DAILY MATCHUPS: Bieber gets top mark among several Friday strong starts

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.

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Today’s schedule overview: All 30 teams are in action on Friday, with the Padres and Cubs kicking things off with a day game at Wrigley Field, and the Rockies traveling to Yankee Stadium for the day's lone interleague game. The forecast looks good for all matchups, though several games will be played in sweltering conditions, with heat indices at or above 100 degrees.

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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
  Shane Bieber (R) CLE vKC 2.97 2.69 2.97 3.31 2.92 4 3 5 4 5
  Patrick Corbin (L) WAS @ATL 2.74 3.08 2.96 3.17 1.74 3 5 5 5 2
  Jacob deGrom (R) NYM @SF 2.51 2.99 2.14 2.51 2.40 4 3 2 4 2
  Justin Verlander (R) HOU vTEX 2.09 3.55 1.11 2.51 1.19 4 4 1 3 4
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA vMIA 1.72 1.12 1.62 2.04 2.11 4 3 1 3 4
  David Price (L) BOS @BAL 1.26 1.97 0.87 1.25 0.93 2 3 3 4 2
  Marcus Stroman (R) TOR @DET 0.99 0.43 1.00 0.92 1.60 3 3 4 0 3
  Jon Lester (L) CHC vSD 0.62 1.09 0.64 0.75 0.01 2 4 3 3 3
  Adam Wainwright (R) STL @CIN 0.61 1.12 0.55 0.94 -0.19 1 3 3 2 5
  J.A. Happ (L) NYY vCOL 0.57 0.77 -0.10 0.96 0.63 0 2 0 3 4

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) vs. the Marlins gives us the pitcher with the best ERA in baseball against the offense with the league's worst OPS (.661), and Ryu has been even more dominant at home: 0.85 ERA, 8.9 Dom, 10.5 Cmd, 0.4 HR/9 over 9 GS. His K rating is his lowest mark for day due to a pretty average 8.1 Dom, but his 13% SwK suggests he has the skill to generate more strikeouts.

Marcus Stroman (RHP, TOR) is on a bit of a roll lately, with a 3.52 xERA over his last 4 GS, and more interestingly, a 9.6 Dom and 14% SwK over his last 3 GS, which included games against the Red Sox and Yankees. He draws a cushy matchup against an AL-worst DET lineup that has fared worse at home (.647 OPS, 3.4 runs per game), while Stroman himself has been great on the road, with a 2.98 ERA, 7.6 Dom, and 4.6 Cmd over 8 GS.

Adam Wainwright (RHP, STL) has some good-looking numbers over his last 4 GS—2.63 ERA, 2.3 Ctl, 10.5 Dom, 3.18 xERA—but his underlying skills (56% FpK, 8% SwK) don't support the burst of success, and are a match for his rates for the season. In addition, he's struggled badly on the road (6.20 ERA, 1.8 Cmd, 1.5 HR/9 over 8 GS), while the Reds have been a tougher opponent at home, where they sport a .740 OPS and average 4.5 runs per game.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50):

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Tyler Mahle (R) CIN vSTL 0.49 0.92 0.47 0.86 -0.31 4 0 3 1 1
  Chris Bassitt (R) OAK @MIN 0.32 0.19 -0.10 0.36 0.83 3 1 3 1 4
  Jhoulys Chacin (R) MIL @ARI 0.16 0.23 -0.04 -0.13 0.58 1 2 0 2 2
  Eric Lauer (L) SD @CHC 0.10 0.33 0.31 0.26 -0.51 2 1 4 2 4
  Jordan Lyles (R) PIT vPHI 0.02 0.80 -0.30 -0.41 -0.02 2 1 2 2 0
  Jaime Barria (R) LAA @SEA 0.02 0.44 -0.36 0.22 -0.21 0 3 3
  Reynaldo Lopez (R) CHW @TAM -0.01 0.71 -0.70 -0.05 TBD 0 1 1 1 4
  Mike Leake (R) SEA vLAA -0.09 -0.26 -0.42 0.62 -0.29 3 1 2 5 0
  Michael Soroka (R) ATL vWAS -0.14 0.00 0.85 0.90 -2.32 0 2 2 3 5

Tyler Mahle (RHP, CIN) has been hurt by bad luck on balls in play and home runs, both in the short-term (6.15 ERA, 4.15 xERA over last 4 GS), and the season as a whole (4.82 ERA, 3.86 xERA). His K rating is 9th-best on the day, and there's reason to think he could deliver some upside there, as he owns an 11.1 Dom at home both in 2019 and for his career, and the Cardinals strike out more on the road (77% contact at home, 73% away).

Chris Bassitt (RHP, OAK) has been having platoon split issues, holding RHB to a .642 OPS with a 3.7 Cmd rate, but allowing a .728 OPS (that's artificially low thanks to a 22% hit rate) with a 1.9 Cmd rate against LHB. The Twins still lead the majors in OPS and HR, and will likely have 6-7 lefties and switch-hitters in their lineup.

Jhoulys Chacin's (RHP, MIL) 5.19 xERA is a spot-on match for his 5.18 ERA, and while he's been pitching better of late (3.91 ERA, 2.8 Ctl, 10.3 Dom, 4.11 xERA over his last 5 GS), his underlying skills during that stretch (60% FpK, 9% SwK) are not all that different from his overall numbers (58% FpK, 8% SwK). He's also posted more walks than strikeouts against LHB—and the Diamondbacks will probably throw 4-5 lefties and switch-hitters against him—and has been awful on the road (6.38 ERA, 1.63 WHIP). This seems like one to avoid.

Eric Lauer's (LHP, CHC) home/away splits (2.66 ERA at home, 5.75 ERA away) seem like reason to avoid him, but his skills have been comparable (2.8 Cmd home, 3.0 away)—the main cause has been luck, as he's been helped by a 29% hit rate and 78% strand rate at home, and undermined by a 32% hit rate and 59% strand rate on the road. He still carries risk—underlined by his presence here on the Judgment Calls list—but not as much as you might think.

Jordan Lyles (RHP, PIT) has been having control problems of late, with a 7.2 Ctl over his last 4 GS. He also sports a 5.2 Ctl rate over 8 GS on the road. That makes him a risky matchup against the Phillies, who own a 10% walk rate on the season.

Jaime Barria (RHP, LAA) hasn't been as bad as his 5.22 ERA—he has a 9.2 Dom, 12% SwK, and 4.43 xERA, though his 2.1 Ctl rate probably won't last, given his 57% FpK. The Mariners have struggled a bit at home (.737 OPS, 70% contact, .236 xBA), and have been the league's worst offense so far in July (.659 OPS).

Reynaldo Lopez (RHP, CHW) had his worst start of the year against Tampa Bay back on April 10, allowing 8 ER over 4.1 IP on 10 hits and 3 HR, with 4 walks to 5 Ks. On the plus side, he owns a 4.71 xERA over his last 7 GS, which, for him, represents progress.

The Angels have had Mike Leake's (RHP, SEA) number in 2019, as he owns a 6.59 ERA and 5.56 xERA against them over 3 GS, and they just knocked him out in the first inning of his last start, scoring 4 ER on 8 hits. That was at Angel Stadium, however; in 8 home starts, Leake has a 3.42 ERA and 0.7 HR/9.

One of the day's worst Win ratings, courtesy of a matchup against Patrick Corbin, has Mike Soroka (RHP, ATL) at the bottom of the Judgment Call list, but his skills remain solid, including a 1.4 Ctl, 5.5 Cmd, and 72% FpK over his last 5 GS. In addition, the Nationals bats have been tamed a bit on the road, where they sport a .718 OPS, 90 PX, .243 xBA, and average 4.3 runs per game.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below):

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  John Means (L) BAL vBOS -0.59 -0.54 -0.71 0.31 -1.43 2 1 4 4 1
  Jake Arrieta (R) PHI @PIT -0.66 -0.55 -0.63 -0.98 -0.48 2 0 2 2 2
  Mike Minor (L) TEX @HOU -0.69 0.75 -0.81 -0.49 -2.21 3 3 4 2 1
  Jake Odorizzi (R) MIN vOAK -0.93 0.15 -1.75 -0.77 -1.33 2 1 3 0 1
  Taylor Clarke (R) ARI vMIL -0.98 -0.66 -1.26 -0.93 -1.08 0 2 0 1 0
  Kyle Freeland (L) COL @NYY -1.03 -0.44 -1.41 -1.12 -1.13 2 1 0 0 2
  Jordan Zimmermann (R) DET vTOR -1.24 -0.72 -1.67 -0.46 -2.10 2 1 2 1 0
  Zac Gallen (R) MIA @LA -1.42 0.36 -1.68 -1.34 -3.02 3 4 0 2
  Tyler Beede (R) SF vNYM -1.64 -0.06 -1.42 -2.18 -2.90 2 1 1 3 3
  Michael Montgomery (L) KC @CLE -1.86 -1.51 -0.98 -1.38 -3.57 0

Mike Minor (LHP, TEX) hasn't been as sharp of late, with a 4.1 Ctl, 1.8 Cmd, and 4.97 xERA over his last 4 GS. Perhaps related to that: he's thrown 122 IP on the year, and hasn't thrown more than 157 IP in a single season since 2013. He owns a 4.43 xERA over 3 GS against the Astros in 2019, and they just scored 4 runs over 5 IP off him in his last start.

The magic that was powering Jake Odorizzi (RHP, MIN) to the best season of his career has pulled a disappearing act in his last 4 GS: 6.62 ERA, 4.1 Ctl, 6.6 Dom, 57% FpK, 8% SwK, 5.76 xERA. One of those starts came against the A's on July 2, when he allowed 5 ER over 3 IP, with 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 HR.

 

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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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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.