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
Yet another day of clear skies.
Today has mostly fringy choices. Load up on Saturday and Sunday.
Pitcher (to start): The Indians continue to battle for their playoff lives which is probably a good thing for those looking to start Scott Kazmir against the Twins. Expect Kazmir to go deep into the ballgame if he’s getting good results.
The worm burning Charlie Morton has a tough match-up against the Reds, but he’s another guy whose team is playing for the win.
With the Padres and Giants featuring under-powered offenses, Eric Stults versus Yusmeiro Petit offers two good streaming candidates. This is especially true if you are using the Yahoo innings exploit tomorrow.
Jimmy Nelson is considered to be the Brewers’ top prospect. In five innings out of the pen, he has mixed a strong 94 mph fastball with a slider and change-up. We’ll see how those pitches transfer to starting. One item to note, his minor league career has shown inconsistencies with his ability to limit walks.
Wei-Yin Chen is at 26 percent owned and will start against the Red Sox. It’s a tough match-up but there’s no telling how hard the Sox will try to win the game. They haven’t yet clinched the best record in the American League, but they may have by tomorrow. Chen shouldn’t be your first choice.
If you want to gamble on the Tigers resting hitters and you absolutely must stream pitchers, Nathan Eovaldi may be worth considering. He’s at the bottom of the list for streaming.
Yordano Ventura versus Erik Johnson features two good, young pitchers against middling or worse offenses. We may get a pitchers duel out of this one and the only reason not to start both is that you can’t get two wins from the pair.
Andy Pettitte makes the final start of his career for the second time. He’ll face the Astros who could help him rack up a couple of extra strikeouts. He also has a good chance to pull down the win.
Joe Kelly is generally unexceptional—despite a 2.81 ERA—but a Cubs match-up should make him attractive for streaming.
Pitcher (bum): Cole De Vries is exploitable at any time, but especially with the Indians clinging to that second Wild Card.
The Mets will allow Aaron Harang another start, this time against a weak Brewers lineup.
Expect the Yankees to go out in style against Paul Clemens and the Astros.
Brandon Maurer has struggled this season, although a peek at his numbers reveals that the damage has mostly been to “luck” related stats like BABIP. Having watched a few Maurer starts, my hypothesis is that he’s making too many fat pitches in hitters counts, which can also lead to elevated “luck” stats without luck actually playing a hand.
Juan Nicasio is struggling mightily in September. Four of his last five starts have included way too many walks.
Hitters: Unfortunately, you are on your own for hitters. Between expanded rosters and the bare handful of teams that are playing for something, it’s extremely difficult to predict who will play and who will sit a full day ahead of time. For those in leagues with daily moves, keep an eye on lineups as they are announced.
Pitchers to come
Sunday: The final day includes Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, John Lackey, Marco Estrada, Johnny Cueto, and Gerrit Cole. You may also have unusually good pitchers available to you if other owners have cycled their lineup. Don’t forget to check waivers.
In other news, Carlos Gomez received a one game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing incident between the Brewers and Braves. The announcement was largely pooh-poohed by the Twitterverse.