The Daily Grind: Thin Thursday Enthinned

Thin Thursday has been greatly enthinned by dividing the games into two distinct contests.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. New Footage Confirms…

1.The Daily Grind Invitational

Congrats to mentalpowers for rolling two Invitationals in a row. This time, well, all the hitters were huge yesterday. He was one of the only participants in on Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. Leaderboard.

We have a cute five-game contest tonight on FantasyDraft. I won’t be around to set updated lineups so I’ll be free money. These small slate Thursday contests are always a risk to run a huge overlay. Enjoy the spoils.

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

Chicago might see some light rain today. Nothing we would expect to trigger a delay. Detroit is cold.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Early: Five games are in the early slate headlined by Shane Bieber ($19,800) at Spencer Turnbull ($14,900). With cold weather and two terrible offenses, both sides of this matchup are highly desirable. I want to see Turnbull trim his fastball usage by about 25 percentage points. He should be going full McCullers, trying to throw four to six innings while using 60 percent breaking balls. The jury is still out on Biebs whose peripherals remain more attractive than his outcomes. Josh Tomlin 2.0 is still a part of the solution set.

Walker Buehler ($18,900) is visiting Michael Wacha ($16,000) in the battle of decent pitchers who are completely neutralized by stout opposing lineups. This being a small slate, it’s fine to bet on pitching talent trumping hitting talent. Wacha may carry the lowest ownership rate.

Sonny Gray ($16,800) rebounded from his abysmal Reds debut. Now he’s hosting the lowly Marlins. Great American Ballpark is a “great” lure for DFS participants hunting cheap power output. Since Gray is a ground ball pitcher, target any Miami fly ball hitters. Neil Walker comes to mind. Bear in mind, this is mostly a positive matchup for Gray, not the Marlins. On the opposite end of this one is volatile Pablo Lopez ($13,700). He’s reasonably priced for his strikeout ability. Just watch out for gobs of homers.

Mike Leake ($14,800) is very likely to win today. He’s hanging around Kansas City. One small thing to watch out for is stolen bases. Leake isn’t exactly stingy about allowing baserunners. Omar Narvaez is among the worst in the league at controlling the running game. And as you know, the Royals are fast. They could make some things happen if handed the right opportunities. (And the Mariners will probably still win).

Aaron Brooks ($14,000) is the latest fastball-splitter guy to wander into the limelight. He’ll probably pull down a win versus the Orioles. Or he’ll hang some splitters and get shelled.

Favorite Plays: Brooks, Gray, Turnbull

Stack Targets: Jorge Lopez, Dylan Bundy

I’m convinced Dylan Bundy is Brett Bombko in disguise.

Late: The five-game late slate offers fewer quality pitching picks. Joe Musgrove ($17,900) has a favorable visit to Wrigley Field on a chilly, drizzly eve. The Jose Quintana ($15,400) side of the equation is probably the better value.

Steven Matz ($15,800) at Kevin Gausman ($14,700) looks to be the meat of this slate. I anticipate most participants to make a bet on at least one side of this game. While both offenses are better than average, both pitchers have over 20-point ability with reasonably high floors (a pitcher’s actual floor is always zero or worse, when I say “floor” I really mean the 25th percentile outcome).

Nate Eovaldi’s ($17,100) first two outings were… forgettable. A pairing with the Blue Jays should help him to rebound. They make everybody (except Chris Sale) look like a Cy Young. Eovaldi’s stuff and usage are the same as last season.

Jon Gray ($17,500) is on the road in San Francisco – an obvious opportunity to spin up some shares. I’m less enthusiastic about Zack Godley even though he’s opposed by a pitcher who has made one appearance above High-A. After having some early success with Nick Margevicius skipping the upper minors, the Padres are trying it again with Pedro Avila ($15,000). He’s an undersized right-hander with three average or better pitches. Unfortunately, FantasyDraft has overpriced him. He should cost around $9,800.

Favorite Plays: Quintana, Musgrove, Eovaldi

Stack Targets: Jeff Samardzija, Aaron Sanchez

4. SaberSim Says…

Gray, Eovaldi, Biebs, Buehler, and Gray top SaberSim’s wishlist. Eovaldi, Gray, Turnbull, Gausman, and Samardijon mustard are the values. The best bats are Mallex Smith(!), Mookie Betts, Mitch Haniger, J.D. Martinez, and Matt Chapman. Chris Davis, Brian Anderson, Yasiel Puig, Pablo Reyes, and Mallex are bargain plays.

5. New Footage Confirms…

Size doesn’t matter. One of these players hit two home runs last night.

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3 Comment authors
Brad JohnsonAnonwkolb Recent comment authors
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youre recommending chris davis?


Davis has a 50% hard hit rate and a 28% line drive rate. Statcast backs it up with a 92.1 exit velo. It’s very surprising he hasn’t gotten a hit yet.

You know, I had never looked all that closely at his granular stats but the only thing that has really changed for him is his swing% just keeps going down, down, down. His SwStr% has stayed around 15% for years and is this year. HIs contact% both in and out of the zone hasn’t changed over the years – O-Contact% is down quite a bit this year but it’s obviously still really, really early. To be honest, it looks like he’s just working himself deeper and deeper into counts which probably isn’t great for a guy with so much swing and miss in his game. Looks an awful lot like he should be more aggressive early in the count but his core batted ball and plate discipline numbers the last couple years aren’t really all that different from what he was doing before when he was smacking 40-50 HR and garnering some MVP votes