MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, August 21st - COL @ ARI
Colorado at Arizona – 3:40 PM ET
I wish this game was included in the early slate because I would love to target Gray at low ownership. Our only option to use him is either the all-day slate on FanDuel or the showdown slate on DraftKings. In 25 starts, he owns a 4.36 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 24% and a ground ball rate of 50%. This is a good ballpark for pitchers (especially with the roof closed), but the matchup doesn’t set up very well for Gray. He has struggled with lefties this season and is set to face six of them today against the Diamondbacks, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .326 against right-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Gray is viable in showdown on DraftKings, but he’s an easy fade in the all-day slate on FanDuel.
Leake has not fared well in his short time with the Diamondbacks and he’s basically struggled in all starts that haven’t been in Seattle this season. He throws a lot of strikes, but that’s not always a good thing when you can’t strike anyone out and when your opponents are consistently making good contact. The one positive for Leake is that the Rockies have struggled on the road this season, ranking in the bottom 10 in wRC+ and in the top 10 in strikeouts. He shouldn’t be on your radar for the all-day slate, but I suppose he deserves a look for showdown.
Quick Breakdown: I will likely get an extra bat or two in lieu of Leake, but he’s viable for showdown.
Batter Grind Down
When a team faces Mike Leake, all batters are in play. He has a strikeout rate of only 17% on the season and he has allowed a .345+ xwOBA and a .225+ ISO to batters from both sides of the plate. The Rockies have struggled on the road this season, but they’ve been better over the last few weeks. Charlie Blackmon (.372 xwOBA), Trevor Story (.347 xwOBA), and Nolan Arenado (.325 xwOBA) are clearly the three best hitters in this lineup, but they are priced up for showdown. From a point-per-dollar standpoint, Yonder Alonso ($5,800) and Raimel Tapia ($7,200) stand out as the top targets. For the all-day slate on FanDuel, these batters are deep tournament fliers at best.
Stackability – YELLOW
Jon Gray has above-average strikeout (24%) and ground ball (50%) rates, so I generally try to avoid hitters against him. However, when we look at his splits, they are pretty glaring. He has held righties to a .308 xwOBA with a 52% ground ball rate, while allowing a .344 xwOBA with a 49% ground ball rate. Ketel Marte (.229 ISO), Eduardo Escobar (.234 ISO), David Peralta (.215 ISO), and Jake Lamb (.132 ISO) all bat from the left side and have good power against right-handed pitching. In terms of value, Lamb ($5,200) is the cheapest bat for showdown in this projected lineup.
Stackability – YELLOW