Panda's Bears and Bulls: MLB 8/13 Slate Breakdown

Welcome, and thanks for reading if you dare to tread forward. I’m going to attempt to gloss over today’s MLB slate, more so with Draftkings pricing in mind, and let you know who I am bearish, neutral, and bullish on.

Hope you enjoy it and please leave feedback in the comments, as I am looking to build on this blog from here.

It would also be inappropriate of me not to shoutout RG forum user Njsum1 for the “Panda’s Bulls and Bears concept.” Thank you.

BAL @ PHI

Good power park
Neutral weather
Neutral ump

We’re going to have to watch the weather on this one..

Tom Eshelman is a below average 26 year-old prospect, with mediocre minor league numbers, and pretty rough big league numbers so far. He hasn’t shown much difference in his splits and appears generous to both sides of the plate. It’s no surprise the Phillies have the highest total on the board. The Phils are fully stackable, with Hoskins/Harper/Realmuto/DiDi/Bruce being the preferred 5.

“(player-popup #jake-arrieta)Jake Arrieta”:/players/jake-arrieta-10982’s best days are behind him, but he can still be serviceable, relying heavily on ground balls. He’s off to a decent start this year, keeping the Yanks somewhat in check and shutting down the Braves in his first two starts, but was about as average as it gets last year.

Believe it or not the O’s are 9-7, and top 10 in .ISO, wRC+, wOBA, and SLG%, while striking out at the 4th lowest rate in the league.

This one could go either way, but I slightly lean towards Arrieta, and wouldn’t hate falling on him as an SP2 if making multiple line ups. The O’s have one of the lowest totals on the board, and I usually prefer to avoid road offenses in get away games if the match up isn’t too juicy. I still don’t mind having a mini-stack of the LHB’s, or just using Santander as an affordable one-off with his fly ball lean, and lefty power.

Bulls: Phillies stacks.

Neutral: Jake Arrieta, Anthony Santander.

Bears: Tom Eshelman, Orioles RHB’s.

TBR @ BOS

Fairly neutral park, slight hitter lean
Neutral weather
Hitter ump

Tampa pitchers can be tricky at times, but Glasnow did get up to 88 pitches before his last start when he got roughed up a bit by the Yankees. The Red Sox offense is about league average in every category across the board. There’s nothing much to fear here, and Glasnow has one of, if not the highest ceiling on the board today.

If for some reason you’re desperate to play BoSox or want to get a little contrarian, Glasnow does give up more power and hard hits to RHB’s, putting a fairly priced Bogaerts and JD in play.

Kyle Hart is making his major league debut. His career minor league numbers aren’t bad at all, but there’s a reason he turned 27 before he got to the big leagues and couldn’t break camp with the team despite the Sox terrible pitching staff. Not a lot can be combed from those minor league stats, but he doesn’t appear to get many strikeouts and has a low 40’s ground ball rate. In AAA it looks like he struggled more with LHB’s, while in AA, was worse with RHB’s. I’ll just assume he’s a traditional splits LHP, and what’s more important is there’s no reason to believe he’ll succeed here.

You could play the he’s cheap, and hope because the Rays haven’t seen him before, he gets through the line up a couple times without much trouble. Even though that’s possible, after him is a mediocre bullpen.

Bulls: Tampa Stacks, Tyler Glasnow.

Neutral: JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts.

Bears: Kyle Hart, Red Sox stacks.

PIT @ CIN

Hitters park
Neutral weather

I think Trevor Williams has been around long enough that we can confidently say he’s a below average big league pitcher. Below average K’s, below average ground balls, a career xFIP over 5. On top of that he’s equally hitable from either side of the plate, while inducing more soft contact against RHB’s. The only thing really even slightly in his favor is a lack of HR’s allowed over his career. Behind him is one of the worst bullpens in baseball.

You can confidently take hitters from either side of the plate against him, with Castellanos, Suarez, and Winker sporting the highest .ISO’s against RHP, but really they’re all in play.

Anthony DeSclafani is pretty average and facing a very below average Pirates offense. By below average, I mean maybe the worst offense in baseball. DeSclafani does struggle with LHB’s, and the Pirates could throw as many as 6 at him today. There’s just not enough power here though for me to be concerned enough. Sure the Pirates could get a walk here and there, string together some hits, but ultimately they’re most likely to sputter on their opportunities.

We’re looking at small 5 game slate, and the Pirates offense will be low owned, so there is some merit in large field GPP’s to putting together some smaller stacks built around Josh Bell and other LHB’s, preferably Moran and Reynolds, but it’s more of a push to be contrarian than anything else.

The knock on using DeSclafani today is there’s not a lot of strikeout upside provided by him or these Pirates bats.

Bulls: Reds Stacks.

Neutral: Anthony DeSclafani, Josh Bell.

Bears: Trevor Williams, Pirates Stacks.

MIL @ CHC

Pitcher park (with wind blowing in)
Pitcher weather

The Brewers are supposed to open with Brett Anderson and then turn things over to Corbin Burnes. Anderson is a low K, high ground ball lefty who will struggle with RHB’s. Burnes is a hard throwing K heavy pitcher that will allow a lot of hard contact.

We have the wind blowing in at Wrigley. We have a high ground ball pitcher kicking things off, followed by a very effective thus far, Corbin Burnes, then as needed behind them arguably the best pen in baseball. We have plenty of solid spots for offense today, and when combining these things I have next to no interest in Cubs bats today.

Yu Darvish struggled against the Brewers in his first start of the season, but has been sharp since. He’s probably the best pitcher on the board today, over Glasnow, or at least the longer track record. The Brewers are in the bottom 10, in almost all offense categories, including .ISO, wOBA, and wRC+. Plus their projected lineup has a 24.7% K rate versus RHP.

This one is fairly simple. Darvish is your SP1 today, but I can definitely understand going Glasnow over Darvish from a point-per-dollar perspective.

Bulls: Yu Darvish.

Neutral: Corbin Burnes.

Bears: Cubs Stacks, Brewers Stacks, Brett Anderson

SDP @ LAD

Pitcher Park
Neutral Weather
Pitcher Ump

Chris Paddack is off to a solid start with his 3.49 xFIP and 24% K-rate, which are fairly in line with his numbers from last year. The negative is he’s not pitching past the 6th inning and allowing 44% hard contact and facing the Dodgers. He has faced the Dodgers once already this season netting 18.5 DK points in 6 innings with 3 runs allowed and 5 K’s. If he can repeat that performance, it’d be pretty acceptable at his tag and this slate.

Considering are options on this slate, and with K’s being king for DFS pitching Paddack should be on our radar as an SP2, or SP1 in line ups where you need the savings. Even though he’ll be facing the tougher line up, his upside is undeniably greater than Arrieta or DeSclafani.

Of course, if they’re going to be passed over, you can not count out Dodgers stacks. The line up is much too potent to ignore against any pitcher. Lefty power would be the preferred place to look with Paddacks .203 ISO, 41.3% HC allowed, and 40% FB rate allowed to LHB’s.

Julio Urias has been a highly regarded prospect for a while, who continues to be expensive every time he pitches, but frankly the results have been very hit or miss without flashing major upside. This is a tough spot to figure out franky. The potential is there for Urias, and the projected Padres lineup has a 35.3% K-rate against LHP. Plus he has a favorable ump. Plus, as I mentioned with the Orioles, I’m usually leery of road offenses in getaway games. The park is in his favor. He’s just so expensive for what his results have been and this Padres offense is not a pushover anymore.

Due to my uncertainty laid out above, I’m going to tread lightly all around here. Even if Urias struggles some, the Dodgers have one of the better pens in baseball. Machado and Tatis project best here though, and Ty France if he’s in the lineup if you want to run some mini stacks or would make fine one-offs.

Bulls: Chris Paddack.

Neutral: Dodgers LHB’s, Julio Urias, Padres RHB’s.

Bears: Dodgers RHB’s, Padres LHB’s.

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