- New Feature: Ground Ball and Fly Ball Splits
- Daily DFS – Zim’s Picks
- Tomorrow’s Targets – Williams, Norris, Morales, Pagan
- Factor Grid
1. New Feature: Ground Ball and Fly Ball Splits
My colleague Jeff Zimmerman has pieced together research on batted ball type platoons to provide a new, exploitable angle for DFS participants. The works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth show how ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa.
Today’s DFS picks will highlight this research. We expect this to become a regular part of the column, although I will continue to provide my own insights as well.
2. Daily DFS – Zim’s Picks
We have 14 games today, and they’ll all be played late. The Boston game is a special case – it starts at 6:10. You’ll either have to get rosters in by then to compete in the “early” contest or cross the Red Sox and Nationals off your target list.
The following hitters are recommended based on how they perform against certain pitcher batted ball tendencies. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s recommendations.
Note: Pitchers with a ground ball rate above 48 percent are considered ground ball pitchers. Below 40 percent are fly ball pitchers.
A few more notes: I’ve highlighted the split you’ll be targeting. As always, do ensure that the players listed will actually be playing and that the weather is cooperative.
3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Williams, Norris, Morales, Pagan
Pitchers to Start: Jerome Williams is not the first guy I would target on waivers, but I want to discuss him. He’s somebody I’ve watched on and off for a few years. I can’t figure out why he’s not a steady 3.70 ERA guy.
He throws six pitches, although I’m not sure why he bothers with the curve. Similarly, his four seam and sinker are below average. Perhaps they should be de-emphasized. However, his cutter, slider, and change are all above average. He has a consistent release point, which should help his six pitch repertoire play up.
Williams has pitched well since joining the Phillies. He’ll face a mediocre Mets offense tomorrow, and he should have a shot at a win versus Jon Niese. The Mets have the better lineup, and Niese is the better pitcher, so target the other side before Williams.
Pitchers to Exploit: Despite getting torched over three innings in his first outing, Bud Norris looked like vintage Bud Norris to me. He’s a 3.80 to 4.50 ERA pitcher. Tomorrow he’ll face a Yankees lineup with several notable left-handed power hitters. Camden Yards is oh-so-friendly to left-handed power with a 128 park factor for lefty home runs.
Hitters (power): Kendrys Morales looks like his old self at the plate. Hitting fifth for the Royals, he should be a solid source of power, batting average, and run production. Don’t expect a breakout performance. However, he could easily best his 2013 exploits in which he posted a 64/23/80/0/.277 fantasy line. He’ll dig in against Kyle Gibson.
Hitters (speed): Angel Pagan remains widely available, and he’s still batting third for the Giants. At AT&T Park, he’s a long shot for a home run. He still offers four category production, so it’s baffling that he’s available in 73 percent of Yahoo leagues.
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.
Yesterday’s storms could continue in Atlanta. The rest of the league looks relatively safe from rain.
The Link. Two of the four green stadiums are domed. You may want to target them given the slight chance for rain elsewhere.
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