DAILY MATCHUPS: Verlander, Darvish are two to cheer about on 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: The first Saturday in September has all 30 teams in action. Mostly dry weather is expected across the baseball weather map. A not-exactly-made-for-prime-time KC-Miami series makes for the only interleague action this weekend. The Matchup Ratings are dominated by pitchers twirling for the home side. Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish provide much talent at the top of those ratings, but the chart has a distinct tilt into the red, so tread carefully on any start-or-sit decisions.

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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 vSEA 3.96 4.81 3.28 4.57 3.18 3 4 4 3 5
  Yu Darvish (R) CHC @MIL 2.26 3.22 1.64 2.08 2.08 2 3 5 2 4
  Andrew Heaney (L) LAA @CHW 1.77 2.34 1.25 2.03 1.45 3 4 4 4 0
  Charlie Morton (R) TAM vTOR 1.70 2.91 1.73 2.15 TBD 2 5 2 0 3
  Luis Castillo (R) CIN vARI 1.69 2.27 1.50 1.68 1.30 4 1 3 2 2
  Chris Bassitt (R) OAK vDET 0.82 1.10 0.48 0.90 0.79 1 5 0 3 0
  Joey Lucchesi (L) SD vCOL 0.61 0.93 0.39 0.24 0.88 3 1 2 1 1
  Marcus Stroman (R) NYM vPHI 0.60 1.13 0.64 0.35 0.29 2 2 1 2 2
  Tony Gonsolin (R) LA vSF 0.54 0.68 0.28 0.68 0.52 1 4 1 1 2

Andrew Heaney (LHP, LAA) might have some detractors after his last start, but his three recents before that went 4-4-4 on the PQS-o-meter. The first of those was against these White Sox.

Luis Castillo (RHP, CIN) draws an Arizona offense which has struggled in non-Coors road games over the last couple months. Castillo owns a sub-3.00 xERA over his last six starts; four of those games were at home. The Reds rapid-throwing righty has notched an 8.0 Cmd against LHBs in the second half.

Joey Lucchesi (LHP, SD) is a solid play in his home yard against the woeful-on the-road Rockies. Colorado has gone 1-3 with a .727 OPS over its last 14 games; half of those were in Denver.

Marcus Stroman (RHP, NYM) is trying to close out back-to-back starts against PHI. He was solid against the Phillies last time out and has been tough at home of late (and against tough opponents). The Phillies are a bottom-10 group against right-handers.

 

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Jake Odorizzi (R) MIN vCLE 0.50 1.58 -0.27 0.35 0.32 2 3 3 4 2
  Caleb Smith (L) MIA vKC 0.46 1.42 -0.19 0.50 0.12 1 1 2 1 2
  Josh Taylor (L) BOS vNYY 0.17 -0.06 0.29 0.40 0.06 1
  Drew Smyly (L) PHI @NYM 0.11 1.00 -0.05 0.32 -0.83 0 2 0 1 2
  TBD TOR @TAM TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD 0
  J.A. Happ (L) NYY @BOS -0.05 0.40 -0.11 0.06 -0.56 1 2 0 2 3
  Adam Wainwright (R) STL @PIT -0.20 -0.28 -0.45 -0.41 0.34 2 3 0 1 3
  Aaron Brooks (R) BAL vTEX -0.29 -0.28 -0.74 -0.27 0.15 1 1 1 4 1
  Danny Duffy (L) KC @MIA -0.32 0.49 -0.71 -0.45 -0.62 2 4 1 1 3

Jake Odorizzi (RHP, MIN) is in line for Saturday’s home start against the Indians, a club which has hit well in the past (.826 OPS, 0.62 Eye). Odorizzi’s form of late has been solid, but tag him as a slight lean-against. He’s been quite fortunate in the HR/F department, and the Indians will be seeing him for a fourth time this season.

Caleb Smith (LHP, MIA) is tabbed for Saturday’s home start against Kansas City. Smith has posted an 8.06 ERA/6.04 xERA over his last 5 GS. The extreme fly-baller (28% GB) has been having all kinds of control and gopherball issues. Steer clear.

Josh Taylor (LHP, BOS) will start Saturday’s game as an opener for Boston. Taylor has a sub-3.00 xERA over his last 16 IP. That stretch includes his only other opener start, a high-traffic but scoreless inning against the Angels on Aug. 31. Notable on the Yankees’ numbers versus left-handers: New York logged a surprisingly low .721 OPS, 75% Ct vs. LHP in the season’s first half. Since the break, NYY has put together a league-leading .977 OPS (80% Ct).

Drew Smyly (LHP, PHI) will toe the rubber at Citi Field Saturday. Smyly hasn’t been in good form; the Mets hit lefties at a top-10 clip (.806 OPS), and they own a high-contact .821 OPS over their last 30 games.

J.A. Happ (LHP, NYY) faces a Red Sox club on a hot streak, but the left-hander’s last two starts have been just encouraging enough to warrant a look on a day not long on quality options. Boston slumped in early August, notching a mere .708 OPS from Aug. 1-8. Since then the Red Sox have averaged 6.2 RPG on an .886 OPS. But lefties do swing them around to their lesser splits, and Happ has a silly-good career line against BOS hitters (.573 OPSA).

Adam Wainwright (RHP, STL) takes his 6.54 road ERA to PNC Park to face the Pirates. But other than a trip to Coors, Pittsburgh has been slumping mightily of late. Wainwright owns a 3.95 xERA against PIT this season (22 IP).

Aaron Brooks (RHP, BAL) draws Saturday’s Camden Yards start against the Rangers. Brooks has run into too many bats recently. Hanging your hat on a PQS-4 two starts back is a play fraught with too much risk.

Danny Duffy (LHP, KC) draws an interleague road start at Miami. Be cautious here despite the opponent/venue: this marks Duffy’s second start back off the IL (hamstring).

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Tyler Beede (R) SF @LA -0.51 0.17 -0.79 -0.39 -1.02 3 2 0 2 1
  Alex Young (L) ARI @CIN -0.55 -0.22 -0.47 0.18 -1.67 0 0 1 2 2
  Aaron Civale (R) CLE @MIN -0.58 -0.38 -1.10 -0.02 -0.82 4 1 3 4 1
  Joe Ross (R) WAS @ATL -0.68 -0.07 -1.24 -1.37 -0.05 3 3 2 1 0
  Jordan Zimmermann (R) DET @OAK -0.74 -0.43 -0.98 -0.25 -1.29 2 4 2 3 1
  Julio Teheran (R) ATL vWAS -0.77 0.40 -1.56 -1.45 -0.45 4 0 5 2 3
  Steven Brault (L) PIT vSTL -0.79 -0.11 -1.03 -1.39 -0.64 0 4 2 1 3
  Jeff Hoffman (R) COL @SD -1.01 -0.37 -1.23 -1.33 -1.10 1 2 1 1 1
  Edinson Volquez (R) TEX @BAL -1.27 -1.33 -1.35 -1.76 -0.65 1 0 0
  Yusei Kikuchi (L) SEA @HOU -1.30 -0.56 -0.94 -0.84 -2.87 2 1 5 0 1
  Gio Gonzalez (L) MIL vCHC -1.43 -0.20 -1.32 -1.75 -2.43 1 1 3 1 2
  Dylan Covey (R) CHW vLAA -1.58 -0.93 -1.42 -1.80 -2.16 2 2 1 2 0

Tyler Beede (RHP, SF) is rated in the red for Saturday’s start against the top-notch bats of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mostly via their efforts at home recently, Los Angeles owns a robust .914 OPS since Aug. 11. Beede has been running into hard contact and more of it over recent turns. Dodge this turn, and look elsewhere.

Aaron Civale (RHP, CLE) is punching way above his weight with what is now a sub-2.00 ERA. Riding out his current peripheral rates has downside; doing so against the likes of Minnesota Twins has fall-off-a-cliff-side.

Julio Teheran (RHP, ATL) draws a Washington foe banging baseball around to the tune of a .280/.360/.482 (.843) line in the second half. Teheran owns a 3.38 ERA and a 4.99 xERA.

 

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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.