MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, May 16th

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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


Philadelphia at Baltimore – 12:05 PM ET

Philadelphia Baltimore
Nick Pivetta Andrew Cashner
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
BAL -108 10.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.365 0.429 29.3% 8.6% 18.5% 41.4% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.383 0.393 27.9% 11.3% 25.8% 31.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.252 0.254 19.2% 3.6% 32.5% 45.8% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.341 0.409 35.5% 9.8% 14.7% 44.6%

Pitcher Grind Down

Nick Pivetta
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,100 Salary: $7,200 Salary: $14,800
Salary Rank: 17 of 27 Salary Rank: 13 of 27 Salary Rank: 10 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 26 4.32 6.02 24.0% 9.8% 43.8% 35.5% 15.9%
2018 8 3.53 4.15 25.6% 6.1% 43.4% 24.6% 17.3%
L14 2 4.00 9.00 26.7% 10.0% 33.3% 31.6% 15.8%

This game was originally scheduled for last night, but it was rained out. Rain is in the forecast once again, but they have all day to wait it out. Pivetta has been a mixed bag so far this season. He’s had a couple of really good outings and a couple of really bad outings. With a move to the American League and a matchup against the Orioles in Camden Yards, he does offer some risk. The positive for Pivetta is that he has held righties to a .254 xwOBA with a 33% strikeout rate this season. The Orioles have no choice but to roll out a right-handed heavy lineup.

Quick Breakdown: Pivetta is an intriguing tournament play in the early slate.

Andrew Cashner
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,300 Salary: $5,000 Salary: $10,300
Salary Rank: 21 of 27 Salary Rank: 24 of 27 Salary Rank: 17 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 28 5.52 3.40 12.2% 9.1% 48.6% 28.4% 18.5%
2018 8 4.75 4.84 20.1% 10.6% 38.8% 32.1% 16.1%
L14 2 5.14 5.06 16.0% 10.0% 41.7% 35.1% 29.7%

I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again today — Cashner is not a good pitcher. It’s amazing that the Orioles don’t have better options to roll out than Cashner and Chris Tillman, but I’m not complaining. I will just continue to stack against them, especially in this ballpark. In eight starts this season, Cashner owns a 4.75 SIERA with a walk rate of 11%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that doesn’t generate soft contact. He’s an easy fade against the Phillies in a home run-friendly ballpark.

Quick Breakdown: No cash will be won with Cashner.

Batter Grind Down

Philadelphia

Andrew Cashner has been one of the most hittable pitchers in baseball over the last two seasons, but he ruined a lot of stacks in 2017. He pitched out of so many jams thanks to a high ground ball rate against right-handed hitters. He is no longer generating that high ground ball rate, so we can feel good about stacking against him. Cashner has allowed a .393 xwOBA to lefties and a .409 xwOBA to righties this season. As you can see from the Ballpark Ratings graph above, this is a hitter-friendly ballpark that really favors right-handed power.

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 Cesar Hernandez SWITCH 0.333 0.369 0.156 30.3% 14.1% 26.6% 45.2% 2B $3,700 2B $4,000 2B $7,500
2 Aaron Altherr RIGHT 0.322 0.371 0.130 31.5% 13.3% 25.6% 53.7% OF $2,700 OF $3,800 LF $7,500
3 Odubel Herrera LEFT 0.388 0.477 0.189 26.3% 11.0% 14.7% 42.5% OF $3,800 OF $4,800 IF/OF $9,400
4 Rhys Hoskins RIGHT 0.408 0.330 0.229 37.1% 15.4% 30.8% 25.8% OF $3,900 OF $4,600 IF/OF $9,200
5 Carlos Santana SWITCH 0.395 0.396 0.260 34.5% 14.9% 13.2% 37.2% 1B $3,900 1B $4,900 1B $9,400
6 Maikel Franco RIGHT 0.370 0.402 0.225 25.3% 6.3% 15.6% 52.0% 3B $3,400 3B $4,600 3B $9,100
7 Nick Williams LEFT 0.351 0.497 0.127 25.0% 9.9% 26.8% 52.3% OF $2,400 OF $2,800 LF $5,600
8 Scott Kingery RIGHT 0.326 0.253 0.119 30.7% 6.5% 24.7% 33.9% SS $2,300 3B/SS $3,600 SS $7,400
9 Jorge Alfaro RIGHT 0.285 0.356 0.136 38.2% 4.3% 45.7% 58.8% C $2,200 C $3,200 C $6,800

Elite Plays – Cesar Hernandez, Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Santana

Secondary Plays – Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, Nick Wiliams

Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN

Baltimore

The Orioles look like a good stack on paper, but they aren’t exactly equipped to take advantage of a matchup against Nick Pivetta. For the season, Pivetta has allowed a .429 xwOBA to lefties, while holding righties to a .254 xwOBA. This doesn’t mean that we can’t play the likes of Trey Mancini and Manny Machado in tournaments, but I’m not as high on this offense as the betting markets. The best way to attack Pivetta is with lefties and I don’t feel great about Chris Davis or Pedro Alvarez.

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 Trey Mancini RIGHT 0.419 0.419 0.130 38.1% 9.8% 21.3% 44.0% OF $3,400 1B/OF $4,100 IF/OF $8,500
2 Adam Jones RIGHT 0.373 0.321 0.228 39.2% 2.3% 21.1% 39.6% OF $3,100 OF $3,700 CF $7,500
3 Manny Machado RIGHT 0.416 0.402 0.322 33.0% 12.3% 15.2% 38.0% SS $4,900 SS $5,600 3B $10,800
4 Jonathan Schoop RIGHT 0.237 0.319 0.211 20.4% 0.0% 24.7% 49.1% 2B $3,600 2B $4,100 2B $8,400
5 Chris Davis LEFT 0.298 0.315 0.048 27.5% 9.6% 30.4% 49.3% 1B $2,500 1B $3,300 IF/OF $6,700
6 Mark Trumbo RIGHT 0.403 0.384 0.158 50.0% 2.6% 15.4% 43.8% OF $3,200 1B $3,800 DH $7,200
7 Chance Sisco LEFT 0.273 0.288 0.119 35.0% 6.7% 36.0% 51.3% C $2,100 C $3,400 C $6,300
8 Pedro Alvarez LEFT 0.395 0.354 0.263 37.0% 12.6% 25.3% 35.2% 3B $2,600 1B/3B $3,800 1B $7,200
9 Jace Peterson LEFT 0.272 0.269 0.082 25.7% 13.8% 24.1% 54.3% 2B $2,300 2B/3B $2,900 2B $5,800

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – Trey Mancini, Manny Machado, Pedro Alvarez

Stackability – ORANGE / YELLOW


Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh – 12:35 PM ET

Chicago White Sox Pittsburgh
Hector Santiago Jameson Taillon
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
PIT -200 8.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.427 0.365 29.2% 25.6% 18.6% 45.8% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.281 0.308 24.6% 13.3% 18.1% 53.7%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.350 0.299 27.1% 6.0% 20.5% 25.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.293 0.272 26.7% 1.2% 24.1% 53.3%

Pitcher Grind Down

Hector Santiago
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $5,100 Salary: $10,300
Salary Rank: 25 of 27 Salary Rank: 22 of 27 Salary Rank: 17 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 14 5.57 5.63 16.4% 10.0% 30.2% 36.6% 17.0%
2018 2 5.01 5.60 19.8% 12.7% 31.3% 27.7% 18.1%
L14 1 6.48 12.15 13.9% 16.7% 32.0% 20.0% 16.0%

Santiago really struggled in 2017 and it hasn’t gotten any better here in 2018. He currently owns a 5.01 SIERA with a walk rate of 13%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that gives up a lot of hard contact. While he is pitching in a good ballpark, he is facing a low-strikeout offense in the Pirates. Santiago doesn’t offer enough strikeout upside to make up for the runs that he’s likely going to allow.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Santiago in all formats.

Jameson Taillon
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,000 Salary: $7,600 Salary: $14,500
Salary Rank: 10 of 27 Salary Rank: 11 of 27 Salary Rank: 11 of 27
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 8 3.89 4.08 21.1% 7.2% 53.5% 25.6% 22.2%
L14 3 4.37 2.57 19.0% 8.6% 51.2% 21.4% 23.8%

Taillon was on his way to a nice bounce-back outing against the Giants, but was forced to leave the game after three innings with a finger injury. It sounds like it was a laceration, which could certainly open up again. Luckily, the combination of his cheap price and his matchup against the White Sox makes up for the risk. Taillon is a large favorite at home where he has pitched well throughout his career.

Quick Breakdown: Dollar for dollar, Taillon is one of the top pitchers of the early slate.

Batter Grind Down

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox draw one of the worst matchups of the slate. They are playing on the road in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and they lose the use of the DH in this series. In addition to having above-average ground ball and strikeout rates, Jameson Taillon has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .310 xwOBA and under a 27% hard contact rate 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 Yoan Moncada SWITCH 0.442 0.377 0.305 49.0% 12.6% 35.8% 22.9% 2B $3,600 2B $4,300 2B $8,200
2 Yolmer Sanchez SWITCH 0.338 0.281 0.188 32.2% 1.9% 15.0% 46.4% 3B $3,000 3B $3,600 2B $7,300
3 Jose Abreu RIGHT 0.436 0.386 0.215 38.3% 7.4% 11.6% 42.6% 1B $3,600 1B $4,300 1B $8,500
4 Nick Delmonico LEFT 0.347 0.355 0.090 27.5% 10.8% 19.6% 42.0% OF $2,600 OF $3,100 IF/OF $5,800
5 Welington Castillo RIGHT 0.340 0.291 0.271 41.0% 4.8% 31.7% 48.7% C $2,400 C $3,300 C $6,700
6 Daniel Palka LEFT 0.371 0.357 0.326 34.4% 2.3% 25.0% 40.6% OF $2,700 OF $4,000 IF/OF $7,600
7 Leury Garcia SWITCH 0.263 0.257 0.048 30.0% 4.5% 19.4% 62.5% 2B $2,300 OF $3,400 CF $6,300
8 Tim Anderson RIGHT 0.288 0.268 0.154 21.5% 8.7% 22.6% 46.2% SS $3,000 SS $3,700 SS $7,700
9 Hector Santiago LEFT 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% P $5,500 P $5,100 P $10,300

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

Stackability – RED

Pittsburgh

The Pirates have one of the best matchups of the early slate, but they have struggled as a whole against left-handed pitching. They have too many lefties in their lineup to consistently hit southpaws well. Luckily, Hector Santiago has struggled against batters from both sides of the plate. There are better ballparks for offensive production, but I have my eye on a couple of Pirates’ bats.

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 Adam Frazier LEFT 0.223 0.283 0.000 0.0% 8.3% 33.3% 57.1% OF $2,100 2B/OF $2,900 IF/OF $5,400
2 Gregory Polanco LEFT 0.312 0.343 0.217 13.3% 13.8% 27.6% 26.7% OF $3,500 OF $4,100 RF $8,300
3 Sean Rodriguez RIGHT 0.493 0.332 0.438 40.0% 20.0% 30.0% 20.0% 2B $2,500 2B/OF $2,700 2B $5,900
4 Josh Bell SWITCH 0.323 0.359 0.185 25.0% 17.6% 23.5% 40.0% 1B $3,000 1B $3,900 1B $7,300
5 Corey Dickerson LEFT 0.284 0.372 0.095 29.4% 4.5% 18.2% 23.5% OF $3,900 OF $4,200 LF $8,500
6 Francisco Cervelli RIGHT 0.371 0.512 0.375 20.0% 15.8% 31.6% 20.0% C $3,300 C $3,800 C $7,400
7 Colin Moran LEFT 0.308 0.430 0.000 20.0% 14.3% 14.3% 80.0% 3B $2,800 3B $3,500 3B $6,700
8 Jordy Mercer RIGHT 0.342 0.340 0.077 28.0% 6.7% 6.7% 40.0% SS $2,700 SS $3,100 SS $5,700
9 Jameson Taillon RIGHT 0.102 0.249 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% P $8,000 P $7,600 P $14,500

Elite Plays – Francisco Cervelli (DK)

Secondary Plays – Francisco Cervelli (FD), Sean Rodriguez, Josh Bell

Stackability – ORANGE / YELLOW


Cleveland at Detroit – 1:10 PM ET

Cleveland Detroit
Trevor Bauer Ryan Carpenter
RIGHT LEFT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CLE -210 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.263 0.270 38.0% 7.0% 29.0% 47.1% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.241 0.413 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.292 0.337 40.9% 12.3% 22.6% 47.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.541 0.505 20.0% 13.3% 20.0% 10.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Trevor Bauer
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,300 Salary: $12,800 Salary: $24,900
Salary Rank: 5 of 27 Salary Rank: 1 of 27 Salary Rank: 1 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 31 3.80 4.19 26.2% 8.0% 46.4% 34.4% 15.0%
2018 8 3.85 3.00 25.9% 9.6% 47.1% 39.4% 16.1%
L14 3 3.52 4.15 28.6% 10.4% 53.2% 53.2% 10.6%

Bauer used to be under-priced and under-owned in DFS. While the latter remains true, he is no longer priced at a discount. He’s up to $9,300 on FanDuel and $12,800 on DraftKings. He certainly has talent, as evidenced by his 3.85 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 26% and a ground ball rate of 47%. Bauer has had some reverse-splits this season, but that’s likely due to the small sample. In 2017, he held righties to a .309 wOBA with a strikeout rate of 29%.

Quick Breakdown: Bauer is in a great spot today, but he’s so expensive that we don’t need to force him into our lineups.

Ryan Carpenter
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $5,500 Salary: $5,400 Salary: $10,800
Salary Rank: 25 of 27 Salary Rank: 20 of 27 Salary Rank: 16 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2018 1 4.74 7.36 22.2% 11.1% 9.1% 18.2% 0.0%
L14 0 6.20 0.00 25.0% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Carpenter will make his second start of the season today. In his last full season in the minors, he posted a 4.22 FIP with a strikeout rate of 24% and a walk rate of 6%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that will have to face one of the best offenses in baseball in the Indians. Cleveland’s projected lineup has a .345 xwOBA against left-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Carpenter in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Cleveland

The Indians are one of the top stacks on the board once again. As a general rule of thumb, any decent offense facing the Tigers is viable to stack given how bad their starting rotation is. We don’t have a large enough sample size to look at the splits for Ryan Carpenter, but he’s a left-handed pitcher. It makes sense to load up on the right-handed bats from Cleveland.

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 Francisco Lindor SWITCH 0.405 0.499 0.237 51.0% 6.3% 15.6% 43.8% SS $5,000 SS $5,500 SS $10,600
2 Michael Brantley LEFT 0.360 0.406 0.098 28.2% 2.3% 4.7% 43.6% OF $4,100 OF $4,400 LF $8,000
3 Jose Ramirez SWITCH 0.446 0.475 0.294 43.5% 7.3% 9.1% 28.9% 3B $4,800 3B $5,100 IF/OF $9,900
4 Edwin Encarnacion RIGHT 0.362 0.396 0.196 37.5% 13.2% 26.4% 28.1% 1B $3,900 1B $4,500 1B $9,500
5 Brandon Guyer RIGHT 0.352 0.282 0.233 31.4% 10.4% 16.7% 37.1% OF $2,300 OF $2,900 LF $5,900
6 Erik Gonzalez RIGHT 0.279 0.348 0.083 42.9% 14.3% 35.7% 57.1% 2B $2,300 2B/SS $3,400 2B $6,800
7 Greg Allen SWITCH 0.311 0.220 0.000 66.7% 0.0% 40.0% 33.3% OF $2,500 OF $3,300 CF $6,700
8 Roberto Perez RIGHT 0.292 0.257 0.000 50.0% 22.2% 33.3% 75.0% C $2,100 C $2,500 C $4,600
9 Rajai Davis RIGHT 0.294 0.259 0.000 46.4% 5.6% 16.7% 46.4% OF $2,300 OF $2,700 CF $5,600

Elite Plays – Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion

Secondary Plays – Michael Brantley, Brandon Guyer

Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN

Detroit

The Tigers draw a difficult matchup against Trevor Bauer, who has above-average ground ball and strikeout rates. He has reverse-splits this season, but that could be due to a small sample size. He has been tough on right-handed hitters throughout his career, which doesn’t bode well for a right-handed heavy Tigers’ offense.

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 Mikie Mahtook RIGHT 0.233 0.315 0.095 15.2% 8.3% 22.9% 33.3% OF $2,400 OF $2,900 CF $5,500
2 Pete Kozma RIGHT 0.349 0.324 0.333 40.0% 0.0% 16.7% 40.0% SS $2,700 2B/SS $2,600 SS $4,700
3 Nick Castellanos RIGHT 0.385 0.347 0.152 46.4% 5.8% 23.1% 34.5% OF $3,500 OF $3,900 IF/OF $7,200
4 Victor Martinez SWITCH 0.373 0.335 0.120 48.8% 9.5% 9.5% 39.3% C $2,300 1B $3,000 1B $6,000
5 James McCann RIGHT 0.314 0.343 0.076 32.5% 5.9% 16.8% 40.3% C $2,600 C $2,900 C $5,400
6 John Hicks RIGHT 0.339 0.424 0.254 51.2% 3.3% 29.5% 30.8% C $2,900 1B/C $3,200 C $6,500
7 JaCoby Jones RIGHT 0.341 0.272 0.184 38.7% 3.2% 28.0% 38.7% OF $2,400 OF $3,100 IF/OF $6,000
8 Jose Iglesias RIGHT 0.255 0.298 0.089 22.3% 3.3% 15.8% 46.7% SS $2,900 SS $3,000 SS $5,500
9 Dixon Machado RIGHT 0.333 0.283 0.084 37.1% 6.0% 16.4% 41.6% 2B $2,200 2B $2,700 SS $5,600

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

Stackability – RED


St. Louis at Minnesota – 1:10 PM ET

St. Louis Minnesota
Miles Mikolas Lance Lynn
RIGHT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
STL -115 9.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.293 0.316 37.7% 0.0% 16.5% 48.8% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.443 0.412 38.6% 17.2% 14.1% 59.1%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.235 0.296 29.5% 3.7% 22.0% 60.0% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.375 0.357 42.4% 14.0% 27.0% 40.7%

Pitcher Grind Down

Miles Mikolas
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $9,000 Salary: $11,000 Salary: $21,600
Salary Rank: 6 of 27 Salary Rank: 5 of 27 Salary Rank: 5 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2018 7 3.35 2.51 18.9% 1.6% 53.5% 34.3% 19.2%
L14 2 2.96 0.66 15.1% 1.9% 61.4% 34.1% 15.9%

Mikolas doesn’t have a high strikeout rate, but he has such good control that he is able to pitch deep into games and rack up fantasy points through innings pitched. In seven starts this season, he owns a 3.35 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 19% and a walk rate of 2%. He has a high ground ball rate and has been tough on both left and right-handed hitters this season. The issue here is the matchup and the ballpark. The Twins will roll out a left-handed heavy lineup and Mikolas feels a bit overpriced in this spot.

Quick Breakdown: Pitching is scarce in the early slate, but Mikolas feels too expensive in this matchup.

Lance Lynn
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $6,000 Salary: $5,800 Salary: $11,400
Salary Rank: 22 of 27 Salary Rank: 18 of 27 Salary Rank: 14 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 33 4.85 3.43 19.7% 10.1% 44.0% 29.2% 21.1%
2018 7 5.03 7.34 22.0% 15.2% 48.5% 40.8% 21.4%
L14 3 4.56 6.89 18.9% 9.5% 45.3% 41.5% 17.0%

Lynn is not a pitcher that I’m going to roster anytime soon. He struggled in 2017 and it’s been more of the same this season. In seven starts, he has a 5.03 SIERA with a walk rate of 15% and a hard contact rate of 41%. Jose Berrios pitched well against the Cardinals last night, but he obviously has a lot more talent than Lynn, who should be avoided in both cash games and tournaments.

Quick Breakdown: Lynn doesn’t have enough upside to warrant consideration.

Batter Grind Down

St. Louis

The Cardinals couldn’t get anything going offensively last night, but draw a better matchup today against Lance Lynn. He has a high walk rate, a high hard contact rate, and he has allowed a .412 xwOBA to lefties and a 357 xwOBA to righties this season. Matt Carpenter has been one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball this season. Eventually, those hard hit balls are going to find some gaps. I will keep playing him in all formats at this price.

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 Tommy Pham RIGHT 0.413 0.466 0.230 42.2% 16.3% 22.1% 43.8% OF $3,900 OF $5,000 CF $10,200
2 Matt Carpenter LEFT 0.393 0.304 0.170 44.1% 15.7% 28.7% 27.6% 3B $3,000 2B/3B $3,700 3B $7,500
3 Jose Martinez RIGHT 0.442 0.403 0.176 38.1% 9.0% 10.7% 51.5% 1B $3,400 1B $3,400 IF/OF $6,600
4 Marcell Ozuna RIGHT 0.346 0.353 0.087 49.4% 4.2% 25.0% 47.1% OF $2,900 OF $3,700 LF $7,400
5 Dexter Fowler SWITCH 0.306 0.264 0.180 30.9% 11.3% 17.4% 35.8% OF $2,900 OF $3,800 CF $7,600
6 Jedd Gyorko RIGHT 0.333 0.352 0.129 33.3% 15.8% 26.3% 38.1% SS $2,600 3B $4,200 3B $8,400
7 Paul DeJong RIGHT 0.378 0.376 0.214 42.7% 5.7% 30.3% 28.0% SS $3,500 SS $3,900 SS $7,800
8 Carson Kelly RIGHT 0.284 0.202 0.000 42.9% 0.0% 0.0% 57.1% C $2,000 C $2,500 C $5,100
9 Kolten Wong LEFT 0.275 0.282 0.147 29.3% 9.0% 21.3% 52.7% 2B $2,400 2B $3,000 2B $5,900

Elite Plays – Matt Carpenter

Secondary Plays – Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, Jedd Gyorko

Stackability – YELLOW

Minnesota

The Twins have a relatively high implied run total, but their matchup against Miles Mikolas is less than ideal. He owns a high ground ball rate, impeccable command, and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA this season. This is one of those spots where I will likely avoid the starting pitcher and the offense that he is facing. I don’t have a strong feel for either side of this matchup.

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 Joe Mauer LEFT 0.418 0.402 0.096 39.3% 16.7% 12.7% 48.9% 1B $2,700 1B $3,500 1B $6,900
2 Brian Dozier RIGHT 0.301 0.296 0.183 31.4% 7.0% 19.0% 39.0% 2B $3,700 2B $4,400 2B $8,100
3 Max Kepler LEFT 0.352 0.326 0.176 44.2% 11.3% 13.9% 41.9% OF $2,600 OF $3,400 RF $6,300
4 Eduardo Escobar SWITCH 0.349 0.374 0.262 37.0% 8.0% 20.4% 24.7% 3B $3,600 3B/SS $4,400 SS $8,500
5 Eddie Rosario LEFT 0.325 0.400 0.268 35.9% 4.3% 17.1% 35.2% OF $3,500 OF $4,700 LF $9,300
6 Mitch Garver RIGHT 0.304 0.218 0.225 46.2% 8.9% 31.1% 38.5% C $2,400 C $3,000 C $6,000
7 Logan Morrison LEFT 0.334 0.334 0.172 35.6% 10.4% 18.9% 37.0% 1B $2,600 1B $3,500 1B $6,800
8 Ehire Adrianza SWITCH 0.268 0.253 0.021 42.4% 9.3% 29.6% 40.6% SS $2,000 SS $2,400 SS $4,600
9 Byron Buxton RIGHT 0.234 0.205 0.068 23.3% 6.4% 29.8% 46.7% OF $2,300 OF $3,000 CF $5,700

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – Max Kepler, Eduardo Escobar

Stackability – ORANGE


Toronto at NY Mets – 1:10 PM ET

Toronto NY Mets
J.A. Happ Zack Wheeler
LEFT RIGHT
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
TOR -108 7.5
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% BB% K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.187 0.242 20.0% 2.1% 34.0% 53.3% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.323 0.335 36.8% 11.5% 26.2% 50.0%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.372 0.357 33.7% 8.3% 27.6% 48.3% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.316 0.333 20.9% 7.8% 16.7% 52.3%

Pitcher Grind Down

J.A. Happ
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,600 Salary: $9,300 Salary: $17,500
Salary Rank: 7 of 27 Salary Rank: 6 of 27 Salary Rank: 7 of 27
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 8 3.17 4.80 29.2% 6.8% 49.6% 30.3% 16.0%
L14 2 5.78 10.00 13.3% 13.3% 53.1% 37.5% 6.3%

Happ was shelled in each of his last two starts, but still owns a 3.17 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29% on the season. I don’t see a decline in velocity or a change in his pitch selection, so I’m not exactly sure what happened in those two outings. He’ll look to bounce back against a Mets’ offense that has been awful against left-handed pitching. They knocked Jaime Garcia around, but that was very predictable. Happ is a much better pitcher and we have the chance to play him at a cheap price point.

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

Zack Wheeler
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,000 Salary: $8,000 Salary: $15,100
Salary Rank: 18 of 27 Salary Rank: 10 of 27 Salary Rank: 9 of 27
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC%
2017 17 4.64 5.21 21.0% 10.4% 47.5% 32.8% 18.3%
2018 6 4.33 5.03 20.5% 9.3% 51.5% 26.7% 23.8%
L14 2 4.68 6.75 17.9% 10.7% 57.9% 27.5% 27.5%

Wheeler started the season off well, but has struggled ever since. He is still generating ground balls and soft contact, but the strikeout rate isn’t high enough to make up for his struggles against left-handed hitters. The good news is that he will face a right-handed heavy Blue Jays’ offense today at home. While this is a matchup where Wheeler should succeed, I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.

Quick Breakdown: I’ll gladly play Happ over Wheeler in this game.

Batter Grind Down

Toronto

The Blue Jays aren’t fully equipped to take advantage of Zach Wheeler and his splits against left-handed hitters. On the season, Wheeler has allowed a .335 xwOBA and a 37% hard contact rate to lefties. Curtis Granderson and Justin Smoak are elite plays in all formats. Yangervis Solarte is also viable, but I would only include him in a full stack.

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 0.364 0.377 0.208 38.6% 19.6% 30.4% 34.1% OF $2,400 OF $3,800 CF $7,700
2 Josh Donaldson RIGHT 0.319 0.266 0.259 32.5% 13.4% 26.9% 50.0% 3B $4,200 3B $4,100 3B $8,200
3 Yangervis Solarte SWITCH 0.361 0.363 0.223 32.0% 9.5% 19.0% 36.0% 3B $3,200 2B/3B $3,400 2B $6,300
4 Teoscar Hernandez RIGHT 0.448 0.392 0.303 47.5% 3.8% 22.5% 33.9% OF $3,300 OF $3,700 CF $7,200
5 Justin Smoak SWITCH 0.389 0.336 0.183 36.8% 15.2% 26.3% 33.3% 1B $3,400 1B $3,600 1B $7,400
6 Kevin Pillar RIGHT 0.404 0.358 0.219 37.2% 7.0% 17.4% 38.4% OF $2,800 OF $3,700 CF $7,300
7 Russell Martin RIGHT 0.321 0.361 0.254 35.3% 11.1% 24.7% 52.9% C $2,600 C $3,300 C $6,800
8 Richard Urena SWITCH 0.291 0.216 0.000 33.3% 0.0% 40.0% 66.7% SS $2,100 SS $2,700 SS $5,500
9 J.A. Happ LEFT P $8,600 P $9,300 P $17,500

Elite Plays – Curtis Granderson, Justin Smoak

Secondary Plays – Josh Donaldson, Yangervis Solarte, Teoscar Hernandez

Stackability – YELLOW

NY Mets

J.A. Happ was lit up in his last two starts, but he’s still not a pitcher that I want to target hitters against. It’s not like the Mets hit left-handed pitching well anyway. Their projected lineup has a .264 xwOBA with a 22% strikeout rate against southpaws. Outside of a Wilmer Flores one-off in tournaments, the Mets can be avoided.

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 Juan Lagares RIGHT 0.292 0.157 0.000 31.6% 11.1% 18.5% 68.4% OF $2,000 OF $2,900 CF $5,600
2 Asdrubal Cabrera SWITCH 0.312 0.373 0.143 35.5% 7.5% 15.0% 41.9% 2B $3,900 2B $3,800 SS $7,700
3 Yoenis Cespedes RIGHT 0.265 0.379 0.138 20.0% 19.4% 38.9% 33.3% OF $3,800 OF $4,100 LF $8,500
4 Wilmer Flores RIGHT 0.324 0.352 0.063 27.6% 8.6% 8.6% 34.5% 1B $2,500 1B/3B $3,000 3B $5,700
5 Jay Bruce LEFT 0.252 0.346 0.091 19.2% 5.7% 20.0% 34.6% OF $3,000 OF $3,500 RF $6,300
6 Devin Mesoraco RIGHT 0.238 0.258 0.067 30.8% 0.0% 13.3% 53.8% C $2,100 C $2,600 C $4,800
7 Jose Reyes SWITCH 0.072 0.280 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 16.7% 50.0% SS $2,000 3B/SS $3,300 SS $6,700
8 Zack Wheeler RIGHT 0.222 0.158 0.000 0.0% 0.0% 50.0% 50.0% P $7,000 P $8,000 P $15,100
9 Amed Rosario RIGHT 0.399 0.315 0.154 33.3% 3.7% 18.5% 28.6% SS $2,300 SS $2,900 SS $5,600

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – Wilmer Flores (GPP)

Stackability – ORANGE


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

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