MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, August 21st - WAS @ PIT
Washington at Pittsburgh – 7:05 PM ET
We kick off tonight’s 11-game slate with the Nationals and Pirates. Both pitchers in this game rate out as decent point-per-dollar targets, but neither stands out as a core play. Corbin has been solid in 25 starts this season, posting a 3.84 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 29% and a walk rate of 8%. While the Nationals are small favorites, this game features a total of 9.0 runs. I often talk about the low k-rate of the Pirates, but they are significantly worse against southpaws. Their projected lineup has an average strikeout rate of 24% against left-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Corbin isn’t a bad play in a vacuum, but I have him ranked behind Verlander, Buehler, and Darvish in tonight’s slate.
Every five days we have to make a decision on Musgrove because he is constantly priced at a discount on DraftKings. The price has come up a bit for tonight’s start, but he’s still only $5,900. In 25 starts this season, he owns a respectable 4.39 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 21% and a walk rate of 6%. His k-rate against righties is at 25%, which will come in handy against the Nationals. Their lineup should have four or five right-handed hitters in it and as a whole, their projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .313 with an average k-rate of 25% against right-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Musgrove deserves consideration as an SP2 tonight, but I do prefer Montgomery in a single lineup approach.
Batter Grind Down
The Nationals have a reasonably high implied total, but they are playing on the road in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and they draw a mediocre matchup against Joe Musgrove. He doesn’t walk many batters, he has a decent strikeout rate, and he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .320 xwOBA. He gives up a decent amount of power to left-handed hitters (.216 ISO), but Adam Eaton (.348 xwOBA), Juan Soto (.423 xwOBA), Asdrubal Cabrera (new life in Washington), and Matt Adams (.351 xwOBA) are deep tournament fliers at best.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – ORANGE
The Pirates aren’t nearly as good against lefties as they are against righties and they are facing one of the best southpaws in the National League. This is an easy offense to cross off our list of potential targets. In addition to a 29% strikeout rate and a 47% ground ball rate, Patrick Corbin has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .315 xwOBA and under a 1.20 HR/9. The one hitter that deserves consideration in tournaments is Jose Osuna (.384 xwOBA), who should bat fifth and is only $2,600 on FanDuel.
Elite Plays – Jose Osuna (FD GPP)
Secondary Plays – Jose Osuna (DK GPP)
Stackability – ORANGE