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
Games in Pittsburgh and Detroit have a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.
Pitcher (to start): Ricky Nolasco draws the easy Cubs lineup tomorrow. He’s up to 55 percent owned.
Martin Perez appears to be settling into the majors nicely. The one knock against him is that his strikeout rate is quite pedestrian. He faces the Mariners tomorrow, but a Felix Hernandez start will hurt his chances for a win.
Charlie Morton‘s developed into a reliable, if unexceptional pitcher. He is showing one elite skill—a 66 percent groundball rate. Tomorrow he faces a weak Brewers lineup, but he can be considered a core performer against most lineups. Unfortunately, this late in the season, fantasy owners usually need more than core performers.
Garrett Richards is someone to keep an eye on going into next season. He pumps gas at 95 mph and has greatly improved his walk rate. His peripherals suggest that an ERA around 3.40 can be expected, assuming the peripherals themselves hold up. Tomorrow, he has a fringy match-up against the Rays.
John Lackey has a bad match-up against the Orioles, but he’s pitched well enough to use him anyway. It’s a risky outing and he’s 60 percent owned, so most of you will want to go another route.
Wade Miley will see the Padres at Chase Field. The Pads are actually a decent hitting lineup this season, thanks to a number of useful platoons, so this is only a decent match-up.
Pitcher (bum): Todd Redmond struggled against the Astros his last time out, so I’m downgrading him to exploit against the righty-mashing Yankees.
Paul Maholm has to conquer the lefty- mashing Indians tomorrow.
The Phillies will face Daisuke Matsuzaka.
I assume Lyle Overbay will start against Redmond.
Hitter (speed): Chris Denorfia will face Miley and he’s the only stolen base target I’m recommending for tomorrow.
Pitchers to come
Saturday: Saturday will have some options, though none of the good ones are yet confirmed. Ivan Nova should start against the Rangers. He’s still a great option despite the bad match-up. I really can’t be any more enthusiastic in my recommendation.
Matt Harvey appears likely to require Tommy John surgery. That’s a bummer for fantasy owners and Mets fans alike.
Derek Jeter re-returned to the lineup yesterday.