The Daily Grind: Legalize

Would you trade Jose Abreu and Max Kepler for Yoan Moncada in a shallow-lineup, 20-team dynasty? Assume present value doesn’t matter.


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

1. The Daily Grind Invitational

A combination of Jean Segura, Ryon Healy, Rajai Davis, Mitch Haniger, and Brandon Guyer fueled a 156.1 point performance for kidzero. I’m just a tad bitter as I had all but one of those guys in a lineup (none overlapped). In any case, congrats and Leaderboard.

We’ll do a 30-entry contest on FantasyDraft tonight. I love these small slates.

If you have not signed up for FantasyDraft, please use this referral link for tracking purposes. If I understand properly, by using the referral, you will receive a 10 percent return on any rakes you pay.

2. Weather Reports

Instability reigns supreme for a second straight day. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York, Washington, Kansas, and Atlanta are all storm risks. Of those, Kansas is least likely to be postponed. It’s a huge risk at the other venues – especially New York.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Early Slate: The six game early slate is imperiled by rain. It could become a three game contest. Fortunately, most of the best pitchers are from dry venues. Trevor Bauer ($24,900) receives top billing versus the Triple-A Tigers. I’m not over keen to pay a quarter of my budget for Bauer. He may be the best pitcher in the slate, but will he justify the price?

Miles Mikolas ($21,600) projects to provide similar production in a visit to Minnesota. He’s just cheap enough to squeeze into a lineup. Mikolas is a stabilizing force for DFS rosters. His last five starts have scored between 21.4 and 26.75 points.

Jake Faria is the other dry, startable pitcher. A matchup against the enfeebled Royals at Kauffman Stadium is a great opportunity to rebound from his last start. Faria tends to be unpredictable, ranging from -18.25 to 31.6 points in his starts.

J.A. Happ ($15,100) probably doesn’t get a full outing. If he pitches at all. Ditto Zack Wheeler, Jameson Taillon, and Nick Pivetta.

Stack Targets: Jason Hammel, Hector Santiago, Andrew Cashner, Ryan Carpenter, Lance Lynn

Carpenter struck out about a batter per inning over the last two seasons. He also underperformed his peripherals. That’s never a good sign in the minors.

Main Slate: Our tiny five game night contest could also dwindle to three games. Some serious pitchers are on the agenda including Max Scherzer ($23,700) versus CC Sabathia ($10,000). Scherzer is one of the few pitchers I’d use against the Yankees. He’s playable against any roster of humans. Just be sure the weather won’t get in the way. That’s a lot to pay for an interrupted outing. Sabathia is totally a viable gamble at this price.

Justin Verlander ($23,400) will be dry in LaLaLand. I fell for Gerrit Cole last night despite concerns about the Angels above average offense. I’ll probably fall for Verlander tonight. On the other side is Garrett Richard ($11,200) who might be just cheap enough to qualify as a GPP contrarian pick. Typically, I avoid non-Scherzers against Houston.

Chris Sale ($23,000) too? The Athletics lineup offers some risk and reward for the elite southpaw. And Trevor Cahill is back from the disabled list. I’d totally use him for $10,200 if he wasn’t up against the Red Sox. And possibly in line for a four inning outing (See Yu Darvish circa yesterday).

MOAR! Walker Buehler ($16,300) has a candy matchup opposite the league worst Marlins. The game is in Miami. That’s an easy yes. Caleb Smith ($12,900) seems rather playable at this price too.

Tyler Chatwood works for $12,800, assuming SunTrust Stadium can dodge the storms.

Stack Targets: Brandon McCarthy

As much as I like McCarthy, he’s pitched terribly in recent outings.

4. SaberSim Says…

The Sim claims we should roster Scherzer, Sale, Verlander, Buehler, and Richards. That last name along with Sabathia are the values. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, and Trea Turner are the preferred batsmen. Jackie Bradley, Martin Prado, Justin Bour, and Kurt Suzuki are bargains.

5. Legalize

I meant to discuss this yesterday, but writing at a car service center is distracting. Way back on Monday, the Supreme Court demonstrated their supremacy by striking down a federal law preventing sports betting. I’m no law wizard, but this appears to be about states rights, namely that states have the right to decide if sports betting should or should not be legal.

This has immediate implications for us. States are increasingly willing to allow gambling so long as they’re getting a nice healthy taste of the action. The Daily Fantasy industry can stop pretending that this is primarily a skill-based game (I’m convinced poker is more skill-based and everybody calls that gambling).

More importantly, our favorite sites will probably start offering other “games” more closely associated with traditional sports betting. DraftKings has already announced their intention to do so. I have serious concerns about how this may manifest over the years, not to mention the moral issues that could arise from combining DFS with other forms of betting. I guess we’ll just have to see how it shakes out.

Notably, your state can still ban DFS.

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: Legalize by Brad Johnson!

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So you’ve now reversed your position and think Daily Fantasy is not primarily a skill-based game–meaning it’s more luck?