The daily grind: 9-10-13

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.

Leave your playoff-related questions in the comments and I’ll help as best I can.

Today’s weather watch

The pleasant weather looks like it will hold up for another day.

Today’s grind

Today’s a pretty typical day with a variety of options.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Scott Kazmir will face the Royals in the early game tomorrow. He’s 17 percent owned and has been showing great stuff all season long. His 4.17 ERA looks bad next to his 3.86 FIP and 3.58 xFIP. The story has been better fastball velocity (92.5 mph), a career best walk rate, and nearly one strikeout per inning.

After going through the numbers, it’s hard not to determine that Yusmeiro Petit‘s numbers may be legitimate. He’s showing an excellent walk rate and big swinging strike rate which has translated into plenty of strikeouts. Given his soft 88 mph fastball, I suspect that the league will adjust and the strikeouts will come down. He’s also a fly ball pitcher, so home runs could be a problem. Nevertheless, an elite walk rate can take you a long way. He’ll face the Rockies at home.

Zack Wheeler will be at home against the Nationals. Bryce Harper likely won’t be back in the lineup, so that’s another point in Wheeler’s favor. Unfortunately, he’s 48 percent owned, and almost certainly unavailable to those looking for playoff match-ups.

Sonny Gray has a nice pairing against the Twins. Gray’s shown an excellent arrangement of basic peripherals including a high ground ball rate, good swinging strike rate, and good walk rate (4.00 K/BB ratio).

Pitcher (bum): Eric Stults versus Roy Halladay is an interesting pairing. Stults has underwhelming stuff but solid results while Halladay is still trying to fine-tune his mechanics. Both sides might be useful for streaming.

Lance Lynn has struggled over the past month. Four of those six bad starts featured a problem with walking batters. The Brewers are pretty weak offensively, but could benefit from some patience.

Brad Peacock versus Brandon Maurer is likely to be a slugfest, even if the two offenses involved aren’t powerhouses. Maurer is not stretched out, since he’s filling in for Felix Hernandez on short notice. It’s likely to be a bullpen game for the Mariners.

Hitter (power): We have some repeats from yesterday. Dustin Ackley remains the hot hand in Seattle while Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders are colder hands.

Chris Carter once again has a nice match-up. You can also keep an eye on L.J. Hoes and Robbie Grossman.

Seth Smith, Brandon Moss, and Michael Choice (if he starts) all have a friendly match-up again.

Lucas Duda‘s worth another look against Dan Haren.

Danny Valencia has been swinging a hot bat against lefties this season and recently. He’ll face Andy Pettitte tomorrow.

Hitter (speed): Will Venable has a chance to reach base against the suddenly erratic Halladay.

Eric Young Jr. is up to 35 percent owned, which is the point where I start to wonder why so many people are rostering him. He’s not useful if he’s eating a roster spot.

Pitchers to come

Thursday: I’m once again recommending Alex Wood despite a couple of bad outings in a row.

Friday: Danny Salazar is the best option on Friday even though the Indians are managing his workload.

Saturday: Gerrit Cole has a better combination of opponent and talent, but I’ll recommend Michael Wacha since he’s not too far behind and is more readily available.

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Comments

  1. strugz said...

    Over the last 30 days:
    player A 100abs .270AVG 1HR 9RBI 18R 10SB
    player B 100abs .270AVG 0HR 8RBI 15R 13SB

    player A = Ellsbury
    player B = EYJR

    How is that not valuable?

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    It is valuable. I would go back in time and take that line any day. But more importantly, I wouldn’t project him to match it going forward.

  3. strugz said...

    We can agree that he’s batting leadoff and starting every day, correct? Let’s use some numbers to project what he could do with that.

    Over his minor league career he had 3015pa’s and 330sbs. So that’s about 66sbs a season.

    Over 1185 major league pa’s he has 98sbs. That’s about 50sbs a season.

    The Major league lead for sbs is 52 this season. The next best is 40.

    I agree, he’s unrosterable in any league that doesn’t count steals…and runs.

  4. Brandon said...

    I think guys like EYJR are very useful in small dosages.  You can’t run him out there all season. If you play him for 2 weeks and grab 5-8 steals and make up some ground in that category, he’s useful, while not doing major harm to your other categories.

    Also, you could argue he’s more valuable to your team late in the year when you know which specific stats to target, while your ratio stats are affected minimally.

  5. Brad Johnson said...

    I agree with Brandon. It’s all about how you leverage him in your specific context. He’s going to basically zero out in HR and RBI, which can be very painful or not at all depending on a number of factors.

  6. mamoroso said...

    My bad, I assumed this post was about current, daily strategy. If it is, and one of your readers needs sbs or runs than EYJR needs to be rostered and started.

  7. Brad Johnson said...

    I’m having trouble deciding if you’re trolling or being serious. I’ve recommended EYJ for practically every start he’s made for 2 seasons for this exact reason. I’m just shocked to see a one category guy rostered in 35% of leagues.

  8. strugz said...

    Apologies for being repetitive but EYJR is pacing to lead the majors in a category that most of your readers use for scoring hence the 35% ownership.

    Couple of other notes for the readers out there.

    Robbie Grossman is not a good pickup considering he’s been injured for the last week and probably will be shut down for the rest of the year.

    Do not pickup Dustin Ackley for power. He has 21 hrs over 1413 career MLB pas. That computes to a HR every 17 games.

  9. Brad Johnson said...

    The Ackley categorization was definitely lazy, I just lumped him with the other Mariners that I mentioned. He’s a decent play for R and AVG while he’s spraying line drives all over the field. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t really fit in the power or speed dichotomy that I set up.

    You can also consider Abraham Almonte for a similar profile.

    Thanks for pointing out the Grossman injury.

  10. Brad Johnson said...

    I ran some numbers and the 35% ownership rate seems justifiable based on his auction value. As a general strategy, I strongly recommend against using SB-only players in 5×5 formats. The obvious exception is if you can gain points in SB or prevent point loss without losing more points in R/HR/RBI/AVG.

    In the past, I’ve done some anecdotal tests on my personal roto totals and have always concluded that a player who posts $X of context neutral fantasy value over a season in multiple categories provides more net roto points than a $X player whose only positive category is steals.

  11. Anthony said...

    AL only roto league.  Trying to improve/protect my ERA and WHIP, while also maybe vulturing a win here or there.  Won’t get into the specifics of the situation, but if you had a choice of Carlos Carrasco or an empty spot for the rest of the week, would you activate him?  As a reliever, seems he’s been pretty good (11 2/3 IP, 1 W, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 9K).  And with guys like McAllister, Kluber, Kazmir, Salazar, thinking he may get a couple of opportunities for a long relief win.  Worth a shot, or too much risk of a blowup in ERA/WHIP?

  12. Brad Johnson said...

    With the caveat that I haven’t watched him once this season, that’s way too much risk. His relief numbers look good because he has a .115 BABIP in that role. His peripherals look better, but they’re still quite mediocre. I wouldn’t take the risk unless you really need those wins.

  13. Anthony said...

    Well, yeah, I really could use some wins – a win here or there could get me a point or two.  And if he could actually be counted on to keep his ERA/WHIP strong in this role, he could help me get a couple of points in those categories too.  But if it’s more likely he’ll blow up, then I’ll lose some points in those same categories, and it certainly wouldn’t be worth chasing a win…

    Guess it’s just a question of whether we believe his pitching coach that these numbers are a result of his more aggressive approach in the ‘pen, or whether we believe it’s just luck…

  14. Brad Johnson said...

    He definitely has much better numbers in the role, but a ~7 K/9 and ~3 BB/9 is hardly elite relief work. The sample is much too small to draw any conclusions from, but his 3.71 xFIP as a reliever smells about right.

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