The Daily Grind: Ross, McCullers, Conforto, Sweeney


  1. Daily DFS
  2. GB / FB Splits
  3. SaberSim Hi/Lo
  4. Tomorrow’s Targets – McCullers, Verrett, Conforto, Sweeney
  5. Factor Grid

1. Daily DFS – Ross

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: There are three early games, but FanDuel didn’t even bother with early contests. It’s too bad, there are some interesting pitchers available including Danny Salazar, Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, and Dan Haren. One of those names doesn’t look like it belongs, but Haren is opposed by a weak Atlanta offense.

Late: Zack Greinke, Sonny Gray, and Carlos Martinez are the headliners today. Greinke has what should be a strikeout filled matchup with the Astros. Houston has the highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, narrowly edging out the Cubs.

Gray has a safer opponent in the Rays. They’re fairly pitiful against right-handed pitching (91 wRC+). Martinez has a similar beneficial matchup. The Padres have managed a meager 92 wRC+ against righties, and Martinez dominates same-handed hitters. San Diego has few left-handed hitters of note.

Yesterday, I plucked Jerad Eickhoff out of the $3,000 bargain bin for 15 FanDuel points. Unfortunately, my stack of high octane hitters in excellent conditions fizzled its way to 37 points. There’s no massive bargain like Eickhoff, but Joe Ross has a high ceiling for $7,300. He struggled in his last two outings against quality opponents. He’ll get a breather against Milwaukee’s deconstructed lineup. Hopefully, Taylor Jungmann will pick today to regress.

Stack Targets: Matt Barnes, Randy Wolf, Aaron Harang, Justin Nicolino, Chris Rusin, Randall Delgado, Kyle Gibson, Anthony DeSclafani, Andrew Heaney, Jon Niese, Yovani Gallardo, Yordano Ventura

2. GB / FB Splits

The following hitters are recommended based on the works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth. They show 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 top recommendations. Use this link for Jeff’s full list.

Yesterday was a shallow day for GB/FB splits. Today’s a busy one. The link lists 44 players.

Justin Bour v Aaron Harang
Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez v Danny Salazar
Kole Calhoun, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout v Marco Estrada
Matt Wieters v Kyle Gibson
Nick Castellanos v Yovani Gallardo
A.J. Pierzynski v Dan Haren
Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu v Vidal Nuno

3. SaberSim Hi/Lo

Wrong: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is the 26th rated hitter today. I had to double check the pitching matchup, but he is facing a righty – Yovani Gallardo. Davis’ career splits have evaporated this season, but the remaining product has a .310 wOBA. He may be projected to bat leadoff. With just a 30 percent chance of reaching base, he’ll struggle to provide much value.

To be fair to SaberSim, it’s projecting just 2.90 FanDuel points and 8.76 DraftKings points. Today, even the top hitter – Mike Trout – is projected for just 3.73 FanDuel points.

Right: I think everybody understands that Yoenis Cespedes is a great play against Rusin at Coors Field. I’m more impressed with a strong projection for Carlos Rodon. The highly volatile pitcher is visiting the Mariners. Right-handed hitters have punished Rodon with a .284/.388/.466 line. The Mariners have few right-handed threats. Meanwhile, southpaws have a puny .196/.288/.245 slash.

4. Tomorrow’s Targets – McCullers, Verrett, Conforto, Sweeney

Pitchers to Start: Lance McCullers is back. After a meltdown on August 3, the Astros sent him to Triple-A to manage his innings. He threw three frames on Tuesday as a tune-up. Don’t expect him to pitch deep into the game unless he’s working very efficiently. Also, don’t expect a win opposite Clayton Kershaw. Really, this is just a reminder to re-roster him, I’m not thrilled about his prospects for tomorrow.

Also consider: Aaron Nola

Pitchers to Exploit: Who is Logan Verrett one might, quite legitimately, ask. The Rangers selected him in the Rule 5 draft. They opted to return him to the Mets after a couple relief appearances. He’s dabbled with relief a few more times since then, and he’s also started in the minors. Tomorrow, he’ll take the bump in place of Matt Harvey (rest). The spot starter has decent command but lacks overwhelming stuff. He could be a bit overexposed at Coors Field.

Also consider: Trevor Bauer, CC Sabathia, Matt Boyd, Chase Anderson, Adam Conley, Matt Wisler, John Danks, Colin Rea, David Hale, Ryan Vogelsong

Hitters (power): A top prospect, Coors Field, and an exploitable righty. What more could you ask for when it comes to Michael Conforto. The Mets do bat him towards the bottom of the lineup when he starts. You could ask that he hit third instead.

Also consider: Marlon Byrd, Kelly Johnson, Ben Paulsen, Stephen Piscotty, Chris Coghlan, Daren Ruf, David Peralra, Jake Lamb, Ryan Raburn

Hitters (speed): The Phillies acquired Darnell Sweeney in the Chase Utley trade. He immediately joined the major league club. Sweeney is a switch-hitter with sneaky pop and 40 steal upside. He could be the next Shane Victorino, but he’ll need to keep his strikeouts under control.

Also consider: Danny Espinosa, Cesar Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki, Ender Inciarte, Rajai Davis, Delino Deshields

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.

We’re getting to that point in the year when home run conditions start to decline in certain locations. Start to pay more attention to weather factors.

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. 

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guys like Verrett could surprise…in a neutral environment. Coors will be tough though.


The Orioles originally selected Verrett in the Rule 5 draft this season.

They ended up releasing him.

And keeping fellow Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia.

Jason Garcia.

A guy who never pitched above A ball and was coming off Tommy John surgery.

This is the guy the Orioles, a professional baseball franchise, decided was a more valuable roster addition than Logan Verrett. In Coors Field, though? Stack Rockies and thank me later.


Read Kiley’s writeup on Garcia. It’s very interesting to say the least.