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 White Sox have a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, but the rest of the games are free and clear.
Today is a pretty typical group of options. Rajai Davis got left out yesterday, he faces lefty C.J. Wilson and if you like Eric Young Jr., you’ll love Davis. He has the power to hit occasional home runs and steals bases at a much higher clip than Young.
Pitcher (to start): Alex Wood gets a chance at redemption against the Marlins. He allowed seven runs in less than two innings the last time he faced them, but his excellent stuff is likely to win out this time around. Still, this is the kind of bumpiness that is expected from young pitchers and if you have alternatives, you might want to take them.
A.J. Griffin is 61 percent owned and faces the Twins tomorrow. He’s lucky to be a part of a defensively able Athletics team since his early career numbers have relied heavily on a low BABIP.
Tanner Roark showed good stuff in his first big league start, going six innings and allowing no runs, four hits, and four strikeouts. Given that he wasn’t stretched out, it’s hard to guess whether he’ll have more endurance for this outing. It’s also feasible that the usual rest wasn’t sufficient to recover for this outing. In any case, he represents a risky upside play against the Mets.
Corey Kluber draws the friendly match-up against the White Sox. He’s been even better than his surface numbers suggest and can help anchor any fantasy rotation. He’s only 19 percent owned despite possessing the skill set of a 90 percent owned pitcher. For example, R.A. Dickey is 90 percent owned and I would take Kluber over him regardless of match-up quality.
Pitcher (bum): Scott Diamond will rejoin the Twins rotation after a good stint in Triple-A, but until he succeeds against major league hitters he should be considered exploitable.
The incredibly inconsistent Aaron Harang will start against the Nationals.
David Huff melted down in his first start of the season. The Orioles are a difficult assignment for the crafty lefty and he’ll need to be sharper this time around to keep them off the scoreboard.
John Danks has struggled recently and the Indians are one of the best lefty-mashing teams in the league.
Danny Valencia will face Huff.
With the lefty starting for the Twins, Michael Choice is more likely to get a spot start. He has interesting five category upside but isn’t getting much work in the middle of the playoff race.
Speaking of Young earlier, you can try his speed against Roark.
Pitchers to come
Friday: Danny Salazar remains the cream of the crop despite a pitch count limit.
Sunday: Dillon Gee versus the Marlins appears to be the early top billing.
Wladimir Balentien is one home run short of Sadaharu Oh’s single season record in Japan. Balentien is under contract for two more seasons, so he’s unlikely to make the jump back to the majors. Still it wouldn’t surprise me if adequate compensation was worked out and a second division team could benefit from giving Balentien a shot at replicating his numbers from Japan.