MLB Grind Down: Friday, August 16th - SFG @ ARI

San Francisco at Arizona – 9:40 PM ET

This is one of those games that I expect to have very little exposure to. We have two decent pitchers on the mound in a game that features a total of 9.0 runs. Samardzija has been in better form recently, but a lot of it is luck based. If you look at his recent SIERA, fastball velocity, and swinging strike rate, they are actually worse than his season long averages. He’s an easy fade at this price point, as the Diamondbacks’ projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .344 with an average k-rate of 22% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Samardzija in all formats.

Leake hasn’t been great in his first two starts with the Diamondbacks and really he has struggled in all ballparks that aren’t located in Seattle. I know a matchup against the Giants is enticing, but they have plenty of lefties to throw at him. If saving at pitcher, I would rather go with Jon Gray, Patrick Sandoval, or Mike Montgomery.

Quick Breakdown: Leake isn’t an awful play at this price point, but he’s not going to crack my player pool.

Batter Grind Down

The Giants see a small park boost playing in Arizona and they draw an exploitable matchup against Mike Leake. On the season, he has a strikeout rate of only 17% and has allowed a .345+ xwOBA and a .215+ ISO to batters from both sides of the plate. Brandon Belt (.363 xwOBA) rates out as one of the top value plays at any position in my model. I likely won’t have a ton of exposure to the Giants, but Mike Yastrzemski, Buster Posey, Alex Dickerson, and Evan Longoria all have good numbers against right-handed pitching.

Elite PlaysBrandon Belt

Secondary PlaysMike Yastrzemski (GPP), Buster Posey (DK), Alex Dickerson (GPP), Evan Longoria (GPP)


The Diamondbacks are favored and playing at home, but Jeff Samardzija has been solid over the last month of play. On the season, he has held righties to a .297 xwOBA and a .125 ISO. He gives up a lot of power to lefties (.238 ISO and a 1.97 HR/9), which brings Ketel Marte (.356 wOBA), David Peralta (.322 xwOBA), and Jake Lamb (.338 xwOBA) into play for tournaments.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJarrod Dyson (FD), Ketel Marte (GPP), David Peralta (GPP), Jake Lamb (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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


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