- My Weather Dance
- Daily DFS
- Thin Thursday
1. My Weather Routine
We’ve talked about weather a couple times. It can be hard to predict, which gums up roster decisions until the last minute. I begin my day by checking the weather reports at Dailybaseballdata.com. They’re just pulling data off another site, but it’s good enough for a start. I’ll check back closer to game time to see which games remain at risk.
Then it’s time to put on my meteorologist’s hat and consult the radar map. Weather.com has a “future” mode which is helpful. I’ll usually check the map about an hour before contests open to make sure none of the games are a lock to get crushed by weather. As a rule of thumb, if the rain cells are patchy, any area could be hit or missed. If you’re looking at big solid globs of color, there isn’t much chance for a reprieve.
2. Daily DFS
Early: Eight games will be played in the afternoon.
The Tigers have the capacity to punish mediocre right-handed starters, despite lacking a platoon advantage. Jeremy Guthrie qualifies as mediocre with his 4.04 ERA and 4.90 FIP.
Kyle Gibson has pitched better lately, which is why his ERA is down to 3.55. He’s a ground ball pitcher who’s fully reliant on his defense. He could always have “one of those days” where everything finds a hole. He’s opposed by the Red Sox.
In a time slot where there is only one obvious stack, targeting a couple lefties against Lance Lynn makes sense. Lynn has continued his career long trend of struggling against left-handed hitters.
The aforementioned obvious stack isn’t even all that great. The Athletics will face Nick Tepesch at the Coliseum. His peripherals are quite a bit worse than last season, even though his actual results have improved. A 5.00 FIP looks scary when compared to a 3.94 ERA.
Late: We’re left with seven games tonight.
Justin Masterson is hard to stack against because he’s so erratic. Betting against him is easy enough. Picking the guy(s) who do the damage is much harder. The obvious choices are the few left-handed hitters in the Angels lineup like Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton.
Two forces collide in New York tonight. Chase Whitley has said no to home runs all season, with just one allowed in 33.2 innings. The Blue Jays have said yes, with a major league leading 93 bombs. With the short porch in right-field, it’s worth considering a mini-stack.
Wade Miley was pushed back to today, which is kind of a shame. With fewer games tonight, more DFS owners will use the mega-stack. You may just want to fade the action.
Jorge de la Rosa is one of the lesser pitchers in this time slot, but he’s not too shabby either. I could even see starting him as a stretch play. There just aren’t a lot of targets to choose from and the Dodgers will have a few potent righties on display.
3. Thin Thursday
With 12 games this week, thin Thursday has gained some weight.
Pitchers to Start: It’s a small sample, but Jeff Locke has pitched well through three games. He’s still rolling ground balls, and his strikeout rate is up. Most importantly, his walk rate is minuscule. Walks were the main problem last year, so if he can keep them under control he should be a viable pitcher. I still wouldn’t be recommending him if not for a matchup against the Reds offense at PNC Park.
Andrew Heaney has a wonderful first assignment – the New York Mets. The lefty shouldn’t have too much trouble with a lineup that features only one potent righty. Heaney has the potential to pitch similarly to the stalwarts of last season (i.e. Michael Wacha, Sonny Gray, and Danny Salazar).
Collin McHugh is for real. At least for now. He may lose whatever he’s doing to strike out heaps of batters, but until then he’s viable against most offenses. The Rays have an unexciting lineup, so McHugh should be fine.
Pitchers to Exploit: Zach McAllister is making his return from the disabled list against a difficult Angels lineup. Pitchers aren’t always at their best in their first game back.
I’ll bet on the Tigers against a lefty before I bet on Danny Duffy being any kind of reliable.
Targeting Jesse Hahn has yet to reap rewards, but we’re still talking about a pitcher who rarely reaches five innings pitched. The Mariners have a lot of lefties to use against Hahn. Granted, their rather scrubby, but they still have the platoon advantage. That said, the Padres woeful offense might be a better choice against Erasmo Ramirez.
David Phelps is fine as a real world pitcher. As a fantasy pitcher at Yankee Stadium against a home run happy Blue Jays offense, he’s a target.
Yohan Pino is a 30-year-old making his major league debut. He has good minor league numbers throughout his long career, but he’s never been given an opportunity. Presumably, his mid-80’s fastball has kept clubs from testing him in the majors.
Based on his strikeouts and walks, David Buchanan has pitched better in the majors than any other level. Add in the home runs and he looks pretty shabby. The Cardinals aren’t the scariest offense, but they’re probably enough to overwhelm a spot starter like Buchanan.
John Jaso Jingle Heimer Schmidt, he’ll probably bat second.
Seth Smith isn’t a bad idea at Petco Park.
Calhoun is viable against McAllister.
Hitters (speed): Adam Eaton gets the first look at Pino.
Scooter Gennett is still doing the leadoff thing.
Rajai Davis usually starts against lefties because that’s the point of him as a major league player.
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
Like yesterday, Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland are a risk for storms.
The Link. The atmosphere says gimme home runs.
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