The Daily Grind: Confessions of Unforced Errors

This time, my moment of self-defeat was the decision to use what I perceived to be a mildly risky Matt Adams and “upgrade” to Zack Wheeler from Masahiro Tanaka. Quite a run of unforced errors over these last three contests.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Negative Value Tactics

1.The Daily Grind Invitational

Iamlee13 found a spot for Tanaka, Cavan Biggio, and a productive Angels stack. It was enough to coast to an easy victory. Congrats and Leaderboard.

Tonight is the full monty, a 15-game mega-slate on FantasyDraft.

If you have not signed up for FantasyDraft, please use this referral link for tracking purposes. If I understand properly, by using the referral, you will receive a 10 percent return on any rakes you pay.

2. Weather Reports

Rain is a risk at several east coast venues, although only the Phillies-Nationals game looks to have a likely delay. New York is at the next most risk while Pittsburgh and Atlanta should simply be checked later in the day.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Justin Verlander leads the last with a cool $22,800 bounty. As he’s averaged over 27 points per start and the Reds represent something like a typical opponent, Verlander is seemingly the top projection, price, and value. If you’re feeling contrarian, I’m reasonably confident Anthony DeSclafani can return enough production to justify his $13,900 cost.

Clayton Kershaw ($21,600) has turned into a reliable volume arm. He typically throws six to seven innings with a steady mid-teens to mid-20s point total. A visit to the craptastic Giants has pumped his price up an extra $1,000.

While Cole Hamels‘ matchup against the White Sox is favorable, I’m not sure the favor is enough to justify a $20,200 price. The wind is blowing in at Wrigley at a modest eight mph.

The Wheeler play didn’t work last night. Consider me undeterred. Jacob deGrom ($19,500) is the second-best asset in this slate even if the Braves are on a hot streak. The relatively cheap price only accentuates his value. Conversely, Julio Teheran ($18,600) is flat out too expensive. The only reason to roster him is because nobody will think this is a reasonable price.

David Price ($17,900), a veteran I typically find last minute reasons to skip, finally convinced me to use him last week. Just in time to asplode. He has a tough matchup against the homertastic Twins.

Brandon Woodruff ($17,500) tends to operate at the extremes. For this reason, he’s a perfectly viable GPP target with an upside for close to 30 points and a downside of not showing up at all. Logan Allen ($15,500) is overpriced in his debut. He should cost no more than $11,000.

I’m convinced Jack Flaherty should be having a 50 percent better season than he is. It won’t take much effort to return value on $16,800. There’s a chance for double-digit strikeouts. I’ll gladly pass on overpriced Jordan Yamamoto ($16,100). He’s a common soft-tossing kitchen-sink type.

I feel like the Blue Jays should have a league average offense. But they don’t, and that’s why Tyler Skaggs ($16,300) is viable. Marcus Stroman ($16,000) is a stretch against an opponent that doesn’t strike out.

I still like Patrick Corbin ($15,800) against the Phillies – especially at this price. The only difference between yesterday and today is that there are better values on the board. And there’s still rain in the forecast.

Others you could try include Merrill Kelly ($15,200) against the sea level rockies (they’re lower case on the road), Zach Plesac ($15,000) visiting the Gallo-less Rangers, J.A. Happ ($14,600) versus the Rays, and Mitch Keller ($14,000) hosting the Tigers. Let us not overlook Yusei Kikuchi ($9,900) who sometimes isn’t this terrible.

Favorite Plays: Verlander, deGrom, Flaherty, Woodruff, Corbin

Stack Targets: Allen, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Yamamoto, Antonio Senzatela, Gabriel Ynoa, Shaun Anderson, Adrian Sampson

4. SaberSim Says…

Verlander, Kershaw, Hamels, deGrom, and Flaherty lead the slate. They’re all closely bunched. Flaherty, Keller, Corbin, Kikuchi, and Woodruff are the best values. I enjoy days when the top projections and the top values diverge. That’s as it should be and has been far too rare this season.

Mike Trout, Charlie Blackmon, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, and Francisco Lindor are the picks to click. Valueland is populated by Danny Jansen, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jose Rondon, Yan Gomes, and Robinson Cano. One of those is not like the others…

5. Negative Value Tactics

My every writeup of Cavan Biggio notes his natural multi-homer oriented skill set. This makes two multi-homer games.

It’s already been proven that the no third baseman set is a negative value tactic. Maybe it works with two strikes?

He’s back.

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: Confessions of Unforced Errors by Brad Johnson!

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Tyler Beede is a jerk.