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THT's Fantasy Archives
Wednesday, May 08, 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 daily picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
Pitcher (to start): Yesterday, I expanded upon why Jonathan Pettibone has produced good results but isn't trustworthy. Still, a match-up against the Giants is potentially worth exploring. He's opposed by Barry Zito, who also might be worth an add.
A.J. Griffin should be owned in the majority of mixed leagues. He faces the Indians, which is a decent enough match-up to start.
Pitcher (bum): If Coors Field can dodge the rain in the forecast, the combination of David Phelps and Juan Nicasio promises runs.
The Astros will face Joe Blanton.
It's doubtful that Ricky Romero worked out his issues in one month.
Luis Mendoza will see the Orioles. Rain's in the forecast for this one, too.
Hitter (power): The readers let me get away with a silly recommendation for Travis Hafner yesterday, so I'll call myself out. At Coors, there is no DH.
Some regulars are worth a look including Brandon Moss, Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes, and Daniel Nava.
Carlos Pena against Blanton is another great match-up.
Hitter (speed): Will Venable is set to face Ricky Nolasco.
Rajai Davis will likely start, but has a difficult assignment against Matt Moore.
Pitcher (to start): Bartolo Colon versus Scott Kazmir is an opportunity for two pitchers who may perform well. Kazmir is only for the ballsiest among us, but he's showing his strongest whiff rate since 2008 and is coming off an excellent start. He's likely to regress, but maybe he's that fluky guy who comes back from the dead.
John Lackey has looked solid thus far and might be worth a peek against the Twins. Personally, I'm worried about his high strikeout rate, which I think will decline since he's not generating more whiffs than usual.
Here's another heavily qualified recommendation: Julio Teheran. It's been a bit of a mixed bag with him this season. His velocity is down and he seems to be catching too much of the plate, which could explain an elevated BABIP and HR/FB ratio. On the plus side, he's limiting walks and generating plenty of whiffs, though they aren't translating to a high strikeout rate.
Pitcher (bum): One of these times I'll pick the Braves' feast or famine offense and they'll feast. They see Ryan Vogelsong tomorrow.
Let's see if I can jinx Dillon Gee into performing well. The Pirates have a solid lineup, so it will be a tough assignment for the struggling righty. His velocity is way down, so he is a candidate to be replaced by Ryan Wheeler when the time comes.
The Robinson Canos will face Jeff Francis, who's exploitable against any lineup not named the Marlins at this point. The Canos will be without their best hitter (statistically)—Hafner.
Hitter (power): Big Nate Freiman is likely to be in the lineup against Kazmir.
Break out the Pirates. Particularly, Garrett Jones and Travis Snider.
Jason Vargas is solid enough, but it's still worth giving Chris Carter a spin.
Brandon Belt seems to have a good match-up against Teheran.
Hitter (speed): Davis will see another tough lefty in David Price.
I don't usually reach for Kelly Johnson, but you can give him a try tomorrow against a struggling R.A. Dickey.
J.A. Happ was the latest victim of a comeback liner. He's reported to be stable.
Junichi Tazawa is expected to close for the Red Sox. I hope you have heard that already.
Games in Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, and Colorado could all see some amount of rain and storms. In other words, it's going to be a wet day across the majors.
These are my favorite days to play daily leagues because I can increase my odds of winning simply by selecting players in dry games.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 5:45am
Waiver wire pals, there is something I need to confess. Okay? Yes? Good. Here I go.
When it comes to the Red Sox closers, whom I feature here (seemingly) every week, because the situation changes (seemingly) every minute, I haven't got a clue. Zero clues to be had by this guy.
Last week as soon as I rejoiced that Andrew Bailey had been officially named the Red Sox closer, he missed a save opportunity with bicep soreness that ultimately landed him on the disabled list. Then replacement Joel Hanrahan, who himself had been replaced by Bailey but regained the closer role in Bailey's absence, landed back on the disabled list for the second time this season. So now it's ... you know what? Nope. Not going to do it. I give up. White flag, being waved, by yours truly.
Feels good to get this off my chest.
A recap of other recent players we've featured, now with less frustration!
Scott Feldman spun another gem Tuesday night, this time against the Rangers. I'd recommend him more strongly if I had any clue (gee, that sounds familiar) what the Cubs were going to do upon the return of Matt Garza, who made his second rehab start for the club and according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers is as few as 10 days away from returning. The team has five spots for Jeff Samardzija (not going anywhere), Edwin Jackson (probably not going anywhere), Matt Garza (when he returns), Carlos Villanueva (he of the 2.85 ERA), Travis Wood (2.50 ERA, and the only lefty in the rotation), and Feldman (lights out lately). Scott Baker will also return at some point (maybe), so the Cubs are looking at two men out here. Anyone who says they know what the Cubs will do with the rotation when Garza returns is Theo Epstein. Beyond that, they are full of bologna. Tread carefully here.
(Did I say less frustration? I don't recall saying that. That doesn't sound like something I would say.)
Hey, at least Kevin Slowey, Eric Stults, and Roberto Hernandez remain solid additions for owners in need of starting pitching.
Justin Ruggiano, a player Karl targeted earlier this year, has been hot of late as well.
Today let's look at a few other outfielders you may be thinking of adding.
Marcell Ozuna | Miami Marlins | OF | ESPN: 8.7 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 21 percent; CBS: 28 percent
YTD: .404/.448/.667 in 29 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .255/.303/.434 in 453 plate appearances
In lieu of
I trotted over to the prospects desk here at THT Global Enterprises (not our real name, and "ambled" would be a more appropriate verb) to get in-house prospect guru Jeff Moore's take on the callup. His full thoughts can be found on his site here, but this is what he told me fantasy owners can expect from Ozuna this season:
In general, he can contribute some power, but it will come at the cost of batting average, and if it's a points league where strikeouts have a negative value, he won't even be worth the home runs. He's absolutely not ready, needed at least another full season in the minors. He's extremely talented but needed a lot more time to figure out how to use it.
Recommendation: Worth a flier in NL-only leagues, but Ozuna probably won't keep up his Bondsian level of production, and will probably struggle more than he's worth in mixed leagues. This is not the call-up of Wil Myers, who has seemingly been ready to give the majors a shot for two seasons now.
David DeJesus | Chicago Cubs | OF | ESPN: 7.1 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 5 percent; CBS: 18 percent
YTD: .286/.358/.561 in 109 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .269/.347/.440 in 521 plate appearances
Quick, who leads major league outfielders in ISO? Justin Upton? Okay. Let's make this a little tougher. Who is currently 13th?
Really, you guessed David DeJesus? Is it because his name appears in bold five lines above this? I need to get better at this stuff.
Anyway, yeah, David DeJesus is tearing the cover off the ball right now, and nobody seems to care. So, is it real? Should you rush out and add him? The answer is a little complicated.
First and foremost: no, the power is not real. The last time DeJesus had this kind of power was during a 12-game (small sample) stint in 2003, his first taste of major league baseball. Since then he's played 1,173 games, and his careeer ISO is .140, with a high of .152 and a low of .112. He's had consistently decent power, but he's never been a big bopper.
Digging further into his 2013 numbers, DeJesus' current HR/FB rate of 14.3 percent is more than double his career average of 6.8 percent. He's unlikely to sustain that level all season, and accordingly his power will drop as well.
But is he worth owning otherwise? If your league rewards walks (or on-base) and you could use a boost in runs, then DeJesus can help.
Recommendation: He can help, but not in the ways it might seem by taking a quick glance down the list of NL OPS leaders.
Matt Joyce | Tampa Bay Rays | OF | ESPN: 24.7 percent ownership; Yahoo!: 8 percent; CBS: 31 percent
YTD: .212/.237/.435 in 94 plate appearances
ZiPS Updated Projection: .237/.329/.436 in 493 plate appearances
It's easy to forget about Matt Joyce, what with all of the hubbub around Wil Myers and all. His .212 batting average doesn't help him stand out in a positive way, either.
Aside from that, though, there's a capable player buried in here, and one who is currently undervalued by fantasy leagues, especially those with Yahoo! and CBS. It's interesting that his ownership rates in ESPN leagues are relatively high, especially considering ESPN leagues are generally the shallowest, and by a wide margin.
Assuming Joyce can bring his line drive rate up from his absurdly low 9.5 percent, his BABIP of .203 should also rise, and with it his batting average. This will make his triple slash line look much more attractive. He'll never challenge for the Triple Crown, but he can provide power and plenty of walks.
Recommendation:Worth adding for outfield help in mixed leagues.
Posted by Jack Weiland at 3:15am
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