MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 17th - CHW @ LAA
Chicago White Sox at LA Angels – 9:07 PM ET
Hector Santiago will take the hill in Anaheim tonight in a #RevengeGame against the Angels. He’s pitched in 9 games this season, but this will be his second straight start. He gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in just 4.2 innings against the lowly Tigers last time out, and tonight he gets a significantly tougher matchup against LAA. Santiago was an average strikeout pitcher as recently as a season ago, but I’m not overly interested in a bad lefty with a 7.11 ERA on this slate.
Quick Breakdown: Santiago is an easy fade.
Jose Suarez is one of the Angels’ top prospects, but he’s really struggled of late. He has a 21% K-rate at the major league level this season with a walk rate over 8%. His 4.90 SIERA is better than his 6.57 ERA, though, and he gets a favorable strikeout matchup with the White Sox in town tonight. Chicago’s projected lineup has a 24.3% strikeout rate against southpaws. Suarez has been bad, but once you get past the top handful of pitchers on this slate you’re not missing out on much by taking the savings you can get by rolling with the lefty in a plus matchup. The popularity makes him a little scary, but there is still plenty to like about him in this spot.
Quick Breakdown: Suarez is dirt cheap and he has legitimate K upside in this matchup. That’s good enough for me.
Batter Grind Down
With Suarez expected to be among the most popular pitchers on the slate, you can get all sorts of leverage on the field with White Sox if his outing goes south. While the Sox do whiff a lot, there is also plenty of right-handed power here. Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, James McCann, Welington Castillo and Eloy Jimenez have all shown above-average power historically against opposite-handed pitching. They’re not as affordable as they have been over the past few days, but I still like the idea of going against the expected Suarez chalk with some White Sox stacks. Leury Garcia has no power, but he’s also cheap and expected to hit leadoff. It’s not a high-percentage stack, but if it hits you’re likely flying past plenty of the Suarez-having field.
Stackability – YELLOW / ORANGE
Hector Santiago is a lefty with a wide platoon split that has always allowed more power to righties. Mike Trout is a righty, and a pretty good one, at that. I’m going to go out on a limb here and recommend playing Mike Trout tonight. Justin Upton and Albert Pujols would be the next-best options, while David Fletcher is a passable value that should hit first in the order. Max Stassi is atrocious, but he’s also min-priced around the industry. Kole Calhoun and Shohei Ohtani will garner almost zero ownership in lefty-lefty spots, so I like them as contrarian options if you want to stack up the Angels.
Stackability – GREEN