DAILY MATCHUPS: deGrom, Marquez tabbed as Saturday's best

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 – 30 teams, 15 games. Only one of those games – the middle contest of the NYM-at-KC series – is an interleague tilt. Warm, humid weather, with some trace rain percentages, is the typical forecast across much of the baseball weather map. Quite a few of those warm, humid stadiums will be accompanied by a light hitter’s breeze. On a day not exactly deep with SP options, Saturday figures as one for the batsmen.

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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
  Jacob deGrom (R) NYM @KC 2.65 3.16 2.57 2.97 1.89 5 5 5 4 4
  German Marquez (R) COL vMIA 2.18 1.93 1.99 2.45 2.34 3 4 4 1 4
  Jose Berrios (R) MIN @TEX 1.42 1.96 0.80 1.47 1.43 2 4 5 1 1
  Jon Lester (L) CHC @PIT 1.39 1.34 1.32 1.43 1.48 2 4 3 1 1
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA @ATL 1.33 1.18 1.25 1.75 1.13 4 4 3 2 4
  James Paxton (L) NYY vCLE 1.25 1.98 0.42 1.50 1.09 1 2 2 4 3
  Ryan Yarbrough (L) TAM vDET 1.24 0.76 1.16 1.89 1.16 2 4 2 4 5
  Eduardo Rodriguez (L) BOS vBAL 0.71 1.83 0.35 0.11 0.54 4 1 3 1 1
  Anthony DeSclafani (R) CIN vSTL 0.68 1.15 0.27 1.12 0.17 4 3 2 2 0
  Jose Suarez (L) LAA vCHW 0.67 0.44 0.27 0.72 1.23 2 4 1 1 0
  Dinelson Lamet (R) SD @PHI 0.66 1.98 0.13 0.29 0.22 1 3 2 5 2

Jon Lester (LHP, CHC) has been banged up around the margins over three straight starts. All three were against clubs who find much more success against lefties than the Pirates (.677 OPS, 0.21 Eye). Current PIT bats own a similar career line against Lester.

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, BOS) owns a dominant line against Baltimore: 32% K rate, .632 OPSA, .138 ISO allowed. Look for a bounce-back – though likely not a big-inning one – on Saturday.

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, CIN) is tabbed for Saturday’s home start against the Cardinals. DeSclafani is coming off a rocky outing at WAS, but, in larger formats his previous four or five starts were usable. That stretch included a PQS-4 against St. Louis. In fact, the Reds right-hander has registered a 2.57 ERA/3.62 xERA over four starts versus STL this season. The Cardinals have had their share of struggles on the road, and they own a mere .678 OPS overall in the month of August. That figure is more than 110 points off the league’s August average of .799. The right-heavy (big benefit in DeSclafani’s splits) STL order has been a bottom-10 group against RHPs all season.

Dinelson Lamet (RHP, SD) totes a 3.86 ERA/3.78 xERA into Saturday’s turn at Philadelphia. The Phillies are not a strong group against big fastballs; Lamet has one.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Trent Thornton (R) TOR vSEA 0.47 0.49 0.10 0.67 0.60 0 1 2 0 4
  Anibal Sanchez (R) WAS vMIL 0.28 0.72 -0.16 0.45 0.11 0 5 2 3 2
  Miles Mikolas (R) STL @CIN 0.06 0.33 -0.30 0.88 -0.67 0 4 2 5 1
  Taylor Clarke (R) ARI vSF -0.04 -0.13 -0.10 0.09 TBD 0 0 3 4 2
  Rogelio Armenteros (R) HOU @OAK -0.04 -0.14 -0.24 0.16 0.08 4
  Asher Wojciechowski (R) BAL @BOS -0.07 0.88 -0.75 0.19 -0.61 5 4 1 1 2
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI vSD -0.17 0.33 -0.52 0.24 -0.72 1 0 2 2 0
  Jakob Junis (R) KC vNYM -0.21 0.65 0.17 0.72 -2.39 3 1 4 2 2
  Chris Bassitt (R) OAK vHOU -0.23 0.26 -0.72 0.12 -0.58 0 3 4 1 5
  Jordan Lyles (R) MIL @WAS -0.37 0.22 -0.67 -0.43 -0.61 2 1 2 1 4

Trent Thornton (RHP, TOR) could be an under-the-radar spot option on Saturday. The Blue Jays righty is coming off a nice game against the Yankees. He draws a scuffling Mariner nine (.611 OPS, 63% ct% in August). Seattle has struck out 11.9 times per game since July 27.

Anibal Sanchez (RHP, WAS) has been a feast-or-famine option on the road. Milwaukee has struggled at home since the break, and fly-ballers cause the Brewers problems at times. Sanchez is working on five days’ rest; that’s his best interval by a wide margin.

Miles Mikolas (RHP, STL) owns a 3.08 ERA/4.10 xERA over his last 6 GS. In this turn – on the road where Mikolas has faltered this season – the Cardinals right-hander will be matched up against a Cincinnati club which has pummeled him in the past (.933 OPS, .276 ISO). The Reds are batting a high-contact .284/.347/.509 in August. Early-season home-yard troubles have been regressing – aggressively so – in the second half.

Asher Wojciechowski (RHP, BAL) hasn’t been at all sharp of late, and he draws this start at Fenway. Wojciechowski was outstanding in a home turn against BOS on July 21. But that was 17 walks and home runs ago (and that’s just four starts worth). Avoid his extreme fly-ball stuff against the FB-bashing Red Sox.

Chris Bassitt (RHP, OAK) is coming off a PQS-5 in his last. That was against the White Sox; this turn pits Bassitt against the Houston Astros and their league-leading .999 August OPS.

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) is tabbed for Saturday’s home start against San Diego. The start will be Eflin’s first since July 27; he’s made four relief appearances since. The Padres have logged an above-average .811 OPS since July 30, and they’re a first-division group on the road.

Jakob Junis (RHP, KC) is tabbed for Saturday’s home start against the hot-hitting Mets (.828 OPS in August). But New York’s NL entry has a right-leaning lineup, and they’re a below-average order against right-handers. Junis has looked good over his last three starts, sporting better control and avoiding big innings. The Mets struggle mightily against sliders; they will see that pitch in numbers from the Royals right-hander.

Jordan Lyles (RHP, MIL) has been a hit-strand beneficiary in recording a 3.33 ERA over the last month. Lyles has a shaky career line against Washington, a club that has been excellent in their home yard (.824 OPS and trending better) and overall of late (.856 OPS since July 28). The Nationals are a particularly dangerous third-time-around-the-order group; and Lyles already has his own issues, sometimes making too many pitches to get through four or five frames.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Mike Foltynewicz (R) ATL vLA -0.57 1.41 -1.20 -0.42 -2.05 2 3 0 3 3
  Jordan Zimmermann (R) DET @TAM -0.67 -0.05 -0.70 -0.13 -1.81 0 2 1 1 2
  Reggie McClain (R) SEA @TOR -0.87 -0.91 -1.13 -0.34 -1.10 0
  Zach Plesac (R) CLE @NYY -0.94 -0.24 -1.55 -0.65 -1.32 3 3 0 4 0
  Steven Brault (L) PIT vCHC -1.21 -0.16 -1.00 -1.70 -1.98 1 2 2 4 0
  Ariel Jurado (R) TEX vMIN -1.27 -0.63 -1.64 -0.89 -1.93 1 5 0 3 1
  Hector Santiago (L) CHW @LAA -1.47 0.06 -1.99 -2.20 -1.73 2
  Hector Noesi (R) MIA @COL -1.54 -0.41 -1.55 -1.35 -2.84 0 2

Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, ATL) is making his third start returning from Triple-A exile, and the Braves right-hander threw 107 pitches in his last outing. Overall and in those two starts, Foltynewicz has pitched better than his surface numbers would indicate. But he’s well removed from the hurler who carded a 3.70 xERA in 2018. Is it worth battling through all that in a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers? No. No, it is not.

 

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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.