MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 24th
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.
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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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.
Washington at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET
Joe Ross threw just 58 pitches in his last start, but he was forced to leave that game early after taking a liner off the leg. He’s apparently fine enough to start again today, so I wouldn’t be all that concerned. Ross has a middling 18.2% strikeout rate next to a high 10.5% walk rate. He’s done a fine job of keeping the ball in the ballpark – 5 homers allowed across 23 appearances – but he hasn’t shown a ton of upside for fantasy. This matchup with the Cubs at Wrigley isn’t an easy one, either. Ross has struggled with left-handed hitters (.395 wOBA allowed vs. LHB) and Chicago should have 5 lefties in the lineup today. I think he’s playable as an SP2 on the DraftKings early slate considering the other SP2s aren’t anything special, and he’s the cheapest of the bunch. I don’t feel great about it, but SP2 on this slate feels like something that won’t win it or lose it for you.
Quick Breakdown: Ross is a viable SP2 on DraftKings, but that’s about it.
Jose Quintana is pretty far ahead of the pack on this slate. He’s put up 3 consecutive dominant performances against the A’s, Phillies and Pirates, but his strikeout rate of 21.8% on the season isn’t all that impressive. He’s lowered his walk rate fo 6%, which is a plus, but the matchup against a quality, low-strikeout Nationals lineup is tough. Washington’s projected lineup has 6 righties (not including the pitcher) with a collective K-rate of 18.2% against left-handed pitching. Quintana’s good form has also caused his price to skyrocket around the industry. He is the top pitcher on the slate from a raw projection standpoint, but there’s plenty of merit to pulling the fade at his elevated price point.
Quick Breakdown: Quintana is the top pitching option on the slate, but the combination of price tag and matchup make him a very tough sell.
Batter Grind Down
Quintana has always had a wide platoon split, and this season has been no exception. He’s fared well against his fellow lefties (.269 wOBA allowed, 1 HR), while righties boast a .314 mark against him with 16 home runs this season. The Nats’ lineup is littered with righties that have smoked left-handed pitching this season which makes them a very appealing stack. Anthony Rendon (.433 wOBA vs. LHP), Trea Turner (.372), Howie Kendrick (.391), Brian Dozier (.390) and Yan Gomes (.421) make for strong options at their respective positions. Juan Soto and Adam Eaton have shown the ability to hit lefties, too, so I’d include them in Washington stacks. Victor Robles offers power and stolen base upside, and nobody ever plays him. Quintana is a decent pitcher, but I’d rather be on the Nationals’ bats in this spot.
Stackability – GREEN / YELLOW
As mentioned, lefties have plagued Joe Ross for quite some time. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber instantly stand out as excellent options against him, while the lesser lefties like Jason Heyward, Victor Caratini and Ian Happ are passable, too. Ross’ ground ball rate is about 22% higher against righties this season (55.7%), but Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Nicholas Castellanos are talented enough to where I’d still play them, especially if stacking the Cubs. Chicago makes for a pretty easy stack, especially considering they’re affordable around the industry with the exception of Rizzo and Bryant. I’d still prioritize the lefties here, though.
Stackability – YELLOW / GREEN