The Daily Grind: E-Rod, Porcello, Taylor by Brad Johnson June 2, 2015 Agenda Fading Daily DFS – Pitchers Aplenty GB / FB Splits Tomorrow’s Targets – E-Rod, Porcello, Joyce, Taylor Factor Grid 1. Fading “Fading” is what anthropologists call an ethnic term. Other disciplines refer to it as jargon. Fading is the process of avoiding the obvious picks or selecting unpopular players. Last night, the Dodgers offense at Coors was the obvious pick. Lo and behold, they outproduced all other stacks. Sometimes it’s smart to avoid popular players, especially under certain conditions. Let’s say Buster Posey is facing Jeff Locke at PNC Park. Posey is a common target anytime he faces a southpaw. However, PNC is a pitchers park, and the Pirates bullpen is pretty good. You could easily get better bang for your buck out of A.J. Pierzynski against Aaron Harang. Some people take fading one step further. Last night, I could have made a lot of money by selecting Nolan Arenado against Clayton Kershaw over Manny Machado. By selecting hitters against Kershaw, you ensure that your roster is relatively unique. Of course, even with Coors in play, targeting Kershaw is not smart money. Perhaps it worked last night, but it’s not a strategy I usually pursue. The exception is in small slate contests. If there are only four or five games in a contest, the value of a fade goes up. Sometimes, you don’t even need an offensive outburst, just a solo home run and a couple hits. Choosing to fade is a gut instinct. Said instincts of the bowel require proper experience to become trustworthy. If you’re relatively new to DFS, play it straight. Go with the smart plays, even if you think your rivals will too. Once you gain experience, you’ll have a better understanding of when and when not to fade. 2. Daily DFS – Pitchers Aplenty Yesterday’s Grind Early: There are two doubleheaders today. The Dodgers and Rockies were already on the schedule. Now the Nationals and Blue Jays will join them. One downside to doubleheaders is that lineups often wait until the last minute for the second game. Everybody will want to use the second Dodgers game this evening, but you might have to play it blind. Late: It’s a pitching rich evening, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t stacking opportunities. At the top end, you’ll find Max Scherzer against the Jays, Johnny Cueto at Philadelphia, Zack Greinke at Coors (ick), and Chris Archer at Anaheim (ooh). More cost effective options include A.J. Burnett, Shelby Miller, Carlos Carrasco, Lance Lynn, Noah Syndergaard, Clay Buchholz, and even Mike Wright. On pitching rich days like these, I recommend building your ideal lineup and then choosing a pitcher who fits. Stack Targets: Sean O’Sullivan, Kendall Graveman, Brad Hand, Colby Lewis, Jeremy Guthrie, Tyler Cravy, David Hale, Josh Collmenter, CC Sabathia, Mike Montgomery 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. We have 27 names for you this fine Tuesday. Below are my hand/machine picked selections. Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman vs. Marco Estrada Josh Reddick vs. Alfredo Simon Adam LaRoche, Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Geovany Soto vs. Colby Lewis Ruben Tejada and Michael Cuddyer vs. Ian Kennedy Cameron Maybin, Freddie Freeman, A.J. Pierzynski, and Juan Uribe vs. Josh Collmenter 4. Tomorrow’s Targets – E-Rod, Porcello, Joyce, Taylor Pitchers to Start: Eduardo Rodriguez was sharp in his debut. The lefty has the difficult job of taming a tough Twins lineup. They’re especially good against left-handed pitchers with a 105 wRC+. That may not seem too imposing, but it’s because the performance is lumpy. Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier are particularly potent against southpaws. They could impregnate Rodriguez. E-Rod is a reasonable bet for about a strikeout per inning and few walks. He strikes me as the kind of pitcher who can control the opposition via a good strikeout to walk ratio and low WHIP. Also consider: Jimmy Nelson, Rubby de la Rosa, Lance McCullers Pitchers to Exploit: Let’s double dip with Red Sox pitchers. Rick Porcello was supposed to be the ace. Instead, he’s pitched to a 5.37 ERA with 7.26 K/9 and 2.61 BB/9. The peripherals hint at better things to come, especially if he can tame his 14.9 percent HR/FB ratio. His 177 inning 2013 season features a similar HR/FB ratio so don’t bank on regression just yet. The biggest issue is that his ground ball rate is at a career low. It’s helped to buff his strikeout rate, but the outburst of home runs has really hurt. There are things to like in Porcello’s profile. I consider him a good trade target in dynasty leagues. However, I do expect the Twins to push a handful of runs across the plate. Also consider: Mark Buehrle, Jason Vargas Hitters (power): Matt Joyce has been easy to ignore this season. With three home runs in his last five games, perhaps he’s coming online. He’ll face Rays righty Nate Karns tomorrow. The matchup isn’t fantastic, nor is it bad. If you believe in Joyce, give it a shot. If you don’t…well that’s why I list alternatives below. Also consider: Brandon Guyer, Preston Tucker, Mike Aviles, Ryan Raburn, Max Muncy, Logan Morrison, Trevor Plouffe Hitters (speed): Michael Taylor strikes out an awful lot. I don’t consider him major league ready even though he has such an excellent combination of power and speed. The contact skills need to catch up. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Buehrle tomorrow. As we all know, Buehrle is a fan of balls in play. Also consider: Adam Eaton, Ender Inciarte 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 weather should be fine, the Phillies game might see some late rain. 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.