MLB Grind Down: Thursday, September 12th - OAK @ HOU

Oakland at Houston – 8:10 PM ET

Bailey has bounced back nicely this season, but I can’t think of a worse matchup for him than the Astros. The reason why he’s made strides is because he’s been able to limit damage when facing left-handed hitters (.283 xwOBA allowed). Against righties, he has allowed a .374 xwOBA and a .147 ISO. He’ll have to face a bunch of right-handed power tonight against the Astros, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .339 with an average k-rate of only 17% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Bailey in all formats.

Verlander is basically matchup-proof at this point. He’ll give up a home run every now and then, but he’s going to pitch deep into games and he’s going to rack up strikeouts along the way. Overall, he owns a 2.99 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 35% and a walk rate of 5%. His matchup against the A’s looks tough on paper, but Verlander has averaged 34 fantasy points (DK scoring) in three starts against them this season.

Quick Breakdown: Verlander is an elite play in all formats and the preferred SP1 of the main slate.

Batter Grind Down

The A’s have a talented offense, but they have struggled against Justin Verlander in three outings this season. He has an elite strikeout rate (35%) and has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .270 xwOBA on the season. I don’t see much of a reason to play the A’s here, even though they technically provide some leverage in tournaments.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None


Homer Bailey is a simple matchup to break down. He has been tough on lefties, but has allowed a .374 xwOBA and a 46% hard contact rate to batters from the right side of the plate. George Springer (.396 xwOBA), Jose Altuve (.201 ISO), and Alex Bregman (.368 xwOBA) rate out as three of the best plays of the entire slate, although we certainly have to pay a premium for them. While the matchup doesn’t set up quite as well for Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez, they can certainly be included in full Astros’ stacks.

Elite PlaysGeorge Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman

Secondary PlaysMichael Brantley (GPP), Yordan Alvarez (GPP), Aledmys Diaz (GPP), Robinson Chirinos (DK)


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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