MLB Grind Down: Saturday, September 15th

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The RotoGrinders MLB Grind Down will give you an in-depth analysis into the upcoming MLB schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy baseball, there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, weather, and salaries.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. No sport has more variance than baseball. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code, FanDuel promo code, and FantasyDraft promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.



Stackability Rating System:

GREEN – A viable full stack in cash games and GPPs.
YELLOW – A viable mini-stack in cash games and full stack in GPPs.
ORANGE – A viable stack in large field GPPs.
RED – Not a recommended stack for cash games or GPPs.


Implied Run Totals


Ballpark Ratings


LA Dodgers at St. Louis – 1:05 PM ET

LA Dodgers St. Louis
Rich Hill John Gant
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
LAD -128 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.320 0.359 35.7% 1.86 21.5% 32.1% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.289 0.342 53.6% 1.05 19.1% 38.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.312 0.315 46.6% 1.28 28.7% 41.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.252 0.283 35.0% 0.18 21.0% 51.1%

Pitcher Grind Down

Rich Hill
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,500 Salary: $9,300 Salary: $17,600
Salary Rank: 6 of 29 Salary Rank: 7 of 29 Salary Rank: 8 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 3.61 3.32 30.1% 8.9% 36.9% 30.2% 20.7% 89.0 11.5%
2018 21 3.65 3.88 26.8% 7.7% 38.6% 43.6% 18.7% 89.3 10.2%
L14 3 2.44 6.19 31.9% 1.5% 45.5% 38.6% 18.2% 89.0 14.6%

Rich Hill has been up and down this season. The veteran southpaw has a strong strikeout rate of 26.8%, but his results have been inconsistent. His 3.88 ERA and 3.65 SIERA are both solid, but he’s conceded a hard-hit rate nearing 44% and his fly ball lean has helped lead to 18 homers allowed in 22 outings. Hill also comes with a fairly short leash as a Dodger not named Clayton Kershaw. On the flip side, Busch Stadium is a pretty good pitcher’s park and the super early slate isn’t exactly rife with options. Given Hill’s strikeout upside, he makes for the top play among the pitchers on this short slate.

Quick Breakdown: Hill is an elite play on the early slate, but they’re are several better options if you’re going with an all-day format.

John Gant
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,600 Salary: $7,600 Salary: $14,900
Salary Rank: 11 of 29 Salary Rank: 13 of 29 Salary Rank: 14 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 2 5.57 4.67 14.5% 13.2% 53.7% 29.6% 25.9% 93.0 9.3%
2018 16 4.71 3.16 20.0% 10.9% 44.6% 44.6% 15.9% 93.2 11.3%
L14 3 5.03 1.08 20.9% 13.4% 39.0% 38.6% 11.4% 93.0 11.6%

John Gant comes with a painfully average K-rate right at 20%, and his walk rate of nearly 11% is a red flag. The right-hander has a 3.16 ERA on the season, but his 4.71 SIERA tells quite a different story. Gant has also yielded a 44.6% hard contact rate so far in 2018, and today’s matchup against the Dodgers is far from ideal. Gant is nowhere near a guy I’d be considering rostering on a full slate, but on multi-pitcher sites I think you can hold your breath and pair him Rich Hill on early slates. His numbers don’t really suggest he’s a guy you can depend upon with confidence, but your options are limited if you’re rolling with the early two-gamer.

Quick Breakdown: Like Hill, I think Gant is a playable option, but only on the tiny early slate.

Batter Grind Down

LA Dodgers

Gant doesn’t have a long track record at the big league level, but so far he’s allowed a career wOBA of .312 to left-handed hitters compared to a .298 mark against righties. 12 of the 18 homers he’s allowed in his career have also come off the bats of lefties. The Dodgers have plenty of capable LHBs to throw his way. Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal are the top plays, while Alex Verdugo is decent if he cracks the lineup. I still think you can play some righties here, so Justin Turner, Manny Machado and Brian Dozier are in play. Enrique Hernandez makes sense if you need to save some cash.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Joc Pederson LEFT 0.364 0.291 43.8% 10.2% 18.3% 41.1% OF $3,000 OF $4,300 CF $8,000
2 Justin Turner RIGHT 0.393 0.210 40.6% 8.5% 10.7% 30.6% 3B $4,200 3B $4,800 3B $8,600
3 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.377 0.236 37.6% 9.4% 17.4% 38.5% SS $4,400 SS $4,900 3B $8,700
4 Max Muncy LEFT 0.406 0.332 45.2% 16.6% 27.3% 36.4% 1B $3,700 1B/3B $4,500 1B $9,300
5 Cody Bellinger LEFT 0.340 0.232 38.1% 11.2% 23.4% 40.6% OF $3,600 1B/OF $4,300 1B $8,400
6 Yasmani Grandal SWITCH 0.372 0.248 38.6% 12.5% 21.7% 39.9% C $3,300 C $4,100 C $8,300
7 Yasiel Puig RIGHT 0.381 0.222 39.5% 8.2% 19.1% 41.6% OF $2,900 OF $4,200 RF $8,100
8 Kike Hernandez RIGHT 0.354 0.247 33.3% 11.2% 18.2% 33.6% OF $2,400 2B/OF $3,500 IF/OF $6,400
9 Rich Hill LEFT 0.143 0.000 21.4% 0.0% 30.0% 85.7% P $8,500 P $9,300 P $17,600
Team Averages 0.348 0.224 37.6% 9.8% 20.7% 43.1%

Elite PlaysJoc Pederson, Max Muncy, Cody Belllinger, Manny Machado, Yasmani Grandal

Secondary PlaysJustin Turner, Enrique Hernandez, Yasiel Puig

StackabilityGREEN / YELLOW

St. Louis

Since his resurgence a couple of years ago, Rich Hill has shown some reverse-split, fly ball tendencies. He also happens to be quite good, so he’s not a guy I’m wanting to go out of my way to pick on. Matt Carpenter is a guy you can try if you want to try and take advantage of Hill’s reverse splits, while Marcell Ozuna is a guy that always seems a bit underpriced. Jose Martinez, Yairo Munoz, Paul DeJong, Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina are also fairly cheap. The Cardinals are easily my least favorite offense of the two early games, but you can still play a couple of the hitters here if you’re wanting to save some money or potentially differentiate at a few spots.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Matt Carpenter LEFT 0.395 0.276 53.1% 15.6% 22.5% 38.3% 1B $3,800 1B/3B $4,700 3B $9,100
2 Yairo Munoz RIGHT 0.322 0.216 35.2% 13.8% 24.1% 47.2% 2B $2,400 2B/SS $4,000 SS $7,600
3 Jose Martinez RIGHT 0.371 0.117 36.9% 10.4% 16.5% 44.0% OF $3,400 1B/OF $3,900 IF/OF $7,800
4 Marcell Ozuna RIGHT 0.402 0.221 46.1% 6.1% 15.9% 46.1% OF $3,400 OF $4,500 LF $9,300
5 Paul DeJong RIGHT 0.312 0.176 36.7% 11.8% 26.5% 25.0% SS $3,100 SS $4,200 SS $8,400
6 Jedd Gyorko RIGHT 0.431 0.241 43.1% 11.5% 12.5% 44.4% 3B $2,400 2B/3B $4,300 3B $8,100
7 Harrison Bader RIGHT 0.340 0.206 43.1% 8.8% 23.9% 34.7% OF $3,000 OF $4,100 CF $8,200
8 Yadier Molina RIGHT 0.398 0.204 46.3% 5.7% 15.1% 29.3% C $2,600 C $3,900 C $7,800
9 John Gant RIGHT 0.287 0.600 33.3% 0.0% 40.0% 66.7% P $7,600 P $7,600 P $14,900
Team Averages 0.362 0.251 41.5% 9.3% 21.9% 41.7%

Elite PlaysMatt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Marcell Ozuna

Secondary PlaysJose Martinez, Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong, Yairo Munoz

StackabilityORANGE


Washington at Atlanta – 1:05 PM ET

Washington Atlanta
Jeremy Hellickson Julio Teheran
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
ATL -150 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.288 0.342 26.1% 1.13 17.9% 46.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.322 0.365 40.6% 1.23 17.6% 36.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.306 0.321 28.0% 1.11 17.9% 46.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.269 0.311 35.0% 1.47 26.5% 41.1%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jeremy Hellickson
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,100 Salary: $6,500 Salary: $12,700
Salary Rank: 22 of 29 Salary Rank: 19 of 29 Salary Rank: 20 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 30 5.37 5.43 13.8% 6.8% 34.9% 32.0% 19.9% 90.2 8.3%
2018 18 4.26 3.57 17.9% 5.3% 46.2% 27.0% 21.0% 89.6 8.6%

This will be the first start for Jeremy Hellickson in exactly a month after he missed time with a sprained wrist. Hellickson didn’t make a minor league rehab start, so they’re just throwing him into the fire today in Atlanta. The right-hander has a middling strikeout rate of 17.9% on the season, and his 4.26 SIERA isn’t nearly as pretty as his 3.57 ERA. Hellboy has kept the ball on the ground pretty well, and the hard contact rate against him of just 27% is strong. The problem is that the Nationals have almost never let him face a lineup a third time through, which means he’s usually being lifted around the fifth or sixth inning, even if things are going well. The matchup also isn’t ideal, but Hellickson is cheap so if you play him you can get access to some better bats. As a result, I think he makes for a gross-but-passable SP2 play on the early slate.

Quick Breakdown: Hellickson is viable on the early slate because he’s cheap, and that’s just about it.

Julio Teheran
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,000 Salary: $8,200 Salary: $16,100
Salary Rank: 9 of 29 Salary Rank: 11 of 29 Salary Rank: 10 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 32 4.89 4.49 18.6% 8.9% 40.0% 30.4% 21.1% 91.4 9.4%
2018 28 4.62 3.95 22.1% 11.1% 39.0% 37.8% 18.9% 89.7 10.9%
L14 2 4.74 1.38 22.0% 12.0% 37.5% 31.3% 25.0% 88.7 9.5%

Julio Teheran has pitched well lately. The veteran has allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start just once since late-July. His 22.1% strikeout rate is right around his career number, but his 11.1% walk rate would be the highest of his career for a full season. Teheran is another guy whose SIERA (4.62) isn’t as friendly as his ERA (3.95). His matchup against the Nationals is also suboptimal, especially with the way the Washington offense seems to have awakened in recent weeks. Given his price tag, I’d rather play the cheaper Gant or Hellickson with Hill, but you can give Teheran a try in GPPs.

Quick Breakdown: This isn’t a great spot for Teheran, so I’d rather take my chances in tournaments.

Batter Grind Down

Washington

Julio Teheran has gotten slapped around by lefties in his career while typically faring well against righties. 2018 has been no different. The right-hander has conceded a .322 wOBA to LHBs compared to a .269 mark against RHBs. That said, he’s also allowed 24 dingers on the year, 14 of which have been hit by righties. Start with the lefties here, which means Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Matt Wieters and Adam Eaton make for strong plays individually or as a part of a Nats stack. I’m less enthused about the righties, but you can still play Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner or Anthony Rendon here. Wilmer Difo is also a cheap switch-hitter that can help you make things work. Washington hitters are generally affordable today, so feel free to load up on them as needed.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Adam Eaton LEFT 0.351 0.124 34.6% 8.8% 15.8% 45.8% OF $3,500 OF $4,300 RF $8,200
2 Trea Turner RIGHT 0.316 0.136 29.3% 8.3% 19.8% 52.8% SS $3,600 SS $5,000 IF/OF $9,800
3 Bryce Harper LEFT 0.393 0.271 41.8% 18.2% 24.8% 37.8% OF $4,500 OF $5,400 RF $10,500
4 Anthony Rendon RIGHT 0.383 0.197 35.5% 8.4% 13.2% 36.2% 3B $3,900 3B $4,600 3B $9,200
5 Juan Soto LEFT 0.389 0.219 35.5% 18.2% 20.3% 50.0% OF $4,100 OF $4,900 LF $8,700
6 Ryan Zimmerman RIGHT 0.383 0.215 38.7% 6.4% 17.8% 50.7% 1B $3,200 1B $4,200 1B $8,200
7 Matt Wieters SWITCH 0.300 0.132 31.7% 7.0% 15.1% 37.6% C $2,300 C $3,100 C $5,500
8 Wilmer Difo SWITCH 0.296 0.144 21.9% 7.9% 16.7% 41.6% 2B $2,500 2B/3B $3,600 2B $7,200
9 Jeremy Hellickson RIGHT 0.090 0.000 7.1% 0.0% 36.4% 80.0% P $6,100 P $6,500 P $12,700
Team Averages 0.322 0.160 30.7% 9.2% 20.0% 48.1%

Elite PlaysBryce Harper, Matt Wieters, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton

Secondary PlaysTrea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Wilmer Difo

StackabilityGREEN / YELLOW

Atlanta

Jeremy Hellickson has essentially been splits neutral over the course of his career, perhaps with a slight lean toward a traditional split. I’d still prefer to start with the lefties, but you’re not doing it wrong by any means if you squeeze some right-handed hitters in there. Freddie Freeman is the best play, as usual, followed by Ronald Acuna, Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte. Johan Camargo, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies are also very much in play, while whichever catcher (Tyler Flowers or Kurt Suzuki) make sense, too. The Braves look like the top offense on the early slate, so you’ll want to get some exposure here if you can.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Ronald Acuna RIGHT 0.402 0.284 49.7% 8.5% 26.2% 40.4% OF $4,200 OF $5,500 LF $10,300
2 Johan Camargo SWITCH 0.313 0.175 34.7% 10.7% 19.7% 45.6% 3B $3,200 3B $4,400 3B $8,300
3 Freddie Freeman LEFT 0.407 0.173 42.4% 11.7% 17.6% 34.7% 1B $4,000 1B $5,200 1B $9,600
4 Nick Markakis LEFT 0.388 0.153 41.6% 10.6% 9.1% 41.6% OF $3,100 OF $4,400 RF $8,000
5 Kurt Suzuki RIGHT 0.346 0.172 39.0% 5.2% 8.1% 35.0% C $2,600 C $4,400 C $8,500
6 Ender Inciarte LEFT 0.301 0.138 32.2% 7.0% 12.6% 42.2% OF $2,900 OF $4,400 CF $8,100
7 Ozzie Albies SWITCH 0.296 0.190 34.6% 5.1% 17.9% 37.1% 2B $3,600 2B $4,700 2B $9,400
8 Dansby Swanson RIGHT 0.285 0.163 35.1% 7.0% 22.5% 43.6% SS $2,400 SS $3,600 SS $7,400
9 Julio Teheran RIGHT 0.235 0.143 21.7% 0.0% 17.9% 47.1% P $8,000 P $8,200 P $16,100
Team Averages 0.330 0.177 36.8% 7.3% 16.8% 40.8%

Elite PlaysFreddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Ronald Acuna

Secondary PlaysOzzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Kurt Suzuki / Tyler Flowers, Johan Camargo

StackabilityGREEN


Detroit at Cleveland – 3:10 PM ET

Detroit Cleveland
Michael Fulmer Mike Clevinger
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CLE -220 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.328 0.356 39.1% 1.63 18.9% 40.4% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.320 0.330 35.3% 1.13 21.7% 38.4%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.313 0.322 39.4% 0.60 20.9% 49.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.266 0.266 36.4% 0.76 29.8% 42.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Michael Fulmer
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,400 Salary: $7,300 Salary: $14,900
Salary Rank: 19 of 29 Salary Rank: 15 of 29 Salary Rank: 14 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.48 3.83 16.9% 5.9% 49.2% 30.0% 18.1% 95.8 9.4%
2018 23 4.43 4.56 19.8% 8.3% 44.4% 39.2% 15.7% 95.8 10.5%
L14 2 5.08 3.00 20.4% 14.3% 50.0% 37.5% 18.8% 95.7 10.9%

Michael Fulmer has been all over the map. One start he’ll look like a Cy Young candidate, the next he’ll get blasted by the White Sox or someone terrible. The right-hander owns an average strikeout rate a hair under 20% alongside a SIERA of 4.43. Fulmer has also allowed hard hits at a nearly 40% clip and today he gets a brutal matchup on the road in Cleveland. Targeting pitchers against the Tribe isn’t something I’d recommend doing very often, especially when it’s a guy like Fulmer with minimal upside in the first place.

Quick Breakdown: Fulmer is an easy fade.

Mike Clevinger
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $10,400 Salary: $11,200 Salary: $21,300
Salary Rank: 2 of 29 Salary Rank: 2 of 29 Salary Rank: 2 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 21 4.24 3.11 27.3% 12.0% 39.5% 34.2% 18.6% 92.5 12.5%
2018 29 3.79 3.16 25.7% 8.0% 40.1% 35.9% 17.8% 93.6 12.1%
L14 3 2.16 1.93 38.9% 5.6% 47.5% 32.5% 22.5% 94.7 16.0%

Mike Clevinger boasts a strong 25.7% strikeout rate this season, and he has slashed his walk rate by 4% down to 8% on the year. That’s still a tad high, but it’s still a vast improvement upon last season. His 3.79 SIERA isn’t quite a good as his 3.16 ERA, but a 3.79 SIERA is still stellar. Clev will give up some home runs thanks in part to his fly ball tendency, but today he draws a favorable matchup against a largely punchless Tigers lineup. Detroit has a collective 23% strikeout rate against right-handers this season. Clevinger isn’t cheap, but this is a great spot for him.

Quick Breakdown: Clevinger is an elite option in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Detroit

The Tigers get a park boost today going into Progressive Field, but Mike Clevinger isn’t really a guy to pick on, especially with a bunch of weak hitters. Lefties have a .320 wOBA this season against the right-hander, so a cheap Niko Goodrum or Jeimer Candelario could make sense as guys nobody is going to play in GPPs. Otherwise I see no reason to play a bunch of Tigers in this spot.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Jeimer Candelario SWITCH 0.284 0.167 32.9% 11.7% 26.7% 38.2% 3B $3,100 3B $3,900 3B $7,400
2 Christin Stewart LEFT 0.283 0.091 42.9% 8.3% 33.3% 28.6% OF $2,100 OF $3,900 LF $7,500
3 Nick Castellanos RIGHT 0.383 0.195 48.0% 6.9% 23.7% 33.8% OF $3,800 OF $4,300 IF/OF $8,600
4 Victor Martinez SWITCH 0.338 0.087 38.2% 7.0% 9.9% 39.0% C $2,200 1B $3,300 1B $6,300
5 Jim Adduci LEFT 0.282 0.135 36.7% 3.8% 22.6% 45.8% 1B $2,300 1B $3,300 LF $6,500
6 Ronny Rodriguez RIGHT 0.263 0.086 34.2% 7.8% 24.1% 49.4% SS $2,600 2B/SS $3,100 2B $5,800
7 James McCann RIGHT 0.283 0.096 38.5% 5.4% 24.5% 38.7% C $2,000 C $2,700 C $5,800
8 JaCoby Jones RIGHT 0.296 0.174 32.6% 4.2% 32.4% 41.1% OF $2,200 OF $3,600 CF $7,300
9 Dawel Lugo RIGHT 0.310 0.081 41.9% 7.5% 15.0% 61.3% 2B $2,100 2B $3,600 3B $7,300
Team Averages 0.302 0.124 38.4% 7.0% 23.6% 41.8%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJeimer Candelario, Nick Castellanos, Niko Goodrum

StackabilityRED

Cleveland

Left-handed hitters have handled Fulmer to the tune of a .328 wOBA with 13 homers this season, and we know the Indians happen to have some pretty capable LHBs in the lineup. Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley are elite plays, as usual. I prefer Edwin Encarnacion if you’re shopping for a first baseman, but Yonder Alonso is a fine pivot if you’d prefer a lefty. Josh Donaldson, Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes make for decent secondary plays at their respective positions.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.381 0.249 40.9% 8.5% 15.9% 35.8% SS $4,300 SS $5,600 SS $10,200
2 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.399 0.182 41.5% 9.1% 8.4% 44.2% OF $3,900 OF $4,900 LF $9,200
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.404 0.325 38.0% 17.6% 11.8% 32.7% 2B $4,600 2B/3B $5,500 IF/OF $10,100
4 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.380 0.253 42.4% 8.6% 23.3% 39.3% 1B $3,800 1B $4,200 1B $8,500
5 Josh Donaldson RIGHT 0.320 0.192 38.0% 13.0% 25.2% 46.5% 3B $3,400 3B $4,500 3B $8,900
6 Yonder Alonso LEFT 0.369 0.193 38.1% 9.5% 20.0% 39.3% 1B $3,600 1B $3,700 1B $7,600
7 Melky Cabrera SWITCH 0.342 0.132 36.8% 8.8% 12.9% 47.4% OF $3,100 OF $3,700 LF $7,600
8 Jason Kipnis LEFT 0.350 0.155 36.6% 10.9% 17.2% 34.4% OF $3,200 2B/OF $4,100 2B $8,200
9 Yan Gomes RIGHT 0.316 0.159 43.0% 3.8% 28.0% 32.1% C $2,700 C $3,500 C $6,700
Team Averages 0.362 0.204 39.5% 10.0% 18.1% 39.1%

Elite PlaysJose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Edwin Encarnacion

Secondary PlaysYonder Alonso, Josh Donaldson, Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN


Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs – 4:05 PM ET

Cincinnati Chicago Cubs
Cody Reed Jon Lester
LEFT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CHC -200
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.271 0.228 40.0% 0.00 15.2% 52.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.373 0.385 35.6% 1.82 21.6% 38.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.365 0.311 32.8% 2.18 20.2% 57.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.314 0.357 31.9% 1.12 18.6% 36.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Cody Reed
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,900 Salary: $5,600 Salary: $11,100
Salary Rank: 24 of 29 Salary Rank: 24 of 29 Salary Rank: 25 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 1 6.46 5.09 21.5% 24.1% 60.5% 32.6% 16.3% 94.3 13.3%
2018 4 4.15 5.08 18.9% 8.7% 56.0% 34.8% 17.4% 92.4 8.8%
L14 3 4.50 6.59 15.4% 10.8% 63.8% 37.5% 12.5% 91.8 7.2%

Cody Reed has pitched in 14 games for the Reds this season, including 4 starts. The left-hander has a low 18.9% strikeout rate and his ERA is over 5.00. Reed does keep the ball on the ground pretty well, but his low strikeout numbers combined with the fact that he doesn’t pitch all that deep into games means he doesn’t come with a lot of appeal. He’s also facing the Cubs today, and I’m not a big fan of trying to exploit that lineup.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Reed in all formats.

Jon Lester
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,600 Salary: $9,400 Salary: $18,100
Salary Rank: 5 of 29 Salary Rank: 6 of 29 Salary Rank: 6 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 32 4.07 4.33 23.6% 7.9% 46.2% 28.1% 21.4% 91.1 11.0%
2018 29 4.61 3.57 19.3% 8.4% 36.6% 32.7% 17.2% 91.0 8.6%
L14 2 3.10 2.31 28.0% 4.0% 35.3% 32.4% 29.4% 91.2 10.2%

I’ve been the conductor on the Jon Lester Regression Train all year long, and he eventually did come back down to earth after his lucky start. The lefty still carries a respectable 3.57 ERA, but his SIERA is over a run higher. Lester’s strikeout rate has also dipped to about 19% this season after being at 23% a season ago. It’s also worth noting that Lester left his last start early due to back tightness, but we haven’t heard anything about a potential pitch restriction today. I’m not his biggest fan or anything, but the early slate also isn’t exactly rife with a bunch of pitchers we love. Lester will hold the platoon edge over some of the Reds’ more potent bats, and his low K numbers look like they are due for some positive regression. As such, I think Lester looks like a strong option if you’re playing the 4:05 slate.

Quick Breakdown: Lester is an elite option given the lack of other viable pitchers here.

Batter Grind Down

Cincinnati

I’d rather play Jon Lester today than stack the Reds against him, but I still think the stack makes sense in GPPs. Eugenio Suarez has been murdering baseballs all season long, so he’s the guy from the Cincy side I’d be prioritizing here. Jose Peraza is affordable, and Brandon Dixon is super cheap if you want a full-on punt. I’m less into the LHBs here, but Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler is a fine contrarian tournament stack if you want to be really different. Lester is a guy you can run on, so Peraza and Billy Hamilton have added SB upside today. This isn’t a great overall spot for the Reds, though.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Scott Schebler LEFT 0.401 0.168 42.2% 4.6% 16.7% 44.6% OF $3,400 OF $4,300 RF $8,300
2 Jose Peraza RIGHT 0.313 0.124 26.1% 3.4% 5.6% 39.5% SS $3,400 SS $4,300 SS $8,400
3 Joey Votto LEFT 0.365 0.111 41.6% 15.1% 21.6% 42.5% 1B $4,200 1B $4,100 1B $8,300
4 Eugenio Suarez RIGHT 0.451 0.318 56.3% 14.4% 21.6% 36.5% 3B $3,500 3B $4,400 3B $8,400
5 Scooter Gennett LEFT 0.309 0.166 39.5% 5.7% 21.0% 39.7% 2B $3,900 2B $4,500 2B $9,000
6 Phillip Ervin RIGHT 0.319 0.204 40.5% 8.3% 21.7% 31.7% OF $2,900 OF $3,900 RF $7,300
7 Curt Casali RIGHT 0.371 0.179 30.3% 8.9% 15.6% 39.4% C $2,800 C $3,300 C $6,300
8 Cody Reed LEFT 0.039 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 100.0% P $5,900 P $5,600 P $11,100
9 Billy Hamilton SWITCH 0.258 0.137 24.4% 7.4% 26.5% 27.3% OF $2,500 OF $3,500 CF $6,600
Team Averages 0.314 0.156 33.4% 7.5% 22.3% 44.6%

Elite PlaysBilly Hamilton, Eugenio Suarez, Jose Peraza

Secondary PlaysJoey Votto, Scooter Gennett (GPP), Scott Schebler (GPP)

StackabilityORANGE

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs struggled against Matt Harvey last night, but today they get another favorable matchup against a mediocre pitcher in Cody Reed. Reed is a lefty that has shown a massive platoon split in his career, so the righties from the Chicago side look excellent here. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez aren’t all that cheap, but I find myself wanting to try and cram them in together in all formats anyway. Willson Contreras and Addison Russell are secondary options. Anthony Rizzo and Daniel Murphy are good enough all-around hitters to where I think they’re passable, even without the platoon advantage against Reed. It didn’t work against Harvey last night, but I think we go right back to the well with Cubs today.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.326 0.121 29.5% 5.5% 19.2% 44.7% 1B $3,900 1B $4,800 1B $8,700
2 Kris Bryant RIGHT 0.381 0.375 45.1% 8.6% 28.4% 25.5% 3B $3,800 3B $4,600 IF/OF $9,200
3 Daniel Murphy LEFT 0.291 0.059 17.5% 5.5% 16.4% 45.6% 2B $3,600 1B/2B $4,000 2B $7,700
4 Javier Baez RIGHT 0.432 0.267 37.8% 6.2% 17.1% 46.2% SS $4,000 2B/SS $5,400 2B $10,300
5 Ben Zobrist SWITCH 0.335 0.073 37.4% 7.5% 10.0% 52.6% OF $3,100 2B/OF $4,300 IF/OF $8,200
6 Albert Almora RIGHT 0.298 0.122 26.2% 6.3% 11.1% 52.0% OF $2,400 OF $3,600 CF $7,700
7 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.340 0.188 31.4% 16.4% 25.4% 40.0% C $2,700 C $4,000 IF/OF $7,200
8 Jon Lester LEFT 0.088 0.000 11.1% 0.0% 43.8% 40.0% P $8,600 P $9,400 P $18,100
9 Addison Russell RIGHT 0.312 0.135 25.6% 9.5% 16.4% 38.8% SS $2,300 SS $3,100 SS $5,800
Team Averages 0.311 0.149 29.1% 7.3% 20.9% 42.8%

Elite PlaysJavier Baez, Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rizzo

Secondary PlaysWillson Contreras, Ian Happ, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist

StackabilityGREEN


NY Mets at Boston – 4:05 PM ET

NY Mets Boston
Corey Oswalt Rick Porcello
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
TBD
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.318 0.350 28.1% 1.46 12.5% 38.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.310 0.340 39.0% 1.50 26.3% 33.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.382 0.357 37.5% 2.86 16.8% 48.9% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.300 0.297 28.0% 1.13 21.9% 53.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Corey Oswalt
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $6,400 Salary: $12,900
Salary Rank: 26 of 29 Salary Rank: 21 of 29 Salary Rank: 18 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 9 4.74 6.62 14.9% 6.1% 43.9% 33.2% 19.1% 90.3 7.1%
L14 1 4.85 21.00 20.0% 10.0% 23.1% 35.7% 21.4% 90.1 6.7%

Corey Oswalt made a spot-start for Jacob deGrom last weekend against the Phillies and left the game after throwing just 59 pitches. It’s reasonable to assume he’s not fully stretched out after having worked primarily out of the bullpen leading up to his last outing. Oswalt is a low-strikeout guy that gets one of the worst matchups possible today going into the AL to take on the powerful Red Sox at Fenway. I think that tells you all you need to know.

Quick Breakdown: There’s way more downside than upside with Oswalt today.

Rick Porcello
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,800 Salary: $10,500 Salary: $20,600
Salary Rank: 4 of 29 Salary Rank: 3 of 29 Salary Rank: 4 of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 33 4.28 4.65 20.5% 5.4% 39.2% 38.3% 17.1% 91.1 9.4%
2018 30 3.70 4.27 24.0% 5.8% 44.2% 33.0% 19.3% 90.4 8.7%
L14 3 3.72 5.17 25.7% 7.1% 40.0% 33.3% 11.1% 91.0 11.7%

The Boston Globe reported on Friday that Rick Porcello will be limited to 5 or 6 innings today with the Red Sox already having their sights on October, so keep that in mind. He’s pitched well this season, as evidenced by his 24% K-rate and 3.70 SIERA. Porcello has been better about limiting hard contact this year, but he has also allowed 26 homers in his 30 starts. The Mets offense on the other side today isn’t great, but Porcello has struggled with lefties and the Mets do have some capable LHBs. Considering Porcello is priced up and the fact that he probably won’t throw a full complement of pitches, I think I’d prefer to go cheaper on this slate.

Quick Breakdown: Porcello is a fine play, but he is unlikely to pitch all that deep into the game.

Batter Grind Down

NY Mets

Porcello has yielded a .310 wOBA with 14 homers this season to lefties, and the Mets get a huge park upgrade going into Fenway today. They’ll also be adding a DH to the lineup, for whatever that’s worth. I wouldn’t necessarily make it a point to stack the Mets, but they have some decent cheap options. Jay Bruce looks like the best one, followed by Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario. Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are both priced way up, but I’d prefer Conforto if you’re picking between the two. Mets as one-offs looks like a better route than a full stack today.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Amed Rosario RIGHT 0.283 0.128 27.1% 5.0% 19.3% 50.2% SS $3,100 SS $4,200 SS $8,100
2 Jeff McNeil LEFT 0.326 0.158 30.3% 4.5% 9.8% 36.8% 2B $3,800 2B $4,200 2B $8,200
3 Michael Conforto LEFT 0.342 0.177 37.6% 15.2% 22.7% 40.9% OF $3,700 OF $5,000 LF $10,000
4 Jay Bruce LEFT 0.377 0.148 35.7% 11.7% 18.4% 28.7% OF $2,700 1B/OF $4,100 RF $8,300
5 Todd Frazier RIGHT 0.347 0.216 44.7% 8.2% 21.2% 34.7% 3B $3,200 3B $4,300 3B $8,600
6 Dominic Smith LEFT 0.296 0.226 40.7% 2.3% 34.5% 29.6% 1B $2,400 1B/OF $4,100 IF/OF $8,100
7 Brandon Nimmo LEFT 0.373 0.256 38.1% 14.3% 24.6% 38.8% OF $3,500 OF $5,400 LF $10,300
8 Kevin Plawecki RIGHT 0.319 0.173 37.6% 9.2% 22.3% 50.0% C $2,300 C $3,900 C $7,300
9 Jose Reyes SWITCH 0.271 0.117 22.8% 8.9% 16.0% 48.4% 3B $2,200 3B/SS $3,800 SS $7,200
Team Averages 0.326 0.178 35.0% 8.8% 21.0% 39.8%

Elite PlaysMichael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Jeff McNeil

Secondary PlaysDominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario

StackabilityORANGE

Boston

The Red Sox will draw Corey Oswalt and then a number of Mets bullpen hands today. Boston tends to be a difficult team to stack because most of them are super expensive, but if you can afford them you’ll want them today. J.D. Martinez looks like the top play, but Mookie Betts is never far behind. Mitch Moreland is fairly priced over at first, ditto for Ian Kinsler and Rafael Devers at their respective positions. Andrew Benintendi is fine, but if you’re paying a premium in the outfield he’s still quite a ways behind Martinez and Betts, and the price gap isn’t all that big. Xander Bogaerts is a decent GPP pivot off of Javier Baez on this slate, as well.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Mookie Betts RIGHT 0.445 0.262 44.2% 11.9% 14.2% 34.2% OF $4,700 OF $5,900 RF $11,100
2 Andrew Benintendi LEFT 0.396 0.195 29.9% 12.4% 14.2% 37.9% OF $3,600 OF $5,500 LF $10,100
3 J.D. Martinez RIGHT 0.449 0.327 44.8% 11.2% 22.2% 44.1% OF $4,600 OF $5,600 RF $10,100
4 Xander Bogaerts RIGHT 0.383 0.259 37.6% 6.8% 16.5% 46.1% SS $3,700 SS $5,100 SS $9,900
5 Mitch Moreland LEFT 0.410 0.218 36.5% 11.1% 20.6% 40.7% 1B $2,900 1B $4,100 1B $8,100
6 Rafael Devers LEFT 0.325 0.196 36.1% 8.0% 24.4% 44.2% 3B $2,800 3B $4,100 3B $8,000
7 Ian Kinsler RIGHT 0.333 0.185 31.2% 8.2% 11.9% 37.3% 2B $2,800 2B $4,100 2B $8,400
8 Sandy Leon SWITCH 0.253 0.117 26.2% 3.1% 26.9% 40.8% C $2,000 C $2,600 C $4,600
9 Jackie Bradley LEFT 0.379 0.182 41.6% 10.0% 22.4% 39.8% OF $2,700 OF $4,200 CF $8,500
Team Averages 0.375 0.216 36.5% 9.2% 19.3% 40.6%

Elite PlaysJ.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, Andrew Benintendi

Secondary PlaysIan Kinsler, Rafael Devers, Eduardo Nunez

StackabilityGREEN


Note: Unless noted, all statistics in the Grind Down are from the 2018 season.


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About the Author

  • Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

  • Taylor Smith is a native Texan (required by all fellow Texans to report this at all times) and Southern California-based sports writer. He has been playing daily fantasy sports regularly since 2012, going back to the days of DraftStreet (RIP). He specializes in MLB and NBA while dabbling in a few other sports like a true degen when the other two are out of season. He has written about DFS in the past at Bang The Book, and you can find some of his previous work on SB Nation and FanRag Sports.

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