The daily grind: 9-16-13

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.

Today’s weather watch

The Indians versus Royals game has a 50 percent chance of showers. The rest of the games should see clear skies.

Today’s grind

Johnny Cueto is back from the disabled list but is also working with a pitch count. I would avoid the outing against the Astros unless you need to throw multiple Hail Marys. Other pitchers today include Scott Kazmir, Erik Johnson and Sonny Gray.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Tanner Roark has a sparkling ERA, but his match-up against the Braves doesn’t pair well with some worrying peripherals. Using Roark would be a classic case of trusting the hot hand over talent. There’s a reason that he didn’t debut until his age 26 season and has bounced between the rotation and bullpen. While he’s shown strong walk rates, he generates whiffs at a well below average rate and has been lucky on balls in play and home runs allowed. The Nationals have cut their deficit to 4.5 games in the Wild Card race, so expect a quick hook.

If you have the nerve to use Roark, I recommend looking at Brian Flynn first. He’s been disastrously wild in his first two big league starts but has a strong track record of limiting free passes. He’s also had bad luck on balls in play and with home runs. The Phillies feature a pretty weak offense, although they aren’t as prone to left-handed pitching with Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown on the shelf.

Yusmeiro Petit versus Zack Wheeler features the out-of-nowhere journeyman against the up-and-coming prospect. With poor offensive support expected, this could wind up being a pitchers duel.

Marco Estrada has been excellent since returning from the disabled list in August. He’ll face a weak Cubs offense. He’s a good bet to generate strikeouts while limiting walks.

Corey Kluber can be counted on to give you a shot at an excellent outing. It’s unclear if the Indians mean to continue limiting his work given that he’s now two starts removed from his stint on the disabled list and the Indians are just half a game out of the second Wild Card. He’s opposed by Danny Duffy, who has seen good results since returning from the disabled list in August but has allowed way too many walks in the process. The Royals are just 3.5 games back from the Wild Card, so this series may make or break their season.

Jose Quintana has a pleasant match-up against a gutted Twins lineup. Their best hitter is Josh Willingham and he’s barely been better than average this season.

Pitcher (bum): Freddy Garcia opposes Roark. He’s pitched well in three outings since joining the Braves, but he’s showing the exact same stuff as the last few seasons. He can eat some innings, which is all the Braves need of him.

Roy Halladay is having trouble throwing strikes. He’s blaming mechanical changes, but erratic control makes me think that his shoulder injury is not healed. The Marlins aren’t a terrifying lineup, but anyone who walks four batters in a row is exploitable.

Brandon Maurer has struggled when starting ballgames and the Tigers are a tough assignment for anybody.

Nick Tepesch had a single terrible inning in his lone appearance since coming back from the disabled list. It’s not likely that he’s stretched out for the start, so expect a bullpen game.

Jordan Lyles has pitched well of late, but he has a tough game against the Reds tomorrow.

Mike Pelfrey doesn’t have a difficult match-up, but he’s been very inconsistent start-to-start.

Juan Nicasio has to survive the Cardinals onslaught at Coors Field. Good luck.

Hitter (power): Old column favorites Brandon Moss and Seth Smith will face Garrett Richards.

Avisail Garcia and even Jordan Danks might be worth a shot against Pelfrey. Neither hitter is much of a true power threat.

Duffy may be in the recommend section, but the Indians do enjoy facing lefties, especially Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs.

Try squeezing in Christian Yelich against Halladay.

Hitter (speed): Rajai Davis will face a lefty – Andy Pettitte.

Chris Denorfia will start against a Jeff Locke, who has been much more hittable since the All Star break.

Pitchers to come

Wednesday: Wednesday has a few interesting choices including Alex Wood and Danny Salazar, but I’m leaning toward the safe pick of Charlie Morton. The upside is significantly less but so is the downside.

Thursday: Ubaldo Jimenez appears to be the best choice for Thursday.

Friday: Zach McAllister has a decent match-up with the Astros.

Noteworthy news

In case you missed it, Wladimir Balentien broke the Japanese home run record. As mentioned previously, he’s under contract for another two seasons, so don’t get excited about your team signing him.

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Comments

  1. Brad Johnson said...

    My write up for Johnson would be similar to Flynn’s. In both cases you have a pretty solid looking pitcher whose first couple outings were rough. I considered using Johnson today but Yahoo threw me a curveball and said Quintana was starting and I foolishly believed them.

  2. Jared Norris said...

    Who should I start this week in a points (pitching heavy) league. I’m torn between Cobb with two home starts against Tex & Bal or Petit against the Mets and Yanks. We have big bonuses for CG or SHO, feel like Petit has the better chance and going deeper into games.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    That’s just because of the recency of his near no-no. Obviously neither pitcher is likely to get a CG/SHO though the Giants as an organization micromanage a little less so Petit might be a better bet to go deeper into games.

    Beyond that, Cobb is the better pitcher by a fairly wide margin, but one of his match-ups is a lot worse.

    Without doing 20 minutes of analysis, I would lean Cobb because both games are home. You could also make the argument that the Mets match-up for Petit outweighs all other considerations. So if you’re forcing me to make a choice, I say Cobb and if you’ll let me be wishy-washy, either is OK.

  4. Jesse said...

    Do you think Quintana and/or Estrada are good enough to start tomorrow if I’m running out of innings (got 110 left for the next two weeks), and already have Bumgarner, Latos, Anibal, Matt Moore, and Ubaldo?

  5. ABSkippers said...

    Back to my 5×5 H2H league.  Have to set lineups for the 1st week of championship round of playoffs.  Domonic Brown is back, but now Cespedes may be out.  He was scratched yesterday, and still waiting on news of what games he might miss.  If he’s not in tonight’s lineup, I’ll just sub Brown in for him.  If he is back tonight, should I put Brown in for Adam LaRoche, who’s been hot lately, or Austin Jackson?  My temptation is always to maximize my power potential, and it’s not like Jackson is running wild on the bases, but he does score a lot of runs.

  6. Skoolboy Jim said...

    Brad, any thoughts on Rick Porcello against the Mariners? He has been a decent streaming candidate for me, but I have avoided his disastrous outings.

  7. Brad Johnson said...

    I think you’ve hit the gist. Against bad teams he seems to be a decent stream but there’s always the chance that he’ll asplode.

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