The Daily Grind: 7-18-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Yesterday’s Results
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Saturday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Yesterday’s Results

Yesterday, I asked for ideas to make this column a more desirable daily activity. Thank you for you advice; I will take your suggestions to heart to see if there is anything I can polish. Here are the results in rapid fire format.

“Please no Cistullian” – To be clear, when I said I would try something Cistullian, I didn’t mean I would borrow his voice (which I happen to like). Rather, I could further hone my own sarcastic, nonsensical sense of humor.

buy low targets” – A good idea, my only reservation is that those fit in their own stand alone articles most of the time. I can (and will) use this section for this kind of analysis from time to time, like I did recently with relievers.

splits by pitch type” – Sample size issues make this a difficult area to exploit with basic analysis. I’ve been toying with ways to incorporate this very data, but it’s not the kind of thing I would provide for free because of the work and value involved. To do it correctly would take about as much time as this entire column, and I’m not even positive I can do it correctly.

more DFS” – I can use section one to reinforce the process oriented points we discussed earlier in the season. We’re pretty much all casual DFS players around these parts. For a casual player to succeed, they must be able to do lineup optimization themselves. That’s why I pick out the most exploitable pitchers and leave the rest to you.

by contrast… “keep up the next day content” – This column was birthed as a help guide for traditional fantasy streaming. When Eno asked me if I’d do a FanDuel sponsored column, he also told me I could continue with the Grind as it previously existed. What we’ve seen this season is the obvious hybrid between DFS and the Grind of old. The vast majority of fantasy leagues remain “next day” leagues, meaning a player I pick up today is on my roster for tomorrow. As such, the next day element of this column is critical.

Thank you again for your thoughts.

2. Daily DFS

Everyone is late today. Since it’s the first game back from the break, you might need to target some not-so-bad pitchers.

David Phelps has trimmed his ERA under 4.00, but that can always turn around quickly at Yankee Stadium. The Reds don’t have many potent left-handed hitters, but Jay Bruce might be all they need.

If the game wasn’t at PNC Park, Jorge de la Rosa versus Francisco Liriano would draw a lot more attention. Liriano is making his first start back from the disabled list, while de la Rosa is plain ordinary. Right-handed home runs are suppressed by 24 percent, which is a good thing for the dueling left-handers.

I like Trevor Bauer’s long term prospects as a cerebral pitcher, but I don’t care for anybody against the Tigers’ offense.

Scott Feldman will need to survive U.S. Cellular Field. Jose Quintana is competing with the same handicap, and he’s on the wrong side of the platoon advantage. However, Quintana is a much better pitcher capable of striking out bunches of Astros.

In Arizona, we’ll see Edwin Jackson oppose Trevor Cahill. This might be the place to go today. The Cubs lack a dynamic offense, but Cahill has been walk happy all season. They need only be patient. Jackson is coming off a bad outing, yet the Diamondbacks also feature very little offense past Paul Goldschmidt.

Why not add Chris Tillman to the list. Oakland’s Coliseum is a pitcher’s park, but Tillman has barely kept his head above water all season. He always seems to be on the cusp of a meltdown, and it’s going to catch up to him one way or another.

3. Saturday Picks

The Indians and Tigers have a doubleheader.

Pitchers to Start: I don’t know whether to start or exploit Brandon McCarthy. On the one hand, he’s allowed an obscene number of home runs and Yankee Stadium should only reinforce that issue. On the other hand, the rest of his peripherals are fantastic. I don’t know, flip a coin? It’s worth noting that the Reds offense is pretty junky.

Danny Salazar is starting the second game for the Indians. He struck out plenty of batters in his minor league stint, but he’s also struggled mightily with walks, including 11 in his last 11.2 innings (two starts). The stuff remains top notch if he can limit the free passes. Unfortunately, Max Scherzer is expected to oppose him. I’ll probably pass on the start, but it’s worth pointing out.

Rubby de la Rosa remains in the rotation for a start against the Royals. He mixes all the things you want from a waiver wire pitcher, strikeouts, limited walks, good stuff, and the ability to pitch deep into the game. In fact, he probably doesn’t belong on the waiver wire because he possesses those qualities.

Henderson Alvarez is a good plug for innings, ERA, and WHIP. Just know you won’t be getting many strikeouts. He’ll face the Giants.

Wade Miley has buffed his strikeout and whiff rates considerably this season. Home runs have been a problem, but his 3.31 xFIP looks mighty tasty. The Cubs best hitters are left-handed, so Miley looks like an easy play for tomorrow.

With the Mets facing the Padres, there may be no better time to use Dillon Gee. The consummate waiver wire pitcher, Gee does just enough to be useful against bad offenses and/or at large ballparks. He gets both tomorrow.

Pitchers to Exploit: I don’t know what the deal is with Colby Lewis. He asploded in his last start, allowing 13 runs in 2.1 innings. Aside from a .410 BABIP, his peripherals are good. His 6.54 ERA is much worse than his 4.17 FIP. He’ll face an injury softened Blue Jays offense.

Usually injured Brett Anderson is between stints on the disabled list. He got spanked by the Twins in his return and now draws the Pirates. Who knows what to expect from the extreme ground ball pitcher.

Any start of Hector Noesi’s at The Cell is an automatic exploit. The Astros are the beneficiaries.

The Rays will face ball-in-play specialist Kevin Correia. He’s rarely better than mediocre.

Hitters (power): Derek Norris has been quiet for awhile now, but he’ll face a lefty he can hit in Wei-Yin Chen.

Seth Smith is going to be a regular here. He’ll see Gee.

All-or-nothing third baseman Mike Olt will try to park homer prone starter Miley.

Matt Joyce is opposed by Correia.

Jon Singleton might benefit the most from a Noesi matchup. Robbie Grossman and Matt Dominguez should be considered too.

Jonny Gomes will start against Danny Duffy.

Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes are worth consideration with rookie Robbie Ray on the hill.

Dan Johnson, Juan Francisco, and Colby Rasmus look like options against Lewis.

Hitters (speed): Mookie Betts will also start for the Red Sox.

4. Table

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.

There is a chance for a few showers in Atlanta, but it doesn’t seem like the game is in much danger. As always, monitor.

The Link. Temperatures are surprisingly crisp today, so we might not see as many home runs as usual.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of FanDuel. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Where are you reading Salazar will get the Saturday start? Indian’s website says he might be up Tuesday, with McAllister starting Saturday.