MLB Grind Down: Wednesday, June 12th - CIN @ CLE

Cincinnati at Cleveland – 1:10 PM ET

DeSclafani has quietly pitched well in each of the last two seasons. In 12 starts this year, he owns a 4.21 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 24% and a walk rate of 38%. A quick glance at his splits tells us everything we need to know about his fantasy appeal. He has been incredibly tough on righties throughout his career, but has been dreadful against lefties. We should only look his way in right-handed heavy matchups and the Indians don’t exactly fit the mold. They have seven left-handed hitters in their lineup today.

Quick Breakdown: I know the Indians’ offense has been quiet, but there are far too many lefties to consider playing DeSclafani.

Plesac should be a popular play here in the early slate. He’s cheap across the industry, he’s pitching at home, and he’s listed as a small favorite. In his first three major league starts, he owns a 4.31 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 20% and a walk rate of 4%. I always like young pitchers that can limit walks and it’s worth noting that Plesac has faced the Red Sox and Yankees already this season. The only concern here (outside of him being a young pitcher) is a matchup against the Reds, whose lineup boasts an average xwOBA of .329 with an average ISO of .202 against righties.

Quick Breakdown: Plesac is viable in all formats on DraftKings. I don’t feel great about the pitchers in Coors Field or in Fenway Park.

Batter Grind Down

We are dealing with a three-game sample size, so we shouldn’t put much stock into his splits at the major league level. While he’s one of the better pitching options of the early slate, he’s going to be popular and he’s still a young pitcher that has yet to really face adversity at this level. An interesting route in tournaments is to play a few Reds’ hitters as leverage on the field. Joey Votto (.329 xwOBA), Eugenio Suarez (.324 xwOBA), Derek Dietrich (.390 xwOBA), and Jesse Winker (.362 xwOBA) all have good numbers against right-handed pitching.

Elite PlaysDerek Dietrich (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJoey Votto (GPP), Eugenio Suarez (GPP), Jesse Winker (GPP)


With a game in Coors and a game in Fenway, the Indians’ offense should fly under the radar in the early slate (at least on DraftKings). They have a left-handed heavy lineup and they get to face Anthony DeSclafani, who has allowed a .380 xwOBA, a 45% hard contact rate, and a 2.93 HR/9 to batters from the left side of the plate. Francisco Lindor (.388 xwOBA), Carlos Santana (.385 xwOBA), and Tyler Naquin (.330 xwOBA) have all mashed right-handed pitching this season. Jose Ramirez continues to struggle at the plate, but Mike Freeman batting sixth is intriguing for tournaments.

Elite PlaysFrancisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Tyler Naquin

Secondary PlaysMike Freeman (GPP), Jakob Bauers (GPP)


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.


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