The daily grind: 4-22-13by Brad Johnson
April 22, 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): One of the fun things about doing this column for the second year is seeing the players who became popular with an offseason of analysis. Thus, when I see A.J. Griffin, Mike Minor and Wade Miley starting on the same day, I get temporarily excited until I realize I can no longer recommend them.
However, I can still recommend Felix Doubront, who also happens to be the second best Felix today. More on Doubront below in a new section.
I came close to picking up Kevin Correia several times yesterday, but I could never quite get over the terribly low strikeout totals. If I can't start him against the Marlins, then I can't start him against anybody, but maybe you are ballsier.
I'm quite confident in J.A. Happ this season as a back-of-the-fantasy-rotation workhorse. So far, the results have been mixed, and a match-up against the Orioles qualifies as neutral.
If you like throwing dice, Jonathan Pettibone starts for the Phillies today. In two starts, he's been terrible in Triple-A this year, but he profiles as a real life, mid-rotation innings eater.
Pitcher (bum): Pettibone could also be a bum today. That's how it is with pure gambles.
Dan Haren has been treated like a scrub this season and I think the Cardinals will continue that trend.
Chris Tillman made strides in the second half last season, but I didn't see the same guy when I watched his last start. He's struggling to get whiffs despite a high strikeout rate. The Jays have several all-or-nothing type hitters who could make this start look good or bad for Tillman.
Jeff Francis is easy to pick upon. For one, the Braves seem infatuated with the long ball. For two, the game is at Coors Field. Unfortunately, there is some of that pesky white stuff in the forecast (snow if that's not clear).
Hitter (power): I discovered today that Garrett Jones is only 33 percent owned. He should make for a good gamble on power today, as should teammate Travis Snider.
My fingers are crossed that Matt Adams finds his way into this match-up, but you'll have to monitor the situation later in the day.
Nate Freiman versus Doubront will produce some true outcomes. It's just a question of which ones.
Chris Johnson is somehow 50 percent owned, which I can only assume is a slow response to Freddie Freeman's reactivation. A match-up against Francis, if they play, is quite great.
Nate Schierholtz will get the chance to continue being the Cubs' best hitter.
Leonys Martin is starting to look a little better.
I'll also note Gerardo Parra against Ryan Vogelsong.
Pitcher (to start): Bartolo Colon is doing his usual fly-under-the-radar thing.
I think Wade Davis is going to give us a bumpy ride, but he's been a solid fantasy earner in the past and could have even learned a few things from his bullpen stint.
Tony Cingrani is the guy I was most excited to recommend, until I saw he's 49 percent owned. Whoops, too late.
Meanwhile, Zach McAllister is available almost everywhere.
I have to give one more.Patrick Corbinhas the Giants at AT&T tomorrow.
Pitcher (bum): I'm not a huge fan of Jeff Locke.
I expect the Brewers to get to Clayton Richard.
Similarly, I don't think Jason Vargas against the Rangers is favorable for Vargas.
Given Julio Teheran's early season struggles, the thin Colorado air, and the Rockies' solid lineup, I do not expect tomorrow to be the day Teheran puts everything together. If you own him, sit him.
Hitter (power): John Mayberry Jr. has been hot early and has the platoon advantage.
I think Juan Francisco will be taking his usual hacks against Jon Garland tomorrow.
A Phil Hughes start is an opportunity to use Matt Joyce.
Seth Smith and Brandon Moss should enjoy Alfredo Aceves.
Hitter (speed): Craig Gentry will start against the lefty.
Freddie Freeman is supposedly returning to action today which means fewer reps for Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson.
Early season favorite Jhoulys Chacin is sidelined with an oblique injury. Future fantasy regular Drew Pomeranz will likely take his place, but may not be ready for widespread ownership.
Watch out for more rain and snow in Colorado along with the cold temperatures that go with that forecast.
There is also snow in the forecast in Minnesota, which gives me another opportunity to be baffled by Target Field's lack of retractable dome.
Good enough for me
I try to make a note when a player I recommend is also a player I (plan to) use. Now I will occasionally highlight such players in this section.
Felix Doubront would be good enough for me, if he were available in any of my leagues. I find it interesting when players have a low ownership rate like Doubront's 16 percent, yet aren't available in my leagues.
From the early small sample results, we see a few interesting trends. His 4.50 ERA does not jump off the spreadsheet, but a .429 BABIP and 10.3 percent swinging strike rate (average is 9.2 percent) have me intrigued about his long term prospects.
When I watch Doubront, I see a pitcher who has a slight problem with home runs and can be a bit too hitable at times. So a BABIP around .325 might be expected (indeed, ZiPS agrees). Still, that translates to an expectation of a low fours ERA which should come with a fistful of wins and strong strike out rate. Unfortunately, his WHIP may ultimately be unpleasant as well.
His peripherals also make him a candidate to take a large leap forward, since a small refinement in his command could result in league average rates in hits and home runs allowed. If that were to happen, a mid-threes ERA would be expected.
Follow Brad on Twitter @baseballAteam. Email him at pitchin432 AT Yahoo.com
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