MLB Grind Down: Thursday, July 12th

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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


Oakland at Houston – 2:10 PM ET

Oakland Houston
Trevor Cahill Charlie Morton
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
HOU -210 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.249 0.273 40.0% 87.1 27.3% 59.6% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.293 0.304 41.2% 89.6 39.5% 44.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.288 0.353 48.1% 90.4 23.4% 60.5% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.264 0.271 27.8% 85.9 23.7% 53.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Trevor Cahill
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,400 Salary: $5,500 Salary:
Salary Rank: 15 of 20 Salary Rank: 18 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 14 4.43 4.93 22.8% 11.8% 55.6% 28.9% 22.4% 90.9 11.0%
2018 8 3.09 2.77 25.0% 5.9% 60.2% 44.9% 10.2% 91.4 13.1%

There are three games that aren’t featured in the main slate, but only two of them are in the early-only slate. The Phillies/Orioles game is only included in the showdown and all-day slates. Cahill is always one of my favorite pitchers to see on the schedule when healthy. He induces plenty of ground ball rates and has an above-average strikeout rate. He’s never priced up across the industry, which typically puts him on my radar as an SP2. However, there are two issues today — first, this is his first start back from an Achilles injury that forced him to miss more than a month. And second, he’s pitching on the road against a talented Astros’ offense.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Cahill in all formats, but be ready to play him in his next start if he looks sharp.

Charlie Morton
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $10,800 Salary: $11,900 Salary:
Salary Rank: 4 of 20 Salary Rank: 3 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 3.70 3.62 26.4% 8.1% 51.8% 26.9% 22.1% 95.0 10.9%
2018 18 3.22 2.83 31.5% 9.6% 49.8% 33.2% 21.3% 95.9 13.1%
L14 3 2.24 3.26 40.5% 7.6% 40.0% 30.0% 25.0% 95.7 16.6%

Morton is one of a handful of Astros’ starters that are having one of the best seasons of their respective careers. There must be something in the water down in Houston. In his 18 starts, Morton has a 3.22 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 32% and a ground ball rate of 50%. That combination makes it incredibly tough on opponents, as it gives him two ways to get out of trouble (the strikeout or the ground ball). The A’s are a boom or bust offense and we’ve seen that over the last two games — they didn’t show up against Verlander, but they knocked around Lance McCullers. While Oakland is capable of negating Morton’s high ground ball rate, his strikeout upside is still massive. With the other game in the early slate being played in Coors Field, Morton is easily the top target on the board.

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

Batter Grind Down

Oakland

The argument for the A’s is that they are going to be low owned in tournaments. Regardless of which teams are playing, it’s tough to find a low owned offense in a two-game slate. With that said, they have the worst matchup on the board and it’s not particularly close. Charlie Morton has an elite strikeout rate (32%) and an above-average ground-ball rate (50%). On the season, he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA. He has allowed a lot of hard contact to lefties, but that worry is squashed by a 40% strikeout rate against batters from that side of the plate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Dustin Fowler LEFT 0.345 89.7 0.164 45.0% 4.7% 21.5% 41.3% OF $2,100 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Marcus Semien RIGHT 0.302 85.5 0.079 27.3% 6.9% 17.4% 45.2% SS $3,000 SS $3,500 N/A N/A
3 Jed Lowrie SWITCH 0.340 88.7 0.253 36.3% 10.6% 21.1% 36.0% 2B $3,400 2B/3B $4,000 N/A N/A
4 Khris Davis RIGHT 0.430 94.0 0.286 50.3% 7.4% 24.0% 35.7% OF $3,500 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
5 Matt Olson LEFT 0.417 94.7 0.260 54.4% 11.0% 25.6% 31.6% 1B $3,100 1B $3,900 N/A N/A
6 Stephen Piscotty RIGHT 0.368 88.2 0.196 45.0% 6.0% 19.3% 43.1% OF $2,900 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Matt Chapman RIGHT 0.384 93.2 0.206 45.1% 11.6% 22.3% 39.9% 3B $2,600 3B $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Mark Canha RIGHT 0.348 86.2 0.109 41.0% 10.3% 23.7% 45.0% OF $2,500 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Jonathan Lucroy RIGHT 0.321 87.8 0.083 40.6% 5.5% 14.8% 45.1% C $2,000 C $2,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.362 89.8 0.182 42.8% 8.2% 21.1% 40.3%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysMatt Olson (GPP)

StackabilityRED

Houston

In each of the last two seasons, Trevor Cahill has shown a reverse split. In his eight starts this season, he has held left-handed hitters to a .273 xwOBA on a 60% ground ball rate. While he still has a high ground ball rate against right-handed hitters, he has given up a .353 xwOBA and a 48% hard contact rate. The Astros are still the third most appealing offense in the early-only slate (behind the Diamondbacks and Rockies), but they have plenty of right-handed power to throw at Cahill, who is making his first start in over a month. Looking strictly at fly-ball rates, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis are the top targets against this ground ball pitcher.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 George Springer RIGHT 0.353 88.7 0.149 34.0% 10.1% 17.4% 48.5% OF $4,000 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
2 Alex Bregman RIGHT 0.413 89.5 0.216 40.8% 12.8% 14.2% 36.3% 3B $4,700 3B $4,800 N/A N/A
3 Jose Altuve RIGHT 0.371 86.5 0.165 35.6% 9.6% 13.0% 47.3% 2B $4,600 2B $4,500 N/A N/A
4 Yuli Gurriel RIGHT 0.300 90.0 0.146 32.0% 3.3% 9.9% 50.3% 1B $3,300 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Josh Reddick LEFT 0.342 86.0 0.120 31.9% 12.5% 14.1% 38.1% OF $3,100 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Evan Gattis RIGHT 0.343 88.7 0.245 42.0% 8.6% 25.9% 31.1% C $2,800 C $4,000 N/A N/A
7 Kyle Tucker LEFT 0.311 96.4 0.000 25.0% 12.5% 37.5% 75.0% OF $2,700 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
8 Max Stassi RIGHT 0.303 87.2 0.209 27.3% 11.1% 31.3% 49.1% C $2,400 C $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Marwin Gonzalez SWITCH 0.316 84.0 0.154 33.3% 11.7% 25.8% 40.8% SS $2,900 1B/OF $3,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.339 88.6 0.156 33.5% 10.2% 21.0% 46.3%

Elite PlaysAlex Bregman, Evan Gattis (DK)

Secondary PlaysGeorge Springer, Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick, Kyle Tucker (FD)

StackabilityYELLOW


Arizona at Colorado – 3:10 PM ET

Arizona Colorado
Robbie Ray Kyle Freeland
LEFT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
COL -101 11.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.291 0.304 36.8% 86.6 37.8% 44.4% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.281 0.280 28.8% 85.8 28.0% 43.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.365 0.344 50.0% 91.2 33.6% 30.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.301 0.320 28.9% 85.2 16.4% 49.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Robbie Ray
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $5,800 Salary:
Salary Rank: 14 of 20 Salary Rank: 16 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 28 3.53 2.89 32.8% 10.7% 40.3% 40.4% 16.4% 94.3 14.2%
2018 9 3.45 5.23 34.4% 12.7% 33.0% 47.5% 12.1% 93.0 13.4%
L14 3 3.59 5.87 30.8% 10.8% 34.2% 47.4% 10.5% 93.0 13.6%

Ray probably wasn’t expected to make an appearance in last night’s game, but he ended up taking an at-bat after Shelby Miller left the game early. That game was incredibly strange, as we saw Daniel Descalso pitching in the fourth inning. The Diamondbacks are hoping their ace can last a bit longer than Miller, as they have a very tired bullpen. Ray may have a high ERA this season, but he owns a 3.45 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 34%. We often talk about how good of a hitter’s park Coors Field is, but we rarely mention how the altitude affects pitches. Pitchers aren’t able to get as much movement on their offspeed pitches, which really hurts a pitcher like Ray, who throws a slider or curve on nearly half of his pitches.

Quick Breakdown: Ray still has strikeout upside here, but the risk outweighs the reward.

Kyle Freeland
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,700 Salary: $6,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 13 of 20 Salary Rank: 14 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 28 4.93 4.10 15.6% 9.2% 53.9% 32.0% 24.3% 92.0 7.5%
2018 18 4.36 3.18 19.4% 8.2% 48.4% 28.8% 22.1% 91.1 8.7%
L14 3 4.89 1.42 14.5% 7.9% 49.1% 19.0% 20.7% 90.6 8.3%

Freeland isn’t as talented as his 3.18 ERA might suggest, but he’s still a competent pitcher. He has an above-average ground ball rate and an ability to induce soft and medium contact. Unlike his teammates, he actually has better splits in Coors than he does on the road (averaging nearly five more fantasy points per start). The clear SP1 in this early slate is Charlie Morton, but Freeland is my lean for an SP2. He’s cheap across the industry and today’s projected lineup for the Diamondbacks has a 22% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Freeland is far from a lock, but he’s the top SP2 in these two early games.

Batter Grind Down

Arizona

The smaller the slate, the more likely I am to target a hitter against one of my starting pitchers. It’s a strategy that very few employ, even though we shouldn’t be expecting our pitchers in these small slates to be perfect. Right off the bat, we can rule out the lefties in this Diamondbacks’ lineup. Kyle Freeland has held left-handed hitters to a .280 xwOBA with a 28% strikeout rate. The right-handed bats of Nick Ahmed (.325 xwOBA), Paul Goldschmidt (.467 xwOBA), A.J. Pollock (.378 xwOBA), Steven Souza (.339 xwOBA), and Ketel Marte (.360 xwOBA) are all viable, as they all hit southpaws well.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 David Peralta LEFT 0.309 88.9 0.128 36.4% 5.8% 26.9% 60.6% OF $4,000 OF $5,100 N/A N/A
2 Nick Ahmed RIGHT 0.325 87.9 0.210 43.9% 5.7% 17.0% 40.2% SS $4,100 SS $4,700 N/A N/A
3 Paul Goldschmidt RIGHT 0.467 91.2 0.347 52.2% 15.8% 22.8% 30.4% 1B $4,800 1B $5,900 N/A N/A
4 A.J. Pollock RIGHT 0.378 92.0 0.389 48.8% 6.7% 23.3% 41.5% OF $4,300 OF $5,500 N/A N/A
5 Steven Souza RIGHT 0.339 89.9 0.000 66.7% 10.5% 26.3% 66.7% OF $3,400 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
6 Ketel Marte SWITCH 0.360 92.0 0.274 46.6% 8.1% 8.1% 58.3% 2B $3,600 2B/SS $4,200 N/A N/A
7 Jake Lamb LEFT 0.333 85.8 0.081 34.6% 13.6% 27.3% 53.8% 3B $3,800 3B $4,300 N/A N/A
8 John Ryan Murphy RIGHT 0.395 87.1 0.270 53.1% 7.4% 20.6% 32.7% C $3,200 C $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Robbie Ray LEFT 0.077 72.7 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 28.6% 80.0% P $7,500 P $5,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.331 87.5 0.189 42.5% 8.2% 22.3% 51.6%

Elite PlaysPaul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock

Secondary PlaysNick Ahmed, Steven Souza, Ketel Marte

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Colorado

The Rockies are coming off of a 19-run outing last night against the Diamondbacks. While I’m generally hesitant to go back to an offense that scored so many runs the night before, the Rockies have owned Robbie Ray in the past. Their projected lineup has a .470 wOBA with 11 home runs in 151 plate appearances. The splits advantage clearly goes to the right-handed hitters in the Rockies’ lineup, as Ray has allowed a .344 xwOBA and a 50% hard contact rate to righties this season. Charlie Blackmon is also viable thanks to the four home runs that he has against Ray in his career.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 DJ LeMahieu RIGHT 0.399 90.3 0.191 40.7% 8.6% 9.5% 39.5% 2B $3,900 2B $4,400 N/A N/A
2 Charlie Blackmon LEFT 0.336 85.7 0.119 30.8% 6.8% 18.9% 46.2% OF $4,400 OF $5,400 N/A N/A
3 Nolan Arenado RIGHT 0.440 92.1 0.407 48.4% 14.9% 15.7% 34.4% 3B $5,000 3B $5,900 N/A N/A
4 Trevor Story RIGHT 0.368 91.9 0.315 47.6% 8.8% 24.0% 26.8% SS $4,600 SS $5,700 N/A N/A
5 Ian Desmond RIGHT 0.346 89.8 0.280 41.5% 8.3% 21.7% 59.8% 1B $3,800 1B/OF $4,300 N/A N/A
6 Chris Iannetta RIGHT 0.363 95.4 0.103 41.7% 11.0% 20.9% 46.7% C $3,100 C $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Gerardo Parra LEFT 0.258 84.4 0.055 21.7% 2.6% 19.5% 61.0% OF $3,100 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Noel Cuevas RIGHT 0.286 84.4 0.096 28.6% 2.6% 13.2% 37.7% OF $3,000 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
9 Kyle Freeland LEFT 0.084 63.2 0.000 11.1% 0.0% 47.1% 66.7% P $7,700 P $6,000 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.320 86.4 0.174 34.7% 7.1% 21.2% 46.5%

Elite PlaysDJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond

Secondary PlaysCharlie Blackmon, Chris Iannetta

StackabilityGREEN


Philadelphia at Baltimore – 6:05 PM ET

Philadelphia Baltimore
Nick Pivetta Kevin Gausman
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
BAL -104 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.364 0.356 34.5% 88.9 23.9% 41.9% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.323 0.326 26.6% 87.7 21.9% 44.5%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.296 0.280 31.3% 87.3 30.4% 46.7% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.346 0.352 35.4% 89.7 20.0% 48.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Nick Pivetta
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,200 Salary: $8,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 17 of 20 Salary Rank: 8 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 26 4.32 6.02 24.0% 9.8% 43.8% 35.5% 15.9% 94.4 8.7%
2018 18 3.46 4.62 27.4% 7.5% 44.4% 32.8% 15.0% 94.7 11.8%
L14 2 5.63 13.50 14.7% 14.7% 56.5% 47.8% 21.7% 95.2 10.6%

The addition of the showdown slates this season leaves no game behind. If you want exposure to this game, you can do it through the all-day or showdown slates on FanDuel and DraftKings. I may join some of the singe-game contests just to get exposure to these two pitchers. Pivetta has struggled in his last three outings, but two were against the left-handed heavy Nationals and the other was against the low-strikeout offense of the Pirates. A matchup against the Orioles is a perfect bounce-back opportunity. Pivetta has held right-handed hitters to a .280 xwOBA and a 28% strikeout rate this season and he’ll likely be facing seven of them today against Baltimore.

Quick Breakdown: For the showdown slate, my plan is to target both starters.

Kevin Gausman
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,900 Salary: $7,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 18 of 20 Salary Rank: 10 of 20 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 34 4.41 4.68 21.9% 8.7% 42.7% 32.3% 18.2% 95.0 10.9%
2018 18 3.90 4.11 20.8% 5.7% 46.6% 31.7% 18.1% 93.7 11.7%
L14 3 4.38 2.84 15.1% 2.7% 43.3% 26.7% 18.3% 94.1 9.9%

Gausman has been hit or miss throughout his career. His velocity has been down a little this season, but it has picked up over his last few starts. He still has an above-average swinging strike rate, so perhaps he’ll be able to put everything together and come on strong in the second half of the season. He draws a favorable matchup today against the Phillies, whose projected lineup has a 23% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. The fact that he’s pitching in Camden Yards gives Gausman a small bump, as he averages five more fantasy points per start at home this season.

Quick Breakdown: Again, I like both starters for the showdown slate.

Batter Grind Down

Philadelphia

The Phillies are playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark and get to use the DH in this series. They draw a mediocre matchup against Kevin Gausman, who is a reverse-splits pitcher. On the season, he has allowed a .352 xwOBA and a 35% hard contact rate to right-handed hitters. For the all-day slate, we can look elsewhere, but there are a few intriguing plays in the showdown slate. Rhys Hoskins bats from the right side and owns a .384 xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season. Carlos Santana and Nick Williams also have good numbers against righties, but they bat from the left side.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Cesar Hernandez SWITCH 0.330 83.5 0.138 25.8% 14.2% 22.0% 43.5% 2B $3,400 2B $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Rhys Hoskins RIGHT 0.384 89.4 0.251 34.6% 12.1% 26.6% 24.8% OF $3,800 OF $4,800 N/A N/A
3 Odubel Herrera LEFT 0.316 87.3 0.193 27.0% 7.5% 21.0% 43.5% OF $3,500 OF $4,600 N/A N/A
4 Carlos Santana SWITCH 0.390 89.0 0.207 36.7% 20.7% 13.7% 34.7% 1B $3,200 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Nick Williams LEFT 0.382 89.3 0.247 33.9% 9.8% 25.7% 46.1% OF $2,800 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Scott Kingery RIGHT 0.311 86.4 0.115 26.7% 5.3% 22.2% 39.0% SS $2,600 SS $3,400 N/A N/A
7 Andrew Knapp SWITCH 0.319 89.0 0.177 39.0% 9.3% 35.5% 35.6% C $2,200 C $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Maikel Franco RIGHT 0.315 89.1 0.161 24.5% 5.2% 15.7% 56.3% 3B $2,900 3B $3,800 N/A N/A
9 Trevor Plouffe RIGHT 1B $2,000 3B $2,900 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.343 87.9 0.186 31.0% 10.5% 22.8% 40.4%

Elite PlaysRhys Hoskins

Secondary PlaysCarlos Santana, Nick Williams

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

Baltimore

The Orioles have been an easy target for right-handed pitchers this season, especially ones that have a high strikeout rate against right-handed hitters. I would much rather take a chance on Nick Pivetta in this spot, as he owns a 30% k-rate against righties. While the lefties have the splits advantage in this matchup, do we really want to target Chris Davis or Chance Sisco? Even in a single-game slate, that feels like a reach. Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo are the top targets here. Even though they bat from the right side, they both own a .375+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Tim Beckham RIGHT 0.260 85.7 0.038 23.7% 4.5% 27.0% 49.3% 3B $2,500 3B $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.339 88.6 0.186 32.0% 3.4% 18.0% 42.2% OF $2,800 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
3 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.395 92.7 0.258 37.4% 11.4% 15.3% 38.3% SS $4,400 SS $5,800 N/A N/A
4 Mark Trumbo RIGHT 0.377 93.3 0.238 42.6% 7.5% 24.4% 37.0% OF $3,100 1B/OF $4,500 N/A N/A
5 Jonathan Schoop RIGHT 0.244 84.9 0.198 25.3% 2.4% 23.8% 48.3% 2B $3,300 2B $4,100 N/A N/A
6 Chris Davis LEFT 0.295 87.1 0.101 35.0% 7.4% 35.0% 41.3% 1B $2,300 1B $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Danny Valencia RIGHT 0.346 91.3 0.128 33.3% 6.7% 22.7% 45.2% OF $2,700 3B/OF $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.369 90.8 0.152 32.9% 9.3% 24.5% 51.6% OF $2,400 1B/OF $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Chance Sisco LEFT 0.286 88.2 0.084 31.7% 7.2% 34.2% 47.4% C $2,000 C $3,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.323 89.2 0.154 32.7% 6.6% 25.0% 44.5%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysManny Machado, Mark Trumbo

StackabilityORANGE


Milwaukee at Pittsburgh – 7:05 PM ET

Milwaukee Pittsburgh
Wade Miley Jameson Taillon
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
PIT -129 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.197 0.394 80.0% 89.1 0.0% 40.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.332 0.315 32.7% 85.7 17.5% 48.6%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.282 0.329 64.3% 93.5 20.0% 50.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.266 0.270 31.1% 89.3 26.8% 51.4%

Pitcher Grind Down

Wade Miley
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,000 Salary: $4,700 Salary: $9,300
Salary Rank: 20 of 20 Salary Rank: 20 of 20 Salary Rank: 14 of 20
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 2 5.76 1.42 14.8% 14.8% 47.4% 68.4% 10.5% 91.0 6.9%

Miley is back in our lives. He’s been one of my favorite pitchers to stack against over the years. He finished his 2017 season with a 13% walk rate and major troubles against both left and right-handed hitters. He’s missed nearly two months with an oblique injury, so we can expect him to be on some sort of pitch cap. He did make a rehab start in the minors, but he’s not a pitcher that I typically target even when healthy. Add in a matchup against the Pirates, who have one of the lowest strikeout rates against left-handed pitching and we have ourselves an easy fade.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Miley in all formats.

Jameson Taillon
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,300 Salary: $5,700 Salary: $10,900
Salary Rank: 16 of 20 Salary Rank: 17 of 20 Salary Rank: 12 of 20
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 18 3.80 4.05 22.2% 6.7% 50.0% 31.9% 20.7% 95.2 10.1%
L14 3 4.19 4.15 20.6% 8.2% 45.1% 40.4% 15.4% 95.0 11.5%

Taillon is one of those pitchers that always feels underpriced across the industry. He hasn’t had many huge outings this season, but he has a high floor and in the right matchup, a high ceiling as well. In 18 starts this season, he owns a 3.80 SIERA with a strikeout rate of of 22% and a ground ball rate of 50%. He induces a lot of soft contact, he has good velocity on his fastball, and he has an above-average swinging strike rate. Basically, everything checks out for Taillon, he just needs to put everything together. At a price of only $5,700 on DraftKings, I don’t see why we shouldn’t have interest in Taillon as an SP2 in both cash games and tournaments. A matchup against the Brewers isn’t great, but he’s facing them at home in the pitcher-friendly PNC Park.

Quick Breakdown: Taillon is an elite SP2 in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Milwaukee

The Brewers have a talented lineup, but they are playing on the road in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. They draw a fairly difficult matchup against Jameson Taillon, who has above-average strikeout and ground ball rates. His k-rate does take a nose dive against lefties, but he has still managed to hold them to a .315 xwOBA on a 49% ground ball rate. Even though the table below is loaded with blue boxes, I’m planning to be underweight on the Brewers. I would rather take a chance on a cheap Jameson Taillon in hopes that he can quiet this talented offense.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Eric Thames LEFT 0.411 92.6 0.328 48.8% 12.1% 27.0% 33.3% OF $4,200 1B/OF $4,700 1B $9,400
2 Lorenzo Cain RIGHT 0.329 89.1 0.112 35.3% 13.4% 19.4% 59.3% OF $3,800 OF $4,600 CF $9,200
3 Christian Yelich LEFT 0.394 93.1 0.196 45.7% 10.8% 22.9% 51.0% OF $4,100 OF $4,800 CF $9,100
4 Jesus Aguilar RIGHT 0.395 90.6 0.314 46.0% 7.9% 27.8% 31.4% 1B $4,500 1B $4,800 1B $9,100
5 Travis Shaw LEFT 0.400 90.2 0.276 41.8% 14.2% 17.6% 33.9% 3B $3,800 3B $4,400 3B $8,000
6 Tyler Saladino RIGHT 0.388 87.3 0.368 44.8% 4.9% 24.4% 32.1% SS $2,400 SS $3,400 3B $6,900
7 Brad Miller LEFT 0.351 92.1 0.191 46.6% 10.7% 31.5% 34.0% SS $2,500 1B/2B $3,600 2B $7,500
8 Erik Kratz RIGHT 0.302 92.5 0.163 56.3% 2.1% 23.4% 40.6% C $2,300 C $2,800 C $5,700
9 Wade Miley LEFT 0.241 96.3 0.000 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% P $6,000 P $4,700 P $9,300
Team Averages 0.357 91.5 0.216 46.1% 8.5% 21.6% 46.2%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysEric Thames (GPP), Travis Shaw (GPP)

StackabilityORANGE

Pittsburgh

The Pirates are the preferred offense to target in this game. They draw a favorable matchup against Wade Miley, who has historically struggled against both left and right-handed hitters. He doesn’t have the best command and he could be a little rusty in his first major league start in more than two months. Each of the first six batters in the Pirates’ offense has a .320+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching this season — Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Francisco Cervelli, David Freese, and Josh Bell. I wouldn’t rule out a Pirates’ stack, although they are a bit more expensive than I was hoping.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Josh Harrison RIGHT 0.341 87.3 0.115 39.1% 1.9% 11.1% 34.8% 2B $2,800 2B $3,600 2B $7,600
2 Starling Marte RIGHT 0.347 88.9 0.217 34.6% 7.9% 23.7% 52.9% OF $3,900 OF $4,800 CF $8,700
3 Gregory Polanco LEFT 0.321 84.3 0.250 36.4% 10.8% 27.0% 32.6% OF $3,800 OF $4,300 RF $8,100
4 Francisco Cervelli RIGHT 0.402 92.9 0.176 37.5% 19.0% 23.8% 33.3% C $2,700 C $4,000 C $7,600
5 David Freese RIGHT 0.355 91.7 0.030 39.2% 9.2% 23.7% 56.9% 3B $2,500 1B/3B $3,200 3B $6,300
6 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.323 89.5 0.141 23.2% 14.1% 20.0% 39.3% 1B $2,800 1B $3,500 1B $6,900
7 Corey Dickerson LEFT 0.276 85.5 0.119 20.4% 2.8% 18.3% 42.6% OF $3,600 OF $4,000 LF $7,400
8 Jordy Mercer RIGHT 0.348 89.5 0.141 35.0% 6.3% 15.2% 35.0% SS $2,200 SS $3,200 SS $6,300
9 Jameson Taillon RIGHT 0.309 69.1 0.000 0.0% 20.0% 20.0% 100.0% P $7,300 P $5,700 P $10,900
Team Averages 0.336 86.5 0.132 29.5% 10.2% 20.3% 47.5%

Elite PlaysJosh Harrison, Francisco Cervelli

Secondary PlaysStarling Marte, David Freese, Josh Bell

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN


NY Yankees at Cleveland – 7:10 PM ET

NY Yankees Cleveland
Luis Severino Corey Kluber
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYY -103 7.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.238 0.298 34.8% 88.0 32.0% 46.5% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.246 0.266 34.0% 86.7 27.8% 44.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.249 0.290 30.9% 87.2 28.3% 44.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.254 0.303 38.3% 87.9 23.7% 47.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Luis Severino
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,600 Salary: $10,800 Salary: $21,100
Salary Rank: 2 of 20 Salary Rank: 5 of 20 Salary Rank: 4 of 20
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 31 3.25 2.98 29.4% 6.5% 50.6% 28.5% 19.4% 97.6 13.0%
2018 19 3.08 2.12 29.8% 6.5% 45.2% 32.3% 21.8% 97.8 12.7%
L14 3 3.30 1.45 27.8% 6.9% 46.8% 34.0% 17.0% 98.2 12.4%

Severino is one of the many aces to take the mound tonight. While he’s capable of dominating any lineup in any ballpark, he certainly has the toughest draw of the top arms in this slate. He not only has to face the Indians, but he has to face them on the road in a ballpark that favors left-handed power. A quick glance at the Indians’ lineup is all I need to make a decision on Severino. Cleveland’s projected lineup for tonight’s game has a .360 xwOBA, a .197 ISO, and a 40% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. In a different slate that didn’t feature so many good options at pitcher, I would give Severino a harder look.

Quick Breakdown: I’m a huge Severino fan, but not in this matchup.

Corey Kluber
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,200 Salary: $10,200 Salary: $19,500
Salary Rank: 3 of 20 Salary Rank: 6 of 20 Salary Rank: 5 of 20
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 19 3.12 2.49 25.6% 3.1% 46.2% 36.4% 16.1% 92.1 10.7%
L14 3 4.72 5.52 15.6% 4.7% 31.4% 35.3% 15.7% 92.7 10.8%

Kluber hasn’t quite looked like himself in his last three starts. He was lit up by the Cardinals in a game that featured a lengthy rain delay and then posted mediocre outings against the A’s and Royals. The good news is that he hasn’t seen a dip in velocity or in his swinging strike rate during that stretch. The bad news is that he draws a difficult matchup against the Yankees, whose projected lineup has a .335 xwOBA and a .201 ISO against right-handed pitching this season. I slightly prefer Kluber over Severino, but will likely have no exposure to either ace.

Quick Breakdown: It wouldn’t surprise me to see a good outing from Kluber, but I’ll pass given his form and matchup.

Batter Grind Down

NY Yankees

While I won’t have any exposure to these two starters, I at least gave them consideration. As for these two offenses, they have already been crossed off my list of potential targets. In addition to a high strikeout rate (26%), Corey Kluber has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA this season.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Brett Gardner LEFT 0.308 87.1 0.152 29.9% 12.4% 15.3% 50.3% OF $2,900 OF $4,500 LF $9,100
2 Aaron Judge RIGHT 0.401 96.5 0.300 49.0% 14.1% 30.9% 46.3% OF $4,600 OF $4,900 RF $9,200
3 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.361 88.9 0.217 38.4% 14.1% 18.6% 43.5% OF $3,700 OF $4,500 CF $8,900
4 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.300 91.3 0.183 33.8% 8.3% 33.9% 53.9% OF $4,400 OF $4,400 RF $8,500
5 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.349 88.5 0.245 39.7% 9.2% 12.7% 34.2% SS $3,900 SS $4,400 SS $8,400
6 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.352 90.2 0.202 36.6% 2.8% 17.2% 49.4% 3B $3,200 3B $4,000 3B $7,600
7 Greg Bird LEFT 0.318 88.8 0.227 37.1% 9.1% 26.3% 38.7% 1B $2,700 1B $4,000 1B $7,600
8 Kyle Higashioka RIGHT 0.291 84.6 0.200 36.4% 11.8% 23.5% 18.2% C $2,500 C $3,600 C $7,300
9 Neil Walker SWITCH 0.337 88.3 0.080 35.9% 10.3% 21.2% 41.9% 2B $2,300 1B/2B $3,200 2B $6,300
Team Averages 0.335 89.4 0.201 37.4% 10.2% 22.2% 41.8%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED

Cleveland

The Indians are fresh off a 19-run outing against the Reds, but we will not see a repeat tonight. I know anything can happen in baseball, but the Indians will not score 19 runs against Luis Severino and the Yankees’ bullpen. On the season, Severino has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .300 xwOBA and he has an elite strikeout rate against both.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA aEV ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.411 89.4 0.290 41.1% 9.9% 19.5% 35.7% SS $4,800 SS $5,000 SS $9,700
2 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.412 91.2 0.207 43.1% 6.8% 8.8% 42.1% OF $3,900 OF $4,200 LF $8,400
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.424 89.5 0.342 39.1% 16.8% 11.5% 31.2% 3B $4,600 3B $4,800 IF/OF $8,600
4 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.392 90.5 0.269 42.9% 8.3% 23.4% 38.1% 1B $3,500 1B $4,000 1B $7,200
5 Yonder Alonso LEFT 0.382 90.5 0.180 40.9% 9.7% 20.7% 38.0% 1B $2,900 1B $3,600 1B $7,200
6 Jason Kipnis LEFT 0.353 87.2 0.127 37.6% 9.7% 19.0% 36.5% 2B $3,100 2B $3,600 2B $7,500
7 Yan Gomes RIGHT 0.278 88.0 0.160 40.2% 4.6% 32.2% 37.4% C $2,300 C $3,100 C $5,500
8 Tyler Naquin LEFT 0.320 90.1 0.086 40.0% 4.0% 25.8% 52.9% OF $2,000 OF $2,900 CF $5,500
9 Greg Allen SWITCH 0.266 86.0 0.116 38.0% 5.8% 24.3% 42.6% OF $2,100 OF $3,100 CF $5,600
Team Averages 0.360 89.2 0.197 40.3% 8.4% 20.6% 39.4%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED


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..

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Comments

  • snydermana

    Where’s Friday’s?

  • thehazyone

    RG Assistant Editor/Staff Writer

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    @snydermana said...

    Where’s Friday’s?

    It’s posted on the front page as always – https://rotogrinders.com/articles/mlb-grind-down-friday-july-13th-2587130

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