MLB Grind Down: Saturday, September 29th

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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


NY Yankees at Boston – 1:05 PM ET

NY Yankees Boston
Lance Lynn Nathan Eovaldi
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) 0.366 0.356 36.7% 0.89 16.0% 51.9% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.324 0.318 32.7% 1.20 20.0% 45.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.300 0.289 34.2% 0.78 28.2% 47.9% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.267 0.284 32.7% 1.12 23.4% 45.5%

Pitcher Grind Down

Lance Lynn
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,900 Salary: $6,000 Salary: $11,700
Salary Rank: 20 of 30 Salary Rank: 23 of 30 Salary Rank: 22 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 33 4.85 3.43 19.7% 10.1% 44.0% 29.2% 21.1% 91.8 9.0%
2018 29 4.28 4.80 22.8% 10.9% 49.8% 35.3% 20.9% 93.2 10.1%
L14 2 3.31 1.80 26.8% 7.3% 51.9% 29.6% 33.3% 93.3 12.1%

Lance Lynn has a solid enough 22.8% strikeout rate on the season, but his walk rate nearing 11% is troublesome. The right-hander has generally been fairly wobbly since donning the Yankee pinstripes, and lately they have given him quite the short leash. Lynn also gets a park downgrade today going into Fenway to take on the Red Sox, who may be the best offense in all of baseball. I’m not sure you need me to tell you this, but fading Lynn today is probably a good idea.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Lynn against Boston.

Nathan Eovaldi
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,100 Salary: $6,600 Salary: $13,000
Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank: 17 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 20 3.78 3.88 21.7% 4.5% 45.2% 32.7% 19.9% 97.2 10.8%
L14 2 2.29 0.82 36.6% 4.9% 47.8% 13.0% 34.8% 97.9 12.6%

Nathan Eovaldi has pitched well this season. The right-hander has a 21.7% strikeout rate between Tampa Bay and Boston, and his 3.78 SIERA and 3.88 ERA make sense together. Like Lynn, Eovaldi doesn’t have the longest leash. He was lifted after throwing just 84 pitches in his last start despite the fact that he was rolling. The Red Sox have nothing to play for, so they’re presumably being careful in anticipation of the postseason. The Yankees have a loaded lineup on the other side of this matchup, but they also have a collective 22.3% K-rate this season against right-handed pitching. I’m not a huge fan of Eovaldi in this spot, but he’s the pitcher you want if you want an arm from this game. On a big slate, though, he’s an easy fade.

Quick Breakdown: I like Eovaldi better than Lynn, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

Batter Grind Down

NY Yankees

The Yankees are still trying to clinch home field advantage in the Wild Card Game, so they’re one of the few teams with something left to play for today. Nathan Eovaldi isn’t necessarily someone we want to go out of our way to attack, but he has allowed a .324 wOBA on the year to left-handed hitters. He’s been tougher on righties, so I’d start with the lefties like Aaron Hicks or Didi Gregorius here. Fenway Park is far better for right-handed power, so I’m still fine with the likes of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen, especially in GPPs. The Yankees make for a viable stack despite the suboptimal matchup.

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 Andrew McCutchen RIGHT 0.366 0.159 43.6% 14.8% 21.1% 41.1% OF $3,600 OF $4,500 RF $9,100
2 Aaron Judge RIGHT 0.395 0.241 48.2% 12.8% 31.0% 44.1% OF $4,300 OF $5,200 RF $9,900
3 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.387 0.199 37.0% 16.8% 18.8% 41.4% OF $3,400 OF $5,100 CF $9,900
4 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.326 0.208 37.5% 9.5% 31.3% 46.4% OF $4,500 OF $4,900 RF $9,000
5 Luke Voit RIGHT 0.468 0.315 47.5% 12.7% 28.4% 35.0% 1B $4,000 1B $4,800 1B $9,000
6 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.347 0.258 37.6% 9.1% 12.1% 36.4% SS $4,000 SS $5,400 SS $10,400
7 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.348 0.221 37.2% 3.3% 16.0% 45.7% 3B $3,900 3B $4,600 3B $9,200
8 Gary Sanchez RIGHT 0.331 0.197 34.7% 10.7% 25.8% 45.3% C $3,300 C $4,200 C $8,000
9 Gleyber Torres RIGHT 0.352 0.166 35.6% 8.1% 23.0% 34.9% 2B $3,300 2B $4,000 2B $7,200
Team Averages 0.369 0.218 39.9% 10.9% 23.1% 41.1%

Elite PlaysDidi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks

Secondary PlaysAaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez

StackabilityYELLOW

Boston

The best way to attack Lance Lynn has been with left-handed hitters. Lynn has always struggled with lefties, and 2018 has been no exception. He has yielded a .366 wOBA so far this season to LHBs, which puts lefties like Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers into play. Mitch Moreland is also fine if he cracks the lineup. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are guys I’ll almost never talk you out of playing, especially when they’re at home. Guys like Eduardo Nunez and Ian Kinsler are fine cheap options, but not core plays in the least.

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 0.447 0.272 44.3% 11.6% 15.4% 33.2% OF $4,900 OF $6,100 RF $11,200
2 Andrew Benintendi LEFT 0.392 0.185 29.1% 12.1% 13.2% 39.8% OF $4,000 OF $5,300 LF $9,700
3 J.D. Martinez RIGHT 0.450 0.319 44.8% 11.4% 22.0% 43.9% OF $4,800 OF $5,500 RF $10,300
4 Xander Bogaerts RIGHT 0.374 0.254 36.9% 7.0% 16.9% 46.4% SS $4,100 SS $4,600 SS $9,000
5 Rafael Devers LEFT 0.334 0.223 36.2% 8.3% 24.2% 44.0% 3B $3,500 3B $4,500 3B $9,000
6 Mitch Moreland LEFT 0.403 0.204 36.3% 11.5% 21.3% 39.9% 1B $3,500 1B $4,000 1B $7,400
7 Ian Kinsler RIGHT 0.324 0.171 29.6% 7.9% 12.3% 36.9% 2B $2,800 2B $3,800 2B $7,700
8 Christian Vazquez RIGHT 0.286 0.077 28.4% 3.6% 14.9% 40.9% C $2,100 C $2,800 C $5,800
9 Jackie Bradley LEFT 0.378 0.183 42.6% 9.8% 22.6% 38.9% OF $2,800 OF $4,000 CF $7,200
Team Averages 0.376 0.210 36.5% 9.2% 18.1% 40.4%

Elite PlaysAndrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts

Secondary PlaysMitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler, Rafael Devers

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN


St. Louis at Chicago Cubs – 1:05 PM ET

St. Louis Chicago Cubs
Miles Mikolas Cole Hamels
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CHC -150
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.315 0.326 36.3% 1.06 16.5% 45.7% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.300 0.319 32.6% 0.55 23.0% 58.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.227 0.268 27.3% 0.40 19.8% 56.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.335 0.356 44.1% 1.61 23.2% 42.5%

Pitcher Grind Down

Miles Mikolas
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,500 Salary: $9,100 Salary: $17,600
Salary Rank: 10 of 30 Salary Rank: 7 of 30 Salary Rank: 6 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 31 3.91 2.94 18.0% 3.7% 50.3% 32.5% 18.7% 93.9 9.5%
L14 2 2.69 2.25 30.4% 2.2% 46.7% 33.3% 23.3% 94.1 14.5%

The Cardinals are playing for their playoff lives today, which is worth noting. Miles Mikolas has been steady-if-unremarkable from a fantasy perspective this season. The right-hander has a middling strikeout rate of 18%, but he doesn’t walk anybody and he is occasionally in play due to the fact that he rarely gets blown up and he pitches pretty deep into games. Today Mikolas gets a tough matchup with a Cubs team trying to stave off the Brewers in the NL Central. Targeting the Cubs isn’t a strategy I love to begin with, especially with a guy that doesn’t carry a whole lot of strikeout upside. Mikolas is far from the worst play on the board, but I’d reserve him for large-field GPPs.

Quick Breakdown: Mikolas is fine as a potentially contrarian option in tournaments, but that’s about it.

Cole Hamels
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,700 Salary: $8,800 Salary: $17,300
Salary Rank: 9 of 30 Salary Rank: 9 of 30 Salary Rank: 7 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 24 4.90 4.20 17.1% 8.6% 47.5% 36.0% 13.7% 92.0 9.7%
2018 31 4.01 3.87 23.2% 8.1% 45.1% 42.1% 17.0% 92.0 12.0%
L14 3 3.79 5.30 22.5% 5.0% 42.9% 41.1% 17.9% 92.6 11.6%

Cole Hamels has pitched well since joining the Cubs, save for one miserable outing a couple of starts ago in Arizona. The veteran lefty has a solid 23.2% strikeout rate on the season, while his 4.01 SIERA isn’t much worse than his 3.87 ERA. Hamels is still a lefty with a fairly wide split, and today he’ll be facing a Cardinals lineup full of right-handed hitters. He has also allowed a hard contact rate over 42% and 29 home runs on the season. There are better spots to be deploying Hamels.

Quick Breakdown: I’d fade Hamels against the righty-heavy Cardinals.

Batter Grind Down

St. Louis

Hamels is still a respectable pitcher, so he’s not someone I want to go out of my way to pick on. Still, he has yielded a .335 wOBA with 27 homers on the season against right-handed hitters. Marcell Ozuna looks like the Cardinal hitter to prioritize here, while Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez, Yadier Molina, Harrison Bader and Jedd Gyorko are secondary right-handed bats to consider. Matt Carpenter will also be fairly contrarian in the lefty-lefty matchup. I don’t hate a STL stack in tournaments given Hamels’ home run problems.

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 0.376 0.237 51.8% 16.0% 23.5% 37.4% 1B $3,900 1B/3B $4,700 3B $9,400
2 Jose Martinez RIGHT 0.398 0.145 40.0% 10.6% 17.4% 43.6% OF $3,600 1B/OF $4,100 IF/OF $8,200
3 Paul DeJong RIGHT 0.296 0.150 37.7% 11.7% 28.3% 26.1% SS $3,300 SS $4,100 SS $8,500
4 Marcell Ozuna RIGHT 0.411 0.224 46.9% 6.8% 15.1% 46.0% OF $3,400 OF $4,100 LF $8,200
5 Jedd Gyorko RIGHT 0.430 0.223 44.9% 11.9% 15.6% 44.9% 3B $2,900 2B/3B $3,900 3B $7,700
6 Yadier Molina RIGHT 0.394 0.209 45.2% 5.9% 14.3% 30.1% C $2,900 C $4,000 C $7,400
7 Harrison Bader RIGHT 0.330 0.235 43.4% 8.3% 25.8% 32.5% OF $2,800 OF $4,200 CF $8,400
8 Yairo Munoz RIGHT 0.333 0.207 38.3% 13.5% 24.0% 45.8% OF $2,500 2B/SS $3,600 SS $7,300
9 Miles Mikolas RIGHT 0.186 0.056 27.3% 0.0% 47.6% 25.0% P $8,500 P $9,100 P $17,600
Team Averages 0.350 0.187 41.7% 9.4% 23.5% 36.8%

Elite PlaysMarcell Ozuna

Secondary PlaysYadier Molina, Jedd Gyorko, Jose Martinez, Paul DeJong, Matt Carpenter

StackabilityYELLOW / ORANGE

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs draw Miles Mikolas, a respectable right-hander that doesn’t miss many bats. The Lizard King has allowed a .315 wOBA to lefties so far this season, while 12 of the 16 homers he’s allowed have also come off the bats of LHBs. As usual, Anthony Rizzo is the top lefty to consider from the Cubs side. Daniel Murphy is also an elite play, while the power bats of Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ are viable in tournaments. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant are playable from the right side, though I wouldn’t go out of my way to cram them in.

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 Daniel Murphy LEFT 0.375 0.189 28.5% 5.5% 9.9% 33.2% 2B $3,400 2B $4,200 2B $8,400
2 Ben Zobrist SWITCH 0.356 0.156 33.7% 11.8% 12.6% 47.7% OF $3,000 2B/OF $3,800 IF/OF $7,300
3 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.399 0.207 34.1% 12.3% 9.9% 36.8% 1B $4,200 1B $4,100 1B $8,400
4 Javier Baez RIGHT 0.329 0.270 35.9% 3.7% 27.8% 46.5% SS $3,900 2B/SS $4,900 2B $8,900
5 Jason Heyward LEFT 0.338 0.139 29.1% 9.0% 11.1% 45.3% OF $2,700 OF $3,700 RF $7,400
6 Kris Bryant RIGHT 0.355 0.137 28.8% 11.0% 21.3% 36.5% 3B $3,700 3B/OF $3,900 IF/OF $7,600
7 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.292 0.127 27.7% 8.0% 20.9% 55.1% C $2,700 C $3,100 IF/OF $5,900
8 Cole Hamels LEFT 0.183 0.158 22.2% 4.8% 52.4% 57.1% P $8,700 P $8,800 P $17,300
9 David Bote RIGHT 0.346 0.155 36.3% 7.7% 27.5% 58.2% 3B $2,400 3B $3,300 3B $6,400
Team Averages 0.330 0.171 30.7% 8.2% 21.5% 46.3%

Elite PlaysAnthony Rizzo, Daniel Murphy

Secondary PlaysKris Bryant, Ian Happ, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber

StackabilityORANGE


Houston at Baltimore – 4:05 PM ET

Houston Baltimore
Justin Verlander Dylan Bundy
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
HOU -235 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.256 0.221 27.7% 1.30 39.1% 29.6% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.399 0.388 35.3% 1.97 18.0% 31.2%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.266 0.278 30.1% 1.13 30.5% 28.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.326 0.288 33.9% 2.25 31.1% 36.7%

Pitcher Grind Down

Justin Verlander
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $12,400 Salary: $11,900 Salary: $23,000
Salary Rank: 1 of 30 Salary Rank: 1 of 30 Salary Rank: 1 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 33 4.05 3.36 25.8% 8.5% 33.5% 34.5% 17.5% 95.2 10.7%
2018 33 2.67 2.60 34.5% 4.4% 28.6% 29.1% 19.9% 95.1 14.3%
L14 2 1.23 0.69 48.9% 2.2% 20.0% 19.1% 14.3% 95.0 18.1%

Justin Verlander has struck out at least 11 hitters in 3 straight starts and 4 of his last 5. The veteran threw 103 pitches across 6 shutout innings against the Angels in his last start, but I’d imagine the Astros will take a cautious approach with him today considering they have nothing left to play for. I would expect him to be at least somewhat limited today, which obviously makes him less appealing than usual considering he’s priced at a premium. Verlander still has enough upside to consider in GPPs considering his great matchup today against the Orioles, but the options just below him are also stellar plays on this slate. I wouldn’t necessarily talk you out of Verlander, but I don’t think you need to pay all the way up for him.

Quick Breakdown: Verlander is an elite play, but the notion that he may be limited has me thinking he’s an unnecessary spend.

Dylan Bundy
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,600 Salary: $5,200 Salary: $10,000
Salary Rank: 23 of 30 Salary Rank: 26 of 30 Salary Rank: 26 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 28 4.45 4.24 21.8% 7.3% 32.8% 36.5% 17.6% 92.2 11.4%
2018 30 3.97 5.49 24.4% 7.3% 33.7% 34.7% 15.3% 91.6 12.6%
L14 2 4.02 5.59 25.0% 9.1% 39.3% 24.1% 20.7% 91.4 14.4%

Bundy has a gross 5.49 ERA this season, but his 3.98 SIERA is far more palatable. The right-hander has a strong strikeout rate over 24% and his walk rate of 7.3% isn’t egregious. Bundy’s problem has been home runs. He’s been taken deep a whopping 39 times this season, which “leads” baseball. The Astros have been rolling with a pretty standard lineup over the last couple of days, which isn’t something that bodes all that well for Bundy. That said, he’s incredibly cheap today, and he has enough strikeout upside to easily pay off that price tag. I’ll obviously have even more interest if Houston rolls with a watered-down version of their lineup today. I don’t think you need to risk it on a single-pitcher site, but Bundy makes sense as a high-risk, high-reward type of SP2 in tournaments. Keep an eye on the Astros’ lineup.

Quick Breakdown: As gross as it sounds, I have interest in Bundy as a punt SP2, especially if the Astros run out a lesser lineup.

Batter Grind Down

Houston

Dylan Bundy has allowed a .399 wOBA to lefties this season compared to a .326 mark against right-handed bats. 22 of those 39 homers have also come via RHBs. If the Astros post their usual lineup today, you can certainly stack this team given the potential for a dinger parade at Bundy’s expense. Hitters of either handedness are in play, so Alex Bregman, George Springer, Jose Altuve, Tyler White and Carlos Correa are stackable. Brian McCann, Marwin Gonzalez, Tony Kemp, Kyle Tucker and Josh Reddick are the lefties to consider if they crack the lineup. This isn’t a glorious spot for the Astros considering Bundy is still a decent pitcher, but you can stack them for the HR potential.

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 George Springer RIGHT 0.341 0.155 31.5% 10.2% 18.2% 50.3% OF $4,000 OF $4,600 RF $9,200
2 Jose Altuve RIGHT 0.351 0.144 31.6% 9.1% 14.0% 48.8% 2B $4,200 2B $4,800 2B $8,900
3 Alex Bregman RIGHT 0.399 0.247 36.4% 13.8% 12.3% 35.1% 3B $4,500 3B/SS $4,900 3B $8,800
4 Marwin Gonzalez SWITCH 0.337 0.165 36.6% 11.4% 23.7% 43.0% OF $3,300 OF/SS $4,200 IF/OF $8,000
5 Yuli Gurriel RIGHT 0.286 0.119 29.3% 3.3% 10.6% 48.4% 1B $3,700 1B $4,900 1B $9,200
6 Carlos Correa RIGHT 0.309 0.175 28.1% 9.9% 24.0% 45.5% SS $3,700 SS $3,900 SS $7,300
7 Tyler White RIGHT 0.339 0.264 33.9% 9.1% 16.2% 42.6% 1B $3,800 1B $4,000 1B $7,600
8 Josh Reddick LEFT 0.305 0.113 31.4% 11.3% 16.1% 35.8% OF $2,900 OF $4,300 RF $8,200
9 Martin Maldonado RIGHT 0.262 0.132 28.0% 3.7% 24.3% 40.1% C $2,200 C $2,900 C $5,800
Team Averages 0.325 0.168 31.9% 9.1% 17.7% 43.3%

Elite PlaysJose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez

Secondary PlaysJosh Reddick, Carlos Correa, Brian McCann, Tony Kemp, Kyle Tucker, Tyler White

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Baltimore

Today the Orioles draw Justin Verlander followed by an elite bullpen. Verlander will allow home runs, so a guy like Adam Jones or Trey Mancini could be worth a look in GPPs. Otherwise, I don’t see much appeal in the Orioles.

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 Cedric Mullins LEFT 0.299 0.188 27.1% 7.3% 13.8% 51.1% OF $2,400 OF $3,600 CF $7,700
2 Jonathan Villar SWITCH 0.289 0.115 29.2% 8.7% 26.2% 58.5% 2B $2,700 2B $3,900 2B $7,500
3 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.372 0.194 38.2% 7.1% 24.1% 49.0% OF $2,600 1B/OF $3,500 IF/OF $6,300
4 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.327 0.149 31.3% 4.4% 17.1% 43.6% OF $2,600 OF $3,500 CF $6,800
5 DJ Stewart LEFT 0.300 0.333 33.3% 9.4% 21.9% 33.3% OF $2,100 OF $3,200 LF $6,600
6 Tim Beckham RIGHT 0.303 0.128 32.3% 5.7% 24.6% 46.3% SS $2,400 3B/SS $3,100 SS $5,700
7 Renato Nunez RIGHT 0.308 0.184 28.4% 6.8% 23.6% 39.8% 3B $2,400 3B $3,400 IF/OF $6,400
8 Steve Wilkerson SWITCH 0.231 0.120 19.1% 10.7% 14.3% 52.4% 2B $2,000 2B/3B $2,600 2B $4,600
9 Caleb Joseph RIGHT 0.271 0.126 26.7% 3.3% 25.0% 43.4% C $2,000 C $2,700 C $5,500
Team Averages 0.300 0.171 29.5% 7.0% 21.2% 46.4%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysAdam Jones, Trey Mancini

StackabilityRED


LA Dodgers at San Francisco – 4:05 PM ET

LA Dodgers San Francisco
Clayton Kershaw Dereck Rodriguez
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
LAD -215 7.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.292 0.303 37.1% 1.59 25.0% 35.8% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.291 0.312 41.4% 0.51 19.7% 37.9%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.263 0.286 35.7% 0.81 23.8% 52.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.264 0.298 36.8% 0.57 17.9% 41.4%

Pitcher Grind Down

Clayton Kershaw
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,200 Salary: $9,200 Salary: $18,000
Salary Rank: 4 of 30 Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank: 5 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 27 3.04 2.31 29.8% 4.4% 47.9% 27.4% 23.5% 92.7 14.1%
2018 25 3.43 2.53 24.0% 4.6% 48.5% 36.0% 20.5% 90.9 11.1%
L14 2 5.20 2.77 16.7% 11.1% 44.7% 38.5% 10.3% 90.5 8.8%

The Dodgers can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Cardinals loss today. Obviously, they’d prefer to win and try to narrow the gap on Colorado. Quite frankly, Clayton Kershaw hasn’t been the same elite pitcher we’ve grown used to seeing this season. The lefty still has a solid strikeout rate of 24%, and his 3.44 SIERA is still decent. That said, that’s the highest SIERA he’s had since 2010. Kershaw still keeps the ball on the ground at a decent clip and he gets a park upgrade today going into San Francisco. He’ll also be facing a watered-down version of the Giants that looks more like a Triple-A lineup these days. Kershaw is also the cheapest he’s been all season, which makes him an easy play.

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

Dereck Rodriguez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,100 Salary: $6,200 Salary: $11,700
Salary Rank: 12 of 30 Salary Rank: 21 of 30 Salary Rank: 22 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 18 4.47 2.50 18.7% 7.0% 39.8% 38.9% 12.6% 91.4 8.8%
L14 2 5.35 3.75 13.7% 7.8% 35.0% 37.5% 2.5% 90.4 8.9%

We finally saw a little bit of regression from Dereck Rodriguez in his last start. The rookie has an excellent 2.50 ERA on the campaign, but his 4.47 SIERA tells quite a different story. Rodriguez has a middling strikeout rate just south of 19% and he’s allowed hard hits at a 38.9% clip. His fly ball tendency plays well at AT&T Park, but today he gets a tough matchup against a loaded Dodgers offense. Rodriguez is affordable, but I think I’d still prefer to take the discount (and potential indigestion) that comes with Bundy instead. Rodriguez has pretty limited upside in this spot.

Quick Breakdown: Rodriguez is an easy fade against the Dodgers.

Batter Grind Down

LA Dodgers

We know Dave Roberts loves to play matchups, so some of the guys that start today’s game are unlikely to finish it. Obviously, that makes things tricky from a DFS perspective. I’d expect plenty of lefties in the L.A. lineup today against the right-hander. AT&T Park isn’t a fun place to hit, but Max Muncy, Yasmani Grandal, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson all have plenty of power upside. Justin Turner and Manny Machado are the right-handers I’d consider here. Most of the Dodgers are also cheaper than we’re used to seeing, which makes them more appealing. I don’t love the stack here, but I think you can pick your spots with a few Dodger bats.

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 0.359 0.289 43.9% 9.7% 19.7% 39.9% OF $3,200 OF $4,700 CF $9,200
2 Justin Turner RIGHT 0.392 0.194 41.1% 8.8% 11.4% 32.4% 3B $3,900 3B $4,200 3B $8,400
3 Max Muncy LEFT 0.415 0.317 47.2% 18.1% 26.3% 36.5% 1B $4,000 1B/3B $4,700 1B $9,000
4 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.376 0.242 38.8% 8.9% 17.5% 39.9% SS $4,400 SS $4,500 3B $9,100
5 Cody Bellinger LEFT 0.344 0.236 39.0% 11.8% 23.3% 39.6% OF $3,700 1B/OF $4,300 1B $8,000
6 Yasiel Puig RIGHT 0.393 0.258 41.4% 8.1% 18.3% 41.8% OF $3,200 OF $4,800 RF $9,000
7 Yasmani Grandal SWITCH 0.371 0.242 39.4% 12.6% 21.8% 40.7% C $3,300 C $4,000 C $7,200
8 Kike Hernandez RIGHT 0.353 0.237 33.3% 11.4% 18.4% 34.2% OF $2,500 2B/OF $3,400 IF/OF $6,700
9 Clayton Kershaw LEFT 0.199 0.032 20.8% 8.3% 25.0% 75.0% P $11,200 P $9,200 P $18,000
Team Averages 0.356 0.227 38.3% 10.9% 20.2% 42.2%

Elite PlaysMax Muncy, Yasmani Grandal, Justin Turner, Manny Machado

Secondary PlaysCody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Yasiel Puig

StackabilityYELLOW / ORANGE

San Francisco

The Giants have a bad lineup to begin with and today they’ll be taking their hacks against Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw hasn’t been as dominant this season, but he’s still not a pitcher I want to be picking on, especially with a bunch of weak hitters.

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 Hunter Pence RIGHT 0.245 0.140 29.7% 5.1% 19.4% 56.8% OF $2,300 OF $3,300 RF $6,400
2 Joe Panik LEFT 0.287 0.060 29.2% 7.3% 4.6% 53.7% 2B $2,400 2B $2,800 2B $5,800
3 Evan Longoria RIGHT 0.378 0.219 44.3% 5.5% 14.5% 43.5% 3B $2,700 3B $3,300 3B $6,300
4 Nick Hundley RIGHT 0.362 0.220 48.8% 6.0% 25.0% 30.0% C $2,600 C $3,200 C $6,600
5 Brandon Crawford LEFT 0.336 0.162 34.7% 5.4% 19.8% 40.1% SS $3,000 SS $3,300 SS $6,800
6 Aramis Garcia RIGHT 0.207 0.188 28.6% 0.0% 56.3% 14.3% C $2,700 1B/C $3,100 C $5,600
7 Austin Slater RIGHT 0.275 0.039 38.9% 5.8% 26.7% 63.0% OF $2,500 1B/OF $3,000 LF $5,900
8 Gorkys Hernandez RIGHT 0.308 0.181 37.4% 6.4% 25.0% 41.7% OF $2,200 OF $3,100 CF $5,800
9 Dereck Rodriguez RIGHT 0.121 0.100 25.0% 0.0% 38.5% 60.0% P $8,100 P $6,200 P $11,700
Team Averages 0.280 0.145 35.2% 4.6% 25.5% 44.8%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED


Pittsburgh at Cincinnati – 4:10 PM ET

Pittsburgh Cincinnati
Jameson Taillon Michael Lorenzen
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
PIT -125 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.321 0.327 31.0% 0.97 19.7% 42.6% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.358 0.364 41.3% 0.92 19.2% 47.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.260 0.264 28.0% 0.88 25.9% 51.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.279 0.304 29.6% 0.59 13.9% 51.1%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jameson Taillon
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,800 Salary: $8,800 Salary: $17,000
Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank: 9 of 30 Salary Rank: 8 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.24 4.44 21.3% 7.8% 47.3% 29.6% 22.1% 95.3 8.2%
2018 31 3.79 3.16 22.6% 6.0% 46.8% 29.6% 19.0% 95.2 10.6%
L14 2 3.20 0.64 30.2% 7.6% 45.5% 9.1% 18.2% 94.7 13.0%

Jameson Taillon has been downright dominant of late. The right-hander hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in a start since August 14 and he’s quietly put together a strong overall campaign. The righty carries a 22.6% strikeout rate and 3.80 SIERA into today’s start in Cincinnati. Taillon has kept the hard contact under 30% and his ground ball rate of nearly 47% is solid. He gets a park downgrade today, though, and the Reds lineup on the other side isn’t an awful one. I think Taillon is an elite tournament pivot on what should be a far more chalky Clayton Kershaw in the same price range, but that’s the extent of my interest.

Quick Breakdown: Taillon is a viable Kershaw pivot in GPPs, but my overall interest is minimal.

Michael Lorenzen
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $4,500 Salary: $9,400
Salary Rank: 30 of 30 Salary Rank: 29 of 30 Salary Rank: 27 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 0 3.84 4.45 22.2% 9.4% 54.6% 26.8% 22.6% 96.4 10.5%
2018 2 4.56 3.35 16.2% 10.0% 49.6% 34.2% 18.8% 95.1 6.9%
L14 2 4.99 3.86 9.5% 9.5% 63.3% 21.9% 18.8% 95.1 7.3%

Michael Lorenzen has spent most of the season pitching out of the bullpen and mashing dongs as a pinch-hitter. 44 of his 46 appearances have come out of the ‘pen, though he started his last couple of outings. The right-hander hasn’t gotten past the fourth inning in either start, and it’s safe to say he’s still not fully stretched out. He’s also not a big strikeout guy to begin with. He’s cheap, but there’s a reason for that.

Quick Breakdown: Lorenzen doesn’t have the upside to warrant serious consideration.

Batter Grind Down

Pittsburgh

Lorenzen has allowed a .358 wOBA this season to left-handed hitters, and the Pirates offense gets a big park boost today. Unfortunately, there aren’t many lefties to love in this lineup. Josh Bell, Corey Dickerson and Colin Moran are likely the best lefties to consider. Adam Frazier is also passable, especially if he’s hitting leadoff. Kevin Kramer isn’t great, but he’s also a lefty and he costs you basically nothing. Starling Marte and Francisco Cervelli are also playable despite not having the platoon advantage against Lorenzen. I like the Pirates as a cheap stack with plenty of upside 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 Adam Frazier LEFT 0.345 0.201 34.3% 9.5% 13.1% 50.0% 2B $3,200 2B/OF $4,900 IF/OF $8,900
2 Starling Marte RIGHT 0.331 0.171 32.2% 5.0% 17.5% 50.2% OF $3,600 OF $5,200 CF $10,000
3 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.366 0.147 33.7% 13.8% 16.5% 50.7% 1B $3,100 1B $4,200 1B $8,400
4 Francisco Cervelli RIGHT 0.368 0.172 33.2% 11.0% 20.6% 39.8% C $3,300 C $4,200 C $8,400
5 Corey Dickerson LEFT 0.359 0.195 37.2% 4.0% 13.4% 34.9% OF $3,500 OF $5,000 LF $9,600
6 Colin Moran LEFT 0.348 0.133 32.6% 8.0% 16.5% 44.9% 3B $2,500 3B $4,000 3B $7,600
7 Kevin Kramer LEFT 0.210 0.000 58.3% 6.7% 53.3% 8.3% 3B $2,000 2B/3B $3,000 2B $5,500
8 Kevin Newman RIGHT 0.217 0.015 16.3% 2.8% 26.8% 57.1% SS $2,200 2B/SS $3,800 SS $7,400
9 Jameson Taillon RIGHT 0.120 0.024 17.9% 0.0% 36.4% 70.8% P $9,800 P $8,800 P $17,000
Team Averages 0.296 0.118 32.9% 6.8% 23.8% 45.2%

Elite PlaysJosh Bell, Starling Marte, Adam Frazier, Corey Dickerson, Colin Moran

Secondary PlaysFrancisco Cervelli, Kevin Kramer

StackabilityGREEN / YELLOW

Cincinnati

I respect Jameson Taillon, but most of the Reds are too cheap and Great American Ballpark is a great park for power. Taillon has yielded a .321 wOBA and 10 home runs to lefties, so let’s start there. Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler are elite options, while Tucker Barnhart is a playable catcher punt. I don’t think the righties are out of play, which means I like Jose Peraza and Eugenio Suarez here. Mason Williams is another cheap lefty, while Billy Hamilton always has upside thanks to his wheels. A Cincinnati stack is viable, especially if they’ll be somewhat contrarian.

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 Scott Schebler LEFT 0.347 0.201 38.2% 10.4% 25.3% 49.4% OF $3,300 OF $3,800 RF $7,600
2 Jose Peraza RIGHT 0.305 0.133 30.4% 4.9% 11.7% 34.2% SS $3,200 SS $4,000 SS $7,700
3 Joey Votto LEFT 0.439 0.146 40.4% 18.8% 14.8% 34.2% 1B $3,900 1B $3,900 1B $7,800
4 Scooter Gennett LEFT 0.340 0.198 39.3% 6.9% 18.7% 40.0% 2B $3,700 2B $4,200 2B $8,400
5 Eugenio Suarez RIGHT 0.365 0.220 45.6% 9.1% 24.3% 38.2% 3B $3,700 3B $3,800 3B $7,700
6 Tucker Barnhart SWITCH 0.325 0.120 38.6% 9.9% 15.5% 42.0% C $2,000 C $2,800 C $5,500
7 Mason Williams LEFT 0.289 0.122 48.7% 5.7% 20.8% 49.3% OF $2,300 OF $3,000 RF $5,900
8 Michael Lorenzen RIGHT 0.331 0.500 35.7% 4.5% 31.8% 41.7% P $5,500 P $4,500 P $9,400
9 Billy Hamilton SWITCH 0.245 0.073 17.7% 8.2% 22.3% 41.2% OF $2,200 OF $3,200 CF $6,600
Team Averages 0.332 0.190 37.2% 8.7% 20.6% 41.1%

Elite PlaysScooter Gennett, Joey Votto, Scott Schebler

Secondary PlaysJose Peraza, Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart, Mason Williams, Billy Hamilton

StackabilityYELLOW


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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