The Daily Grind – Norris, Williams, Norris


  1. Analysis of a NC Men’s League
  2. Daily DFS – Danks, Norris
  3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Williams, Norris, Alonso, Fuld
  4. Factor Grid

1. Analysis of a NC Men’s League

Today you’ll find a somewhat hastily compiled Daily Grind. Last night was the third game of my season, and I was up way past my bedtime as a result. The outcome of the game was disfavorable to my team. We lost 12-6, but all six of our runs came  in the eighth and ninth innings.

Individually, I contributed six FanDuel points. I pitched a clean, three batter inning using my signature mix of three fastballs thrown from two extreme arm angles (one point). I also singled and walked twice with a run and RBI (five points). Of course, the Vegas over/under was 12.5 runs, so a six point day is merely adequate.

Scouting reports: To succeed as a pitcher in the NC MSBL, one need only to locate some mediocre offerings. In particular, I find inside cutters – regardless of batter handedness – are effective at inducing easy infield outs. The “dry” spitball (also known as a no-seam fastball), is effective when you’re infielders toss you a dew-soaked baseball. The dry spitball works best when it is actually a wet spitball. Fancy that.

It’s not unreasonable to expect a .400 BABIP from a good hitter. There are also a number of errors committed. A ball in play tends to come with a 40-50% chance to reach base. Even infield flies aren’t automatic outs. Thus, the name of the game is to put balls in play. My team is…uh…working on that. I also contributed to the anti-effort with my usual one strikeout.

2. Daily DFS – Danks, Norris

Yesterday’s Grind

First, a procedural note. I know the FB/GB splits are very popular. I’m a big fan myself. However, I’m not the one who does the data extraction – that’s Jeff Zimmerman. I can’t give him grief over not contributing to my column if he wants an off day. Meanwhile, I’m working on getting the tools necessary to run the data myself (presently waiting for database access). Until then, expect Jeff to take a few well-deserved off days.

Early: There are six early games, and it’s Matt Harvey day. And Jake Arrieta day. And Stephen Strasburg day. The point is, there are some A-plus hurler’s on the mound.

Thankfully, there is an A-plus target in the form of John Danks at U.S. Cellular Field. The Chicago game is likely to get a late start. The Royals have a few right-handed hitters with an attractive matchup, led by Lorenzo Cain.

Late: I’m closely watching Daniel Norris this season. Through three starts, he’s flashed some positives. However, a 6.08 ERA and terrible outcomes from his fastballs are of concern. Norris mixes five pitches, and it’s too soon to grade them based on PITCHf/x data. The slider and change look like reliable weapons while the curve has been iffy. His fastball and sinker are the real problems.

Norris has the ability to strikeout about a batter per inning. What he’s shown during regular season action doesn’t support that assertion. His minor league and spring numbers hint at better things to come. The fly ball pitcher will face the Rays at Tropicana Field. It’s too bad he can’t always pitch at Tropicana.

Stack Targets: Scott Feldman, Kendall Graveman, Tom Koehler, Erasmo Ramirez, Wei-Yin Chen, David Buchanan, Jorge de la Rosa, Ruby de la Rosa, Colby Lewis, Trevor May

3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Williams, Norris, Alonso, Fuld

Pitchers to Start: It’s strangely difficult to find viable starters on the wire this year. Guys I would usually consider to be prime streaming candidates like Nathan Eovaldi are owned in the majority of leagues. We have to work with leftovers like Jerome Williams.

The Phillies hurler is up against an anemic Braves offense. Philadelphia is opposed by execrable righty Trevor Cahill. If either team had an offense, this could be a high scoring game.

Also consider: Hector Santiago, Brandon Morrow

Pitchers to Exploit: Bud Norris has a 17.42 ERA in three starts. He’ll pitch against the high octane Red Sox. In the early going, Norris is struggling with his command and control. The result is an elevated walk rate, BABIP, and home run rate. He’s also stranded just 22.5 percent of base runners.

Norris’ ERA should improve tomorrow. If it doesn’t, look for Kevin Gausman to take his place in the rotation.

Also considerKyle Lobstein, Travis Wood, Jason Marquis, Wade Miley, Cahill, Jason Vargas, Hector Noesi, Tim Lincecum

Hitters (power): Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso is hitting .379/.471/.466. A .429 BABIP and 14.3 percent walk rate will do that. Alonso doesn’t offer much thump, but he can hit for a reliably high average. The new look Padres offense should give him some base runners to drive home.

Also consider: Ryan Raburn, Mike Aviles, Trevor Plouffe, Dustin Ackley, Seth Smith, Delmon Young, Marlon Byrd

Hitters (speed): Sam Fuld is simply a streaky, high contact guy who can hit for a solid average and steal some bases. He’s fantasy relevant because he bats leadoff against right-handed pitchers. His opponent – Asher Wojciechowski – is thoroughly unimpressive.

Also consider: Juan Lagares, Jake Marisnick, Odubel Herrera

4. The Factor Grid

The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.

The Cubs-Reds game looks like a rain out. Moisture could interfere with games at Coors Field, U.S. Cellular, and Petco Park, but a postponement looks unlikely.

The Link. Usually this would be a very hitter friendly day. Cool weather is putting a damper on most of the best hitting stadiums.

This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment. 

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I own both DeSclafani and Arrieta in a weekly H2H league, and am already leading in H, K, BB, W, L, SV, ERA, WHIP — IP is the only category I trail in, but because an increase in IP will likely result in losing my lead in BB (I only lead by 1) and I’m at high risk to lose my lead in losses (since they face one another), seems totally unworthy to start either of them, especially at GAB.


Any strong thoughts on DeSclafani vs Arrieta, a thought that might help improve my wins/IP without a major risk in BB/L? Or should I just bench them both?