MLB Grind Down: Friday, September 20th

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.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code, FanDuel promo code, and FantasyDraft promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.

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.

St. Louis at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET

Happy Friday everyone, we made it to the weekend. We have a single early game on the schedule today, so as usual we will focus on its appeal for the all-day slate on FanDuel and the showdown slate on DraftKings. Wacha has improved in the second half of the season, but doesn’t offer enough upside to warrant consideration in the all-day slate. He has a strikeout rate of only 19% on the season and he draws a tough matchup against the Cubs in Chicago. Their projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .328 with an average ISO of .187 against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Wacha is a secondary play for showdown and an easy fade for the all-day slate.

Mills has pitched well in three outings since being called up to the majors, but they have all been in relief. He has thrown 14, 40, and 24 pitches in his last three appearances, so there is serious concern about his ability to pitch deep into this game. He’s not a top prospect and his numbers at the Triple-A level have been mediocre this season — 5.00 FIP with a strikeout rate of 22% and a walk rate of 7%. I don’t love his matchup against the Cardinals and I worry that he’s not going to pitch deep enough into the game to pay off his salary.

Quick Breakdown: Unless we get news that Mills is going to throw 80+ pitches, he can be avoided in showdown and the all-day slate.

Batter Grind Down

We don’t have a large sample size to work with when it comes to Alec Mills and he’s unlikely to pitch way deep into this game, so focusing on his splits might not be the best route to take. However, I will note that he has allowed a higher wOBA to lefties at both the minor and major league levels. For the all-day slate on FanDuel, this is a game that we can avoid for hitters (and for pitchers). The wind today in Wrigley is blowing straight across the field, which isn’t a boost for batters. For showdown, Dexter Fowler ($7,600) stands out as the best value play. Paul Goldschmidt (.350 xwOBA), Matt Carpenter (.315 xwOBA), and Yadier Molina (.310 xwOBA) also rate out as strong showdown targets.

Elite PlaysDexter Fowler (showdown), Yadier Molina (showdown)

Secondary PlaysPaul Goldschmidt (showdown), Matt Carpenter (showdown)


Michael Wacha has had more success in the second half of the season, largely thanks to a lower walk rate and a higher ground ball rate. He still has one of the lowest strikeout rates of any starter in baseball and the Cubs have had success against him in the past. On the season, he has allowed a .340+ xwOBA and a .195+ ISO to both left and right-handed hitters. The Cubs are expensive in showdown, but it’s easier to fit them if you don’t roster a starting pitcher in this game. Anthony Rizzo (.404 xwOBA), Nick Castellanos (.341 xwOBA), Kris Bryant (.336 xwOBA), Kyle Schwarber (.372 xwOBA), and Willson Contreras (.345 xwOBA) all fare well against right-handed pitching. If you are a fan of BvP, Rizzo is 20-for-45 with three home runs and two doubles against Wacha.

Elite PlaysAnthony Rizzo (showdown), Nick Castellanos (showdown), Kyle Schwarber (showdown)

Secondary PlaysKris Bryant (showdown), Willson Contreras (showdown), David Bote (showdown)


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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