MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, June 13th

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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


NY Mets at Atlanta – 12:10 PM ET

NY Mets Atlanta
Jacob deGrom Mike Soroka
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
NYM -105 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.266 0.265 20.8% 7.5% 31.3% 40.2% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.258 0.348 26.1% 5.7% 28.6% 50.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.208 0.229 27.8% 7.0% 35.4% 47.2% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.444 0.382 25.9% 5.9% 14.7% 37.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jacob deGrom
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $10,700 Salary: $12,600 Salary:
Salary Rank: 3 of 30 Salary Rank: 3 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 31 3.44 3.53 28.9% 7.1% 45.3% 31.9% 21.3%
2018 13 2.78 1.57 33.3% 7.2% 43.6% 24.2% 26.3%
L14 2 2.50 1.80 35.6% 6.8% 42.4% 23.5% 29.4%

There are technically six early games on the schedule today. FanDuel has divided them up into two three-game slates, while DraftKings has a five-game slate that doesn’t include this game. We start with the Mets and their ace, Jacob deGrom. He’s established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball, posting a 2.78 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 33% this season. He has good control and he induces soft and medium contact. There isn’t a single weakness in his resume. A matchup against the Braves is far from ideal, but I don’t worry about matchups as much when it comes to elite pitchers.

Quick Breakdown: DeGrom is an elite play in all formats, even on the road against the Braves.

Mike Soroka
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,400 Salary: $7,400 Salary:
Salary Rank: 23 of 30 Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2018 3 3.60 3.68 21.7% 5.8% 42.9% 26.0% 16.0%

Soroka missed nearly a month with a shoulder injury. He made two rehab starts at the Triple-A level, but will likely still be on a pitch count in today’s outing against the Mets. He is the team’s fourth-ranked prospect and he fared well in his first three major league starts — 3.60 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 22% and a walk rate of 6%. He has a good fastball (mid-90s), a good slider, and a bright future. The issue here is twofold — this is his first major league start since his injury and he’s only included in the all-day slate that features 15 games and 30 different pitching options.

Quick Breakdown: Soroka is a pitcher to keep an eye on moving forward, but he should be avoided against the Mets.

Batter Grind Down

NY Mets

The Mets are facing a rookie pitcher in a ballpark that favors left-handed power. That combination alone brings a few hitters into play for tournaments. Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jay Bruce all bat from the left side of the plate and all have power against right-handed pitching. Mike Soroka is a talented young righty, but he has allowed a .348 xwOBA to lefties in his first three major league starts.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Michael Conforto LEFT 0.336 0.307 0.146 28.1% 16.0% 21.8% 37.5% OF $2,700 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
2 Todd Frazier RIGHT 0.377 0.333 0.206 44.3% 13.3% 23.4% 32.9% 3B $3,300 3B $3,900 N/A N/A
3 Brandon Nimmo LEFT 0.441 0.400 0.343 43.0% 14.4% 19.7% 28.2% OF $3,200 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
4 Asdrubal Cabrera SWITCH 0.397 0.394 0.237 47.4% 5.0% 20.1% 36.4% 2B $2,900 2B $3,800 N/A N/A
5 Jay Bruce LEFT 0.383 0.374 0.125 34.8% 11.7% 17.2% 30.4% OF $2,400 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
6 Devin Mesoraco RIGHT 0.335 0.315 0.263 32.3% 6.8% 20.5% 35.5% C $2,400 C $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Dominic Smith LEFT 0.000 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 1B $2,000 1B $3,300 N/A N/A
8 Amed Rosario RIGHT 0.278 0.227 0.092 26.5% 3.7% 21.5% 50.4% SS $2,100 SS $2,800 N/A N/A
9 Jacob deGrom RIGHT 0.194 0.142 0.000 0.0% 5.9% 41.2% 37.5% P $10,700 P $12,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.305 0.312 0.157 28.5% 8.5% 31.7% 32.1%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysMichael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

Atlanta

I’m still kicking myself for not taking my own advice yesterday. I said to play Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Nick Markakis against Zack Wheeler and I didn’t end up doing it. I may have missed my opportunity, but I won’t be chasing that loss by going back to the Braves in a matchup against Jacob deGrom. In addition to an elite strikeout rate, deGrom has held both left and right-handed hitters .270 xwOBA and under a 28% hard contact rate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Ozzie Albies SWITCH 0.314 0.302 0.224 31.6% 5.6% 20.2% 37.3% 2B $4,300 2B $4,300 N/A N/A
2 Dansby Swanson RIGHT 0.303 0.315 0.167 31.1% 6.7% 27.6% 45.7% SS $3,000 SS $3,700 N/A N/A
3 Freddie Freeman LEFT 0.457 0.419 0.208 48.1% 15.7% 14.1% 30.1% 1B $4,700 1B $4,600 N/A N/A
4 Nick Markakis LEFT 0.401 0.362 0.154 37.3% 10.8% 6.5% 43.1% OF $3,800 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
5 Tyler Flowers RIGHT 0.384 0.466 0.106 53.1% 11.1% 27.8% 31.3% C $3,100 C $3,100 N/A N/A
6 Johan Camargo SWITCH 0.372 0.342 0.198 45.3% 20.2% 16.3% 53.1% 3B $2,600 3B/SS $3,000 N/A N/A
7 Ender Inciarte LEFT 0.280 0.244 0.119 26.1% 7.4% 12.9% 46.2% OF $2,700 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Charlie Culberson RIGHT 0.251 0.296 0.184 39.4% 5.7% 30.2% 53.1% SS $2,400 3B/OF $2,700 N/A N/A
9 Mike Soroka RIGHT 0.194 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% P $6,400 P $7,400 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.328 0.343 0.151 34.7% 9.2% 17.3% 48.9%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED


Toronto at Tampa Bay – 1:10 PM ET

Toronto Tampa Bay
J.A. Happ Wilmer Font
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
TBD
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.187 0.248 21.1% 3.3% 33.3% 57.9% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.474 0.446 47.1% 8.5% 17.0% 47.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.301 0.310 31.1% 7.8% 27.5% 43.5% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.411 0.315 43.4% 6.9% 20.6% 39.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

J.A. Happ
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,500 Salary: $10,900 Salary:
Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank: 6 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 25 4.11 3.53 22.7% 7.4% 46.9% 26.7% 20.3%
2018 13 3.25 3.71 28.6% 7.0% 46.2% 29.2% 22.1%
L14 2 4.16 3.00 23.4% 8.5% 37.5% 31.3% 21.9%

Happ is having one of his best seasons ever, which is a bit strange considering the fact that he is 35 years old. In 13 starts this season, he has a 3.25 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29%. I ultimately expect that k-rate to come down to around 25% given the fact that his swinging strike rate is just above the major league average. He sees a ballpark bump playing in Tampa Bay and draws one of the best matchups of the early slate. The Rays’ projected lineup has a .294 xwOBA with a 29% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: Sale is the top ace of the slate, but Happ is arguably number two.

Wilmer Font
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $4,000 Salary:
Salary Rank: 28 of 30 Salary Rank: 29 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 0 6.76 17.18 13.6% 18.2% 26.7% 53.3% 26.7%
2018 1 4.08 9.59 19.2% 7.5% 42.5% 44.8% 12.6%
L14 1 4.52 3.24 20.0% 11.4% 47.8% 43.5% 17.4%

Font is making his second “start” of the season, but won’t pitch more than a few innings. This is another bullpen start for the Rays. It was a fun experiment, but it’s starting to get old. Am I the only one that gets frustrated by this? It immediately takes a pitcher out of consideration and it makes predicting fantasy production for the opponent difficult. Even if Font was stretched enough to throw 80+ pitches, he’d still be an easy fade against the Blue Jays.

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

Batter Grind Down

Toronto

The Blue Jays draw another mediocre matchup against the Rays’ bullpen. On paper, Wilmer Font is an exploitable matchup, but they will likely only face him for two or three innings. The rest will depend on the reliever that ends up in the game at the time of each at-bat. With so many unknowns, it makes sense to target the Blue Jays’ hitters that hit both left and right-handed hitters well. This includes Teoscar Hernandez, Justin Smoak, and potentially Kevin Pillar.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Curtis Granderson LEFT 0.370 0.383 0.213 39.8% 15.3% 29.4% 32.2% OF $3,200 OF $4,000 N/A N/A
2 Yangervis Solarte SWITCH 0.332 0.255 0.170 28.2% 7.5% 16.7% 42.7% 3B $3,600 2B/3B $3,900 N/A N/A
3 Teoscar Hernandez RIGHT 0.395 0.356 0.256 36.9% 4.2% 21.8% 36.9% OF $4,000 OF $4,500 N/A N/A
4 Justin Smoak SWITCH 0.394 0.358 0.235 34.8% 19.3% 26.5% 34.8% 1B $3,300 1B $3,800 N/A N/A
5 Kevin Pillar RIGHT 0.366 0.309 0.182 36.5% 5.5% 19.1% 39.7% OF $3,000 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
6 Russell Martin RIGHT 0.312 0.320 0.186 33.3% 14.1% 25.9% 50.0% C $2,300 C $2,900 N/A N/A
7 Randal Grichuk RIGHT 0.337 0.324 0.295 39.5% 7.2% 27.5% 48.8% OF $2,800 OF $3,500 N/A N/A
8 Aledmys Diaz RIGHT 0.373 0.356 0.240 40.5% 3.7% 13.8% 42.7% SS $2,500 SS $3,100 N/A N/A
9 Devon Travis RIGHT 0.255 0.325 0.063 17.9% 5.7% 26.4% 64.3% 2B $2,300 2B $2,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.348 0.332 0.204 34.2% 9.2% 23.0% 43.6%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysTeoscar Hernandez, Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW

Tampa Bay

The Rays have one of the smallest collections of talent in the majors. They have struggled against left-handed pitching all season and draw a difficult matchup against J.A. Happ. In addition to a high strikeout rate and a low hard contact rate, Happ has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .310 xwOBA this season. Wilson Ramos and C.J. Cron are viable tournament plays, as they both own a .360+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching this season.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Matt Duffy RIGHT 0.283 0.369 0.050 34.9% 6.3% 26.6% 62.8% 3B $2,800 3B $3,400 N/A N/A
2 Jake Bauers LEFT 0.235 0.375 0.125 42.9% 0.0% 12.5% 42.9% 1B $2,800 1B $3,500 N/A N/A
3 Wilson Ramos RIGHT 0.386 0.357 0.161 42.0% 4.6% 18.5% 50.0% C $2,600 C $3,500 N/A N/A
4 C.J. Cron RIGHT 0.364 0.432 0.260 41.2% 6.2% 27.2% 39.2% 1B $3,600 1B $4,000 N/A N/A
5 Willy Adames RIGHT 0.239 0.336 0.429 66.7% 0.0% 57.1% 0.0% SS $2,900 SS $3,400 N/A N/A
6 Christian Arroyo RIGHT 0.284 0.300 0.217 46.7% 8.0% 32.0% 80.0% 3B $2,500 2B/3B $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Carlos Gomez RIGHT 0.241 0.289 0.177 22.0% 1.5% 31.3% 19.5% OF $2,300 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
8 Mallex Smith LEFT 0.240 0.277 0.068 21.9% 4.3% 27.7% 58.6% OF $2,500 OF $3,300 N/A N/A
9 Rob Refsnyder RIGHT 0.371 0.270 0.178 45.2% 19.3% 24.6% 45.2% OF $2,000 OF $2,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.294 0.334 0.185 40.4% 5.6% 28.6% 44.2%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysWilson Ramos, C.J. Cron

StackabilityORANGE


Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee – 2:10 PM ET

Chicago Cubs Milwaukee
Mike Montgomery Jhoulys Chacin
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
MIL -105 9.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.308 0.306 24.4% 5.1% 17.0% 77.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.349 0.373 39.5% 11.7% 12.4% 41.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.261 0.286 25.0% 7.7% 12.8% 55.6% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.238 0.287 40.2% 7.1% 23.9% 35.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Mike Montgomery
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,900 Salary: $6,800 Salary:
Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 14 4.46 3.38 18.5% 10.2% 57.8% 30.2% 20.7%
2018 3 4.05 3.56 14.2% 6.8% 62.7% 24.8% 28.5%
L14 2 4.12 1.50 10.4% 4.2% 65.0% 30.0% 15.0%

Montgomery has only allowed two combined earned runs in his last three starts. While he’s been effective, the signs don’t suggest that he’s going to have this much success moving forward, especially when it comes to fantasy production. His SIERA is higher than his ERA and his strikeout rate of 15% is well below the major league average. His biggest strength is his ability to induce ground balls and soft contact, which makes him a better real life pitcher than daily fantasy pitcher.

Quick Breakdown: Given Montgomery’s lack of strikeout upside, he can be avoided against the Brewers.

Jhoulys Chacin
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,200 Salary: $5,900 Salary:
Salary Rank: 17 of 30 Salary Rank: 23 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 32 4.63 3.89 20.0% 9.4% 49.1% 28.5% 20.2%
2018 14 4.81 3.58 18.0% 9.5% 38.8% 39.8% 17.7%
L14 2 3.56 3.00 25.5% 4.3% 29.0% 34.4% 9.4%

Chacin has pitched well in his last three starts, but he needs the following criteria to deserve consideration in DFS:

— he needs to be facing a right-handed heavy lineup
— he needs to be pitching in a pitcher-friendly ballpark

I hate to break it to him, but he doesn’t meet either criteria today against the Cubs. If you include the pitcher, Chicago has six lefties in their projected lineup. Miller Park clearly doesn’t grade out as a pitcher’s park, which gives Chacin more risk than upside.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Chacin in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs’ matchup against Jhoulys Chacin is one of the easiest of the slate to break down. Throughout his career, he has been tough on right-handed hitters and that has been the case against this season (.287 xwOBA allowed with a 24% strikeout rate). Lefties are a completely different story though, as he has allowed a .373 xwOBA, a 40% hard contact rate, and only a 12% strikeout rate. Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber are the top target here, but I wouldn’t rule out a complete stack with Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Kris Bryant RIGHT 0.363 0.246 0.133 30.9% 12.0% 19.4% 36.7% 3B $4,300 3B $4,700 N/A N/A
2 Jason Heyward LEFT 0.372 0.365 0.153 33.3% 8.2% 8.8% 36.7% OF $3,100 OF $3,700 N/A N/A
3 Ben Zobrist SWITCH 0.360 0.331 0.158 30.4% 14.3% 12.9% 44.1% 2B $3,000 2B/OF $4,200 N/A N/A
4 Anthony Rizzo LEFT 0.404 0.469 0.220 35.2% 11.0% 9.9% 33.1% 1B $4,600 1B $4,900 N/A N/A
5 Willson Contreras RIGHT 0.327 0.297 0.174 29.0% 8.1% 17.3% 47.7% C $3,100 C $3,800 N/A N/A
6 Kyle Schwarber LEFT 0.379 0.361 0.277 40.6% 16.7% 24.4% 47.1% OF $3,600 OF $4,100 N/A N/A
7 Ian Happ SWITCH 0.337 0.331 0.234 36.2% 17.2% 39.6% 29.3% OF $2,700 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Addison Russell RIGHT 0.270 0.255 0.056 32.4% 9.3% 24.2% 38.8% SS $2,700 SS $3,000 N/A N/A
9 Mike Montgomery LEFT 0.271 0.380 0.000 33.3% 12.5% 50.0% 50.0% P $6,900 P $6,800 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.343 0.337 0.156 33.5% 12.1% 22.9% 40.4%

Elite PlaysJason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber

Secondary PlaysKris Bryant, Willson Contreras (DK)

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Milwaukee

Mike Montgomery doesn’t quite have the strikeout upside that we are looking for in a pitcher, but his high ground ball rate makes him a tough pitcher to target hitters against. He is one of the few starters in baseball with a higher soft contact rate than hard contact rate. On the season, he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .310 xwOBA and under a 25% hard contact rate. Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun, and Jesus Aguilar all hit southpaws well, but are secondary plays at their respective positions.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Lorenzo Cain RIGHT 0.411 0.278 0.250 36.4% 15.8% 7.0% 29.5% OF $3,700 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
2 Christian Yelich LEFT 0.342 0.432 0.131 39.6% 7.4% 20.6% 57.4% OF $4,100 OF $5,100 N/A N/A
3 Ryan Braun RIGHT 0.444 0.455 0.267 43.9% 16.4% 9.1% 48.8% OF $3,600 1B/OF $4,800 N/A N/A
4 Jesus Aguilar RIGHT 0.396 0.289 0.333 44.8% 13.0% 21.7% 27.6% 1B $3,100 1B $4,200 N/A N/A
5 Travis Shaw LEFT 0.216 0.316 0.052 23.4% 7.8% 18.8% 53.3% 3B $3,500 3B $4,300 N/A N/A
6 Hernan Perez RIGHT 0.317 0.322 0.195 45.5% 0.0% 21.4% 36.4% OF $2,300 2B/OF $3,000 N/A N/A
7 Manny Pina RIGHT 0.368 0.306 0.160 36.4% 16.7% 10.0% 50.0% C $2,000 C $2,800 N/A N/A
8 Orlando Arcia RIGHT 0.194 0.207 0.027 26.7% 5.1% 17.9% 63.3% SS $2,100 SS $2,800 N/A N/A
9 Jhoulys Chacin RIGHT 0.664 0.203 0.000 66.7% 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% P $7,200 P $5,900 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.372 0.312 0.157 40.4% 9.1% 14.1% 46.3%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysLorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun, Jesus Aguilar

StackabilityORANGE / YELLOW


Boston at Baltimore – 3:05 PM ET

Boston Baltimore
Chris Sale Yefry Ramirez
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
BOS -205 8.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.256 0.245 26.7% 3.8% 35.9% 46.4% SP vs. Left (2016-17)
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.265 0.268 25.6% 6.6% 33.6% 41.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17)

Pitcher Grind Down

Chris Sale
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $11,300 Salary: $13,500 Salary:
Salary Rank: 2 of 30 Salary Rank: 1 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 32 2.58 2.90 36.2% 5.1% 38.7% 29.7% 18.5%
2018 14 2.66 2.83 33.9% 6.2% 42.1% 25.7% 29.1%
L14 2 2.69 3.21 29.1% 3.6% 52.8% 16.2% 32.4%

Sale is clearly the top pitching option of the early slate. Jacob deGrom isn’t featured in this slate and there aren’t any other pitchers with as high of a floor or ceiling as Sale. In his 14 starts this season, he has a 2.66 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 34%. He has great control and for the first time in a long time, his soft contact rate is higher than his hard contact rate. The Orioles aren’t a matchup that we should be afraid of, as their projected lineup has a .317 xwOBA against southpaws this season.

Quick Breakdown: Sale is the ace of the early slate and an elite play in all formats.

Yefry Ramirez
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 28 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%

Ramirez is making his major league debut today against the Red Sox. He’s not considered a top prospect, but he’s shown some upside in the minors this season, posting a 3.46 FIP with a strikeout rate of 25% in 12 Triple-A starts. I typically like to lean on the betting markets in these pitching debuts and Ramirez comes into the game as a massive underdog. Obviously, a lot of that has to do with Chris Sale pitching opposite him, but it doesn’t hurt to take a wait and see approach here. The Red Sox projected lineup has a .385 xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: No need to rush with Ramirez. Let’s watch this one from the sidelines.

Batter Grind Down

Boston

The Red Sox draw a boom or bust matchup against Yefry Ramirez. While he has pitched well at the Triple-A level this season, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to transfer to the major league level. He’s not a top pitching prospect and the Red Sox get to face him in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Rather than avoiding both sides in this pitching debut, I will be loading up on the Red Sox offense, especially in tournaments. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and Mitch Moreland all have an xwOBA of at least .400 against right-handed pitching this season.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Mookie Betts RIGHT 0.513 0.396 0.352 48.8% 11.5% 13.3% 31.4% OF $5,000 OF $5,900 N/A N/A
2 Andrew Benintendi LEFT 0.400 0.486 0.254 27.9% 13.1% 12.6% 34.5% OF $4,900 OF $5,600 N/A N/A
3 J.D. Martinez RIGHT 0.480 0.484 0.385 52.5% 10.0% 21.8% 44.8% OF $4,800 OF $5,500 N/A N/A
4 Mitch Moreland LEFT 0.467 0.370 0.315 40.0% 10.7% 17.9% 40.0% 1B $3,900 1B $4,600 N/A N/A
5 Xander Bogaerts RIGHT 0.371 0.335 0.245 37.5% 4.1% 18.7% 44.9% SS $4,300 SS $4,900 N/A N/A
6 Rafael Devers LEFT 0.333 0.227 0.175 38.9% 8.4% 26.7% 43.8% 3B $3,400 3B $3,600 N/A N/A
7 Eduardo Nunez RIGHT 0.267 0.253 0.139 27.2% 1.7% 18.5% 50.0% 2B $2,900 2B/SS $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Jackie Bradley LEFT 0.334 0.384 0.122 34.7% 10.4% 24.5% 44.6% OF $2,800 OF $3,200 N/A N/A
9 Sandy Leon SWITCH 0.302 0.305 0.156 31.1% 3.0% 26.9% 42.2% C $2,100 C $3,000 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.385 0.360 0.238 37.6% 8.1% 20.1% 41.8%

Elite PlaysMookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland

Secondary PlaysXander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers

StackabilityYELLOW / GREEN

Baltimore

The Orioles have the worst matchup of the slate and one of the worst matchups in all of baseball. Chris Sale has an elite strikeout rate, he induces more soft contact than hard contact, and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .270 xwOBA this season. Unless you are playing in the new lowball format on DraftKings, the Orioles should be avoided in both cash games and tournaments.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. LH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Joey Rickard RIGHT 0.227 0.281 0.088 20.8% 5.6% 27.8% 33.3% OF $2,200 OF $2,700 N/A N/A
2 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.342 0.329 0.068 31.3% 2.6% 10.4% 38.8% OF $3,000 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
3 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.412 0.284 0.299 36.9% 9.2% 5.3% 32.3% SS $4,400 SS $4,700 N/A N/A
4 Danny Valencia RIGHT 0.430 0.398 0.194 31.5% 12.5% 12.5% 44.4% 3B $2,900 3B $3,300 N/A N/A
5 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.321 0.298 0.163 30.0% 8.0% 22.7% 66.7% OF $2,700 1B/OF $3,100 N/A N/A
6 Jonathan Schoop RIGHT 0.293 0.202 0.059 27.9% 8.8% 14.0% 37.2% 2B $3,000 2B $3,200 N/A N/A
7 Mark Trumbo RIGHT 0.280 0.266 0.108 36.0% 5.1% 30.8% 56.0% OF $2,400 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Craig Gentry RIGHT 0.249 0.265 0.059 24.3% 7.3% 25.5% 51.4% OF $2,100 OF $2,500 N/A N/A
9 Austin Wynns RIGHT 0.297 0.240 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 16.7% 40.0% C $2,200 C $2,400 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.317 0.285 0.115 26.5% 6.6% 18.4% 44.5%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

StackabilityRED


Pittsburgh at Arizona – 3:40 PM ET

Pittsburgh Arizona
Jameson Taillon Zack Greinke
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
ARI -142 7.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.363 0.328 33.0% 11.8% 18.1% 46.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.311 0.339 43.2% 4.4% 23.7% 44.2%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.231 0.236 23.6% 1.3% 27.2% 55.7% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.299 0.322 46.1% 3.8% 27.4% 39.8%

Pitcher Grind Down

Jameson Taillon
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,500 Salary: $7,600 Salary:
Salary Rank: 15 of 30 Salary Rank: 13 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 25 4.24 4.44 21.3% 7.8% 47.3% 29.6% 22.1%
2018 13 3.67 4.08 22.7% 6.4% 51.2% 28.2% 24.3%
L14 2 2.95 2.08 25.5% 3.9% 58.8% 33.3% 27.8%

Taillon has had some bad luck to start the season, but that seems to be turning around. His ERA is still higher than his SIERA, but they are a lot closer than they were three weeks ago. Overall, he owns a 3.67 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 23% and a ground ball rate of 51%. That’s a great combination for any pitcher and it allows him to pitch well in any ballpark. The only knock on Taillon is his matchup against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The roof will be closed once again, but this offense has been on a tear over the last two weeks.

Quick Breakdown: I like the price point for Taillon, but he’s not an auto-play against a red-hot D-Backs offense.

Zack Greinke
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,200 Salary: $9,300 Salary:
Salary Rank: 7 of 30 Salary Rank: 8 of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 32 3.48 3.20 26.8% 5.6% 46.8% 35.1% 19.2%
2018 13 3.24 3.53 25.9% 4.1% 41.7% 44.8% 15.7%
L14 2 3.99 2.92 20.0% 5.5% 41.5% 48.8% 7.3%

Greinke gives up a lot of hard contact each season, but he never lets that stop him from being a great pitcher. In 13 starts, he has a 3.24 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 26% and a walk rate of 4%. The Pirates are missing a couple of their best hitters, which gives Greinke a significant boost. Pittsburgh’s projected lineup has a .301 xwOBA with a strikeout rate of 20% against right-handed pitching this season. At this price point, Greinke deserves consideration as an SP2 in all formats.

Quick Breakdown: Even though the Pirates have been tough offensively, I’ll take my chances with Greinke at this price point.

Batter Grind Down

Pittsburgh

The Pirates see a small ballpark bump playing in Arizona, but this park is at its best for hitters when the roof is open (it will be closed today). They are missing a couple of key pieces in their lineup and they draw a difficult matchup against Zack Greinke. In addition to having an above-average strikeout rate, Greinke has held right-handed hitters to a .322 xwOBA. His struggle has been against lefties, allowing a .339 xwOBA and a 43% hard contact rate.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Josh Harrison RIGHT 0.307 0.344 0.115 35.2% 6.0% 15.5% 35.6% 2B $3,100 2B $3,900 N/A N/A
2 Austin Meadows LEFT 0.336 0.332 0.192 40.0% 1.9% 14.8% 35.6% OF $3,200 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
3 Corey Dickerson LEFT 0.338 0.257 0.173 31.5% 4.7% 9.9% 30.4% OF $2,900 OF $3,900 N/A N/A
4 Colin Moran LEFT 0.365 0.338 0.153 32.1% 8.5% 15.8% 39.7% 3B $2,300 3B $3,200 N/A N/A
5 Elias Diaz RIGHT 0.322 0.436 0.140 24.0% 6.5% 12.9% 50.0% C $2,400 C $3,300 N/A N/A
6 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.326 0.287 0.131 31.9% 11.0% 18.5% 51.4% 1B $2,800 1B $3,300 N/A N/A
7 Gregory Polanco LEFT 0.359 0.312 0.218 37.0% 12.3% 21.5% 33.1% OF $3,100 OF $3,600 N/A N/A
8 Sean Rodriguez RIGHT 0.217 0.186 0.085 23.3% 12.2% 34.1% 34.9% 2B $2,000 OF/SS $2,600 N/A N/A
9 Jameson Taillon RIGHT 0.143 0.063 0.056 25.0% 0.0% 36.8% 72.7% P $7,500 P $7,600 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.301 0.284 0.140 31.1% 7.0% 20.0% 42.6%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysAustin Meadows, Colin Moran

StackabilityORANGE

Arizona

The Diamondbacks have channeled their inner “NBA Jam Mode” over the last two weeks. They have been on fire. The lineup below has an average xwOBA of .392 over the last 15 days. While that’s a positive, their matchup against Jameson Taillon is far from perfect. He has above-average ground ball and strikeout rates and has held right-handed hitters to a .236 xwOBA with a 24% hard contact rate. The lefties in this lineup are viable but are secondary plays at their respective positions.

Projected Lineup (Splits vs. RH Pitching)

# Player Bats xwOBA L15 ISO HC% BB% K% GB% FD Pos. FD Sal. DK Pos. DK Sal. FDRFT Pos. FDRFT Sal.
1 Jon Jay LEFT 0.334 0.322 0.088 37.7% 5.9% 13.8% 53.9% OF $3,000 OF $3,400 N/A N/A
2 Paul Goldschmidt RIGHT 0.342 0.547 0.182 43.5% 12.6% 31.2% 41.7% 1B $4,500 1B $5,400 N/A N/A
3 Jake Lamb LEFT 0.399 0.394 0.224 47.1% 11.4% 22.8% 47.1% 3B $3,400 3B $4,400 N/A N/A
4 Daniel Descalso LEFT 0.378 0.461 0.252 42.1% 16.0% 22.4% 30.5% 2B $3,100 2B/3B $3,800 N/A N/A
5 David Peralta LEFT 0.376 0.378 0.237 53.2% 8.8% 18.7% 48.0% OF $3,000 OF $4,400 N/A N/A
6 Jarrod Dyson LEFT 0.296 0.357 0.079 20.6% 11.5% 10.0% 41.1% OF $2,400 OF $3,000 N/A N/A
7 Nick Ahmed RIGHT 0.304 0.359 0.161 32.7% 7.3% 23.3% 34.3% SS $2,900 SS $3,400 N/A N/A
8 Jeff Mathis RIGHT 0.233 0.301 0.000 24.1% 12.0% 30.0% 39.3% C $2,000 C $2,600 N/A N/A
9 Zack Greinke RIGHT 0.325 0.405 0.111 33.3% 9.1% 22.7% 30.8% P $9,200 P $9,300 N/A N/A
Team Averages 0.332 0.392 0.148 37.1% 10.5% 21.7% 40.7%

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJon Jay, Jake Lamb, Daniel Descalso, David Peralta

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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