DAILY MATCHUPS: Verlander, Ryu best in Show for Saturday

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: The final Saturday of the regular season brings a full slate of games. The lone interleague set on the weekend has the Indians at the Nationals. Weather-wise, Saturday sets up as a mostly dry day but a breezy one. Double-digit-mile-per-hour hitters’ winds are expected for the following five contests: HOU-at-LAA, MIL-at-COL, ATL-at-NYM, LA-at-SF and BAL-at-BOS. A 17-mph breeze is expected in the Dodgers-Giants game on Saturday afternoon. The ratings are high on Justin Verlander (RHP, HOU), Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) and Robbie Ray (LHP, ARI). For Verlander, Ryu and other October-bound hurlers, keep an eye on usage plans (most figure to amount to 3-to-5-inning tune-ups).

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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
  Justin Verlander (R) HOU @LAA 3.51 2.84 3.11 4.54 3.54 5 5 3 4 2
  Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) LA @SF 2.22 1.47 3.04 3.49 0.86 2 2 2 5 4
  Luis Severino (R) NYY @TEX 1.79 1.18 1.71 3.22 1.05 2 4
  Garrett Richards (R) SD @ARI 1.66 0.76 2.16 2.91 0.82 3 0
  Adam Wainwright (R) STL vCHC 1.53 0.95 1.36 2.47 1.34 3 4 3 3 2
  Alex Gonzalez (R) COL vMIL 1.29 1.30 1.00 2.06 0.81 1 0 3 3 1
  Logan Webb (R) SF vLA 1.17 1.01 2.12 2.84 -1.30 3 0 2 1 4
  Robbie Ray (L) ARI vSD 0.81 2.19 1.29 0.84 -1.10 1 3 0 3 2
  Ryan Yarbrough (L) TAM @TOR 0.71 -0.10 0.61 2.20 0.14 3 1 4 0 0
  Zach Eflin (R) PHI vMIA 0.62 -0.34 0.52 1.56 0.73 3 2 2 3 0
  Steven Matz (L) NYM vATL 0.57 1.24 0.39 0.28 0.35 2 1 3 0 1

Alex Gonzalez (RHP, COL) has been solid over his last three starts and is worth a look for Saturday’s turn against the Brewers. Gonzalez logged a season-high 8 SO in his last appearance, a five-inning relief stint at Dodger Stadium.

Logan Webb (RHP, SF) was especially sharp in his last, and the Dodgers haven’t seen him yet. His 5.61 ERA is loosened by some unkind rates around the margins. Los Angeles owns a .712 OPS since Sept. 6.

Zach Eflin (RHP, PHI) has been HR/f-beaten up over recent weeks, but he’s still performed well. He’s a strong play against Miami, a club that flounders against right pitching.

Steven Matz (LHP, NYM) has a solid line against the Braves (.670 OPSA) and has made two effective starts against them in the last five weeks. Atlanta figures to be in rest mode in prepping for next week.

 

Judgment Calls (Overall ratings from -0.50 to 0.50)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Adam Plutko (R) CLE @WAS 0.35 0.55 -0.02 1.85 -1.00 0 3 0 3 2
  Trent Thornton (R) TOR vTAM 0.34 1.17 0.02 0.86 -0.71 4 1 1 2 2
  Trevor Bauer (R) CIN @PIT 0.25 1.17 0.17 -0.36 TBD 1 2 3 5 4
  Caleb Smith (L) MIA @PHI 0.24 2.06 -0.83 0.50 -0.77 2 4 0 1 0
  Patrick Corbin (L) WAS vCLE 0.21 1.98 0.12 -1.14 -0.14 2 2 1 3 3
  Marco Gonzales (L) SEA vOAK 0.05 -0.2 -0.37 0.87 -0.11 0 0 4 4 2
  Mike Foltynewicz (R) ATL @NYM 0.04 0.8 -0.41 0.4 -0.62 1 2 4 4 5
  Reynaldo Lopez (R) CHW vDET 0.02 1.01 -0.55 -0.39 TBD 1 5 2 1 1
  Brock Burke (L) TEX vNYY -0.13 -0.25 0.05 1.31 -1.64 3 1 0 0 1

Adam Plutko (RHP, CLE) draws a road start at Washington. The Nationals own an .803 OPS over their last 34 games, and they’ve had a big second half at home. Plutko has been barreled up much more frequently of late (47% hard hit in September).

Trent Thornton (RHP, TOR) is rated above water but against a strong-finishing Tampa Bay club and a collection of bats which has pounded him in past meetings. The Rays own a 1.214 OPS, .371 ISO, 0.73 Eye against Thornton. The Toronto righty has been decent over recent bulk-pitcher appearances, but it’d be wise to steer clear of this spot.

Trevor Bauer (RHP, CIN) has been tending to an illness. Check his status for Saturday’s potential start at PIT.

Caleb Smith (LHP, MIA) will be at Philadelphia on Saturday. Smith isn’t likely on too many radars for this one. Nor should he be against a PHI club which has fared quite well against lefties in the second half.  The Phillies’ .808 OPS since July 26 ranks eighth in MLB.

Patrick Corbin (LHP, WAS) owns a 3.05/3.69 xERA on the year. Corbin has been just about as consistent start-to-start and month-to-month as anyone. He’s been terrific at home and is a solid play against a Cleveland club which has sputtered over the last week.

Marco Gonzales (LHP, SEA) owns a 4.09 ERA/5.16 xERA on the season and an even wider spread over his last 5 FGS (3.66 ERA/5.95 xERA). He’s been running into a lot of bats while walking more batters. Avoid this turn against an Oakland offense which owns an .834 OPS since Aug. 24.

Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, ATL) is coming off a fine eight-inning PQS-5 vs. SF and has logged four straight solid starts. Foltynewicz has a silly-good line against the Mets (.429 OPSA, 4.8 Cmd), a club with subpar numbers since Sept. 12.

Reynaldo Lopez (RHP, CHW) is facing the Tigers for a second straight game. He has an iffy career line against DET bats, and the Tigers got to him for 5R on 9H in 4 IP on Sunday.

 

Weak Starts (Overall ratings -0.51 and below)

  SP   Tm Opp RAT K ERA WHIP WIN L5 PQS
  Glenn Sparkman (R) KC vMIN -0.53 -1.41 -1 0.5 -0.19 0 0 2 0 0
  Brandon Woodruff (R) MIL @COL -0.65 0.35 -0.37 -1.28 -1.31 3 4 0 3 3
  Brett Anderson (L) OAK @SEA -1.09 -2.94 -0.57 -0.46 -0.39 0 1 1 0 1
  Cole Hamels (L) CHC @STL -1.19 0.81 -0.72 -2.01 -2.84 1 3 0 2 2
  Martin Perez (L) MIN @KC -1.29 -2.03 -1.09 -1.39 -0.65 0 1 0 2 0
  Jhoulys Chacin (R) BOS vBAL -1.48 -0.06 -1.82 -3.02 -1.03 2 3 2 2 2
  Jose Suarez (L) LAA vHOU -1.83 -0.24 -1.66 -1.57 -3.83 1 0 1 1 0

Glenn Sparkman (RHP, KC) has registered five PQS bagels over his last six starts, and his season ERA has ballooned to 6.11. Minnesota batters have hit him hard (.874 OPS, .221 ISO, 0.59 Eye), and Saturday’s start will be the back half of a back-to-back against the Twins.

Brandon Woodruff (RHP, MIL) is coming off back-to-back two-inning opener performances. This one is at Coors against a Rockies nine which slugged .536 in its last home stand.

Cole Hamels (LHP, CHC) has been sidelined due to left shoulder fatigue since Sept. 11, but he’s in line to return Saturday against the Cardinals. Recent starts have been a mess for the veteran port-sider.

 

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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.