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
Another clear September day throughout baseball.
Today has a full complement of options.
Pitcher (to start): John Lackey‘s ownership still isn’t skyrocketing. He’s currently at 61 percent, but he’s reliable enough to start against any team, even the Yankees.
Dan Straily versus Brett Oberholtzer offers a couple of flyball heavy, fringe choices. Straily doesn’t quite strike out enough batters to support his average walk rate while Oberholtzer has gotten the job done by allowing a lot of balls in play.
Corey Kluber will return from the disabled list tomorrow, but he will be limited to roughly 75 pitches, so beware. He faces the Mets, but I would sit this one out in case there is rust.
Alex Wood blew up painfully in his last outing, but that’s not giving me any pause in deploying him. His ownership is still at 46 percent and he will face the Phillies.
Tanner Roark will move into the rotation for the Nationals in the place of Ross Ohlendorf. The start will mark his first in the majors after he’s posted a 1.19 ERA (3.08 xFIP) in 22.2 relief innings. He’s split his time as a starter and reliever this season in the minors, but he’s not stretched out, so even the friendly match-up with the Marlins may not be enough to use him.
Pitcher (bum): David Huff isn’t particularly bad, but he faces a tough Red Sox lineup, is working on short rest, and has underwhelming stuff. The combination could lead to some crooked numbers. The game is in Oakland, so the flyball-happy tendency of the two pitchers isn’t as dangerous as it would be in Houston.
Jake Arrieta has a soft match-up with the Brewers, but he’s exhibited a walk problem in recent starts despite good results. The Brew Crew will field John Hellweg, who has his own walk problems and a low strikeout rate.
I wanted to highlight James Paxton in some way, but I can’t recommend starting him against the Rays. He improved his walk rate this season at the expense of his formerly elite strikeout rate, but the fantasy profile screams “adequate.” The Rays can be a tricky lineup to tame, so my money is on them.
I haven’t taken Junior Lake very seriously this season because his numbers are built entirely upon a .380 BABIP and he doesn’t stand out in any one category. Still, his start against Hellweg is enticing.
Even though Roark has had a great season, I’d still gamble on five-category monster Christian Yelich.
Hitter (speed): Guess who? Eric Young Jr. will face a potentially rusty Kluber and an early bullpen.
Leonys Martin has cooled off recently, but he’s still the same speed threat.
Pitchers to come
Monday: MLB.com has updated the Mariners’ starting pitcher. It’s now Taijuan Walker, who I feel better about recommending.
Tuesday: Tony Cingrani performed well in his return the rotation yesterday, and he’ll face the Cubs next Tuesday.