MLB Grind Down: Monday, July 22nd

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.

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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.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh – 7:05 PM ET

There are 11 games on the schedule this evening and they are all featured in the main slate. Ponce de Leon has really pitched well in his five major league starts this season (3.82 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 30%), but I don’t expect him to sustain this pace moving forward. In 11 Triple-A starts earlier this year, he posted a 6.74 xFIP with a strikeout rate of only 19%. He’s currently overpriced relative to his true talent level and he draws a poor matchup against the Pirates, who have one of the lowest strikeout rates against right-handed pitching this season.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Ponce de Leon in all formats.

Williams has made 13 starts this season, posting a 4.72 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 18% and a walk rate of 5%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that benefits from making half his starts in PNC Park. From a point-per-dollar perspective, I prefer him over Ponce de Leon. Williams has held righties to a .318 xwOBA with a 21% strikeout rate and he will have the platoon advantage against the Cardinals, who have five righties in their projected lineup for tonight’s game.

Quick Breakdown: Williams is currently the seventh best point-per-dollar pitcher in my MLB model. He’s best suited as a play in multi-entry GPPs.

Batter Grind Down

The Cardinals started the year red-hot at the plate, but are ranked 20th or worse in wOBA and wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. They are playing on the road in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and they don’t have enough lefties to truly take advantage of a matchup against Trevor Williams. On the season, he has allowed a .383 xwOBA and a .183 ISO to batters from the left side of the plate. Tommy Edman (.319 xwOBA) and Dexter Fowler (.329 xwOBA) are the top targets here, while Tyler O’Neill still feels underpriced on FanDuel ($2,700).

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysTommy Edman, Dexter Fowler, Tyler O’Neill (FD)


Looking at the splits for Daniel Ponce de Leon this season doesn’t do much good. He has a 30% strikeout rate and has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .300 xwOBA this season. As noted above, he was very hittable in his 11 Triple-A starts. I expect serious regression the rest of the season and the Pirates get to face him at home at low ownership. Adam Frazier (.336 xwOBA), Bryan Reynolds (.354 xwOBA), Starling Marte (.396 xwOBA), and Colin Moran (.335 xwOBA) all mash right-handed pitching and provide nice upside at minimal ownership.

Elite PlaysAdam Frazier, Bryan Reynolds (GPP), Josh Bell (GPP)

Secondary PlaysBryan Reynolds (Cash), Josh Bell (Cash), Starling Marte (GPP), Colin Moran (GPP)


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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