DAILY MATCHUPS: Kyle Gibson sits atop Monday rankings

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: There are nine games featured in today's slate; including five in the AL and four in the NL. All of the contests take place in the evening, with the first game beginning at 7:05 pm EST or later. Current weather models call for humid conditions in multiple games, but as of now there are no risks of delay or postponement. Be sure to check the latest forecast prior to setting your lineup(s).

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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
  Kyle Gibson (R) MIN vCHW 1.29 1.48 1.40 0.63 1.63 0 3 4 2 1
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN vSD 1.05 2.79 0.34 0.74 0.34 5 2 1 4 0
  Wade Miley (L) HOU vDET 0.81 0.47 0.57 0.35 1.83 5 3 2 1 1
  Brendan McKay (L) TAM vSEA 0.62 1.86 0.46 0.43 -0.27 4 2 2 2 2
  Marco Gonzales (L) SEA @TAM 0.58 1.21 0.48 0.87 -0.23 3 5 0 4 3

Kyle Gibson (RHP, MIN) owns a 1.38 ERA (2.36 xERA), 1.08 WHIP, 9.0 Cmd, and 212 BPV in two GS against the White Sox this season. The CHW offense is a strong matchup today, as they sit in the bottom-tier against RHP, on the road, and over the last week. Gibson’s WHIP score is positive today, but ranks as his worst of any category due to a 6.2 Ctl over three starts in August (64% FpK). His results have been rather pedestrian this month at large (5.56 xERA, 5.63 ERA, -14 BPV), but his ability to miss bats (14% SwK, 8.8 Dom) paired with the CHW struggles (26% K, 29th) make this an optimal matchup.

Brendan McKay (LHP, TAM) has only hit the 6 IP mark once in seven GS in the majors; which is reflected in a mediocre Wins rating. He’s been on a PQS-2 streak over his last four GS, and has compiled a 6.18 ERA (4.16 xERA), 1.63 WHIP, and 158 BPV in the 2H. His Dom upside (12% SwK, 12.0 Dom in 2H) is exceptional today; especially when you factor in the Mariners issues with making contact against LHP (26% K%). Outside of a six-walk performance against the Padres his last time out, McKay has finished with one BB or less. The SEA offense fares better against LHP – and McKay has had some home run issues (1.6 hr/9, 15% hr/f) – but most signs point towards a positive result for the rookie LHP today.

Marco Gonzales (LHP, SEA) tallied a PQS-4 on August 9 against the Rays, and will look for similar results today. The TAM offense is an average unit against southpaws, and have been particularly ineffective over the last week (25th in wRC+). Our system rates Gonzales positively in the K category; he’s logged six strikeouts or more in three of his last four, and the TAM offense owns the third-worst K% against LHP (26%). Gonzales owns a 5.18 xFIP on the road, and has a 0/40% DOM/DIS over his last five “away” starts. He does a great job of keeping the ball in the yard (0.9 hr/9), and is equally talented at keeping runners off base (70% FpK, 1.4 Ctl in 2H). If his Wins rating wasn’t weighing him down, he’d be in a better situation.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Zac Gallen (R) ARI vCOL 0.29 0.73 -0.29 -0.30 1.01 3 5 3 3 2
  Dakota Hudson (R) STL vMIL -0.12 -0.08 0.01 -0.81 0.41 3 1 2 1 2
  Joe Ross (R) WAS @PIT -0.44 0.07 -1.13 -0.92 0.22 2 2 3 3
  Eric Lauer (L) SD @CIN -0.44 -0.36 -0.46 0.01 -0.93 1 1 3 0 0

Zac Gallen (RHP, ARI) faces the Rockies at home after notching a PQS-2 against them in Coors Field his last time out. His best rating comes in the K category, as he’s posted a 13% SwK and 10.3 Dom over nine GS this season. The COL offense ranks 27th in wRC+ against RHP this year, and are equally inept on the road (4.2 RPG, 28th). Despite the positive matchup in that regard, Gallen is still saddled with a negative ERA rating. He’s allowed three or more BB in four of his last six GS, resulting in a 4.6 Ctl (61% FpK) in the 2H. Overall, we can expect inconsistency from Gallen – and today is no different – however, the matchup is a decent one despite the fact that COL will be seeing him for the second time.

Dakota Hudson (RHP, STL) receives positive ratings in ERA and Wins today against a Brewers team who he’s already faced twice (PQS-0, PQS-2). The MIL offense has been struggling of late, and remain average against RHP this year. Hudson has only allowed more than three ER once over his last 21 GS, but his 4.85 xERA and 39 BPV is an accurate representation of his baseline skills, as well as his 13/50% DOM/DIS. The Brewers have the propensity to strikeout against RHP (25% K), and Hudson generated nine in his eight IP against them. Be that as it may, his K grade remains negative due to his 6.9 Dom for the year (5.4 Dom at home). With minimal upside and little room for error, Hudson is a highly volatile option.

Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) has delivered a stellar 0.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over three GS in August (two PQS-3, one PQS-2), but an 18% H% and 94% S% yields a 4.85 xERA and 11 BPV. His 9% SwK and 5.5 Dom this month, in conjunction with the Pirates ability to make contact (82%), makes his strikeout outlook fairly bleak. He’s also delivered a 55% FpK and 4.2 Ctl over 28 IP in the 2H (4.5 Ctl last three starts), helping lead to a negative WHIP rating. The Pirates offense has been average over the last week, but they’re a top-10 unit against RHP at home. Ross’s run of success could hit a snag against PIT today.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Dillon Peters (L) LAA @TEX -0.51 -0.51 -0.99 -0.22 -0.32 2 0 3 4
  Kolby Allard (L) TEX vLAA -0.55 -0.43 -0.88 -0.69 -0.18 3 3
  Zachary Davies (R) MIL @STL -0.70 -0.18 -0.93 -0.76 -0.91 3 3 2 1 0
  Jorge Lopez (R) KC @BAL -0.91 -0.72 -1.42 -1.50 0.02 5 0 2 1 0
  Ivan Nova (R) CHW @MIN -1.06 -0.67 -1.13 -0.29 -2.13 4 3 0 3 4
  Trevor Williams (R) PIT vWAS -1.10 -0.43 -1.90 -1.34 -0.72 2 4 1 0 1
  John Means (L) BAL vKC -1.15 -0.79 -2.04 -1.16 -0.62 1 1 0 2 0
  Edwin Jackson (R) DET @HOU -2.03 -0.59 -2.73 -2.30 -2.50 0 0 0 2 2
  Alex Gonzalez (R) COL @ARI -2.12 -1.50 -2.31 -3.17 -1.51 1 1 0 1 0

Dillon Peters (LHP, LAA) looks to continue his recent run of success against formidable offenses (CLE, BOS, PIT) and falls just below the "Judgment" line. He takes on a Rangers team that struggles against LHP, but fares very well at home (5.6 RPG, third). During this recent stretch, Peters has done a great job of keeping the ball on the ground (55%), and has demonstrated some strong skills (3.17 xERA, 165 BPV). Our ratings system has negative grades in every category, but his 12% SwK and 8.7 Dom this month in tandem with the Rangers league worst K% against LHP bring optimism. Peters struggles against RHB (.841 oOPS) and has some issues with home runs (1.7 hr/9, 18% hr/f). If he can keep the Rangers at bay, there’s enough swing and miss here to make things worthwhile. 

Kolby Allard (LHP, TEX) receives his first home turn in the major leagues after posting a pair of PQS-3 performances in his first two GS (MIL, TOR). His ratings are rather unfavorable today despite facing a rather average Angels offense. They do however, have a top-tier ranking in ct% against LHP, which bodes poorly for Allard’s strikeout production even with a 13% SwK and 10.8 Dom thus far. His 53% FpK and 5.4 Ctl are worrisome as well, making this a very risky spot.

John Means (LHP, BAL) has registered a PQS-DIS in four of his last five outings, and has succumbed to some massive skills erosion in the 2H (4.77 xERA, 81 BPV 1H, 6.29 xERA, 47 BPV 2H). He’s fared better at home (3.00 ERA) compared to on the road (4.76 ERA), but he remains a massive ERA risk despite the opponent (KC). The Royals rank 28th in wRC+ against LHP and have struggled mightily over the last week. Means’ hr/9 has shot up to 2.4 over the last two months. Camden Yards is one of the best parks for LHB/RHB HR in baseball (+5/15%) and Means has seen his FB% raise to 52%. It’s obvious that things are trending in the wrong direction here, but the matchup alone could make him usable.

Ivan Nova (RHP, CHW) is a top five starter on multiple rating systems over the last month (2 ER allowed over last 37 IP, five GS). His 2.03 ERA in the 2H is being fueled by H/S% and hr/9 luck (4.53 xERA, 57 BPV), and he remains a well below average option in strikeouts (4.6 Dom in 2H). His immediate value is in his ERA and WHIP, with the latter being something that could continue (62% FpK, 2.0 Ctl). Today he faces Twins team that he’s posted a PQS-1 and a PQS-3 against this season. They’re a top five offense at home against RHP and have been a top six unit over the last week. Nova is not a recommended option, but there’s at least a slight chance that he can eat some innings without completely imploding.  

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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.