DAILY MATCHUPS: deGrom and Bieber are top choices for Monday

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.


Today's schedule overview: There are eight games featured in today's slate, including three in the AL and five in the NL. All matchups will take place in the evening, with the first game beginning at 7:05 pm EST. Current weather models show no significant chances of rain. Be sure to check the latest forecast prior to setting your lineup(s). 



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

  Jacob deGrom (R) NYM vARI 2.33 3.15 2.08 2.56 1.52 4 4 5 4 2
  Shane Bieber (R) CLE @LAA 2.32 3.27 2.08 2.57 1.36 2 3 4 5 5
  Madison Bumgarner (L) SF vPIT 1.75 1.17 1.73 2.57 1.52 4 2 3 4 0
  James Paxton (L) NYY @BOS 1.34 2.14 1.19 1.43 0.61 3 1 5 1 5
  Jordan Lyles (R) MIL @MIA 1.17 1.36 1.08 1.46 0.79 4 0 3 2 2
  Aaron Nola (R) PHI vATL 1.09 1.86 0.73 0.77 1.01 4 4 5 5 1
  Zack Greinke (R) HOU vOAK 0.63 0.95 0.05 0.95 0.55 3 3 2 2 1

Jordan Lyles (RHP, MIL) has compiled a 2.56 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 2.4 Cmd over 7 GS with the Brewers; resulting in a 14/28% DOM/DIS. His 88% S and 21% H yielded a 4.88 xERA and 68 BPV in the month of August, but a matchup with the Marlins almost always brings a boost in ratings. His best mark comes in the K category; the MIA offense owns a 25% K against RHP this season (25th), and Lyles sports a 10% SwK and 9.4 Dom in the 2H despite only logging 2 K against HOU in his latest outing. Lyles has had some issues with the long ball (4 HR allowed in 3 GS on the road while with MIL), but Marlins Park offers 16/27% suppression to LHB/RHB HR, allowing for a higher floor in the ERA category.

Zack Greinke (RHP, HOU) logged a PQS-3 on the road against the Athletics on August 18, and will face them once again in a home turn today. He posted his worst xERA (4.43) and BPV (89) of any month in August – his first 5 GS with the Astros – including a pair of PQS-2 and a PQS-0 in three appearances at Minute Maid Park. The OAK lineup is a Top-10 unit against RHP and rank Top-5 in RPG on the road (5.5). The matchup itself yields a lackluster ERA score; but Greinke’s 4.5 Cmd in the 2H (Top-20 among SP) and the Athletics mediocre offensive results of late have helped offer strong ratings in the K and WHIP department.


Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  Cal Quantrill (R) SD vCHC 0.05 0.34 -0.38 0.59 -0.34 5 2 3 0 1
  Eduardo Rodriguez (L) BOS vNYY 0.04 1.03 0.13 0.11 -1.11 1 3 5 2 4
  Patrick Sandoval (L) LAA vCLE -0.06 0.83 0.39 0.28 -1.74 0 2 1 4 2
  Jon Lester (L) CHC @SD -0.08 0.79 -0.26 -0.46 -0.37 1 2 0 1 2
  Merrill Kelly (R) ARI @NYM -0.32 0.55 -0.01 0.19 -2.02 1 2 1 2 5
  Robert Dugger (R) MIA vMIL -0.36 0.21 -0.25 -0.10 -1.29 0 4 1
  Mike Foltynewicz (R) ATL @PHI -0.43 1.26 -1.01 -0.46 -1.51 3 1 4 1 2

Cal Quantrill (RHP, SD) looks to rebound from two-straight PQS-DIS outings as he takes on the Cubs at home. The CHC offense has been average in RPG on the road (4.9), but they tend to be more successful against RHP for the season. Quantrill has compiled a 4.17 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 49.2 IP at home (9 GS), resulting in an 11/33% DOM/DIS. His Dom upside is limited; the Cubs sit 20th in K% against RHP (23%), but Quantrill owns an unspectacular 7.2 Dom and 9% SwK in the 2H. His WHIP grade acknowledges his ability to keep runners off base (1.8 Ctl, 62% FpK in 2H), but with negative marks in Wins and ERA there’s a decent amount of risk involved.

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, BOS) faces the Yankees for the fourth time this season. In his previous 3 GS he compiled a 4.58 ERA (5.46 xERA), 1.64 WHIP, 1.4 Cmd, and 7 BPV; resulting in a PQS-1 and a pair of PQS-3. Despite extremely positive results recently, Rodriguez has seen significant dips in his skills in the 2H (63 BPV, 4.38 xERA, 1.9 Cmd). His lone “safe” rating comes in the K category; he’s generated a 9.2 Dom against the NYY this season and boasts an 11% SwK in the 2H. There’s massive risk in the Wins and WHIP categories (4.2 Ctl, 62% FpK in 2H) as well as massive downside in ERA (NYY rank third in wRC+ against LHP).   

Patrick Sandoval (LHP, LAA) faces an Indians team that struggles against LHP (21st) and are average performers on the road. Over 26 IP (5 GS) he’s tallied a 4.91 ERA (3.85 xERA), 1.36 WHIP, 2.7 Cmd, and 108 BPV. He’s displayed immense strikeout potential (14% SwK, 10.5 Dom), with his his change-up (31% usage) being the largest source of whiffs (27% SwK). Our ratings system echoes that same sentiment, as his K score is by far his best of any category. Sandoval has only eclipsed 90 pitches twice in his 5 GS; limiting his win potential by a sizeable margin. His 50% FpK and 3.9 Ctl could prove troublesome with the CLE offense owning a 10% BB against LHP (5th).  There’s certainly tantalizing upside, but equal downside as well (20/40% DOM/DIS).

Jon Lester (LHP, CHC) will head out on the road to take on a struggling SD offense that also ranks among the Top-10 in wRC+ against LHP (104). His home/road splits are fairly neutral this season, but over his last 5 GS on the road he’s tallied a 20/40% DOM/DIS. His ERA and WHIP ratings are the most problematic; he’s allowed 3 BB or more in 5 of his last 6 GS with a 57% FpK and 3.7 Ctl in the 2H. When you factor in his 5.02 xERA and 69 BPV in the 2H, there’s seemingly more risk than possible reward.

Merrill Kelly (RHP, ARI) takes a dip in his overall rating due to the lowest Wins score of anyone on the slate. The NYM offense has been posting Top-3 production over the last seven days, but are rather mediocre against RHP at home. Kelly himself has logged a staggering six-straight PQS-DIS on the road, and for the season has been significantly worse on the road (6.00 ERA) versus at home (3.50 ERA). LHB HR suffer a negative impact at Citi Field (-11%); which bodes well for Kelly (.821 oOPS against LHB). His 11% SwK and 8.2 Dom in the 2H helps yield a positive K grade, and 7 of his last 9 GS have resulted in 2 BB or less.

Robert Dugger (RHP, MIA) owns a 4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 3 GS in the MLB thus far. His 5.45 xERA and 33 BPV are troublesome, but since today’s outing is at home in Marlins Park, there’s an avenue for Dugger to be usable. Of his 3 GS, two have come on the road (PQS-DIS), with his lone home start resulting in a PQS-4. There’s little strikeout upside (6.0 Dom, 8% SwK) and his 56% FpK doesn’t promote a strong Ctl (3.5). The MIL offense has been a bottom-tier group over the last seven days, and have had trouble with RHP on the road this season. There could be an avenue for success here, but tread lightly.

Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, ATL) owns a 3.31 ERA (4.85 xERA), 1.41 WHIP, and 64 BPV over his 6 GS since returning to the MLB. He’s having issues with walks during that time (3.9 Ctl, 54% FpK), but he maintains a strong Dom (8.5 Dom, 11% SwK). Citizens Bank Park is favorable to LHB/RHB HR (25/24% boost), and Foltynewicz has had struggles against southpaws throughout his career (.833 oOPS in ’19, .798 oOPS career). The PHI offense fares better at home (5.2 RPG), but have had issues producing recently. Foltynewicz posted a 2.04 ERA and 0.93 WHIP against the Phillies over 6 GS in 2018, and a PQS-3 against them on June 16.


Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  Trevor Williams (R) PIT @SF -0.55 -0.35 -0.49 -0.06 -1.28 1 0 3 4 2
  Mike Fiers (R) OAK @HOU -0.67 -0.11 -1.11 -0.39 -1.05 5 1 1 2 0

Trevor Williams (RHP, PIT) has rebounded from three-straight PQS-DIS to post two PQS-DEC and a PQS-4 over his last 3 GS. The SF offense ranks 29th in wRC+ over the last seven days and perform worse at home (3.5 RPG, 29th) compared to on the road (5.2 RPG). Williams is certainly a risky proposition give his 2H results (2.0 hr/9, 33 BPV, 1.8 Cmd, 5.94 xERA), but the matchup alone could yield a positive outcome, albeit with limited upside.  


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 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.