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 weather is all clear across the board today.
Today’s class has a few of the top waiver wire picks but isn’t deep.
Pitcher (to start): Sonny Gray is an option against the Astros. He’s an interesting prospect in that he can strike out his fair share while limiting walks, but I wouldn’t be overly aggressive about adding him outside of deep keeper leagues. If he gets additional work, we can probably expect an ERA north of 4.00.
Dan Haren has been pitching well, which mostly means that he’s limiting home runs. Tomorrow he faces the Giants, so the match-up is there to continue using him.
Tony Cingrani faces the Brewers tomorrow. He has posted a higher walk rate since returning to the rotation in late June, but has otherwise continued to succeed with his fastball heavy approach.
Zack Wheeler appears to be working to get his walk rate under control, which is a big reason why he’s someone to avoid for neutral or difficult outings. He’s paired against the Padres, so he’s a reasonable waiver pick. Do note that his decent 3.63 ERA belies a 5.14 FIP.
Alex Cobb returns to the mound tomorrow to face the Mariners. He’s 70 percent owned, so it appears that he was stashed on the disabled list in most leagues. It’s hard to know what to expect coming back from such a gruesome injury.
Ryan Vogelsong was not sharp in his return from the disabled list last week, but he did survive the outing. Of particular concern is the reduced velocity on his fastball, which registered about 2 mph slower than his usual average. This time around he faces the Nationals.
Brian Dozier continues to hit well for an up-the-middle asset. His eligibility at shortstop and second base can be a boon.
Hitter (speed): Jonathan Villar is back in the lineup and has shown a willingness to steal in bunches.
Will Venable has a decent chance to steal some bases against Wheeler and the Mets.
Pitchers to come
Friday: Continue to target Alex Wood against the Nationals.
Saturday: I may have been too critical of Jenrry Mejia when he originally arrived in the big leagues. He’s succeeded in large part due to an unprecedented, excellent walk rate (1.11 BB/9). While that rate is almost certain to regress, it’s conceivable that it will remain far enough below his career norms to make him a solid fantasy option. He faces the Padres on Saturday.