DAILY MATCHUPS: Boyd and Ryu head Fourth of July slate

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: There are 12 games on the Thursday schedule, with six in the AL, five in the NL, and an interleague matchup as the Cardinals visit the Mariners. There are no weather issues in the forecast. In Texas, the wind is predicted to be blowing in from right field at 12 mph.

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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
  Matt Boyd (L) DET @CHW 1.91 2.95 1.42 2.58 0.70 2 3 2 2 4
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA vSD 1.72 1.10 1.72 2.11 1.93 3 2 4 3 1
  Brandon Woodruff (R) MIL @CIN 1.56 2.51 1.36 1.87 0.49 3 4 2 3 5
  Lance Lynn (R) TEX vLAA 0.93 1.82 0.41 1.36 0.14 2 3 4 4 5
  Jose Berrios (R) MIN @OAK 0.91 1.54 0.45 1.32 0.34 3 3 5 3 3
  Anibal Sanchez (R) WAS vMIA 0.89 0.95 0.58 1.08 0.94 3 1 1 2 2
  Zach Plesac (R) CLE @KC 0.62 0.63 0.69 0.83 0.32 4 3 3 2 0
  Luis Castillo (R) CIN vMIL 0.52 2.23 0.48 0.35 -0.99 2 3 3 1 3

Luis Castillo (RHP, CIN) has pitched well this season with a 2.47 ERA. He next faces the Milwaukee Brewers for the fourth time, with this outing coming in Cincinnati. Castillo has been brilliant at home, with a 1.92 ERA compared to 3.21 on the road. He faced the Brewers in Great American Ballpark on April 3 and hurled a PQS-4, allowing 1 ER in 7 IP. The Brewers have hit well on the road, with an OPS ranking 5th in the league. The overall score for this outing would be much higher except for a strong negative win score. 

 

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

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Yonny Chirinos (R) TAM vNYY 0.38 0.90 0.14 0.58 -0.10 5 2 3 0 3
  Marcus Stroman (R) TOR vBOS 0.34 -0.04 0.40 0.23 0.78 0 3 3 4 0
  Tommy Milone (L) SEA vSTL 0.29 0.07 0.07 0.97 0.03 4 3 2 2
  Michael Soroka (R) ATL vPHI 0.22 -0.26 0.13 0.38 0.63 5 1 0 2 2
  Felix Pena (R) LAA @TEX 0.06 0.86 -0.10 0.12 -0.64 1 3 2 1
  Jordan Lyles (R) PIT vCHC -0.01 0.71 -0.28 -0.31 -0.16 3 1 2 1 2
  J.A. Happ (L) NYY @TAM -0.04 0.12 -0.06 0.47 -0.70 2 3 0 2 0
  Ivan Nova (R) CHW vDET -0.05 0.23 0.11 0.79 -1.33 3 1 1 2 1
  Homer Bailey (R) KC vCLE -0.15 0.26 -0.04 TBD -0.82 2 3 5 3 1
  Michael Wacha (R) STL @SEA -0.27 0.32 -0.31 -0.34 -0.73 0 2 1 3 2
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI @ATL -0.36 0.93 -1.14 -0.08 -1.13 3 5 3 1 1
  Jose Quintana (L) CHC @PIT -0.37 -0.36 -0.41 -0.01 -0.70 4 1 0 0 2
  Tanner Anderson (R) OAK vMIN -0.40 -0.83 -0.33 0.42 -0.84 2 2 2 1

Yonny Chirinos (RHP, TAM) was solid in June with a 3.38 ERA, 3.74 xERA, and 103 BPV. He'll next take on the Yankees in Tampa. Chirinos has faced the Yankees twice this season in New York and allowed 3 ER in 10.7 IP and met them once in Tampa, allowing 2 ER in 4 IP. Chirinos has very even home/road splits (3.00 ERA home/3.20 away). The Yankees have been outstanding on the road with an OPS of .815 that ranks 2nd in the AL. This one's a definite judgment call.

Tommy Milone (LHP, SEA) has a sparkling 2.85 ERA, as he prepares to face the Cardinals in Seattle. Milone has been very consistent. He's pitched between 4.3 and 6.3 IP in each of his eight appearances, and he has allowed no more than 3 ER in any outing. In five of the outings, he's fanned at least 6, and he's allowed more than two walks only once. The Cardinals are a below average road team, with an OPS that ranks 10th in the NL, and they struggle against LHP, with an OPS that ranks 12th.  Milone has an excellent WHIP subscore, with the win rating being neutral. There's not a lot of upside in this outing but it also presents low risk of a blowup.

Michael Soroka (RHP, ATL) outpitched his xERA in April and May but fell back in June to a 3.71 ERA, 3.76 xERA. He'll next face the Phillies in Atlanta. Soroka has not been at his best at home, with a 3.28 ERA compared to 1.29 on the road, but the Phillies have struggled on the road, with an OPS that ranks 11th in the NL. Soroka's past four starts have been PQS-2 or lower, so there is some risk here. A definite judgment call.

Marcus Stroman (RHP, TOR) left his start on June 29 with a left pectoral cramp but is expected to make this start against Boston in Toronto. Stroman produced an ERA over 4.00 in both May and June after a torrid April. He has been at his worst at home, where he has a 3.47 ERA compared to 2.66 on the road, and he's served up 10 homers in Rogers Centre but allowed none on the road. The Red Sox have been a solid road team, with an OPS that ranks 5th  in the AL. Stroman has held the Red Sox in check so far this season, allowing them only 1 ER in 6 IP on May 21 in Toronto and shutting them out over 6 IP on June 23 in Boston. 

Feliz Pena (RHP, LAA) has been working in the pen since the end of April and has not pitched well, with a 7.97 ERA in June, although a 4.96 xERA shows a lot of bad luck. He'll face the Rangers in Texas. The Rangers have hit well at home, with an OPS over .800 that ranks 3rd in the AL. With a 9.6 Dom Pena should get his strikeouts, but the rest could produce plenty of fireworks. If you need anything other than Ks, this is high risk.

J. A. Happ (LHP, NYY) has struggled recently, with two PQS-0s in his past three games. He'll try for better results against the Rays in Tampa. Happ has been at his best on the road, with a 4.05 ERA compared to 6.29 in Yankee Stadium. The Rays have been solid at home, with an OPS right at league average, and they rank 8th against LHP. A definite judgment call.

Ivan Nova (RHP, CHW) had his best results of the season in June, with a 4.89 ERA in six starts, as he faces the AL's second-worst road team, the Detroit Tigers, in Guaranteed Rate Field. Those two things are the upside of this matchup, but there is plenty of potential downside. Nova has thrown a PQS-DIS in three of his past four games, his home ERA is a horrendous 8.31, and on April 18 in Detroit the Tigers pounded him for 6 ER in 6.3 IP. This is a judgment call with lots of risk.

Jose Quintana (LHP, CHC) got outstanding results in his most recent outing against the Reds, as he allowed no ER in 6 IP, but that performance only lowered his ERA for the month of June to 5.17, a mark that is actually better than his 5.36 xERA for the month. He'll try to keep the magic going against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Pirates' home OPS ranks 8th in the NL, and they are below average against LHP with an OPS below .700. Which Quintana will we see?  The upside here is evident from his last outing (although it was only a PQS-2), while the downside is clear from the three PQS-DIS performances that preceded it. 

Jordan Lyles (RHP, PIT) started the season with a sub-2.00 ERA in his first 8 starts. Since then, he's allowed 19 ER in 24.7 IP with a k/bb of 24/10. He'll next face the Cubs and Quintana in Pittsburgh. Lyles has been at his worst at home, with a 3.93 ERA in 6 starts. The Cubs have been average on the road with an OPS that ranks 9th in the NL. Lyles has allowed at least 3 ER in each of his past five starts. That recent performance makes this a risky outing.

Michael Wacha (RHP, STL) was outstanding in June with a 2.84 ERA and 93 BPV. His 3.91 xERA says he was a bit lucky, but this was still a solid peformance after ERAs of 5.75 and 8.86 in April and May. He'll try to keep the good work going against the Mariners in Seattle. With the exception of one terrible outing when he allowed 6 ER in 1 IP in Philadelphia, Wacha has been solid on the road this season. The Mariners have been average at home, with an OPS ranking 8th in the league.  This outing has some upside.

Homer Bailey (RHP, KC) has arguably improved this season, as he has a 4.87 ERA after last season's 6.09 mark. The problem with Bailey is you are never sure what you are going to get from one start to the next, as evidenced by his 24% PQS-DOM and 35% PQS-DIS. This outing comes against the Indians in Kansas City. Bailey has been at his best at home, with a 4.35 ERA compared to 5.60 on the road, and he was spectacular against the Indians in Kauffman Stadium on April 13, when he allowed 2 H and 0 ER in 7 IP. Cleveland has been below average on the road, with an OPS ranking 11th in the AL. 

Tanner Anderson (RHP, OAK) has struggled as a starter this season, with a 7.13 ERA over four starts.  But a 4.13 xERA, 33% H%, and 57% S% speak to bad luck. His biggest problem has been a 29% hr/f rate. Next he'll face Minnesota in Oakland. Anderson's two home starts have yielded 5 ER 9.3 IP but only one homer. But this is a tough matchup as the Twins are the AL's best road team with an OPS above .850. 

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) was spectacular in May with a 2.64 ERA over this five starts, but a 4.57 xERA spelled regression. That regression has come in June, with a 4.02 ERA and xERA of 4.50 says the regression may not be finished. Eflin next faces the Braves in Atlanta. Eflin has not been at his best on the road where his ERA is 3.62 compared to 3.04 at home. The Braves have been excellent at home, with an OPS near .850 that ranks 3rd. Eflin's 8.3 Dom over the past month should generate some strikeouts, but the rest of his profile for this start is negative.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Rick Porcello (R) BOS @TOR -0.58 0.14 -1.06 -0.13 -1.28 1 5 5 1 0
  Elieser Hernandez (R) MIA @WAS -0.59 0.25 -1.09 -0.06 -1.44 4 3 3 3
  Eric Lauer (L) SD @LA -1.12 -0.05 -1.19 -0.82 -2.43 2 2 1 4 2

Rick Porcello (RHP, BOS) has struggled over the past month with a 6.46 ERA in his six June starts. There is always upside potential, as shown by two recent PQS-DOM outings, but this season has seen plenty of downside as well, as shown by a 41% PQS-DIS. He'll next face the Blue Jays in Toronto. Porcello faced Toronto in Rogers Centre on May 22 and got good results allowing 1 ER in 6 IP, but it was a PQS-2 outing. He also faced the Blue Jays in Boston on June 23 and allowed 5 ER in 6 IP. Toronto has hit poorly at home, with an OPS below .700 that ranks 14th. A risky outing.

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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.