The Daily Grind: King Me by Brad Johnson April 11, 2018 My frequent attempts to stack Phillies are not working. And I missed the 20-run game! Anywho… AGENDA TDG Invitational Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… How to Win an Invitational 1. The Daily Grind Invitational Congrats are in order for smoke281dogg. A combination of Aaron Nola and six productive hitters led to a narrow victory. I believe his 162.5 points may be a season best. Leaderboard. Even though it’s a game smaller than the early contest, we’ll keep playing at night on DraftKings. See you at 7:05pm ET. PS – New users who deposit with my referral link get $20 bonus cash. I also get $20. It’s a win-win. 2. Weather Reports The air is finally starting to warm. Minnesota and Boston are the lone remaining cold spots. Check Cleveland and Chicago closer to game time for rain. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Early Slate: Seven games fall into the early group. You get a choice of three second tier aces and a bunch of slop. The top trio is expensive. I know I don’t want to pay $12,400 for Robbie Ray, $11,100 for Lance McCullers, or $10,400 for James Paxton. All three have superb matchups at pitcher venues. The cold weather in Minnesota could mess with McCullers’ feel. Next up are guys like Kyle Gibson ($7,100) versus the ‘Stros, Danny Duffy ($6,900) opposite the Mariners, and Brandon McCarthy ($6,600) at the Nationals. It only gets worse from there. To my eyes, this is a good slate to build around an unpopular but high value stack – perhaps the Padres at Coors Field? Or maybe the Rays at Guaranteed Rate Park. Stack Targets: A.J. Cole, James Shields, Junior Guerra, Luis Perdomo, German Marquez, Adam Wainwright Pretty self explanatory – a couple guys at Coors, a couple broken veterans, and a couple spot starters. Main Slate: The night crew isn’t nearly as top heavy. David Price is the expensive play. I’d rather not pay $11,900 to face the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka ($9,300) is on the other side of this one. Now that’s a price I can afford. Get it? DraftKings has not reacted to Jon Lester’s poor start. If they had bumped him down to $7,700, I’d be telling you to buy low. Alas, for $10,700, don’t buy at all. He’s opposed by Steven Brault ($5,800) whose results have been better than his actual stuff. Zack Wheeler ($7,500) has a candy matchup versus the Marlins. Wheeler is massively inconsistent, a trait we can only assume is amplified in his first start back from injury. Who you got? Marco Estrada ($8,500) or Kevin Gausman ($6,000). De Gaus actually pitched pretty well against the Yankees last week. There’s a chance he won’t pull his half season nonsense. For a supposed contender, the Toronto lineup is more theoretically good than actually good. Last but not least, Nick Pivetta ($8,200) is priced above Luis Castillo ($7,700). Castillo’s velocity and ground ball rate are both down through two outings. On the plus side, he’s still inducing a ton of whiffs. The Phillies have a problem with strikeouts in the early going, although I expect them to finish with one of the lower K-rates. Pivetta was straight up nasty against a bad Marlins lineup. The Reds are just a little bit better. Stack Targets: Jarlin Garcia, Brault, Matt Moore, Jaime Barria Barria is getting rushed to the majors to cover for an explosion of injuries to Angels pitchers. Where’s Bud Norris when you need him? I’m not entirely convinced Barria was ready for his aggressive assignment to Double-A, let alone a major league appearance. 4. SaberSim Says… Let’s just talk about the night slate. Castillo, Wheeler, Pivetta, Gausman, and Estrada are the current top listed pitchers, although a couple games are currently missing from the projections (i.e. 33% of the slate). Mike Trout, Joey Gallo, Justin Upton, Zack Cozart, and Shin-Soo Choo are the presently preferred bats. In other words, pick hitters in Texas. 5. How to Win an Invitational Let’s take a peek at one way in which smoke281dogg won last night. Every point counts.