MLB Grind Down: Thursday, September 12th - TBR @ TEX
Tampa Bay at Texas – 8:05 PM ET
McKay was sharp in his last outing, but he only threw 59 pitches and he drew a decent matchup against the Blue Jays at home. Tonight he sees a negative park shift playing in Texas. While the Rangers have struggled against southpaws all season, this is still a tough spot for an opposing pitcher, especially one that is expected to be on a pitch count. If McKay is limited to 60-75 pitches, it will be nearly impossible for him to pay off this salary.
Quick Breakdown: The Rays want to manage McKay’s workload and I will be fading him until that changes.
Allard has been serviceable in his six starts this season, posting a 4.65 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 20% and a walk rate of 8%. He generates a decent amount of ground balls, which is needed in this ballpark. I typically wouldn’t look his way, but pitching options are few and far between in tonight’s slate. He draws a boom or bust matchup against the Rays, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of only .308 with an average k-rate of 25% against left-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Allard has a wide range of potential outcomes, but he’s on my radar as an SP2.
Batter Grind Down
Even though Kolby Allard is one of my favorite SP2 options of the slate, there are a number of Rays’ hitters that stand out as strong plays. Tampa sees a positive park shift playing in Texas and they are playing on the road, which guarantees ninth-inning at-bats. On the season, Allard has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .325 xwOBA, but the Rays have a few nice power bats in their lineup. Guillermo Heredia offers value if he’s batting leadoff, while Tommy Pham (.370 xwOBA), Travis d’Arnaud (.367 xwOBA), and Jesus Aguilar all have good numbers against southpaws.
Elite Plays – Tommy Pham (GPP), Travis d’Arnaud (DK)
Stackability – YELLOW
The Rangers have a difficult matchup against Brendan McKay. He’s one of the top prospects in baseball and the Rays aren’t going to ask a ton of him in this spot. As a whole, the Rangers have really struggled against left-handed pitching. With that said, they are playing at home in a hitter-friendly ballpark and this game features a total of 10.0 runs. I don’t have a ton of interest in a full stack, but Elvis Andrus (.330 xwOBA) and Nick Solak (.332 xwOBA) both stand out as strong one-off targets.
Secondary Plays – Shin-Soo Choo (GPP), Danny Santana (GPP)
Stackability – ORANGE