MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, August 21st - PHI @ BOS

Philadelphia at Boston – 7:10 PM ET

Smyly has pitched well during his short time with the Phillies, but I’m not completely buying the recent form. If we look at his season long numbers, he owns a 5.15 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 22% and a walk rate of 12%. He’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher that is facing the Red Sox in Fenway. If that sounds appealing to you, I suggest revamping your MLB DFS strategy.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Smyly in all formats.

Porcello has struggled all season, posting a 5.03 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 18%. He continues to garner ownership because he’s always listed as a big favorite. I’ll let you in on a little secret — the reason he’s favored isn’t because he’s a great pitcher, it’s because the Red Sox have a great offense. I will be avoiding Porcello against the Phillies, whose projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .328 with an average ISO of .189 against right-handed pitching.

Quick Breakdown: Avoid Porcello in all formats.

Batter Grind Down

This game should be a fun one. We have two teams battling for the wildcard, two hittable pitchers, and one of the best hitter’s parks in baseball. Rick Porcello has allowed a .200+ ISO to batters from both sides of the plate and he has a strikeout rate of only 18% on the season. The Phillies are easy to stack from a roster construction standpoint because three of their first five hitters are infielders. Rhys Hoskins (.325 xwOBA), Bryce Harper (.384 xwOBA), J.T. Realmuto (.346 xwOBA), Corey Dickerson (.348 xwOBA), Jean Segura, and Logan Morrison (.361 xwOBA) are all on my radar in what could be the highest scoring game of the slate.

Elite PlaysRhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Corey Dickerson

Secondary PlaysJ.T. Realmuto (DK), Jean Segura (GPP), Logan Morrison (GPP)


The one strength that Drew Smyly has at this point is a decent strikeout rate. The Red Sox can easily negate that with their low k-rate against southpaws. If you make contact against Smyly, good things tend to happen. The same can be said about Fenway Park in general. On the season, he has allowed a .365+ xwOBA and a .240+ ISO to batters from both sides of the plate. Meanwhile, each of the first six batters in the Red Sox lineup has an average xwOBA of at least .325 against left-handed pitching this season — Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Sam Travis. As always, remember to hit the lock button on Martinez whenever he’s facing a lefty.

Elite PlaysMookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers (GPP), Sam Travis (GPP)

Secondary PlaysRafael Devers (Cash), Sam Travis (Cash), Andrew Benintendi (GPP), Christian Vazquez (DK)


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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


  • Epicsic

    Surprised you got Hoskins in and elite. The man is just down right awful right now. Don’t think he could hit my 65 mph fastball. Players go hot and and cold we can agree on that and he is as cold as it gets. Andre 3000 how cold? ICE COLD

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