91 2.02 2 4 2 2 2
  Aaron Nola (R) PHI @CIN 1.54 2.25 1.24 1.77 0.91 1 4 4 5 5
  Jakob Junis (R) KC vDET 1.12 1.22 0.83 1.22 1.19 2 2 4 0 2
  Chad Green (R) NYY vTEX 0.90 0.82 0.64 1.29 0.85 1 2 2 2 0
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF @STL 0.77 1.17 0.51 1.42 -0.01 4 4 2 3 4
  Zac Gallen (R) ARI vSD 0.71 1.58 0.67 0.44 0.13 3 2 3 2 3
  Michael Wacha (R) STL vSF 0.54 0.49 0.83 0.81 0.01 0 1 4 2 4
  Patrick Sandoval (L) LAA @OAK 0.51 1.39 0.55 0.43 -0.35 0 2 1 4

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) has scuffled as of late (7.48 ERA/4.52 xERA last 4 GS), but here’s a spot for a probable bounce. The Rockies struggle away from home. Take away his last home start – which was a second off the IL and against the Yankees – and Ryu has been remarkably consistent at home.

Zac Gallen (RHP, ARI) owns a sub-4.00 xERA over his last three starts. Gallen is catching a San Diego club which, even with a couple decent games this road trip, is batting just .225/.288/.376 (.664) over its last 17 games. The young righty has tossed three PQS-3s in as many home starts since being acquired from the Marlins. Up noticeably since that acquisition: velocity and GB%.          

Michael Wacha (RHP, STL) is coming off a nice home turn and has pitched well at Busch after some early-season hiccups. San Francisco’s left-leaning lineup plays into a Wacha strength. The Giants logged some impressive numbers over an Aug. 15-25 road trip, but they’re hitting an anemic .233/.273/.363 (.636) since.

Patrick Sandoval (LHP, LAA) is coming off a PQS-4 in the second of back-to-back turns against Texas. The Angel rookie struck out a season-high nine in his last start.


Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  Chris Paddack (R) SD @ARI 0.41 0.77 0.19 1.29 -0.63 2 3 2 0 4
  Eduardo Rodriguez (L) BOS vMIN 0.39 1.15 0.03 0.25 0.11 1 1 3 5 2
  Anibal Sanchez (R) WAS vNYM 0.34 0.62 -0.09 0.52 0.30 3 2 2 5 2
  Tanner Roark (R) OAK vLAA 0.28 0.82 0.24 0.56 -0.49 3 4 1 3 2
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN vPHI 0.18 2.05 -0.22 0.29 -1.41 4 0 4 1 1
  Lance Lynn (R) TEX @NYY 0.09 2.00 -0.87 0.56 -1.35 3 2 2 3 3
  Jose Berrios (R) MIN @BOS 0.08 1.05 -0.47 0.29 -0.56 1 1 1 1 3
  Trevor Williams (R) PIT vMIA -0.36 -0.40 -0.64 -0.32 -0.09 0 1 0 3 4
  Robert Dugger (R) MIA @PIT -0.41 0.03 -0.89 -0.38 -0.41 0 4
  Zack Wheeler (R) NYM @WAS -0.49 0.19 -0.87 -0.49 -0.80 4 0 2 0 1

Chris Paddack (RHP, SD) is coming off a fine road start in San Francisco. Paddack has logged solid performances against ARI this season (3.01 xERA, 12.0 Cmd).

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, BOS) returns to Fenway after back-to-back starts on the road. The Boston port-sider threw 104 pitches in a fatiguing Coors Field start in his last; on Wednesday, he draws a Minnesota nine which has hit him well (.932 OPS, .255 ISO). Rodriguez is usually tough at home, but beware this one against a Twins squad averaging 7.5 RPG on a .903 OPS since Aug. 13.

Anibal Sanchez (RHP, WAS) is tagged with a positive figure for his Wednesday home start against the New York Mets. Sanchez is coming off back-to-back months of ERA gains and xERA struggles. Control is the most recent culprit in keeping Sanchez from being a decent second-line option. The right-hander walked four against MIA in a five-inning start in his last; he’s walked 10 in his last 17.1 IP. The Mets have scored 7.2 RPG over their last 11 away from Citi Field.

Tanner Roark (RHP, OAK) draws a home start against LAA (.712 OPS last 42G, .679 OPS last 10). With excellent control of late (1.8 Ctl last 5 GS), Roark has peripherals trending in the right direction. His last two efforts at home resulted in quality starts—against the Astros and Yankees no less. The Angels owns a .682 road OPS since the break.

Trevor Bauer (RHP, CIN) was beaten up, nay, bludgeoned around the margins in logging an 8.40 ERA, 1.70 WHIP in the month of August. Things to like on the checklist for this one against Philadelphia: starting at home (where he’s been good in two starts since coming over from CLE), PHI on the road (.697 OPS in the second half), the Phillies against RHP (.739 OPS), and Bauer vs. PHI (.646 OPSA, .107 ISO allowed).

Lance Lynn (RHP, TEX) is tabbed for Wednesday’s evening turn at Yankee Stadium. Lynn is seemingly on a three-month roll, but a deeper dive into is August numbers unveils some regression underway. The veteran has yielded more fly balls of late, but his August hr/f of 5% helped defend a 3.77 season ERA. The Yankees’ batting numbers have been down of late, but New York has gone against several top pitching clubs over that down stretch. Tread lightly.

Jose Berrios (RHP, MIN) is coming off a fine start... against a much different Sox team. The right-hander’s last month has amounted to a shaky-form Boeing ERA (7.57). Perhaps he started to turn the corner in his last outing against the White Sox. But enter the Red Sox and their .895 OPS since Aug. 9. And their numbers at home and against right-handers. Then look elsewhere.

Trevor Williams (RHP, PIT) has fared better over his last two starts after four straight shaky outings from Aug. 2-19. WiIliams has scuffled at PNC this season (6.21 ERA, 1.49 WHIP), but the visitors in this one—the Miami Marlins—own a .652 OPS since mid-August. Their .660 OPS vs. right-handed pitching ranks 30th in MLB.

Robert Dugger (RHP, MIA) will be at Pittsburgh for career start No. 3. The Pirates have gone off over recent road trips: .961 on a trip ended Sunday, .841 over a mid-August trip before that. And those figures came in and around a .661 home OPS since the break. Worth a look if you don’t have an autopilot choice on the hill.

Zack Wheeler (RHP, NYM) is rated in the red for his Wednesday matinee start at Washington. The Nationals have ridden 59 HR to averaging 6.9 RPG over their last 32 contests. The WAS attack has notched an .888 OPS over that stretch. Wheeler has exhibited a shrinking-SwK 5.73 xERA over the last month. Current WAS batters have clocked his stuff to the tune of an .851 and a 0.72 Eye.


Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  Edwin Jackson (R) DET @KC -1.21 -0.45 -1.17 -1.52 -1.69 2 2 2 1 1
  Ivan Nova (R) CHW @CLE -1.75 -1.07 -1.50 -0.52 -3.92 3 4 1 2 0
  Antonio Senzatela (R) COL @LA -1.81 -1.00 -1.96 -2.04 -2.25 0 1 1 1 0

Ivan Nova (RHP, CHW) is coming of a four-inning disaster and has a terrible line against the Indians (.852 OPSA). Cleveland has scored 5.2 RPG on an .810 OPS since July 15. CLE owns an .841 OPS over its last eight games.



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.


EDITOR'S NOTE ON DEADLINES AND ACCURACY: The writer deadline on these articles is noon before the publish day, with a goal to have the column available for subscribers by 10pm ET that evening. There will be instances when weather, managerial decisions, or other factors will take place after the piece is published that will affect the accuracy of the above information. In those instances, we strive to manually update the article by mid-morning at the latest. However, the HQ Pitcher Matchup Tool page is updated automatically and may have the correct data (scheduled starter, all the same component scores in a sortable chart) sooner than this column. Thanks for your understanding. 

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