The Daily Grind: Rogers Centre, Nelson, Peavy by Brad Johnson April 16, 2015 Agenda Thoughts About Ackley Daily DFS – Rogers Centre GB / FB Splits Tomorrow’s Targets – Nelson, Peavy, Davis, Peralta Factor Grid 1. Thoughts About Ackley I’ve found myself grabbing shares of Dustin Ackley. He’s off to a hot start with three home runs and a .316/.381/.842 slash. He’s making contact, he’s walking, and he has a lowly .231 BABIP. Could this be the year he hits 20 home runs while stealing around 10 bases? I asked swing expert Dan Farnsworth about Ackley’s power. Here is what he had to say about his potential to hit 20 home runs (slightly edited): That’s probably the best case max total in my opinion. I like seeing him getting under balls more and finishing more over his shoulders, especially on low pitches. He’s usually flatter and sometimes swings down through contact, which I haven’t seen as much so far in a couple looks this year. I have a hard time trusting it as a change he’s going to keep and develop going forward, especially since he’s tinkered with his swing so much in the big leagues. A couple more weeks of seeing him lift low pitches like he has, and I’ll be a lot more sold on his power. Otherwise, he’ll mostly be limited to driving balls up in the zone where his normal swing plane excels. So the short version: Ackley’s swing looks better suited to power, but he’s liable to revert to his old ways. 2. Daily DFS – Rogers Centre Yesterday’s Grind Early: There are just two games early. My only advice is to not feel bad if you’re left with a lot of money on the table. There’s a very good chance the winning roster won’t spend every dollar. Keep an eye out for overlays. Some people are scared away from the big contests by tiny schedules. Late: I usually complain about four game contests, but it looks deep compared to the early time slot. These tiny contests can reward counter intuitive stacks like the Diamondbacks against Madison Bumgarner or the Nationals versus Cole Hamels. Sometimes, I let the stadium pick my players. The Rogers Centre comes equipped with the following park factors: Runs:106 RH HR: 120 LH HR: 112 The Nationals have the next best park for runs (pf: 100), and the Mets are second fiddle for power (RH HR: 108, LH HR 98). Both games will be chilly, which will sap power potential below that point. Stack Targets: Good luck. 3. GB / FB Splits The following hitters are recommended based on how they perform against certain pitcher batted ball tendencies. The works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth show how ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s recommendations. Note: Pitchers with a ground ball rate above 48 percent are considered ground ball pitchers. Below 40 percent are fly ball pitchers. Going forward, I’m going to write out a couple picks and then link to everything Jeff’s sent me. Given the limited options today, you’ll have to take what you can get. Salvador Perez has an .805 OPS against fly ball pitchers, and he’ll face Milone. Also consider Jarrod Dyson despite the platoon disadvantage. On the other side of the matchup, you’ll find bench man Shane Robinson with a .786 OPS against fly ball pitchers. He basically costs nothing, but he’s also unlikely to play. There’s only one stand out pick for the evening contest. Wilmer Flores finds himself against Jarrod Cosart. Flores has a .808 OPS against ground ball pitchers. Here’s the link for all of them. 4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Nelson, Peavy, Davis, Peralta Pitchers to Start: In his last start, Jimmy Nelson debuted a curve ball that was an easy 60 grade pitch. It chewed up the Pirates lineup. Pittsburgh will get a rematch with Nelson tomorrow. So long as he maintains command, Nelson should be a good wire add at PNC Park. Also consider: Joe Kelly, Ubaldo Jimenez, Adam Warren Pitchers to Exploit: The scouting report on Jake Peavy at the end of spring training read thusly: something is wrong with him. His first start did nothing to alleviate concerns. He averaged 89 mph with his heater, walked three, and gave up four hits in four innings. While the Diamondbacks don’t have a dynamic offense, they can do damage against a low quality pitcher. The only thing in Peavy’s favor is the ballpark. Also consider: Jeff Locke, Sean O’Sullivan, David Phelps, Nate Karns, Mike Pelfrey, Kyle Kendrick Hitters (power): Khris Davis is at 52 percent owned in Yahoo leagues. From the couple games I’ve watched him hit, I’m very impressed with his new gap-to-gap swing. So long as he sticks with it, he could have a monster season. It’s hard to hit home runs at PNC, but he could contribute a double with some RBI against Locke. Also consider: Matt Joyce, Jake Smolinski, Dustin Ackley, Ike Davis, Stephen Vogt Hitters (speed): David Peralta often bats fourth for the Diamondbacks. He should offer a combination of power with some speed against Peavy. Keep an eye out for Ender Inciarte as well. He’s more of a traditional speed threat. Also consider: Juan Lagares, Gerardo Parra 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 Link. Both early games are in comparable ballparks. Even the late games include just one hitter friendly locale. This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment.