MLB Grind Down: Tuesday, August 13th - STL @ KCR
St. Louis at Kansas City – 8:15 PM ET
When it comes to pitching in this slate, there are good options at the top and a number of cheap options that stand out as good point-per-dollar plays. The mid-range isn’t all that strong, which should help keep Flaherty’s ownership at a reasonable level. In 23 starts this season, he owns a 3.90 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29% and a walk rate of 8%. Even though he doesn’t get to face the opposing pitcher in the lineup, he should have the platoon advantage against the Royals, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .298 with an average k-rate of 22% against right-handed pitching. On the season, Flaherty has a 34% k-rate against right-handed hitters.
Quick Breakdown: Keep an eye on the Royals’ lineup. As long as it is right-handed heavy, Flaherty becomes an excellent tournament play.
Sparkman has made 14 starts this season and only one that I can really remember (complete game against the White Sox). He owns a 5.46 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 14%. Even though the Cardinals have struggled against right-handed pitching over the last couple of months, they are starting to get healthy and they get to use the DH in this series.
Quick Breakdown: Avoid Sparkman in all formats.
Batter Grind Down
This isn’t exactly a hitter-friendly ballpark, but it’s going to be warm and humid tonight in Kansas City. Add in a matchup against Glenn Sparkman and the use of the DH in this series and the Cardinals become very interesting. On the season, Sparkman has allowed a .355+ xwOBA to both left and right-handed hitters. I’m not sure I want to stack the Cardinals here, but there are certainly some intriguing plays. Dexter Fowler (.334 xwOBA) rates out as one of the best value plays at any position tonight, while Paul Goldschmidt (.336 xwOBA), Marcell Ozuna (.386 xwOBA), Paul DeJong (.331 xwOBA) are all worth a look in tournaments.
Stackability – YELLOW
A matchup against Jack Flaherty is extremely simple to break down — target the lefties against him and avoid the righties in all formats. He has held batters from the right side of the plate to a .252 xwOBA with a 34% strikeout rate this season. Against lefties, he has allowed a .351 xwOBA and a .207 ISO. The Royals don’t have a ton of left-handed power outside of Alex Gordon, who is more of a singles and doubles hitter anyway. The more I look at this, the more I like Flaherty as a play tonight.
Elite Plays – None
Secondary Plays – Alex Gordon (GPP)
Stackability – RED