MLB Grind Down: Thursday, May 16th

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.

Milwaukee at Philadelphia – 1:05 PM ET

We have baseball games all day, which is always a good problem to have. There are four early games, two late afternoon games, and four night games. Davies may have a 1.54 ERA on the season, but his underlying statistics suggest some serious regression moving forward — 4.97 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 17%. He’s not a pitcher that I like to stack against, but he’s not a pitcher that I like to target, even in smaller slates like this one. He offers more risk than upside in a road start against the Phillies.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Davies in all formats.

Eflin is similar to Davies in that his advanced statistics suggest some regression moving forward. In eight starts this season, he has a 4.22 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 19%. He doesn’t give up a lot of hard contact, but that could change in a matchup against the Brewers. The biggest issue here is that Milwaukee has five lefties in their lineup today and since the beginning of last season, Eflin has allowed a .325+ xwOBA and a 1.50+ HR/9 to batters from the left side of the plate.

Quick Breakdown: There are only so many options in a four-game slate, but we can cross both of these starters off our list.

Batter Grind Down

As noted above, the best way to attack Zach Eflin is with left-handed hitters. His xwOBA, hard contact, HR/9, fly-ball rate, and strikeout rate are all worse when he’s facing batters from the left side of the plate. The Brewers have plenty of left-handed power and they get to face Eflin in a home run-friendly ballpark. Ben Gamel offers good value batting leadoff, while Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal, and Eric Thames all boast a .330+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching since the beginning of last season.

Elite PlaysBen Gamel, Mike Moustakas, Christian Yelich (GPP), Yasmani Grandal (DK)

Secondary PlaysChristian Yelich (Cash), Yasmani Grandal (FD), Eric Thames (GPP)


The Phillies are slight favorites in a game that features a total of 9.0 runs, so we should have interest in their offense. While I don’t expect Zach Davies to sustain a sub-2.00 ERA, he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA this season. The Phillies aren’t priced at any sort of discount and there are a few offenses that I prioritize over them in the early slate. Andrew McCutchen (.346 xwOBA), Bryce Harper (.376 xwOBA), and Rhys Hoskins (.356 xwOBA) all hit right-handed pitching well, but I see them as secondary plays at their respective positions.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysAndrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins


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


  • rgriffin37

    Firstly, I love the article and read it daily. Hopefully I don’t come off like nit picker as I have a serious amount of respect for the work you put in. That said, has any consideration been given to excluding outliers when calculating the average hitting stats for a team? In many cases the NL team averages are skewed heavily by the pitcher having a super low xwoba, etc. In some instances (Padres xwoba), the average stat is lower than each of the 1-8 hitters individually. Not hugely impactful overall but I figured it was worth mentioning. Keep up the great work.

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