MLB Grind Down: Tuesday, April 24th

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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


Seattle at Chicago White Sox – 5:10 PM ET

Seattle Chicago White Sox
Marco Gonzales Chris Volstad
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
SEA -125 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.380 0.305 22.7% 5.1% 18.6% 52.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.360 0.421 26.5% 13.6% 9.1% 50.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.386 0.379 35.1% 5.5% 20.0% 43.2% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.294 0.289 27.1% 3.1% 20.3% 72.9%

Pitcher Grind Down

Marco Gonzales
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,200 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 22 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 8 4.48 6.08 17.3% 6.0% 45.4% 29.1% 23.4%
2018 4 2.97 5.94 25.7% 4.1% 45.1% 41.2% 11.8%

There are four “early” games on the schedule today. FanDuel has created an early-only slate, DraftKings has this game in their Showdown contest, and FantasyDraft has avoided the early games altogether. Gonzales hasn’t been terrible so far this season. He has a high ERA (5.94), but it is accompanied by a 2.97 SIERA, a 26% strikeout rate, and a 4% walk rate. A matchup against the White Sox is far from intimidating, as their projected lineup has a .310 xwOBA and a 27% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching. The problem is that Gonzalez is more of an SP2 than an SP1 that you want to anchor your lineups around, which makes him an easy fade on FanDuel.

Quick Breakdown: Gonzales is viable in the Showdown slate on DraftKings, but that’s about it.

Chris Volstad
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 27 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 2 4.43 4.66 13.2% 6.6% 61.7% 23.3% 15.0%
2018 0 3.15 4.70 21.9% 9.4% 68.2% 36.4% 18.2%

Volstad has been in and out of the major leagues for many years. He’s 31 years old and made his first major league appearance back in 2008. He owns a career 4.64 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 14%. When pitchers have such limited strikeout upside, everything else needs to line up perfectly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case today against the Mariners. Seattle has a good lineup against right-handed pitching and Volstad is facing them in the hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Volstad in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Seattle

The Mariners’ stack didn’t go as planned last night, but we can go right back to the well in the early-only slate. They have a high implied run total, as they square off against Chris Volstad. In his career, he has allowed a .352 wOBA to left-handed hitters and a .332 wOBA to right-handed hitters. We shouldn’t put a ton of emphasis on the splits though, as Volstad will likely be on a pitch limit. I’m trusting the talent of the Mariners’ offense and the fact that they are playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Dee Gordon LEFT 0.325 0.270 0.077 17.1% 4.5% 14.7% 53.5% OF $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Jean Segura RIGHT 0.326 0.294 0.133 24.9% 4.5% 15.2% 56.0% SS $3,800 N/A N/A
3 Robinson Cano LEFT 0.372 0.396 0.196 40.1% 8.5% 12.5% 47.6% 2B $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Nelson Cruz RIGHT 0.392 0.394 0.282 40.1% 7.0% 22.1% 40.7% OF $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Kyle Seager LEFT 0.322 0.366 0.204 37.6% 9.3% 16.2% 30.9% 3B $3,200 N/A N/A
6 Mitch Haniger RIGHT 0.378 0.348 0.225 38.0% 8.8% 23.6% 40.4% OF $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Daniel Vogelbach LEFT 0.341 0.390 0.148 48.6% 11.3% 30.6% 34.3% 1B $2,700 N/A N/A
8 Mike Zunino RIGHT 0.346 0.323 0.243 39.7% 8.3% 37.8% 33.9% C $2,500 N/A N/A
9 Ben Gamel LEFT 0.317 0.305 0.139 28.2% 7.7% 19.8% 43.7% OF $2,300 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Dee Gordon, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager

Secondary Plays – Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Daniel Vogelbach

Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox draw a decent matchup against Marco Gonzales. While his advanced statistics look solid, he has allowed a .379 xwOBA to right-handed hitters since the beginning of last season. Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, and Welington Castillo all bat from the right side and all boast a .350+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching. Tim Anderson and Matt Davidson are also intriguing, although I’m not really looking to stack the White Sox in a four-game slate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Tim Anderson RIGHT 0.356 0.316 0.183 31.1% 1.7% 24.4% 50.8% SS $3,100 N/A N/A
2 Avisail Garcia RIGHT 0.415 0.353 0.157 41.5% 4.9% 19.1% 56.1% OF $2,300 N/A N/A
3 Jose Abreu RIGHT 0.423 0.415 0.263 42.1% 6.0% 19.7% 45.1% 1B $3,600 N/A N/A
4 Welington Castillo RIGHT 0.372 0.364 0.226 39.0% 5.3% 26.5% 35.1% C $2,300 N/A N/A
5 Matt Davidson RIGHT 0.331 0.346 0.227 34.9% 7.7% 30.3% 32.6% 3B $3,700 N/A N/A
6 Yoan Moncada SWITCH 0.265 0.246 0.106 28.9% 9.5% 34.7% 51.9% 2B $3,400 N/A N/A
7 Trayce Thompson RIGHT 0.174 0.221 0.156 29.4% 8.6% 42.9% 64.7% OF $2,200 N/A N/A
8 Yolmer Sanchez SWITCH 0.283 0.261 0.117 19.8% 6.8% 23.8% 41.7% 3B $2,800 N/A N/A
9 Adam Engel RIGHT 0.272 0.264 0.134 20.8% 7.5% 23.4% 38.2% OF $2,000 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, Welington Castillo (DK)

Secondary Plays – Welington Castillo (FD), Tim Anderson, Matt Davidson

Stackability – YELLOW


Chicago Cubs at Cleveland – 6:10 PM ET

Chicago Cubs Cleveland
Tyler Chatwood Josh Tomlin
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CLE -110 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.360 0.337 28.6% 14.5% 20.2% 57.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.367 0.362 39.5% 3.3% 17.1% 39.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.318 0.324 27.8% 11.2% 18.9% 57.5% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.335 0.359 34.1% 2.5% 18.4% 38.3%

Pitcher Grind Down

Tyler Chatwood
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,300 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 17 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 25 4.78 4.69 19.0% 12.2% 58.1% 29.1% 22.1%
2018 3 5.31 4.60 24.3% 18.9% 50.0% 19.1% 21.4%

Chatwood has shown some strikeout upside in his first season with the Cubs, but that’s about it. Through three starts, he owns a 5.31 SIERA with a walk rate of 19%. He needs to improve his command or he will continue to give up runs in bunches. Today’s matchup against the Indians isn’t going to help his cause. Five of their projected starters have a walk rate of at least 10% against right-handed pitching. Not only that, but Cleveland’s lineup is loaded with left-handed power.

Quick Breakdown: There is more risk than potential reward for Chatwood here.

Josh Tomlin
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 27 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 26 4.17 4.98 18.6% 2.4% 39.6% 36.2% 14.0%
2018 2 6.22 8.00 8.3% 8.3% 28.2% 38.5% 23.1%

Tomlin is not the kind of pitcher that I like to target in DFS. While he does throw a lot of strikes, he hasn’t been able to turn that into a high strikeout rate. He has an extreme fly-ball rate and he gives up a lot of hard contact, which leads to a lot of home runs allowed. In case you didn’t know, home runs are not good for a pitcher. He’s an easy fade against the Cubs in a pick ‘em game that features a total of 9.0 runs.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Tillman in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are one of the top offenses to target in the early slate. They are facing a fly-ball pitcher with a low strikeout rate and a high hard contact rate. Since the beginning of last season, Josh Tomlin has allowed a .359+ xwOBA and a 34%+ hard contact rate to both left and right-handed hitters. The Cubs are playing on the road (which guarantees ninth inning at-bats) and they get to utilize the DH in this series. A stack is certainly viable here and the first six batters in this lineup are all viable plays individually.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Albert Almora RIGHT 0.304 0.263 0.141 29.1% 3.1% 18.8% 52.6% OF $3,100 N/A N/A
2 Javier Baez RIGHT 0.337 0.303 0.229 31.1% 5.9% 28.1% 47.2% 2B $4,200 N/A N/A
3 Kris Bryant RIGHT 0.397 0.368 0.244 32.2% 13.1% 19.5% 38.8% 3B $4,700 N/A N/A
4 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.375 0.408 0.221 34.3% 13.9% 12.8% 39.9% 1B $4,100 N/A N/A
5 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.346 0.321 0.199 34.1% 7.4% 24.6% 51.1% C $3,200 N/A N/A
6 Kyle Schwarber LEFT 0.356 0.369 0.281 38.0% 11.8% 29.3% 41.5% OF $3,700 N/A N/A
7 Ian Happ SWITCH 0.343 0.340 0.264 34.4% 10.9% 34.2% 39.6% OF $2,800 N/A N/A
8 Addison Russell RIGHT 0.285 0.291 0.155 32.3% 6.6% 22.2% 39.1% SS $2,600 N/A N/A
9 Jason Heyward LEFT 0.328 0.349 0.150 27.3% 10.6% 10.6% 46.5% OF $3,100 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras

Secondary Plays – Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ

Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN

Cleveland

The Indians are facing a pitcher with a high ground ball rate. Typically, this isn’t what we are looking for in an offense. With that said, Tyler Chatwood has a very high walk rate and has allowed a .337 xwOBA to left-handed hitters in the last two seasons. Additionally, the Indians’ lineup is loaded with fly-ball hitters, which should help negate Chatwood’s biggest strength. All of the left-handed hitters in this lineup are viable in the early slate — Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, and Yonder Alonso.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.334 0.355 0.230 33.6% 8.2% 14.7% 39.4% SS $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Jason Kipnis LEFT 0.292 0.308 0.172 33.0% 7.1% 20.3% 34.3% 2B $3,400 N/A N/A
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.391 0.358 0.268 30.8% 9.9% 10.1% 37.8% 3B $4,600 N/A N/A
4 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.366 0.368 0.177 39.1% 9.4% 12.6% 47.9% OF $3,700 N/A N/A
5 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.369 0.391 0.261 37.5% 12.7% 20.1% 34.7% 1B $3,700 N/A N/A
6 Yonder Alonso LEFT 0.373 0.386 0.229 35.1% 13.8% 22.0% 34.5% 1B $3,100 N/A N/A
7 Yan Gomes RIGHT 0.285 0.270 0.137 25.4% 7.5% 27.1% 39.9% C $3,000 N/A N/A
8 Tyler Naquin LEFT 0.267 0.282 0.078 38.3% 5.8% 26.1% 55.3% OF $2,200 N/A N/A
9 Bradley Zimmer LEFT 0.297 0.299 0.148 37.9% 7.9% 33.3% 45.3% OF $2,400 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez

Secondary Plays – Michael Brantley, Yonder Alonso

Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN


Minnesota at NY Yankees – 6:35 PM ET

Minnesota NY Yankees
Jose Berrios CC Sabathia
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYY -140 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.322 0.340 31.2% 10.3% 20.8% 37.2% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.325 0.287 15.4% 8.7% 20.0% 58.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.249 0.255 22.5% 3.7% 25.9% 41.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.308 0.328 30.8% 7.6% 18.5% 48.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jose Berrios
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,600 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 2 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 25 4.29 3.89 22.6% 7.8% 39.0% 27.9% 20.4%
2018 4 2.50 1.63 29.3% 1.0% 42.4% 19.1% 35.3%

Berrios is one of my favorite pitchers to watch. If you ever get to sit down and watch a game, turn on the Twins when he is on the mound. He has a nasty curveball that routinely makes hitters look foolish. Unfortunately, he also has a nasty matchup against the Yankees. New York’s projected lineup has a massive .360 xwOBA against right-handed pitching. To put that into perspective, the Marlins’ projected lineup has one batter (Justin Bour) with an xwOBA over .340, while the Yankees’ lineup has an average xwOBA of .360. Berrios is the most talented pitcher in the early slate, but he’s far from a sure thing.

Quick Breakdown: In a larger slate, Berrios would be an easy fade. With only four games in the early slate, he’s viable in all formats.

CC Sabathia
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,400 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 21 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 27 4.45 3.69 19.3% 8.0% 49.9% 27.2% 24.1%
2018 3 4.58 2.70 13.6% 5.1% 47.8% 39.1% 19.6%

Sabathia is off to a slow start this season, posting a 4.58 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 14%. His biggest strength over the last couple of years has been his ability to induce soft contact, but that number is down significantly. Perhaps he has been the victim of a tough opening schedule, as he has faced the Blue Jays twice and the Orioles once. His matchup against the Twins is actually exploitable, as the bottom of their lineup is ripe for the picking. They have four projected starters with an xwOBA under .270 against southpaws. This sounds wild, but I actually prefer Sabathia over Jose Berrios when you factor in their salaries.

Quick Breakdown: It’s scary, but Sabathia is my favorite point-per-dollar pitcher in the early slate.

Batter Grind Down

Minnesota

Even though CC Sabathia is my favorite pitching option on the board for the early games, I still have some interest in the Twins’ offense. Sabathia has been giving up a lot of hard contact this season and the Twins have two batters that mash left-handed pitching in Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano. They both own a .345+ xwOBA, a .295+ ISO, and a 36%+ hard contact rate against southpaws. This is a rare slate where I actually don’t mind playing a hitter against my pitcher.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Brian Dozier RIGHT 0.439 0.394 0.297 36.9% 12.8% 18.3% 40.5% 2B $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Joe Mauer LEFT 0.341 0.332 0.065 23.3% 10.1% 15.1% 58.3% 1B $3,100 N/A N/A
3 Miguel Sano RIGHT 0.395 0.346 0.304 41.4% 12.4% 33.3% 37.1% 3B $3,700 N/A N/A
4 Robbie Grossman SWITCH 0.319 0.336 0.091 32.4% 17.5% 15.0% 42.5% OF $2,300 N/A N/A
5 Eddie Rosario LEFT 0.287 0.264 0.110 27.8% 2.6% 19.2% 50.0% OF $2,900 N/A N/A
6 Mitch Garver RIGHT 0.272 0.265 0.138 38.9% 9.4% 34.4% 33.3% C $2,000 N/A N/A
7 Ehire Adrianza SWITCH 0.360 0.310 0.175 30.9% 5.8% 14.5% 41.5% SS $2,300 N/A N/A
8 Max Kepler LEFT 0.218 0.245 0.113 22.3% 5.5% 28.1% 46.7% OF $2,600 N/A N/A
9 Ryan LaMarre RIGHT 0.223 0.201 0.000 42.9% 0.0% 41.7% 100.0% OF $2,100 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Brian Dozier

Secondary Plays – Miguel Sano, Robbie Grossman

Stackability – ORANGE / YELLOW

NY Yankees

The Yankees have the worst matchup on paper. In addition to his elite strikeout rate, Jose Berrios has held right-handed hitters to a .255 xwOBA since the beginning of last season. This limits the appeal of the three big bats in the Yankees’ lineup. We can still look at the lefties here, as Berrios has allowed a .340 xwOBA to batters from the left side of the plate. While I’m hoping the Yankees can put up some runs against Berrios, there aren’t any must plays here given the number of exploitable matchups in the early slate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Brett Gardner LEFT 0.353 0.330 0.180 30.9% 11.3% 18.6% 43.6% OF $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Aaron Judge RIGHT 0.438 0.443 0.349 43.9% 16.4% 30.2% 35.6% OF $5,200 N/A N/A
3 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.371 0.317 0.251 28.1% 6.5% 10.9% 35.3% SS $4,800 N/A N/A
4 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.377 0.372 0.304 38.2% 10.7% 27.3% 45.5% OF $4,700 N/A N/A
5 Gary Sanchez RIGHT 0.347 0.377 0.233 35.7% 5.9% 22.5% 43.3% C $3,900 N/A N/A
6 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.361 0.350 0.221 30.1% 16.4% 19.5% 42.9% OF $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Tyler Austin RIGHT 0.315 0.298 0.232 40.0% 6.6% 42.6% 33.3% 1B $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.418 0.395 0.368 48.5% 2.5% 15.0% 45.5% 3B $3,500 N/A N/A
9 Gleyber Torres RIGHT 2B $2,600 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks

Stackability – ORANGE / YELLOW


Atlanta at Cincinnati – 6:40 PM ET

Atlanta Cincinnati
Brandon McCarthy Tyler Mahle
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
ATL -110 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.284 0.294 28.7% 7.1% 20.4% 43.5% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.433 0.420 43.2% 18.6% 17.1% 40.5%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.314 0.316 26.0% 7.8% 17.7% 43.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.310 0.332 26.5% 4.4% 19.3% 48.1%

Pitcher Grind Down

Brandon McCarthy
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,800 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 12 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 16 4.55 3.98 18.8% 7.0% 42.0% 27.7% 22.7%
2018 4 3.98 2.91 20.5% 9.1% 50.0% 25.8% 19.4%

McCarthy has been serviceable so far this season, posting a 3.98 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 21%. Those are very mediocre numbers, but better than most of the other starters in the Braves’ rotation. McCarthy draws one of his toughest matchups to date, as he squares off against the Reds in the home run-friendly Great American Ball Park. Even though McCarthy has an above-average ground ball rate, this is a scary place to pitch.

Quick Breakdown: I prefer McCarthy over Mahle, but not sure we need to target either in the early slate.

Tyler Mahle
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,600 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 20 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 4 5.53 2.70 15.2% 12.0% 52.5% 23.8% 22.2%
2018 4 4.01 5.14 21.7% 7.6% 38.7% 40.6% 12.5%

Mahle has yet to pitch well at the major league level. In eight starts over the last two seasons, he has a SIERA close to five with a below-average strikeout rate. His profile is a bit strange, as he was a high ground ball pitcher last season and a ground ball pitcher this season. Either way, he’s an easy fade against the Braves in this ballpark. Atlanta is a high-contact offense with a couple of power hitters in Freddie Freeman and Preston Tucker.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Mahle in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Atlanta

The Braves draw a favorable matchup against Tyler Mahle and they get to face him in a hitter-friendly ballpark. We are dealing with a small sample size, but Mahle has allowed a .420 xwOBA and a 43% hard contact rate to left-handed hitters. Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Preston Tucker all bat from the left side and all have good power against right-handed pitching. If you are looking to complete the stack, Ender Inciarte and Kurt Suzuki both stand out as well.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Ender Inciarte LEFT 0.326 0.290 0.105 23.5% 6.2% 13.9% 43.7% OF $2,900 N/A N/A
2 Ozzie Albies SWITCH 0.330 0.333 0.180 30.7% 7.3% 17.0% 37.6% 2B $4,300 N/A N/A
3 Freddie Freeman LEFT 0.414 0.428 0.274 39.5% 15.0% 17.5% 32.0% 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
4 Nick Markakis LEFT 0.323 0.344 0.105 34.1% 11.3% 15.3% 46.1% OF $3,100 N/A N/A
5 Kurt Suzuki RIGHT 0.358 0.344 0.223 32.7% 5.9% 12.1% 35.3% C $2,700 N/A N/A
6 Preston Tucker LEFT 0.361 0.340 0.231 44.7% 5.4% 26.8% 39.5% OF $3,000 N/A N/A
7 Dansby Swanson RIGHT 0.285 0.298 0.097 27.6% 9.7% 22.1% 47.7% SS $3,700 N/A N/A
8 Ryan Flaherty LEFT 0.368 0.330 0.108 21.9% 14.3% 19.4% 59.7% 3B $3,100 N/A N/A
9 Brandon McCarthy RIGHT 0.136 0.174 0.036 16.7% 8.8% 55.9% 50.0% P $7,800 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Preston Tucker

Secondary Plays – Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki

Stackability – YELLOW

Cincinnati

The Reds are playing at home in a good ballpark, but have a low implied run total in a matchup against Brandon McCarthy. Even though he’s not a high-strikeout pitcher, he’s still a tough matchup. Since the beginning of last season, he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA and under a 29% hard contact rate. Outside of Joey Votto as a low-owned one-off target in tournaments, the Reds are an easy offense to fade in the early slate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Jesse Winker LEFT 0.415 0.390 0.197 37.0% 15.2% 18.3% 51.4% OF $2,900 N/A N/A
2 Jose Peraza RIGHT 0.272 0.285 0.074 21.3% 3.2% 14.2% 43.7% SS $2,600 N/A N/A
3 Joey Votto LEFT 0.420 0.436 0.230 35.9% 18.6% 10.0% 36.9% 1B $3,800 N/A N/A
4 Scooter Gennett LEFT 0.376 0.346 0.230 37.6% 6.4% 20.4% 40.3% 2B $3,100 N/A N/A
5 Scott Schebler LEFT 0.331 0.356 0.266 39.5% 9.4% 24.0% 44.5% OF $2,500 N/A N/A
6 Tucker Barnhart SWITCH 0.325 0.336 0.141 34.5% 10.3% 16.3% 42.7% C $2,300 N/A N/A
7 Alex Blandino RIGHT 0.165 0.270 0.000 38.9% 3.7% 25.9% 50.0% 3B $2,100 N/A N/A
8 Tyler Mahle RIGHT 0.178 0.205 0.000 27.3% 0.0% 20.0% 90.0% P $6,600 N/A N/A
9 Billy Hamilton SWITCH 0.290 0.257 0.083 15.1% 9.2% 20.9% 47.9% OF $2,700 N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Joey Votto (GPP)

Secondary Plays – Joey Votto (Cash), Scooter Gennett

Stackability – ORANGE


Arizona at Philadelphia – 7:05 PM ET

Arizona Philadelphia
Robbie Ray Vince Velasquez
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
PHI -105 7.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.281 0.307 48.8% 6.0% 38.9% 33.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.367 0.353 33.3% 11.8% 23.0% 43.8%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.294 0.310 39.9% 12.4% 31.3% 40.9% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.328 0.342 36.9% 7.4% 22.2% 37.7%

Pitcher Grind Down

Robbie Ray
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,300 Salary: $11,000 Salary: $21,500
Salary Rank: 3 of 30 Salary Rank: 2 of 30 Salary Rank: 1 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 28 3.53 2.89 32.8% 10.7% 40.3% 40.4% 16.4%
2018 4 3.70 4.98 33.0% 14.4% 33.3% 50.0% 10.0%

Ray isn’t off to the best start this season. He has had trouble with his command, he has allowed a hard contact rate of 50%, and his ERA is close to five. The good news is that there are some encouraging signs as well — 3.70 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 33%. The bad news is that he is facing the Phillies in a small ballpark. Fly-ball pitchers tend to struggle here. Ray certainly has enough strikeout upside to warrant consideration in tournaments, but there are enough red flags that he should be avoided in cash games.

Quick Breakdown: Ray is a boom or bust option for tournaments.

Vince Velasquez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $7,000 Salary: $14,100
Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank: 13 of 30 Salary Rank: 12 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 15 4.73 5.13 21.6% 10.8% 42.5% 38.1% 15.2%
2018 4 3.30 3.80 26.1% 5.4% 34.4% 25.4% 15.9%

Velasquez may have turned a corner. In four starts so far this season, he has a 3.30 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 26% and a walk rate of 5%. He’s always had the talent, he just hasn’ tbeen able to put it all together at the major league level. His matchup against the Diamondbacks is of the boom or bust variety. While they have some good hitters in their lineup, they also have six projected starters with at least a 21% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. This may be a contrarian take, but I actually prefer Velasquez over Ray tonight.

Quick Breakdown: I’m not sure we need exposure to either pitcher tonight, but dollar for dollar I prefer Velasquez over Ray.

Batter Grind Down

Arizona

Even though this game is being played in a home run-friendly ballpark, the total is set at only 7.5 runs. The betting markets have respect for both of these starting pitchers. It’s hard to trust the splits for Vince Velasquez, as he’s been a much better pitcher in his first four starts of this season than he was in his 15 starts last season. David Peralta, Paul Goldschmidt, and Alex Avila (on DraftKings) are viable tournament targets, but this isn’t an offense that I will have much exposure to.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 David Peralta LEFT 0.358 0.326 0.167 37.2% 8.0% 16.8% 52.7% OF $3,500 OF $4,100 RF $8,100
2 Ketel Marte SWITCH 0.304 0.326 0.124 25.9% 9.3% 14.7% 43.1% 2B $3,100 2B/SS $3,600 SS $7,300
3 Paul Goldschmidt RIGHT 0.392 0.388 0.254 42.0% 14.1% 24.7% 46.2% 1B $4,600 1B $5,000 1B $9,900
4 A.J. Pollock RIGHT 0.340 0.344 0.193 37.7% 8.5% 19.8% 42.0% OF $4,100 OF $4,800 CF $8,900
5 Daniel Descalso LEFT 0.324 0.337 0.162 41.6% 12.0% 21.4% 36.4% 3B $2,400 2B/3B $2,900 2B $5,900
6 Alex Avila LEFT 0.361 0.413 0.197 53.9% 16.7% 34.0% 36.7% C $2,100 C $3,000 C $5,900
7 Nick Ahmed RIGHT 0.264 0.254 0.151 29.8% 6.7% 23.2% 43.9% SS $2,900 SS $2,900 SS $5,700
8 Robbie Ray LEFT 0.227 0.198 0.049 20.0% 4.1% 34.7% 60.9% P $9,300 P $11,000 P $21,500
9 Robbie Ray LEFT 0.227 0.198 0.049 20.0% 4.1% 34.7% 60.9% P $9,300 P $11,000 P $21,500

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – David Peralta, Paul Goldschmidt, Alex Avila (DK)

Stackability – ORANGE

Philadelphia

Robbie Ray has such a high strikeout rate that is kills any fantasy appeal of a Phillies’ stack. Even if they manage to get baserunners each inning, there is no guarantee that they are going to score runs. Ray’s high strikeout rate allows him to get out of jams that most pitchers aren’t able to. With that said, he’s a fly ball pitcher that gives up a lot of hard contact. Rhys Hoskins is an excellent one-off target in tournaments. He owns a massive .472 xwOBA against southpaws since the beginning of last season.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats wOBA xwOBA ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Cesar Hernandez SWITCH 0.356 0.356 0.165 24.7% 12.7% 11.6% 60.3% 2B $3,500 2B $4,000 2B $7,500
2 Carlos Santana SWITCH 0.331 0.346 0.160 30.5% 13.1% 8.7% 49.3% 1B $3,300 1B $3,600 1B $7,700
3 Odubel Herrera LEFT 0.322 0.306 0.161 30.8% 3.8% 23.9% 51.2% OF $3,200 OF $3,600 IF/OF $7,600
4 Rhys Hoskins RIGHT 0.435 0.472 0.412 50.0% 29.9% 18.2% 31.6% OF $4,900 OF $5,100 1B $10,100
5 Maikel Franco RIGHT 0.299 0.324 0.209 33.3% 7.8% 13.3% 46.1% 3B $3,200 3B $3,500 3B $6,300
6 Scott Kingery RIGHT 0.417 0.423 0.308 30.0% 7.1% 21.4% 30.0% SS $3,400 3B/SS $4,000 SS $7,500
7 Aaron Altherr RIGHT 0.358 0.363 0.275 39.0% 11.8% 18.4% 45.3% OF $2,400 OF $3,200 LF $6,600
8 Jorge Alfaro RIGHT 0.194 0.228 0.044 29.6% 10.0% 36.0% 59.3% C $2,100 C $2,800 C $5,600
9 Jake Arrieta RIGHT 0.202 0.137 0.000 16.7% 0.0% 53.8% 50.0% P $8,800 P $8,600 P $17,100

Elite Plays – Rhys Hoskins (GPP)

Secondary Plays – Rhys Hoskins (Cash), Cesar Hernandez

Stackability – ORANGE


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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

    footballguys.com Interview

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