The Daily Grind: Porcello, Conley, Asher, Dietrich


  1. Failings of Language
  2. Daily DFS
  3. SaberSim Observations
  4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Corbin, Asher, Dietrich, Venable
  5. Factor Grid

1. Failings of Language

This is really a beginning of the season topic, but it’s come to my attention lately. The English language is not a precise tool. When it is used precisely, it’s terribly boring to read. I really have two jobs – to share my “wisdom” and entertain my readers. That means cutting corners when it comes to precision.

I’ll give an example. Here are two similar sentences:

Team X has not hit well against left-handed pitching

Team X is not good against left-handed pitching

In the first statement, I’m implicitly allowing that Team X may hit better against left-handed pitching in the future. I’m leaving that door open. In the second statement, I’m flat out saying they can’t do it. A typical reader might pick up on the subtle difference. Or they might not. It’s especially hard to notice when the subtle varieties aren’t juxtaposed like this.

I’ve had days where I’ve made these statements much more precisely. If I were to do that every day with every relevant statement, my column would become much more tedious to read. Or unreadable. Hell, I bet you’re already bored with the topic. Shall we?

PS: J.A. Happ worked out yesterday. I’m plum pleased.

2. Daily DFS – Porcello, Conley

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: Two games are early, but FanDuel isn’t hosting a game in their honor. Sorry to Frankie Montas, Justin Verlander, Nick Tropeano, and Mike Fiers.

Late: Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, and Corey Kluber headline another day filled with garbage pitchers. Honestly, I hate days like this. The pitcher picks are easy enough (we’ll get to those in a moment). The challenge is offense. Spiking become an exercise in extremes. Generally, I figure about eight home runs or the equivalent will give me a chance at winning a big GPP. On a day like this, I might need 10 or 11. Eight’s already crazy, but at least it feels possible. Now I feel like I have to catch one of the rare three home run days AND spike the rest of my lineup.

Back to pitchers, Rick Porcello is a decent option at $7,500. He doesn’t bring the sexy for DFS purposes, but he’s shown some spunk lately. He even struck out 13 Yankees a few starts ago. As we discussed yesterday, the Rays offense doesn’t do anything with right-handed pitching. I’m anticipating about 12 FanDuel points with a 20 point ceiling (seven point floor).

If you’re open to picking a cold pitcher, Kyle Hendricks‘ matchup couldn’t get much better. The Brewers are without Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. That leaves Adam Lind and Khris Davis as the only two hitters of note. Every other Brewer has a Triple-A quality bat. He should do fine. Will he though? My gut says he’ll struggle despite the positive matchup.

Adam Conley is a sneaky bargain grab. He’s a boring lefty opposed by the Phillies. They’re missing some of their best bats against left-handed pitching – Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez. Aaron Altherr is also dealing with an injury. The result is a lineup that’s even weaker than normal. Conley is likely to win with David Buchanan going for the Phillies. He may even repeat his 17 point performance from last week. He could also flop spectacularly.

Stack Targets: Ivan Nova, Chris Tillman, Williams Perez, Buchanan, Zach Davies, Roenis Elias, Phil Hughes, Brandon Finnegan, Christian Bergman, Charlie Morton, Chase Anderson, Felix Doubront

3. SaberSim Observations

SaberSim rates Lance Lynn as the fifth best pitcher of the day. Don’t buy it. He appears to be pitching hurt. Even with a matchup against the Reds at Busch Stadium, there’s too much risk for his price. The projection system loves Andrew Cashner even more – he’s the third rated pitcher due to a high expected win rate. And for what it’s worth, Hendricks, Conley, and Porcello are rated sixth, seventh, and 11th respectively.

Coors Field remains the place to go for offense. I’m still leery of Albert Pujols and his bum foot. He’s on the first page of offensive picks, but I’d manually bump him down by half a hit. Justin Smoak might be worth further investigation. He’s the 30th ranked hitter against Nova.

4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Corbin, Asher, Dietrich, Venable

Pitchers to StartPatrick Corbin draws the short straw tomorrow. He’s opposed by Clayton Kershaw. There aren’t any other desirable alternatives. Corbin should at least pitch well against a fading Dodgers offense. They’ve had some trouble with left-handed pitching. Corbin’s 8.36 K/9 and 1.55 BB/9 offer some upside.

Also consider: Steven Matz

Pitchers to Exploit: The Phillies have debuted two of the five prospects they received in exchange for Cole Hamels. Jerad Eickhoff has been a rousing success. Alec Asher, not so much. He has a 9.78 ERA (7.12 FIP, 5.76 xFIP) with an elevated BABIP, high HR/FB, 5.12 K/9, and 3.26 BB/9. Any way you slice it, he looks overmatched. Pick any freely available Marlins.

Also consider: Jeff Locke, Chad Bettis, Tyler Wilson, Tanner Roark, Wade Miley, Josh Smith, Jarred Cosart

Hitters (power): Derek Dietrich seemingly earned more playing time last season, but the Marlins see something I don’t. Now they’re talking about using him as a less defensively talented Ben Zobrist. He’s slashing .276/.368/.525 against right-handed pitching. Maybe Mark DeRosa is the better comp.

Also consider: J.T. Realmuto, Dustin Garneau, Wilin Rosario, Danny Valencia, Jonathan Schoop, Logan Forsythe, J.P. Arencibia, Brandon Guyer, Kelly Johnson, Eddie Rosario, Aaron Hicks

Hitters (speed): Will Venable is another hitter best hidden from left-handed pitching. He’ll see righty Chris Bassitt tomorrow. Venable sometimes bats leadoff when he starts.

Also consider: Ichiro Suzuki, Brandon Barnes, Odubel Herrera

5. 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 Twins are a postponement risk tonight. It’s dry elsewhere.

The Link.

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

You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam

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Anyone know if Quintana is making another start this week? I cant find anything definite, if hes not i want to drop him.

Brad – how do you feel about Montas today? Guessing it will be hard to get a QS out of him.