DAILY MATCHUPS: Pair of NL West starters headline Monday's slate

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's a 12 game slate on the docket for today, including six in the AL, five in the NL, and one interleague contest where the Astros lose their DH against the Reds. Twenty of the 24 starters scheduled for today are right handed. There are no matinee games, as the first scheduled contest begins at 7:05 pm EST. Current weather models show a chance of precipitation in the TAM at NYY, PHI at WAS, HOU at CIN, and MIA at STL tilts. 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
Kenta Maeda (R) LA vSF 1.63 1.57 1.33 1.74 1.86 5 1 3 4 1
Joey Lucchesi (L) SD vMIL 1.54 1.76 1.09 1.70 1.61 4 4 4 2 3
Miles Mikolas (R) STL vMIA 1.00 0.08 1.07 1.33 1.50 0 3 3 0 1
Masahiro Tanaka (R) NYY vTAM 0.95 1.62 0.40 1.36 0.42 4 4 2 0 3
Jose Berrios (R) MIN vBOS 0.82 1.29 0.16 1.03 0.80 3 3 3 3 3
Lance Lynn (R) TEX vCLE 0.79 1.90 0.25 0.78 0.22 5 3 5 2 3
Michael Soroka (R) ATL vNYM 0.73 0.92 0.62 0.97 0.41 4 4 4 5 1
Wade Miley (L) HOU @CIN 0.73 0.40 1.05 1.09 0.38 0 3 4 2 2
Patrick Corbin (L) WAS vPHI 0.63 1.32 0.31 0.49 0.38 1 5 0 1 1
Felix Pena (R) LAA @TOR 0.59 0.65 0.10 0.55 1.07 1 3 2 1
Danny Duffy (L) KC @SEA 0.52 1.16 -0.14 0.46 0.60 3 2 2 0 5

Joey Lucchesi (LHP, SD) has a 3.11 ERA (63/25% DOM/DIS) in 8 GS at home (5.88 ERA, 20/20% DOM/DIS on the road) and receives the second highest ERA rating among all starters for today. He’s allowed a home run in five straight starts, but similar to his home/road splits, his hr/9 is much better at home (0.9) versus on the road (1.7). His favorable K rating is supported by a 12% SwK and 9.1 Dom for the season and his 2.5 Ctl (58% FpK) is helping contribute to a strong WHIP score. The Brewers offense will provide a tough test however, as they rank eighth in wRC+ against LHP (107), tenth in RPG on the road (4.8) and fifth in wRC+ over the last seven days (117). Overall this isn’t the best matchup for Lucchesi, but a 3.85 xERA, 124 BPV and 50% GB paired with his strong results at home should result in a positive outcome.

Lance Lynn (RHP, TEX) is currently a top-15 starter over the last 30 days and is sporting a 3.18 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 11.3 Dom (12% SwK), and 1.6 Ctl (61% FpK) since May 10th. One of the things helping his cause is his uptick in cutter usage (17%, career high). He’s generating a 14% SwK on the offering with a .160 oBA. The Indians offense ranks 24th in wRC+ against RHP and rank the same in RPG on the road (4.1). With Mike Clevinger (RHP, CLE) on the other side, Lynn’s Wins rating is weighing down his overall score; however, he’s currently sporting the best Cmd (3.9) and BPV (125) of his career, and based on his recent performance and opponent, should be deployed in all formats.

Wade Miley (LHP, HOU) looks to improve upon his mediocre results on the road thus far (4.50 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, six straight PQS-DIS outings). His ERA rating is high due to the fact that he’s only allowed more than 3 ER one time in 14 GS this season, but the Reds offense performs much better at home (4.7 RPG) compared to on the road (3.7 RPG). His WHIP rating is also strong despite yielding 5 BB in his last 11 IP (2 GS). For the season he owns a 2.4 Ctl on a 57% FpK. His K grade is behind only his Wins score due to a 7.3 Dom for the season. He has seen some improvement in that category though, as he’s generated 28 K in his last 24 IP (4 GS) with an 11% SwK. The CIN offense sits 23rd in wRC+ against LHP, but they rank seventh in K% against southpaws (21% K) as well. They’ve really struggled of late, sitting ahead of only the Royals in wRC+ the last seven days. Miley could finally break his PQS-DIS streak on the road today.

Felix Pena (RHP, LAA) allowed 3 ER (2 HR) with 5 K and 0 BB in 4.1 IP in a "bulker" appearance against the Blue Jays on May 1. He compiled a 3.25 ERA (3.52 xERA), 4.8 Cmd, and 136 BPV in 28 IP during the month of May, but has yielded 9 ER (2 HR) with 7 K and 3 BB in 5.2 IP in June thus far (84 BPV). His favorable score is being fueled by his Wins and K ratings, as the Blue Jays offense ranks 27th in RPG at home (3.6) and 28th in wRC+ against RHP (77). Pena also owns a superb 14% SwK and 9.4 Dom on the season and the Blue Jays boast the fifth worst K% against RHP (25%). A 57% FpK and 2.6 Ctl for the season gives him a decent WHIP rating, but his 3.99 xERA and recent output is the reason for a fairly neutral ERA grade despite the opponent. Pena’s PC has exceeded 74 only once since April, so his possibility for a win is probably not as likely as his rating suggests.

Danny Duffy (LHP, KC) has a 4.31 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 3 GS on the road, resulting in a pair of PQS-3s and a PQS-2. His highest rating comes in the K category; he posted an 8.2 Dom and 11% SwK in May, and has continued that trend in 2 GS in June thus far (8.7 Dom, 11% SwK). The Mariners offense just lost Edwin Encarnacion and sit 27th in K% against LHP (26%). Duffy’s 4.38 ERA is slightly better than his 4.66 xERA (67 BPV). His lone negative score comes in the ERA category due to his mediocre results in the stat to date, as well as the Mariners offense being red hot recently (third in wRC+ over the last seven days) and ranking seventh in wRC+ against LHP for the season. The strikeout upside is nice for DFS contests, but his inconsistent results (11/22% DOM/DIS) make him a risky proposition at large.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
Mike Fiers (R) OAK vBAL 0.48 0.10 0.21 0.74 0.87 1 2 2 2 1
Zack Wheeler (R) NYM @ATL 0.42 1.98 -0.24 0.84 -0.91 4 4 3 4 2
Luis Castillo (R) CIN vHOU 0.32 0.90 0.64 0.31 -0.59 4 0 1 2 3
Yonny Chirinos (R) TAM @NYY -0.01 0.60 -0.50 0.77 -0.92 3 4 2 5 2
Michael Clevinger (R) CLE @TEX -0.47 -0.68 -0.40 -0.06 -0.72 5 4

Mike Fiers (RHP, OAK) has been much better at home (3.60 ERA) than on the road (5.62 ERA) and the Orioles offense ranks 27th in RPG on the road (4.0) and 25th in wRC+ against RHP (84). His 66% FpK and 2.6 Ctl paired with the opponent, is helping boost his overall rating. Fiers has been prone to giving up home runs (1.4 hr/9, 11% hr/f at home) and is below average in the strikeout department (5.4 Dom at home, 8% SwK total for the year). That output offers very little upside overall. He has a 14/28% DOM/DIS in 7 GS at home with a 4.90 xERA and 57 BPV for the season. He’s a low upside, low floor play with a good matchup.

Zack Wheeler (RHP, NYM) tallied a PQS-2 against the Braves at SunTrust Park on April 12th. Despite his 4.87 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 GS thus far, he’s been fairly consistent (43/7% DOM/DIS). His 3.86 xERA and 132 BPV demonstrate that better times are coming and that his 33/65% H/S should start regressing positively. The Braves have Michael Soroka (RHP, ATL) on the opposing end today and sit fourth in RPG at home (5.6), resulting in a negative Win rating for Wheeler. His negative Wins and ERA ratings are negated by the slates best K score. Wheeler has a 10.0 Dom that’s supported by a 12% SwK, and he was able to generate 8 K in his first outing against ATL despite the Braves sitting eighth in K% against RHP for the season. His career high 66% FpK has led to a 2.6 Ctl as well, which is also the best of his career. Overall, there’s a lot of positive signs for Wheeler, but this will be a stiff test. The Braves fare slightly better against RHP (105 wRC+, 10th) and are tops in baseball in wRC+ over the last seven days.

Luis Castillo (RHP, CIN) is tasked with taking on one of the best offenses in baseball in HOU. The Astros boast the third best wRC+ against RHP and are ninth in RPG on the road (5.2). Due to injuries, they’ve been league average over the last seven days, but our ratings system still gave Castillo a negative score in the Win category – weighing down his overall rating. His top scores come in the K and ERA categories, as he boasts a 2.20 ERA (3.25 xERA) and 10.6 Dom (15% SwK) this season (3.05 ERA, 10.8 Dom since May). He’s been magnificent at home over 7 GS (1.87 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 57/29% DOM/DIS), and has yielded a 0.2 hr/9 at Great American Ballpark despite the venue offering a 24/17% HR boost to LHB/RHB. Castillo has enjoyed some luck in H/S% (25/84%), and his 57% GB paired with his elite ability to miss bats has certainly helped his mediocre Ctl (4.2, 50% FpK). With a 29/21% DOM/DIS this season, Castillo is demonstrating that he’s not excluded from bottoming out from time to time, however, he’s only allowed more than 2 ER in an outing twice this season and has some of the best potential upside from start to start.

Yonny Chirinos (RHP, TAM) is being weighed down by unfavorable K and Wins ratings against the Yankees today. In two appearances against NYY this season, Chirinos has allowed 2 ER (1 HR), with 4 K and 1 BB spanning 8.2 IP. So far in June he’s generated his best SwK of the year (13%), resulting in a 9.3 Dom in 3 GS. He’s been outperforming his peripherals due to a 23% H and 78% S (2.88 ERA, 3.84 xERA), but a 53/17% DOM/DIS and 107 BPV say he’s been a consistent, quality option thus far. His WHIP rating is typically his best category, and today isn’t any different, as he’s accrued a 1.7 Ctl and 62% FpK on the year. The potent Yankees offense is fifth in wRC+ against RHP (113), but average a run less at home (4.8) than they do on the road (5.8).

Michael Clevinger (RHP, CLE) returns to the Indians rotation for the first time since April 7th. In his latest rehab outing he allowed 0 ER and 3 H in 5.1 IP (67 pitches) with 5 K, 0 BB, and 8 ground ball outs. The Indians should allow him to throw at least 80 pitches today, but his negative Wins rating reflects his possible usage. The Rangers offense is 23rd in wRC+ over the last seven days, but rank second in RPG at home (5.8). Clevinger has negative ratings across the board, but he logged a pair of PQS-DOM outings in his lone 2 GS of the season, and is coming off a year in 2018 where he compiled a career best 3.02 ERA (3.85 xERA), 1.16 WHIP, and 104 BPV. 

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
Jake Arrieta (R) PHI @WAS -0.53 0.21 -0.54 -0.64 -1.15 1 4 1 0 2
Rick Porcello (R) BOS @MIN -0.60 0.20 -1.38 0.09 -1.30 2 2 2 1 5
Jhoulys Chacin (R) MIL @SD -1.14 0.22 -1.54 -1.49 -1.74 1 2 1 1 1
Gerson Bautista (R) SEA vKC -1.19 -0.50 -1.20 -2.07 -0.97 1 1
Elieser Hernandez (R) MIA @STL -1.20 -0.56 -1.37 -0.87 -2.00 4
Andrew Cashner (R) BAL @OAK -1.20 -0.76 -1.43 -1.23 -1.37 3 1 2 0 3
Edwin Jackson (R) TOR vLAA -1.53 -0.76 -1.92 -1.88 -1.57 0 1 0 0 0
Tyler Beede (R) SF @LA -1.55 0.14 -1.65 -2.31 -2.36 0 2 1 2

Jake Arrieta (RHP, PHI) registered a PQS-3 in a home start against the Nationals on May 4th, but will go on the road this time around. He’s compiled a 4.54 ERA in 7 GS on the road (4.09 ERA at home), but he’s been particularly ineffective in road starts recently (4 PQS-DIS in his last 5 away GS). Arrieta’s lone positive rating comes in the K category, despite only generating a 7.4 Dom and 8% SwK. The WAS offense does have the propensity to strikeout against RHP (24%), and he logged 7 K in 6 IP in their first meeting. All three of his other scores are fair, as Arrieta is currently sporting his worst xERA (4.43), Cmd (1.9), hr/9 (2.2 on the road), and BPV (59) since 2013. Even with negative scores in the majority of the categories, there could be an avenue for him to be successful based on the Nationals troubles against RHP (23rd) and average output at home.

Rick Porcello (RHP, BOS) receives one of the worst possible matchups as he heads to Target Field to take on the Twins. The MIN offense is a top tier unit against RHP as well as over the last seven days, and sit eighth in RPG at home (5.2). Porcello has been awful on the road – logging a 6.37 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 2.4 hr/9, and 0/33% DOM/DIS in 6 GS. His WHIP and K ratings are slightly positive due in part to his tremendous 70% FpK (1.0 Ctl) and 7.8 Dom this month. However, a 6% SwK this month paired with the Twins exceptional contact against RHP (20% K, fourth) may lead to very little in that department. When factoring in his terrible Wins and ERA ratings there’s just too much risk involved with Porcello today.

Elieser Hernandez (RHP, MIA) earns one of the worst Wins ratings on the slate, but tallied a PQS-4 in his last outing against the Cardinals. He posted a 5.69 xERA and 17 BPV in 66 IP in 2018, but fared well in his time at Triple-A to begin his 2019 campaign (1.13 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 12.9 Dom, 2.6 Ctl). He doesn’t possess one elite offering, but in his minimal time thus far he’s upped his slider usage (29%) and has a 33% SwK on the pitch. The STL offense has struggled lately and sit close to league average against RHP at home. The risk is profound with Hernandez today, but if you’re desperate (and enjoy taking chances), he could be serviceable for the second time in a row.

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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.