The Daily Grind: Closers, Dickey, Hill, Mercer


  1. O’Day and Ross
  2. Daily DFS
  3. GB / FB Splits
  4. SaberSim Observations
  5. Tomorrow’s Targets – Dickey, Hill, Utley, Mercer
  6. Factor Grid

1. O’Day and Ross

I’ve noticed the bullpen report appears to have shut down for the season. Here’s a little relief update for the final 10 days. I run the closer beat over at RotoWorld so I like to think I know a thing or two on the subject.

Orioles closer Zach Britton is out with a mild lat strain on his pitching side. We don’t know exactly what Britton is dealing with since the lat is a long muscle. It extends from the shoulder all the way to the upper lower back. It’s very necessary for pitching.

Depending on his symptoms, Britton could return tomorrow or miss the rest of the season. In his absence, Darren O’Day will fill the ninth inning role. It’s an excellent audition for him as we head into the offseason. While there won’t be too many open closer jobs, a team like the Rays, Rangers, Mariners, or Tigers could benefit from having him as an alternative to internal candidates.

Robbie Ross is an ordinary middle reliever except that the Red Sox bullpen is a shambles. He’s been promoted to the ninth inning for the remainder of the season. He saved three straight games from last Friday through Sunday. He also allowed three runs. If you’re purely hunting saves, Ross should hand you a couple more. Just keep an eye on your ratios.

2. Daily DFS – Matz

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: The four game early slate features Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, Patrick Corbin, and blah. I suppose an argument can be constructed in favor of Chris Bassitt. You won’t see me building it. My advice: find the necessary bargains for Kershaw or run the fade with Corbin. It should be a wonderful pitcher’s duel.

Late: Madison Bumgarner tops the charts in the eight game evening slate. He’s a consistent, high value play opposite the Padres. Alternatively, Chris Sale offers a higher ceiling and more uncertainty versus the Yankees.

After a solid outing last week, Johnny Cueto claims Salvador Perez just needed to make a couple adjustments to his style. I don’t buy it – at least not fully. Cueto still only tallied nine FanDuel points. He’s up against the Mariners and could offer ace production at a modest discount. He hasn’t cracked double digit points since mid-August.

Steven Matz is the cheapest high upside pitcher. He’s not exactly a steal at $8,600. Matz has a little bit of everything you want from a young pitcher, but I’m concerned about his value over the rest of 2015. The Mets are in the business of micro-managing innings which is bad for DFS production. Even if he’s pitching well, Matz could easily be pulled after the fifth or sixth inning. His stuff isn’t so excellent that a rocky outing is unforeseeable.

Stack Targets: Jeff Locke, Tanner Roark, Tyler Wilson, Chad Bettis, Wade Miley, James Paxton, Jarred Cosart, Cody Anderson, Josh Smith, Alec Asher

3. GB / FB Splits

The following hitters are recommended based on the works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth. They show ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s top recommendations. Use this link for Jeff’s full list.

The splits return for a Thin Thursday. Only a few names to consider today.

Logan Forsythe v Wade Miley
Jonny Gomes v James Paxton
Jayson Werth v Tyler Wilson
Rougned Odor, Will Venable v Chris Bassitt
Matt Duffy, Alejandro De Aza, Buster Posey v Ian Kennedy

4. SaberSim Observations

Even though Bumgarner is the third rated pitcher, there’s still room to rank Ian Kennedy fifth. He’s not the favorite to win, but SaberSim projects about 6.2 innings and a strikeout per frame. I see more downside than upside.

The Pirates are still the lineup to own at Coors Field. Mookie Betts is the third ranked hitter thanks to high projected hit and walk rates against Erasmo Ramirez. The Rays are up against a lefty. You’ll find Evan Longoria, Brandon Guyer, Forsythe, and Steven Souza in the top 30 hitters.

5. Tomorrow’s Targets – Dickey, Hill, Utley, Mercer

Pitchers to Start: We’ve talked about the Rays’ issues with right-handed pitching. I have no idea if they will extend to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. I’m betting on yes. He’s quietly having a solid real world season.

Also consider: Jerad Eickhoff

Pitchers to Exploit: Rich Hill is running hot. Both of his starts lasted seven innings with 10 strikeouts. He may be the third best streaming option tomorrow, but I worry about rampaging regression.

Also consider: CC Sabathia, Matt Boyd, Ryan Weber, Mike Bolsinger, David Hale, Ariel Pena, Vidal Nuno, Shawn Kelley

Hitters (power): Chase Utley hasn’t been great since joining the Dodgers. He hasn’t been bad either. Tomorrow’s game is at Coors Field against Hale. Look for doubles and/or home runs.

Also consider: C.J. Cron, Seth Smith, Andre Ethier, Justin Morneau, Ben Paulsen, Derek Dietrich, Jonathan Schoop, Steve Pearce, Trevor Plouffe, Aaron Hicks

Hitters (speed): Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison will face Jon Lester. I assume you don’t have access to the faster Pirates like Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, or Andrew McCutchen. I expect the Buccos to run as soon as they reach base. The Cubs are opposite Gerrit Cole. He’s not as bad with stolen bases as Lester, but he allows more than his share. Javier Baez, Chris Coghlan, Dexter Fowler, and Starlin Castro are all worth a gander.

Also consider: Ender Inciarte, Delino DeShields, Ichiro Suzuki, Rusney Castillo,

6. The Factor Grid

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.

The Link.

This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment. 

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I had ridiculous seats at the Nats game last night (the pope scared off traffic into the city, so dugout seats cost almost nothing) and O’Day eviscerated the final three hitters. Granted, they were all right-handed and off iffy plate recognition skills, but still…