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 Plays – Jose Ramirez (GPP)
Stackability – YELLOW
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.
Stackability – GREEN