DAILY MATCHUPS: Sale heads talented list of Weds probables

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: It’s a full-field Wednesday, with all 30 teams in action and comprising 15 MLB games. Many a midweek interleague game are included—those include CIN at LAA, SD at BAL, PIT at HOU, OAK at STL, and SEA at MIL. Chris Sale headlines the day’s list of probable starters; Sale is tagged with a particularly big Matchup rating for his Wednesday matinee turn against the White Sox. Weather-wise, warmed up and mostly dry conditions are the norm across the map. The Red Sox and Yankees will host day games in advance of their trips to London; four other venues join Fenway and Yankee Stadium in hosting daytime affairs on Wednesday.


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

  Chris Sale (L) BOS vCHW 3.68 4.20 3.42 3.78 3.32 2 5 5 3 2
  Trevor Bauer (R) CLE vKC 1.68 2.85 1.45 1.59 0.81 4 3 4 5 2
  Matt Boyd (L) DET vTEX 1.65 2.52 1.41 2.31 0.35 3 2 3 2 2
  Charlie Morton (R) TAM @MIN 1.64 2.52 1.66 1.84 0.55 5 5 5 3 4
  German Marquez (R) COL @SF 1.63 1.95 1.90 1.62 1.04 3 2 3 2 4
  Patrick Corbin (L) WAS @MIA 1.60 1.56 1.90 1.64 1.31 5 0 1 1 3
  Framber Valdez (L) HOU vPIT 1.36 0.73 1.48 1.58 1.66 4 4 0
  James Paxton (L) NYY vTOR 1.03 1.62 0.31 0.95 1.24 4 1 0 2 2
  Jake Odorizzi (R) MIN vTAM 0.81 1.83 0.76 1.71 -1.05 4 4 4 2 1
  Griffin Canning (R) LAA vCIN 0.79 1.56 0.24 1.34 0.03 3 2 4 2 1
  Dylan Bundy (R) BAL vSD 0.77 2.05 -0.04 1.15 -0.10 3 0 3 3 2
  Nick Pivetta (R) PHI vNYM 0.64 1.50 -0.20 0.58 0.67 3 4 5 3 0
  Mike Minor (L) TEX @DET 0.58 1.78 0.73 0.67 -0.85 2 3 4 3 3

Patrick Corbin (LHP, WAS) owners have seen a recent downturn (5.82 ERA last 3 GS), but it has been a slump born mostly of some unkind rates around the margins. The Marlins have all kinds of issues against LHPs (.633 OPS, 0.26 Eye), and current MIA bats have been flummoxed by Corbin in the past (.563 OPS, .054 ISO).

James Paxton (LHP, NYY) has battled some control problems and a hit-rate spike since his May 29 return from the IL. But the Yankee southpaw showed a big step forward over his last two turns. The latter of those came against the Astros. Toronto’s young corps has started to produce offensively, but Paxton is still a solid play in a yard where he owns a career ERA of 2.75 on a .615 OPS allowed.

Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL) has fared well of late and against a tough schedule. He owns a 3.91 xERA and 5.7 Cmd over his last 5 GS. Bundy’s Wednesday figure is propped up by a big K Rating.

Mike Minor (LHP, TEX) will be at Comerica Park on Wednesday. The Texas lefty has given the Rangers eight innings in two of his last three starts. He should be green-lighted for this one against a bottom-feeder offensive club.


Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  Yu Darvish (R) CHC vATL 0.23 2.02 -0.41 0.17 -0.88 3 3 1 4 3
  Matt Strahm (L) SD @BAL 0.22 1.33 -0.24 0.38 -0.58 1 3 2 0 0
  Tanner Roark (R) CIN @LAA 0.22 1.00 -0.13 0.53 -0.53 3 2 0 4 3
  Jakob Junis (R) KC @CLE 0.20 1.05 0.17 0.89 -1.31 3 2 4 1 2
  Tanner Anderson (R) OAK @STL 0.12 -0.60 0.29 0.76 0.01 2 2 2
  Dallas Keuchel (L) ATL @CHC 0.09 0.03 0.44 0.47 -0.60 1
  Jeff Samardzija (R) SF vCOL 0.04 0.51 0.44 0.76 -1.54 2 3 2 1 2
  Adam Wainwright (R) STL vOAK TBD 0.59 -0.05 -0.02 -0.51 0 2 4 1 3
  Adrian Houser (R) MIL vSEA -0.05 -0.35 -0.17 0.02 0.32 1 2
  Wade LeBlanc (L) SEA @MIL -0.33 0.09 -1.00 0.29 -0.71 3 2 0 1 3

Yu Darvish (RHP, CHC) has better managed his walks and barrels allowed of late. His May/June xERA is under 4.00, a good bit lower than the 4.61 surface ERA he’s recorded over that stretch. Current ATL bats own a strikeout-riddled .539 OPS (and .039 ISO) against Darvish. The June gains posted by the Braves offense (.900 OPS) have come almost entirely at home.

Matt Strahm (LHP, SD) will be at Camden Yards, facing an Orioles offense that has logged all of a .651 OPS in June. He’s piled up a lot of swings and misses lately, and the Orioles log more than their fair share of strikeouts against LHPs.

Tanner Roark (RHP, CIN) is tabbed for Wednesday’s road start against the Angels. Roark owns a 3.41 ERA/3.53 xERA over his last five starts. He’s cleaned up some early-season control problems and is doing a nice job limiting hard contact. Roark has a fine history as a good road pitcher, and is worthy of consideration for this turn in Orange County, even against an improving LAA attack.

Jakob Junis (RHP, KC) has carded some better SwK figures of late (12% in June), but the Royals right-hander has given up a lot of hard-hit baseballs in registering a 5.18 ERA/4.49 xERA through 16 starts. A left-leaning Cleveland lineup—one clicking along with a .790 OPS since May 8—is not one with which to tangle if you can avoid it. Current CLE bats own a 1.000 OPS and .250 ISO against Junis.

Tanner Anderson (RHP, OAK) is rated as a positive for his fourth career start. Anderson will face a scuffling St. Louis offense (.661 OPS since May 15). He totes a 4.20 ERA/3.76 xERA line into that start, and a small-sample splits analysis breaks in his favor.

Dallas Keuchel (LHP, ATL) draws a night game at Wrigley Field for start No. 2. Keuchel managed hard contact well, but was still undone by four extra-base hits in his five-inning debut. The Cubs have been a below-average group prone to a lot of strikeouts against LHPs over recent weeks.

Jeff Samardzija (RHP, SF) is slated to go at home against a Colorado nine struggling on the road (.633 OPS last 13 road games). An extra LHB or two in the COL lineup works against Samardzija, who has scuffled against opposite-hand batters the last couple seasons. Current Rockies bats own an aggregate .843 OPS against him. Recent starts (6.15 ERA, 1.59 WHIP last 5 GS) have been muddied by unkind rates around the margins, but look elsewhere for less downside risk.

Adam Wainwright (RHP, STL) has logged a 3.85 xERA over three spread-out starts (due to a hamstring injury) in June. He’ll face a right-heavy Athletics order swung around to its lesser splits (.731 OPS vs. RHP, .874 OPS vs. LHP). That “righty-ness” for OAK is a big boon for Wainwright, whose gap in platoon splits has widened in recent years. The big Cardinal right-hander has long preferred turns at Busch—he has a 2.68 ERA at home this season and a 2.87 mark at home over his career. Backed by a good bullpen on a tremendous roll of late, Wainwright is worth the injury downside risk and is a solid play on Wednesday.

Adrian Houser (RHP, MIL) flip-flops roles with Jimmy Nelson and hops into the Milwaukee rotation. Houser hasn’t started a game since May 7, and this turn at home against Seattle won’t be much more than a few innings in setting up a bullpen day for the Brewers. The Mariners’ .814 road OPS ranks third in MLB.

Wade LeBlanc (LHP, SEA) is rated in the red for his start against Milwaukee. LeBlanc has given the Mariners bulk innings over four relief appearances since carding six starts over two stints in the Seattle rotation earlier this season. Wednesday’s game will mark the lefty’s first start since May 29. He owns a 5.45 ERA/5.45 xERA for the season. The Brewers have been banging baseballs around at home of late (.842 OPS since May 7). They have a solid .783 OPS against LHPs, and that number is tamped down by a low hit rate.


Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  Zac Gallen (R) MIA vWAS -0.51 0.10 -0.16 -0.03 -1.96 3
  Taylor Clarke (R) ARI vLA -0.60 -0.93 -1.05 -0.41 TBD 0 2 0 2 0
  Trent Thornton (R) TOR @NYY -0.95 0.78 -1.95 -0.96 -1.67 2 0 1 4 4
  Jason Vargas (L) NYM @PHI -1.01 -0.02 -1.61 -1.11 -1.31 4 5 1 1 1
  Dario Agrazal (R) PIT @HOU -1.08 -1.40 -1.08 -0.19 -1.66 2
  Reynaldo Lopez (R) CHW @BOS -1.22 0.43 -0.96 -0.53 -3.83 0 0 3 0 1

Trent Thornton (RHP, TOR) draws what is a juggernaut Yankee lineup against RHPs. New York has batted .285/.364/.498 (.862) over its last 15 games. Shortly before that stretch began, Thornton logged a PQS-0 against NYY (June 5).      



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.