DAILY MATCHUPS: Buehler, Strasburg, Nola top plays for Saturday

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: Saturday’s slate is a full one. Every team will be in action, and the Red Sox and Yankees will play two (day/night) at Yankee Stadium. The interleague contingent on the agenda is comprised of three games: MIA at TAM, CHW at PHI, STL at OAK. No problem spots are on the baseball weather radar.

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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
  Walker Buehler (R) LA vSD 2.62 3.06 2.22 3.00 2.21 2 3 2 5 1
  Stephen Strasburg (R) WAS @ARI 2.53 2.80 2.45 2.47 2.39 5 3 3 4 5
  Aaron Nola (R) PHI vCHW 2.39 3.20 2.11 2.10 2.16 3 3 1 5 2
  Chris Sale (L) BOS @NYY 1.97 3.69 1.38 2.05 0.74 1 2 4 3 2
  Matt Boyd (L) DET @TEX 1.75 2.85 0.98 2.11 1.04 2 4 2 3 5
  Yonny Chirinos (R) TAM vMIA 1.56 1.48 1.41 1.81 1.53 4 4 2 3 0
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF @COL 1.16 1.40 0.88 1.72 0.64 1 3 5 5 4
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN @ATL 1.05 3.33 0.41 0.73 -0.29 5 2 4 5 2
  Chad Green (R) NYY vBOS 0.79 0.92 -0.24 1.21 1.25 3 4 3 2 1
  Chris Archer (R) PIT vNYM 0.69 2.18 0.45 0.74 -0.63 1 3 3 2 0
  Dallas Keuchel (L) ATL vCIN 0.66 0.80 1.09 0.43 0.31 4 3 1 3 1
  Kyle Gibson (R) MIN vKC 0.62 0.23 0.71 0.23 1.30 1 2 4 0 3
  Marcus Stroman (R) NYM @PIT 0.56 0.33 0.92 0.86 0.13 4 0 3 5 5

Yonny Chirinos (RHP, TAM) is coming off a disaster but has otherwise been impressive of late. Chirinos owns a sub-4.00 xERA over his last 11 GS. He’s posted such numbers against a tough slate; this one is against the punchless Miami Marlins (.653 OPS vs. RHP).

Dallas Keuchel (LHP, ATL) has given Atlanta strong efforts at home, which is where he’ll twirl this one against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds have been solid of late against southpaws, and they are a top-5 club against GB pitchers. Nonetheless, Keuchel has done a fine job mitigating hard contact and navigating through third-time-around situations.

Marcus Stroman (RHP, NYM) is coming off back-to-back PQS-5s but is making his first start since July 24. The now-New York Met benefits by getting that return start against a Pirates club batting all of .245/.302/.382 (.684) in the second half.

 

 

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Felix Pena (R) LAA @CLE 0.49 0.94 -0.08 0.21 0.89 3 2 1 2 3
  Domingo German (R) NYY vBOS 0.41 1.65 0.09 1.19 -1.31 3 4 2 0 3
  Thomas Pannone (L) TOR @BAL 0.15 0.82 -0.38 0.48 -0.33 3 0 0 3
  Aaron Sanchez (R) HOU vSEA 0.06 0.69 -0.17 -0.30 0.02 2 1 1 3 3
  Mike Fiers (R) OAK vSTL -0.01 0.33 -0.32 0.31 -0.36 3 3 3 2 2
  Gio Gonzalez (L) MIL @CHC -0.14 0.48 -0.14 -0.34 -0.56 1 2 2 1 4
  Cole Hamels (L) CHC vMIL -0.14 -1.04 0.28 0.14 0.06 5 5 5 2 1
  Marco Gonzales (L) SEA @HOU -0.17 0.53 -0.55 0.30 -0.95 2 4 2 3 5
  Jonathan Gray (R) COL vSF -0.18 1.00 -0.25 -0.35 -1.12 0 4 0 2 4
  Dylan Bundy (R) BAL vTOR -0.30 0.66 -1.10 -0.02 -0.73 0 4 0 3 0
  Dakota Hudson (R) STL @OAK -0.33 -0.03 -0.17 -0.96 -0.14 1 2 0 3 1
  Adrian Sampson (R) TEX vDET -0.44 -0.51 -0.54 0.69 -1.41 3 3 2 0 0

Felix Pena (RHP, LAA) is tabbed for the Angels’ Saturday road start at Cleveland. Pena is coming off a decent start; Saturday’s start will mark his seventh of the season. A newly revamped CLE offense owns a .789 OPS in the second half.

Domingo German (RHP, NYY) has been dinged up around the margins over back-to-back short outings. But peripherals remain strong, and German will be counted on to give the NYY bullpen some rest in the first of two Saturday tilts at Yankee Stadium.

Thomas Pannone (LHP, TOR) tossed a solid PQS-3 in his last and is worthy of a look for this turn at Camden Yards. Baltimore struggles against lefties, even with a large complement of righty bats. Pannone holds his owns against RHBs.

Aaron Sanchez (RHP, HOU) makes his first start in Houston threads. He squares off against a Seattle club whose offense has been solidly bottom-10 for the last month-plus. Maybe not with start No. 1, but with his checkered history, Sanchez is most certainly on an Astro Reclamation Beneficiary watch.

Mike Fiers (RHP, OAK) draws a near-level rating for his Saturday home turn against the Cardinals. Don’t read too much into Fiers’ recent or home-park successes – both have been heavily influenced by fortuitous hit rates. The veteran right-hander is backed by a struggling bullpen. Hit rates on the road and in high-leverage situations would indicate some upside for the St. Louis offense.

Gio Gonzalez (LHP, MIL) was lifted from the previous game due to tightness in his left shoulder, so exercise some caution here. That previous game was against CHC, so the Cubs are getting a quick return look at the 33-year-old.

Cole Hamels (LHP, CHC) is expected to come off the 10-day IL (left oblique strain) for this start against Milwaukee. Hamels has solid numbers against MIL batters, and a travel-weary Brewers squad owns a .647 OPS over the last week. Since June 15, Milwaukee ranks 26th in MLB with a .715 OPS vs. LHP.

Marco Gonzales (LHP, SEA) has pitched well of late (3.54 ERA/3.81 xERA in July), but beware this turn at Houston. The Astros have fared well against Gonzales in the past (.864 OPS) and are at their best against port-siders. It is not reflected in surface ERAs (4.76 at home, 3.66 on the road), but the Seattle southpaw has pitched much better at Safeco and has had some struggles abroad. Houston owns an .845 OPS over the last two weeks.

Jonathan Gray (RHP, COL) struggled against SF in a July 17 home start, but Gray has otherwise been solid at home. He’s registered several PQS-4s at Coors of late (including two starts against the high-octane Dodgers). The Giants offense has scuffled over a long road trip that has gone from San Diego to Philadelphia to Denver. Increased velocity and an uptick in ground balls have been positive signs for Gray owners.

Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL) is lined up for a third start off the IL. Bundy tossed a PQS-4 against Toronto last month (July 5), and the Blue Jays have had some struggles in the second half (.705 OPS).

Dakota Hudson (RHP, STL) draws a road turn at Oakland. The Athletics are a below-average club against RHPs and a way-below-average team against ground-ball types. They’ve batted just .262/.317/.580 since July 22.

Adrian Sampson (RHP, TEX) is coming off three straight disaster outings and is rated in the red for this home start against Detroit.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Elieser Hernandez (R) MIA @TAM -0.86 -0.10 -0.95 -0.37 -2.03 3 3 3 2 2
  Cal Quantrill (R) SD @LA -0.94 0.07 -0.91 -0.21 -2.71 2 0 1 3 2
  Adam Plutko (R) CLE vLAA -1.04 -0.72 -1.84 -0.19 -1.39 2 2 0 3 0
  Danny Duffy (L) KC @MIN -1.09 0.11 -1.53 -0.82 -2.10 2 1 2 4 1
  Alex Young (L) ARI vWAS -1.27 -1.16 -0.51 -0.72 -2.70 3 3 2 2 0
  Ross Detwiler (L) CHW @PHI -1.27 -1.66 -1.00 -0.18 -2.23 1 0 0
  Brian Johnson (L) BOS @NYY -2.09 -1.78 -2.70 -2.01 -1.86 1 3

 

 

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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.