DAILY MATCHUPS: Bieber leads Sunday's SP

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.


Today's schedule overview: Sunday's slate features six NL matchups, six AL matchups, and three interleague matchups, which will add a DH position to SF while taking away a DH from BOS and NYY. The TAM at BAL matchup starts the afternoon slate at 1:05 p.m. EDT, and the NYY at LA 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. 


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

  Shane Bieber (R) CLE vKC 3.04 3.14 2.65 3.49 2.88 3 4 3 2 3
  Aaron Nola (R) PHI @MIA 2.15 2.21 2.30 1.88 2.19 2 5 1 4 4
  Stephen Strasburg (R) WAS @CHC 1.71 2.29 1.21 1.86 1.49 5 2 4 0 5
  Robbie Ray (L) ARI @MIL 1.39 2.20 0.86 0.66 1.84 2 2 3 3 2
  Clayton Kershaw (L) LA vNYY 1.31 2.15 0.93 1.69 0.45 4 1 5 5 1
  Matt Boyd (L) DET @MIN 1.03 2.23 0.19 1.49 0.20 5 2 0 0 5
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN @PIT 0.89 2.01 0.12 0.48 0.95 2 1 4 0 4
  Steven Matz (L) NYM vATL 0.87 1.43 1.04 1.47 -0.47 5 2 3 4 4
  Joey Lucchesi (L) SD vBOS 0.74 1.31 0.34 0.55 0.77 3 1 3 1 2
  Dallas Keuchel (L) ATL @NYM 0.58 0.66 1.29 0.39 -0.03 1 3 1 4 2
  Domingo German (R) NYY @LA 0.53 1.94 0.05 1.20 -1.07 3 4 1 4 2

Steven Matz (LHP, NYM) has earned back-to-back PQS-DOM results at ATL and vs. CLE, and he owns a 3.61 xERA and 1.15 WHIP in his last four GS. While he hasn't thrown more FpK in the second half, his 1.7 Ctl and 77% S% have led to a 1.10 WHIP in his last 43 IP. The lefty owns a 4.11 xERA and 1.11 WHIP in 19 IP vs. ATL, and the Braves are a top-10 offense vs. LHP, which could limit his chance for a win. 

Joey Lucchesi (LHP, SD) has fared well at PETCO Park, as allowing fewer home runs has contributed to a 2.91 home ERA and 3.63 home FIP. The southpaw's 4.57 xERA and a matchup with Boston's top-10 lineup vs. LHP carry some possible ERA risk. While his FpK have remained consistent in the second half, his 3.7 Ctl and 10% SwK have contributed to a 77 second-half BPV. 

Dallas Keuchel (LHP, ATL) threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts at NYM on Aug. 14 for a PQS-4. Although his 10% SwK and 7.5 Dom may limit his punch outs, his 60% GB% has contributed to a 3.86 xERA. While it is a small sample size of 32.1 IP, his 39% away hr/f has led to a 6.40 away ERA. Against southpaws, the Mets have been a top-ten lineup. 

Domingo German (RHP, NYY) carries a 4.56 ERA in his last five GS into a matchup with the Dodgers' top-five offense vs. RHP. The right-hander did not fare as well in an Aug. 20 start at OAK, as he gave up five ER in 5.1 IP. He supports his strong strikeout rating with a 14% SwK and 9.7 Dom. A tough opponent and his recent home runs allowed, 25% hr/f in the second half, lead to a lower ERA rating. His 62% FpK and 2.1 Ctl can help WHIP, but a lower chance for a win may limit his point potential. 


Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  Brock Burke (L) TEX @CHW 0.46 0.66 0.12 0.27 0.78 2
  Marco Gonzales (L) SEA vTOR 0.21 0.77 -0.33 0.27 0.13 5 0 4 3 1
  Dylan Bundy (R) BAL vTAM 0.02 0.78 -0.47 -0.10 -0.13 0 3 4 1 5
  Cole Hamels (L) CHC vWAS -0.06 0.43 0.25 0.13 -1.04 1 4 0 0 2
  Michael Wacha (R) STL vCOL -0.09 -0.04 -0.12 -0.18 TBD 2 0 0 1 4
  Reynaldo Lopez (R) CHW vTEX -0.10 1.21 -0.64 -0.17 -0.80 2 1 3 2 1
  Brett Anderson (L) OAK vSF -0.29 -1.08 0.02 -0.08 TBD 2 2 1 2 0
  Martin Perez (L) MIN vDET -0.48 -0.09 -0.42 -0.72 -0.70 1 1 2 1 1

Brock Burke (LHP, TEX) struck out four in six scoreless IP vs. LAA on Aug. 20 for a PQS-2. In 450 IP in the minor leagues, the lefty posted a 3.48 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 438 strikeouts. The White Sox have been an average offense against LHP. 

Marco Gonzales (LHP, SEA) matches up with a Blue Jays club that can struggle vs. LHP. After a rough first half, the southpaw has improved his skills in the second half, and he owns a 4.20 xERA and 1.28 WHIP in his last eight GS. The lefty has a 3.9 Cmd in home starts, and he has given up fewer hard-hit balls at T-Mobile Park, which could help his WHIP. Even though his 3.99 ERA in his last five GS is worth a look in deep leagues, his low chance for a win could lower his points potential in daily leagues. 

Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL) continues to miss bats with a 13% SwK, and striking out seven Royals while allowing one ER in seven IP resulted in a PQS-5 vs. KC on Aug. 20. Tampa Bay's offense could present more of a challenge, as they are a top-10 offense vs. RHP. In 13 IP vs. TAM, he owns a 5.07 xERA and 1.28 WHIP. Although he has issued fewer walks at home, his 19% home hr/f has played a role in his 5.16 home ERA. In two GS vs. TAM at Camden Yards, he has earned a PQS-4 and a PQS-0. 

Logan Webb (RHP, SF) posted a PQS-3 at ARI on Aug. 17 when he struck out seven and limited the Diamondbacks to one ER in five IP. In 63.1 MiLB IP, the lefty induced plenty of ground outs to help his 1.85 ERA. His 69 K/15 BB contributed to a 1.15 WHIP. Oakland has been close to an average lineup vs. RHP.  

Antonio Senzatela (RHP, COL) could be Colorado's choice to start against St. Louis' below-average offense vs. RHP. He posted four-consecutive PQS-DIS results with a 10.14 ERA in his last five GS before being sent to AAA on July 21. His 7% SwK and 5.1 Dom may not offer many strikeouts, and giving up more hard-hit balls with a 5.62 xERA may add to a roster's ratios. Even with a 52% GB%, his 1.72 WHIP and 5 BPV add risk to his start. 

Cole Hamels (LHP, CHC) struck out five SF hitters and allowed three ER in six IP for a PQS-2 on Aug. 20. Two PQS-DIS results in August have contributed to his 8.47 ERA in his last five GS. The lefty will take on Washington's top-five offense vs. LHP, which could cut into his ratio potential. In a May 17 outing at WAS, he struck out five and gave up two ER in five IP for a PQS-2. In August, throwing fewer FpK and allowing more fly balls has paired with some poor fortune for a 5.55 xERA and 2.00 WHIP. 

Michael Wacha (RHP, STL) draws a Colorado lineup that is an above-average offense vs. RHP, but the Rockies are a bottom-five road offense. While the right-hander pitched four shutout IP vs. MIL on Aug. 20, he has gone five innings only once in his last four GS. His 5.13 xERA, 1.61 WHIP, and 39% hard-contact allowed rate contributes to his negative ratio ratings, and his 7.3 Dom may cap his strikeouts. 

Reynaldo Lopez (RHP, CHW) has thrown harder in the second half with a 96.6 mph velocity, and his 12% SwK can provide strikeouts. Finding the zone early with a 64% FpK has helped his 2.6 Ctl in his last nine GS, but his 35 BPV in his last four outings points to a 6.03 xERA. When facing RHP, the Rangers are an average lineup with a top-five 25.4% K%. Two PQS-DIS results in his last five GS and a PQS-1 at TEX on June 21 contribute to three negative ratings. 

Brett Anderson (LHP, OAK) is scheduled to make a start against the Giants' bottom-five lineup vs. LHP after leaving his last start with a blister on his left hand. Two PQS-DIS outings at CHC and vs. HOU have resulted in a 5.02 ERA in his last five GS, but he posted a PQS-2 at SF on Aug. 13 when he allowed two ER in six IP. His 8% SwK and 4.6 Dom could cap his strikeouts, and his 3.6 home Ctl and 40% hard-contact allowed rate at home have resulted in a 5.13 home FIP and 1.52 home WHIP. 

Martin Perez (LHP, MIN) has struggled in the second half, and his 5.25 xERA and 1.68 WHIP in the second half has damaged ratios. A matchup with Detroit could provide a softer landing spot, as the Tigers are a bottom-five lineup against LHP. In a May 12 outing vs. DET, the lefty struck out seven and gave up three ER in five IP. Even with a good matchup, his 20% home hr/f and 4.84 ERA could lead to ratio inflation. His poor recent form (four PQS-DIS results in five GS) and 5.46 ERA in his last five GS move him down the ratings. 


Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  Jalen Beeks (L) TAM @BAL -0.52 0.01 -0.64 -0.93 -0.52 0 1 2
  Jaime Barria (R) LAA @HOU -0.78 -0.32 -2.11 -0.69 TBD 1 3 1 1 1
  Elieser Hernandez (R) MIA vPHI -0.83 0.27 -0.75 -0.14 -2.69 2 0 4 2 2
  Clay Buchholz (R) TOR @SEA -1.03 -1.87 -0.89 -0.74 -0.63 1 0 0 0 0
  Brian Johnson (L) BOS @SD -1.13 -0.99 -1.12 -1.14 -1.27 3 0 1 1 1
  Dario Agrazal (R) PIT vCIN -1.27 -1.54 -1.67 -0.42 -1.45 2 3 1 2 0
  Zachary Davies (R) MIL vARI -1.50 -0.79 -1.71 -1.49 -2.01 3 2 1 0 2
  Eric Skoglund (L) KC @CLE -2.00 -2.09 -1.48 -1.19 -3.22 0

Jalen Beeks (LHP, TAM) is slated to take the mound after Tampa Bay's opener. Although Baltimore has been a below-average offense vs. LHP, he allowed three ER in three IP vs. BAL on April 18. The lefty owns a 5.39 ERA in his last five outings, and his 4.1 Ctl and 5.11 xERA in the second half carry ratio inflation risk. 


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 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. 

Click here to subscribe

  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.