- Bull Durham
- Daily DFS – de la Rosa, Lincecum
- GB / FB Splits
- Tomorrow’s Targets – Anderson, Phelps, Norris, Burns
- Factor Grid
1. Bull Durham
I’ve lived near Durham. NC since last August, but yesterday was the first time I made it over to watch the Durham Bulls. Our seats were in the outfield corner on the first base side. I’ve always found it very hard to watch a game from that angle.
The Durham bullpen was right next to us. I recognized Ronald Belisario, Jhan Marinez, Preston Guilmet, Enny Romero, and Andy Oliver. I wasn’t quite close enough to ask questions. On the other side of the field lurked Jose Valverde.
The visiting Syracuse Chiefs started A.J. Cole. He worked his way into trouble in the fourth inning when he lost his feel for the strike zone. Like many young pitchers, he tried to reach back for more velocity when he was on the ropes. It works for some guys, but usually it results in a loss of command. Such was the case with Cole. He walked the bases loaded then allowed three runs on two more walks and a fielder’s choice.
A bunch of former major leaguers were on hand. I was most excited to see Ryan Brett. The middle infielder showed off great speed. He could work his way back to the majors at some point this season. Among the most recognizable players included Tony Gwynn Jr, J.P. Arencibia, Ian Stewart, Matt Den Dekker, and Eugenio Velez.
Emmanuel Burriss had the best day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double. Despite winning 3-1, the Bulls had just one hit. They also walked eight times. Belisario earned the save. Of those who played, only Cole, Brett, and Romero are considered prospects.
2. Daily DFS – de la Rosa, Lincecum
Early: I won’t be able to participate in the early contest, but I wish I could. I’ll throw in a blind $1 roster for the hell of it. The slate of pitchers lacks elite names. Dallas Keuchel appears to be the best option. The White Sox have a miserable 54 wRC+ against southpaws. Everyone else ranging from Gio Gonzalez at Great American Ball Park to Erasmo Ramirez at Camden Yards has some kind of flaw. Even Keuchel has to pitch at a hitter friendly park on a homer friendly weather day.
The door is wide open for a sneaky pick. I’m eyeing a very cheap Jorge de la Rosa. Despite horrid results, his velocity is up one mph. He’s induced whiffs at a career best rate although his command has also suffered. The lefty is up against a Phillies offense that largely depends on left-handed hitters. Philadelphia was nearly no-hit by Chad Bettis last night. De la Rosa is a better pitcher than Bettis.
To be perfectly clear, I don’t recommend starting de la Rosa in a traditional league. He’s a very high risk, high reward play for DFS owners. The Phillies actually have a 99 wRC+ against southpaws. I don’t expect that to continue.
Late: Eight games are late, and the pitching matchups aren’t any easier. Tyson Ross and Michael Wacha are the obvious top picks. Yordano Ventura could rack up strikeouts against the whiff happy Cubs. Just beware their explosive potential.
I imagine many DFS participants will give Tim Lincecum a shot against the hapless Braves. I just can’t justify jumping on the bandwagon. His 2.56 ERA belies his 4.53 SIERA. I’d much prefer reaching for Roenis Elias or Shane Greene if you’re thinking about Lincecum.
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.
Jeff has selected 26 names via query. Below are my favorites.
4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Anderson, Phelps, Norris, Burns
Pitchers to Start: I keep thinking the talent in the Brewers lineup will shine through. It hasn’t happened. The club has a 78 wRC+ and struggles equally against righties and lefties. That opens the door for Chase Anderson. His 2.59 ERA has buffed his ownership rate, but a 4.02 xFIP should warn you away from falling in love. Anderson is a solid workhorse type. He averages about six innings a start with respectable ratios. He should have a good shot at a victory against Ty Wagner.
Pitchers to Exploit: There are plenty of exploitable pitchers tomorrow. David Phelps isn’t the worst of them, nor is his matchup particularly bad. However, he’s proven to be extremely hittable with a tiny 4.5 percent swinging strike rate. Citi Field is deceptively power friendly. Tomorrow could be the day that Phelps’ 4.7 percent HR/FB ratio reverts to league average. That said, the Mets only have a few true threats. Phelps could survive the outing by being selective.
Hitters (power): With a 97 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, Derek Norris hasn’t been bad. He’s just not exciting against same-handed hurlers. Thankfully, he’s opposed by mediocre lefty Jeff Locke. Norris has strong splits against southpaws including a .400/.447/.571 line this season (mini 38 PA sample).
Hitters (speed): Billy Burns is very fast. Billy Burns is starting most games. Billy Burns could steal you a base. Gogo Billy Burns.
5. 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 Cubs game looks like a wash, and St. Louis isn’t in much better shape.
The Link. Plenty of 10’s, especially in the early contest. Just avoid the wet ones.
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