The Daily Grind: Gimme Strasburg by Brad Johnson September 5, 2019 Prepare for staggering revelations. Of a very obvious sort. AGENDA TDG Invitational Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… Web Gems 1.The Daily Grind Invitational Despite wasting a significant chunk of budget on Hyun-Jin Ryu (who suggested that as a craft play?), djl131 was able to scare up enough across-the-board production to pull down the victory. Of course, it helps when very popular studs like Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Will Smith, and Gavin Lux combine for five points. Congrats and Leaderboard. We have a reasonably sized seven-game slate tonight on FantasyDraft. 2. Weather Reports The Durham Bulls have preemptively postponed their postseason match until Friday. But that’s neither here nor there. Well, it’s here for me but not for you. As for DFS contests, it’s all clear again. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse This slate has all manner of flavors – top offenses, bottom dwellers, an ace with a bad matchup, and some duds with friendly opponents. Stephen Strasburg ($21,000) is all alone atop the price list – or at least he should be alone. His tough pairing against the Braves is certainly a deterrent, but it’s appropriately priced into his cost. This is a par value ace in a slate lacking obvious alternatives to outperform him. I often softly support Max Fried ($15,900) since he’s usually cheap and promises a strikeout per inning. I’m far from enamored with this particular matchup though. Based on price alone, FDraft must think Jose Quintana ($20,300) can keep pace with Strasburg. While I won’t rule out the possibility – after all, you can’t predict baseball – it’s hardly a likely scenario. In fact, I like the Chase Anderson ($12,900) side of the equation a lot more from a dollar-for-dollar perspective. The price difference between them is the same as upgrading a couple bland mid-tier bats into Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers. Wade Miley ($19,400) is fine. Whatever. He should cost around $17,800, but I can’t fault anybody for plucking what should be a reasonably safe matchup against a weak, lefty-prone Mariners offense. If you like Fried because of his strikeouts, I suggest spinning up Kolby Allard ($15,500) versus a volatile (mostly in a bad way) Orioles offense. John Means ($11,700) is a better value and perhaps a better outright projection. He’s an extreme fly ball pitcher set to face an offense with more than a few ground ball hitters. This is a dangerous setting. Austin Pruitt ($13,500) is hidden from prying eyes. He’s a ground ball pitcher with a reasonably decent strikeout rate. He’s also moderately homer prone and liable to throw fewer than five innings. Due entirely to his usage patterns, he’s a high risk, middling reward option against the Blue Jays. If he was somebody who always went out and threw 100 pitches, he’d be a gem at this price. Elieser Hernandez ($11,700) is visiting Dario Agrazal ($9,900) is a battle of bad, cheap pitchers against worse, cheaper hitters. Hernandez offers strikeouts and way too many home runs. Agrazal offers… well… he’ll exist. Favorite Plays: Strasburg, Anderson Stack Targets: Marco Gonzales, Martin Perez, Trent Thornton, Means, Anderson, Hernandez, Nate Eovaldi, Agrazal Perez is both the fourth-priciest pitcher in this slate and possibly the worst. At least by expected outcome tonight. 4. SaberSim Says… Strasburg, Quintana, Miley, Fried, and Anderson are the top projected arms. Listing them this way overstates their similarity. Strasburg is projected to outperform Quintana by about 20 percent. He’s nearly 100 percent better than Anderson. Bargains include Agrazal, Means, Hernandez, Strasburg, and Anderson. The hitter list is dominated by Red Sox just as I anticipated – Betts, J.D. Martinez, Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Jose Altuve. Lewis Brinson, Austin Dean, Braden Bishop, Nick Solak, and Tim Lopes are the value plays. In my view, four of those players are practically unplayable. 5.Web Gems The upward leaping dive is the hardest type of dive. Also, bad base running. A truly stolen home run. Not sure I’ve seen this before. These were just the tip of the iceberg in a glove-heavy day.