MLB Grind Down: Friday, April 19th

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:

BLUE – One of the top stacks of the slate.
GREEN – A full stack is viable in GPPs.
YELLOW – Not the best stack, but hitters are in play.
ORANGE – Tread lightly, but potentially target a hitter or two.
RED – Fade this offense in all formats.

Arizona at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET

Arizona Chicago Cubs
Merrill Kelly Kyle Hendricks
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
CHC -170 7.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.353 0.283 36.8% 1.50 24.0% 42.1% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.293 0.290 31.0% 1.07 23.0% 41.3%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.258 0.302 27.8% 1.38 22.0% 44.4% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.314 0.321 30.3% 1.05 16.3% 50.0%

Pitcher Grind Down

Merrill Kelly
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,900 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 13 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2019 3 3.85 3.79 22.7% 4.0% 43.6% 30.9% 14.6% 91.7 9.0%

We only have one early game on the schedule today, so we will focus on the showdown slate for the Diamondbacks and Cubs. If you are only playing the main slate, feel free to click on the Twins and Orioles in the menu at the top of the page. The two pitcher strategy is always viable in single-game slates, as they are the most consistent sources of fantasy production. We have a strong wind blowing in from left field at Wrigley today, which helps explain why the total is set at only 7.0 runs. Kelly has been sharp in his first three major league starts, posting a 3.85 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 23% and a walk rate of 4%. He can afford to be aggressive in this ballpark and there are some strikeouts to be had in this Cubs lineup.

Quick Breakdown: Kelly is an elite play in the showdown slate.

Kyle Hendricks
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $7,000 Salary: Salary:
Salary Rank: 19 of 30 Salary Rank: of 30 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 33 4.03 3.44 19.8% 5.4% 47.0% 29.9% 22.4% 86.9 9.2%
2019 3 5.27 5.40 14.7% 7.4% 36.0% 38.5% 13.5% 86.2 7.4%

I try not to play every MLB DFS slate out there because it can be overwhelming at times. While I don’t plan to play the showdown slate for this game, I do recommend targeting both pitchers if possible. Wrigley turns into an extreme pitcher’s park when the wind is blowing in. Hendricks is not off to a great start this season, but that has led to a cheaper price point. He has one of his easiest matchups to date, as the Diamondbacks’ lineup has an average xwOBA of only .284 against right-handed pitching. With this expected to be a low scoring game, it makes sense to spend the majority of your salary cap on the pitchers.

Quick Breakdown: Hendricks is an elite play in the showdown slate.

Batter Grind Down

This is not the best game to target for hitters, but we don’t have a choice in the single-game slate. Kyle Hendricks has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .325 xwOBA over the last two seasons, but does give up more power to righties and that comes with a lower strikeout rate as well. The wind isn’t going to help Arizona’s offense, but Wilmer Flores, Adam Jones, and Christian Walker all bat from the right side of the plate. David Peralta might end up being the highest owned Diamondbacks hitter, which makes him an intriguing fade in tournaments.

Elite PlaysWilmer Flores, Adam Jones, Christian Walker

Secondary PlaysEduardo Escobar, David Peralta, Ketel Marte


The Cubs are favored here, but these aren’t the best hitting conditions. We have 15+ MPH winds blowing in from left field and a talented rookie pitcher on the mound in Merrill Kelly. We are only dealing with a three-game sample size, but Kelly has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA this season. For me, the hitters in this game come down to roster construction. I would like to get both pitchers into my lineup, so I’m willing to sacrifice the expensive hitters to do so. In terms of xwOBA against right-handed pitching, Daniel Descalso (.337), Kris Bryant (.350), and Anthony Rizzo (.383) lead the way for Chicago.

Elite PlaysDaniel Descalso, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo

Secondary PlaysJavier Baez, Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras


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’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 Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


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