MLB Grind Down: Friday, August 16th

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.

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh – 7:05 PM ET

As always is the case on Fridays, we have 15 games on the schedule. My main piece of advice (especially if you are only building a handful of lineups) is to be picky with your player selection. We have no shortage of options, so you should feel good about every spot on your roster. Hendricks is a better pitcher in real baseball than he is for DFS. He’s great at preventing runs, but he has a slightly below-average strikeout rate. He has limited upside tonight against the Pirates, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .318 with an average k-rate of only 18% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Hendricks might not get blown up here, but he’s an easy fade given his limited strikeout upside.

It seems like every four or five days we have a decision to make with Musgrove on DraftKings. He’s always priced at a discount given his skill set and the ballpark that he pitches in. A 4.49 SIERA and a 21% strikeout rate isn’t elite, but he’s only $6,200 and he has the ability to pitch deep into games. The Cubs aren’t a great matchup by any means, but he gets to face them at home in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Quick Breakdown: There is always a need for cheap pitching in large slates. Musgrove is viable as an SP2 in tournaments.

Batter Grind Down

The Cubs are favored in a game that features a total of 9.0 runs. In theory, we should have interest. However, we have to look at each offense in the context of the entire slate. If you look at Chicago’s implied run total, it’s right around the average of the 30 teams in action. On the season, Joe Musgrove has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .325 xwOBA and under a 39% hard contact rate. Anthony Rizzo (.400 xwOBA) is an intriguing one-off target, but he’s the only batter that really stands out from the Cubs.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysAnthony Rizzo (GPP)


The Pirates have decent numbers against right-handed pitching and they own one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball, but that’s not enough to deserve consideration in a 15-game slate. They need a favorable matchup and unfortunately, they don’t have one. Kyle Hendricks limits hard contact, he walks very few batters, and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA this season. Josh Bell (.399 xwOBA) is a decent one-off target, but there isn’t a lot to love about this game as a whole.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJosh Bell (GPP)


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.


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