MLB Grind Down: Thursday, August 22nd

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.




San Francisco at Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM ET

We have a single early game on the schedule today, so we’ll take a look at its appeal for the all-day slate on FanDuel and the showdown slate on DraftKings. We have a 13 MPH wind blowing in from left-center today in Wrigley, which is a big boost for both starters. Samardzija has done an incredible job of preventing runs recently, but his advanced statistics suggest that he’s been the same pitcher. His SIERA, strikeout rate, fastball velocity, and swinging strike rate are all similar to his season averages. The Cubs are a tough matchup, but they strikeout at a high rate against right-handed pitching and Samardzija sees a significant boost with the wind blowing in from left.

Quick Breakdown: Samardzija is an easy fade in the all-day slate on FanDuel, but he’s firmly in play for showdown on DraftKings.

Hendricks has made 23 starts this season, posting a 4.49 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 21% and a walk rate of 5%. He’s a better pitcher in real baseball than he is in DFS, which typically makes him an easy fade in full slates. I don’t have much interest in Hendricks for the all-day slate on FanDuel, but he’s close to a must start for the showdown slate on DraftKings. The Giants have struggled against right-handed pitching all season and that should continue with the wind blowing in from left field. Their lineup is left-handed heavy, which is actually a boost for the fantasy appeal of Hendricks. His k-rate against lefties was 6% higher than it was against righties last season and 7% higher this season.

Quick Breakdown: Hendricks isn’t an awful play on FanDuel, but his real appeal is in showdown on DraftKings.

Batter Grind Down

For the all-day slate on FanDuel, both offenses can be ignored. With a strong wind blowing in from left field, the total for this game is set at only 7.5 runs. For the showdown slate on DraftKings, we have to roster at least one player from the Giants. I have more faith in Jeff Samardzija than I do in the Giants’ offense. Kyle Hendricks has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA and under a .165 ISO this season. In terms of point-per-dollar value, Buster Posey ($5,400) and Brandon Belt ($6,400) are the best options for showdown.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysBuster Posey (DK), Brandon Belt (DK)

StackabilityORANGE

Everything in this game sets up for a fade of the right-handed hitters from the Cubs. We have a strong wind blowing in from left field and Jeff Samardzija has held righties to a .298 xwOBA and a 0.82 HR/9. This doesn’t mean that Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez can’t have nice fantasy outings, but the matchup certainly sets up better for the batters from the other side of the plate. Jason Heyward (.339 xwOBA), Anthony Rizzo (.403 xwOBA), Kyle Schwarber (.368 xwOBA), and Ian Happ (.368 xwOBA) are the top targets for showdown.

Elite PlaysJason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber

Secondary PlaysNick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Ian Happ

StackabilityYELLOW

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 RotoGrinders.com’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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win

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