The Daily Grind: Finals Week Pt. 5: The Final Final

Finally, the final final.


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

1.The Daily Grind Invitational

Dylan Cease was scratched prior to yesterday’s start, yet that didn’t stop roc-pile from capturing victory with Joe Musgrove and an unexpectedly potent Pirates stack. Congrats and Leaderboard.

And that’s a wrap, one more contest on FantasyDraft. This one is a 14-gamer.

2. Weather Reports

The Tigers and White Sox have a pointless doubleheader scheduled today, and it’s supposed to rain. They may still get both games in – I’m mostly just happy to use this section again.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Walker Buehler ($22,800) leads the slate. While his ceiling is probably shattered by the Dodgers incentive to keep him fresh and healthy, he’s still the best bet to cross the 20-point threshold. He’s visiting a too-pricey Johnny Cueto ($17,700).

Similarly, Jose Berrios ($21,200) will be tossing a tune-up outing at Kauffman Stadium. I doubt he can return value on this price tag. Ditto James Paxton ($21,100) versus the Rangers. He’s living that Glob Life.

Usually, I would prefer the Dallas Keuchel ($18,600) side of Keuchel v. Marcus Stroman ($19,900). With neither team playing for anything, I’m inclined to sit this out. I view them as mid-tier plays with low-end ace costs.

Ditto Anthony DeSclafani ($19,300). I like the idea of using him at PNC Park versus a bad Pirates offense, but I don’t think I can find this much cash.

How is Austin Voth $17,800? No.

Zach Plesac ($16,100) on the other hand is only very slightly over-costed in his visit to Nationals Park. And I think we’ve gotten to the point of this article where it’s become obvious the good pitchers are bad values tonight. The Indians basically have to win out to have any hope of reaching the postseason. That could mean a long Plesac outing or a very short one.

How is Justus Sheffield $17,100? No.

Again, it’s the other side of the matchup with the better pick. Mike Fiers ($15,000) is roughly par value against a pitiful Mariners offense. Oakland is in prime position to host the Wild Card game. They just need to win two of three to guarantee it. They could lose all three games of this series and still host. And there’s a chance they’ll clinch with a win tonight. In other words, they should go all out.

If this was a real Jose Urquidy ($14,400) start, I’d be all in. Alas, I figure he’ll throw no more than four frames.

Sheffield and Voth are in the $17,000s and Tyler Glasnow is only ($13,600)? I don’t get it. Sure, he’s unlikely to reach the five-inning threshold, but his last two starts have returned value on this price despite lasting only three frames each.

While the good pitchers are bad bargains, the bad pitchers are good bargains. Vince Velasquez ($11,900) is hosting Pablo Lopez ($13,100). Both hurlers are seriously volatile. The 75th percentile and better outcomes include over 18 points. The median is probably closer to nine points. Risk and reward.

Another pairing with comparable volatility is Asher Wojciechowski ($10,200) at Nathan Eovaldi ($8,300). Neo Valdi has 20-point upside if everything clicks, and he’s priced like a middling hitter. He’s actually pitched pretty well lately too, although we shouldn’t rely on him qualifying for the win bonus. Woj might end up facing a comically soft Red Sox lineup. They’ve been sitting their better players lately.

Favorite Plays: Buehler, Fiers, Eovaldi

Stack Targets: Eric Skoglund, Joe Palumbo, Patrick Sandoval, Alec Mills, Lopez, Velasquez, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Zach Davies

4. SaberSim Says…

Buehler, Velasquez, Paxton, Berrios, and Stroman are the top pitchers. Perhaps I underestimated VV. I said his 75th percentile is 18 points. The Sim says that’s his 50th percentile outcome. Eovaldi, Velasquez, Brault, Lopez, and Buehler are the best bargains. Only the first four names figure to deliver more than a point per $1,000.

Trent Grisham, Aaron Judge, Mike Moustakas, Gleyber Torres, and Trevor Story lead the way for the hitters. Guess which team is visiting Coors Field? Lewis Brinson, Khris Davis, Anthony Bemboom, Joey Wendle, and Luis Torrens are the guys you’ll use to squeeze together Coors bats and Buehler.

5. Spazzy

Mike Minor really wanted 200 strikeouts. A billion pitches, an intentionally dropped out, and a probable ball taken for strike three. Eesh.


Bye bye Felix. Also, this might get the award for spazziest catch of the year.

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: Finals Week Pt. 5: The Final Final by Brad Johnson!

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Cmon Dorn
Cmon Dorn

Thanks for doing these all season Brad. Reading your column and filling out my lineup for TDGI was the highlight of my work day. Cheers