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 weather watch
The double header in Chicago shows a 30 percent chance of rain for both games, but the rest of the country looks like it’ll get a dry day.
There is no shortage of widely available, useful pitching today.
Pitcher (to start): Corey Kluber is the top pick for the day, mostly due to his solid ratios and strikeout totals. He’s 28 percent owned, but he’s the kind of fantasy core performer who usually sees ownership rates around 80-90 percent. In other words, many of you still have the opportunity to pick up a guy who would usually go in the 10th to 14th round or cost around $10 in a 12-team league.
Kluber is opposed by Jose Quintana. He’s only 17 percent owned and features a similar story with solid ratios and a tolerable strikeout rate. Chicago’s terrible offense (likely to get worse soon), eats away at his value since wins are unlikely. To give you a comparison point, Quintana is similar to pitchers who are drafted in the 14th to 20th round or cost around $5. The Indians have one of the top offenses in the league, so be wary.
Kyle Kendrick is somehow owned more frequently than both Kluber and Quintana despite being substantially worse. Kendrick has a solid shot at a win against the Giants with decent ratios, but a lousy strikeout rate makes him a pure spot starter—not somebody to own in 39 percent of leagues.
If you are looking to chase a win, Miguel Gonzalez is a better player to pick up than Kendrick and he’s 35 percent owned. You get the same profile as Kendrick with solid ratios and a low strikeout rate, but you also benefit from a top offense supplying early leads.
I’ll mention Jenrry Mejia because he’s lightly owned and has that prospect glitter all over him, but I’m staying away. He was quite unimpressive last season and has barely been available this season despite good results thus far.
Martin Perez generates enough whiffs that he should be striking out more batters and thus seeing better results. As a young pitcher who’s battled some injuries, he likely needs further refinement before becoming a fantasy mainstay. A match-up against the Angels will be challenging.
Edwin Jackson is down to 28 percent owned. He’s a brand name, core performer paired against an abysmal Brewers offense.
Pitcher (bum): The Chad Gaudin bus broke down against the Reds last week and I expect the poor performance to continue against the Phillies.
Erik Bedard was a nightmare earlier in the season, but managed to turn things around. However, he’s remained inconsistent—particularly with walks—and a dynamic Orioles offense is a dreadful assignment.
Hitter (power): Christian Yelich should be owned in most keeper formats, but for the re-draft types in the crowd, he’s a solid spot start against Mejia.
I feel like I’ve recommended Brandon Belt against Kendrick a thousand times without a single positive result. The match-up should improve Belt’s outcomes substantially.
J.B. Shuck is a new name around these parts. Treat him like a left-handed Craig Gentry. He can steal a few bases, rarely strikes out, and has trouble hitting for any sort of power. He’ll face a lefty tomorrow so this isn’t the time to jump on him if you have alternatives.
Pitchers to come
Thursday: Chris Tillman remains the top available arm.
Friday: Friday remains TBA heavy, but Gerrit Cole is a solid choice for re-draft owners. I assume he’s owned in all keeper leagues.