MLB Grind Down: Monday, August 19th

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.

Sports betting note: If you’re looking for MLB betting picks, please visit our MLB Betting Picks Strategy Guide. Sports bettors may also be interested in some other pages over on our sports betting section.

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.

Kansas City at Baltimore – 7:05 PM ET

There are nine games on the schedule this evening and all but one feature a total of at least 9.0 runs. Lopez has made 11 starts and 19 relief appearances for the Royals this season, racking up a 4.63 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 21% and a walk rate of 9%. He gives up a decent amount of power to both sides of the plate, which isn’t ideal for a start in Baltimore. Luckily, some of that is offset by the fact that he’s facing the Orioles. Their projected lineup has an average xwOBA under .300 with an average k-rate of 25% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: A matchup against Baltimore is enticing, but I don’t love the ballpark or the fact that Lopez hasn’t thrown more than 55 pitches in the last month.

Means has made 19 starts and for the most part has managed to evade the regression monster that has been looming all season. His ERA is nearly a run and a half lower than his SIERA and his strikeout rate (19%) is well below the major league average. I’ve been avoiding him for quite some time, but actually think he provides some upside tonight against the Royals. This is the cheapest he’s been in weeks and the Royals’ projected lineup has an average xwOBA of only .308 with an average k-rate of 22% against southpaws.

Quick Breakdown: While far from a priority play, Means is worth a look as a cheap SP2 on DraftKings.

Batter Grind Down

Even though John Means isn’t as talented as his 3.76 ERA might suggest, he’s still managed to hold both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA (which helps take some of the luck out of the equation). This is a ballpark that plays up right-handed power and the Royals have four righties with an xwOBA of at least .355 against left-handed pitching — Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler, and Cheslor Cuthbert. At the very least, these four are worth a look as one-off targets for large-field GPPs.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysWhit Merrifield (GPP), Hunter Dozier (GPP), Jorge Soler (GPP), Cheslor Cuthbert (GPP)


The Orioles always a feel a little overpriced, which limits their appeal as a stack in tournaments. While I wouldn’t rule out a full stack if you are building multiple lineups, I prefer targeting the Orioles through one-offs and mini-stacks. Jorge Lopez has allowed a .345+ xwOBA and a .195+ ISO to batters from both sides of the plate. His home run issues have mostly come against lefties, but this ballpark plays up right-handed power. Jonathan Villar (.177 ISO), Trey Mancini (.256 ISO), Anthony Santander (.227 ISO), and Renato Nunez (.221 ISO) all have good power against right-handed pitching.

Elite PlaysJonathan Villar (GPP), Trey Mancini (GPP), Anthony Santander (GPP), Renato Nunez (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJonathan Villar (Cash), Trey Mancini (Cash), Anthony Santander (Cash), Renato Nunez (Cash), Jace Peterson


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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


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