The Daily Grind: 9-9-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. The Chris Tillman Conundrum
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Wednesday Picks
  4. Table

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1. The Chris Tillman Conundrum

Brett Talley covers a topic that has plagued me all season – what’s up with Chris Tillman. As Talley explores, he’s been among the best at limiting quality of contact. That helps to explain the discrepancy between his FIP and ERA. Talley also finds that Tillman isn’t substantially better than league average until his third time through the lineup, which goes against convention. This smells like a classic case of regression to me, but we should learn more over time.

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Trevor May – with his 9.38 ERA through five starts – makes for a good target at Progressive Field. He’s alternately featured problems with walks, hits, and home runs. He’s taken time to adjust to each level, so the Twins will probably let him flail away for the remainder of the season.

The Orioles are visiting Fenway, where they’ll face a right-hander who has walked more than he’s stuck out. Anthony Ranaudo isn’t whiffing enough hitters to succeed in the majors. He’ll need to pick things up quickly or he won’t be considered for the 2015 rotation.

Christian Bergman will pitch at sea level against the Mets. I don’t know how much of his poor outings can be blamed on Coors Field.

The Athletics have a lot of platoon specialists – most of them are quite cheap too. Feel free to employ them at U.S. Cellular Field against John Danks. It’s really about time for Danks to sign with Pittsburgh or some other large parked, elite outfielded franchise.

Rapid Fire: Jason Vargas has outperformed his peripherals and will face a lineup that destroys lefties. The Ranger du jour is Colby Lewis.

3. Wednesday Picks

Pitchers to Start: If you don’t care about a tiny strikeout rate, Vance Worley has a solid matchup against the Phillies.

I probably should include Nick Tropeano in the exploit section. However, he’s a fastball-changeup specialist and those tend to transition well. He’s struck out a little under a batter per nine with a solid walk rate. Scouts have long expected his lack of potent breaking ball to result in fewer strikeouts. We may finally see that in the majors.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Red Sox flood of young pitchers are uniformly struggling to adjust to the majors. Brandon Workman has a 4.90 ERA in large part because he’s lost ground in his strikeout and walk rates. The Orioles make for a difficult opponent.

Chris Capuano has allowed six home runs in his last three starts. I’m sure Yankee Stadium has a little something to do with it. He’ll face the Rays tomorrow.

Jerome Williams is coming off a more typical performance for the righty. He allowed 11 base runners and five runs. Tomorrow’s start is against the Pirates.

Tyler Matzek is the latest Rockies lefty to enter my cross hairs. At least he won’t be at Coors.

Nick Tepesch is a target for the thousandth straight week. I’m tired of writing about him.

Chris Bassit struggled in his major league debut. I’m very impressed with his fastball movement, but you have to learn how to harness it at the major league level.

Hitters (power): Seth Smith is cold, but you know how I feel about hot/cold data.

You can try Dustin Ackley and Kendrys Morales against Tropeano.

Jed Lowrie can be useful at a barren middle infield position.

Eric Campbell will probably start against the lefty. Juan Lagares tends to bat near the top of the order.

Brandon Guyer might get a prominent spot in the order against a lefty.

Trevor Plouffe will face T.J. House.

Hitters (speed): Because I need a speed guy, some combination of Norichika Aoki and Jarrod Dyson will start for the Royals.

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.

Chicago and Cleveland might see scattered storms. The risk isn’t too high at the moment.

The Link. Note that Giants game sitting all by its lonesome.

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Bauer is pitching for the tribe, not House.