The daily grind: 4-25-13

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.

Today’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Garrett Richards‘ skill set continues to intrigue me despite that he doesn’t get glowing reviews. With half of the Mariners offense broken, this should be a fairly safe start.

Some fringier choices include Kevin Slowey, Jorge de la Rosa, and (as a reader suggested) Nick Tepesch. Slowey and Tepesch have good match-ups—the Cubs and Twins respectively. De la Rosa has a tougher assignment against the Diamondbacks, but he’s probably also the best pitcher of this trio.

Pitcher (bum): Four pitchers combine predictable shakiness with a tough opponent. I would bet most heavily against Brandon Maurer versus the Angels, although Vance Worley against the Rangers and Philip Humber at Boston are pretty rough.

Jeremy Hefner is matched up against the Dodgers, which is slightly more friendly than the other games. However, he might be the worst pitcher of the bunch.

Hitter (power): I’m hoping for big things out of Daniel Nava today since I snatched him up in a league.

Vernon Wells is up to 47 percent owned. Meanwhile, I still can’t figure out if he should be owned. His match-up today is nice though.

Seth Smith and Brandon Moss will get a shot at Jason Hammel today.

Hitter (speed): Not a big speed day. Try Nate Schierholtz‘s five category production.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Tomorrow has a lot of fringy names that could be used as a spot start or a target to start against. One name I’m excited to recommend is Andrew Cashner. I expect his ownership to shoot up from 10 percent to over 50 percent quickly.

Wei-Yin Chen is available in two-thirds of leagues, but I’m a little worried. His whiff rate has halved, which saps a lot of his value. He’s also limiting home runs despite giving up an insane number of fly balls and line drives (over 70 percent of balls in play).

Ervin Santana‘s another guy I hate to recommend, but I do think his odds of earning the coveted “W” are higher than most. He opposes Scott Kazmir.

The Phillies always seem to get to Dillon Gee, but I’m not going to hold that small sample against him. If Cashner isn’t available in your league, this is the guy I’d use.

Pitcher (bum): Erik Bedard is on some kind of pitch count limit, which means that the Red Sox will get to see a lot of time against the soft underbelly of the Astros bullpen.

Kazmir made his season debut last week and looked quite hittable. The Royals will try to prove me correct.

Jonathan Sanchez is just an auto-post here at this point. I could see a late career revival out of bullpen like Oliver Perez, but I think it’s time to stick a fork in him. He faces the Cardinals.

The Angels face a potentially still-rusty Aaron Harang.

Hitter (power): I think a hold on Nava is advisable.

It’s been awhile since I recommended Carlos Pena. I think the match-up against Dempster is tolerable for him.

Lucas Duda is up to 25 percent. If you recall from earlier in the season, I recommended starting Duda against Kyle Kendrick even when the two teams weren’t playing each other.

Hitter (speed): Peter Bourjos is going to start swiping bases at some point.

Craig Gentry will get the start against Scott Diamond.

Noteworthy news

Robbie Grossman had a nice debut for the Astros yesterday with two doubles. He’s a switch hitter with the ability to hit about 10 home runs and steal 10 bases. Which sounds to me like a good streaming option but not somebody to own outright.

Weather watch

The Royals and Tigers may be affected by rain, but they’ll be able to play the game.

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  1. Cory said...

    Ha! I do remember when you predicted Duda’s success against an in-a-different matchup Kendrick.

    So the Phils are officially a “bet against” offense now eh?  I suppose it is deserved

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    I might upgrade them to average once Chooch returns on Sunday, we’ll see how he looks out of the gate.

    Right now it’s really a one man show. They’re 22nd in runs scored, 23nd in team wOBA, 27th in team walk rate, and 6th in team strike out rate (higher is worse).

    Those are indicators of a bad offense. You would guess that wOBA and runs will improve naturally if/when Howard hits better and Ruiz returns. However, the formula or lots of strike outs and few walks is still going to lead to bad results.

  3. Cory said...

    Oh, I’m by no means trying to suggest they aren’t a stay-away offense.  It’s just immensely frustrating watching them this year.  They absolutely have a bad offense.  Save us Delmon Young!

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    Mayberry has been one of the bright spots on the roster (though his peripherals aren’t encouraging), so I’m not sure Delmon can do much saving.

    Brown is going to get a very long look, so unless they move Mayberry to CF, there’s no offensive gain to be had.

  5. Cory said...

    I was completely kidding about Delmon Young, I’m not encouraged by his presence on the team.

    I will be extremely disappointed if they don’t give Brown his full season.  His upside is at least something.  We already know what Delmon (below average) and Mayberry (maybe average) are.

    Revere looks embarrassing 40% of the time he’s up there. No plate discipline and obviously no power.  Perhaps Mayberry, Young, and Brown is the better move.

  6. Brad Johnson said...

    I’m actually impressed with Revere’s plate discipline. I never focused on him when he was a Twin and assumed he just slapped at anything near the zone.

    Around 51.7-52.3% of pitches that Revere sees are a strike, which as of yesterday was the 6th highest rate in baseball. 64.5% of counts start with a strike. He’s never going to walk much seeing that many strikes.

    Some other things to be aware of include a .247 BABIP. It’s hard to say what to expect there since so much of his contact is weak, but I’d hazard at least 5% more hits on balls in play going forward.

    His strike out rate is surprisingly high at 15.1% but he’s only whiffing on 3.5% of pitches (consistent with his career rate). Both conditions cannot coexist unless he’s taking a ton of looking strike outs. I don’t remember where to find data on that offhand but I’m sure it’s available. Basically, expect about 7% more balls in play going forward.

  7. Brad Johnson said...

    Frankly, the team should be running a strict handedness platoon with Howard and Mayberry and then letting Mayberry spell the 3 OFers as well. They won’t do that, but it’s glaringly obvious that it should be done.

  8. AJ said...

    What’d the buccos get for Grossman again? I have a horrible short term memory. On another note, in a 14 team (but otherwise standard league) do you like Moss or Nava at utility next week? Moss isn’t great at home, but he does get a few road games ay least.

  9. Brad Johnson said...

    Wandy Rodriguez.

    I’d lean towards Nava right now, although I suspect you may have a better option available.

  10. AJ Leight said...

    Lawrie & Hosmer on the bench. Neither seem to be a better option at the moment. At least not for counting stats, which are all that I really need. Nava’s already been getting regular ABs even since Ortiz came back, and Victorino’s injury probably gives him another way into the lineup should Carp struggle. Leaning towards him, but Moss keeps producing for the last 4+ months of playing, so who knows.

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