MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 17th - LAD @ ATL

LA Dodgers at Atlanta – 7:20 PM ET

Hyun-Jin Ryu is great, but he’s always seemingly overpriced or in a bad matchup. Tonight, it’s the latter. Ryu has a 21.9% strikeout rate this season, which is the ninth-highest mark among tonight’s starters. He hardly walks anyone and his 1.45 ERA is outstanding. His 3.76 SIERA is good, but it shows that his ERA is pretty lucky, too. His ground ball rate nearing 52% is a plus, but an average strikeout pitcher taking on a powerful Braves lineup in Atlanta usually isn’t worth a 5-figure price tag. Ryu is playable in tournaments considering a blowup isn’t all that likely, but it’s hard to see him paying off that price tag more often than not. Considering we have guys like deGrom and E-Rod in far better matchups, Ryu isn’t really on my radar on this slate.

Quick Breakdown: Ryu is always playable, but I don’t think he’s worth the expensive price tag.

Mike Foltynewicz had a K-rate north of 27% last season, but he hasn’t been the same guy this year. His strikeouts have dipped to just 20.6% so far this season, while his 6.24 ERA is among the worst on the slate. Folty is better than that, but he has also allowed 18 homers across just 13 starts and he’s facing a Dodger lineup laden with lefty power this evening. While he has looked better in his 2 starts since returning from the minors, I can’t think of many worse spots for him than this.

Quick Breakdown: I’ll wait for a better matchup before looking Folty’s way again.

Batter Grind Down

Foltynewicz has allowed a .340 career wOBA to left-handed hitters. The Dodger in tonight’s projected lineup with the lowest wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching is Joc Pederson at .369. For reference, an average wOBA is about .320. I think Foltynewicz is better than he’s shown this season, but it’s hard to argue against the notion that this is anything but a great spot for Dodger hitters. Folty will likely face 6 lefties here, and they’re all excellent options. Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Corey Seager are the top options, followed by Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty. Justin Turner and Will Smith are above-average righties, so I see little issue with playing either of them in this matchup. L.A.‘s implied run total of 5.13 looks a little low. This is one of the best stacks on the slate. With Coors, Arlington and the Red Sox on the slate, the Dodgers could see less ownership than usual, too.

Elite PlaysCody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Justin Turner

Secondary Plays – Will Smith, Edwin Rios, Matt Beaty


Ryu has shown reverse batted ball splits over the course of his career, but he’s allowed more power to righties. Even so, it’s hard to get too excited about any of the Braves here. Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna are good enough hitters to be worth a try in any matchup, but Atlanta has a low 4.37 implied run total for a reason. Braves will be contrarian, but it’s not a good spot.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysFreddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr.


About the Author

  • Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

  • Taylor Smith is a native Texan (required by all fellow Texans to report this at all times) and Southern California-based sports writer. He has been playing daily fantasy sports regularly since 2012, going back to the days of DraftStreet (RIP). He specializes in MLB and NBA while dabbling in a few other sports like a true degen when the other two are out of season. He has written about DFS in the past at Bang The Book, and you can find some of his previous work on SB Nation and FanRag Sports.


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