MLB Grind Down: Sunday, September 9th

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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


Cleveland at Toronto – 1:07 PM ET

Cleveland Toronto
Mike Clevinger Thomas Pannone
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CLE -155 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.322 0.331 35.4% 1.00 21.2% 37.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.381 0.307 25.0% 0.00 30.8% 28.6%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.271 0.272 36.1% 0.81 28.2% 42.8% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.287 0.335 27.5% 1.50 10.2% 30.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Mike Clevinger
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $10,100 Salary: $11,800 Salary:
Salary Rank: 2 of 29 Salary Rank: 2 of 29 Salary Rank:
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 27 3.91 3.17 24.7% 8.1% 39.8% 35.8% 17.7% 93.5 11.7%
L14 3 2.85 1.45 32.4% 5.4% 34.8% 37.0% 17.4% 94.1 14.2%

Mike Clevinger has pitched pretty well this season, as evidenced by his 25.4% K-rate and 3.83 SIERA. Control has been a problem for him in the past, but this year he’s slashed his walk rate to 7.9% after it was at 12% last year. His fly ball lean will lead to some homers (18 conceded in 28 starts), and today he’ll be facing a Jays lineup with good power. Clevinger is a solid pivot off of what figures to be a chalkier Jacob deGrom. Given the shallow pitching slate we have today, he’s viable.

Quick Breakdown: Clevinger makes for a fine pivot off of deGrom in GPPs.

Thomas Pannone
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,700 Salary: $5,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 24 of 29 Salary Rank: 21 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 2 5.19 5.52 14.5% 6.5% 30.4% 27.1% 16.7% 88.5 10.4%
L14 2 6.30 5.40 8.2% 6.1% 27.5% 26.8% 14.6% 88.4 9.8%

Thomas Pannone has pitched in 8 games for Toronto this season, including 2 starts. One start was great, the other, not so much. The lefty flashed good strikeout stuff in the minors, but he comes with all sorts of risk today facing the potent Indians offense. The pitching options today are gross, but not gross enough for me to seriously consider Pannone in this matchup. 

Quick Breakdown: Pannone is a pitcher to avoid today. 

Batter Grind Down

Cleveland

We don’t have much of a sample size when it comes to Pannone at the major league level, but the southpaw is an extreme fly ball pitcher that got blasted by the lowly Orioles in his last start. Pannone is a prospect, but I expect the Indians to get to him today. All of the usual suspects are in play. That means Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion are your top plays, while Michael Brantley is still viable lefty-on-lefty. Yan Gomes and Brandon Guyer are solid values, as well. 

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 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.405 0.200 42.4% 11.6% 11.6% 45.3% SS $4,800 SS $5,300 N/A N/A
2 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.323 0.098 26.1% 3.8% 9.2% 51.4% OF $4,000 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.356 0.210 38.7% 7.3% 9.3% 37.4% 3B $4,700 3B $5,000 N/A N/A
4 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.386 0.170 46.8% 16.7% 19.2% 29.9% 1B $3,800 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Yonder Alonso LEFT 0.317 0.138 30.8% 6.8% 27.1% 33.3% 1B $3,700 1B $3,400 N/A N/A
6 Melky Cabrera SWITCH 0.361 0.233 50.0% 4.3% 23.9% 34.4% OF $3,600 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Jason Kipnis LEFT 0.295 0.140 31.8% 10.2% 21.1% 29.9% 2B $3,400 2B $3,800 N/A N/A
8 Roberto Perez RIGHT 0.280 0.040 46.7% 13.3% 36.7% 64.3% C $2,000 C $2,700 N/A N/A
9 Greg Allen SWITCH 0.225 0.000 26.1% 0.0% 37.8% 47.6% OF $2,900 OF $3,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.328 0.137 37.7% 8.2% 21.8% 41.5%

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

Secondary PlaysYan Gomes, Brandon Guyer, Melky Cabrera

StackabilityGREEN

Toronto

With so many worse pitchers taking the bump today I don’t really see the need to pick on Clevinger. The right-hander has been a bit more hittable against lefties, so I don’t hate the thought of a potentially low-owned Justin Smoak or Billy McKinney on the Toronto side of things. That Rowdy Tellez fella is also worth a look in tournaments. 

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 Billy McKinney LEFT 0.469 0.361 55.6% 11.6% 23.3% 33.3% OF $3,300 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
2 Lourdes Gurriel RIGHT 0.343 0.174 33.0% 2.4% 22.2% 40.4% 2B $3,000 2B/SS $3,300 N/A N/A
3 Kendrys Morales SWITCH 0.448 0.250 45.6% 12.2% 19.4% 44.5% 1B $3,600 1B $3,600 N/A N/A
4 Randal Grichuk RIGHT 0.351 0.270 35.2% 6.3% 22.7% 35.8% OF $3,100 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Rowdy Tellez LEFT 1B $2,500 1B $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Kevin Pillar RIGHT 0.337 0.172 33.7% 3.7% 19.3% 35.9% OF $2,500 OF $3,300 N/A N/A
7 Danny Jansen RIGHT 0.291 0.219 24.1% 7.9% 10.5% 31.0% C $2,300 C $3,300 N/A N/A
8 Richard Urena SWITCH 0.301 0.079 55.6% 9.3% 27.9% 30.8% SS $2,100 2B/SS $2,900 N/A N/A
9 Aledmys Diaz RIGHT 0.347 0.181 33.9% 3.3% 12.8% 41.9% SS $3,100 SS $3,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.361 0.213 39.6% 7.1% 19.8% 36.7%

Elite PlaysJustin Smoak, Billy McKinney

Secondary PlaysRowdy Tellez

StackabilityORANGE / RED


Baltimore at Tampa Bay – 1:10 PM ET

Baltimore Tampa Bay
Josh Rogers **
LEFT **
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) 0.000 0.075 0.0% 0.00 0.0% 50.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.000 25.0% 0.00 0.0% 25.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.380 0.342 44.4% 2.08 9.5% 33.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.318 33.3% 0.00 30.0% 66.7%

Pitcher Grind Down

Josh Rogers
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,700 Salary: $6,700 Salary:
Salary Rank: 24 of 29 Salary Rank: 13 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 1 5.72 5.40 8.7% 4.4% 35.0% 40.0% 15.0% 90.1 5.9%
L14 1 5.72 5.40 8.7% 4.4% 35.0% 40.0% 15.0% 90.1 5.9%

Josh Rogers is a rookie left-hander making his third big league start. He hasn’t shown a ton of strikeout ability in the minors and he looks like more of a fly ball guy than a ground ball guy. The Trop is a nice place to pitch, but the matchup with the Rays isn’t as easy as it looks. I see no reason to play Rogers today. 

Quick Breakdown: Rogers is one of the easiest fades on the slate.

#VALUE!
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $6,200 Salary: $0
Salary Rank: of 29 Salary Rank: of 29 Salary Rank: of 29
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 0 8.34 0.00 0.0% 16.7% 25.0% 25.0% 0.0% 83.3 3.9%
2018 0 9.05 0.00 16.7% 33.3% 66.7% 66.7% 0.0% 94.4 9.1%
L14 0 9.05 0.00 16.7% 33.3% 66.7% 66.7% 0.0% 94.4 9.1%

Ryne Stanek will open this game for Tampa, but it sounds like Yonny Chirinos will get the majority of the innings. Chirinos has put up decent numbers this season, but nothing crazy. He has a 19.2% strikeout rate and a SIERA of 4.17. The hard contact rate over 41% is also concerning, but he keeps the ball on the ground decently well and he’s only been taken deep 6 times in 14 outings. As was the case yesterday with Ryan Yarbrough, I think you can give Chirinos a hard look today against the watered-down Orioles lineup. I like it more for GPPs than cash, but it’s tempting.

Quick Breakdown: Fade Stanek, consider Chirinos in GPPs.

Batter Grind Down

Baltimore

I haven’t been targeting the Rays with their opener situation all year, and I don’t plan on starting today with the Orioles. Aside from the savings you can get with Chris Davis, I have essentially zero interest in Baltimore.

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 0.300 0.283 28.6% 8.5% 8.5% 58.7% OF $2,700 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
2 Joey Rickard RIGHT 0.320 0.191 34.6% 7.8% 15.5% 34.6% OF $2,200 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
3 Jonathan Villar SWITCH 0.275 0.095 29.3% 7.9% 26.3% 59.4% 2B $3,400 2B $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.380 0.197 39.1% 7.6% 23.5% 49.0% OF $2,800 1B/OF $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Chris Davis LEFT 0.297 0.134 35.0% 8.5% 35.9% 40.2% 1B $2,100 1B $3,000 N/A N/A
6 Tim Beckham RIGHT 0.299 0.132 31.8% 5.3% 24.7% 47.6% SS $2,300 3B/SS $3,500 N/A N/A
7 Chance Sisco LEFT 0.287 0.080 32.9% 6.9% 35.2% 46.9% C $2,000 C $2,800 N/A N/A
8 Renato Nunez RIGHT 0.304 0.147 29.1% 9.0% 24.6% 43.6% 3B $2,300 3B $3,300 N/A N/A
9 John Andreoli RIGHT 0.282 0.048 29.4% 12.0% 20.0% 52.9% OF $2,000 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.305 0.145 32.2% 8.2% 23.8% 48.1%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysChris Davis

StackabilityRED

Tampa Bay

Josh Rogers is a mediocre lefty, so I don’t mind taking a shot on some of the Rays right-handed hitters despite the bad park for hitting. Someone like Matt Duffy, C.J. Cron or Tommy Pham makes sense here. I’d reserve the lefties like Kevin Kiermaier and Jake Bauers for tournaments, but I think the Rays once again make for something of a sneaky stack. They’re not all that cheap but if you can afford them I like them, especially in tournaments 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 Mallex Smith LEFT 0.317 0.079 25.5% 8.2% 20.5% 52.2% OF $3,300 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
2 Joey Wendle LEFT 0.269 0.115 36.2% 7.4% 23.5% 46.8% 2B $3,200 2B $4,400 N/A N/A
3 Tommy Pham RIGHT 0.463 0.122 52.2% 14.7% 19.3% 49.3% OF $3,400 OF $4,700 N/A N/A
4 Ji-Man Choi LEFT 0.210 0.000 37.5% 6.7% 33.3% 75.0% 1B $3,200 1B $4,100 N/A N/A
5 Kevin Kiermaier LEFT 0.223 0.147 18.0% 7.3% 31.7% 50.0% OF $2,600 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
6 Willy Adames RIGHT 0.295 0.130 45.5% 8.3% 36.7% 51.5% SS $2,900 SS $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Jake Bauers LEFT 0.290 0.167 40.0% 13.2% 27.6% 48.9% 1B $2,500 1B/OF $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Brandon Lowe LEFT 0.354 0.000 0.0% 22.2% 22.2% 60.0% OF $2,900 2B/OF $3,700 N/A N/A
9 Nick Ciuffo LEFT C $2,000 C $3,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.303 0.095 31.9% 11.0% 26.9% 54.2%

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

Secondary PlaysKevin Kiermaier, Mallex Smith, Jake Bauers

StackabilityYELLOW


Philadelphia at NY Mets – 1:10 PM ET

Philadelphia NY Mets
Vince Velasquez Jacob deGrom
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYM -170 7.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.339 0.322 33.9% 1.56 24.1% 39.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.276 0.272 24.5% 0.50 29.3% 43.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.273 0.285 31.5% 0.41 28.3% 37.8% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.206 0.242 32.1% 0.29 33.7% 47.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Vince Velasquez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,500 Salary: $8,300 Salary:
Salary Rank: 16 of 29 Salary Rank: 6 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 15 4.73 5.13 21.6% 10.8% 42.5% 38.1% 15.2% 93.9 9.1%
2018 25 3.96 4.05 26.2% 9.8% 38.6% 32.8% 15.8% 93.9 11.4%
L14 2 4.52 3.00 24.3% 10.8% 25.0% 33.3% 4.2% 93.4 8.5%

Vince Velasquez has taken a step forward this season, but he’s still had his fair share of ups and downs. The right-hander has a solid strikeout rate of 26.3%, but his 9.3% walk rate is a tad bloated. He also doesn’t come with a long leash, as he hasn’t thrown more than 85 pitches in a game since late-July. The park upgrade going into Citi Field for a matchup with the Mets is nice, and Velasquez isn’t too expensive. I’m worried about how deep into the game he can go, but a guy with his kind of strikeout upside is always in play. I like it more for GPPs than cash games on this slate.

Quick Breakdown: Velasquez is an elite GPP play today.

Jacob deGrom
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,800 Salary: $13,500 Salary:
Salary Rank: 1 of 29 Salary Rank: 1 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 31 3.44 3.53 28.9% 7.1% 45.3% 31.9% 21.3% 95.2 13.3%
2018 27 2.87 1.68 31.5% 5.8% 45.3% 28.1% 24.2% 95.8 15.1%
L14 2 2.72 1.29 35.1% 8.8% 54.8% 28.1% 21.9% 96.9 17.5%

Jacob deGrom is priced well over $13,000 on DraftKings today, but there’s a reason for that. He’s the best pitcher on this slate by miles, and the matchup today against the Phillies is great. DeGrom has been otherworldly this season. He has a strikeout rate north of 31% and his 2.90 SIERA is one of the best marks in the league among starters. His soft contact rate (24.7%) is almost as high as his hard contact rate (28%) and he faces a Phillies lineup with the third-highest K-rate in the league against righties on the year. The price tag makes things difficult, but he’s easily the top option on the slate.

Quick Breakdown: DeGrom is super pricey, but it’s warranted.

Batter Grind Down

Philadelphia

There’s no reason to bother with Phillies against deGrom on a full 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 Carlos Santana SWITCH 0.366 0.178 34.7% 18.2% 16.2% 38.9% 1B $2,800 1B $3,600 N/A N/A
2 Justin Bour LEFT 0.379 0.235 42.1% 15.7% 24.3% 40.4% 1B $2,900 1B $3,200 N/A N/A
3 Wilson Ramos RIGHT 0.361 0.180 42.4% 7.9% 19.4% 54.3% C $2,500 C $3,600 N/A N/A
4 Rhys Hoskins RIGHT 0.374 0.272 37.3% 11.4% 24.3% 29.6% OF $3,100 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
5 Asdrubal Cabrera SWITCH 0.354 0.233 42.5% 7.0% 22.1% 38.8% SS $2,800 2B/SS $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Nick Williams LEFT 0.379 0.207 33.2% 8.0% 21.9% 42.6% OF $2,300 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Cesar Hernandez SWITCH 0.312 0.118 23.1% 14.1% 22.5% 41.6% 2B $2,400 2B $3,300 N/A N/A
8 Odubel Herrera LEFT 0.306 0.193 26.0% 7.4% 19.9% 39.7% OF $2,200 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
9 Zach Eflin RIGHT 0.109 0.097 18.8% 0.0% 54.3% 81.8% P $7,600 P $7,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.327 0.190 33.3% 10.0% 25.0% 45.3%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED

NY Mets

Vince Velasquez has pitched well this season, but he’s also allowed a .344 wOBA on the season to left-handed hitters. The Mets don’t have much in terms of capable bats, but they do have some solid lefties. As was the case yesterday against Zach Eflin, I think the 4-man Mets stack of Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil is intriguing in GPPs. There are better offenses to target in cash games, however. 

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 0.117 27.5% 5.1% 19.7% 50.2% SS $3,000 SS $3,800 N/A N/A
2 Jeff McNeil LEFT 0.334 0.149 32.9% 5.7% 10.5% 39.0% 2B $3,500 2B $3,700 N/A N/A
3 Michael Conforto LEFT 0.338 0.157 37.8% 15.9% 23.4% 39.2% OF $3,000 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Jay Bruce LEFT 0.366 0.122 34.4% 11.4% 18.9% 30.5% OF $2,300 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
5 Todd Frazier RIGHT 0.342 0.211 44.8% 8.8% 22.1% 35.0% 3B $2,700 3B $3,900 N/A N/A
6 Brandon Nimmo LEFT 0.373 0.258 38.7% 13.4% 25.9% 37.2% OF $3,500 OF $5,400 N/A N/A
7 Dominic Smith LEFT 0.255 0.162 39.5% 1.4% 35.7% 34.9% 1B $2,200 1B/OF $3,700 N/A N/A
8 Tomas Nido RIGHT 0.219 0.024 37.0% 4.5% 34.1% 48.1% C $2,000 C $3,000 N/A N/A
9 Noah Syndergaard RIGHT 0.167 0.037 18.2% 0.0% 60.7% 40.0% P $10,500 P $10,200 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.297 0.137 34.5% 7.4% 27.9% 39.3%

Elite PlaysMichael Conforto, Jay Bruce

Secondary PlaysBrandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil

StackabilityORANGE


St. Louis at Detroit – 1:10 PM ET

St. Louis Detroit
John Gant Michael Fulmer
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
STL -110 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.297 0.347 56.6% 1.16 18.8% 39.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.337 0.357 38.7% 1.65 18.8% 41.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.242 0.273 33.9% 0.20 21.6% 52.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.323 0.333 40.2% 0.65 20.8% 47.5%

Pitcher Grind Down

John Gant
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,100 Salary: $8,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 12 of 29 Salary Rank: 7 of 29 Salary Rank:
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 14 4.62 3.34 20.2% 10.6% 45.0% 46.1% 16.9% 93.2 11.2%
L14 3 5.38 1.59 18.1% 13.9% 46.8% 46.9% 12.2% 93.2 11.6%

John Gant has flashed about average strikeout stuff (19.8%) alongside a bloated 11.4% walk rate. His 3.19 ERA is passable, but his 4.79 SIERA is telling a different story. Gant has also surrendered hard hits at a scary 45.3% rate. He does get a negative league shift going into the AL today, but the Tigers aren’t a daunting opponent by any means. One issue is that Gant doesn’t pitch all that deep into games. I feel like playing Gant would be getting too cute on this slate.

Quick Breakdown: Gant isn’t the worst play, but I don’t see the upside.

Michael Fulmer
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,700 Salary: $7,600 Salary:
Salary Rank: 14 of 29 Salary Rank: 9 of 29 Salary Rank:
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 21 4.37 4.71 19.7% 7.7% 43.9% 39.4% 15.4% 95.8 10.5%
L14 2 4.23 7.56 19.4% 2.8% 25.0% 46.4% 21.4% 95.9 10.1%

Michael Fulmer seems to alternate good and bad starts. He fared well in his last outing against the White Sox, but today he gets a tougher matchup against the Cardinals. The right-hander has a middling 19.9% strikeout rate alongside an 8.1% walk rate. His 4.41 SIERA is also fairly pedestrian, and he has conceded hard hits at a 39.4% clip. I don’t think Fulmer is a gas can by any means, but I don’t see the need to take the risk with playing him against STL

Quick Breakdown: Fulmer is an easy fade in my eyes.

Batter Grind Down

St. Louis

Fulmer has yielded a .334 wOBA with 13 homers allowed against left-handed hitters this season. Of course, other than Matt Carpenter, there aren’t many lefties here. As usual, Carpenter grades out as a strong option. Righties have still posted a .315 wOBA against him, so they’re not off limits by any means. Marcell Ozuna is a strong play, while Jose Martinez and Paul DeJong are decent secondary plays. Yadier Molina is also fine if he returns to the lineup. 

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 Matt Carpenter LEFT 0.436 0.304 49.4% 14.9% 22.8% 20.6% 3B $4,000 1B/3B $4,900 N/A N/A
2 Jose Martinez RIGHT 0.395 0.172 40.4% 8.1% 16.7% 48.1% OF $3,600 1B/OF $3,800 N/A N/A
3 Tyler O’Neill RIGHT 0.304 0.226 39.6% 4.3% 41.3% 29.2% OF $2,800 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
4 Marcell Ozuna RIGHT 0.351 0.119 45.2% 5.8% 17.7% 48.2% OF $3,200 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Paul DeJong RIGHT 0.358 0.207 38.6% 6.4% 25.5% 32.1% SS $3,200 SS $4,100 N/A N/A
6 Yairo Munoz RIGHT 0.282 0.098 37.6% 6.3% 21.6% 57.6% 2B $2,300 2B/SS $3,900 N/A N/A
7 Harrison Bader RIGHT 0.275 0.142 36.1% 7.1% 32.0% 44.3% OF $3,500 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Patrick Wisdom RIGHT 0.421 0.545 37.5% 15.4% 23.1% 37.5% 3B $2,100 1B/3B $3,900 N/A N/A
9 Francisco Pena RIGHT 0.225 0.060 26.2% 2.3% 26.4% 52.5% C $2,000 C $2,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.339 0.208 39.0% 7.8% 25.2% 41.1%

Elite PlaysMatt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna

Secondary PlaysJose Martinez, Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong

StackabilityORANGE

Detroit

I’m not much of a believer in John Gant, but I’m even less of a believer in the Tigers’ offense. Left-handed hitters have a collective 55.8% (!!!) hard contact rate against him this season, so I suppose you can look to some Detroit lefties if you need some savings. Jeimer Candelario stands out above the rest, while Jim Adduci and Niko Goodrum are potential secondary options. James McCann is also dirt cheap, so I don’t hate him as a punt behind the plate. 

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 0.288 0.162 34.1% 11.3% 25.2% 37.9% 3B $3,200 3B $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Jim Adduci LEFT 0.298 0.152 38.1% 4.5% 19.8% 43.4% OF $2,500 1B $3,400 N/A N/A
3 Nick Castellanos RIGHT 0.384 0.187 48.1% 6.5% 23.5% 35.3% OF $3,400 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Victor Martinez SWITCH 0.338 0.092 38.2% 6.9% 9.0% 39.4% C $2,300 1B $3,200 N/A N/A
5 Niko Goodrum SWITCH 0.317 0.234 39.6% 8.4% 30.0% 39.6% 2B $3,000 2B/OF $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Mikie Mahtook RIGHT 0.293 0.167 25.6% 7.8% 29.5% 41.6% OF $2,200 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Grayson Greiner RIGHT 0.332 0.070 30.0% 12.1% 27.3% 45.0% C $2,100 C $2,900 N/A N/A
8 Dawel Lugo RIGHT 0.406 0.111 55.6% 0.0% 0.0% 55.6% 3B $2,200 2B $3,600 N/A N/A
9 Victor Reyes RIGHT 0.256 0.035 35.7% 2.8% 20.0% 50.0% OF $2,000 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.324 0.134 38.3% 6.7% 20.5% 43.1%

Elite PlaysJeimer Candelario, Niko Goodrum

Secondary PlaysJames McCann, Jim Adduci

Stackability – I’m not much of a believer in John Gant, but I’m even less of a believer in the Tigers’ offense. Left-handed hitters have a collective 55.8% (!!!) hard contact rate against him this season, so I suppose you can look to some Detroit lefties if you need some savings. Jeimer Candelario stands out above the rest, while Jim Adduci and Niko Goodrum are potential secondary options. James McCann is also dirt cheap, so I don’t hate him as a punt behind the plate. 


Chicago Cubs at Washington – 1:35 PM ET

Chicago Cubs Washington
Mike Montgomery Erick Fedde
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CHC -105 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.297 0.340 30.8% 0.59 18.8% 57.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.372 0.414 34.8% 1.29 13.3% 52.2%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.312 0.334 32.3% 0.61 13.6% 51.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.413 0.392 36.2% 1.93 18.0% 52.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Mike Montgomery
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,100 Salary: $6,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 20 of 29 Salary Rank: 14 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 14 4.46 3.38 18.5% 10.2% 57.8% 30.2% 20.7% 92.2 8.4%
2018 14 4.49 3.82 15.1% 7.4% 53.0% 31.9% 21.8% 91.6 9.5%
L14 1 2.84 8.31 27.3% 4.6% 57.1% 50.0% 7.1% 92.0 22.7%

Mike Montgomery has a middling 15.6% strikeout rate and his 4.49 SIERA is quite a bit more pedestrian than his 3.85 ERA. Monty is a guy that relies on ground balls (53.1% GBs) more than strikeouts. He also doesn’t pitch all that deep into games, and his matchup today with the Nationals is far from ideal. He’s rarely a guy that warrants DFS consideration, and today is no different. 

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Montgomery against the Nats.

Erick Fedde
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,800 Salary: $5,200 Salary:
Salary Rank: 23 of 29 Salary Rank: 18 of 29 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 3 4.45 9.39 19.7% 10.5% 61.7% 34.6% 15.4% 92.9 5.7%
2018 6 4.41 5.79 15.7% 7.4% 52.2% 35.5% 16.1% 94.3 7.9%

Fedde has an ERA of 6.00 in 7 big league starts this season, but his 4.22 ERA is much more favorable. His 18.3% K-rate is nothing special, but he’s kept the ball on the ground at a clip nearing 52%. Facing the Cubs today is tough, but Fedde is cheap enough to where he can realistically pay off his price tag. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole in cash games, but he’s a serviceable punt if you want some serious savings with your SP2. 

Quick Breakdown: Fedde is an easy fade in all formats, unless you want to go YOLO with SP2 in GPPs. 

Batter Grind Down

Chicago Cubs

Fedde has only thrown 48.1 big league innings in his career, but he’s been quite hittable along the way. His numbers against righties have been particularly brutal, so Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras are all in play. The lefties are also in a good spot, so Anthony Rizzo, Daniel Murphy, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ are viable. The Cubs are one of the top stacking options on the slate, but it isn’t easy to afford them if you pay up for pitching.

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 0.389 0.181 27.8% 6.3% 8.4% 34.6% 2B $3,900 1B/2B $4,600 N/A N/A
2 Tommy La Stella LEFT 0.347 0.068 34.8% 7.5% 12.2% 48.7% 3B $2,000 2B/3B $3,100 N/A N/A
3 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.404 0.224 35.7% 12.1% 9.9% 37.5% 1B $4,100 1B $5,100 N/A N/A
4 Ben Zobrist SWITCH 0.362 0.177 35.4% 12.8% 13.4% 44.5% OF $3,200 2B/OF $4,500 N/A N/A
5 Albert Almora RIGHT 0.261 0.095 28.6% 5.1% 20.1% 51.0% OF $2,100 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
6 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.298 0.138 29.1% 7.9% 20.9% 53.2% C $2,600 C $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Addison Russell RIGHT 0.285 0.085 30.4% 8.6% 22.9% 43.4% SS $2,000 SS $3,100 N/A N/A
8 Jaime Garcia LEFT 0.000 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% P $5,500 P $6,900 N/A N/A
9 Ian Happ SWITCH 0.354 0.197 41.3% 16.8% 35.4% 37.7% OF $2,700 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.300 0.129 29.2% 8.6% 27.0% 39.0%

Elite PlaysKris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Daniel Murphy

Secondary PlaysKyle Schwarber, Ian Happ

StackabilityGREEN

Washington

Mike Montgomery isn’t a fantasy-friendly pitcher, but he’s decent enough to where picking on him can be complicated. He tends to limit hard contact and keep the ball on the ground pretty well. Most Nationals are expensive to begin with, so if you want some Washington exposure I’d get it via the cheap bats. That means digging around the bargain bin for guys like Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor. Victor Robles and Wilmer Difo could also be in play as punts.

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 Trea Turner RIGHT 0.375 0.143 36.4% 10.3% 12.2% 40.3% SS $3,900 SS $4,600 N/A N/A
2 Anthony Rendon RIGHT 0.468 0.238 47.6% 10.5% 17.5% 20.7% 3B $4,100 3B $4,700 N/A N/A
3 Bryce Harper LEFT 0.382 0.204 40.0% 16.6% 25.1% 45.0% OF $4,400 OF $5,000 N/A N/A
4 Mark Reynolds RIGHT 0.325 0.145 36.8% 10.9% 29.7% 50.0% 1B $3,100 1B/3B $4,500 N/A N/A
5 Juan Soto LEFT 0.354 0.241 36.7% 10.8% 24.7% 61.0% OF $3,900 OF $4,800 N/A N/A
6 Victor Robles RIGHT OF $2,000 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Matt Wieters SWITCH 0.397 0.086 41.7% 18.6% 25.6% 25.0% C $2,100 C $3,000 N/A N/A
8 Adrian Sanchez RIGHT 0.233 0.077 18.2% 0.0% 15.4% 63.6% SS $2,000 3B $2,800 N/A N/A
9 Max Scherzer RIGHT 0.300 0.000 16.7% 6.7% 13.3% 54.5% P $11,700 P $12,500 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.354 0.142 34.3% 10.6% 20.4% 45.0%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysMatt Wieters, Victor Robles, Michael Taylor, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Wilmer Difo, Trea Turner

StackabilityYELLOW / ORANGE


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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