DAILY MATCHUPS: Nola rides hot hand to Friday's start

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, with the Brewers and Cubs playing a day game at Wrigley, and the White Sox heading to Atlanta for the weekend's lone interleague matchup. Rain could be an issue for CIN at STL, but the weather looks good for all other games.

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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 @TAM 2.54 3.14 2.30 2.88 1.84 4 3 2 3 4
  Aaron Nola (R) PHI vNYM 1.61 1.83 1.66 1.87 1.09 5 1 4 4 5
  Jose Quintana (L) CHC vMIL 1.29 1.55 1.12 1.30 1.17 2 5 3 5 1
  Kyle Gibson (R) MIN @DET 1.23 1.39 1.07 0.63 1.81 4 2 1 3 2
  Max Fried (L) ATL vCHW 1.01 1.21 1.03 0.65 1.15 3 4 1 1 2
  Anibal Sanchez (R) WAS vMIA 0.97 0.98 0.63 0.85 1.43 2 3 2 2 5
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF vSD 0.88 0.89 0.98 1.52 0.13 0 4 4 2 3
  Dylan Bundy (R) BAL @KC 0.85 0.96 0.60 0.74 1.08 3 4 1 5 1
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN @STL 0.74 2.09 0.27 0.42 0.18 1 4 0 4 1

Jose Quintana (LHP, CHC) is enjoying a great month of August (2.40 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 1.2 Ctl, 10.8 Dom, 3.12 xERA over 5 GS), but his run of success will be put to the test against the Brewers, as he's struggled against them over 4 GS in 2019: 7.08 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 3.5 Ctl, 7.5 Dom, 5.10 xERA. However, he has fared better in his two home starts vs. MIL, with a 3.54 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.1 Ctl, and 7.8 Dom.

Max Fried (LHP, ATL) has seen a big jump in strikeouts in the second half (10.3 Dom since July 1st), and now he'll face a White Sox lineup that strikes out more than most (72% contact), owns the fourth-worst OPS (.708) in the majors, sports an 85 PX and .241 xBA on the year, and will be down a batter minus the DH. Fried has also pitched better at home (3.67 ERA and 4.1 Cmd over 12 GS).

Despite coming off of a PQS-5 in his last outing, Anibal Sanchez (RHP, WAS) is one of the riskier options on this Strong Starts list, as his 3.78 second half ERA hides a 5.23 xERA and a big drop in strikeouts (8.5 Dom in 1H, 6.4 in 2H). He also owns a 1.1 Cmd rate and 5.83 xERA over two starts against the Marlins this year.

Trevor Bauer's (RHP, CIN) NL transition has been bumpy to say the least (7.62 ERA, 1.58 WHIP over 5 GS), but he's also been undermined by a 40% hit rate and 51% strand rate. That said, his 4.58 xERA in August is his second-worst mark for any month this year, and he's been having an especially difficult time in road starts since joining the Reds: 14.25 ERA, 2.50 WHIP, 5.2 Ctl, 7.5 Dom over 3 GS.

 

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

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Marco Gonzales (L) SEA @TEX 0.49 0.98 -0.08 0.62 0.45 0 4 3 1 4
  Dinelson Lamet (R) SD @SF 0.40 1.97 0.52 0.25 -1.16 2 5 2 2 2
  Nathan Eovaldi (R) BOS @LAA 0.34 0.20 0.23 0.25 0.68 1 0 4 0 1
  Tony Gonsolin (R) LA @ARI 0.33 0.39 0.14 0.47 0.33 1 4 1 1
  CC Sabathia (L) NYY vOAK 0.17 0.71 -0.51 -0.05 0.53 3 0 1 1 2
  Wade Miley (L) HOU @TOR 0.09 0.34 -0.20 -0.22 0.44 2 1 1 2 1
  Zack Wheeler (R) NYM @PHI 0.00 0.96 0.05 0.57 -1.59 5 4 0 2 1
  Zac Gallen (R) ARI vLA -0.26 1.18 -0.66 -0.72 -0.83 3 3 2 3 2
  Chase Anderson (R) MIL @CHC -0.44 0.37 -0.77 0.11 -1.46 2 1 1 0 3

Dinelson Lamet (RHP, SD) owns the day's second-highest K rating, and only a negative Win rating due to a matchup against Madison Bumgarner is keeping him from being on the Strong Starts list. Walks remain an issue for him (3.9 Ctl, 56% FpK), but he's striking out enough batters (11.7 Dom, 14% SwK) to reasonably counter that, as his 3.90 xERA will attest. The Giants' lineup has been pretty terrible at home: .650 OPS, 79 PX, .242 xBA, 3.4 runs per game.

C.C. Sabathia (LHP, NYY) hasn't thrown more than 78 pitches and 4 IP in his two starts since returning from the IL after another round of injections for inflammation in his right knee, but his skills have looked good in that small sample: 15.4 Dom, 63% FpK, 16% SwK, 3.48 xERA. He's been a much better pitcher at home than away this year, with a 3.19 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.1 Cmd, and only 8 HR allowed over 9 GS, compared to 18 HR in 10 road starts. The A's .819 OPS in August has them in the Top 10 for the month.

Tony Gonsolin's (RHP, LA) 2.74 ERA is misleading, as it has been built on a fair amount of luck (25% hit rate, 74% strand rate, 7% hr/f), though his 12% SwK suggests he should be able to generate more strikeouts. His xERA is a more pedestrian 4.42, and the Diamondbacks have already faced him once, knocking him around for 4 ER on 6 hits over 4 IP on June 26, a game that, like today's matchup, was played at Chase Field.

The Red Sox appear to be stretching out Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, BOS), as he threw 43 pitches on 8/18, and 64 on 8/24, but he has yet to go longer than 3 IP, so it's unclear how deep he'll pitch into this start against LAA. His results in those two starts weren't encouraging (12.60 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, 7.2 Dom, 1.0 Cmd, 7.56 xERA). The Angels have been one of the league's worst offenses in August (.704 OPS), but they've been tougher at home on the year, with a .780 OPS, 10% walk rate, 100 PX, and 5.1 runs per game average.

Zack Wheeler (RHP, NYM) sports the day's fourth-lowest Win rating for his matchup against the Phillies and Aaron Nola, and over his last 5 GS, he's seen an alarming drop in strikeouts (5.5 Dom) that has pushed his xERA for August to 4.97. He does own good numbers against PHI this year: 3.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 2.5 Ctl, 10.8 Dom, 3.48 xERA over 4 GS.

Wade Miley (LHP, HOU) has been a better bet at home than on the road, where he has a 3.97 ERA, 6.8 Dom, and 2.2 Cmd over 15 GS. And while the Blue Jays bottom-ten offense might normally make this start worth a roll of the dice, their .798 OPS so far in August is the lineup's best single-month mark all season.

Zac Gallen (RHP, ARI) continues to dodge regression, as his 2.56 ERA is nearly two full runs lower than his 4.31 xERA, thanks to an 85% strand rate and 10% hr/f. That will be put to the test as he faces the Dodgers and their NL-leading offense. Gallen faced them on July 19, and managed to hold them to 1 ER over 5.1 IP despite 4 walks, though again, a 5.65 xERA for that start says he got lucky.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below):

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Austin Pruitt (R) TAM vCLE -0.62 -0.48 -0.16 0.51 -2.34 0
  Dakota Hudson (R) STL vCIN -0.64 -0.42 -0.31 -1.14 -0.68 2 1 2 4 2
  Jose Suarez (L) LAA vBOS -0.69 0.11 -0.96 -0.81 -1.09 4 1 1 0 1
  Kolby Allard (L) TEX vSEA -0.76 -0.11 -1.11 -0.87 -0.95 3 3 0 5
  Ivan Nova (R) CHW @ATL -0.99 -0.37 -0.85 -0.19 -2.56 0 3 4 1 2
  Trent Thornton (R) TOR vHOU -1.07 -0.58 -1.75 -0.70 -1.26 2 0 4 1 1
  Elieser Hernandez (R) MIA @WAS -1.13 -0.06 -1.86 -0.67 -1.93 0 4 2 2 3
  Dario Agrazal (R) PIT @COL -1.14 -1.50 -1.98 -0.86 -0.20 3 1 2 0 2
  Brett Anderson (L) OAK @NYY -1.19 -1.10 -1.73 -0.91 -1.03 2 1 2 0 0
  Eric Skoglund (L) KC vBAL -1.40 -1.37 -1.38 -1.21 -1.64 1
  Edwin Jackson (R) DET vMIN -1.51 -0.30 -1.96 -1.48 -2.31 0 2 2 2 1
  Antonio Senzatela (R) COL vPIT -1.52 -1.51 -2.07 -2.21 -0.30 0 0 1 1 1

The early returns for former top prospect Kolby Allard (LHP, TEX) have been intriguing, with a 9.7 Dom, 2.9 Cmd, and 4.38 xERA over 4 GS. But his 55% FpK and 10% SwK are much less encouraging. Still, facing the Mariners as their second half tailspin continues (.711 OPS in August) while coming off of a PQS-5 in his last start could be worth a speculative flyer.

 

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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.