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THT's Fantasy Archives
Friday, April 19, 2013
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice for tinkerers and daily fantasy players. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective, including notice of impending weather events, new injuries, and changes to platoon situations. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
The Fanduel picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
The Fanduel Daily League Players of the Day are:
Pitcher (to start): Jhoulys Chacin has been paying me well in the early going after I picked him up in every league. He's still widely available for his start against the Diamondbacks.
Someone in an even deeper league could probably survive a start with Lucas Harrell against the Indians. I know, that's not exactly a glowing review.
Someone in a shallower league could try Jason Hammel if the Orioles dodge the expected thunderstorms.
Pitcher (bum): Tommy Hanson against the Tigers and Roy Halladay versus the Cardinals are two exploitable match-ups today.
A Brett Myers start is one of the few times I think it's worth loading up on Astros.
Hitter (power): Try those Astros, like Chris Carter, Carlos Pena and Justin Maxwell.
If you prefer non-Astros, Seth Smith against Alex Cobb is a solid match-up.
Hitter (speed): Craig Gentry will get a shot against Joe Saunders.
Andy Dirks is less likely to attempt a steal, but he has a better overall match-up.
Pitcher (to start): Bronson Arroyo draws the Marlins, which is pretty much the only time I consider Arroyo a favorable addition.
Wei-Yin Chen's ownership has plummeted to 33 percent. He'll face the Dodgers tomorrow.
Scott Kazmir's return to the majors includes the strikeout-hungry Astros.
Pitcher (bum): Ervin Santana has looked better this season, but he's still showing signs of being homer prone, which leads me to expect the Red Sox to post some crooked numbers.
Scott Diamond strikes me as just a little too hittable to hold down a major league job. The White Sox should benefit.
Same goes for Jeremy Hefner. I expect the Nationals to feast.
Hitter (power): Dayan Viciedo is 34 percent owned and has the platoon advantage against Diamond.
Or try Cody Ross against Jorge de la Rosa.
I recommended Kazmir, but I'm not all-in on him. Try Chris Carter for long balls.
Hitter (speed): To my shock, Denard Span is only 26 percent owned. This is a guy who's going to steal 20-30 bags, post a respectable average and easily score over 100 runs. Pick him up.
David Murphy against Brandon Maurer could produce in all categories.
Derek Jeter's out forever now (until at least the All-Star break), but Didi Gregorius had his debut yesterday. He won't fill the expected production of Jeter, but he's available and should get plenty of reps.
Watch out for thunderstorms in the northeast. Teams that could be affected include the Dodgers, Orioles, Nationals, Mets, Cardinals and Phillies.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 5:50am
It's been a minute or two since we checked in on some of our recent waiver wire finds, and that sounds like a fun thing to do (unless you've been touting Brandon Maurer all season) so let's get right to it.
Andrew Bailey - My waiver wire amigo Karl de Vries highlighted Bailey on Monday as a player worth adding, particularly in the short term. Ask and you shall receive. Bailey earned his first save of the year Wednesday, and looked strong doing it, striking out a pair in the process. After the game Red Sox manager John Farrell said Joel Hanrahan will not necessarily get his job back when he returns from his hamstring injury. Bailey remains an excellent addition in all leagues, at least for now, and possibly long-term. He's still owned less than Steve Cishek and Jim Henderson in CBS leagues, and that should not be the case.
Welington Castillo - I spoke highly of the Cubs' catcher Wednesday and he responded Thursday by putting together a four-hit game against the Rangers. You're welcome, guys. No big deal.
John Jaso and Derek Norris - In situation where lineups need to be monitored, it's interesting that the Athletics have been using both Jaso and Norris lately, with Norris behind the dish and Jaso at DH. If they're both in the lineup, they're both useful. Of course, doubling them up is mostly because of injuries, so that's something to be aware of.
Today, we'll look at a pair of Braves third basemen.
Juan Francisco | 3B | Atlanta Braves | Yahoo!: 11 percent ownership; ESPN: 6.7 percent; CBS: 17 percent
ZiPS updated projection: .266/.300/.476
Chris Johnson | 3B | Atlanta Braves | Yahoo!: 26 percent ownership; ESPN: 30.1 percent; CBS: 32 percent
ZiPS updated projection: .275/.315/.426
As the saying goes, never trust an hombre with two first nombres. Or something.
I disagree, at least when it comes to this particular Braves third baseman. Francisco was a favorite sleeper of mine back in 2011, when he made the club out of spring training as the apparent backup to what was left of Scott Rolen. He only managed to play 31 games with the Reds, though, posting a .741 OPS. Last year he played in 93 games, but put up another sub-.300 OBP and struck out in 34.1 percent of his at-bats. While neither of those seasons could be considered much of a success, Francisco did flash very good power, ISOing .194 and .198 with the Reds and Braves, respectively.
The Braves' third base gig was up for grabs this season for the first time in roughly 50 years (thanks Larry!), and Francisco found himself in a competition (or platoon) with Chris Johnson for the honor of replacing Chipper Jones. It's worked out well so far for Atlanta, as both Francisco and Johnson have been crushing it.
Before the season, as Brad Johnson wrote, it seemed likely Francisco would get the majority of starts against right-handed pitchers, and Johnson would see playing time against lefties. That's how it has played out, for the most part, but the fact that Francisco started Thursday night against lefty Jeff Locke is interesting and might signal a change on the horizon. It's interesting, as well, that Francisco has started each of the Braves' past four games against right-handed pitchers.
My money is on Francisco, anyway, because there are a slew of positive things happening for him right now:
1. His swinging strike rate is down from a crazy 16.9 percent to a much more palatable 10.5 percent so far this season.
2. He's swinging at way fewer pitches outside the zone right now (28.9 percent, compared to levels over 40 percent the two prior seasons).
3. He has an overly high HR/FB rate of 37.5 percent, but even with an expected drop there, he has more power than Johnson ever did.
4. A huge portion of Johnson's great numbers derive from his .458 BABIP, which will never last. Francisco's .385 mark is also high, but the fall won't be as rough for him.
5. Francisco has played only four games against lefties, but putting that aside for a moment, it seems very likely he will continue to get every start against right-handed pitchers if he's healthy. That makes him a dependable platoon option, one who is freely available, and he can be an elite power option when in the lineup.
It's obviously still early in the season, but these are positive trends. If Francisco can keep these things going while seeing more at-bats against southpaws, he's got big upside.
For Johnson, that's not really the case. He has less power (.154 ISO vs. Francisco's .188, over their major league careers), walks slightly less (and Francisco is no walk artist himself) but manages to strike out less (who doesn't?). He's also two years older.
Recommendation: There's no reason Johnson should be owned twice as much as Francisco across the board. In fact, it should probably be the other way around, since Francisco stands to see a majority of the starts and has higher upside. He's an intriguing add in NL-only leagues, a capable injury fill-in for mixed leaguers, and someone to keep an eye on. If he starts playing more against lefties, and is holding his own against them (or just can avoid looking awful), he has a chance to become someone worth rostering in a mixed league starting lineup. It's an outside chance, but he's a guy I like, and a boy can dream, right?
Posted by Jack Weiland at 2:28am
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