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THT's Fantasy Archives
Friday, September 14, 2012
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every-morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
The Fanduel picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
Those in leagues with same-day moves should refer back to yesterday’s table.
The Fanduel Daily League Players of the Day are:
Pitcher (to start): You have your choice today. You can choose one of two reliable starters against a strong lineup. That's Ross Detwiler against the Braves or Hisashi Iwakuma against the Rangers.
Or you can choose one of two high upside prospects against a weak lineup. That's Tyler Skaggs versus the Giants or Andrew Cashner at Petco against the Rockies.
Pitcher (bum): You have some choices here as well. The Reds face Jacob Turner in one of the most exploitable match-ups of the day. The Tigers will see Corey Kluber.
Hitter (power): Jonny Gomes, Chris Carter, and Cody Ross are the power plays of the day.
Hitter (speed): I stick by my assertion that Will Venable is hot, even if that isn't strictly true in the last two weeks. It's all a matter of perspective. Coco Crisp is a nice alternative.
Phillies fans have pretty much accepted that Kyle Kendrick is now a good pitcher, but I'm not buying. He's reduced his repertoire from three pitches to two and while his command and control are very sharp at the moment, I've seen similar stretches from him in the past and they've ended in time. There's a decent chance he holds it together through the end of the season and against the Astros there's all the more reason to roll the dice.
Jenrry Mejia will be starting for the Mets against the Brewers. I wouldn't try him, but he's certainly interesting enough to mention.
What's going on with Jarrod Parker's ownership (40 percent)? He should be owned in twice that number of leagues and that statement has been true for months now. Is it because he's an Athletic?
Plenty of power choices today.
Chris Johnson will get some hacks against Barry Zito. Elsewhere, Gomes, Carter and Crisp will be at it against another lefty opponent in Zach Britton.
Carlos Ruiz is surprisingly over-owned for a guy who starts every couple of days—53 percent. However, I'm told he is expected to start today and Sunday and he doesn't seem to have missed a beat during his time off. He will join John Mayberry Jr. with a strong match-up against Dallas Keuchel.
Maybe you're saying, I need a speedster. I have a hunch that Quintin Berry will get the start against Justin Masterson.
Joe Nathan blew his second save of the season, which at this late stage is probably all I need to say. Nevertheless, I will specifically state that Nathan's job is very secure.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 5:39am
Recap: Brandon League appeared in three one-run victories by the Dodgers in his past five games, with two saves and a win to show for it... Ronald Belisario seems to be the superior pitcher—more ground balls, more biting sliders that League nowadays lacks, and a faster fastball—but League has the experience that Dodgers manager Don Mattinglyapparently assigns heavy weight to... Hope you picked up the former despite my recommendation... John Mayberry has been excellent in September, but unfortunately, his home runs have turned into doubles... He’ll hit a few more down the stretch run, and the plate discipline displayed this month (nine walks in 40 at-bats, compared to 20 in his previous 336 at-bats) is both unexpected and welcomed...Yasmani Grandal’s managed a single home run since we last chatted, and Jimmy Paredes only a single stolen base.
Meanwhile, Casey Kelly’s been a bona fide disaster since his debut... Two home runs surrendered at Coors Field: acceptable; three home runs surrendered at PETCO Park: inexcusable... Opponents have pounded the following pitches over the fence against Kelly: a change-up slightly up from the center of the zone that caught a good deal of the plate (Tyler Colvin), a fastball down the middle that caught a good deal of the plate (Ramon Hernandez), a fastball low and inside that still caught a good deal of the plate (Jason Kubel), a waist-high fastball that caught a good deal of the plate (Aaron Hill), and a hanging curveball that caught a good deal of the plate... I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Casey Kelly should try to pitch more to the corners of the zone...
For this week, let’s try something new. How about we go category-by-category? No recommendations, no upside plays: you decide where you need the most help in the stretch run, and you target these guys for help.
Chris Denorfia | Padres | OF | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 4.4 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 48 runs in 300 at-bats
ZiPS ROS: Six runs in 14 games
Scrappy and speedy, Denorfia won’t play every day, but might be your best bet to squeak a few runs out of the waiver wire. He’s tallied a run scored in six out of his last seven starts (all coming in September), scoring multiple times in three of those games. The Padres, by the way, are managing 5.72 runs a game in the current month, and Denorfia is the benefactor as the leadoff man. When he plays, he scores.
Mark Ellis | Dodgers | 2B | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 3.4 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 57 runs in 351 at-bats
ZiPS ROS: Six runs in 13 games
With Dee Gordon relegated to the bench as a result of the Hanley Ramirez Experiment, Mark Ellis has assumed leadoff duties. The Dodgers offense is stagnant as can be—13 runs in their last seven games—but in the past week, the team has a batting average on balls in play of .237. Roll the dice on the luck correcting itself, and those middle-of-the-order guys in blue driving Ellis home.
Justin Maxwell | Astros | OF | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 1.3 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: Eight steals, 14 homers in 255 at-bats
ZiPS ROS: Two steals, two homers in 13 games
Maxwell is finding himself with more and more playing time as the Astros hold auditions for 2013, and his power/speed platter should help plenty of owners with just a single switch. In these messy days of the season, he might be unclaimed or ignored: don’t let it stay that way.
Scott Hairston | Mets | OF | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.9 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 17 home runs in 318 at-bats
ZiPS ROS: Two home runs in 13 games
The notable lefty-masher should be inserted into some lineups every day: he’s hit three pinch hit home runs, 10 off of lefties, and two in his three games this week. Skill is of secondary importance in the final days; a hot masher who could hit a few more long balls by season’s end is a more valuable commodity than some realize.
Edgar Gonzalez | Astros | SP | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.9 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: Two wins in two starts
ZiPS ROS: Zero wins in one start
Having an able-working body is more than three-fourths of the game at this point. Unless you’re within striking distance in the ratio categories, why not deploy every starter you can get your hands on? A blowup will hardly make a mark. Take that into consideration when using Gonzalez, who has a shoddy track record from 41 previous major league starts (a near-six ERA) but has flashed an improved slider and control in his two starts thus far with the Astros (both wins). Why not roll the dice?
Jeff Francis | Rockies | SP | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.6 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 67 strikeouts in 95 innings
ZiPS ROS: Nine strikeouts in 13 innings
With the above point in mind, look at Francis, who's upped his strikeout per nine innings ratio in each month. In September, his ERA of 7.30 is only slightly lower than his 11.68 strikeout per nine innings ratio. Such a rate won’t continue, but there's no harm in seeing if Francis' mixed bag won't produce another dozen or so strikeouts amidst the runs on runs on runs.
Andrew Werner | Padres | SP | 10 percent Yahoo ownership | 5.6 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 23 strikeouts in 24-plus innings
ZiPS ROS: N/A
A superior option to Francis, Werner isn’t likely available in many still-competitive leagues. If he is, though, pounce without hesitation; opponents have yet to figure out Werner’s tricks. He generates ground balls, pounds the strike zone early, and throws a sneaky-deceptive mix of a slider, four-seamer, curveball and changeup. Six strikeouts or more in his past three starts is eye-catching; why not see if he can continue the streak?
Posted by Nick Fleder at 3:50am
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