MLB Grind Down: Sunday, September 23rd

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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


Baltimore at NY Yankees – 1:05 PM ET

Baltimore NY Yankees
Alex Cobb J.A. Happ
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYY -300 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.330 0.337 31.9% 1.15 17.5% 46.7% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.217 0.279 29.1% 0.53 25.8% 53.6%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.359 0.368 32.6% 1.70 13.4% 52.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.314 0.324 32.6% 1.63 26.2% 39.3%

Pitcher Grind Down

Alex Cobb
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,400 Salary: $5,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank: 28 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 29 4.48 3.66 17.3% 5.9% 47.8% 36.9% 14.9% 91.7 6.7%
2018 27 4.61 4.90 15.4% 6.5% 49.5% 32.2% 20.9% 92.0 7.4%
L14 2 5.66 1.13 12.5% 12.5% 52.2% 20.8% 12.5% 92.2 4.7%

Alex Cobb has pitched much better during the second half of the season. His dreadful start has caused his season-long stats to look somewhat bloated. The veteran has a 4.90 ERA along with a 4.62 SIERA, while his strikeout rate is still sitting at just 15.4%. Cobb is also dealing with a blister on a finger on his pitching hand, so keep that in mind. Today he draws a difficult matchup on the road against a powerful Yankee lineup. He doesn’t carry a ton of upside to begin with, so I think Cobb makes for an easy fade despite the cheap price tag.

Quick Breakdown: Cobb is an easy fade.

J.A. Happ
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,800 Salary: $10,200 Salary:
Salary Rank: 3 of 30 Salary Rank: 3 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.11 3.53 22.7% 7.4% 46.9% 26.7% 20.3% 91.8 9.5%
2018 28 3.60 3.75 26.1% 6.6% 42.0% 31.9% 20.6% 91.9 10.3%
L14 2 4.11 0.75 18.6% 2.3% 36.4% 48.5% 12.1% 92.1 4.7%

J.A. Happ has been great this season, particularly since coming to New York. Save for one start against the Tigers, he’s been dominant. The southpaw has an excellent 26% K-rate on the season, and his 3.65 SIERA validates his 4.62 ERA. Happ has been taken deep 25 times already, but the home run risk is mitigated to a degree thanks to today’s matchup against the punchless Orioles. Yankee Stadium isn’t a great place to pitch, but Happ is fairly priced and the matchup speaks for itself.

Quick Breakdown: Happ is an elite play in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Baltimore

Happ is a lefty with a wide split that will give up his fair share of dingers. The Orioles don’t have much, but they do still have a couple of capable right-handed hitters. Trey Mancini and Adam Jones both look like decent options here, though neither registers as a building block type of play on this slate. I’d rather play Happ than load up on O’s against him.

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 Cedric Mullins LEFT 0.228 0.000 14.3% 16.1% 38.7% 50.0% OF $3,000 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
2 Joey Rickard RIGHT 0.276 0.217 29.8% 6.8% 29.7% 29.8% OF $2,700 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
3 Jonathan Villar SWITCH 0.331 0.181 42.4% 5.0% 27.7% 51.6% 2B $3,200 2B $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.334 0.114 32.1% 2.6% 8.4% 40.0% OF $3,100 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
5 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.285 0.123 22.8% 7.1% 24.3% 66.7% OF $2,900 1B/OF $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Tim Beckham RIGHT 0.305 0.169 30.2% 9.2% 26.5% 45.2% SS $2,600 3B/SS $3,000 N/A N/A
7 Renato Nunez RIGHT 0.271 0.092 25.0% 6.9% 25.0% 39.6% 3B $2,400 3B $3,300 N/A N/A
8 John Andreoli RIGHT 0.152 0.000 30.8% 0.0% 40.9% 7.7% OF $2,000 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Austin Wynns RIGHT 0.262 0.000 16.0% 0.0% 30.6% 48.0% C $2,100 C $2,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.272 0.100 27.0% 6.0% 28.0% 42.1%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysAdam Jones, Trey Mancini

StackabilityRED

NY Yankees

The Yankees clinched one of the AL Wild Card spots yesterday, but they still have to battle with the A’s to see which team will host the play-in game. So, while some regulars may sit in this spot, I don’t expect Aaron Boone to fully punt and start a bunch of bench guys. The matchup today against Alex Cobb is a good one, as he’s been one of the more hittable pitchers in baseball this season. He has shown some reverse splits over the last couple of years, but I wouldn’t be afraid to roster hitters of either handedness here. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez once again grade out as elite options here. Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, too, depending on where in the lineup they wind up hitting. The Yankees are one of the top stacks on the slate.

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 0.363 0.156 44.4% 14.4% 21.9% 40.6% OF $3,700 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Aaron Judge RIGHT 0.396 0.261 48.0% 12.4% 31.1% 45.8% OF $4,200 OF $5,300 N/A N/A
3 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.347 0.258 37.9% 9.2% 11.8% 36.4% SS $3,900 SS $5,400 N/A N/A
4 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.326 0.206 38.1% 9.0% 31.9% 45.8% OF $4,700 OF $5,000 N/A N/A
5 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.379 0.183 37.1% 17.0% 19.3% 42.6% OF $3,300 OF $4,800 N/A N/A
6 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.356 0.223 37.2% 3.5% 16.5% 47.0% 3B $4,100 3B $4,600 N/A N/A
7 Luke Voit RIGHT 0.443 0.317 42.9% 14.9% 27.0% 41.9% 1B $3,900 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
8 Gary Sanchez RIGHT 0.341 0.213 36.3% 10.4% 25.1% 46.3% C $3,200 C $4,300 N/A N/A
9 Gleyber Torres RIGHT 0.354 0.173 35.4% 8.5% 23.8% 34.1% 2B $3,600 2B $4,400 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.367 0.221 39.7% 11.0% 23.2% 42.3%

Elite PlaysDidi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez

Secondary PlaysMiguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit

StackabilityGREEN


Tampa Bay at Toronto – 1:07 PM ET

Tampa Bay Toronto
Blake Snell Ryan Borucki
LEFT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
TB -165 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.196 0.260 35.9% 0.50 33.1% 46.8% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.298 0.317 27.9% 0.50 15.6% 59.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.266 0.290 36.0% 0.99 30.0% 43.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.326 0.351 33.9% 0.62 14.8% 41.4%

Pitcher Grind Down

Blake Snell
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,700 Salary: $12,700 Salary:
Salary Rank: 1 of 30 Salary Rank: 1 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 24 4.72 4.04 21.8% 10.8% 43.9% 32.9% 18.8% 94.3 10.8%
2018 28 3.35 2.03 30.7% 8.8% 44.2% 35.9% 19.0% 95.7 14.6%
L14 2 1.91 2.19 40.9% 4.6% 54.2% 37.5% 20.8% 96.6 16.4%

Blake Snell has an elite 30.6% strikeout rate so far this season alongside an absurd 1.97 ERA. His 3.37 SIERA is quite a bit higher, but both numbers are impressive nonetheless. His walk rate nearing 9% is still a little too high, but it’s hard to argue with the results he’s gotten. Today Snell gets a considerable park downgrade and he’s going up against a decent Toronto offense. He’s the most expensive pitcher on the slate, but with good reason. He’s obviously one of the top options on the board, it’s just a question of whether it’s necessary to fork over the cash it takes to get him.

Quick Breakdown: Snell is an elite play on the main slate.

Ryan Borucki
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,700 Salary: $7,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 21 of 30 Salary Rank: 18 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 14 4.90 4.26 15.0% 7.5% 45.6% 32.4% 15.2% 91.7 7.4%
L14 2 4.18 2.92 20.8% 8.3% 54.8% 24.2% 27.3% 91.5 11.0%

Ryan Borucki has been in great form of late, as he’s allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 3 straight starts, as well as 4 of his last 5. His 3.86 ERA looks nice, but his SIERA is nearly a full run higher. He’s one of those guys that seems to be pitching over his head right now. The left-hander has a mediocre 15.8% strikeout rate this season, but he’s kept the ball on the ground pretty well while limiting hard hits. The Rays offense on the other side doesn’t have many big names, but they’re a decent lineup overall and they get a huge park boost today going into Toronto. I’d rather play some Tampa hitters than risk it with Borucki.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Borucki in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Tampa Bay

Borucki has done a fine job of holding his fellow lefties down, but righties have a .307 wOBA against him and they’ve accounted for 4 of the 5 homers he’s served up on the year. The Rays are fairly cheap on the whole, so they make lots of things work on this slate. Tommy Pham is the most expensive option, but he’s also the best one and he’s worth prioritizing. C.J. Cron, Carlos Gomez and Matt Duffy are all cheap and will hold the platoon advantage here. Once again, I think Mallex Smith is viable even in a lefty-lefty matchup, especially if he’s hitting leadoff. The Rays make for an intriguing stack today due in large part to their overall value.

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 Mallex Smith LEFT 0.296 0.079 24.6% 7.0% 20.9% 57.1% OF $3,100 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Tommy Pham RIGHT 0.455 0.141 52.7% 15.0% 20.8% 50.0% OF $3,800 OF $4,600 N/A N/A
3 Matt Duffy RIGHT 0.322 0.057 31.6% 10.8% 18.0% 58.2% 3B $3,200 3B $3,800 N/A N/A
4 C.J. Cron RIGHT 0.359 0.235 42.9% 6.8% 28.6% 40.7% 1B $3,400 1B $4,100 N/A N/A
5 Joey Wendle LEFT 0.266 0.119 34.6% 7.9% 23.7% 42.3% 3B $3,000 2B $4,300 N/A N/A
6 Carlos Gomez RIGHT 0.317 0.131 29.1% 4.1% 22.8% 28.6% OF $2,400 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Jake Bauers LEFT 0.294 0.162 38.0% 13.8% 28.7% 49.0% 1B $2,900 1B/OF $4,000 N/A N/A
8 Willy Adames RIGHT 0.266 0.106 41.0% 6.9% 38.9% 51.3% SS $3,200 SS $3,800 N/A N/A
9 Jesus Sucre RIGHT 0.240 0.023 35.9% 6.3% 12.5% 42.1% C $2,100 C $2,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.313 0.117 36.7% 8.7% 23.9% 46.6%

Elite PlaysC.J. Cron, Matt Duffy, Carlos Gomez, Tommy Pham

Secondary PlaysMallex Smith

StackabilityGREEN / YELLOW

Toronto

Blake Snell has been electrifying this season, so he’s not someone I’m wanting to pick on. He’s still a lefty with a wide platoon split, so I suppose you can take a shot on one of the cheaper Toronto bats if you’re scrounging around trying to save some cash. Lourdes Gurriel, Kendrys Morales or Yangervis Solarte would fit the bill. No stack necessary, however.

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 Lourdes Gurriel RIGHT 0.394 0.145 27.5% 4.5% 16.7% 47.1% SS $3,200 2B/SS $3,600 N/A N/A
2 Yangervis Solarte SWITCH 0.332 0.203 29.6% 6.1% 11.5% 37.8% 3B $2,500 2B/3B $2,700 N/A N/A
3 Kendrys Morales SWITCH 0.355 0.129 34.3% 6.8% 20.4% 47.6% 1B $3,200 1B $3,000 N/A N/A
4 Rowdy Tellez LEFT 0.202 0.000 0.0% 16.7% 66.7% 0.0% 1B $2,700 1B $3,300 N/A N/A
5 Randal Grichuk RIGHT 0.351 0.198 34.9% 6.1% 28.0% 38.4% OF $3,300 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Kevin Pillar RIGHT 0.292 0.162 34.8% 2.8% 14.0% 36.8% OF $3,000 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
7 Teoscar Hernandez RIGHT 0.346 0.257 33.7% 6.5% 31.8% 38.9% OF $3,000 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
8 Danny Jansen RIGHT 0.418 0.071 9.1% 6.3% 18.8% 9.1% C $2,400 C $3,000 N/A N/A
9 Richard Urena SWITCH 0.282 0.333 12.5% 0.0% 20.0% 42.9% SS $2,100 2B/SS $2,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.330 0.166 24.0% 6.2% 25.3% 33.2%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysYangervis Solarte, Lourdes Gurriel, Kendrys Morales

StackabilityRED


Cincinnati at Miami – 1:10 PM ET

Cincinnati Miami
Michael Lorenzen Trevor Richards
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CIN -110 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.351 0.364 42.4% 0.98 20.0% 44.7% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.310 0.319 30.1% 0.47 20.7% 30.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.271 0.302 30.6% 0.45 14.7% 49.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.368 0.372 47.3% 1.79 23.0% 39.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Michael Lorenzen
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $6,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 29 of 30 Salary Rank: 22 of 30 Salary Rank:
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 0 4.49 3.21 17.1% 10.1% 47.5% 35.4% 18.5% 95.2 7.0%
L14 0 4.00 4.15 17.1% 5.7% 50.0% 30.8% 11.5% 95.7 7.9%

Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani have dominated in this matchup over the last couple of days, so now it’s Michael Lorenzen turn. The problem here is that he’s likely not fully stretched out. The right-hander has been pitching out of the bullpen just about all season long, with his lone start having come 5 days ago. He pitched well that day against the Brewers, but he only lasted 4 innings and 52 pitches. Lorenzen hasn’t shown a ton of strikeout ability this season, so he’s unlikely to rack up enough Ks to make him worth your while if he’s going to be topping out between 50 and 70 pitches. Streaming starters against the Marlins in Miami is fun, but I can’t recommend Lorenzen here.

Quick Breakdown: Lorenzen is an easy fade due to his likely low pitch count.

Trevor Richards
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,100 Salary: $5,300 Salary:
Salary Rank: 26 of 30 Salary Rank: 25 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 22 4.50 4.85 22.6% 10.6% 34.9% 40.1% 13.8% 90.8 10.0%
L14 2 6.54 14.21 10.8% 13.5% 30.8% 29.6% 7.4% 90.2 9.0%

Trevor Richards has quietly given the Marlins some decent work this season. The right-hander’s 4.95 ERA and 3-9 record don’t look great, but his 22.8% strikeout rate is serviceable and his 4.44 SIERA is more average than awful. The 40.2% hard-hit rate is concerning, but Richards is a fly ball pitcher, and fly balls have a way of turning into outs at Marlins Park. The Reds offense on the other side of this game isn’t all that imposing, and Richards comes with one of the cheapest price tags on the slate. I think he’s very much in play if you want to punt with one of your pitchers, but I’m not sure it’s fully necessary on this slate. There aren’t a ton of great offenses out there with expensive bats we want to cram in. Richards is viable, though, especially in GPPs.

Quick Breakdown: Richards is a workable punt on this slate.

Batter Grind Down

Cincinnati

I have at least faint interest in Trevor Richards here, and Marlins Park presents a considerable park downgrade for the Reds’ hitters. Richards has also shown some pretty dramatic reverse splits this season, which should help him against Cincy considering most of their best hitters are left-handed. Taking a stab at Eugenio Suarez isn’t the worst idea, but third base is also a pretty deep position. Joey Votto is also fairly cheap, but my overall interest in the Reds offense is lacking here 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 Scott Schebler LEFT 0.357 0.214 40.2% 9.8% 25.4% 50.6% OF $3,200 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Jose Peraza RIGHT 0.301 0.123 30.2% 5.1% 12.1% 34.6% SS $3,500 SS $4,500 N/A N/A
3 Joey Votto LEFT 0.447 0.153 40.4% 19.4% 14.1% 34.8% 1B $3,900 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
4 Scooter Gennett LEFT 0.338 0.191 39.3% 6.8% 19.1% 40.0% 2B $3,800 2B $4,700 N/A N/A
5 Eugenio Suarez RIGHT 0.369 0.231 46.3% 9.0% 24.5% 38.6% 3B $3,800 3B $4,100 N/A N/A
6 Mason Williams LEFT 0.290 0.131 47.0% 4.4% 22.2% 49.2% OF $2,500 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
7 Tucker Barnhart SWITCH 0.329 0.126 39.0% 10.3% 14.8% 41.5% C $2,200 C $3,100 N/A N/A
8 Michael Lorenzen RIGHT 0.342 0.556 38.5% 0.0% 31.6% 36.4% P $5,500 P $6,400 N/A N/A
9 Billy Hamilton SWITCH 0.246 0.076 17.6% 8.0% 22.3% 40.4% OF $2,200 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.335 0.200 37.6% 8.1% 20.7% 40.7%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysEugenio Suarez, Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, Jose Peraza, Billy Hamilton

StackabilityORANGE / RED

Miami

Michael Lorenzen has conceded a .346 wOBA to left-handed hitters this season. The problem once again is that the Marlins have very few hitters that stand out as viable options. Derek Dietrich is serviceable, while J.T. Riddle could be in play if he draws a decent lineup spot. Lewis Brinson isn’t a lefty, but he’s so cheap that I think you can try him as a punt in the outfield if you need the savings. J.T. Realmuto is fine, but I have a hard time spending up at catcher, especially in this ballpark.

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 JT Riddle LEFT 0.318 0.171 32.2% 7.6% 18.6% 46.5% SS $2,300 SS $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Starlin Castro RIGHT 0.322 0.118 35.1% 6.4% 19.7% 49.6% 2B $2,900 2B $3,900 N/A N/A
3 J.T. Realmuto RIGHT 0.374 0.226 38.9% 7.3% 18.4% 41.4% C $3,200 C $4,600 N/A N/A
4 Peter O’Brien RIGHT 0.361 0.294 40.0% 5.3% 42.1% 30.0% 1B $2,600 1B $3,800 N/A N/A
5 Derek Dietrich LEFT 0.326 0.149 36.9% 6.5% 23.8% 39.4% 1B $2,800 1B/OF $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Brian Anderson RIGHT 0.341 0.116 37.0% 7.8% 18.5% 53.6% 3B $2,400 3B/OF $4,000 N/A N/A
7 Rafael Ortega LEFT 0.302 0.040 32.9% 6.5% 14.0% 45.2% OF $2,200 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Magneuris Sierra LEFT 0.167 0.010 19.7% 1.9% 24.3% 50.8% OF $2,200 OF $3,100 N/A N/A
9 Trevor Richards RIGHT 0.040 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 47.8% 100.0% P $6,100 P $5,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.283 0.125 30.3% 5.5% 25.2% 50.7%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysLewis Brinson, Derek Dietrich, J.T. Realmuto, J.T. Riddle

StackabilityRED


Kansas City at Detroit – 1:10 PM ET

Kansas City Detroit
Brad Keller Daniel Norris
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
DET -105 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.327 0.344 30.1% 0.65 16.6% 51.5% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.342 0.326 30.0% 1.42 24.1% 42.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.262 0.288 32.7% 0.37 16.4% 56.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.334 0.387 44.4% 1.96 27.2% 22.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Brad Keller
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,900 Salary: $7,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 10 of 30 Salary Rank: 14 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 18 4.50 3.04 16.5% 8.7% 54.4% 31.6% 18.6% 94.0 8.7%
L14 2 3.56 1.29 18.3% 5.0% 60.0% 17.4% 23.9% 94.2 11.1%

Brad Keller doesn’t strike anybody out. Instead, he relies on generating soft-hit ground balls. His soft contact rate nearing 20% is decent, while his ground ball rate north of 54% is excellent. Keller gets a negative park shift going into Detroit, but we know the Tigers offense on the other side isn’t daunting in the least. Keller has gotten solid results this season, but I have a hard time stomaching this kind of price tag for a guy whose strikeout rate is under 17%. I’d be fine with him if he were about $2,000 cheaper, but at this price point I think you can feel good about pulling the fade.

Quick Breakdown: Keller’s lack of strikeout upside has me off of him at this price point.

Daniel Norris
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,200 Salary: $5,500 Salary:
Salary Rank: 24 of 30 Salary Rank: 24 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 18 4.94 5.31 18.7% 9.6% 38.8% 41.7% 16.3% 93.2 9.2%
2018 5 3.87 6.14 26.5% 9.1% 26.8% 41.0% 18.1% 90.0 11.2%
L14 2 4.56 7.45 22.7% 4.6% 9.7% 38.7% 25.8% 90.9 9.5%

Of the two pitchers in this game I think Daniel Norris carries more appeal. The lefty has missed most of the season due to injury, but he does boast a 25.6% K-rate in his limited duty. His 3.99 SIERA is also a whole lot more favorable than his hefty 5.71 ERA to this point. His walks (9.6%) and hard contact (41.4%) are red flags, but Norris does get the benefit of facing the Royals this afternoon. KC is one of the weaker offenses in the league and they’ve added more strikeout-prone hitters to the lineup as the season has progressed. Norris is also still priced at a huge discount given his skill set, so he’s right there with Trevor Richards and Erick Fedde as viable punt options here.

Quick Breakdown: Norris looks like a great way to save some cash with your SP2.

Batter Grind Down

Kansas City

Norris has allowed a .346 wOBA in his career to lefties compared to a .332 mark against righties. The Royals do get a park upgrade today, and it’s not like Norris is immune to a rough outing. I’m not jumping all over myself to roster some KC bats in this spot, but Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez are solid options at their respective positions. Perez is an affordable catcher with pop while Merrifield has been bringing tons of stolen base upside to the table. Otherwise, I’m fine ignoring the KC side of this game.

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 Whit Merrifield RIGHT 0.384 0.176 39.4% 7.1% 15.3% 30.5% 2B $3,600 2B/OF $4,800 N/A N/A
2 Adalberto Mondesi RIGHT 0.362 0.197 48.2% 2.7% 20.3% 41.8% SS $3,600 2B/SS $4,900 N/A N/A
3 Alex Gordon LEFT 0.296 0.031 35.1% 10.1% 22.8% 48.5% OF $2,800 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
4 Ryan O’Hearn LEFT 0.193 0.094 18.8% 11.1% 44.4% 62.5% 1B $3,500 1B $4,100 N/A N/A
5 Rosell Herrera SWITCH 0.265 0.049 40.9% 6.6% 19.8% 55.4% OF $2,300 2B/OF $3,200 N/A N/A
6 Brian Goodwin LEFT 0.260 0.000 25.0% 12.5% 41.7% 14.3% OF $2,200 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
7 Alcides Escobar RIGHT 0.297 0.106 28.4% 5.2% 17.0% 46.0% 3B $2,200 3B/SS $3,000 N/A N/A
8 Brett Phillips LEFT 0.206 0.029 20.0% 7.7% 38.5% 65.0% OF $2,000 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
9 Cam Gallagher RIGHT 0.361 0.077 33.3% 13.3% 26.7% 11.1% C $2,100 C $2,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.292 0.084 32.1% 8.5% 27.4% 41.7%

Elite PlaysWhit Merrifield

Secondary PlaysSalvador Perez

StackabilityORANGE

Detroit

Brad Keller and his ground ball ways can make him a frustrating pitcher to try and stack against. This is also the Tigers’ offense we’re talking about, so there isn’t much that jumps off the page here to begin with. You can always make a case for Nick Castellanos, while Niko Goodrum is cheap enough to warrant consideration as a lefty against Keller. Victor Martinez is also incredibly cheap, but there’s a reason for that. As is the case with the Royals, I’m not crazy about the 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 0.289 0.170 33.7% 11.6% 26.4% 38.4% 3B $3,300 3B $3,800 N/A N/A
2 Christin Stewart LEFT 0.237 0.045 31.3% 8.3% 25.0% 43.8% OF $2,800 OF $3,800 N/A N/A
3 Nick Castellanos RIGHT 0.382 0.191 47.7% 7.0% 23.8% 34.1% OF $3,600 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
4 Niko Goodrum SWITCH 0.314 0.229 39.0% 8.4% 30.7% 38.7% 2B $2,800 2B/OF $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Mikie Mahtook RIGHT 0.291 0.179 24.7% 7.6% 28.7% 43.8% OF $2,300 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Jim Adduci LEFT 0.293 0.159 35.6% 3.6% 22.1% 45.1% 1B $2,500 1B $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Grayson Greiner RIGHT 0.328 0.075 34.1% 11.7% 31.2% 43.2% C $2,000 C $2,900 N/A N/A
8 Dawel Lugo RIGHT 0.269 0.083 34.2% 5.9% 13.7% 70.7% 2B $2,000 2B $3,300 N/A N/A
9 JaCoby Jones RIGHT 0.295 0.175 32.5% 4.1% 32.2% 41.3% OF $2,400 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.300 0.145 34.8% 7.6% 26.0% 44.3%

Elite PlaysNick Castellanos

Secondary PlaysNiko Goodrum, Victor Martinez

StackabilityORANGE


Milwaukee at Pittsburgh – 1:35 PM ET

Milwaukee Pittsburgh
Wade Miley Nick Kingham
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
MIL -109 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.284 0.381 44.4% 0.00 12.2% 42.6% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.352 0.349 34.6% 2.16 15.8% 40.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.274 0.281 35.4% 0.52 17.1% 56.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.301 0.321 35.2% 1.67 25.5% 40.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Wade Miley
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $6,700 Salary:
Salary Rank: 13 of 30 Salary Rank: 21 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 32 5.07 5.61 19.5% 12.8% 50.3% 32.5% 16.6% 91.0 8.1%
2018 13 4.68 2.23 15.8% 8.8% 52.7% 37.7% 20.3% 90.9 9.5%
L14 2 3.67 2.45 13.6% 6.8% 71.9% 20.6% 23.5% 90.3 11.3%

Wade Miley has a 2.08 ERA this season, but there is essentially nothing about his underlying numbers to suggest that this is going to last forever. The lefty has a 4.59 SIERA. It’s pretty rare to see a SIERA about 2 1/2 runs higher than an ERA, but here we are. Miley additionally has a low strikeout rate of 15.4% and he’s allowed hard hits at a 38.7% clip on the year. His ground ball numbers are pretty decent, though, and he has allowed just 3 homers in 14 starts. While he gets a nice positive park shift going into PNC, I think there are enough affordable pitchers in better spots to where you don’t need to seriously give Miley consideration.

Quick Breakdown: Miley and his flukey ERA makes for an easy fade.

Nick Kingham
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,000 Salary: $7,300 Salary:
Salary Rank: 20 of 30 Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 13 4.21 4.69 20.9% 6.8% 40.0% 34.9% 17.4% 92.3 11.0%
L14 0 6.44 4.50 20.0% 20.0% 16.7% 33.3% 16.7% 91.3 7.7%

This will be the first start for Nick Kingham since September 2 after pitching out of the bullpen in his most recent outing. The rookie carries a 20.9% strikeout rate into his start today along with a decent 4.21 SIERA. The right-hander has already allowed 15 homers in 16 games, and the Milwaukee offense on the other side of this matchup is a good one. Kingham is also a smidge too expensive for my liking. I might consider him on another slate, but there are plenty of better options in my eyes today.

Quick Breakdown: I’ll pass on Kingham against the Brew Crew.

Batter Grind Down

Milwaukee

Kingham has yielded a .352 wOBA with 8 home runs allowed to left-handed hitters on the season. I’d obviously much prefer the Brewers if they were facing him at Miller Park, but some of the LHBs are viable, even in Pittsburgh. Christian Yelich is the best of the bunch, but he’s also super expensive. Mike Moustakas and Travis Shaw are more affordable, but they’re not necessarily priorities. Curtis Granderson is a little pricey and he comes with plenty of pinch-hit risk. Kingham hasn’t been lights-out against righties, but PNC is one of the worst parks in the league for righty power. I think you can give a Brewers stack a shot in GPPs considering all the talent they have, but they’ll probably miss the cut for me in cash games.

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 Curtis Granderson LEFT 0.360 0.209 37.3% 13.0% 25.5% 31.3% OF $3,500 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
2 Christian Yelich LEFT 0.422 0.257 48.4% 9.6% 22.1% 50.7% OF $5,000 OF $5,800 N/A N/A
3 Lorenzo Cain RIGHT 0.329 0.098 36.2% 11.5% 16.9% 59.8% OF $3,400 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Travis Shaw LEFT 0.398 0.291 42.3% 13.4% 17.9% 32.3% 2B $4,000 2B/3B $4,400 N/A N/A
5 Jesus Aguilar RIGHT 0.384 0.275 45.7% 9.8% 25.7% 31.6% 1B $4,000 1B $4,500 N/A N/A
6 Mike Moustakas LEFT 0.363 0.239 44.0% 9.0% 17.3% 29.8% 3B $3,700 3B $4,200 N/A N/A
7 Erik Kratz RIGHT 0.295 0.120 48.0% 2.3% 19.5% 42.4% C $2,100 C $3,100 N/A N/A
8 Orlando Arcia RIGHT 0.235 0.073 26.6% 4.0% 27.1% 53.9% SS $2,300 SS $3,000 N/A N/A
9 Wade Miley LEFT 0.125 0.000 20.0% 0.0% 37.5% 75.0% P $7,500 P $6,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.323 0.174 38.7% 8.1% 23.3% 45.2%

Elite PlaysChristian Yelich, Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas

Secondary PlaysJesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

Pittsburgh

I don’t think Wade Miley is a gas can, but he’s also pretty clearly gotten lucky for most of the season. The lefty has allowed a .336 wOBA to righties in his career, but again, PNC Park is bad for RHBs. I do have a little interest in Starling Marte now that his price tag has come down a bit, while Jose Osuna and Francisco Cervelli are viable values. I’d still rather play these guys as individuals rather than as a part of a Pirates stack.

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 Pablo Reyes RIGHT 0.617 0.600 40.0% 37.5% 0.0% 20.0% OF $2,400 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Starling Marte RIGHT 0.357 0.192 35.4% 6.6% 21.9% 55.3% OF $3,700 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
3 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.308 0.161 30.3% 11.8% 22.8% 42.7% 1B $3,200 1B $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Francisco Cervelli RIGHT 0.369 0.127 34.6% 17.8% 22.2% 36.5% C $3,000 C $3,700 N/A N/A
5 Jordan Luplow RIGHT 0.349 0.222 13.6% 12.9% 16.1% 36.4% OF $2,600 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
6 Jose Osuna RIGHT 0.348 0.244 33.3% 4.5% 20.5% 42.4% OF $2,000 1B/OF $3,100 N/A N/A
7 Josh Harrison RIGHT 0.337 0.191 38.6% 6.3% 19.8% 37.1% 2B $2,100 2B $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Jordy Mercer RIGHT 0.351 0.121 32.9% 7.3% 13.6% 35.3% SS $2,200 SS $2,900 N/A N/A
9 Joe Musgrove RIGHT 0.191 0.111 12.5% 0.0% 20.0% 42.9% P $8,500 P $8,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.359 0.219 30.1% 11.6% 17.4% 38.7%

Elite PlaysStarling Marte

Secondary PlaysFrancisco Cervelli, Jose Osuna

StackabilityORANGE


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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