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 Rays and Twins are likely to see rain late in the game at Target Field. Otherwise, baseball is free and clear of weather events today.
Today isn’t super deep for pitching, but there are a lot of hitter options thanks to a doubleheader between the Mets and Marlins.
Dillon Gee draws the Marlins match-up tomorrow. Gee’s been showing consistently better velocity in his last six starts—about one mph more than his season average and similar to 2012′s average velocity. That gives some hope that he can strike out batters at a rate similar to last year, which makes him much more attractive to fantasy owners.
Zach McAllister is coming off a rough patch against some good teams. He finally has a favorable match-up against the White Sox. His profile is similar to Gee’s, but you have to be a little more careful with him since he plays in the American League. Keep in mind, he’s paired against Chris Sale, so it will be a tough game to win.
You could reach deep for Erasmo Ramirez, Ivan Nova or Edinson Volquez, but the circumstances are poor for most owners. Ramirez and Nova have difficult match-ups against the Cardinals and Red Sox respectively. Nova also may be on a pitch count after experiencing triceps soreness in his last outing. The threat of an injury-related blowup this late in the season is too much to risk unless you are desperate. Volquez is simply inconsistent. His peripherals look usable, but his actual results have been terrible.
Pitcher (bum): Tyler Cloyd doesn’t quite have the elite command and control necessary to succeed with his middling stuff. He’ll need to make it through an outing against the Nationals tomorrow.
I almost recommended Burch Smith despite the ugly small sample numbers because there is upside in his profile. It depends on him maintaining his elite strikeout rate while reducing his walk rate to something more in line with his minor league numbers. He’ll also need to get better luck on balls in play (.392 BABIP) and stop allowing 20 percent of fly balls to leave the ballpark. He’s a flyball pitcher, so the home run problem is bad. Ultimately, I decided to bet against everything coming together against the Braves.
Paul Clemens is an exploitable pitcher, especially against the Angels. He walks a few too many, doesn’t strike out enough, and allows too many fly balls.
The Rays should be happy to face Pedro Hernandez. His stuff is fringy and his strikeout to walk ratio is terrible (1.47 K/BB). That might see some positive regression, but not enough to take him out of this category.
Hitter (power): This will sound wonky, but consider Delmon Young. He’s batted in the middle of the order for the Rays against lefties, and Hernandez is quite hittable.
Scooter Gennett is by no means an exciting pick and he doesn’t really fit in either the power or speed categories. He can still contribute to fantasy owners and he’s often batting sixth these days.
J.B. Shuck is likely to draw leadoff duties against Clemens.
Jordan Schafer will also probably bat leadoff and has been stealing bases in bunches.
Eric Young Jr. is yet another leadoff man who could steal a couple bases in a good game.
Pitchers to come
Tuesday: Marco Estrada is a good choice for Tuesday, but it’s a very deep day.
Wednesday: Charlie Morton combines safety with run support. That’s always nice.
Stephen Strasburg was scratched with forearm tightness yesterday. It’s being described as a precautionary move.