DAILY MATCHUPS: Verlander, Corbin, and Castillo star on Sunday

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 as identified by 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: Sunday's slate features eight NL matchups, seven AL matchups, and one interleague matchup, which will take away a DH position from CHW. CIN and STL will play a doubleheader on Sunday. The CIN at STL and OAK at NYY matchups start the afternoon slate at 1:05 p.m. EDT, and the NYM at PHI game is the Sunday night matchup at 7:05 p.m. The weather forecasts are clear for Sunday's matchups. Be sure to check updated weather forecasts closer to first pitch on Sunday. 

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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
  Justin Verlander (R) HOU @TOR 3.23 4.28 2.34 4.09 2.21 3 3 4 4 3
  Yu Darvish (R) CHC vMIL 2.60 3.09 2.27 2.69 2.34 2 3 5 2 4
  Patrick Corbin (L) WAS vMIA 2.21 2.88 2.04 2.02 1.89 1 3 1 3 5
  Charlie Morton (R) TAM vCLE 1.86 2.33 1.41 1.99 1.72 3 2 5 2 0
  Luis Castillo (R) CIN @STL 1.59 2.37 1.79 1.70 0.51 4 4 1 3 2
  Lucas Giolito (R) CHW @ATL 1.54 3.53 0.95 1.42 0.26 2 3 2 5 3
  Michael Pineda (R) MIN @DET 1.13 1.38 0.68 1.50 0.94 4 2 2 3 3
  Andrew Heaney (L) LAA vBOS 0.86 2.10 0.42 1.20 -0.29 2 3 4 4 4
  Miles Mikolas (R) STL vCIN 0.68 0.80 0.96 1.95 -1.01 5 1 1 1 4
  Jeff Samardzija (R) SF vSD 0.68 0.68 0.58 1.09 0.37 2 4 1 4 1

Michael Pineda (RHP, MIN) takes on a Tigers nine that is worst in the league with a 26.9% K% vs. RHP. In his last five GS, he has posted a 3.30 ERA, and his 66% FpK and 1.2 Ctl in August can help a roster's WHIP. Although his 4.72 xERA vs. DET in 17 IP could cap his ERA effectiveness, his 3.91 xERA from August could be worth a look with a favorable matchup and a decent shot at a win. 

Andrew Heaney (LHP, LAA) has sharpened his skills in his last four outings, as his 17% SwK and 12.4 Dom provided strikeouts in August. With three-consecutive PQS-DOM outings and a 2.91 xERA in August, he will face a Red Sox lineup that owns a top-ten OPS versus lefties. While his 51% home hard-contact rate allowed and 46% FB% may add some ERA risk, his 1.16 WHIP and 3.9 home Cmd say he could continue to offer WHIP value. In a four-inning outing at Boston on August 10, he struck out four hitters and allowed one ER. 

Miles Mikolas (RHP, STL) struck out ten Milwaukee hitters and allowed one ER in six IP on August 27 for a PQS-4. He has not had the same success against the Reds in 2019, as he owns a 4.58 xERA in 21 IP with four PQS-DIS results in four GS. There are some positives about a home start for the right-hander. Giving up fewer home runs at Busch Stadium has contributed to a 2.80 home ERA, and he backs a strong WHIP rating with a 1.5 Ctl and 1.04 home WHIP. 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  David Price (L) BOS @LAA 0.49 1.07 0.47 0.63 -0.21 2 1 3 2 0
  Ross Stripling (R) LA @ARI 0.41 -0.91 0.78 0.86 0.89 2 1 3 2 1
  J.A. Happ (L) NYY vOAK 0.22 0.72 -0.51 0.16 0.51 0 1 2 0 2
  Marcus Stroman (R) NYM @PHI 0.20 0.55 0.10 -0.10 0.24 1 2 2 1 2
  Julio Teheran (R) ATL vCHW 0.18 1.16 0.33 -0.02 -0.76 3 4 0 5 2
  Brett Martin (L) TEX vSEA 0.17 -0.90 0.47 0.82 0.29 1
  Aaron Brooks (R) BAL @KC -0.10 -0.53 -0.19 0.28 0.03 0 1 1 1 4
  Yusei Kikuchi (L) SEA @TEX -0.13 0.31 -0.24 0.19 -0.79 0 2 1 5 0
  Eric Lauer (L) SD @SF -0.29 -0.32 -0.23 -0.14 -0.47 3 0 0 1 1
  Alex Young (L) ARI vLA -0.33 0.05 -0.25 -0.06 -1.04 4 0 0 1 2
  Danny Duffy (L) KC vBAL -0.36 0.36 -0.70 -0.49 -0.60 1 2 4 1 1
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI vNYM -0.38 -0.61 -0.58 0.40 -0.74 2 2 0 1 1
  Caleb Smith (L) MIA @WAS -0.48 1.20 -0.64 -0.10 -2.39 0 1 1 2 1

David Price (LHP, BOS) is slated to return from the IL against the Angels' below-average offense versus southpaws. Before going on the IL, the lefty posted an 8.59 ERA with two PQS-DIS ratings in his last five tries. He can still miss bats with his 12% SwK, but his 39% away hard contact allowed and 16% away hr/f have contributed to a 4.95 away ERA. With a lower chance for a win and the possibility of a lower pitch count, he slides down the ratings.

Julio Teheran (RHP, ATL) could get a strikeout boost with a matchup versus the White Sox's 26.3% K% vs. RHP. While he has ridden a 78% S% wave to a 3.39 ERA (4.95 xERA), Chicago's bottom-five lineup vs. RHP could help his ratio efforts. Even with a 61% FpK, his 4.3 Ctl and 1.32 WHIP contribute to a lower WHIP rating. With a tough mound opponent, his Win rating takes a hit. 

Marcus Stroman (RHP, NYM) posted a 4.91 ERA and 4.55 xERA in his five starts with the Mets. His ground ball lean can help limit the ERA damage, but his 53% second half FpK caught up to him in August, as he owned a 4.2 Ctl. Even though the Phillies have been a below-average offense when facing RHP, his 10% SwK and 7.4 Dom may limit his strikeout potential on Sunday. 

J.A. Happ (LHP, NYY) hasn't fared well in his last five GS, as his 7.29 ERA with three PQS-DIS results moves him down the ratings. The southpaw didn't have much success at OAK on August 21, as he gave up two HR and five ER in four IP for a PQS-0. His 3.8 Ctl and 1.49 WHIP in the second half has inflated ratios, and a 22% hr/f at Yankee Stadium against a strong Oakland nine may not help his chances. Right-handed hitters are worth a start with their .851 OPS and 26 HR against him. 

Alex Young (LHP, ARI) moves down the ratings with a 5.27 ERA and three PQS-DIS results in his last five GS. Giving out more free passes in the second half and allowing harder hit balls has contributed to a 4.76 xERA. While the Dodgers are closer to an average lineup vs. LHP, the lefty allowed four ER in 3.1 IP at LA on August 10. 

Yusei Kikuchi (LHP, SEA) faces Texas' below-average offense vs. LHP. Unfortunately, his 6.7 Dom may cap his strikeout total, and his 5.18 xERA carries ERA risk. His 43% away hard contact allowed rate may not help in a hitter's park. The southpaw's 6.05 ERA with three PQS-DIS results in his last five GS say there are better options on the slate. 

Dustin May (RHP, LA) returned to the rotation on August 26 at SD, where he allowed two ER in 5.1 IP for a PQS-2. His 9% SwK and 6.3 Dom contribute to a lower strikeout rating. Although Arizona is a below-average lineup vs. RHP, his 4.24 xERA carries some ERA risk. The right-hander's 1.5 Ctl and 1.15 WHIP could help his chances for a playable WHIP. 

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) has earned back-to-back PQS-DIS ratings vs. SD and at MIA. The right-hander's 6.41 xERA in nine IP vs. NYM with two PQS-1 results add to his ERA risk. While some poor fortune has inflated his 8.13 ERA (5.33 xERA) in the second half, his 3.5 Ctl and 8% SwK have contributed to weaker skills. 

Danny Duffy (LHP, KC) is slated to return from a hamstring injury to take on an Orioles offense that can struggle vs. LHP. His fly-ball profile and 5.01 xERA say he can inflate a roster's ERA, and his 1.41 WHIP points to a negative WHIP rating. Even with a 11% SwK that can add some strikeouts to his final line, his struggles against lineups when facing them for the second and third time in through the order could have him on fantasy benches. 

Eric Lauer (LHP, SD) matches up with San Francisco's bottom-five lineup against southpaws. August hasn't been as kind to the lefty, as he has posted four-straight PQS-DIS starts. While he owns an 8.6 away Dom, his 46% away hard contact rate and 1.46 WHIP carry ratio risk. Even with a favorable matchup at SF, he allowed five ER in six IP at SF on April 8. 

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Tyler Mahle (R) CIN @STL -0.58 -1.43 -0.63 -0.40 0.13 0 3 1 1 3
  Spencer Turnbull (R) DET vMIN -0.78 0.10 -0.97 -0.82 -1.44 3 2 3 0 0
  Steven Brault (L) PIT @COL -0.81 -0.22 -1.35 -1.38 -0.30 4 0 4 2 1
  Adam Plutko (R) CLE @TAM -0.91 -0.15 -1.29 0.02 -2.22 3 1 1 4 4
  Daniel Poncedeleon (R) STL vCIN -1.03 -1.42 -1.21 -0.86 -0.63 4 4 0 1 1
  Sean Manaea (L) OAK @NYY -1.20 -1.58 -1.68 -0.51 -1.01 0
  Jeff Hoffman (R) COL vPIT -1.42 -0.72 -2.32 -1.80 -0.82 2 1 2 1 1
  Gio Gonzalez (L) MIL @CHC -1.43 0.05 -1.07 -1.44 -3.25 2 1 1 3 1
  Wilmer Font (R) TOR vHOU -2.03 -4.72 -0.72 0.04 -2.71 2 1 2 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 10 p.m. 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.