The Daily Grind: Run Fastball, Run

Is the headline a reference? Is it a play on words? Is it just three words – two distinct words – arranged in an arbitrary order avec comma?


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Run Fastball, Run
  6. FanDuel Next Week?

1. The Daily Grind Invitational

It’s about damned time I won one. A surprisingly unpopular Jake Arrieta (28% owned), Kurt Suzuki, and Lorenzo Cain provided most of the juice. Leaderboard.

We’ll do the usual on DraftKings. See ya tonight.

PS – New users who deposit with my referral link get 25% bonus cash after jumping through a few hoops. I also get 25%. Conditional referral bonuses suck, but I guess they’re better than no bonus.

2. Weather Reports

Coors Field has a 50 percent chance of rain. Welcome to Denver. It’s a desert and yet it’s also somehow always at risk of a rain out. Aside from a few still-chilly venues, the rest of the league is clear.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Main Slate: Aces! Max Scherzer versus Clayton Kershaw. Justin Verlander in an easy win against James Shields (i.e. not an ace). Noah Syndergaard opposite a shockingly solid Braves offense. All four cost $11,400 or more. All four offer obscene upside. As with any ace-heavy slate, you can:

  1. Roster two and a weak offense
  2. Roster one and a decent offense
  3. Roster none and lose a premium offense

The second choice is probably the smartest. It gives you the best chance of nabbing the top pitcher, the best surprise performing pitcher, and a palatable lineup. For numbers 1 or 3 to work, you need to either spike a whole bunch of scrubs – I’ve seen it happen – or all four aces have to be outperformed by the rank and file. That’s not an entirely impossible victory condition. But then you also need to correctly identify the guys who actually outperform the aces. And pick good hitters. It all feels a little bit long shotty.

Anyway, next up are Trevor Bauer, Chris Archer, and Dylan Bundy. They’re in the $8,000 to $9,500 bin. Bauer is visiting Bundy. The Orioles lineup is extremely strikeout prone, but I’m not keen to use Bauer at a launching pad. Meanwhile, for $1,400 less, Bundy looks to be the better pitcher, and he’ll have home field advantage. As for Archer, $8,800 is a decent price for betting on a rebound. He’s getting plenty of whiffs, but he’s also making a lot of mistakes. One of these days, he’ll twirl a gem.

A few cheaper options stand out. Sean Newcomb is a fine volatility play. It’s not uncommon for pitchers to step up when facing an ace opponent like Syndergaard. Newcomb has the stuff to supply double digit strikeouts over six innings. Command remains an issue.

The Rays are terrible. If you opt against Archer, perhaps you’ll opt for Lance Lynn. He’s just a core performer, and his command has been iffy through two starts. Andrew Heaney costs $6,000 and is facing the Giants. Despite allowing four runs in five innings, he had a promising 2018 debut. Especially with regard to swinging strikes. Tyson Ross is a living, breathing alternative to the other cheapies.

Stack Targets: Kendall Graveman, Trevor Richards, Matt Koch, Brandon Finnegan, James Shields, Daniel Norris, Ben Lively, Ross, Jason Hammel, Marco Estrada, Michael Wacha

If you can’t tell, I don’t like Estrada in a visit to Yankees Stadium. Koch, pronounced “Cook” (even after writing that, I’m still saying “Coke” in my head), is a plus control, minus command guy who can stomp minor leaguers and will probably wither and die in the majors. Every once in awhile, a J.A. Happ manages to make the profile work long enough to learn command.

4. SaberSim Says…

Verlander, Scherzer, Kershaw, Archer, and Syndergaard are the top projected pitchers. Like me, the Sim doesn’t know if something is wrong with Archer. I’m leaning maybe yes. Simmie stridently insists he’s fine. Jhoulys Chacin heads up value land because the Marlins.

Giancarlo Stanton, George Springer, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Kris Bryant are bats to envy. Lucas Duda, Derek Fisher, and Franchy Cordero are some of the values.

5. Run Fastball, Run

I’m not sure I’ve seen Arrieta this effective with his two-seam fastball. There’s one at 38 seconds that appears to armside run about 17 feet. The Phillies are going to be pretty happy if he keeps pitching like this.

You’ve probably seen this one. It starts with a check swing and ends with Evan Gattis walking off the field in disgust. That’s your designated hitter Houston.

I just gave up on recommending Lewis Brinson. He looked like he needed a tune up in Triple-A. Then he does this…

6. FanDuel Next Week?

Your votes count! I’m thinking of switching over to FanDuel for a week of The Daily Grind Invitational. The downside is we’d be limited to 20 entries. If I have time this afternoon, I’ll be looking at some other less popular sites for future weeks. Specifically, I’ll be hunting for smaller rakes.

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I live near Denver, I will be shocked if there is a game today. All of the front range is supposed to have rain/snow through tomorrow morning.