MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 24th - ATL @ NYM
Atlanta at NY Mets – 7:10 PM ET
Max Fried has a 23.8% strikeout rate, which is one of the better marks among tonight’s starters. He’s gotten the walks under control this year, and his 4.02 SIERA is solid. The issue is that he’s going on the road to face a low-strikeout Mets lineup tonight. New York has a collective 20.3% strikeout rate against lefties this season, and Fried will likely face 7 righties. The price tag is reasonable enough around the industry to where I think Fried is a fine mid-range option on this slate, but he’s nowhere near a must-play.
Quick Breakdown: Fried is a decent mid-range play on a shallow pitching slate.
Zack Wheeler boasts a 24.1% K-rate, and his 4.10 SIERA is better than his 4.40 ERA on the year. Atlanta’s projected lineup has a 22.5% strikeout rate against righties, but a .214 ISO makes for a pretty daunting matchup. Wheeler is understandably one of the more expensive options available tonight, but the spot against the Braves makes him a scary spend. I think he has enough individual upside to be worth a look as a presumably low-owned option in tournaments, but I’d rather just find the money for Clevinger or take the savings on Kyle Gibson if spending on a pitcher tonight. Wheeler falls into the next tier as a result.
Quick Breakdown: Wheeler is a decent option tonight, but his price is awkward for this slate.
Batter Grind Down
Wheeler has been a tough customer this year, but he has always had more issues against left-handed hitters. Lefties own a .315 wOBA against him along with 9 dongs on the season. Freddie Freeman is always an outstanding individual option, but the quality of left-handed bats in this lineup drops off considerably once you get past him. Matt Joyce and Rafael Ortega aren’t good hitters, while Ozzie Albies is better from the other side of the plate. Ronald Acuna makes for an elite low-owned GPP play from the right side, while Josh Donaldson is a secondary third base option. I don’t have a ton of interest in Wheeler or the bats against him.
Stackability – ORANGE
Max Fried has fared well against LHBs, but RHBs have a .338 wOBA with 16 homers at his expense. The Mets can get pretty righty-heavy against him, so if they’re going to draw low ownership I don’t mind taking some shots on the Mets in this spot. Pete Alonso (.418 wOBA, .385 ISO) has murdered left-handed pitching all year long, so he’s clearly your top play. Amed Rosario, J.D. Davis and Wilson Ramos all have stellar numbers against opposite-handed pitching, too, while Todd Frazier will probably be 1% owned. The Mets aren’t the greatest probability stack here, but there is loads power upside if they do manage to strike gold against Fried. Their 4.36 implied run total is nothing special, so it’s more of a multi-entry, large-field GPP kind of a stack.
Stackability – YELLOW / ORANGE