The Daily Grind: The Verlander

There can be only one HighVerlander.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Insert Snazzy Headline

1.The Daily Grind Invitational

TheWrongAlex rode Chris Sale, Vladito, George Springer, and Aledmys Diaz to the top chair. Congrats and Leaderboard.

We have a lovingly curated eight-game contest on FantasyDraft this evening.

If you have not signed up for FantasyDraft, please use this referral link for tracking purposes. If I understand properly, by using the referral, you will receive a 10 percent return on any rakes you pay.

2. Weather Reports

Light rain could soggify the action in San Francisco. Unlike yesterday, I don’t anticipate any surprise postponements.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Justin Verlander ($21,600) rightly tops the charts. Despite the highest price tag, he’s also a sizable bargain. I’d still be looking for shares at $24,000. The Astros are visiting the lowly Tigers. Not only is Verlander likely to throw over six innings with seven or more strikeouts, he’ll probably earn the win bonus too.

Next up is Patrick Corbin ($19,600) who is also very reasonably priced. He has a semi-challenging opponent tonight. The best Mets hitters skew left-handed which could work in Corbin’s slider-slinging favor. Since the start of 2018 – aka the arrival of the current Corbin – he has slight reverse platoon splits. Both lefties and righties have struggled to square up his bendy offerings. The Mets are hoping to get away with using Wilmer Font. We’ll see about that.

Mike Minor ($18,000) is the third-most expensive arm. Ehhhhh. There’s no question Minor is having a fine season, and the Royals are a targetable opponent. I’m not really buying this talk of a Minor breakout. Or if we want to be more specific, the breakout happened in mid-2018 and has continued unchanged. On the plus side, Minor can be counted on for a solid six frames with just shy of a strikeout per inning. He’s turned into a premium mid-tier play. Kind of like when Rick Porcello is hot.

On the other side of this matchup is Jorge Lopez, a crappy pitcher with a practically nonexistent $10,200 price tag. The Rangers offense is strikeout prone. Lopez throws copious breaking balls which help him to over 8.00 K/9. It won’t be hard for him to outperform this cost.

German Marquez ($17,600) is usually an easy target at sea level. The challenging Red Sox offense (avec DH), trims away some of the upside. This is still at worst par value for a good pitcher. I think we’ll find that DFS touts greatly prefer a cheaper Eduardo Rodriguez. For $16,300, we get virtually the same upside and downside, home field advantage, and a much weaker opposing lineup. The Rockies always seem to struggle on the road.

To date, Mike Soroka has mostly made good on his promised combination of a strikeout per inning while preventing baserunners. The Cardinals are a significant hurdle, but this seems to be built into his $17,100 price. He’s a strong mid-tier play with upside for more.

It’s Opener/Follower day for the Rays. They’re visiting the miserable Marlins offense. The Rays probably want around two innings out of Ryne Stanek to give the offense a chance to pull in an early pinch hitter. Beeks would then soak up around four frames in the middle at which point a decision will be made based on his performance and game state. A win feels very likely, doesn’t it? Sufficient strikeouts and run prevention to justify a $14,800 cost are far less certain.

Favorite Plays: Verlander, Lopez, Beeks

Stack Targets: Gregory Soto, Font, Jose Urena, Michael Wacha, Jake Arrieta

4. SaberSim Says…

The Sim says Verlander, Corbin, ERod, Minor, and Soroka are the top projections. Adds up to me. The best values are Verlander, ERod, Corbin, Arrieta, and Lopez. I’m surprised to see Arrieta here. His middling command and increasingly pitch-to-contact stuff is a bad match against the Brewers. Especially at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Alex Bregman, George Springer, Joey Gallo, Christian Yelich, and Austin Meadows are the top projected hitters. And they’re costly too. More affordable values include Tyler White, Starlin Castro, Brian Dozier, J.D. Davis, and Jackie Bradley Jr. That’s… an fugly list.

5. Insert Snazzy Headline

I did this in my softball game last night.

I got in a mini-argument with Joe Posnanski this morning about Bryce Harper’s defense. FanGraphs has him as a 1.1 WAR player while BRef says he’s a 0.3 WAR guy. He provided a couple sliding gems last night. I also admitted a more defensive Harper comes with greater injury risk. Sure enough, he’s probably out today with knee soreness.

Manny Banuelos has started against the Indians twice in the last week. Jordan Luplow has two two-homer games in the last week. Guess why these two statements are in the same paragraph.

We hoped you liked reading The Daily Grind: The Verlander by Brad Johnson!

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