The Daily Grind: Thor Talk

I had a winning lineup yesterday. And then I decided to add a Dodgers stack to it. Dios mio.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. But Why?

1.The Daily Grind Invitational

Nothing went right last night. Double dongs were common off the bats of not-so-typical double dongers. Jacob deGrom flopped (sorry folks). Derek Holland was the pitcher of the day (pats back). Congrats to mentalpowers (said in a He-Man intro voice) for surviving this unusual slate without the help of Holland or any two-homer folk. Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Zack Greinke carried most of the water. Leaderboard.

We’ve run small overlays in each of the last two contests. If you’ve been waiting, now is the time to re-join the Invitational. We’re on FantasyDraft tonight for a nine game contest.

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

The early games in Chicago (AL) and Colorado are modestly imperiled. The Rays-White Sox contest should be fine with a minor delay possible. The Braves-Rockies meetup has icy rain possibly turning to snow if the game is delayed. Yuck. The later Chicago (NL) contest could see some lingering drippy drops. They’ll play. The rest of the league is in the clear.

3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse

Let’s focus our attention on the main slate tonight.

Noah Syndergaard ($20,200) gets a chance for New Yorkerly revenge against the Twins after their drubbing of Papa deGrom. Thor is, quite frankly, overrated in my eyes. He’s a good-not-great hard thrower who physically ticks all the boxes but in actuality has insufficient command to be a true DFS ace. He’ll post ace-like outings – perhaps even tonight – but those long sustained runs we’ve seen from guys like deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Trevor Bauer are probably beyond his capability. Anyway, the Twins at home is a neutral matchup. He’s worth this price, but he isn’t a bargain. I actually really like fly ball pitcher Jake Odorizzi ($15,000) visiting a friendly venue and a lineup of low-ball mashers. Odorono likes to work up in the zone.

Kenta Maeda’s ($19,800) command hasn’t been as sharp as normal through two starts. Otherwise, he’s looking healthy and effective. A visit to Busch Stadium makes for a roughly neutral matchup. Although the Dodgers were blanked last night, I’m still terrified of their offense. Jack Flaherty ($18,000) is close to but not quite the level of ace required for me to pick against the Dog-ders.

James Paxton ($18,900) is just barely acey enough to use against the Astros. Perhaps my familiarity with using Paxton against a very similar Astros lineup in the past has warped my instincts. Despite two good starts, I’m not jumping to use Collin McHugh ($17,000). Whereas Paxton’s tricky matchup is priced in, I don’t believe that’s happened with McHugh.

Strikeout generator Robbie Ray ($17,600) has a max volatility matchup versus the Rangers. There are several strikeout prone bats in their lineup – some of whom are also left-handed. Nick Pivetta ($16,000) and Brandon Woodruff ($16,100) also fall into this wide-ranging “anything could happen” band. Pivetta has to tame a tough Nationals lineup while Woodruff is tasked with silencing a tough Mike Trout (day-to-day with soreness).

I think Frankie Montas is my flatout favorite play tonight. The hulking righty has finally turned the corner from oft-injured hard-thrower to pitcher. He’s gone from throwing around three-quarters fastballs to only half heaters. Replacing those missing zippy-balls is a new splitter which seems to have allowed his other offerings to finally play up. I was slow to jump on this bandwagon, but I’m fully on board now. Plus, he’s visiting the Orioles.

As of this writing, it is my understanding that Heath Fillmyer ($8,000) will make a normal start. He’s not a good pitcher nor am I especially keen to bet against the Mariners. His price, however, is right. You can fit all manner of saucy plays around him. We’ll see what SaberSim says, but I expect a projection in the 10 point range. Yusei Kikuchi ($15,000) has a seemingly easy path to the win bonus.

Jordan Lyles ($13,600) is excessively uninspiring and appropriately cheap. He’s the bargain play du jour for those who would like a 20 point upside to be a part of the solution set. His velocity was down 1.5 mph in his first outing, but we should remember he’s working back from injury.

Favorite Plays: Thor, Paxton, Montas, Fillmyer

Yea, I naysaid Syndergaard, but he still looks like the top total point earner tonight. There just isn’t much scope for value.

Stack Targets: Lance Lynn, Jeremy Hellickson, Fillmyer, Felix Pena, Yu Darvish,

Pena doesn’t look right to me, although his last outing was certainly an improvement upon his first. Darvish doesn’t look right to anybody, hence my recommendation of Lyles.

4. SaberSim Says…

Thor, Ray, McHugh, Paxton, and Darvish are the preferred arms. SaberSim doesn’t know/understand that Darvish is missing velocity and walking the world. Value plays are that Darvish guy again along with Ray, Fillmyer, McHugh, and Lynn.

Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Christian Yelich, Bryce Harper, and Cody Bellinger lead the way among hitters. nuBellinger certainly looks like a snazzy play. Deep breath now. Chris Davis is the top value followed by Chapman, Frank Schwindel, Yadier Molina, and Stephen Piscotty. Davis costs $3,900! which is basically below the site minimum. It’s too bad there aren’t two amazing aces in this slate. Then we could use Davis to fit in a ton of high priced value elsewhere. He’ll very probably accomplish precisely nothing. He can’t hit velocity or offspeed stuff.

5. But Why?

Why are people still running on this guy?

Chris Sale was a little shook yesterday.

And the grand finale.

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

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs

You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam

newest oldest most voted

RE: Ozuna – Mark Trumbo did the EXACT same thing about 4-5 years ago when he was with the Diamondbacks in their season opener in AUstralia against the Dodgers. Climbed the fence only to have the ball land on the warning track.