DAILY MATCHUPS: Cole, Scherzer, and Syndergaard form chart-topping power trio

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: Wednesday’s schedule includes all 30 teams playing in 15 games. Three of those 15 (SEA-PIT, SF-BOS, TAM-LA) are of the interleague variety. Weather shouldn’t be an issue at any all-outdoor venues. The Wednesday probables—topped in five-point fashion by Houston’s Gerrit Cole—is top-heavy overall. Most of the hurlers earning Judgment tags have plenty of questions marks.

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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
  Gerrit Cole (R) HOU vTEX 5.24 6.22 4.59 5.53 4.60 5 4 3 4 5
  Max Scherzer (R) WAS @STL 1.79 2.51 1.42 2.08 1.16 1 2 3 3 3
  Noah Syndergaard (R) NYM @COL 1.53 1.29 1.10 1.72 2.02 4 2 5 2 0
  Jake Odorizzi (R) MIN vCHW 1.16 1.92 0.38 0.86 1.47 3 3 4 2 4
  Dylan Bundy (R) BAL vTOR 0.97 1.76 0.60 1.21 0.29 5 1 1 1 3
  Homer Bailey (R) OAK vKC 0.76 0.60 0.58 0.93 0.94 2 1 3 3 2
  Adrian Houser (R) MIL vSD 0.65 0.57 0.89 0.57 0.58 3 1 3 3 1
  Jon Lester (L) CHC vCIN 0.58 1.28 0.32 0.28 0.42 0 1 2 1 1
  Tony Gonsolin (R) LA vTAM 0.52 0.61 0.37 0.78 0.31 4 1 1 2 3

Jake Odorizzi (RHP, MIN) has out-pitched his skill set for much of the 2019 season, but of late, his surface numbers don’t tell the story for how well he’s pitched. Odorizzi has registered a 16% SwK while posting a 4.22 ERA/2.96 xERA over his last four starts. The veteran right-hander owns a silly-good line against the White Sox (.542 OPSA, .051 ISO allowed, 4.3 Cmd).

Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL) owns a 2.25 ERA against Toronto this season, and current TOR bats own a whiff-heavy .682 OPS against the Baltimore right-hander. Bundy has pitched better at home than his 5.10 ERA would indicate. The Blue Jays have piled up a slew of strikeouts in compiling a subpar .723 OPS against RHP.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Sandy Alcantara (R) MIA @ARI 0.47 1.12 0.63 0.40 -0.27 5 2 3 5 4
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI @ATL 0.38 0.34 0.12 0.59 0.45 1 1 3 2 2
  Mike Leake (R) ARI vMIA 0.29 -0.53 0.66 1.24 -0.23 1 3 1 2 3
  Dinelson Lamet (R) SD @MIL 0.22 2.24 -0.18 -0.09 -1.08 2 2 3 2 4
  Tyler Mahle (R) CIN @CHC -0.01 0.57 -0.61 0.22 -0.22 1 3 5 0 2
  Jordan Zimmermann (R) DET @CLE -0.03 -0.65 -0.15 0.68 TBD 2 3 1 0 1
  Clay Buchholz (R) TOR @BAL -0.14 -0.21 -0.10 0.56 -0.79 0 2 2 1 2
  Jhoulys Chacin (R) BOS vSF -0.14 -0.29 -0.26 -0.29 0.27 2 0 2 3 2
  Brendan McKay (L) TAM @LA -0.21 0.64 -0.38 -0.25 -0.85 2 2 0 4 1
  Aaron Civale (R) CLE vDET -0.29 -0.30 -0.51 0.17 -0.50 1 3 4 1 1
  Julio Teheran (R) ATL vPHI -0.37 1.02 -0.87 -0.67 -0.95 5 2 3 3 0

Sandy Alcantara (RHP, MIA) will be at Arizona on Wednesday. Alcantara has been locked in lately, posting a 2.29 ERA, 9.0 Dom, 4.0 Cmd over his last five starts. The right-hander has been up in velocity, is getting more ground balls, and is solid in preventing hard contact. Arizona is a Jekyll & Hyde in its platoon figures (.851 OPS vs. LHP, .721 OPS vs. RHP), and the Diamondbacks have slumped in September (.618 OPS).

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) has an awful line against an Atlanta club which has been swinging it well over recent home stands. Current ATL batters own a 1.155 OPS, .400 ISO, 0.79 Eye against the Philly righty. Eflin scuffled against the Braves his last time out.

Mike Leake (RHP, ARI) draws an afternoon home start against Miami. The veteran has been solid over three of his last four outings, and on this particular day is one of the better options among hurlers getting a mid-rating.

Dinelson Lamet (RHP, SD) draws a near-level rating for his road turn against the Brewers. Lamet has been good away from Petco, and has shown excellent form—with improved control – of late. He’s registered a 3.80 xERA over his last 5 GS, and he carded a solid PQS-4 against the Cubs in his most recent start. The Brewers’ recent surge (14 wins in their last 19 games) has been fueled more by Milwaukee pitching than by the offense. Over that 19-game span, MIL owns a subpar and strikeout-heavy .714 OPS.

Tyler Mahle (RHP, CIN) draws the Wednesday night turn at Wrigley Field. Mahle is making his fourth start since being recalled by the Reds on Sept. 1. He was terrific out of the chute, but the right-hander then struggled in each of his last two. That’s been the Tyler Mahle story. Mahle logged a start at Wrigley on May 25, and it did not go at all well (5 IP-9H-6 ER-3 HR-1 BB-5 SO). Current CHC bats own an .836 OPS against him.

Jordan Zimmermann (RHP, DET) was quite good over four turns in August, but he’s since slumped his way to a 6.75 ERA/5.27 xERA in September. Skip this one against a first-division offense in that of the Cleveland Indians.

Clay Buchholz (RHP, TOR) is tabbed for Monday’s turn at Camden Yards. The Orioles are at their worst against right-handers (.705 OPS), and they’ve struggled their way to a .682 OPS this month.

Jhoulys Chacin (RHP, BOS) draws a home start against San Francisco; this will mark Chacin’s third start as an opener for the Red Sox. The veteran right-hander has been solid over the other two. The Giants have been a giant mess offensively of late. San Francisco owns a whiff-heavy .581 OPS in September.

Brendan McKay (LHP, TAM) will start Wednesday’s contest at LAA. Skip the rook in this this one. His overall peripherals have drifted, and he’s had a few missteps away from pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field.

Aaron Civale (RHP, CLE) has been solid over two outings against the Tigers. But look to lay off this turn if possible. Civale hasn’t had an official start in 11 days (after a 3 IP rainout on Sept. 13), and he hasn’t been particularly sharp over his last two efforts.

Julio Teheran (RHP, ATL) is coming off a PQS-0 in his last start, and this one comes versus a Philadelphia nine against which he has struggled mightily (.917 OPSA, .274 ISO allowed, 1.6 Cmd). The Phillies sport a Top 10 offense this month (.769).

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Adam Wainwright (R) STL vWAS -0.55 -0.15 -0.36 -0.04 -1.66 0 1 3 4 3
  Justin Dunn (R) SEA @PIT -0.55 -0.53 -0.59 -1.33 0.24 2
  Jeff Samardzija (R) SF @BOS -0.60 -0.54 -1.02 -0.06 -0.77 4 1 0 2 1
  Danny Duffy (L) KC @OAK -0.88 0.36 -1.09 -0.92 -1.86 1 1 3 3 3
  Dillon Peters (L) LAA @NYY -0.95 -0.95 -2.27 -1.40 0.82 0 0 4 0 0
  Dario Agrazal (R) PIT vSEA -1.07 -1.51 -1.34 -0.69 -0.74 0 2 0 0 2
  Jeff Hoffman (R) COL vNYM -1.86 -0.58 -2.33 -1.99 -2.52 1 1 1 3 1
  Dylan Covey (R) CHW @MIN -2.00 -1.04 -2.28 -2.70 -1.97 1 2 0 0 1
  Kolby Allard (L) TEX @HOU -2.61 -1.21 -2.01 -1.83 -5.38 0 5 2 2 1
  CC Sabathia (L) NYY vLAA -3.01 -2.22 -4.40 -4.09 -1.32 1 1 2 1 4

Justin Dunn (RHP, SEA) lost all command in his Major League debut on Sept. 12. Dunn walked five batters and failed to get out of the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds.

Jeff Samardzija (RHP, SF) owns a 5.59 xERA over his last five starts. He’s running into bats and hard contact, not a good recipe heading into Fenway.

 

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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.