DAILY MATCHUPS: deGrom and Clevinger head Thursday options

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: There are only ten games on the schedule, with five in each league. There are no rain issues in the forecast. Wind could play a role in several places. In Detroit, wind could be blowing across the field from 1B to 3B at 11 mph. In Kansas City, wind is forecast to be blowing out toward center field at 13 mph. In Chicago for the Twins/Sox game, wind is forecast to be blowing out toward left at 15 mph, while San Francisco could see 11 mph winds blowing to left field.


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

  Jacob deGrom (R) NYM vCHC 2.74 3.71 2.46 3.18 1.62 5 4 4 4 5
  Michael Clevinger (R) CLE @DET 2.38 3.28 1.94 2.00 2.31 3 5 3 4 4
  Lance Lynn (R) TEX vSEA 1.86 2.96 1.48 1.58 1.42 5 3 2 2 3
  Jose Berrios (R) MIN @CHW 1.59 2.12 1.52 1.94 0.77 5 1 1 1 1
  Alex Wood (L) CIN @MIA 1.25 1.00 1.33 1.26 1.39 4 0 1 2 2
  Chris Paddack (R) SD @SF 1.13 0.78 1.09 1.61 1.03 3 2 3 2 0
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA @ARI 0.78 0.45 0.65 1.32 0.68 3 2 4 2 2
  Chris Bassitt (R) OAK @KC 0.53 0.44 0.29 0.54 0.84 4 1 5 0 3
  Dylan Cease (R) CHW vMIN 0.51 1.83 0.31 1.16 -1.27 3 2 1 2 3

Chris Bassitt (RHP, OAK) has produced outstanding results over the past month, with a 2.05 ERA in his past five starts. A 90% S% and 4.22 xERA indicate that he's been very lucky and that regression could come at any time. But there is a good chance that regression could be delayed as he faces the Royals in a day game in Kansas City. The Royals have struggled at home, with an OPS barely above .700 that ranks 14th in the AL. And Bassitt has produced an outstanding 2.96 ERA in 11 daytime starts. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) has thrown 153 IP thus far this season, after only 82 IP in 2018 because of a left groin strain that kept him on the IL for 105 days. The increased workload may be starting to take its toll, as Ryu's ERA has risen to 5.82 in his three August starts. He next faces the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Arizona has been below average at home, with a .748 OPS that ranks 11th in the league, but the Diamondbacks are the league's best against LHP, with a whopping .857 OPS. Even so, Ryu has throttled the Diamondbacks in three starts this this season, allowing only 1 ER in 20 IP. There is clear upside here, but Ryu's recent performance warns about downside as well.

Dylan Cease (RHP, CWS) has allowed a home run in every start this season, and those homers have masked a nice 15/2 K/BB over his past two outings. He next faces the Twins in Chicago. He has a 5.28 ERA at home that is better than his 6.43 ERA on the road. The Twins have been a tough matchup on the road, with a .852 OPS that leads the AL. Cease faced the Twins in Chicago on July 26 and allowed 5 ER in 5 IP. Strong winds blowing out toward left field could exacerbate his home run issues. This is one of the more risky strong starts of the day. 


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

  Zack Greinke (R) HOU vTAM 0.42 0.44 0.30 0.87 0.05 2 0 3 3 2
  Andrew Kittredge (R) TAM @HOU 0.04 0.38 -0.10 0.44 -0.55 2 2 3 2
  Jon Lester (L) CHC @NYM -0.20 0.87 0.38 0.25 -2.30 3 1 1 2 0

Zack Greinke (RHP, HOU) has gotten excellent results in his four starts since joining the Astros, producing a 2.45 ERA, but his Cmd has slipped from his season average of 5.4 to 2.1 in those starts, due to both falling Dom and rising Ctl rates. He'll next face the Rays in Houston. Tampa Bay has been above average on the road, with a .772 OPS that ranks 6th. Greinke's best sub-score here is his Win rating, with K, ERA, and WHIP all solid, but lower than the Strong Starts above him for the day.

Jon Lester (LHP, CHC) has struggled over the past month with a 6.61 ERA over his past six starts, and a 52 BPV and 5.26 xERA say that it's only partially bad luck. He's had PQS-DIS outings in three of his past four games, and his chances of getting straightened out in a night game at the Mets don't seem good. Lester has been at his worst under the lights, with a 5.13 ERA, compared to 3.76 in day games. The Mets have been average at home with a .764 OPS that ranks 9th in the NL. Lester gest positive sub-scores for K, ERA, and WHIP in this outing, but the matchup against Jacob deGrom leads to a highly negative Win rating.


Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  Merrill Kelly (R) ARI vLA -0.71 0.33 -1.08 -0.61 -1.49 0 1 1 2 1
  Dereck Rodriguez (R) SF vSD -0.73 -0.29 -0.59 -0.49 -1.53 1 4 0 4 0
  Felix Hernandez (R) SEA @TEX -0.85 -0.24 -0.68 -0.57 -1.92 4 2 0 0 1
  Glenn Sparkman (R) KC vOAK -1.04 -0.89 -1.30 -0.63 -1.34 0 1 2 1 0
  Daniel Norris (L) DET vCLE -1.04 -0.41 -0.82 -0.53 -2.41 3 0 0 2 2
  Robert Dugger (R) MIA vCIN -1.10 -0.15 -1.24 -0.86 -2.13  
  Trevor Williams (R) PIT @COL -1.22 -1.15 -2.32 -1.82 0.41 1 0 1 0 3
  Alex Gonzalez (R) COL vPIT -2.53 -1.86 -3.57 -3.79 -0.91 0 1 0 1 1

Merrill Kelly (RHP, ARI) has struggled over the past month with a 7.67 ERA, and while his 5.65 xERA says he's been a bit unlucky, he's thrown seven PQS-DIS performances in his last nine starts. He'll next face the Dodgers at home. Kelly has pitched well at home, with a 3.66 ERA, but the Dodgers have been monsters on the road, with an OPS above .800 that leads the NL. 

Felix Hernandez (RHP, SEA) returned to the Mariners rotation on August 24, after being sidelined since May 11 with shoulder soreness. While the results looked decent, as he allowed 2 ER in 5.7 IP, it was a PQS-1 performance. He'll now face the Rangers at Texas. The Rangers have hit quite well at home, with a .799 OPS that ranks 5th in the AL. Hernandez has struggled on the road with an 8.44 ERA in five starts. This is a high-risk outing.

Derek Rodriguez (RHP, SF) has been inconsistent since his return to the rotation, hurling a PQS-DOM and two PQS-DIS games in his three August starts. At times he displays his upside, but it's hard to tell when that display might come. In August, he has a 6.43 ERA, a 6/6 K/BB in 14 IP, a 7.26 xERA, and a -22 BPV. He'll next face the Padres in San Francisco. The Padres have been average on the road, with a .752 OPS that is tied for 8th in the NL. Rodriquez faced them in San Francisco on April 10 and hurled a PQS-4, allowing 2 ER in 7 IP. There is definite upside potential here, but there is also gigantic risk. Feeling lucky?

Trevor Williams (RHP, PIT) has thrown four PQS-DIS games in his past five starts, and he now has the difficult task of facing the Rockies in Coors Field. Williams has actually been passable on the road with a 4.58 ERA, but Coors has not been part of that equation. The Rockies are monsters at home, with an OPS of .894 that leads the majors and is a full 30 points ahead of second place Boston. 



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.