sMLB Grind Down: Friday, August 16th - HOU @ OAK
Houston at Oakland – 10:07 PM ET
Verlander is one of the best pitchers in baseball. In 25 starts this season, he owns a 3.11 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 35% and a walk rate of 5%. He’s a fly-ball pitcher that should benefit from playing in Oakland. He seems to get his strikeouts regardless of the matchup, but the A’s do have a low k-rate against right-handed pitching. I have no issue with Verlander other than his price point and the fact that we have so many great arms on the schedule tonight.
Quick Breakdown: Verlander is a strong play in all formats, but he’s not going to make the final cut in my lineups.
Roark has some incredible splits this season. He has held righties to a .290 xwOBA with a 21% strikeout rate, but has allowed a .383 xwOBA and a .201 ISO to lefties. He should have the platoon advantage tonight against the Astros, but these aren’t your average right-handed hitters. Houston’s projected lineup has an average xwOBA of .353 with an average k-rate of only 18% against right-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Avoid Roark in all formats.
Batter Grind Down
The Astros’ righties are so talented and could easily overcome a matchup against Tanner Roark, but I don’t see a need to pay a premium for them in this slate. The matchup clearly sets up better for the left-handed bats of Michael Brantley (.378 xwOBA) and Yordan Alvarez (.426 xwOBA). They are both strong one-off targets for tournaments.
Stackability – ORANGE
The A’s are facing Justin Verlander in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to an elite strikeout rate, he has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .280 xwOBA this season. He’ll give up a decent number of home runs, but trying to predict where those will come from is a fruitless venture.
Elite Plays – None
Secondary Plays – None
Stackability – RED