The Daily Grind: Non-DFS News by Brad Johnson May 22, 2019 In rather exciting non-DFS news, amateur prospect Carter Stewart has opted to sign with a Japanese team for $7MM rather deal with the shenanigans of the MLB draft system. Stewart was selected eighth overall by the Braves last summer. He was prepared to sign a slot-value contract before the Braves pulled a bait-and-switch. Stewart lost an ensuing grievance. AGENDA TDG Invitational Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… As Expected 1.The Daily Grind Invitational Last week, the key to victory was fading elite pitchers. Not so yesterday. NotBurtReynolds rode Justin Verlander, Joey Gallo, Marwin Gonzalez, and a slew of other productive hitters to gold. Congrats and Leaderboard. We have a thrilling 11-game contest tonight full of aces and elite stacks. As usual, it’s a $2, no rake contest on FantasyDraft. 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 The wind is blowing out at Wrigley Field. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Gerrit Cole will cost you the proverbial arm and leg this evening. At $23,100, this is one of the highest prices we’ve seen all season. While he’s worth it, I worry about forgoing top offenses tonight. And it’s mighty difficult to combine Cole with another pitcher AND premium bats. The same can be said of Max Scherzer ($21,300) at Jacob deGrom ($20,200). They probably aren’t $1,800-$2,900 worse than Cole though, making them a slightly better-looking value. Again, I think all three aces come with excellent valuations. It’s a matter of picking your poison. Do you think you can find the scrubby-priced performers or would you rather lock in elite hitters with iffier supporting arms? The next three priciest arms are rough values – Rich Hill ($19,300), Cole Hamels ($18,500), and Jon Gray ($18,000) are easy passes for me. While they all have potential to perform reasonably well, they should be priced in the $15,000 to $16,500 range. Of course, FDraft didn’t know the wind would be gusting 15 mph to dead center when they set Hamels’ price. Martin Perez ($17,200) is on a strikeout-fueled hot streak. Sadly, that’s likely to come to an end against an injury-diminished Angels offense. They may not be the scariest opponent, but their low strikeout rate ruins DFS performance. Max Fried ($16,300) is a solid if unspectacular play at Oracle Park. A terrible opponent at a pitcher friendly venue? Yes please. I’m not as enthusiastic about Fried’s so-called breakout as some of my fellow professional analysts. I think he’s transitioned from disaster-machine to mid-tier arm. And yes, that’s a large improvement. I’m not seeing “ace,” mostly because I don’t believe the walk rate (1.97 BB/9) to be sustainable. In fact, I see little of improved command. I still have him as a shifty ground ball pitcher who allows borderline extreme rates of hard contact. Rick Porcello ($16,100) is an interesting pivot point tonight. I’ve long been a proponent of Porcello’s due to his frequent long outings and often affordable price. This is another of those days. On the flip side, a Blue Jays stack is rather affordable. I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about CC Sabathia, but I don’t have to be for $14,700. You’re hoping for six innings, four strikeouts, and a win bonus in what should be a fairly easy outing. He pairs well with the aces if you try to walk the path between double-ace and no-ace. Jose Urena ($11,700) at Daniel Norris ($13,600) is another opportunity to play mix and match with the aces. Urena is on a string of consistent long outings. He’s one of the worst pitchers in the slate, but he’s priced accordingly. Ultra cheap Marlins and Tigers stacks are available for double-ace enthusiasts. Favorite Plays: Ace, Fried, Porcello, Sabathia, Urena Stack Targets: Montana DuRapau, Ivan Nova, Dan Straily, Matt Harvey, Urena, Cole Irvin, Hamels, Norris 4. SaberSim Says… Scherzer, Cole, deGrom, Hill, and Hamels are the top projected arms. Again, the wind at Wrigley is the unknown variable. Scherzer, deGrom, Cole, Harvey, and Porcello are the best values. On the bat side, Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, Alex Bregman, Charlie Blackmon, and Mike Trout lead the way. Zack Cozart, Starlin Castro, Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson, and Travis d’Arnaud run bargaintown. 5. As Expected Yep, just as we expected, Lance Lynn piling up strikeouts. Pretty. I’ve been waiting for the Marlins to play their Avisail Garcia clone. Here he is earning another start.