MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, July 11th

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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


Detroit at Tampa Bay – 12:10 PM ET

Detroit Tampa Bay
Jordan Zimmermann Hunter Wood
RIGHT **
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
TBD
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.271 0.293 31.1% 88.6 26.4% 31.1% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.345 0.196 30.0% 83.5 15.4% 40.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.280 0.311 30.2% 86.3 23.3% 28.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.188 0.316 54.6% 83.2 7.7% 81.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jordan Zimmermann
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,100 Salary: $9,500 Salary:
Salary Rank: 11 of 30 Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 29 5.22 6.08 14.5% 6.2% 33.2% 39.5% 13.4% 92.2 8.1%
2018 11 3.64 3.51 24.8% 4.4% 29.7% 30.6% 22.5% 91.2 10.2%
L14 3 3.07 0.90 27.8% 1.4% 32.7% 17.7% 25.5% 91.3 11.0%

We have a light early schedule for a Wednesday. There are technically four early games, but the Giants’ game starts much later than the other three, so it isn’t included in the early-only slates on FanDuel or DraftKings. Zimmermann has pitched so well this season that he deserves a new picture here on RotoGrinders. Say goodbye to the sad emoji face, as it will no longer be his picture after today. In his 11 starts, he has a 3.64 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 25% and excellent control (4% walk rate). He doesn’t get many outs by the way of the ground ball, but his ability to limit hard contact has been impressive. He gets to play in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and face a strikeout-prone Rays’ offense (23% k-rate in their projected lineup).

Quick Breakdown: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Keep playing Zimmermann until his price and ownership catch up to his production.

Hunter Wood
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $4,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 29 of 30 Salary Rank: 30 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 0 13.42 0.00 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 90.0 0.0%
2018 0 4.22 2.84 11.5% 7.7% 61.9% 42.9% 14.3% 92.5 8.3%
L14 0 3.60 2.25 14.3% 7.1% 72.7% 36.4% 18.2% 92.6 10.2%

Wood has made four relief appearances this season, but this will mark his first career major league start. His numbers in the minors this season are impressive (2.33 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 38%), but they are basically irrelevant. Most of his work came as a reliever and while he will technically draw the start, this will be another bullpen outing for Tampa Bay. It’s always important to dive deep into the statistics because on paper we have a young pitcher with a 38% k-rate in the minors that is dirt cheap and facing the strikeout-happy Tigers. In reality, he’s not going to pitch more than a couple of innings.

Quick Breakdown: I’m excited to see him in action, but Wood is an easy fade in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Detroit

The Tigers aren’t an offense that we look to target often, especially on the road in a pitcher-friendly environment. Pitching debuts are always difficult to predict, but this isn’t your average debut. Hunter Wood is only going to pitch an inning or two. As always, this is a situation where you play the talent of the hitters rather than the matchup. Unfortunately, the Tigers don’t have a lot of talent in their lineup. Nick Castellanos and Niko Goodrum are fine for tournament play, but far from core options in this three-game slate.

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 JaCoby Jones RIGHT 0.299 87.3 0.175 30.3% 4.1% 28.8% 41.1% OF $2,700 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
2 Nick Castellanos RIGHT 0.377 89.6 0.196 47.8% 5.5% 22.5% 32.7% OF $4,000 OF $5,100 N/A N/A
3 Niko Goodrum SWITCH 0.332 88.2 0.220 35.1% 8.5% 31.4% 42.3% 2B $3,500 2B/OF $4,100 N/A N/A
4 John Hicks RIGHT 0.279 85.8 0.150 41.2% 4.5% 30.7% 44.1% 1B $2,800 1B/C $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Victor Martinez SWITCH 0.351 88.4 0.073 41.1% 7.5% 10.2% 41.1% C $2,300 1B $2,800 N/A N/A
6 Jeimer Candelario SWITCH 0.300 87.2 0.192 34.0% 11.9% 24.3% 38.0% 3B $3,000 3B $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Mikie Mahtook RIGHT 0.233 87.8 0.063 23.9% 5.8% 27.5% 43.5% OF $2,500 OF $3,100 N/A N/A
8 James McCann RIGHT 0.275 88.3 0.071 36.4% 5.1% 21.0% 38.5% C $2,300 C $3,200 N/A N/A
9 Jose Iglesias RIGHT 0.274 84.3 0.090 24.3% 3.5% 11.2% 46.0% SS $2,600 SS $3,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.302 87.4 0.137 34.9% 6.3% 23.1% 40.8%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysNick Castellanos, Niko Goodrum

StackabilityORANGE

Tampa Bay

One year ago, the Rays would have been one of the best offenses to target in a matchup against Jordan ZImmermann. Oh how the tides have turned. He has really turned his career around with a strong season. He has a 25% strikeout rate and has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .315 xwOBA. His high fly-ball rate isn’t going to hurt him in this ballpark and it’s not like this Rays’ lineup is loaded with home run upside. Jake Bauers, Wilson Ramos, and C.J. Cron are fine tournament plays, but we shouldn’t get carried away with the Rays’ 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 Kevin Kiermaier LEFT 0.258 87.5 0.054 37.5% 9.5% 31.0% 59.6% OF $2,800 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Matt Duffy RIGHT 0.330 87.0 0.111 31.8% 6.2% 14.2% 51.1% 3B $3,400 3B $3,700 N/A N/A
3 Jake Bauers LEFT 0.370 90.6 0.203 45.3% 17.6% 23.1% 41.5% 1B $3,300 1B $3,900 N/A N/A
4 Wilson Ramos RIGHT 0.359 91.0 0.156 40.9% 8.1% 20.6% 53.7% C $3,400 C $4,100 N/A N/A
5 C.J. Cron RIGHT 0.346 87.6 0.207 35.0% 5.7% 25.4% 45.2% 1B $3,700 1B $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Joey Wendle LEFT 0.288 89.4 0.093 34.7% 5.9% 22.3% 50.3% 2B $2,800 2B $3,500 N/A N/A
7 Daniel Robertson RIGHT 0.330 86.5 0.122 36.5% 13.8% 27.5% 47.1% 2B $3,400 2B/SS $3,700 LF $4,200
8 Adeiny Hechavarria RIGHT 0.299 85.8 0.104 37.7% 3.7% 17.8% 38.5% SS $2,500 SS $2,900 N/A N/A
9 Carlos Gomez RIGHT 0.290 84.8 0.112 29.9% 6.6% 26.3% 33.1% OF $2,800 OF $3,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.319 87.8 0.129 36.6% 8.6% 23.1% 46.7%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJake Bauers, Wilson Ramos, C.J. Cron

StackabilityORANGE


Washington at Pittsburgh – 12:35 PM ET

Washington Pittsburgh
Gio Gonzalez Trevor Williams
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
WAS -122 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.254 0.249 26.0% 85.9 30.8% 50.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.316 0.348 27.0% 84.1 11.2% 41.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.337 0.342 31.0% 87.4 19.4% 50.7% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.307 0.341 32.9% 87.2 22.7% 40.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Gio Gonzalez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,900 Salary: $8,800 Salary:
Salary Rank: 12 of 30 Salary Rank: 9 of 30 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 18 4.45 3.76 21.5% 11.2% 50.5% 30.1% 17.4% 89.5 9.7%
L14 3 6.83 9.00 17.5% 22.8% 51.5% 23.5% 26.5% 90.5 9.8%

Gonzalez has fallen off the face of the earth, although that expression doesn’t make a ton of sense unless you are a flat earther like Kyrie Irving. Gonzalez hasn’t topped ten fantasy points (DK scoring) since June 2nd. I hate to tell you Gio, but double-digit fantasy points isn’t that big of an accomplishment. In his last two outings, he has a 6.83 SIERA with a 23% walk rate… Yikes. I can’t buy into Gonzalez given his form, even though he’s favored against the Pirates. It doesn’t help that Pittsburgh has eight batters in their lineup with at least a .320 xwOBA against southpaws this season.

Quick Breakdown: Let’s go Buccos.

Trevor Williams
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,000 Salary: $7,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 26 of 30 Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.63 4.07 18.2% 8.1% 48.0% 28.9% 21.8% 92.1 8.4%
2018 18 4.75 4.60 17.3% 8.1% 40.9% 29.9% 22.3% 90.5 7.7%
L14 2 6.32 11.57 11.4% 11.4% 28.0% 50.0% 7.7% 90.6 7.9%

This early slate is something special. It features the gassiest of gas cans. Williams is one of the aforementioned gas cans, posting a 4.75 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 17% on the season. While he does limit hard contact, that hasn’t been the case over his last few starts. He draws a difficult matchup against the Nationals, whose projected lineup has a .342 xwOBA, a 10% walk rate, and a 21% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season. We have to find two pitchers to roster in this ugly early slate, but Williams isn’t going to be one of them that cracks my lineup.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Williams in both cash games and tournaments.

Batter Grind Down

Washington

The Nationals’ offense has been hit or miss all season, but find themselves in an exploitable matchup early on a Wednesday. Trevor Williams is a low-strikeout pitcher with below-average control and a high fly-ball rate. On the season, he has allowed a .348 xwOBA to lefties and a .341 xwOBA to righties. He has really struggled with lefties when it comes to strikeouts (11%), which bodes well for the likes of Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Matt Adams, and Daniel Murphy. They all bat from the left side and each own a .345+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching 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 Adam Eaton LEFT 0.380 87.2 0.115 42.3% 8.2% 16.3% 47.1% OF $3,300 OF $4,700 N/A N/A
2 Juan Soto LEFT 0.399 90.0 0.202 38.3% 18.1% 18.1% 45.7% OF $4,200 OF $4,800 N/A N/A
3 Anthony Rendon RIGHT 0.398 91.4 0.228 36.7% 9.9% 14.6% 34.4% 3B $3,800 3B $4,600 N/A N/A
4 Bryce Harper LEFT 0.403 91.0 0.286 42.9% 19.4% 23.3% 36.3% OF $4,600 OF $5,300 N/A N/A
5 Matt Adams LEFT 0.394 89.3 0.304 41.5% 10.3% 20.6% 34.0% 1B $3,600 1B/OF $4,500 N/A N/A
6 Trea Turner RIGHT 0.335 89.2 0.148 33.2% 9.2% 21.1% 54.0% SS $3,900 SS $5,200 N/A N/A
7 Daniel Murphy LEFT 0.346 88.0 0.073 15.7% 6.7% 8.3% 31.4% 1B $3,000 2B $4,400 N/A N/A
8 Matt Wieters SWITCH 0.333 85.7 0.143 20.9% 10.7% 10.7% 37.2% C $2,000 C $3,400 N/A N/A
9 Gio Gonzalez LEFT 0.086 66.3 0.000 20.0% 0.0% 54.5% 57.1% P $7,900 P $8,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.342 86.5 0.167 32.4% 10.3% 20.8% 41.9%

Elite PlaysAdam Eaton, Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Matt Adams

Secondary PlaysAnthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Daniel Murphy

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Pittsburgh

The Pirates are facing Gio Gonzalez at an opportune time. Over his last three starts, he has more walks (13) than strikeouts (10). While he does own an above-average ground ball rate against both left and right-handed hitters, he has allowed a .342 xwOBA to righties this season. Pittsburgh has quietly constructed a lineup that is more than capable of mashing southpaws, as Starling Marte, Francisco Cervelli, David Freese, and Josh Harrison all bat from the right side and all own a .340+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching this season.

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 Austin Meadows LEFT 0.365 91.5 0.288 46.2% 7.0% 22.8% 43.6% OF $2,400 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
2 Starling Marte RIGHT 0.347 88.9 0.217 34.6% 7.9% 23.7% 52.9% OF $3,700 OF $5,200 N/A N/A
3 Gregory Polanco LEFT 0.321 84.3 0.250 36.4% 10.8% 27.0% 32.6% OF $3,400 OF $4,900 N/A N/A
4 Francisco Cervelli RIGHT 0.402 92.9 0.176 37.5% 19.0% 23.8% 33.3% C $2,600 C $4,000 N/A N/A
5 David Freese RIGHT 0.355 91.7 0.030 39.2% 9.2% 23.7% 56.9% 3B $2,400 1B/3B $3,400 N/A N/A
6 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.323 89.5 0.141 23.2% 14.1% 20.0% 39.3% 1B $2,700 1B $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Josh Harrison RIGHT 0.341 87.3 0.115 39.1% 1.9% 11.1% 34.8% 2B $2,700 2B $3,800 N/A N/A
8 Jordy Mercer RIGHT 0.348 89.5 0.141 35.0% 6.3% 15.2% 35.0% SS $2,300 SS $3,200 N/A N/A
9 Trevor Williams RIGHT 0.145 92.0 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 100.0% P $6,000 P $7,100 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.327 89.7 0.151 32.4% 8.5% 22.3% 47.6%

Elite PlaysStarling Marte, Francisco Cervelli (DK)

Secondary PlaysFrancisco Cervelli (FD), David Freese, Josh Bell, Josh Harrison

StackabilityYELLOW


Kansas City at Minnesota – 1:10 PM ET

Kansas City Minnesota
Burch Smith Lance Lynn
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
MIN -210 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.354 0.353 45.8% 88.3 17.5% 41.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.382 0.388 38.7% 87.8 14.4% 57.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.374 0.380 53.5% 91.0 26.7% 37.9% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.316 0.304 34.3% 88.3 26.4% 47.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Burch Smith
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $5,200 Salary:
Salary Rank: 29 of 30 Salary Rank: 24 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 0 4.26 5.40 23.2% 12.5% 39.4% 50.0% 11.3% 93.5 9.5%
L14 0 2.75 0.00 25.0% 0.0% 40.0% 60.0% 6.7% 93.2 11.5%

Smith is a bit older than most prospects (28 years old). He was drafted by the Padres and made seven major league starts in 2013 before requiring Tommy John surgery. I don’t exactly know where he’s been the last four years, but he’s back in the majors now. He has made 24 relief appearances for the Royals, posting a SIERA of 4.26 with a strikeout rate of 23%. He hasn’t shown the best control and he’s not likely to throw more than 50-60 pitches (assuming everything goes well). As a large underdog on the road in what should be a high scoring game, it’s easy to take a wait and see approach with Smith.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Smith in all formats.

Lance Lynn
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $7,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank: 13 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 33 4.85 3.43 19.7% 10.1% 44.0% 29.2% 21.1% 91.8 9.0%
2018 17 4.66 5.21 21.5% 13.2% 52.0% 36.2% 20.1% 93.0 10.3%
L14 3 4.20 8.53 18.8% 9.4% 53.3% 26.7% 20.0% 94.0 11.3%

Lynn has been on my radar far too often recently. Even though he has a high SIERA and a high walk rate, there are some encouraging signs. He has a mediocre strikeout rate (22%) and a high ground ball rate (52%). His velocity is up significantly from where it was last season and consequently, he is generating more swings and misses. He is at his best when facing a right-handed heavy offense and Royals’ projected lineup only has three lefties in it. While these lefties have hit right-handed pitching well, Lynn should be able to feast on the righties in this lineup.

Quick Breakdown: Lynn and Zimmermann are the top two pitching options of the early slate.

Batter Grind Down

Kansas City

The Royals have an easy matchup to break down. Lance Lynn has been terrific against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .304 xwOBA with a 26% strikeout rate. While his ground ball rate is somehow 10% higher against lefties, he has allowed a .388 xwOBA, a 39% hard contact rate, and a 14% strikeout rate to batters from that side of the plate. Mike Moustakas and Lucas Duda are both lefties with high fly-ball rates and great numbers against right-handed pitching. Given the fact that we are dealing with limited options in the early slate, I wouldn’t rule out playing Lynn with either Moustakas or Duda.

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 Whit Merrifield RIGHT 0.341 86.6 0.082 39.6% 9.8% 16.8% 35.9% 2B $3,100 2B/OF $4,600 N/A N/A
2 Jorge Bonifacio RIGHT 0.340 87.8 0.105 37.5% 5.0% 15.0% 25.0% OF $2,400 OF $3,800 N/A N/A
3 Mike Moustakas LEFT 0.392 90.7 0.248 47.5% 8.7% 15.3% 26.9% 3B $3,000 3B $4,500 N/A N/A
4 Salvador Perez RIGHT 0.345 90.4 0.149 44.0% 2.4% 18.4% 36.3% C $2,700 C $3,800 N/A N/A
5 Lucas Duda LEFT 0.392 90.2 0.207 46.1% 6.9% 24.4% 24.7% 1B $2,400 1B $3,900 N/A N/A
6 Rosell Herrera SWITCH 0.233 85.3 0.109 35.9% 3.4% 29.3% 51.3% OF $2,100 OF $3,100 N/A N/A
7 Alex Gordon LEFT 0.380 87.7 0.122 37.4% 7.4% 20.8% 51.1% OF $2,300 OF $3,300 N/A N/A
8 Alcides Escobar RIGHT 0.267 83.9 0.053 34.2% 4.9% 11.5% 45.4% SS $2,300 SS $2,700 N/A N/A
9 Adalberto Mondesi RIGHT 0.301 87.3 0.079 44.4% 2.6% 28.2% 53.8% SS $2,400 2B/SS $4,000 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.332 87.8 0.128 40.7% 5.7% 20.0% 38.9%

Elite PlaysMike Moustakas (GPP), Lucas Duda (GPP)

Secondary PlaysMike Moustakas (Cash), Lucas Duda (Cash), Alex Gordon

StackabilityORANGE

Minnesota

The Twins’ stack disappointed last night against Ian Kennedy. In hindsight, they were a better offense to target with one-offs rather than as a full stack. They were facing an extreme fly-ball pitcher and most of their hitters had high fly-ball rates against righties. This led to a lot of fly-outs and quick innings, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a stack. We can go right back to the Twins’ well tonight, as they square off against Burch Smith and a struggling Royals’ bullpen that is ranked dead last in both WAR (wins above replacement) and SIERA this season. We can load up on the Twins’ offense in both cash games and tournaments.

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 Joe Mauer LEFT 0.391 90.3 0.080 38.5% 11.8% 11.3% 51.4% 1B $2,900 1B $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Eddie Rosario LEFT 0.358 89.8 0.264 38.7% 6.7% 16.3% 28.5% OF $3,600 OF $5,000 N/A N/A
3 Brian Dozier RIGHT 0.308 87.4 0.200 39.4% 9.3% 20.0% 37.9% 2B $4,300 2B $4,400 N/A N/A
4 Eduardo Escobar SWITCH 0.367 86.8 0.311 40.1% 6.3% 23.3% 25.1% 3B $4,000 3B/SS $4,700 N/A N/A
5 Logan Morrison LEFT 0.375 89.3 0.190 39.2% 10.6% 19.4% 28.1% 1B $3,000 1B $3,500 N/A N/A
6 Jorge Polanco SWITCH 0.337 84.9 0.111 23.1% 14.3% 23.8% 50.0% SS $3,400 SS $3,800 N/A N/A
7 Max Kepler LEFT 0.323 89.9 0.142 38.0% 11.7% 13.8% 37.4% OF $3,200 OF $4,200 N/A N/A
8 Jake Cave LEFT 0.380 90.3 0.180 36.8% 3.8% 23.1% 50.0% OF $2,800 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
9 Bobby Wilson RIGHT 0.230 77.9 0.103 22.4% 6.5% 18.2% 50.0% C $2,300 C $2,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.341 87.4 0.176 35.1% 9.0% 18.8% 39.8%

Elite PlaysEddie Rosario, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Logan Morrison

Secondary PlaysJoe Mauer, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler

StackabilityGREEN


Chicago Cubs at San Francisco – 3:45 PM ET

Chicago Cubs San Francisco
Mike Montgomery Johnny Cueto
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
SF -105 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.316 0.337 31.4% 87.2 19.0% 61.8% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.209 0.282 26.8% 85.3 17.1% 41.8%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.273 0.313 29.4% 85.9 14.1% 51.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.299 0.264 29.8% 85.1 22.2% 52.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Mike Montgomery
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,800 Salary: $7,200 Salary:
Salary Rank: 20 of 30 Salary Rank: 15 of 30 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 8 4.44 3.68 15.8% 8.1% 54.6% 30.0% 22.9% 91.7 9.6%
L14 2 5.30 5.40 14.3% 10.2% 41.2% 25.7% 20.0% 90.8 9.3%

This is the game that was left off the early slate and off the main slate. It’s stuck in DFS purgatory. If you are playing the showdown slate, I’ll quickly give my thoughts on it. Both pitchers see a significant boost playing in AT&T Park, which is one of the toughest on run production in the majors. Montgomery doesn’t offer much in terms of upside, but he induces a lot of ground balls and a lot of soft contact. When he finds the strike zone, he is typically economical with his pitch count. His matchup against the Giants isn’t great, but it’s not the worst on the schedule. San Francisco’s projected lineup has a .303 xwOBA with a strikeout rate of 18% against left-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Montgomery offers a higher floor than Cueto, but his ceiling is limited.

Johnny Cueto
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,800 Salary: $9,700 Salary:
Salary Rank: 12 of 30 Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 25 4.49 4.52 21.0% 8.2% 39.4% 34.6% 16.6% 91.3 10.6%
2018 6 4.08 1.95 19.7% 5.6% 46.5% 28.2% 26.2% 89.8 10.1%
L14 1 5.64 9.00 8.0% 8.0% 52.4% 38.1% 19.1% 87.9 9.2%

Cueto was shelled in his first start back from injury. He was originally supposed to take the mound last night, but the Giants decided to give him an extra day of rest. In a full slate, he would be one of the easiest fades on the board. He’s an aging pitcher that is coming off of a disappointing 2017 campaign. He needs to flash some form before we start considering him in anything other than a small slate like this one. Even with that said, I would rather take my chances with Mike Montgomery in this game. The Cubs have five batters in their projected lineup with at least a .345 xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: Cueto needs to show us something before he deserves consideration, even in the showdown slate.

Batter Grind Down

Chicago Cubs

Every once in a while, we’ll get a showdown slate that is ugly. The Cubs and Giants squaring off in AT&T Park certainly qualifies. We have two risky pitchers on the mound, but we can’t feel great about either offense in this pitcher-friendly ballpark. The sample size is small, but Johnny Cueto has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .285 xwOBA this season. His ground ball rate is significantly lower against lefties, so we can lean on the likes of Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, and Ben Zobrist.

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 Albert Almora RIGHT 0.275 87.1 0.117 30.9% 5.4% 18.8% 50.0% OF $2,800 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
2 Jason Heyward LEFT 0.357 89.1 0.155 33.7% 8.1% 9.9% 40.6% OF $2,800 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
3 Javier Baez RIGHT 0.347 90.3 0.278 37.7% 3.5% 26.8% 41.6% 2B $4,500 2B/SS $5,100 N/A N/A
4 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.390 90.7 0.187 34.0% 10.5% 9.0% 38.8% 1B $3,400 1B $4,800 N/A N/A
5 Ben Zobrist SWITCH 0.358 88.8 0.159 33.6% 15.2% 12.7% 44.5% OF $3,000 2B/OF $4,000 N/A N/A
6 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.310 87.5 0.153 30.8% 7.7% 19.1% 50.3% C $3,100 C $4,200 N/A N/A
7 Kyle Schwarber LEFT 0.385 89.7 0.296 42.1% 16.5% 25.3% 43.0% OF $3,600 OF $4,300 N/A N/A
8 Addison Russell RIGHT 0.302 86.4 0.109 32.3% 9.3% 21.6% 37.9% SS $3,300 SS $4,100 N/A N/A
9 Mike Montgomery LEFT 0.141 68.7 0.000 20.0% 6.3% 62.5% 75.0% P $6,800 P $7,200 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.318 86.5 0.162 32.8% 9.2% 22.9% 46.9%

Elite PlaysJason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist

Secondary PlaysAlbert Almora, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber

StackabilityYELLOW

San Francisco

The Giants have a lot working against them today. They are playing at home in a bad ballpark for offensive production and they are facing a pitcher with an elite ground ball rate. Mike Montgomery has actually had reverse splits this season, holding right-handed hitters to a .313 xwOBA and a 29% hard contact rate. He’s not a high strikeout pitcher by any means, but this is still far from an ideal matchup. In a full slate, the Giants would be a full fade. In the showdown slate, Brandon Belt, Andrew McCutchen, and Buster Posey are your best options. In all honesty, the best idea is to save your bankroll and play more in tonight’s 11-game slate.

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 Gorkys Hernandez RIGHT 0.322 86.3 0.180 41.3% 7.2% 27.8% 44.1% OF $2,700 OF $3,300 N/A N/A
2 Brandon Belt LEFT 0.386 84.3 0.106 38.4% 12.4% 20.4% 38.0% 1B $3,900 1B $4,600 N/A N/A
3 Andrew McCutchen RIGHT 0.380 90.7 0.178 46.6% 9.2% 22.9% 38.6% OF $3,400 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
4 Buster Posey RIGHT 0.416 91.1 0.196 45.2% 14.7% 8.3% 40.5% C $2,800 C $4,000 N/A N/A
5 Austin Slater RIGHT 0.255 86.0 0.143 23.1% 5.9% 11.8% 69.2% OF $2,100 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
6 Brandon Crawford LEFT 0.358 86.5 0.216 37.0% 7.7% 20.0% 41.3% SS $3,000 SS $3,900 N/A N/A
7 Pablo Sandoval SWITCH 0.257 84.7 0.082 26.8% 7.5% 15.1% 48.8% 3B $2,300 1B/3B $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Alen Hanson SWITCH 0.234 84.0 0.054 33.3% 4.9% 22.0% 55.2% 2B $2,400 2B/OF $3,700 N/A N/A
9 Johnny Cueto RIGHT 0.121 80.8 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 14.3% 66.7% P $7,800 P $9,700 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.303 86.0 0.128 32.4% 7.7% 18.1% 49.2%

Elite PlaysBrandon Belt, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey

Secondary PlaysGorkys Hernandez, Austin Slater, Brandon Crawford

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW


NY Yankees at Baltimore – 7:05 PM ET

NY Yankees Baltimore
Sonny Gray Dylan Bundy
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYY -135 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% aEV K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.343 0.370 39.5% 89.0 18.8% 45.0% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.374 0.394 34.2% 90.1 21.1% 32.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.359 0.326 32.1% 90.1 21.1% 50.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.278 0.289 33.1% 87.8 31.6% 38.4%

Pitcher Grind Down

Sonny Gray
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,300 Salary: $6,500 Salary: $12,700
Salary Rank: 17 of 30 Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank: 13 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 27 4.08 3.55 22.6% 8.4% 52.8% 28.0% 16.8% 93.0 11.9%
2018 17 4.46 5.85 20.0% 9.9% 47.7% 35.6% 14.8% 93.3 10.1%
L14 2 5.49 22.85 12.9% 12.9% 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 93.7 9.2%

Gray has basically become the poor man’s Carlos Carrasco this season. If you aren’t sure what I am referring to, he has been awful at home and quite effective on the road. If you pull up his splits in his DraftKings’ profile, you can see that he has averaged four fantasy points per start at home and 16 fantasy points per start on the road. We’ve been targeting right-handed pitchers against the Orioles all season and tonight we have a chance to play a cheap Gray at discounted ownership. While he’s far from a lock, he has a 21% strikeout rate against right-handed hitters this season and will likely see seven righties in the Orioles’ lineup that just so happens to have a 25% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: Trust the road splits and the platoon advantage and fire up Gray as an SP2 in tournaments.

Dylan Bundy
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,500 Salary: $6,100 Salary: $11,700
Salary Rank: 8 of 30 Salary Rank: 21 of 30 Salary Rank: 16 of 30
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2017 28 4.45 4.24 21.8% 7.3% 32.8% 36.5% 17.6% 92.2 11.4%
2018 17 3.65 4.08 26.3% 7.2% 34.9% 33.7% 15.6% 91.6 13.4%
L14 1 5.33 13.50 10.5% 5.3% 26.7% 31.3% 6.3% 91.7 4.9%

Bundy struggled in his first start back from injury, allowing six runs in less than four innings of work. He only threw 61 pitches in that outing, but that had more to do with ineffectiveness than an actual pitch count. He has yet to face the Yankees this season, but does have the tools needed to succeed in this matchup. Pitchers that have had success against New York have a high strikeout rate and an ability to limit damage against right-handed hitters. Bundy has held righties to a .289 xwOBA with a massive 32% strikeout rate this season. It seems scary in a game that features a total of 9.5 runs, but I have a little interest in both of these starters in tournaments.

Quick Breakdown: I prefer Gray over Bundy, but both are sneaky tournament plays on multi-pitcher sites.

Batter Grind Down

NY Yankees

The Yankees have a talented enough offense that they can overcome any matchup, but it’s worth pointing out that Dylan Bundy has extreme splits this season. His xwOBA against lefties (.394) is more than 100 points higher than it is against righties (.289). These splits are significant because most of the Yankees’ power hitters are right-handed. With the Red Sox and Rockies in such good spots, I will not be stacking the Yankees in this 11-game slate. Instead, I will be attacking this offense through one-offs. With Bundy’s severe splits, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Didi Gregorius are my top targets.

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 $3,200 OF $4,400 LF $8,300
2 Aaron Judge RIGHT 0.401 96.5 0.300 49.0% 14.1% 30.9% 46.3% OF $4,900 OF $5,500 RF $10,500
3 Aaron Hicks SWITCH 0.361 88.9 0.217 38.4% 14.1% 18.6% 43.5% OF $4,000 OF $5,000 CF $9,500
4 Giancarlo Stanton RIGHT 0.300 91.3 0.183 33.8% 8.3% 33.9% 53.9% OF $4,800 OF $5,000 RF $9,900
5 Didi Gregorius LEFT 0.349 88.5 0.245 39.7% 9.2% 12.7% 34.2% SS $4,000 SS $4,700 SS $9,300
6 Miguel Andujar RIGHT 0.352 90.2 0.202 36.6% 2.8% 17.2% 49.4% 3B $3,300 3B $4,500 3B $9,300
7 Greg Bird LEFT 0.318 88.8 0.227 37.1% 9.1% 26.3% 38.7% 1B $2,900 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 $2,800 C $3,700 C $7,400
9 Neil Walker SWITCH 0.337 88.3 0.080 35.9% 10.3% 21.2% 41.9% 2B $2,300 1B/2B $3,300 2B $6,300
Team Averages 0.335 89.4 0.201 37.4% 10.2% 22.2% 41.8%

Elite PlaysAaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius

Secondary PlaysBrett Gardner, Aaron Judge (GPP), Miguel Andujar (GPP)

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

Baltimore

When I first opened up tonight’s slate, my immediate reaction was to stack the Orioles at their discounted price points. Sonny Gray hasn’t been in great form recently and has historically been a reverse-splits pitcher. However, after a deeper dive, I’m more likely to play Gray than I am the Orioles. He’s been much better away from Yankee Stadium and he has been much better against right-handed hitters this season, holding them to a .326 xwOBA and a 21% strikeout rate on a 50% ground ball rate. I’ll never talk anyone out of playing Manny Machado (fly-ball hitter with massive power against right-handed pitching), but I’m lukewarm on the rest of this 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 Tim Beckham RIGHT 0.260 85.7 0.038 23.7% 4.5% 27.0% 49.3% 3B $2,600 3B $3,100 SS $5,800
2 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.339 88.6 0.186 32.0% 3.4% 18.0% 42.2% OF $2,800 OF $3,700 CF $7,500
3 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.395 92.7 0.258 37.4% 11.4% 15.3% 38.3% SS $4,300 SS $5,200 3B $9,700
4 Mark Trumbo RIGHT 0.377 93.3 0.238 42.6% 7.5% 24.4% 37.0% OF $3,400 1B/OF $4,300 DH $8,000
5 Jonathan Schoop RIGHT 0.244 84.9 0.198 25.3% 2.4% 23.8% 48.3% 2B $3,400 2B $3,700 2B $7,300
6 Chris Davis LEFT 0.295 87.1 0.101 35.0% 7.4% 35.0% 41.3% 1B $2,400 1B $3,000 IF/OF $5,800
7 Danny Valencia RIGHT 0.346 91.3 0.128 33.3% 6.7% 22.7% 45.2% OF $2,700 3B/OF $3,300 3B $6,500
8 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.369 90.8 0.152 32.9% 9.3% 24.5% 51.6% OF $2,500 1B/OF $3,300 IF/OF $6,700
9 Chance Sisco LEFT 0.286 88.2 0.084 31.7% 7.2% 34.2% 47.4% C $2,000 C $2,500 C $5,000
Team Averages 0.323 89.2 0.154 32.7% 6.6% 25.0% 44.5%

Elite PlaysManny Machado (GPP)

Secondary PlaysManny Machado (Cash), Mark Trumbo (GPP)

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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