MLB Grind Down: Thursday, July 18th

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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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 Diego at Miami – 12:10 PM ET

There are technically five early games on the schedule today, but the first half of the Yankees double-header isn’t included in the early slate. Lamet has thrown 80 and 82 pitches in his first two starts of the season and has racked up seven strikeouts in each. We know he’s incredibly talented and he draws his best matchup to date. The Marlins’ projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .274 with an average strikeout rate of 26% against right-handed pitching. He’s affordable and he offers plenty of upside even on a limited pitch count.

Quick Breakdown: There are basically three pitching options on my radar for the early slate — Sale, Lamet, and Smith.

Smith is having a career season for the Marlins, posting a 3.84 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 31% and a walk rate of 9%. He is far too cheap given his floor and his ceiling, especially in a home start against the Padres. San Diego’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .313 with an average k-rate of 25% against left-handed pitching. Smith is my preferred option of the two pitchers in this game, but he’ll garner more ownership.

Quick Breakdown: Smith is an elite SP2 in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

We only have eight offenses to choose from in the early slate, but I will be crossing the Padres and Marlins off my list. Caleb Smith has an elite strikeout rate and he has held right-handed hitters to a .296 xwOBA this season. The Padres are playing on the road in a pitcher’s park and they have a low implied run total. I would rather play both of these pitchers in the same lineup over targeting batters from this game.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysManny Machado (GPP)


The Marlins have hit southpaws well this season, but they have really struggled against right-handed pitchers. They have too many righties in their lineup that don’t fare well against right-handed pitching. Dinelson Lamet has an elite strikeout rate and has been incredibly tough on righties throughout his career. Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson are the top targets here, but they are deep tournament fliers at best. There are better matchups to exploit.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysNeil Walker (GPP), Curtis Granderson (GPP)


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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


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