The daily grind: 5-8-13

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): Yesterday, I expanded upon why Jonathan Pettibone has produced good results but isn’t trustworthy. Still, a match-up against the Giants is potentially worth exploring. He’s opposed by Barry Zito, who also might be worth an add.

A.J. Griffin should be owned in the majority of mixed leagues. He faces the Indians, which is a decent enough match-up to start.

Pitcher (bum): If Coors Field can dodge the rain in the forecast, the combination of David Phelps and Juan Nicasio promises runs.

The Astros will face Joe Blanton.

It’s doubtful that Ricky Romero worked out his issues in one month.

Luis Mendoza will see the Orioles. Rain’s in the forecast for this one, too.

Hitter (power): The readers let me get away with a silly recommendation for Travis Hafner yesterday, so I’ll call myself out. At Coors, there is no DH.

Some regulars are worth a look including Brandon Moss, Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes, and Daniel Nava.

Carlos Pena against Blanton is another great match-up.

Hitter (speed): Will Venable is set to face Ricky Nolasco.

Rajai Davis will likely start, but has a difficult assignment against Matt Moore.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Bartolo Colon versus Scott Kazmir is an opportunity for two pitchers who may perform well. Kazmir is only for the ballsiest among us, but he’s showing his strongest whiff rate since 2008 and is coming off an excellent start. He’s likely to regress, but maybe he’s that fluky guy who comes back from the dead.

John Lackey has looked solid thus far and might be worth a peek against the Twins. Personally, I’m worried about his high strikeout rate, which I think will decline since he’s not generating more whiffs than usual.

Here’s another heavily qualified recommendation: Julio Teheran. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag with him this season. His velocity is down and he seems to be catching too much of the plate, which could explain an elevated BABIP and HR/FB ratio. On the plus side, he’s limiting walks and generating plenty of whiffs, though they aren’t translating to a high strikeout rate.

Pitcher (bum): One of these times I’ll pick the Braves’ feast or famine offense and they’ll feast. They see Ryan Vogelsong tomorrow.

Let’s see if I can jinx Dillon Gee into performing well. The Pirates have a solid lineup, so it will be a tough assignment for the struggling righty. His velocity is way down, so he is a candidate to be replaced by Ryan Wheeler when the time comes.

The Robinson Canos will face Jeff Francis, who’s exploitable against any lineup not named the Marlins at this point. The Canos will be without their best hitter (statistically)—Hafner.

Hitter (power): Big Nate Freiman is likely to be in the lineup against Kazmir.

Break out the Pirates. Particularly, Garrett Jones and Travis Snider.

Jason Vargas is solid enough, but it’s still worth giving Chris Carter a spin.

Brandon Belt seems to have a good match-up against Teheran.

Hitter (speed): Davis will see another tough lefty in David Price.

I don’t usually reach for Kelly Johnson, but you can give him a try tomorrow against a struggling R.A. Dickey.

Noteworthy news

J.A. Happ was the latest victim of a comeback liner. He’s reported to be stable.

Junichi Tazawa is expected to close for the Red Sox. I hope you have heard that already.

Weather watch

Games in Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, and Colorado could all see some amount of rain and storms. In other words, it’s going to be a wet day across the majors.

These are my favorite days to play daily leagues because I can increase my odds of winning simply by selecting players in dry games.

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  1. Brad Johnson said...

    I assume you refer to Allen? smile

    I haven’t seen him play yet so I can only revert to the widely available scouting reports. He has a deep repertoire and good velocity and the reports indicate several plus potential pitches. He’s one of those youngsters who has the potential to hit the ground running, but I expect more of a roller coaster like with Jose Fernandez.

    And I did mean Zach Wheeler. I distinctly remember THINKING Zach Wheeler. But apparently my fingers types out Ryan all the same…

  2. Tyler said...

    Do you like AJ Griffin, Chris Tillman, or Webster more? Webster seems to have the best matchup today, but if you think he could be a roller coaster Griffin or Tillman might be better for the rest of the season, I’m guessing.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    I would consider Tillman the obvious third choice.

    I would lean towards owning Griffin and perhaps sitting him on some predictably tough match-ups. Webster has the raw talent to make that recommendation look really bad though.

    Let’s put it this way. Do you need a high ceiling or a high floor? Griffin provides the floor while Webster has the ceiling.

  4. Drew said...

    What makes you like AJ Griffin so much?  He doesn’t have too many MLB innings, so I’d think metrics like xFIP and SIERA would be better to look at.  They don’t look great (~4.10 for his career), so I’m curious why you think he should be owned in the majority of mixed leagues.

  5. Brad Johnson said...

    His command and control profile should allow him to strike out more than 7 k/9 with around 2 BB/9. His extreme flyball tendency works well in Oakland, just avoid starts in bandboxes.

    Ultimately, it depends on the depth of your league. I think his equilibrium ownership should be around 60%, so there are a lot of leagues where he shouldn’t be owned.

  6. Brad Johnson said...

    No. He’d be serviceable if the Padres had a strong offense. As it stands, he’ll rarely earn wins, hurt your strike out rate, and post waiver quality ERA/WHIP (4.25/1.30).

    I didn’t like him for a recent start against the Marlins if memory serves, so that should say all that needs to be said.

  7. Brad Johnson said...


    Your league might be quite a bit deeper than I assumed if Humber is near the top of the pile. If you’re able to get a share link, please include it so I can take a look. Should just need the custom URL in settings.

  8. Brad Johnson said...

    Just to be clear, Humber is probably a bottom 10 fantasy pitcher whereas Stults is merely on the bad side of mediocre and hurts every category just a bit.

  9. shibboleth said...

    Gave up on Gee after some initial high hopes (high being a decent 4th, good 5th SP).  Just a note that Kelly Johnson might have OF eligibility in some leagues, making a half decent bench who can slot into 2B or OF in a pinch.

  10. Tony said...

    Should I pick up Kevin Gregg now that he has been named closer? I don’t have great closers and I could use the help. I could drop Cishek, he’s been a dissapointment, but Gregg historically hasn’t been any better. I could also give up on Salvador Perez, who is my backup catcher who has also been a dissapointment.

  11. Brad Johnson said...


    You are reaching way too deep for Humber. Marco Estrada’s a good pick after his next start against the Reds. There are so many other solid choices that you shouldn’t have to ever consider Humber or Stults.


    Agreed on both points.


    I think I’d prefer Cishek to Gregg but they’re both ugly options. Is Tazawa still available by any chance?

  12. Tony said...

    No he was already had before the newest boston closer injury. Yeah I don’t like either of them but I got burned on Motte and my closers are Jim Johnson (been great) Glen Perkins and Cishek.

  13. cluke said...

    Estrada, please fill me in. I know of him but his numbers arent too impressive. What am I not seeing?

  14. Brad Johnson said...

    Very high K/BB ratio, seems quite unlikely he’ll continue to allow this many HR. Once that comes around he’s a mid-rotation fantasy pitcher.

  15. KO said...

    Nice calls on Cody Ross and Chris Carter on Monday and Tuesday. You got me a homerun from each. Nice!

  16. cluke said...

    Adam Webster? Called up yesterday. Added him today for a spot start. Whats this kid have to offer?

  17. Np said...

    Top two streaming options for tomorrow?
    Marcum v PIT
    Hanson @CWS
    Wade Davis v NYY
    Magill v MIA
    Axelrod v LAA
    Volquez @TB

    Few other guys avail, but these were the names I am considering. Thanks!

  18. Brad Johnson said...

    Yea I took a look a couple hours ago and came away shaking my head. Not a good streaming day, do you have to do it?

    I guess Wade Davis since he’s probably the best of the group and Matt Magill because the Marlins.

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