MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, August 21st - LAA @ TEX
LA Angels at Texas – 7:05 PM ET
Sandoval is a decent pitching prospect that has shown plenty of strikeout upside in the minors. In his first two major league appearances, he owns a 4.45 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 24%. The issue at every level above Double-A has been a high walk rate. You can’t get away with walking a lot of batters in this ballpark, even though the Rangers have struggled against left-handed pitching. As an underdog in a game that features a total of 10.5 runs, Sandoval is an easy fade.
Quick Breakdown: Let’s wait for an exploitable matchup at home before firing up Sandoval.
Minor will be the forgotten ace tonight and it’s easy to see why. Verlander, Buehler, and Darvish are all pitching at home and they all have exploitable matchups. Meanwhile, Minor is facing the Angels in one of the best hitting environments of the slate. Globe Life is already a hitter’s park and that’s before you add in 100 degree heat. Minor is a very good pitcher, but this isn’t the slate for him.
Quick Breakdown: Avoid Minor in all formats.
Batter Grind Down
The Angels couldn’t get much going against the rookie southpaw last night, but they’ll try to turn things around this evening. A tough matchup against Mike Minor is mostly offset by the positive park shift playing in Texas. I don’t plan to stack the Angels against an above-average pitcher, but there are two intriguing one-off targets that should garner little ownership in tournaments. Mike Trout (.421 xwOBA) and Albert Pujols (.355 xwOBA) both bat from the right side and have good power against left-handed pitching.
Elite Plays – Mike Trout (GPP)
Secondary Plays – Albert Pujols (GPP)
Stackability – ORANGE
I always hesitate to lean on splits from small sample sizes. Patrick Sandoval has reverse splits thus far, but he’s only made two career major league starts. In the minors, he gave up a higher batting average and slugging percentage to righties than he did to lefties. Rather than focusing on handedness, we should target the hitters that fare well against left-handed pitching. There aren’t many in this Rangers’ lineup, but Elvis Andrus (.328 xwOBA), Willie Calhoun (.325 xwOBA), Hunter Pence (.416 xwOBA), and Rougned Odor (.334 xwOBA) are all viable in tournaments.
Elite Plays – Hunter Pence (GPP)
Stackability – YELLOW