MLB Grind Down: Friday, May 17th

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.

Tampa Bay at NY Yankees – 7:05 PM ET

Stanek will be the opener for the Rays tonight, but Chirinos is expected to be the long reliever that eats up the bulk of the innings. I’ll target a Rays’ long reliever every now and then, but typically only on smaller slates where we have limited pitching options. We have a massive 15-game slate on tap tonight, which makes Chirinos an easy fade against a powerful offense like the Yankees.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Stanek and Chirinos in all formats.

Sabathia is good at getting major league outs, but he no longer gets them by the way of the strikeout. In six starts this season, he has a 5.19 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 18% and a walk rate of 10%. He’s allowing more hard contact this season and he draws a difficult matchup against the Rays. Tampa’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .343 against left-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Sabathia is the preferred pitcher in this game, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

Batter Grind Down

The Rays see a ballpark boost playing in Yankee Stadium and get to face CC Sabathia, who has allowed a .353 xwOBA and a 46% hard contact rate to right-handed hitters. I wouldn’t prioritize the Rays hitters, but there are a few intriguing tournament plays. Yandy Diaz, Tommy Pham, Daniel Robertson, Avisail Garcia, and Travis d’Arnaud all bat from the right side and all boast a .345+ xwOBA against left-handed pitching.

Elite PlaysTommy Pham (GPP), Daniel Robertson (Cash)

Secondary PlaysTommy Pham (Cash), Daniel Robertson (GPP), Yandy Diaz (GPP), Avisail Garcia (GPP), Travis d’Arnaud (GPP)


There are a handful of offenses that I am looking to load up on tonight. While the Yankees have as much upside as any, they don’t make the final cut in this slate. They’ll open the game against Ryne Stanek and then square off against Yonny Chirinos. These aren’t particularly favorable matchups, although Chirinos has allowed a .390 xwOBA to left-handed hitters this season. Again, the Yankees could easily score 10 runs here, but Aaron Hicks (.377 xwOBA vs. righties) is the only hitter that really stands out in this matchup.

Elite PlaysAaron Hicks

Secondary PlaysDJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez (DK)


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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