DAILY MATCHUPS: Clevinger tabbed as best on a shallow 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: Saturday’s slate is a full one, with all 30 teams in action. The Yankees and Dodgers will play their second in a three-game series in Chavez Ravine. That matchup is one of three interleague games on the day (SF-OAK, BOS-SD). Cooler, less humid conditions are on tap across most of the baseball weather map and no serious threats of rain are to be found. And just about an equal measure of top-shelf starters. Michael Clevinger draws the top figure on a day with a lot of question marks and a slew of probables being tagged with below-zero figures.

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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
  Michael Clevinger (R) CLE vKC 1.90 2.48 1.58 1.59 1.96 4 3 5 3 4
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF @OAK 1.20 1.42 0.94 1.99 0.44 4 0 4 4 2
  Jose Quintana (L) CHC vWAS 1.14 1.24 0.93 1.36 1.03 2 2 5 3 5
  Alex Wood (L) CIN @PIT 1.02 0.12 1.15 1.25 1.54 1 4 0 1 2
  Kyle Gibson (R) MIN vDET 1.02 1.42 0.79 0.29 1.59 3 4 2 1 3
  Dinelson Lamet (R) SD vBOS 0.76 2.01 0.52 0.65 -0.16 3 2 5 2 2
  Max Fried (L) ATL @NYM 0.66 1.41 1.09 0.45 -0.31 1 3 4 1 1
  Zack Wheeler (R) NYM vATL 0.59 1.12 0.66 1.21 -0.62 3 5 4 0 2
  Wade Miley (L) HOU vLAA 0.54 0.78 0.45 0.10 0.81 3 2 1 1 2

Kyle Gibson (RHP, MIN) is a fine play at home (where he’s outpitched his surface numbers) against the Detroit Tigers, who continue to sport a woeful attack vs. RHP. The Tigers have carded a 69% ct% in August.

Dinelson Lamet (RHP, SD) owns a 2.50 ERA/3.42 xERA over his last three starts. The TJS velocity uptick is evident; he’s been sitting 95-96 of late.

Max Fried (LHP, ATL) has rallied from an off-kilter July with a 2.01 ERA/3.44 xERA in August. He matches up well with the lefty-heavy Mets.

Zack Wheeler (RHP, NYM) bounced off a couple great early-August starts against MIA and CHW with lesser performances in his last two turns. Wheeler owns a 9.6 Dom and 1.16 WHIP at home. He logged a PQS-3 or better in seven of his last eight starts at Citi Field.

Wade Miley (LHP, HOU) has been beaten up around the hit-rate margins of late, but peripherals have remained strong. Miley has pitched well at home; the Angels’ offense has sputtered of late (whiff-heavy .722 OPS in August).

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Tony Gonsolin (R) LA vNYY 0.49 0.70 -0.15 0.91 0.49 1 4 1
  Jordan Yamamoto (R) MIA vPHI 0.35 0.94 0.24 0.62 -0.41 1 2 3 1 3
  Chris Bassitt (R) OAK vSF 0.32 0.70 0.41 0.85 -0.69 3 4 1 5 0
  Nathan Eovaldi (R) BOS @SD 0.23 0.21 0.41 0.65 -0.34 0 1 0 4 0
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI @MIA 0.12 -0.22 0.44 0.36 -0.09 0 2 2 0 1
  Zac Gallen (R) ARI @MIL 0.07 1.20 -0.59 -0.54 0.20 5 3 3 2 3
  Dakota Hudson (R) STL vCOL -0.23 -0.62 -0.18 -1.09 0.98 1 2 1 2 4
  Ivan Nova (R) CHW vTEX -0.23 -0.46 -0.50 -0.05 0.10 3 0 3 4 1
  Joe Ross (R) WAS @CHC -0.38 0.27 -0.79 -0.57 -0.42 2 2 3 3 2

Tony Gonsolin (RHP, LA) has been solid over his first 18 MLB innings. The Yankees are a step up in competition, but this is an NYY club which has struggled offensively this week. That’s been somewhat due to a .200 BA with RISP. Gonsolin can’t be expected to go deep, but on this particular day, 18 IP of 3.90 xERA (while throwing strikes, missing bats and getting GBs) pitching can’t be ignored.

Jordan Yamamoto (RHP, MIA) is coming off a 103-pitch outing at Coors. It was a good outing, and the right-hander owns a 4.21 xERA over his last four starts. Yamamoto is up against a Phillies club which has languished against right-handed pitching. His K Rating buoys his overall mark in this one. He owns a 12% SwK and 9.9 Dom over his recent four-start surge.

Chris Bassitt (RHP, OAK) is coming off a season-high 116 pitches in his last. His 100-plus-next-time-out numbers are not good. Neither is the Giants’ offense, but it is significantly better on the road.

Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, BOS) scuffled in his first start since April 17. The lack of depth on the day, Eovaldi’s overall talent level and the right lean of the San Diego lineup make start No. 2 worth a look, especially in deep formats.

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) shouldn’t be much of a consideration in many leagues. Depending on Philadelphia’s bullpen activity on Friday, Eflin may be in for a short outing -- even against Miami.

Zac Gallen (RHP, ARI) owns a 2.45 ERA and a 4.37 xERA through 10 starts. Gallen is coming off a solid effort, the back end of two in a row against the Rockies. But the right-hander walked six in that game. Gallen has been tough on left-handed batters, and that will be a big key against Milwaukee (whose lefty bats own an .872 OPS vs. RHPs).

Dakota Hudson (RHP, STL) is rated just under water for his home start against the Rockies. Hudson’s control (4.2 Ctl for the season, 4.7 Ctl last 30 days) brings risk, but he’s still a solid play against a COL club challenged by GB pitchers and challenged in general on the road.

Ivan Nova (RHP, CHW) draws a home start against a scuffling Texas Rangers squad (.679 OPS since Aug. 5). Current TEX bats own a .624 OPS, .146 ISO against the White Sox right-hander. Nova has defeated HOU and MIN in back-to-back starts, and he’s posted a 0.99 ERA over his last four starts. The veteran hurler has been helped by generous rates around the edges during that stretch, but he’s certainly worth a look at the right price against the slumping Rangers. Since May 24, TEX owns a league-worst .669 OPS in road games.

Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) left his last due to a right leg injury. He’s expected to make this start at Wrigley. Steer clear – CHC can score at home, and Ross has a shaky line against the Cubs (.863 OPSA, 1.3 Cmd).

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Kolby Allard (L) TEX @CHW -0.58 -0.48 -1.02 -0.73 -0.10 3 3 0
  Chase Anderson (R) MIL vARI -0.62 -0.06 -1.27 -0.44 -0.70 2 2 1 1 0
  CC Sabathia (L) NYY @LA -0.66 0.18 -1.23 -0.78 -0.82 3 3 0 1 1
  Felix Hernandez (R) SEA vTOR -0.75 -1.44 -1.05 -0.50 TBD 2 4 2 0 0
  John Means (L) BAL vTAM -0.83 -0.41 -1.87 -1.04 TBD 1 0 2 0 2
  Dillon Peters (L) LAA @HOU -0.95 -0.69 -1.05 -0.73 -1.31 2 0 3 4 0
  Glenn Sparkman (R) KC @CLE -1.37 -1.18 -1.45 -0.37 -2.46 1 0 1 2 1
  Edwin Jackson (R) DET @MIN -1.51 -0.51 -1.94 -1.50 -2.09 0 0 2 2 2
  Trevor Williams (R) PIT vCIN -1.54 -0.52 -1.91 -1.38 -2.35 4 1 0 1 0
  Alex Gonzalez (R) COL @STL -1.84 -1.31 -2.11 -2.45 -1.48 1 0 1 0 1

Kolby Allard (LHP, TEX) has just a bit too much downside risk in this start at CHW. Better cheap spot options are available.

 

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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.