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.
I feel like I may have jinxed myself the last time I said the grind was back for good. But barring anything else unforeseen, it should continue uninterrupted for the remainder of the season.
Today’s weather watch
For the first time in a long time, I get to say that there are no impending weather events.
The Cubs and Brewers have a double header tomorrow, so plan accordingly.
Pitcher (to start): Scott Kazmir has been a controversial pick for this column in that he’s performed terribly when selected. But he is still showing 2007 velocity and his ERA has inched under 4.00 for the season. It also helps that he’s facing the White Sox.
Wei-Yin Chen has the coveted Astros match-up. Even against the ‘Stros, Chen is not a candidate for a strong strikeout rate, but he’s a decent bet to pick up a win with solid to good ratios.
I missed Alex Wood‘s last start so this is my first chance to throw some accelerant on his ownership rate. He’s currently owned in just two percent of Yahoo leagues despite sporting a strong whiff rate, mid-90s fastball, and tolerable walk rate. On the cloudy side, watch out for the reliever to starter transition. Out of the pen, his velocity regularly sat between 92-93 mph. In his last start, he sat at just 90 mph. He has one other start this season on June 18, when he averaged over 92.
Zack Wheeler is 39 percent owned and will face the Marlins. Walks remain a major issue. Despite a decent ERA of 3.72, his FIP stands at 5.57. The Marlins offense is also more respectable than earlier in the season, so beware. I strongly prefer the above-mentioned Wood.
I’m not sure where to place Brandon Workman in the column. He’s young and interesting, but I don’t have enough data on him to recommend for or against. The Mariners have been streaking a bit recently, but they’re still a sub-par offense. He’s only one percent owned.
The old Mike Pelfrey is back. For many pitchers (like Kazmir), that statement would deserve an exclamation point on the end, but Pelfrey appears to have returned to his solid, inning-eating ways. That’s not worth owning for the four days between starts, but he can help you chew through innings. On the Twins, his utility is limited since it will be unlikely for him to earn a win.
Pitcher (bum): The Cubs do not possess a fearsome lineup, but Yovani Gallardo has been a mess this season, allowing way too many hits and walks to succeed.
Ian Kennedy is another veteran looking for a life line. Kennedy seems to have suffered a more modest reversal in his skill set than Gallardo—namely walk and strikeout rates resembling his 2010 numbers when he posted a 3.80 ERA with the help of a .259 BABIP. We should expect about a run every other inning going forward.
Edinson Volquez is yet another exploitable, struggling veteran, but unlike the two above, Volquez has been this way for awhile. The Reds should walk and mash aplenty.
Hitter (power): I love Juan Francisco against struggling righties and Jake Arrieta falls into that bin. He’ll also face Carlos Villanueva in the first game of the double header. Francisco will likely receive plenty of RBI opportunities with Ryan Braun tucked away on the shelf.
Chris Carter likes high-contact lefties, although Chen will still not be the easiest match-up for him.
Pitchers to come
Wednesday: Corey Kluber tops the list for Wednesday.
Thursday: Chris Tillman is currently the only pitcher listed for Thursday who is remotely start-able and available. Mostly because he will face the Astros.
Friday: I have to go with 57 percent owned Gerrit Cole against the Rockies. Thankfully the game will be played at PNC Park. As usual, half the games still feature TBA.
With all the Biogenesis and trade deadline rumors, there’s not much of substance to report here.