MLB Grind Down: Friday, August 16th - CLE @ NYY

Cleveland at NY Yankees – 7:05 PM ET

Civale is a decent prospect that had good numbers in the minors before getting called up (3.45 FIP with a strikeout rate of 27%). He has been terrific in his first three major league starts, posting a 3.88 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 27% and a walk rate of 6%. If you want to ride the hot form, I wish you well. I see this as a time to hop off the train, as the Yankees’ projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .347 with an average k-rate of only 20% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: This is Civale’s toughest test to date. I don’t mind watching this one from the sidelines.

After a terrific 2018 campaign, Tanaka has struggled to produce the same results this season. In 24 starts, he owns a 4.55 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 20%. He’s giving up a lot of hard contact and subsequently, a lot of home runs. The Indians went bonkers last night in New York and have quickly become one of the toughest matchups in baseball. Their projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .337 with an average k-rate of only 20% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Tanaka in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

I mentioned in yesterday’s Grind Down that nobody would stack the Indians because it was a bullpen start for the Yankees. I really wish I would have entered a few lineups and got some exposure, as they were the stack you needed to take down tournaments. While it wouldn’t shock me to see them score 10+ runs again tonight, I would rather target their offense with one-offs instead of a full stack. Masahiro Tanaka has allowed a .233 ISO to batters from the left side of the plate this season, which brings Francisco Lindor (.337 xwOBA), Carlos Santana (.374 xwOBA), and Jose Ramirez (.331 xwOBA) into play for tournaments.

Elite PlaysJose Ramirez (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJose Ramirez (Cash), Francisco Lindor (GPP), Carlos Santana (GPP), Yasiel Puig (GPP)


The Yankees didn’t score a thousand runs last night, but they’ve still been the best offense in baseball over the last few weeks. Aaron Civale is a nice prospect that has fared well in his first three major league starts, but he’s a rookie that’s pitching on the road against the Yankees. There is plenty of downside here for Civale. Personally, my appeal in the Yankees stack will all come down to ownership. If they are going to fly under the radar, I will go right back to the well. DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Gary Sanchez all have great numbers against right-handed pitching this season, while Didi Gregorius has been red-hot at the plate.

Elite PlaysGary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu (GPP), Aaron Judge (GPP), Didi Gregorius (GPP), Gio Urshela (GPP)

Secondary PlaysDJ LeMahieu (Cash), Aaron Judge (Cash), Didi Gregorius (Cash), Gio Urshela (Cash), Brett Gardner (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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