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
A few cloudy games today but no true weather threats.
Today is not the day to exceed your innings limit. The waiver wire is too thin.
Pitcher (to start): Robbie Erlin has been solid since returning to the rotation in late August. The soft-tossing lefty has to continue limiting walks to succeed with his merely adequate whiff rate and stuff. He’ll pitch at Petco tomorrow against the Diamondbacks.
Ivan Nova is at 42 percent owned and will face the Wild Card bound Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays lead the Indians by only one game for hosting rights to the Wild Card game, so don’t expect them to ease up off the throttle. They’re also only two games ahead of the Rangers, who are currently on the outside looking in. As for Nova, he’s coming off a brilliant outing against the Giants. He was struggling prior to that outing and he’s been walking more batters recently.
Miguel Gonzalez is a fringy choice against the Blue Jays. He’s a nice innings eater for a real major league team but not somebody to use in fantasy unless you must.
Dillon Gee is one of the top pitchers available tomorrow. He’ll face a Brewers team that struggles offensively and is throwing a bad starting pitcher. The chance for a win is high.
Despite an excellent debut in which he struck out 45 percent of batters faced, David Hale has a pedestrian repertoire and should be expected to be adequate, like Erlin and Gonzalez. He’ll face the Phillies in Atlanta. He’ll probably be allowed to make a full start since he’s not likely to join the playoff roster.
Zach McAllister is up there with Gee in terms of match-up quality. The Indians are in a desperate fight to reach the postseason. They’re just one game behind Tampa to host the Wild Card game, but the Rangers are right on their tail. McAllister will be allowed to go deep if he’s pitching well, but he’ll also be on a short leash.
If you’re using the Yahoo innings exploit today, Edinson Volquez and Andre Rienzo can be added to the list of starters. I recommend holding off for the end of the week, but I know not all owners have that option.
Pitcher (bum): Johnny Hellweg continues to look terrible. He escaped major damage in his last outing but still gave up seven hits and five walks over five innings. The walks in particular have been a huge problem for Hellweg so stack Mets hitters.
The Braves will probably rest a couple of their top hitters, but the match-up against Tyler Cloyd is still a good one. Aside from Colby Lewis, not too many right-handed pitchers get by on 86 mph fastballs.
Hitter (speed): Put Eric Young Jr. at the top of your Mets wish list. He should work a couple of walks in this one.
Jordan Schafer could swipe a base or two if he starts.
Will Venable might be slipping back to the waiver wire in a few leagues as owners cycle over the last week.
Pitchers to come
Manny Machado is due to miss only six to eight weeks, so owners in keeper leagues can breathe a sigh of relief. Now is a good time to try to acquire him as a keeper (if your league allows that sort of trading).