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
August has been a great weather month after a rainy summer. Today is another clear day.
Pitcher (to start): Gerrit Cole is at 56 percent owned and will face the Padres. Cole has been slowly upping his strikeout game while playing into the Pirates’ defensive philosophy.
Jon Niese is also heavily rostered at 51 percent. While he’s generally unexceptional, he is decent enough to use against weak offensive clubs like the Giants. He’s opposed by Madison Bumgarner, so his odds of winning the game are reduced.
Michael Wacha‘s match-up with the Rockies would be more interesting were it not also at Coors Field. Wacha is one of many young pitchers who is showing a strong strikeout rate while limiting walks. He’s a fringe options since we don’t know how he’ll be affected by the altitude.
Ubaldo Jimenez is yet another pitcher with a solid match-up who may be rostered too frequently to use—57 percent. He’s showing his best strikeout rate since 2010, when he threw five mph harder than now. He still walks too many batters, but the rest of his profile lines up well against the Astros.
Pitcher (bum): Roy Oswalt continues his rehab circuit with the Rockies. He should be able to deliver close to 100 pitches this time around, but he does have to make that start at Coors. The Cardinals’ stout offense should be favored.
The Indians mash lefties and Dallas Keuchel is one of the lesser lefties in the game.
Kevin Correia is a pedestrian right-hander and the A’s platoon heavy offense likes those kinds of pitchers.
Jake Arrieta has a good match-up against the Brewers but can’t seem to get his career off the ground. Walks have been a huge problem for Arrieta in 2013.
Seth Smith‘s been an afterthought this season, but you can consider him against Correia.
Scott Van Slyke tends to start when lefties oppose the Dodgers. He’s not truly a major power threat but he might get some RBI opportunities while batting sixth or seventh.
Hitter (speed): Norichika Aoki has been hitting waiver wires as owners grind through the end of the season. While he’s still 65 percent owned, I’ve seen him become available in all of my leagues. He will probably bat leadoff against Arrieta.
Pitchers to come
Friday: Friday really lacks options with Zach McAllister standing out from the crowd.
Saturday: Saturday should make up for Friday. There’s a plethora of friendly match-ups on the waiver wire, headlined by Ivan Nova against the Giants.
The big news of the day was Matt Harvey choosing rehab over surgery. While that seems to rarely work out in the long run, it could mean that he’ll be available to pitch in 2014.