The daily grind: 4-30-13

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): Zach McAllister will face a Phillies lineup that should be a little bit better with the return of Carlos Ruiz.

As I noted yesterday, Kevin Slowey has worked his way back into my good graces. In particular, an increased swinging strike rate and excellent control should result in an ERA around my 4.00 target for waiver pitchers.

I’m grudgingly using Jose Quintana against the Rangers in a league where I own him outright.

Pitcher (bum): Four pitchers have particularly difficult assignments today.

Jarrod Parker will face the Angels.

Vance Worley takes on the Tigers.

The Orioles will see Brandon Maurer, who is showing signs of settling down.

Philip Humber has the easiest match-up against a home run happy Yankees lineup.

Hitter (power): Yankees believers should keep using Travis Hafner.

Chris Johnson should get the start against Gio Gonzalez, but this isn’t choice number one.

Brandon Moss and Seth Smith are part of the template. They face fastball-dependent Garrett Richards.

Hitter (speed): The speed crowd is starting to hit the waiver wires and find more real life playing time.

Rajai Davis has a difficult match-up against Jon Lester, but he’ll try to swipe a base if he reaches.

Craig Gentry will start against Quintana.

Juan Pierre should find few problems slapping at Jeremy Hefner‘s offerings.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): I picked up Dillon Gee but I’m unsure if I’ll start him. I need to analyze this current funk. Do note that he’s playing the Marlins tomorrow.

David Phelps will rarely earn notice in this column, but a match-up with the Astros is hard to pass up.

Trevor Bauer will challenge Cliff Lee and the Phillies. I’m not rushing out to own this match-up, but Bauer’s pedigree means that this is your one shot to own him—if you want to.

Andrew Cashner‘s ownership is up from 10 percent last week to 26 percent now. I didn’t think I’d get a second chance to recommend him, but a match-up with the Cubs is good for him.

Something has me uncomfortable about Wei-Yin Chen still, but the Mariners offense is non-threatening and Aaron Harang is particularly flammable.

Pitcher (bum): As I just mentioned, Harang seems to catch fire early and often. In a bad way.

Erik Bedard is struggling mightily.

Hitter (power): Jonny Gomes will see Mark Buehrle.

Hitter (speed): Try Will Venable against Scott Feldman.

Continue with Pierre. The Mets’ shoddy defense should increase his odds of reaching base.

You can hold Gentry too, although Chris Sale is not an easy assignment.

Noteworthy news

The Marlins’ only hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, has hit the 15 day disabled list. Marcell Ozuna has been recalled. He’s a solid four or five category prospect. He’s worth a shot if you need outfield help.

Weather watch

Looks like a great weather day.

Good enough for me

Ruiz is shockingly owned in only 30 percent of leagues, probably by the resident Phillies fans. He’s a good bet to be a top 10 catcher and middle-of-the-lineup threat over the rest of the season, so pick him up!

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  1. Brad Johnson said...

    My news filter somehow failed to pick up on Stephen Strasburg’s forearm tightness. No details as yet.

  2. ABSkippers said...

    So this is the ultimate question for the Daily Grind.  I play in a 12-team mixed keeper league (5 keepers) which is pretty stash happy with the minor leaguers (4 bench slots, 1 DL).  Granted, the guys who were stashing Trout and Harper in 2011 are sitting on some valuable assets ($6 a piece this year), but I have been a committed grinder (I always lead my league in transactions) and rode the Brandon Moss, Chris Carter, and Rajai Davis trains to first place last year.

    However, the one current minor leaguer out there on our waiver wire is Billy Hamilton, who in my mind might have the biggest fantasy upside of anyone and has a reasonable path to playing time this season if the Reds want to put Choo somewhere he won’t bounce so many fly balls off his head.  So the basic question is should I stash him?

    In terms of dropping someone, I currently have Beckett as a 6th starter I’m trying unsuccessfully to play the matchups with, I have Axford, Benoit, and Fujikawawa(DL) in the hopes of getting another closer, I have a Gattis-Arencibia rotation at C, and with Hanley now back I’ll have a Duda, Dominic Brown, and Kyle Seager rotation at UT.

    But the real question is should I devote a roster spot to a minor leaguer?  Normally I wouldn’t consider it unless I was out of it in July, but the prospect of keeping 100 SB for a $1 is enticing.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    This is a cop out answer, but I don’t think either choice is “wrong.”

    I’m not a huge believer in Hamilton as a star for what it’s worth, and I think it’s unlikely that he gets any real action this season. Maybe PR duties in September.

    The 100 SB is nice for that category auto-win, but that lends itself to building an unbalanced roster to make up the deficit in HR/RBI/AVG. If Hamilton were to get hurt or fall into Dusty’s bad graces, you’re suddenly working a punt on steals.

    Of course, if you can comfortably fit Hamilton onto your roster, then you should. From what you described, I think you can pull it off.

    I suspect that helped not at all smile

  4. Danny said...

    Brad, you’ve helped me into fantasy baseball over the past two years, and I occasionally look at this daily grind for advice on matchups if I have a free roster spot and an immediate need for an easy stat steal.  But honestly, lately, it’s become predictable.  You always tell me to pick up Dillon Gee (despite the fact that he’s been sucking), grab Davis or Pierre if I need a SB, avoid Kyle Kindrick (despite the fact that he’s finally pitching well), and whether Gentry will be starting or not.  The grind has become exactly that: a grind of recycled advice from the last few months.  I know that you are very good and smart at this, but if you’re going to commit to doing a daily post on strategy, I’d hope you’d put more thought into it.  Maybe get your head out of the spreadsheets and go to a game this evening, even if it’s just your local little league.  I look forward to continuing to read your articles, and sincerely, thank you for all the help you’ve given me over the past couple of years.  I hope you’re not growing tired of it, because you’ve got a good mind for fantasy advice, and you’re a big help to those of us without creative thought.

  5. Brad Johnson said...

    Danny, I appreciate the critique. Unfortunately, the scope of this column lends itself to predictable suggestions. I think you’ll find that I usually have more nuanced advice in the comments and I started the “good enough for me” section to inject some of that into the column.

    Ultimately, I have more ambitious projects planned for the future, but the Grind is designed to be a simplified meeting space to discuss daily roster moves in traditional fantasy leagues. In software parlance, the repetitive nature of the column is a feature, not a bug.

    As for Gee, I still see a useful fantasy starter, despite the poor results. I have downgraded him, but I’m going to recommend almost ANY SP against a Stanton-less Marlins offense (though not Jeremy Hefner).

    For the record, I watch about 30 innings of MLB baseball most days. smile

  6. Danny said...

    Yeah, I realized after I posted my comment that there really isn’t a better way to do this article.  Like you said, “the scope of the column lends itself to predictable suggestions.”  Sorry if it looked like I was ripping into you; I really do appreciate your advice, I think I was just bitter cause I’m looking for a new edge in my league, and can’t find it.  How do you feel about that kid in Milwaukee, Burgos?  This year’s Fiers?

  7. Brad Johnson said...

    I almost recommended him for his first match-up, but I haven’t watched him pitch yet and I try not recommend for or against players that I haven’t personally scouted. Not that I’m an awesome scout or anything, but I do find visual impressions are helpful for interpreting stats.

    That said…I’m generally very bearish on rookies who throw 87 and show very low swinging strike rates. Fiers at least came in and racked up K’s, Burgos doesn’t seemed destined to do that.

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