MLB Grind Down: Tuesday, August 13th - BOS @ CLE

Boston at Cleveland – 7:10 PM ET

You can make a case that the two most talented pitchers of the slate are squaring off tonight in Cleveland. You can also make the case that this game features two of the top six or seven offenses in baseball. Sale has been volatile this season, but showed why we love to play him in DFS his last time out — he pitched eight scoreless innings against the Angels with 13 strikeouts. I love his price point across the industry and obviously have interest in tournaments. However, I prefer Matt Boyd at a similar price point. Sale’s matchup against the Indians scares me enough to fade him on my main lineup. Cleveland’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .332 with an average k-rate of only 18% against southpaws.

Quick Breakdown: Sale is a strong tournament play tonight, but I’ll take Boyd as my favorite SP1 of the slate.

Clevinger has an amazing skillset, but he has had a string of difficult matchups. This has led me to many nights without exposure to Clevinger, which obviously hasn’t been kind to my bankroll. In his 11 starts this season, he owns a 3.10 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 37%. The big issue tonight is a matchup against the Red Sox, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .348 with an average k-rate of only 20% against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Clevinger has the talent to overcome a tough matchup, but I don’t want to pay a premium for him against the Red Sox.

Batter Grind Down

This is one of those games that I can’t wait to watch, but one that I will have very little exposure to as a whole. I have a ton of respect for both starters and a ton of respect for both offenses. With 13 other games to choose from, I want better matchups for my pitchers and my hitters. Mike Clevinger has an elite strikeout rate (37%) and has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .285 xwOBA this season. We aren’t getting a big enough discount on the Red Sox batters to warrant consideration.

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None


As mentioned above, Chris Sale is firmly in play for tournaments. However, I prefer the floor/ceiling combination of Matt Boyd in a matchup against the Mariners. I likely won’t end up with any exposure to Sale tonight, but I won’t double down on the fade by targeting the Indians’ offense. He has an elite strikeout rate (35%) and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .285 xwOBA this season.

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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