MLB Grind Down: Thursday, August 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


Atlanta at Washington – 1:05 PM ET

Atlanta Washington
Anibal Sanchez Gio Gonzalez
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
WAS -146 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.279 0.309 31.1% 1.13 25.3% 45.7% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.233 0.245 24.1% 0.37 30.4% 46.6%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.281 0.272 25.8% 1.02 23.8% 39.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.335 0.339 31.7% 0.90 18.5% 50.9%

Pitcher Grind Down

Anibal Sanchez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,800 Salary: $8,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 6 of 17 Salary Rank: 7 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 17 4.16 6.41 21.6% 6.0% 35.6% 37.4% 16.8% 90.8 9.8%
2018 14 3.86 2.89 24.6% 7.7% 42.3% 28.3% 24.8% 90.7 9.8%
L14 2 3.51 3.65 26.5% 8.2% 51.6% 28.1% 34.4% 90.8 11.2%

We have a three-game early slate on tap today with plenty of pitching options. Sanchez has really pitched well for the Braves, posting a 3.86 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 25% this season. He’s one of the only pitchers on the mound today that has a soft contact rate that is nearly as high as his hard contact rate. Unfortunately, he draws a difficult matchup on the road against a trending Nationals’ offense. Why take Sanchez against the Nationals when you can target Junior Guerra against the Padres at a cheaper price point?

Quick Breakdown: Sanchez is viable as an SP2 in tournaments, but I prefer other options.

Gio Gonzalez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $6,200 Salary:
Salary Rank: 9 of 17 Salary Rank: 10 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 32 4.41 2.96 22.7% 9.6% 45.8% 29.3% 21.7% 89.9 8.8%
2018 21 4.64 3.78 20.7% 11.5% 50.2% 30.4% 17.6% 89.6 9.3%
L14 2 5.94 4.26 16.7% 16.7% 51.4% 33.3% 13.9% 90.2 7.2%

Gonzalez isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, but he’s not one that I go out of my way to target in DFS. In 21 starts this season, he owns a 4.64 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 21% and a walk rate of 12%. His high walk rate and refusal to throw strikes out over the heart of the plate leads to a high pitch count. This is why we rarely see him pitch more than seven innings in any single outing. To make matters worse, he draws a difficult matchup against the Braves, who have seven batters in their lineup with at least a .320 xwOBA and at least a .170 ISO against southpaws this season.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Gonzalez in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Atlanta

The Braves are underdogs today, but the total for the game is set at 9.0 runs, which is high for this ballpark. They draw a decent matchup against Gio Gonzalez, who has allowed a .339 xwOBA and a 32% hard contact rate to batters from the right side of the plate. Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Kurt Suzuki, Adam Duvall, and Johan Camargo all bat from the right side and all have good power numbers against southpaws. Even though Freddie Freeman is left-handed, he has a good track record against Gonzalez in his career — 15-for-48 with four home runs and six doubles.

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 Ronald Acuna RIGHT 0.320 0.197 37.0% 9.3% 26.7% 50.0% OF $3,700 OF $4,500 N/A N/A
2 Ozzie Albies SWITCH 0.354 0.221 40.2% 3.6% 14.6% 40.5% 2B $4,000 2B $4,600 N/A N/A
3 Freddie Freeman LEFT 0.406 0.261 39.5% 8.2% 21.5% 39.4% 1B $4,100 1B $4,700 N/A N/A
4 Nick Markakis LEFT 0.326 0.172 38.0% 9.8% 15.3% 47.1% OF $3,500 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
5 Kurt Suzuki RIGHT 0.389 0.226 43.1% 8.7% 15.9% 39.2% C $2,700 C $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Adam Duvall RIGHT 0.369 0.207 46.9% 14.7% 22.5% 26.6% OF $2,700 OF $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Johan Camargo SWITCH 0.362 0.295 39.4% 6.4% 18.1% 42.3% 3B $3,100 3B/SS $3,900 N/A N/A
8 Dansby Swanson RIGHT 0.277 0.173 42.3% 8.5% 28.0% 39.2% SS $2,500 SS $3,100 N/A N/A
9 Anibal Sanchez RIGHT 0.000 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% P $8,800 P $8,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.311 0.195 36.3% 7.7% 29.2% 36.0%

Elite PlaysRonald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Kurt Suzuki (DK)

Secondary PlaysFreddie Freeman, Adam Duvall, Johan Camargo

StackabilityYELLOW

Washington

The Nationals have a difficult matchup on paper, as Anibal Sanchez has managed to hold both left and right-handed hitters under a .310 xwOBA and under a 32% hard contact rate this season. With that said, their offense has started to break out of its funk since the All-Star break. We know the talent is there, as six of the first seven batters in their lineup has a .375+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season.

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 0.394 0.112 41.3% 10.3% 13.3% 46.7% OF $2,900 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
2 Trea Turner RIGHT 0.326 0.155 32.2% 8.2% 20.8% 52.2% SS $3,800 SS $5,300 N/A N/A
3 Anthony Rendon RIGHT 0.381 0.211 37.8% 9.1% 14.9% 36.5% 3B $3,700 3B $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Bryce Harper LEFT 0.397 0.280 42.4% 18.8% 26.2% 36.4% OF $4,600 OF $5,200 N/A N/A
5 Juan Soto LEFT 0.379 0.229 34.6% 17.4% 17.9% 50.0% OF $3,900 OF $4,800 N/A N/A
6 Matt Adams LEFT 0.389 0.283 37.6% 9.3% 19.6% 32.2% 1B $2,800 1B/OF $4,400 N/A N/A
7 Daniel Murphy LEFT 0.386 0.167 19.4% 8.8% 8.8% 30.1% 2B $3,500 1B/2B $4,200 N/A N/A
8 Matt Wieters SWITCH 0.277 0.098 27.9% 9.5% 14.3% 39.7% C $2,600 C $3,100 N/A N/A
9 Gio Gonzalez LEFT 0.094 0.037 15.4% 0.0% 53.6% 60.0% P $7,500 P $6,200 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.336 0.175 32.1% 10.2% 21.0% 42.6%

Elite PlaysAdam Eaton, Juan Soto, Bryce Harper

Secondary PlaysTrea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Matt Adams, Daniel Murphy

StackabilityYELLOW


Minnesota at Cleveland – 1:10 PM ET

Minnesota Cleveland
Jose Berrios Corey Kluber
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CLE -210 7.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.278 0.307 34.9% 1.10 25.9% 37.2% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.264 0.279 34.4% 1.45 26.6% 43.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.289 0.302 31.7% 1.10 24.4% 44.1% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.267 0.311 37.0% 1.06 23.2% 45.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jose Berrios
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,800 Salary: $9,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 4 of 17 Salary Rank: 6 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.29 3.89 22.6% 7.8% 39.0% 27.9% 20.4% 93.5 9.4%
2018 22 3.61 3.56 25.2% 5.9% 40.7% 33.3% 20.4% 93.1 11.2%
L14 2 3.40 2.31 28.3% 7.6% 46.9% 21.2% 21.2% 93.5 9.6%

We have two elite pitchers on the mound today in Cleveland. In 22 starts this season, Berrios has a 3.61 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 25% and a walk rate of 5%. Even though I talked some of you off of him in his start against Toronto a few weeks back, it’s still worth pointing out that his splits on the road haven’t been nearly as good as his splits at home. His strikeout rate takes a big dip and he averages nearly ten fewer fantasy points per start. Add in a matchup against the Indians and he becomes an easy fade in all formats, even though his price is discounted.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Berrios in all formats.

Corey Kluber
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,200 Salary: $10,900 Salary:
Salary Rank: 2 of 17 Salary Rank: 2 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 29 2.68 2.25 34.1% 4.6% 44.5% 28.9% 24.4% 92.6 15.6%
2018 22 3.33 2.79 24.8% 3.4% 44.6% 35.8% 16.2% 92.1 11.3%
L14 2 4.76 3.18 14.3% 4.1% 41.0% 25.0% 17.5% 91.7 15.1%

Kluber had a couple of bad starts against the Yankees and Pirates, but bounced back nicely against the Tigers and Angels. On the season, he owns a 3.33 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 25% and a walk rate of 3%. He’s always pitched well at home and he’s been dominant against the Twins, holding their current roster to a .300 wOBA with 48 strikeouts in 178 plate appearances. He’s the top pitching option of the early slate and a tough fade at this price point.

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

Batter Grind Down

Minnesota

The Twins have the worst matchup of the slate. Corey Kluber has an above-average strikeout rate and has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .315 xwOBA. As mentioned above, the Twins haven’t been able to figure him out in the past and I don’t see why that’s going to change all of a sudden. Even though there are only six offenses to choose from in this early slate, we can cross the Twins off our list of potential targets.

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 Joe Mauer LEFT 0.411 0.102 43.7% 11.7% 11.3% 48.7% 1B $2,300 1B $3,200 N/A N/A
2 Eddie Rosario LEFT 0.341 0.229 38.4% 7.0% 17.5% 33.1% OF $3,000 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
3 Jorge Polanco SWITCH 0.317 0.125 27.1% 15.6% 20.8% 38.3% SS $2,500 SS $3,600 N/A N/A
4 Miguel Sano RIGHT 0.290 0.223 48.0% 7.8% 40.4% 42.5% 3B $2,300 1B/3B $3,700 N/A N/A
5 Max Kepler LEFT 0.328 0.169 39.1% 12.0% 13.7% 39.5% OF $2,300 OF $3,800 N/A N/A
6 Logan Forsythe RIGHT 0.289 0.091 29.6% 9.0% 18.9% 44.3% 2B $2,300 2B/3B $2,900 N/A N/A
7 Logan Morrison LEFT 0.379 0.208 42.1% 10.6% 20.1% 28.6% 1B $2,300 1B $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Bobby Wilson RIGHT 0.234 0.094 26.5% 6.3% 22.1% 47.0% C $2,000 C $2,600 N/A N/A
9 Jake Cave LEFT 0.359 0.178 32.4% 4.2% 25.0% 46.3% OF $2,300 OF $2,900 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.328 0.158 36.3% 9.4% 21.1% 40.9%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED

Cleveland

The Indians let everyone down last night against Jake Odorizzi, but that’s going to happen in baseball. They are still one of the most talented offenses in baseball and they can still pop at any time. Today’s matchup against Jose Berrios isn’t nearly as enticing, but he has struggled a bit on the road this season. If I had to rank the offenses to target in this slate (with price factored in), the Indians would likely come in behind the Braves, Nationals, and Brewers. With that said, they certainly have plenty of upside, as each of the first five hitters in their lineup has a .385+ xwOBA against right-handed 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 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.412 0.286 42.7% 10.0% 16.3% 33.7% SS $4,600 SS $5,400 N/A N/A
2 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.401 0.192 43.7% 6.9% 8.2% 43.1% OF $3,800 OF $4,600 N/A N/A
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.424 0.367 40.2% 17.8% 11.9% 29.7% 3B $4,800 3B $5,700 N/A N/A
4 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.388 0.261 43.5% 8.6% 23.3% 38.6% 1B $3,900 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Yonder Alonso LEFT 0.391 0.208 40.5% 10.1% 19.1% 39.2% 1B $3,000 1B $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Melky Cabrera SWITCH 0.316 0.105 35.7% 4.7% 11.8% 45.7% OF $2,100 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
7 Jason Kipnis LEFT 0.335 0.125 36.0% 9.6% 18.8% 36.5% 2B $2,700 2B $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Yan Gomes RIGHT 0.289 0.158 40.0% 4.1% 29.5% 32.9% C $2,500 C $3,300 N/A N/A
9 Leonys Martin LEFT 0.395 0.167 41.7% 9.9% 21.0% 38.9% OF $2,600 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.372 0.208 40.4% 9.1% 17.8% 37.6%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysFrancisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso

StackabilityYELLOW


San Diego at Milwaukee – 2:10 PM ET

San Diego Milwaukee
Robbie Erlin Junior Guerra
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
MIL -160 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.312 0.298 44.1% 1.33 23.5% 63.2% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.322 0.340 40.4% 1.34 23.1% 37.6%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.248 0.288 24.0% 0.81 21.3% 46.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.294 0.322 41.9% 0.98 22.3% 42.9%

Pitcher Grind Down

Robbie Erlin
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,100 Salary: $4,600 Salary:
Salary Rank: 15 of 17 Salary Rank: 15 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 3 3.09 3.34 22.0% 2.9% 51.7% 30.4% 20.7% 90.1 9.3%
L14 1 3.04 1.04 24.1% 3.5% 57.1% 28.6% 19.1% 91.1 8.4%

Erlin has pitched well in his three major league starts this season, posting a 3.09 SIERA with a 22% strikeout rate and a 3% walk rate. He’s never been a high-strikeout pitcher, but it’s always hard to tell because he struggles to stay healthy. In his first start back from injury, he threw 79 pitches. If all goes well, that number should increase today, but he has a tough matchup against the Brewers. Milwaukee’s projected lineup has five hitters with at least a .350 xwOBA against southpaws this season.

Quick Breakdown: An argument can be made for Erlin on DraftKings ($4,600), but he’s not a core play in the early slate.

Junior Guerra
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,800 Salary: $7,300 Salary:
Salary Rank: 8 of 17 Salary Rank: 8 of 17 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 14 5.23 5.12 21.3% 13.7% 33.5% 33.5% 18.5% 91.9 10.9%
2018 21 4.31 3.42 22.8% 9.4% 40.1% 41.1% 16.6% 93.1 9.8%
L14 3 4.53 4.50 20.3% 9.5% 48.0% 34.6% 15.4% 93.4 11.4%

Guerra has fared well in his 21 starts this season, posting a 4.31 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 23%. The big red flag in his pitching table above is that his hard contact rate (41%) is higher than his ground ball rate. While that can be a problem against talented offenses, the Padres don’t have a lot of firepower in their lineup. In fact, today’s projected lineup has a .261 xwOBA with a strikeout rate of 35% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Guerra will be chalk, but I don’t see any viable pivots. He’s an elite play in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

San Diego

The Padres have struggled offensively ever since I started playing DFS and that was at least six or seven years ago. While they do see a ballpark upgrade playing in Milwaukee and while they do have a decent matchup against Junior Guerra, this isn’t an offense that I want a lot of exposure to. They don’t have a single batter in their projected lineup that has an xwOBA over .320 against right-handed pitching this season.

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 Manuel Margot RIGHT 0.294 0.115 35.1% 8.7% 16.2% 47.8% OF $3,000 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
2 Eric Hosmer LEFT 0.318 0.149 38.2% 9.6% 23.8% 60.4% 1B $3,000 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
3 Hunter Renfroe RIGHT 0.296 0.180 46.0% 5.8% 29.9% 42.5% OF $3,000 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
4 Christian Villanueva RIGHT 0.278 0.136 30.1% 5.2% 24.8% 32.7% 3B $2,800 3B $3,600 N/A N/A
5 Austin Hedges RIGHT 0.290 0.179 32.9% 6.3% 27.8% 38.3% C $2,800 C $3,900 N/A N/A
6 Freddy Galvis SWITCH 0.294 0.087 40.4% 8.5% 24.5% 44.0% SS $2,600 SS $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Franmil Reyes RIGHT 0.274 0.190 41.7% 3.7% 37.8% 41.7% OF $2,700 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Cory Spangenberg LEFT 0.301 0.140 37.8% 4.0% 31.4% 42.6% 3B $2,200 2B/3B $3,900 N/A N/A
9 Robbie Erlin LEFT 0.000 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% P $6,100 P $4,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.261 0.131 33.6% 5.8% 35.1% 38.9%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysHunter Renfroe (GPP), Austin Hedges (DK)

StackabilityORANGE

Milwaukee

The Brewers have a difficult matchup on paper, but we haven’t seen much from Robbie Erlin in the last couple of seasons. His last full season was back in 2015 and he posted mediocre numbers at the minor league level. Given the fact that I expect Erlin to garner some ownership, this could be a good leverage spot to load up on the Brewers’ righties. Lorenzo Cain, Jesus Aguilar, and Ryan Braun all bat from the right side and all boast a .200+ ISO against left-handed pitching this season.

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 Lorenzo Cain RIGHT 0.400 0.222 45.2% 13.8% 8.5% 39.7% OF $3,200 OF $4,700 N/A N/A
2 Christian Yelich LEFT 0.378 0.227 47.7% 5.8% 21.5% 56.0% OF $4,300 OF $5,400 N/A N/A
3 Jesus Aguilar RIGHT 0.360 0.273 39.0% 13.2% 20.9% 32.2% 1B $3,700 1B $5,300 N/A N/A
4 Jonathan Schoop RIGHT 0.288 0.124 25.9% 6.1% 18.4% 44.0% 2B $3,200 2B $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Ryan Braun RIGHT 0.436 0.200 46.3% 11.8% 15.1% 49.3% OF $3,100 1B/OF $4,900 N/A N/A
6 Travis Shaw LEFT 0.228 0.034 25.4% 10.0% 19.0% 56.5% 2B $3,100 2B/3B $4,400 N/A N/A
7 Erik Kratz RIGHT 0.371 0.154 52.2% 3.6% 14.3% 60.9% C $2,000 C $3,000 N/A N/A
8 Orlando Arcia RIGHT 0.234 0.041 26.2% 7.5% 13.2% 69.0% SS $2,100 SS $2,900 N/A N/A
9 Junior Guerra RIGHT 0.082 0.000 20.0% 0.0% 44.4% 60.0% P $7,800 P $7,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.309 0.142 36.4% 8.0% 19.5% 52.0%

Elite PlaysLorenzo Cain, Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun

Secondary PlaysChristian Yelich, Jonathan Schoop, Erik Kratz

StackabilityYELLOW


Texas at NY Yankees – 7:05 PM ET

Texas NY Yankees
Ariel Jurado J.A. Happ
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYY -220 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.304 0.385 45.0% 0.00 11.5% 50.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.229 0.274 26.6% 0.75 26.8% 58.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.294 0.380 37.5% 0.93 10.5% 50.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.309 0.312 30.1% 1.50 26.5% 40.9%

Pitcher Grind Down

Ariel Jurado
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,900 Salary: $4,200 Salary: $8,500
Salary Rank: 16 of 18 Salary Rank: 17 of 18 Salary Rank: 11 of 18
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 3 5.35 4.02 10.9% 7.8% 50.0% 40.4% 5.8% 91.7 5.7%
L14 2 5.16 2.45 11.9% 7.1% 50.0% 44.1% 5.9% 92.0 5.4%

Jurado will be making his fourth career major league start and arguably his toughest to date. We are still working with a small sample in the majors, so let’s look at his minor league stats. In 16 Double-A starts this season, he has a 4.52 FIP with a strikeout rate of 14%. Those are far from pretty, especially considering the fact that they were two levels below the big leagues. This could get ugly quickly, as the Yankees’ projected lineup has a .341 xwOBA with a .187 ISO and a 37% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Jurado is an easy fade in all formats.

J.A. Happ
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,400 Salary: $9,300 Salary: $17,900
Salary Rank: 7 of 18 Salary Rank: 5 of 18 Salary Rank: 4 of 18
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 21 3.58 4.05 26.6% 7.2% 44.2% 29.4% 20.7% 91.9 10.4%
L14 1 5.58 1.50 9.1% 4.6% 38.9% 11.1% 22.2% 92.5 8.3%

Happ made his Yankees’ debut against the Royals, striking out two batters in six innings of work. He then took a quick trip to the DL with hand, foot, and mouth disease. We shouldn’t expect him to be on a pitch count tonight, as he takes on the Rangers, who are a very boom or bust offense. Their projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .314 with a strikeout rate of 23%. Happ offers upside at this price point and he comes into the game as one of the largest favorites of the slate.

Quick Breakdown: Happ is viable in tournaments, but there are safer options in a cash game setting.

Batter Grind Down

Texas

The Rangers go from one hitter-friendly ballpark in Texas to another in New York. Their matchup against J.A. Happ is fairly difficult, as he boasts a 27% strikeout rate while holding both left and right-handed hitters under a .315 xwOBA and under a 31% hard contact rate this season. Righties have certainly had more success against Happ than lefties, but I don’t see any batter in this lineup as an elite play. Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Jurickson Profar, and Robinson Chirinos are all secondary plays at their respective positions.

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 Shin-Soo Choo LEFT 0.342 0.115 38.8% 11.9% 25.9% 49.4% OF $3,400 OF $4,200 RF $8,300
2 Rougned Odor LEFT 0.286 0.158 41.7% 8.9% 22.3% 44.4% 2B $3,900 2B $4,700 2B $9,400
3 Elvis Andrus RIGHT 0.345 0.164 34.5% 6.2% 4.6% 48.3% SS $3,700 SS $4,100 SS $8,500
4 Adrian Beltre RIGHT 0.341 0.062 46.9% 8.7% 20.7% 45.3% 3B $3,300 3B $3,900 3B $7,200
5 Jurickson Profar SWITCH 0.332 0.202 32.6% 11.0% 10.2% 39.1% 1B $3,800 3B/SS $4,600 SS $8,900
6 Joey Gallo LEFT 0.339 0.370 43.1% 9.1% 41.3% 24.1% OF $3,600 1B/OF $4,100 1B $8,200
7 Robinson Chirinos RIGHT 0.338 0.254 47.4% 14.5% 34.2% 34.2% C $2,900 C $4,200 C $8,500
8 Willie Calhoun LEFT 0.306 0.105 31.3% 0.0% 19.0% 31.3% OF $2,400 OF $3,600 IF/OF $7,300
9 Carlos Tocci RIGHT 0.197 0.045 5.6% 3.8% 26.9% 53.3% OF $2,100 OF $2,900 CF $5,900
Team Averages 0.314 0.164 35.8% 8.2% 22.8% 41.0%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysElvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Jurickson Profar, Robinson Chirinos

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

NY Yankees

The Yankees could score 15 runs tonight without blinking an eye. They are facing a pitcher that had subpar numbers at the Double-A level earlier this season. Ariel Jurado only has three major league starts under his belt, but has allowed a .380+ xwOBA and a 37%+ hard contact rate to both left and right-handed hitters. A full Yankees’ stack is viable and there are a number of ways that you can build it since this lineup is littered with firepower. Individually, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, and Greg Bird are all elite options.

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 Brett Gardner LEFT 0.299 0.146 27.2% 11.6% 14.8% 51.5% OF $3,400 OF $4,400 LF $8,100
2 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.321 0.202 36.0% 7.4% 31.2% 49.8% OF $4,700 OF $5,100 RF $9,700
3 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.344 0.233 37.9% 8.8% 12.7% 34.2% SS $3,900 SS $4,900 SS $8,800
4 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.371 0.192 38.4% 15.1% 19.4% 42.9% OF $3,800 OF $4,800 CF $9,100
5 Gleyber Torres RIGHT 0.370 0.242 37.1% 8.3% 24.8% 31.0% 2B $3,800 2B $4,300 2B $8,000
6 Greg Bird LEFT 0.321 0.194 43.0% 8.1% 25.3% 31.4% 1B $2,700 1B $3,600 1B $7,400
7 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.347 0.189 36.7% 4.1% 17.9% 48.5% 3B $3,600 3B $4,300 3B $8,300
8 Austin Romine RIGHT 0.336 0.185 37.6% 8.2% 21.6% 45.1% C $2,500 C $3,500 C $6,900
9 Neil Walker SWITCH 0.357 0.103 38.5% 9.9% 22.5% 37.0% 2B $2,400 1B/2B $3,600 2B $7,600
Team Averages 0.341 0.187 36.9% 9.1% 21.1% 41.3%

Elite PlaysDidi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird

Secondary PlaysBrett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Austin Romine (DK)

StackabilityGREEN


Boston at Toronto – 7:07 PM ET

Boston Toronto
Rick Porcello Ryan Borucki
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
BOS -150 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.302 0.342 40.9% 1.41 26.7% 34.9% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.281 0.280 22.9% 0.00 14.3% 57.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.290 0.298 26.3% 0.70 19.7% 52.5% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.280 0.328 27.4% 0.00 17.1% 42.3%

Pitcher Grind Down

Rick Porcello
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,200 Salary: $10,000 Salary: $19,500
Salary Rank: 5 of 18 Salary Rank: 4 of 18 Salary Rank: 3 of 18
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 23 3.76 3.84 22.8% 5.6% 45.1% 32.5% 20.9% 90.3 8.5%
L14 2 2.91 3.07 26.9% 1.9% 45.7% 44.4% 19.4% 90.2 6.5%

Porcello has quietly had another solid season for the Red Sox. He’s not a pitcher that is targeted often in DFS, largely thanks to the fact that he rarely draws a good matchup in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Once again, he doesn’t have either in his favor tonight, as he takes on the Blue Jays in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. Luckily, he seems to have this offense figured out. He has held Toronto’s current roster to a .308 wOBA with 52 strikeouts in 252 plate appearance.

Quick Breakdown: I’m not sure I can roll the dice with Porcello here, but an argument can be made for him in tournaments.

Ryan Borucki
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,500 Salary: $5,500 Salary: $11,000
Salary Rank: 14 of 18 Salary Rank: 12 of 18 Salary Rank: 7 of 18
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 7 4.50 2.30 16.5% 6.0% 46.0% 26.2% 15.6% 91.8 7.8%
L14 2 4.60 1.29 13.0% 1.9% 45.5% 10.9% 26.1% 91.7 9.4%

Borucki may have a 2.30 ERA, but regression is right around the corner waiting for him. He’s unlikely to sustain this level of success moving forward, as he owns a 4.50 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 17%. He does have a decent ground ball rate and he has managed to limit hard contact, but we are still dealing with a small sample size here. He draws a difficult matchup against the Red Sox, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .355 with a 34% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Borucki should be avoided in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Boston

The Red Sox draw an exploitable matchup against Ryan Borucki and are playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Borucki may have a low ERA this season, but his SIERA suggests some regression moving forward. Not only that, but his numbers in the minors this year were mediocre at best. There are four batters in particular that are on my radar here and they make an excellent four-man stack. Mookie Betts, Steve Pearce, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts all bat from the right side and all boast a .375+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching this season.

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 Mookie Betts RIGHT 0.489 0.395 43.8% 16.2% 14.3% 35.6% OF $4,900 OF $5,900 RF $11,400
2 Andrew Benintendi LEFT 0.266 0.184 22.5% 7.4% 25.9% 42.3% OF $4,200 OF $4,700 LF $9,400
3 Steve Pearce RIGHT 0.488 0.294 36.4% 7.9% 17.1% 38.2% 1B $3,500 1B/OF $4,300 IF/OF $8,300
4 J.D. Martinez RIGHT 0.404 0.188 49.2% 8.6% 29.5% 43.1% OF $5,000 OF $5,600 RF $10,500
5 Xander Bogaerts RIGHT 0.376 0.147 38.6% 15.7% 20.2% 36.8% SS $3,500 SS $4,200 SS $8,300
6 Eduardo Nunez RIGHT 0.300 0.082 25.3% 5.8% 14.4% 51.2% 3B $2,500 2B/3B $3,400 2B $6,400
7 Rafael Devers LEFT 0.265 0.119 28.8% 4.7% 26.4% 49.3% 3B $2,800 3B $3,700 3B $7,600
8 Sandy Leon SWITCH 0.318 0.109 32.4% 13.0% 24.1% 41.2% C $2,400 C $2,800 C $5,400
9 Jackie Bradley LEFT 0.286 0.066 31.3% 4.8% 33.3% 62.5% OF $2,700 OF $3,700 CF $7,500
Team Averages 0.355 0.176 34.3% 9.3% 22.8% 44.5%

Elite PlaysMookie Betts, Steve Pearce, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts

Secondary PlaysAndrew Benintendi (GPP), Eduardo Nunez, Sandy Leon

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Toronto

The Blue Jays haven’t had the best results against Rick Porcello in the past. As mentioned above, their current roster has a collective wOBA of only .308 in over 350 plate appearances. From a splits perspective, Porcello is very tough on right-handed hitters — .298 xwOBA allowed on a 53% ground ball rate. The only hitter that is really on my radar here is Justin Smoak. Not only does he bat from the left side, but he is 10-for-37 with five home runs and two doubles against Porcello in his career.

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 0.344 0.190 37.1% 12.0% 27.5% 33.7% OF $2,800 OF $3,700 RF $7,400
2 Devon Travis RIGHT 0.294 0.114 26.8% 6.0% 21.9% 56.7% 2B $2,600 2B $3,500 2B $6,800
3 Justin Smoak SWITCH 0.413 0.267 38.2% 16.0% 25.6% 31.8% 1B $3,800 1B $3,900 1B $7,200
4 Kendrys Morales SWITCH 0.430 0.202 45.4% 11.6% 20.9% 42.1% 1B $2,900 1B $3,400 1B $6,400
5 Yangervis Solarte SWITCH 0.330 0.141 29.8% 6.8% 15.5% 43.0% 3B $3,200 2B/3B $3,300 3B $6,700
6 Teoscar Hernandez RIGHT 0.368 0.216 40.0% 6.4% 28.0% 36.5% OF $3,200 OF $3,800 LF $7,400
7 Russell Martin RIGHT 0.322 0.165 30.2% 16.0% 23.5% 49.2% C $2,500 C $3,700 C $7,500
8 Aledmys Diaz RIGHT 0.358 0.197 34.3% 3.4% 10.6% 43.3% SS $3,200 SS $4,000 SS $7,200
9 Kevin Pillar RIGHT 0.329 0.169 34.2% 3.8% 20.4% 37.9% OF $2,600 OF $3,600 CF $7,600
Team Averages 0.354 0.185 35.1% 9.1% 21.5% 41.6%

Elite PlaysJustin Smoak (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJustin Smoak (Cash), Curtis Granderson, Kendrys Morales

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW


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


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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Incentives members on a daily basis during the NBA season with daily videos for the Court Report and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards..

    Notorious

    Interview after $100,000 Win

    January 5th, 2012 Daily Fantasy Fix

    February 14th, 2013 Daily Fantasy Fix

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