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
Chicago (NL) is likely to see thunderstorms today while Detroit has a lesser chance of being interrupted by storms.
Today includes plenty of adequate pitching options.
Pitcher (to start): Despite blowing up in his return from the disabled list, Brandon Beachy is an intriguing option against the Phillies. Currently 41 percent owned, Beachy presents a risky combination of rust and good stuff. He generated 11 whiffs in his last outing, which works out to an elite 13 percent whiff rate. Obviously small sample size applies, but it’s a hopeful sign that he can be more like the borderline elite pitcher he was in 2011 than the merely adequate guy we saw in 2012. And yes, I know that his 2012 season included a 2.00 ERA, but his xFIP graded out at 4.14 compared to 3.16 the previous season.
Felix Doubront continues to be a strong waiver wire option. The Diamondbacks aren’t the easiest of match-ups, especially with Patrick Corbin on the mound to limit the Red Sox attack. Doubront’s velocity continues to be a point of concern, but I doubt anyone out in readerland is investing in him long term.
Readers may have noticed that I’ve been mentioning Zach McAllister all week long as the pick for today. The general expectations for McAllister are similar to Doubront, except he does it with fewer strikeouts and walks. He faces the Marlins this week—hence the strong recommendation.
When push came to shove, I selected Dan Haren over McAllister, Doubront and Erik Bedard for my own rosters. I have difficulty discounting Haren’s excellent strikeout to walk ratio and I see no reason to fear the Brewers’ mangled assault.
Speaking of Bedard, he’s been pitching much more Bedard-like recently. He’s still an Astro and therefore not worth owning in most leagues, but he faces the lowly Twins tomorrow.
Tony Cingrani is somehow only 52 percent owned despite excellent results. Perhaps savvy owners are seeing past the surface level numbers? In any case, he’s worth owning in many leagues. You may want to pass on tomorrow’s match-up with the Cardinals.
I’ve been excited about Ivan Nova for some time now but haven’t gotten a chance to really share why. He’s now my top pick for tomorrow thanks to an improving profile. He’s generated more whiffs this season, which has translated into a strikeout per inning (9 K/9) and tolerable walk rate (3 BB/9). To sweeten the pot, he’s 32 percent owned and will face the Padres.
Pitcher (bum): If the Cubs were a better team, I would recommend against Chris Capuano more strongly. There should be a few hitters available for the match-up, so I’ll mention it.
The Tigers have some stout right-handed bats that should enjoy teeing off against John Danks.
Esmil Rogers has struggled in four of his last five outings. It’s a bit stunning how year after year, the Blue Jays have to turn to fringe major league players to deliver over 10 starts.
Brian Dozier isn’t a bad choice for a middle infield spot start against Bedard.
You can try Jonny Gomes against the seemingly unstoppable Corbin. Just remind yourself that Corbin’s excellent 2.24 ERA is backed by a 3.42 xFIP—which is still mighty good but not elite.
Hitter (speed): I mentioned J.B. Shuck the other day as a player to watch. Now you have a chance to use him against Rogers.
Go ahead and try Jonathan Villar against Gibson for steals.
Pitchers to come
Monday: The smoke really hasn’t cleared on Monday yet—there are quite a few TBA still listed. Jose Quintana against the Yankees is my current favorite since the Bombers struggle against lefties.
Tuesday: Of the currently listed pitchers (16 are currently TBA), Zack Wheeler versus Tyler Chatwood and Edwin Jackson versus Kyle Kendrick seem to hold promise. I’ll tentatively select Wheeler coming off a strong start, but if I were to go purely on expected results, I suspect Jackson is the correct answer.
Suspensions for players linked to Biogenesis are expected “soon.” Originally, that expectation was for today, but it sounds like it’s now Monday. I’m pretty sure those expectations are entirely the result of speculation.