The daily grind 4-27

The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!

Today’s grind

Danny Duffy is getting skipped due to elbow tightness. It’s something to keep an eye on. Marco Estrada got pushed back to Saturday. A (little bit) more on him later.

Jake Arrieta against the Athletics is today’s top match-up on the cheap. He’s up to 19 percent owned.

Paul Maholm faces a terrible Phillies offense, but he’s been pretty ugly too. Mike Leake has a similar situation except he’s against the Astros. Both are solid gambles if you absolutely have to use a guy.

A few hitters stand out as having solid match-ups. Marlon Byrd should get the start against John Danks. Eric Thames gets to hit off Blake Beaven today and John Mayberry Jr. should get the start against Maholm. Those three players have had a very slow start to the year.

Tomorrow’s grind

Tomorrow is chock full of pitchers with good match-ups and untrustworthy skill sets.

Estrada can record strikeouts in bunches, but he can also work himself into jams. He faces the Cardinals lineup.

This makes me feel dirty, but Bruce Chen faces the Twins tomorrow. You might be able to get away with starting him. Imagine the bragging rights if you win your league/weekly match-up. “I won AND I even used Bruce Chen!”

Randy Wells is an ordinary pitcher, but he faces the Phillies lineup which is cobbled together slop. Dillon Gee draws the Pirates, whose offense has been ridiculously bad. You could also try Wei-Yin Chen against the A’s because they’re bad, too. I won’t be giving him a roll because I’ve never seen him pitch.

Reliever watch

Sean Marshall blew his first save of the season. Before to that outing, he wasn’t really as sharp as his numbers let on. Aroldis Chapman lurks, making Marshall’s job perpetually on the line.

Heath Bell blew another one, his third of the season. Steve Cishek is next in line, but Bell still has a lot of rope left. The Marlins are going to have a tough time demoting him this early in his contract.

Jordan Walden blew his first save of the season. The Angels have some comparable options so things could get shuffled around. If the rest of the team was performing as expected, I would say that his job is completely secure, but the Angels are starting to drift into “make something happen” mode.

Yesterday’s results

The Mariners got to Rick Porcello for two bomb-diggities. Yuck: 6.2 IP, 3 K, 6.75 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Felix Doubront roped in a win with a mediocre line: 6 IP, 2 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Ryan Sweeney had a solid 2-for-5 day with one run and one RBI.

Rajai Davis went 0-for-2 and didn’t get a chance to do his job—stealing bases.

Chris Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI.

Endy Chavez went 0-for-4.

Luke Scott was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run. Jerome Williams somehow survived him.

I’m calling that a win based on a couple of strong hitting performances and Porcello probably not being available to hurt you. Picking five waiver wire hitters and netting a home run is fine work in my opinion.



I like this idea of trading my weekend time for Twitter followers. If you guys can drum up just 10 followers for me by the time I wake up tomorrow, I will write a Saturday post that includes picks for Monday too. I will not be available for a Sunday post.

For those keeping track at home, I’m asking to get bumped to 241 followers.

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  1. Mark Himmelstein said...

    I actually used Bruce Chen last year in a last ditch, innings cap busting effort to go from second to first. It didn’t work :( (though he actually had a good start).

    Now that I picked him up for today in the THT league, I’d add Scott Hairston vs. Drew Pomeranz to today’s strong hitter matchups. Extreme fly ball lefty masher vs. rookie fly ball lefty in Coors. Reeks of sneaky potential. I almost streamed into him in another league too but….

    ….I picked up Steve Cishek instead. With a relief corps of Jonathan Broxton, Hector Santiago, Alfredo Aceves, and Brad Lidge I’m getting saves, but they’re killing all the good work my starters are doing and there’s not much security there.

    I’m more speculating that they turn up something wrong with Bell than outright demote him from the role, because he’s been absolutely miserable so far this year. He just couldn’t get anyone to whiff last night. Justin Turner fouled off like 10 pitches before drawing the fourth walk (and a couple were well hit, nearly fair game winning doubles). Then the ball he served up to Nieuwenhuis, the 46th pitch of the inning, was just a meatball that he crushed over Stanton’s head and one-hopped off the wall. At the very least, Cishek’s probably the closer tonight and maybe tomorrow too unless its all lefties in the 9th, then it might be Choate.

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    I too suspect that Bell is hurt. Even if he isn’t, if he continues to struggle I expect that he’ll be moved to the disabled list so that everyone can save face.

  3. glp said...

    I don’t get the hating on Bruce Chen.  (A couple of weeks back you called him a “bad pitcher.”) Is it because he doesn’t throw hard and is a bit homer-prone?  Well, guess what:  He throws harder than Mark Buehrle, and with a higher strikeout rate.  Buehrle’s walk rate is a tick better, but he is similarly quite homer-prone.  Both are 34-year-old lefties.  Buehrle, of course, has a track record of durability that Chen doesn’t, but frankly, there’s very little difference between the two.

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    He’s generally unusable in standard formats and is quite hit-able.

    You can find me railing on Mark Buehrle quite frequently from a fantasy perspective. I believe last week I lamented over how over-owned he is. I hate to use either player for more than a start or two in a typical league.

  5. Eric Dykstra said...

    I like Leake today, too, even in 10 and 12 team formats. But no way on Maholm. I have Maholm rated as the worst possible starter today, with just a 20% chance of picking up the win against Halladay, a projected 4.55 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and just 3.3 strikeouts.

  6. Brad Johnson said...

    You could be right about Maholm, I haven’t watched him since he was pitching well as a Pirate. My evaluation is probably anchored to a previous talent level that no longer exists.

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