MLB Grind Down: Friday, July 12th

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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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.

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET

We have 15 games on the schedule today, but only 13 in the main slate. I haven’t seen early slates posted yet, so we will focus on this game’s appeal from a showdown perspective. Archer has been a boom or bust fantasy option all season, posting a 4.71 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 25% and a walk rate of 12%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that gives up a lot of hard contact. The wind is blowing in from right field and with pitcher production being tough to replace in a single-game slate, he’s worth a look in all formats.

Quick Breakdown: Archer is viable in showdown, but an easy fade in the all-day slate.

Darvish has had an eerily similar season to Archer. He has strikeout upside, but it is accompanied by a 4.48 SIERA and a 12% walk rate. He generates more ground balls than Archer, but tends to struggle with patient offenses that don’t strikeout often. The Pirates certainly fit that mold, but again we are talking about a single-game slate. The strikeout upside for each pitcher puts them both on my radar for showdown.

Quick Breakdown: Darvish is an easy fade in the all-day slate, but he’s viable in all formats for showdown.

Batter Grind Down

The Pirates are playing on the road in a somewhat pitcher-friendly environment and they are facing a pitcher that has a 27% strikeout rate on the season. The spot is far from perfect, but Yu Darvish has allowed a .363 xwOBA and a .273 ISO to left-handed hitters. Adam Frazier (.343 xwOBA), Bryan Reynolds (.359 xwOBA), Josh Bell (.406 xwOBA), Melky Cabrera (.325 xwOBA), and Colin Moran (.334 xwOBA) all bat from the left side and have good numbers against right-handed pitching.

Elite PlaysAdam Frazier, Josh Bell

Secondary PlaysBryan Reynolds, Starling Marte, Melky Cabrera, Colin Moran


Before this season, Chris Archer had been tough on right-handed hitters and had struggled with left-handed power. In 2019, he has allowed a .360+ xwOBA and a .215+ ISO to both left and right-handed hitters. The Cubs have no shortage of power offensively, as each of the first seven batters in their projected lineup owns a .340+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching — Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Robel Garcia, and David Bote.

Elite PlaysKyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, Robel Garcia, Javier Baez (GPP), Kris Bryant (GPP), Willson Contreras (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJavier Baez (Cash), Kris Bryant (Cash), Willson Contreras (Cash), David Bote


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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