MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 17th - NYM @ KCR
NY Mets at Kansas City – 7:15 PM ET
Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher taking the mound tonight, but he’s also the most expensive around the industry by a healthy margin. DeGrom’s K-rate of 31.6% is right behind Lamet’s and the second-highest on the slate, while his 3.39 SIERA is the best mark of any starter taking the mound tonight. He’ll face a DH instead of a pitcher tonight in Kansas City, but the Royals are largely devoid of power and they’re striking out more than they have for most of the season. Brett Phillips and his career 38.6% strikeout rate at the big league level just got called up, while Bubba Starling, Meibrys Viloria and Ryan O’Hearn will also whiff quite a bit. There is enough cheap pitching on this slate to where it’s not impossible to get to deGrom with decent hitters, so I like him quite a bit. As always, he’s one of the best options on the board.
Quick Breakdown: Jacob deGrom is an elite option in all formats.
Jakob Junis has a 21.6% strikeout rate with a 7.6% walk rate on the season. The right-hander has surrendered 25 homers this season, which isn’t surprising considering he allowed 32 dingers a year ago. His 4.80 ERA and 4.61 SIERA don’t stand out, while his ground ball rate has always been better against lefties. The Mets’ lineup isn’t as imposing these days with Jeff McNeil on the IL, but Junis looks a little overpriced around the industry given his average strikeout stuff. He’s not the worst option on the board, but he falls into no-man’s land at that elevated price point.
Quick Breakdown: Junis looks overpriced for a matchup without a ton of strikeout potential.
Batter Grind Down
Junis has allowed 13 homers to righties compared to 12 to lefties on the season. His ground ball and swing-and-miss stuff plays better vs. LHBs, but he has also allowed a .341 wOBA to lefties in his career. The Mets’ 4.90 implied run total is middle-of-the-pack for this slate, and Junis isn’t a bad pitcher. I’d rather target some one-offs or mini-stacks here considering his home run issues. That means Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto stand out. All 3 have wOBAs around .400 against right-handed pitching this season. Amed Rosario doesn’t have a ton of power, but he’s an interesting low-owned shortstop option if he’s leading off again. Wilson Ramos has passable power for a catcher, as well.
Stackability – YELLOW / ORANGE
KC unsurprisingly has the lowest implied run total on the slate (3.6) against deGrom. The Mets’ bullpen is always capable of blowing things later on, but generally speaking, avoiding targeting deGrom starts is a winning strategy. The good hitters (Merrifield, Soler, etc.) aren’t even priced at much of a discount, which makes this offense an easy fade as a whole.
Elite Plays – None
Secondary Plays – None
Stackability – RED