The Daily Grind: Meager Monday by Brad Johnson April 10, 2017 One week down, 25 to go. How did you do? I made a few bucks. Coulda, woulda, shoulda been more. Today’s values are from FanDuel. AGENDA Notable Sunday Recaps Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse Fade Fade Fade SaberSim Says… TDG Invitational Returns! 1. Notable Sunday Recaps I don’t often get a chance to watch much baseball over the weekend. I spent the last few minutes catching up on a few highlights. Here are a couple that stood out to me. Angels score a billion runs in the ninth. Your browser does not support iframes. My breakout pick Cesar Hernandez walks off a single after Jeanmar Gomez blows the save. Your browser does not support iframes. Some light shoving and a just enough home run. Your browser does not support iframes. Freeman goes wild including an oppo-boppo. Your browser does not support iframes. 2. Weather Reports Chicago might see a few afternoon thunderstorms linger into the early evening. A delayed start is possible. The current report doesn’t put the game at risk. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Today’s contests are split into two slates – four afternoon games and five in the evening. The Astros-Mariners wonky 5:10pm start time leaves them without a home. ‘Tis a shame since I’m very excited for the rematch of Charlie Morton and James Paxton. Afternoon Slate: Chris Sale versus Justin Verlander is the rubber match of the day. The Red Sox have been decimated by a clubhouse flu. I wouldn’t count on run support or a strong outing from Sale. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard nothing about Sale contracting the illness. On the flip side, Verlander carved through the White Sox to record 10 strike outs. The depleted Other Sox could be equally whifftastic today. Matt Moore and Taijuan Walker will continue their battle from last week. Walker allowed four runs, but he also showed his usual swing-and-miss stuff with solid command. His homer prone nature should be offset by AT&T Field today. Moore also receives a boost in value due to pitching at home. Alex Cobb, Ian Kennedy, and Jharel Cotton are all reasonably decent contrarian picks. Stack Targets: Michael Pineda, Alex Cobb, Jharel Cotton Main Slate: Jon Lester has the lefty advantage versus the Dodgers. Los Angeles could barely dent southpaws last season, and they’ve returned a very similar roster. They’re pinning their hopes to Logan Forsythe and regression. I think the Dodgers will be fine against lefties this year. Lester looked sharp in his season debut. Your other ace option is Jacob deGrom at Philadelphia. The righty tossed six masterful innings against the Braves. He should match those numbers tonight. I’ll note this about Lester and deGrom – their outings may be shorter than we’d typically expect from a $10,000 pitcher. Fortunately, we have some affordable picks in this thin slate. Tanner Roark looked sharp. He matched deGrom’s performance and exceeded Lester. I liked what I saw from Adam Wainwright last week – increased velocity and his usual elite curve ball. Brandon Finnegan is interesting when pitching at PNC Park. Stack Targets: Alex Wood, Jerad Eickhoff, Tyler Chatwood, Jarred Cosart 4. Fade Fade Fade It’s difficult to find fades in tiny contests. Stars: In the past, Andrew McCutchen has very much enjoyed facing left-handed pitching. For awhile, he was the only guy to out-hammer Paul Goldschmidt versus southpaws. Now, McCutchen appears to be feel the full weight of the mortal burden. As such, DFS participants have fled to fresher assets. He’s opposed by Finnegan. Bargains: As mentioned above Kennedy should be relatively unpopular, mostly by virtue of being very ordinary. There is some swing-and-miss in the Athletics lineup, and Kauffman Stadium is pitcher friendly. He has upside for 40 points. Eickhoff will be unpopular opposite deGrom, but there’s at least a small chance he’ll outduel the Mets ace. And if he does accomplish the feat, you’ll be all alone holding the victor. If Greg Bird is healthy enough to play, he’ll be underrepresented. Bird is off to a slow start. His ankle injury and illness should further discourage ownership. His matchup against ground ball pitcher Alex Cobb at Yankee Stadium is a net positive, although it’s not clear if Bird can handle the split-change. Javier Baez might find himself overshadowed by Ben Zobrist and his mini consecutive home run streak. Dodgers starter Alex Wood is seemingly unlikely to throw more than five innings – if that long. 5. SaberSim Says… SaberSim is bonkers for Pineda. The top five pitchers listed are Pineda, Moore, Lester, Sale, and deGrom. Pineda is a solid DFS investment due to his extremely volatile nature. Unfortunately, he often pairs the good with the bad in the same outing. The top hitters are Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, and DJ LeMahieu. I think one of the MLB franchises owned all five of those players at one point. 6. The Daily Grind Invitational Remember how we had an Invitational on Friday? I kinda recommended Francisco Liriano, and he kinda posted -11 points. It was a weird slate which led 13 of 20 owners (including me) to roster Liriano. Dbesiter bucked the trend en route to the contest victory. Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor provided most of the firepower. The leaderboard is updated (FanDuel is tab two). We’re returning to FanDuel for today’s contest. It’s the five-game, 7:05pm start. As usual $2 and 20 owners. And now, a few parting notes on where the contests are held. I do a FanDuel bargain column for Rotoworld. On those days, I set our contests there. Because, well, I already did the research. It’s pure laziness. I do prefer DraftKings. We’ll play there when I don’t have FanDuel articles. Those days are usually Tuesday and Wednesday.