MLB Grind Down: Friday, August 23rd
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.
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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.
Washington at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET
We have a single early game on the schedule again today, so we’ll touch on its fantasy appeal for the all-day slate on FanDuel and for the showdown slate on DraftKings. As always, the first step in our process when we have a game in Wrigley is to check the wind strength and direction. We are expecting a 14 MPH wind blowing in straight from center field, which is a massive boost to both of the starting pitchers. Sanchez has been in poor form recently and only has a strikeout rate of 19% on the season, but he can be aggressive given the pitcher-friendly conditions in Chicago. Batters will have to really get a hold of one to get it out of the ballpark today, which is a big boost for an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Sanchez.
Quick Breakdown: Sanchez doesn’t offer much appeal in the all-day slate on FanDuel, but he’s an elite option for showdown on DraftKings.
Lester and I haven’t seen eye to eye over the years. When I say that he’s not as talented as his low ERA suggests and that regression will eventually bite him, he finds a way to evade trouble every time out. When I give him credit because his peripheral statistics actually look solid, he goes out and gets shelled. At this point, he’s tough to trust in large slates. With so many aces on the mound tonight, we can avoid Lester in the all-day slate on FanDuel. On DraftKings, he’s close to a must start. He sees a significant boost with the wind blowing in from center and he gets to face a Nationals’ lineup that has an average k-rate of 23% against southpaws.
Quick Breakdown: Similar to Sanchez, Lester is an elite play for showdown and an easy fade for the all-day slate.
Batter Grind Down
Wrigley Field is impacted by wind more than any other ballpark in the majors. When the wind is blowing out, it essentially becomes Coors Field light. When the wind is blowing in, it turns into Oracle Park. There is not only a wind blowing in from center field today, but a strong one at 14 MPH. For the all-day slate, all batters from this game can be avoided. For showdown, I’m going to play both pitchers and then fill in bats around them. As far as splits go, Jon Lester has allowed a .361 xwOBA to lefties and a .334 xwOBA to righties. In the past, we could load up on base stealers against him, but he’s really improved in that aspect. If we look at stolen bases per 100 plate appearances, he’s actually better than most pitchers on the schedule today. For me, it all comes down to roster construction with Kurt Suzuki ($6,600) and Brian Dozier ($6,000) standing out as the best point-per-dollar options.
Stackability – ORANGE
The Cubs have a more enticing matchup than the Nationals, but I view them in the same light — avoid their hitters for the all-day slate on FanDuel and see what you can fit around the two pitchers for the showdown slate on DraftKings. Anibal Sanchez might have a high SIERA and a high walk rate, but he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA this season. The good news is that the Cubs are much cheaper than the Nationals on DraftKings. Jason Heyward ($6,200), Nick Castellanos ($7,800), Javier Baez ($7,600), Kyle Schwarber ($7,000), and Jonathan Lucroy ($5,400) are all strong options at their respective price points.
Stackability – ORANGE