MLB Grind Down: Saturday, August 24th - KCR @ CLE
Kansas City at Cleveland – 7:10 PM ET
Sparky Sparkman has put up the occasional solid outing this season, but the odds of him doing that tonight in Cleveland are pretty slim. Sparkman has a weak 13.4% strikeout rate with a 5.50 SIERA this season. Chi Chi Gonzalez is the only pitcher with worse numbers in both categories among tonight’s starters, which really tells you all you need to know.
Quick Breakdown: Sparky’s price tag is nice, but that’s the only appealing thing I can find about him tonight.
Mike Clevinger is pretty clearly ahead of the field from a talent perspective tonight. The right-hander’s 36.5% strikeout rate this season leads the slate by a sizable margin, and his 3.15 SIERA is in lockstep with his 3.11 ERA. The Royals’ hitters get a park boost tonight, but there are also plenty of strikeouts to be had, especially near the bottom of the order. Clevinger is pricey, but with good reason. He’s the clear-cut SP1 on this slate, and I think he’s worth spending on in all formats.
Quick Breakdown: Clevinger is clearly the top play on the slate.
Batter Grind Down
The Royals have an implied run total of 2.49, which is the lowest of any team in action today. Clevinger seems to have made legitimate improvements this season, so I don’t see the point in targeting him here. There’s leverage to be had with KC, so a Merrifield-Soler-Dozier mini-stack has upside, but they’re pretty far down the list of preferred options tonight.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – RED
Glenn Sparkman has allowed a .383 wOBA with 16 home runs this season to lefties compared to a .311 mark with 6 homers to righties. All Indians are in play tonight, but we’ll start with the preferred LHBs. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are two of the best overalls plays on the slate, while Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin will all have the coveted platoon advantage against Sparky, too. Sparkman doesn’t become a Cy Young candidate against righties, so I’m perfectly fine with Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes and Oscar Mercado if they crack the lineup. Cleveland has a 6.51 implied run total, so there’s plenty to like about the Tribe tonight.
Stackability – GREEN