MLB Grind Down: Friday, May 24th

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.

Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET

We have 15 games on the schedule and 14 of them are included in the main slates across the industry. The single early game is between the Reds and Cubs, so we’ll focus on its appeal from a showdown perspective. The first step when we have a game in Wrigley is to check the wind direction and strength. We’ve got an 8 MPH wind blowing in from right field, which is a significant boost for both of these starters. DeSclafani has a 3.95 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 26% this season. He is very tough on righties and really struggles against lefties. He’ll have to pitch around Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo, but the wind blowing in from right should help.

Quick Breakdown: The two-pitcher approach is always solid in showdown slates and today is no exception.

Hendricks has been his usual self and has very mediocre numbers this season — 4.21 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 20% and a walk rate of 5%. He has given up more hard contact this season and he generates very few swings and misses. The good news is that he’s pitching at home with the wind blowing in from right field. He draws a favorable matchup against the Reds, whose projected lineup has an average k-rate of 24% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Hendricks would be an easy fade in a bigger slate, but is firmly in play for the showdown slate.

Batter Grind Down

If and when we decide to use both pitchers in a showdown slate, the hitters come down to roster construction. We only have a certain amount to spend on our remaining players, so it becomes more about fit than the actual best plays. In terms of splits, Kyle Hendricks has allowed a .342 xwOBA to lefties while holding righties to a .306 xwOBA this season. Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are both affordable and are by far my favorite plays from the Reds.

Elite PlaysJoey Votto, Jesse Winker

Secondary PlaysYasiel Puig, Derek Dietrich, Tucker Barnhart


Anthony DeSclafani has similar splits to Kyle Hendricks. On the season, he has allowed a .397 xwOBA to lefties while holding righties to a .274 xwOBA. The wind blowing in from right field hurts the left-handed hitters a little, but they are still the preferred targets in this game. Kyle Schwarber (.357 xwOBA) and Jason Heyward (.331 xwOBA) are the top targets here, but Anthony Rizzo, Victor Caratini, and Daniel Descalso are also viable.

Elite PlaysKyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward

Secondary PlaysAnthony Rizzo, Victor Caratini, Daniel Descalso


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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