DAILY MATCHUPS: Flaherty, Berrios among Friday's top starters

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: There are 14 games on the schedule today, with first pitch coming at 2:20pm when the Cubs host the Nationals.. There are two interleague games on the schedule with the Dodgers hosting the Yankees and the Padres hosting the Red Sox. The weather should not be a factor for any games today. 

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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 vATL 2.28 2.13 1.83 2.49 1.66 5 5 4 4 4
  Lance Lynn (R) TEX @CHW 2.05 2.85 2.15 2.20 1.01 4 5 3 2 2
  Jack Flaherty (R) STL vCOL 1.61 2.22 1.30 1.63 1.30 3 5 5 5 2
  Jose Berrios (R) MIN vDET 1.42 2.22 1.13 1.71 0.61 4 5 1 1 1
  Chris Paddack (R) SD vBOS 1.12 1.19 1.05 1.85 0.40 0 3 2 3 2
  Zack Greinke (R) HOU vLAA 1.04 1.14 0.56 1.45 0.99 4 2 0 3 3
  James Paxton (L) NYY @LA 0.97 2.10 0.36 1.25 0.18 2 2 4 3 1
  Vince Velasquez (R) PHI @MIA 0.93 1.47 0.60 0.93 0.72 4 2 3 2 3
  Matt Boyd (L) DET @MIN 0.66 2.19 0.06 1.43 -1.03 5 2 0 0 5
  Dylan Cease (R) CHW vTEX 0.56 1.90 0.78 1.05 -1.51 0 3 2 1 2

Jack Flaherty (RHP, STL) comes into this start white hot as he has thrown a PQS-DOM in three of his last four starts. His results and skills over his last nine starts have been tremendous where he has thrown a PQS-DOM in five. In those nine starts he is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 3.53 xERA, 11.1 Dom, 3.8 Cmd, and 138 BPV. This matchup lines up great as the opposing Rockies don't hit well on the road with a .680 OPS and in his 12 home starts this season he is 4-3 with a 2.89 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.

Jose Berrios (RHP, MIN) does have a PQS-4 under his belt against the Tigers earlier this season, but he was pitching better at that time. Each of his last three starts have resulted in a PQS-1 and over his last eight starts he owns a 4.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and 4.70 xERA. He will try to get back on track versus a Tigers lineup who really struggles against right-handed pitching as their .670 OPS is second worst in MLB. 

Chris Paddack (RHP, SD) is just 1-2 with a 6.12 across his last five starts. He owns a 4.20 xERA over his last seven starts although five of those seven have come on the road. He has been much better at home this season where in nine starts he is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. He opposes the Red Sox today who have hit right-handed pitching extremely well with a .283 BA and .837 OPS.

Vince Velasquez (RHP, PHI) has not pitched well versus the lowly Marlins this season as his three starts against them have resulted in a PQS-1, PQS-3, and PQS-2. On the surface he is pitching well lately as he is 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA and 1.17 over his last seven starts, albeit with a 4.71 xERA in that time. The Marlins .659 OPS against right-handed pitching is the worst in MLB. He will be in better position to take advantage of the matchup today as he will be on six days rest. In 24 career starts on that rest he is 9-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50):

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Trent Thornton (R) TOR @SEA 0.43 0.56 -0.05 0.48 0.74 1 2 0 4 1
  Jon Lester (L) CHC vWAS 0.34 0.97 0.11 0.01 0.25 4 3 1 1 2
  Eduardo Rodriguez (L) BOS @SD 0.22 1.31 0.25 -0.28 -0.40 1 3 1 1 3
  Anibal Sanchez (R) WAS @CHC 0.12 0.65 -0.58 0.20 0.21 5 2 3 2 2
  Trevor Richards (R) TAM @BAL 0.06 0.58 -0.64 -0.13 0.41  0 1 1 2 2
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA vNYY -0.01 0.13 -0.20 0.72 -0.68 4 3 2 4 2
  Zach Pleasac (R) CLE vKC -0.02 0.05 -0.18 0.01 0.03 3 0 4 0 2
  Jake Junis (R) KC @CLE -0.06 0.64 -0.58 0.25 -0.53 1 4 2 2 4
  Merrill Kelly (R) ARI @MIL -0.25 0.32 -0.89 -0.27 -0.16 1 0 1 1 2
  Anthony DeSclafani (R) CIN @PIT -0.29 0.19 -0.95 -0.33 -0.05 3 2 2 0 0
  Mike Foltynewicz (R) ATL @NYM -0.47 1.07 -0.57 -0.22 -2.16 3 0 3 3 1

Jon Lester (LHP, CHC) has just a single PQS-DOM to his credit over his last eight starts in which he is 3-2 with a 4.89 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, and 4.91 xERA. Two of his last three starts have resulted in a PQS-DIS. His lone start against the Nationals this season was a PQS-1 back on May 18. The Nationals lineup has been on fire in August as they are averaging 6.9 runs per game and have a .905 OPS.

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, BOS) is seemingly pitching well over his last nine starts as he is 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA. However, those surface stats are being propped up by the combination of a 27% H% and 84% S%. His skills over that time have not been flattering (4.69 xERA, 7.6 Dom, 1.7 Cmd, 51 BPV). Three of his last five have resulted in a PQS-DIS. On the road in 13 starts he has gone 7-4 with a subpar 4.70 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) allowed four ER in his last start which is the second most he has allowed all season. His matchup rating for today's start is shockingly low, however the opposing Yankees are averaging 6.5 runs this month where they have a .926 OPS. Over his last seven starts he is 3-1 with a 1.19 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, although that also comes with a 4.01 xERA. He has been untouchable at home this season where in 11 starts he is 9-0 with a 0.81 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.

Jake Junis (RHP, KC) will be taking on the Indians today for a sixth time this season. Three of the previous five starts against them resulted in a PQS-DIS while going 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. The good news is that he is pitching well lately with a PQS-DOM in two of his last four starts. Over his last nine starts he owns a strong 3.6 Cmd and 112 BPV. 

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, CIN) does not enter this start in the best form but receives a juicy matchup. The Pirates lineup has been ice cold this month where they have a .240 BA and .702 OPS. His two starts against them this season have resulted in a PQS-2 and PQS-1. Each of his last two starts have both resulted in a PQS-0 and over his last five he has a 5.56 ERA. He is limiting right-handed batters to a .640 OPS, although left-handed batters have a strong .938 OPS against him. 

Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, ATL) has made 14 starts this season with only one of those resulting in a PQS-DOM. In three starts since his return from the minors he is 2-0 but with an ugly 5.06 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. Speaking of ugly, his skills this season have resembled nothing like his breakout last season (5.19 xERA, 2.6 Cmd, 76 BPV). Right-handed batters have pounded him this season with a .300 BA and . 920 OPS. The opposing Mets are hitting well lately as in August they have a .299 BA and .864 OPS. 

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below):

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Jordan Lyles (R) MIL vARI -0.51 0.14 -1.03 -0.80 -0.34 1 2 1 4 0
  Mitch Keller (R) PIT vCIN -0.61 0.32 -1.26 -1.03 -0.45 2 1 4 1 1
  Hector Noesi (R) MIA vPHI -0.66 0.06 -0.71 -0.76 -1.22 0 2 0
  Peter Lambert (R) COL @STL -0.93 -0.72 -0.73 -0.45 -1.80 2 1 0 2 1
  Justus Sheffield (L) SEA vTOR -1.07 -1.27 -1.05 -1.01 -0.94  
  Ty Blach (L) BAL vTAM -1.17 -0.64 -1.62 -1.52 -0.88 0 2
                   

Justus Sheffield (LHP, SEA) is set to make his first MLB start today and his first appearance since April. He has split the last few months between AAA and AA. First, he was terrible at AAA-Tacoma where in 12 starts he went 2-6 with a 6.87 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, and 48/41 K/BB in 55 IP. He was then sent to AA-Arkansas where he has been fantastic. In 12 starts there he went 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 85/18 K/BB in 78 IP. It will be interesting to see if he can carry his recent momentum over this start versus the Blue Jays.  

 

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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.