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 a pretty typical day with a variety of options.
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 (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.