The Daily Grind: SaberSim, Shoemaker, Gray


  1. One SaberSim Shortcoming
  2. Daily DFS
  3. GB / FB Splits
  4. SaberSim Hi/Lo
  5. Tomorrow’s Targets – Gray, Boyd, Gutierrez, Aoki
  6. Factor Grid

1. One SaberSim Shortcoming

I’ve run the SaberSim Hi/Lo feature for about a week now. In that time, I’ve grown to respect certain components of the tool. However, there is one glaring weakness that comes up time and time again – innings pitched projections. Yesterday, the tool thought Chris Narveson would a). pitch deep into the game, and b). pitch well. The second condition was possible if unlikely. The first was nearly impossible. As it turns out, he lasted just 3.2 innings with seven runs allowed on eight hits and three walks.

This was not the first such observation, just the most extreme. When picking pitchers using the SaberSim tool, be careful to adjust the innings projection.

2. Daily DFS – Shoemaker, Ross

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: It’s a challenging day with four to five early games. FanDuel includes five contests, but rosters lock at 12:35 ET. As such, you’ll be missing multiple lineups. DraftKings cuts Madison Bumgarner, Dan Haren, and friends from the draft pool.

Aside from Bumgarner, Zack Greinke is the other obvious play. He’s opposed by Anthony DeSclafani and the Reds at Cincinnati. A win seems nearly automatic. Even SaberSim is projecting him for .51 wins.

If you’re reaching for non-Greinke’s, I’d consider Matt Shoemaker. The Angels are opposed by Randy Wolf. Their offense performs best against southpaws and fly ball pitchers. Wolf is both. Shoemaker is a high risk pick against the Tigers, but there is a good chance he’ll earn the win. Especially in a GPP format, Shoemaker has 16 FanDuel point upside (with a zero point floor).

Late: The six game late slate offers more choices. Gerrit Cole and Carlos Martinez are the aces. Cole has what should be an auto-win against the Marlins. Martinez will have to work for his points against the Diamondbacks.

Joe Ross and Carlos Rodon represent the young, volatile crowd. I discuss Rodon below so I’ll focus on Ross now. I generally don’t care about home/road splits. In the case of Ross, he has a 2.24 FIP at home and a 4.37 FIP on the road. There are two reasons for the divergence. He has a tiny 0.28 BB/9 at home with 0.57 HR/9. On the road, those rates are 2.48 BB/9 and 1.55 HR/9. Luckily, he’s at home today. Even without the split, he’s a solid pick against an uninspiring Padres offense.

If you’re looking for a cheap, high floor pick, then Jon Niese is your man. The Mets should win against Aaron Harang. Watch out for the Phillies sneaky offense. There’s a reason the club is fourth in the NL since the All Star Break, and it’s not their pitching.

Stack Targets: DeSclafani, Shoemaker, Wolf, Harang, Justin Nicolino, Tommy Milone, Drew Smyly, Roenis Elias, Rubby de la Rosa

3. 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.

Stacks? Yeah, stacks.

Matt Duffy, Buster Posey v Dan Haren
Rougned Odor, Will Venable v Marco Estrada
Asdrubal Cabrera v Tommy Milone
Chris Colabello, Jose Bautista v Yovani Gallardo
Ruben Tejada, Michael Cuddyer v Aaron Harang
Shane Robinson v Drew Smyly
C.J. Cron, Chris Iannetta, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Erick Aybar v Randy Wolf

4. SaberSim Hi/Lo

Wrong: Somehow I never noticed that injured players aren’t removed from the projections. Lucas Duda is the seventh rated hitter today. Yes, he’s still on the disabled list. Matt Holliday and Giancarlo Stanton also appear on the first page.

Listed 17th (15th after removing injured guys) is Rajai Davis. Once again, he’s being ranked between stalwarts like Starling Marte and Brandon Belt. Davis is not facing a lefty and has a luck-neutral 90 wRC+ on the season. He’ll probably hit leadoff for a strong Tigers lineup. It’s not enough to justify taking him over more reliable options.

Right: Carlos Rodon is a highly volatile pitcher, but there’s reason to like his upside today against the Mariners. He faced Seattle last week with solid results – seven innings, six hits, three runs (one earned), four walks, and eight strikeouts. He totaled 14 FanDuel points. He’ll have a slightly more challenging matchup with U.S. Cellular Field in play. He could score as high as 18, although I’d bet on something closer to his 12 point projection.

5. Tomorrow’s Targets – Gray, Boyd, Gutierrez, Aoki

Pitchers to Start: It’s a rare day with more starting targets than exploits. I’m intrigued by Jon Gray’s second start at sea level. He was chased from his last outing in just 1.2 innings. That will always be a risk in Colorado. It should also assure that Gray will remain on the waiver wire. There’s a chance Gray will be the best pitcher on the wire for half of his starts next year. We’re still figuring that out. The stuff definitely looks major league ready.

Also consider: Aaron Nola, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Heaney, Henry Owens, Raisel Iglesias

Pitchers to Exploit: Lefty Matt Boyd draws his former club tomorrow. The Blue Jays destroy southpaws, and it’s not like Boyd has been terribly successful. The statistical profile looks like a competent major leaguer, but he might wind up as a left-handed Dan Straily. In any event, he’ll be destroyed in Toronto.

Also consider: Adam Conley, Williams Perez, John Danks

Hitters (power): Improbably, Franklin Gutierrez has eight home runs in 115 plate appearances. He regularly starts against left-handed pitchers. A game at U.S. Cellular Field against Danks is mighty attractive.

Also consider: Stephen Piscotty, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Andre Ethier, Greg Bird, Chris Colabello, Jayson Werth

Hitters (speed): Injuries, not performance, have pushed Nori Aoki down to 26 percent owned. He’s healthy once again, and he stole a base in his first game back from the disabled list. In the six games since he returned, he’s hitting .231/.259/.385 while batting leadoff. He’s opposed by Aaron Nola.

Also consider: Will Venable, Travis Janikowski, Darnell Sweeney, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera

6. 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.

Another dry August day. This section’s getting too easy.

The Link.

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I’ve been burned many times this year trying to pick a pitcher against the Phillies. Significant probably because you take note when the supposed sure thing blows up. But upon closer examination, there’s some good young hitters auditioning for a starting role in that lineup.