MLB Grind Down: Thursday, April 25th

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.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code, FanDuel promo code, and FantasyDraft promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.

Stackability Rating System:

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.

Arizona at Pittsburgh – 12:35 PM ET

Arizona Pittsburgh
Zack Greinke Jameson Taillon
Vegas Moneyline Vegas Over/Under
PIT -113 7.0
Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB% Stats wOBA xwOBA HC% HR/9 K% GB%
SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.277 0.298 37.7% 0.94 22.3% 49.2% SP vs. Left (2016-17) 0.310 0.314 31.1% 0.83 19.9% 42.4%
SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.304 0.312 43.5% 1.71 25.7% 39.8% SP vs. Right (2016-17) 0.269 0.273 30.5% 1.00 24.9% 51.2%

Pitcher Grind Down

Zack Greinke
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $10,200 Salary: $9,700 Salary:
Salary Rank: 3 of 15 Salary Rank: 4 of 15 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 33 3.60 3.21 23.7% 5.1% 45.1% 41.0% 15.7% 89.6 10.8%
2019 5 3.52 4.60 27.1% 5.1% 36.4% 40.0% 15.0% 89.3 7.9%

We have another split schedule today with two early games, one late afternoon game, and five late games. Even though the slates are small, they should still be fun. Surprisingly, you can make a case for all four pitchers in the early slate. We start with Greinke, who has scored at least 22 fantasy points (DK scoring) in each of his last four starts. Overall, he owns a 3.52 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 27%. While he gives up a lot of hard contact, a lot of that is negated by this ballpark and by this matchup. The Pirates’ projected lineup has an average xwOBA of only .284 against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Taillon is my number one in the early slate, followed closely by Greinke.

Jameson Taillon
FanDuel DraftKings FantasyDraft
Salary: $8,000 Salary: $9,100 Salary:
Salary Rank: 10 of 15 Salary Rank: 6 of 15 Salary Rank:
Stats Starts SIERA ERA K% BB% GB% HC% SC% aFV SwS%
2018 32 3.77 3.20 22.8% 5.9% 46.2% 30.1% 19.0% 95.2 10.7%
2019 5 4.24 3.12 18.4% 5.5% 48.8% 35.4% 19.5% 94.8 11.4%

There are two pitchers that I have had way more exposure to than the field over the last few seasons — Tanaka and Taillon. They always seem a bit underpriced and I like their skill sets. Taillon has seen a dip in his strikeout rate this season, but I attribute that to a small sample size. His velocity is basically unchanged and he’s actually generating more swings and misses. He induces ground balls at a high rate and has great control. He pitches well in this ballpark and draws an exploitable matchup against the Diamondbacks, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of only .292 with a strikeout rate of 24% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Taillon is my go-to pitcher here in the early slate. Fire him up in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

Whenever we have two or three-game slates, we don’t have to automatically avoid hitters against our pitchers. Their fantasy production is inversely correlated, but we are dealing with limited options at all positions. Plus, when a pitcher is expected to be 50%+ owned like Jameson Taillon is, taking a hitter against him actually gives you leverage on the field. Jarrod Dyson provides stolen base upside batting leadoff, Eduardo Escobar has been red-hot at the plate, Ketel Marte is cheap and batting fifth, and Blake Swihart is a nice punt at catcher on DraftKings ($3,100).

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJarrod Dyson, Eduardo Escobar, Ketel Marte, Blake Swihart


The Pirates are in a similar situation as the Diamondbacks. While I don’t love the matchup, I will likely end up with at least one of their hitters, even though I plan to use Zack Greinke in the early slate. It’s not that he’s a great matchup, but we only have so many options at each position. The one positive here is that Greinke has allowed a hard contact rate of 38% to lefties and 44% to righties since the start of last season. Gregory Polanco, Colin Moran, and Josh Bell all have a hard contact rate of at least 33% against right-handed pitching. Rookie Cole Tucker is also worth a look batting leadoff. He had a .422 wOBA in the minors before getting called up to the bigs this season.

Elite PlaysGregory Polanco

Secondary PlaysCole Tucker, Colin Moran, Josh Bell


About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


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