MLB Grind Down: Thursday, September 12th - CHC @ SDP

Chicago Cubs at San Diego – 3:40 PM ET

Darvish has put together one of the best second halves of the season that we have seen from any pitcher in baseball. His numbers overall look a lot more appealing than they did earlier in the year. In 28 starts, he owns a 3.82 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29%. He has fixed his walk issues and now gets to face a right-handed heavy Padres’ offense in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. San Diego’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .289 with an average k-rate of 27% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Darvish is my favorite pitcher of the early slate and an elite play in all formats.

Lamet is one of my pitchers in this early slate that boasts a strikeout rate above 28% this season. He currently owns a 3.92 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 30% and a walk rate of 9%. He draws a fairly difficult matchup against the Cubs, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .325 with an average k-rate of 24% against right-handed pitching. While Lamet will likely be limited to 90-95 pitches, he’s priced at a steep discount across the industry.

Quick Breakdown: Lamet is an elite SP2 on multi-pitcher sites and I don’t mind pairing him up with Darvish.

Batter Grind Down

This is not the game that I’m looking to load up on for hitters. We have two elite righties on the mound in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to an elite strikeout rate, Dinelson Lamet has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .315 xwOBA and under a 33% hard contact rate. Kyle Schwarber (.372 xwOBA) and Anthony Rizzo (.402 xwOBA) are deep tournament fliers at best.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysKyle Schwarber (GPP), Anthony Rizzo (GPP)


With Yu Darvish being my favorite pitcher of the early slate, I will obviously be avoiding the Padres’ offense. You can make the case that Darvish has allowed a lot of power to left-handed hitters, but he’s improved drastically in that regard over the last couple of months. He has an elite strikeout rate and has fixed his walk issues. I will be fading the Padres in all formats.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None


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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