The Daily Grind: Hutchison, Anderson, Weaver, Blanks


  1. Raisel Recap
  2. Daily DFS – Hutchison
  3. GB / FB Splits
  4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Anderson, Weaver, Blanks, Aoki
  5. Factor Grid

1. Raisel Recap

After writing yesterday’s Grind, I discovered that Raisel Iglesias cost a ridiculous $3,000 on FanDuel. Dylan Higgins and I talked about cheap pitchers on Tuesday on the Field of Streams Podcast. The player in question that day was Mike Bolsinger for something like $4,800.

In general, ultra cheap pitchers can make for a decent play if you’ve identified an expensive stack or love a matchup for Paul Goldschmidt or Mike Trout. Usually, you’re hoping to get a modest return – something like eight points. That puts a heavy burden on your hitters.

Yesterday was a little different. Usually, inexpensive pitchers have serious warts – think Bruce Chen. In the case of Iglesias, he’s a talented pitcher. He was up against a tepid Braves offense. I expected something around five to six innings, four strikeouts, two to four runs, and a 65 percent chance for a win. That works out to somewhere between seven and 12 points. He actually lasted eight innings as part of a 16 point performance.

As I’ve alluded, there are two types of low cost starter – duds and unproven upside plays. The latter category are obviously the better pick. As Iglesias showed us, we could land an unexpectedly strong performance. Now if only Trout and Troy Tulowitzki had hit…

2. Daily DFS – Hutchison

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: We have five games from which to choose. Picking a starting pitcher from the early slate is a challenge. Do you go with Jon Niese against a dynamic but strikeout prone Cubs offense? Michael Wacha has pitched well, but the Indians have a ton of left-handed thump. The right field porch at Progressive Field is power friendly. Some portion of Vance Worley vs. Aaron Harang is liable to turn out well. Which portion? I don’t know.

Late: Stacks aplenty in the six game evening contest. As you’ll see in a moment, our favorite custom split loves the Astros against Drew Hutchison. Many fantasy analysts picked Hutchison as a breakout candidate this season. I wasn’t driving that particular bandwagon, but I at least had my horse cantering along side it. A lot of people are asking, “What’s wrong?”

Digging through the PITCHf/x data, I see a similar pitcher to the 2014 version. His fastball whiff rates have declined from borderline elite to above average. His offspeed stuff remains merely average. Many starting pitchers throw crappy sinkers – Hutchison is one of them.

I’d feel a lot better about Hutchison as a fantasy asset if he was a Pirate or Giant. His division and home park makes him a stream quality starter in traditional fantasy leagues. DFS owners should note his 4.66 FIP and 4.47 xFIP. Projection systems expect something in the 4.10 to 4.40 ERA range. He’s not an automatic stacking target.

Stack Targets: Mike Pelfrey, Ross Detwiler, Jeremy Guthrie, Travis Wood, Erasmo Ramirez, Joe Kelly, Roenis Elias, Chad Bettis

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 picked 20 names today. As per the usual, here are my favorites.

George Springer, Jake Marisnick, Evan Gattis, Hank Conger, and Robbie Grossman vs. Drew Hutchison
Jose Bautista vs. Roberto Hernandez
Logan Morrison and Robinson Cano vs. Joe Kelly
Michael Cuddyer vs. Travis Wood

4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Anderson, Weaver, Blanks, Aoki

Pitchers to Start: The much vaunted Philadelphia matchup belongs to Chase Anderson. He’s a viable stream starter on most days due to a solid repertoire and advanced feel for pitching. The Phillies put plenty of weakly hit balls in play. Expect good results with a low strikeout rate.

Also consider: Kyle Hendricks, Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Rodon, Clay Buchholz

Pitchers to Exploit: Fly ball pitcher Jered Weaver will set up shop at Camden Yards. The command and control specialist is quickly falling into Jamie Moyer territory with a 84 mph fastball. Moyer flummoxed major league hitters for years, and I expect the same from Weaver. Moyer also turned in his fair share of stinkers. The location is a poor match for Weaver’s skill set.

Also consider: Chad Billingsley, Jason Marquis, Kyle Lohse, Bruce Chen

Hitters (power): Kyle Blanks was once an overhyped fantasy sleeper. The 28-year-old is hitting well for the Rangers. Buoyed by a .406 BABIP, the slugger has three bombs in 55 plate appearances. He’s opposed by the lesser Chen.

Also consider: Justin Turner, Andre Ethier, Logan Morrison, Danny Valencia, James Loney, Garrett Jones, David Peralta, C.J. Cron

Hitters (speed): A combination of plate discipline and high contact rates makes Nori Aoki deceptively valuable. He hits for a solid average and posts a strong on base percentage. The result is plenty of opportunities to run the bases. He’s up to nine steals on the season. He’s never exceeded 30, yet he’s on pace for about 40 this year.

Also consider: Adam Eaton, Anthony Gose, Angel Pagan, Ender Inciarte, Odubel Herrera

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.

There are rumors of rain throughout California today – something that hasn’t been seen since the late 90’s.

The Link. We’re mostly dealing with mid-tier ballparks today. Not a lot of differentiation going on, but there are still specific park factors to target.

This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment. 

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: Hutchison, Anderson, Weaver, Blanks by Brad Johnson!

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Start Wacha today in standard leagues? Feeling uneasy about the matchup.