MLB Grind Down: Thursday, June 20th - MIA @ STL
Miami at St. Louis – 7:15 PM ET
Part of the battle of this slate is figuring out who some of these players are. Who is Zac Gallen?! Well here’s what we know. Gallen is a 23-year old rookie who actually came up in the Cardinals’ organization (revenge game!). He was part of the Marcell Ozuna trade and was just ranked outside the Top 100 prospects this season. He had a crazy 33.6 K% in Triple-A this season, striking out 112 batters over 91.1 innings. Looking at his game log, he threw 98 pitches in his last start and should be fully stretched out. The Cardinals are among the bottom third of the league in K% but given what Gallen has done in Triple-A this season, I think we need to give him a good look in GPPs as he seems to carry a bunch of strikeout upside. I’m not endorsing him in cash games, and there’s always risk in playing a rookie pitcher against a veteran squad like the Cardinals, but I will be getting my fair share of exposure to Gallen in GPPs tonight.
Quick Breakdown: Gallen showed big strikeout upside in the minors this season and given the nature of this slate where there is no slam-dunk ace we must have, I have no problem loading up on him in tournaments and chasing that upside knowing full well the risks.
I am really torn on Adam Wainwright. Wainwright missed a week due to a hamstring strain but had a good bullpen session and appears good to go. Wainwright hasn’t been great this season. His 20.2 K% is right around his career average, but his walk rate has ballooned up to 10.3%. He’s also giving up a career-high 43.2% hard hit rate and his SwStr% is close to his career-low (7.4%). He’s just not missing many bats or fooling anyone, yet he gets the juiciest of juicy matchups against the Marlins. The Marlins have the 6th highest K% as a team against righties and the lowest team ISO by a wide margin. The question essentially comes down to whether you trust Wainwright enough in an elite matchup. I’m personally fine with him as an SP2 in all formats given his matchup and price point. I’m on the fence about using him as an SP1 in tournaments on FanDuel as that’s pretty dicey.
Quick Breakdown: As much as it pains me to say, I think Wainwright is in play in all formats just given his price and matchup against the lowly Marlins. It’s by no means a safe play, especially with him having dealt with a hamstring strain, but the matchup is an elite one.
Batter Grind Down
As mentioned above, I am siding with Gallen in this matchup and chasing his strikeout upside. If you aren’t playing Gallen, there is plenty of merit to stacking the Cardinals against a pitcher making his Major League debut. I may consider one Cardinals hedge stack, but for the most part I plan to be on #TeamZac tonight and hoping he doesn’t kill my lineups. For this reason I’m personally not viewing the Cardinals stack as a priority. If I were to get exposure to the Cardinals, I would prioritize Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt. Their prices in a home matchup against a rookie pitcher make them viable for me in all formats. Paul Dejong and Marcell Ozuna (in his revenge game!) are more in-play for me in Cardinals stacks as opposed to one-offs.
This is a spot where I think you should just take a stand. Do you think Gallen can come out here are have success against the Cards, or do you think he struggles? I’m personally going to have more Gallen exposure than Cardinals exposure, but I would encourage you to dig more into the matchups in this game if you feel otherwise.
Stackability – YELLOW
Wainwright has really struggled against lefties this season as they have a .404 wOBA against him. The problem for the Marlins is that they really only have Curtis Granderson and J.T. Riddle in terms of lefties. Garrett Cooper was a late scratch on Wednesday so monitor his status, as his absence would water down this already-weak lineup even further.
I’m not viewing anyone as an elite play and honestly, I don’t have much interest outside of Curtis Granderson as a one-off. This is a spot that I’m mainly off of.
Elite Plays – None
Secondary Plays – Curtis Granderson
Stackability – RED