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 Rockies and Braves in Atlanta are expected to see scattered thunderstorms. There is a modest chance for rain in the Midwest, affecting Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.
Today is a good time to make up ground in innings pitched if you have the roster flexibility.
Thin Thursday isn’t thin on games this week, but it is thin on available pitchers. Keep an eye on the TBAs for the Angels, Rockies and White Sox.
Pitcher (to start): Chris Tillman draws the coveted Astros match-up. Tillman looked fantastic down the stretch last season, but he needs to push his walk rate down into elite territory to be more than a fantasy innings eater.
Ricky Nolasco is surprisingly available at 39 percent owned. He will face a light-hitting Cubs offense. The low ownership rate is a bit surprising since he’s now on a much better team than the Marlins. He’s also having the second best season of his career per ERA. He’s the pick of the day if that is unclear.
Pitcher (bum): Tom Koehler is a sixth starter type. Plenty of Mets are on the waiver wire, so this is a good place to acquire hitters for tomorrow.
Scott Diamond has been boom or bust in 2013, leaning heavily towards bust. He’s opposed by the Royals.
It has been a rough season for Josh Johnson and he’ll need to survive a top-heavy Angels attack if he wants to improve upon it.
Brett Pill started yesterday, once again thwarting my Brandon Belt versus Kyle Kendrick recommendation. Pill is likely to start again with lefty Cole Hamels on the hill tonight. Hamels has been a bit too hittable, although he appears to be very close to the same pitcher he was last season.
Hitter (speed): It’s hard to predict with certainty if Jordy Mercer is going to start, but he can potentially fill in for owners needing to catch up in games played for shortstops.
Leonys Martin has moved into a leadoff role for the Rangers, jumping his value to must-own in deep roster 12-team leagues.
As mentioned the other day, Lorenzo Cain is a solid placeholder for a roster spot, but doesn’t bring much value outside of a few strong match-ups.
Eric Young Jr. is a solid alternative to Martin. He’s more likely to steal a base against Koehler, but lacks any sort of power utility.
Pitchers to come
Saturday: Zach McAllister is the best of the widely available options thanks to his match-up against the Marlins, but there will be plenty of players for me to write up.
Sunday: At the moment, Sunday is shaping up as a good day to bulk up on waiver innings. I’m partial to Phil Hughes at Petco Park, but there are plenty of alternatives.
It’s all Biogenesis and trade deadlines.