DAILY MATCHUPS: Cole, Syndergaard headline 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: The final Sunday of the 2019 regular season features seven NL matchups, seven AL matchups, and one interleague matchup, which will take away a DH position from CLE. All 15 matchups will start between 3:05 pm EST and 3:15 pm EST. There is a chance of rain for the DET at CHW matchup. 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
  Gerrit Cole (R) HOU @LAA 5.55 5.59 5.06 6.53 5.02 3 4 5 4 5
  Sandy Alcantara (R) MIA @PHI 2.97 2.65 2.02 3.65 3.57 3 5 4 0 4
  Tanner Roark (R) OAK @SEA 2.67 1.58 1.92 3.34 3.82 2 5 1 2 0
  Eduardo Rodriguez (L) BOS vBAL 2.57 1.64 2.14 2.97 3.54 4 3 5 4 1
  Noah Syndergaard (R) NYM vATL 2.52 1.76 1.87 2.90 3.55 5 2 0 2 2
  Blake Snell (L) TAM @TOR 2.52 1.16 2.11 3.47 3.35 1 1 4 3 1
  Spencer Turnbull (R) DET @CHW 2.33 1.72 1.58 2.74 3.26 1 1 2 3 2
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN @PIT 2.26 1.67 2.43 3.68 1.26 1 2 3 5 4
  Miles Mikolas (R) STL vCHC 2.15 1.28 1.41 2.69 3.21 3 3 2 1 2
  Rich Hill (L) LA @SF 2.13 0.90 3.08 3.43 1.09 1 3 2 2 3
  Taijuan Walker (R) ARI vSD 1.95 -0.68 2.02 2.94 3.52  
  Masahiro Tanaka (R) NYY @TEX 1.80 1.51 1.85 3.35 0.50 5 1 0 2 4
  Martin Perez (L) MIN @KC 1.74 0.02 1.72 2.31 2.92 0 1 0 2 0
  Michael Clevinger (R) CLE @WAS 1.61 2.60 1.32 3.07 -0.55 3 4 4 3 5
  Jeff Hoffman (R) COL vMIL 1.54 1.18 0.57 1.87 2.55 1 3 1 2 1
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF vLA 1.43 1.92 1.87 3.50 -1.59 0 3 3 3 4
  Lance Lynn (R) TEX vNYY 1.40 2.49 1.04 3.08 -1.00 3 1 4 3 3
  Joe Ross (R) WAS vCLE 1.33 0.93 1.64 2.69 0.05 3 2 1 0 1
  Trevor Williams (R) PIT vCIN 0.66 1.27 0.83 2.31 -1.76 4 2 2 0 3

Sandy Alcantara (RHP, MIA) owns a 2.77 ERA with three PQS-DOM outings in his last five GS. His 50% GB% has contributed to a 4.18 xERA in September. While the Phillies have provided below-average offensive production in September, his 5.80 xERA and 1.97 WHIP in 13 IP vs. PHI adds some risk. The right-hander's 64% FpK has helped his 3.5 Ctl and 1.22 WHIP in the second half. 

Tanner Roark (RHP, OAK) will try to lower his 6.21 ERA in his last five GS with a matchup versus Seattle's below-average offense vs. RHP. While his 9% SwK is below average, the Mariners' 25.9% K% vs. RHP could boost his strikeout total. Even with a slight drop in velocity to 91.5 MPH in September, a 31% hr/f in his last four GS has not helped his efforts. Even with a 4.62 xERA and 1.38 WHIP in 2019, his ratio ratings claim he can provide some value on Sunday. 

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, BOS) gave up seven ER in five IP at TEX on September 24 for a PQS-1 start. The lefty will look to rebound against Baltimore's below-average lineup vs. LHP. In 21 IP vs. BAL, he owns a 3.79 xERA with a 0.71 WHIP. With a 12% SwK, he can add to his 205 strikeouts in 2019. Although some good fortune has helped his 2.94 home ERA, a favorable matchup could help his ratios. As he looks to cross the 200-IP threshold, his strong chance for a win moves him up the ratings. 

Blake Snell (LHP, TAM) takes the mound against Toronto's below-average offense vs. LHP. In two shortened outings since returning from the IL, the lefty has struck out seven hitters, walked three, and allowed one ER in 3.2 IP at LA and vs. BOS. He can miss bats with an 18% SwK, and his 3.48 xERA and 1.25 WHIP contribute to positive ratio ratings. A lower pitch count could keep him from qualifying for a win. 

Spencer Turnbull (RHP, DET) draws a favorable matchup against Chicago's bottom-five offense vs. RHP. The right-hander's 11% SwK and 8.7 Dom back a decent strikeout rating. Even with his 48% GB%, his 6.83 ERA in his last five GS lowers his ERA rating. In an August 5 start vs. CHW, he struck out seven and allowed two ER in three IP for a PQS-3. 

Trevor Bauer (RHP, CIN) is scheduled to start Sunday after dealing with an illness. While he carries a 5.35 ERA in his last five GS into the start, a matchup against a Pittsburgh nine that has provided below-average production in September could help his results. The right-hander will look to improve on his PQS-1 result at PIT on August 25 when he allowed seven ER in three IP. His 13% SwK and 10.7 Dom back strikeouts, but a 44% second-half FB%, 18% second-half hr/f, and 64% S% have contributed to a 5.65 ERA (4.29 xERA) since July. 

Rich Hill (LHP, LA) takes on a San Francisco nine that has struggled vs. LHP. Fantasy owners should not expect a win, as the southpaw is scheduled to throw three innings on Sunday. In 2.3 IP in September, he has struck out seven, walked four, and allowed one ER. 

Michael Clevinger (RHP, CLE) backs a strong strikeout rating with a 16% SwK. With three PQS-DOM results and a 1.57 ERA in his last five GS, he should be in starting lineups. Although Washington has provided a top-ten OPS vs. RHP, his 67% FpK, 169 BPV, and 3.14 xERA should play well. The right-hander's 60% DOM% is worth targeting. 

Lance Lynn (RHP, TEX) matches up against New York's top-five offense vs. RHP. In a September 4 start at NYY, he struck out seven and gave up three ER in five IP for a PQS-1. With a 94.2 MPH velocity and a 13% SwK, the strikeouts should be there. Even with a 3.96 xERA and 1.29 WHIP in the second half, a tough matchup poses some risk. 

Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) will try to snap his three-straight PQS-DIS result streak against a Cleveland nine that has been an average lineup vs. RHP. Although his 44% GB% is decent, his 4.8 Ctl and 5.47 xERA add ERA and WHIP risk. 

Trevor Williams (RHP, PIT) has posted a 4.19 xERA and 0.83 WHIP in 18 IP versus the Reds' slightly below-average offense vs. RHP. The right-hander's 6.23 ERA in his last five GS and 1.44 WHIP have inflated rosters' ratios, even with his 63% FpK and 2.7 Ctl. In 2019 starts at PNC Park, he owns a 5.03 FIP and 1.47 WHIP. 

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Dillon Peters (L) LAA vHOU -2.86 -2.91 -2.27 -0.81 -5.45 4 0 0 0 1
  Clay Buchholz (R) TOR vTAM -3.07 -2.20 -3.95 -2.23 -3.88 2 1 2 1 0
  Jorge Lopez (R) KC vMIN -3.07 -2.75 -3.69 -2.30 -3.53 3 4 1 2 0
  Adrian Houser (R) MIL @COL -3.46 -2.51 -4.46 -3.80 -3.05 3 3 1 3 3
  Carson Fulmer (R) CHW vDET -3.74 -3.24 -4.70 -3.25 -3.76 2 0
  Duane Underwood Jr. (R) CHC @STL -3.91 -3.47 -4.88 -3.58 -3.71 0
  Dillon Tate (R) BAL @BOS -3.96 -3.11 -4.42 -4.19 -4.10 0
  Michael Soroka (R) ATL @NYM -3.98 -2.42 -5.09 -4.34 -4.05 1 2 2 2 3
  Ronald Bolanos (R) SD @ARI -4.00 -2.58 -4.62 -4.79 -4.02 2 1 2
  Jose Alvarez (L) PHI vMIA -4.09 -3.42 -5.19 -3.57 -4.17 2
  Justin Dunn (R) SEA vOAK -4.67 -3.40 -6.09 -4.87 -4.32 2 2 2

Clay Buchholz (RHP, TOR) has not fared well in his last five GS, as he has posted an 8.46 ERA with three PQS-DIS results in his last five tries. His 65% FpK and 2.5 Ctl may help, but his 5.42 xERA and 39% hard-contact allowed rate add some ERA risk against the Rays' above-average offense vs. RHP. In 12 IP vs. TAM, he has good results with a 3.85 xERA and 1.08 WHIP. 

Jorge Lopez (RHP, KC) earns a lower strikeout rating with his 9% SwK and 8.1 Dom. The right-hander did not fare well in his September 22 outing at MIN when he allowed seven ER in 2.1 IP for a PQS-0, and Minnesota owns a top-five OPS vs. RHP. Although some poor fortune has kept his 6.35 ERA above his 4.76 xERA, his below-average skills in the second half could be a risky play if Minnesota plays their regular starters. 

Adrian Houser (RHP, MIL) carries a 5.32 ERA in his last five GS into a Coors Field outing against a Rockies offense that can hit RHP well, but his September skills (155 BPV) have contributed to a 3.29 xERA for the month. The right-hander will look to his 54% GB% and 3.67 xERA for some ERA aid, and his 61% FpK and 1.24 second-half WHIP have helped rosters in the second half. The thin air and the Rockies' top-home OPS move him down the ratings. 

Michael Soroka (RHP, ATL) can help a roster's WHIP with his 64% FpK, 2.1 Ctl, and 1.09 WHIP. Allowing fewer home runs and hard-hit balls in away starts has contributed to his 3.06 away FIP. While his 10% SwK and 7.2 Dom could limit his strikeout upside, his 52% GB% and 3.90 xERA can provide some ERA relief. In 12 IP vs. NYM, the right-hander owns a 4.44 xERA and 1.14 WHIP. 

Justin Dunn (RHP, SEA) opened a September 24 outing vs. HOU with two scoreless IP. The right-hander will take on another above-average offense in the Athletics. In 131.2 IP at AA, he posted a 10.8 Dom, 2.7 Ctl, and 3.55 ERA. In 5 scoreless IP for SEA, he has struck out two hitters while issuing eight walks.  

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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.