The Daily Grind: It’s Back! by Brad Johnson July 17, 2017 Welcome back from the All Star Break. Now it’s business time. Oops, that’s the entirely wrong sort of business. AGENDA This Ain’t the Home Run Derby Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… TDG Invitational Returns! 1. This Ain’t the Home Run Derby While I very much enjoy watching Aaron Judge hit, I’m also annoyed that he’s a Yankee. They’re supposed to pay through the nose for their elite talent – like when they sign Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and trade for Giancarlo Stanton within the next couple seasons. That’ll add up to over a billion dollars of contracts. When they’re paying a little over $500,000 for the better version of Stanton, the world has turned upside down. Here’s Jackie Bradley Jr. voicing his displeasure with this nonsense. Your browser does not support iframes. 2. Weather Reports Keep an eye on the forecast closer to game time. A whole slew of parks have a 15 to 20 percent chance for storms. Those usually turn into zero percent by game time. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Main Slate: Twelve of 13 games will be played this evening. If you wanted either side of the Nats-Reds game, too bad. Jon Lester is the most expensive pitcher of the slate, although I have to imagine Lance McCullers will be the most popular. They both have perfectly fine matchups – Lester at Atlanta and McCullers hosting the Mariners. Eduardo Rodriguez is back from his knee subluxation. He’ll face an inconsistent Blue Jays offense. At $8,600 (FD), ERod is probably a tad too pricey for a first start back from the disabled list. I usually want a pretty stiff discount in these circumstances due to elevated injury and short outing risks. Jason Vargas wasn’t able to maintain the ludicrous numbers he posted through mid-May, but he’s still better than the typical volume veteran. The Tigers offense can be tough on left-handed pitching, although Vargas has a great equalizer in his changeup. Brent Suter is hanging out in the bargain bin. Color me intrigued. The soft tossing lefty should be considered high risk and moderate reward. He may have a knack for inducing soft contact – the sample is far to small to state definitively. I can point to that trait as the reason he has a 2.96 ERA to date. He has a reasonable shot at the 10 points from a win and quality start. He’s visiting PNC Park and the Pirates. Stack Targets: Everybody? Bryan Mitchell, Tom Koehler, Luis Perdomo, German Marquez, Daniel Gossett, Suter, Chris Tillman, Andrew Cashner, Adalberto Mejia, Chad Kuhl, Jerad Eickhoff, Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, Josh Tomlin, Ariel Miranda, Julio Teheran, Adam Wainwright 4. SaberSim Says… McCullers, Lester, Moore, Zack Wheeler, and ERod are the five preferred pitchers. Moore’s been such a nightmare this year though. Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rizzo, and Wil Myers are the top rated bats. Values include Garrett Cooper, Zack Granite, Marcus Semien, Kyle Schwarber, and Sanchez. 5. The Daily Grind Invitational Congrats to ajsacki. A couple years ago on July 7, he posted a 252 point evening with the help of James Paxton, Jesus Aguilar, and Nolan Arenada (154.8 points combined). Here’s the leaderboard. See ya on FanDuel tonight.