The Daily Grind: Strasburg, Wright, Castillo


  1. Daily DFS – Strasburg, Wright
  2. GB / FB Splits
  3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Gonzalez, Sanchez, Castillo, Burns
  4. Factor Grid

1. Daily DFS – Strasburg, Wright

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: There is a doubleheader at Coors Field today. All fantasy owners should take advantage where possible. FanDuel has actually split the day into three contests. There is a two game “early only.” Let’s focus our attention on the eight game “afternoon only.”

Here you’ll find a bundle of aces headlined by Matt Harvey and Corey Kluber. Nestled with the normal pitchers is $8,700 Stephen Strasburg against Philadelphia. I won’t dive too deeply into the Strasburg analysis – you’ll find that all over this site. The biggest change to his profile is a steep decline in whiff rate. His entire repertoire has suffered despite similar pitch movement to past seasons. I wonder if it’s simply a sequencing issue.

In any event, Strasburg just needs to last six innings with five strikeouts and a couple runs to earn his current price tag. The Phillies offense isn’t particularly rude to opposing pitchers.

Late: Six games are late. Of those, I’m most curious about Mike Wright. He had a strong 7.1 inning debut against the Angels last week. This time around, he’ll pitch in cavernous Marlins Stadium against a ill-performing lineup. The Fish have an 83 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. I don’t buy them as a below average offense, but it’s what they’ve done to date. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna should all pick up the pace at some point.

As for Wright, he’s displayed decent strikeout and walk rates throughout his minor league career. Per PITCHf/x, he’s a straight forward hurler with a five pitch repertoire. His fastball hums up to 96 mph and he also throws a sinker, slider, curve, and change. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for Jake Arrieta, Wright is a viable alternative. With such a short track record, there is obvious risk too.

Stack Targets: Nick Martinez, CC Sabathia, James Paxton, Mark Buehrle, Kyle Lobstein, Lance McCullers, Trevor May, Kendall Graveman, Chris Heston, David Hale, Yusmeiro Petit, Jordan Lyles

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.

There are 40 names available today, although not all of them are against easy pitchers. Here are some of my favorites – I have a lot of them today!

Carlos Santana vs. Anthony DeSclafani
Howie Kendrick and Andre Ethier vs. Ian Kennedy
A.J. Pierzynski and Freddie Freeman vs. Mike Fiers
Garrett Jones, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Chase Headley vs. Nick Martinez
Adam LaRoche, Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, and Geovany Soto vs. Trevor May
Jose Bautista vs. James Paxton
Buster Posey and Justin Maxwell vs. Christian Bergman
Adam Jones, Alejandro De Aza, Manny Machado, and Steve Pearce vs. Dan Haren
Billy Butler vs. Nate Karns
Adam Lind and Ryan Braun vs. Shelby Miller

3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Gonzalez, Sanchez, Castillo, Burns

Pitchers to Start: I usually recommend against Miguel Gonzalez. Of course, the fly ball pitcher usually pitches at a hitter friendly stadium. Tomorrow, he’ll face a meek Marlins unit at an actual pitcher friendly park. Don’t get too excited about the matchup – he’s no better than adequate on a given day.

Also consider: Hector Santiago, Jon Niese, Carlos Frias

Pitchers to Exploit: I’m as baffled as the next guy when it comes to Anibal Sanchez. His pitch movement has changed, his fly ball rate has spiked, and his home run rate has gone bonkers. I could be buying into nothing, but a high home run pitcher against the Astros smells like a recipe for a drubbing. Two of his last three outings have been ugly.

Also consider: Taijuan Walker, Erasmo Ramirez, Wade Miley, Tim Hudson, Chad Bettis, Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Capuano

Hitters (power): You’ve probably already missed your chance to roster Rusney Castillo, but I wanted to mention him as part of a larger trend. The Red Sox have been terrible against left-handed pitchers, and Castillo is supposed to be part of the solution. The poor performance is somewhat baffling since the Sox are stacked with right-handed hitters. In any event, Castillo will have the platoon advantage against Santiago.

Also consider: Kyle Blanks, Trevor Plouffe, Corey Hart, Darin Ruf, Jeff Francoeur, Gerardo Parra, C.J. Cron, David Freese

Hitters (speed): Billy Burns is a fun guy to watch, but I didn’t have much hope for him as major league player prior to this stint in the majors. His contact rate is a little low for a light-sticked spray hitter. However, a 30 percent line drive rate and low fly ball rate have helped to buoy his BABIP. So long as he’s reaching base, he’s a multi-steal threat.

Also consider: Nori Aoki, Angel Pagan, Anthony Gose

4. 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.

Coors is the only spot in danger of a major delay. Kansas City could see some late lightning action.

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. 

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: Strasburg, Wright, Castillo by Brad Johnson!

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Questions about 2 of your subjects:

In OBP league Castillo (who looks like he may hit now higher than 7th & sit 1 out of 3 games) or Span (hitting 1st sitting once a week)?

Same league: My Bungarner, Cecil & Calhoun for his Strasburg, Jansen & Betts?


I’d hold off on the trade, you’re getting the worst end of the deal.