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 Nationals are likely to see storms while Philadelphia is expecting rain from the same system overnight. The risk of storms increases throughout the game. Pittsburgh, New York (AL), Cleveland and Oakland all have a 30 percent chance of passing showers.
Today’s choices mostly fall into the “probably owned” bucket.
Pitcher (to start): Corey Kluber‘s last outing wasn’t brilliant, but he’s still an excellent choice against the Astros. Remarkably, he’s owned in only 25 percent of leagues which is a ridiculous figure for a pitcher who is probably a top 25 pitcher on 2014 draft boards.
Long time no see for Felix Doubront. The Sox gave him a two-week break and now he’s back to face an injury-weakened Blue Jays lineup.
Alexi Ogando is not pitching nearly as well this season as he did in his 2011 breakout campaign. His fastball is down nearly two mph and he’s walking nearly a batter more per nine innings (3.45 BB/9). The result is a pitcher whose 3.15 ERA probably should be in the mid-fours. He’ll face the Royals in a game that has playoff implications. Both clubs are now chasing the Cleveland Indians for the second Wild Card spot.
Sonny Gray is an excellent streaming option against the Twins. It’s too bad he’s up to 44 percent owned.
Pitcher (bum): Yusmeiro Petit is tempting as a positive recommendation due to his recent success and some of you will undoubtedly start him. I’m concerned about him facing the designated hitter at Yankee Stadium. He’s an extreme fly ball pitcher with mediocre stuff so it’s hard to believe that his 88 mph fastball will survive the outing. He’s posted an excellent 11 percent whiff rate, although the Mets only whiffed on a couple of pitches.
Brian Flynn doesn’t seem ready for major league action and the Nationals are red hot as they try to backdoor into the postseason. Flynn has the pitching DNA to post an adequate strikeout rate and decent walk rate, but it just hasn’t happened yet. He’s allowed just as many walks as strikeouts—10 in 14 innings.
Jeremy Hellickson appears to be snake bit. Usually there is an easy explanation to be teased out of the stat line, but the only glaring issue is a one mph decrease in his fastball velocity. His peripherals are actually the best he’s posted over three full seasons.
Cole DeVries has the difficult task of stifling the Athletics. The soft-tossing righty is a flyball pitcher who survives only by limiting walks. However, in two appearances this season, he’s allowed more walks than strikeouts. His minor league appearances were more in line with expectations—about 4.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
Hitter (power): DeVries looks like a job for Seth Smith.
Hitter (speed): Rajai Davis will have the platoon advantage against Doubront.
Denard Span is hitting well, bats leadoff, and will face Flynn.
Pitchers to come
Monday: Monday is crammed with options. Good pitchers with poor match-ups include Marco Estrada, Zack Wheeler and Tanner Roark. Good pitchers with desirable match-ups include Charlie Morton Jose Quintana, and Yordano Ventura.
Tuesday: It appears that nearly all the best call-ups from 2013 are pitching on Tuesday. Gerrit Cole has the best combination of match-up and recent success, but he’s also the most owned.
Andy Pettitte has announced that he will retire after the 2013 season.