The daily grind: 5-1-13by Brad Johnson
May 01, 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): I'm using Dillon Gee today not because he's trustworthy, but because he faces the worst lineup I've seen in years—the Miami Marlins.
The Astros have a surprisingly decent offense. They remind me a bit of the patchwork unit used by the Athletics—just with substantially less talent. In any case, David Phelps faces them today and the Astros' greatest proficiency remains striking out.
Andrew Cashner is up to 32 percent owned. He was never available in any of my leagues, although a league mate is trying to trade him to me for Bryce Harper.
Wei-Yin Chen isn't the most stable choice, but he should have a hard time earning the loss given the Mariners' weak offense and Aaron Harang's early season struggles.
Trevor Bauer starts today, and while I don't even like the match-up against a weak to mid-tier offense like the Phillies, he probably won't be available for long.
Pitcher (bum): Harang is the guy to stack against today.
I'm not sure what's going on with Erik Bedard or if he's even allowed to pitch over five innings at this point.
Hitter (power): Jonny Gomes will have the platoon advantage against Mark Buehrle. Throw Daniel Nava in the mix as well.
Hitter (speed): Will Venable should start against Scott Feldman
Juan Pierre matches up well with the Mets' indifferent defense. They're also among the easiest teams in the league to steal a base against.
Pitcher (to start): Roberto Hernandez versus Ervin Santana offers two historically cringe-worthy choices. The case for Hernandez is based on his solid peripherals and gopheritis. If he can regress to a league average home run rate and maintain the other numbers, he'll be a solid pick. The story behind how Santana climbed from bum to top recommendation is laid out below.
Run to the wire for Kyle Kendrick versus the Marlins.
Justin Grimm looks like a solid pitcher worthy of ownership. He'll find a spot in "Good enough for me" once Santana isn't crowding the space.
Pitcher (bum): Joe Blanton is overcooked at the moment.
Rick Porcello is expected to face Jordan Lyles. Which sounds like a slugfest to me.
I'll continue betting against Dan Haren.
Hitter (power): Scott Hairston will see hittable lefty Eric Stults.
Gomes and Nava continue to be a solid play against J.A. Happ.
Big bat Juan Francisco is a must-play against Haren.
Hitter (speed): Chris Denorfia faces Travis Wood, whose early-season numbers appear to be mostly smoke and mirrors.
Stephen Strasburg is not expected to miss a start due to his forearm tightness.
There could be thunderstorms late for the Rays and Royals, but I'm not sure you need to avoid this game.
Good enough for me
Santana has seen incremental improvements across the board this season, jumping from my most reliable bum to a guy I'd like to own. Most notably, he's striking out more batters by generating more whiffs and he's walking hardly anybody. His K/BB ratio is 6.20, which is elite. I think he'll remain home run prone, and he's among the easiest pitchers to swipe a base against, but the overall numbers might worth a speculative add.
Follow Brad on Twitter @baseballAteam. Email him at pitchin432 AT Yahoo.com
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