MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, August 21st
The RotoGrinders MLB Grind Down will give you an in-depth analysis into the upcoming MLB schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy baseball, there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, weather, and salaries.
The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. No sport has more variance than baseball. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.
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BLUE – One of the top stacks of the slate.
GREEN – A full stack is viable in GPPs.
YELLOW – Not the best stack, but hitters are in play.
ORANGE – Tread lightly, but potentially target a hitter or two.
RED – Fade this offense in all formats.
San Diego at Cincinnati – 12:35 PM ET
There are technically four early games on the schedule today, but only three are featured in the early slates on FanDuel and DraftKings. Pitching is pretty straightforward, especially if you are playing cash games or single-entry GPPs. Strahm has been serviceable in his 14 starts this season, posting a 4.28 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 22% and a walk rate of 5%. The potential downside is that he’s a fly-ball pitcher playing in a home run-friendly ballpark. The Reds are actually pretty formidable against southpaws, as their lineup features an average xwOBA of .337 with an average k-rate of 20%.
Quick Breakdown: Strahm will be low owned, but he’s clearly behind Castillo, Morton, and Odorizzi in the early slate pitcher power rankings.
Castillo has a very similar skill set to Sonny Gray, who put up a dominant performance against the Padres last night. In 24 starts this season, Castillo owns a 3.96 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 30% and a ground ball rate of 55%. His only real weakness is a high walk rate, but the Padres have the fifth lowest walk rate against right-handed pitching this season. This is a terrific matchup for Castillo, as San Diego’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .313 with an average k-rate of 28% against righties.
Quick Breakdown: I have Morton slightly ahead of Castillo in terms of a raw projection, but the big discount is hard to pass up.
Batter Grind Down
The Padres traded away Franmil Reyes and are currently without Fernando Tatis. They were already a good matchup to begin with and now have even less firepower. They draw one of the worst matchups of the slate, even though they are playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Luis Castillo has elite ground ball (55%) and strikeout rates (29%) and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .305 xwOBA this season. He’ll give up the occasional home run to lefties, but Josh Naylor (.337 xwOBA) and Eric Hosmer (.329 xwOBA) are deep tournament fliers at best.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – ORANGE
The Reds aren’t the biggest favorites today, but I much prefer their offense over the Padres. Matt Strahm has struggled with right-handed power this season, allowing a .341 xwOBA, a .250 ISO, and a 2.11 HR/9. We don’t think of Cincinnati as a team to stack against lefties, but Nick Senzel, Eugenio Suarez, Aristides Aquino, and Phillip Ervin all boast an xwOBA of at least .355 against southpaws this season. For a three-game slate, we have surprisingly few enticing matchups, which makes the Reds even more appealing.
Stackability – GREEN