MLB Grind Down: Tuesday, August 20th
LA Angels at Texas – 2:05 PM ET
We have a single early game on the schedule today, which is the first part of a double-header between the Angels and Rangers. We’ll break down the game from a showdown perspective and then dive into the main slate. Heaney has pitched well in his 11 starts this season, posting a 4.28 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 27%. A case can be made for and against him for showdown, as he’s a fly-ball pitcher with a 48% hard contact rate that’s playing in Texas in close to 100 degree heat. The ball is going to carry well today, so it will all come down to strikeouts for Heaney. Luckily, the Rangers’ projected lineup has an average k-rate of 24% against left-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: I don’t view either pitcher as a must start in a game that features a 12.0 total, but would side with Heaney if you are taking a pitcher for showdown.
Palumbo has made three appearances at the major league level this season, posting a 5.27 SIERA with a strikeout rate of only 13%. He was recalled from Triple-A to start the first half of today’s double-header against the Angels. In 17 starts between Double and Triple-A, he had an FIP under 4.00 with a strikeout rate well above 30%. He’s pretty cheap for showdown, but draws a tough matchup against the Angels in elite hitting conditions. Their projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .372 with an average k-rate of only 18% against left-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Palumbo has been great in the minors, but has a lot of risk in this matchup and ballpark. I would only use him in tournaments for showdown.
Batter Grind Down
This game is basically set as a pick ‘em with a total of 12.0 runs. It will be close to 100 degrees at first pitch, which turns this into one of the best hitter’s parks in baseball. Joe Palumbo is a decent prospect with solid numbers in the minors, but he has yet to find his footing at the major league level. The Angels hit southpaws well and have one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball. David Fletcher, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Albert Pujols have all hit southpaws well throughout their respective careers. From a value standpoint, Luis Renigfo, Wilfredo Tovar, and Anthony Bemboom are all cheap options to round out your lineups.
Stackability – GREEN
Ownership is always tough to predict in showdown, but I imagine most will start their lineups with Andrew Heaney. He has a high strikeout rate and the Rangers struggle against left-handed pitching. One way to gain leverage is to avoid both pitchers and load up on the two offenses. If this game ends up being as high scoring as expected, that might be the optimal move anyway. Heaney isn’t exactly a great matchup, but he gives up a decent amount of power to both sides of the plate and as mentioned above, he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher. Delino DeShields, Elvis Andrus, Willie Calhoun, Hunter Pence, and Rougned Odor have all hit southpaws well this season.
Stackability – GREEN