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 weather watch portion of the column has been irrelevant for at least two weeks now. There will be some games played in 60-degree temperatures, which may reduce home run rates slightly.
Today features three guys who are probably already owned in your league and Michael Wacha at Coors Field. It’s not a great day for streaming.
Pitcher (to start): Zach McAllister draws the Astros tomorrow. His mixture of adequate stuff should play up a bit. It may just be small sample variance, but his worst work has been against strong offenses, so he’s been predictable.
If you’re more desperate, Brett Oberholtzer is on the other side of that match-up. He’s a fly ball pitcher who gets the job done by being very stingy with walks. The Indians tend to do well against lefties, so this is a very risky play.
Jhoulys Chacin is at 52 percent owned and doesn’t have the best mix of skills for fantasy baseball. Despite the match-up at Coors Field, his groundball-focused approach keeps him out of trouble. He’s opposed by Randall Delgado, who may find the altitude a bit harder to overcome.
Martin Perez is the only other pitcher worth sneezing at tomorrow. Perez is one of those pitchers whose stuff is seemingly better than his results. Although he has a 3.64 ERA, he’s struggled to strike out batters, which leads to an expected ERA above 4.00. The interesting part is that he generates enough whiffs to be striking out at least seven batters per nine innings.
Pitcher (bum): Johnny Hellweg is still showing an absolutely ridiculous walk rate at the major league level—and not the good kind of ridiculous. His last outing was better in that he allowed only one walk. In 21.2 innings, he’s walked 17, hit five batters, and notched just five strikeouts. The Cardinals lineup is likely to punish him.
The Rays are beginning an important series against the Orioles, who trail them by just two games for the first Wild Card spot. They face Jason Hammel, who failed to repeat his breakout 2012. Hammel is likely limited to around 80 pitches.
Andre Rienzo seems to have the ingredients of an adequate big league pitcher. He’s still figuring out the big leagues and the Tigers are the wrong lineup for growing youngsters.
Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched well in his last two outings, but I still have to strongly recommend the overall package which includes extreme fly ball tendencies and a propensity to lose command of the strike zone. Matsuzaka is quite stingy to righties, so expect the Phillies to deploy a lefty-heavy lineup.
Hitter (power): Unfortunately, Michael Choice has received very little work in his September call-up. Being opposed by lefty Andrew Albers increases his chance at a spot start. Chris Young is a better bet to play, but he’s less interesting.
Justin Maxwell gains the platoon advantage against Perez.
While you’re stacking Phillies, Cesar Hernandez is likely to lead off and could steal a base or two.
Pitchers to come
Saturday: Saturday features a handful of column regulars led by Ivan Nova.
Monday: Next Monday is a happy day for streaming. Those who want to speculate may find Yordano Ventura to be of interest. His heater averaged 98 mph in his debut.
Jose Abreu has established residency in Haiti. He’ll be free to negotiate with teams as soon as his petition for free agency is approved.