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.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code, FanDuel promo code, and FantasyDraft promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.

Stackability Rating System:

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

Secondary PlaysJosh Naylor (GPP), Eric Hosmer (GPP)


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.

Elite PlaysEugenio Suarez, Aristides Aquino, Phillip Ervin, Nick Senzel (GPP)

Secondary PlaysNick Senzel (Cash), Jose Iglesias, Jose Peraza


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.


  • X Unread Thread
  • X Thread with New Replies*
  • *Jumps to your first unread reply

New to DFS?

Be sure to click through our links and use our exclusive promo codes to receive the industry's best sign-up bonuses, including free access to our premium content. is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports!

Bet with your head, not over it!
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler