The daily grind: 9-9-13

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

It looks like it’s another clear day. We’re getting to the point of the season where we’ll need to pay attention to temperature again, but so far there haven’t been any cold night games.

Today’s grind

Ubaldo Jimenez, Gerrit Cole, Ricky Nolasco and Taijuan Walker round out today’s pitching options.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): It’s been awhile since Zach McAllister had a good enough match-up to start. A game against the Royals should give him an opportunity to win with decent ratios. Just remember, he’s a core performer on his good days. There’s some safety in his profile but not a ton of upside.

I’m a strong advocate of Ivan Nova—at least this season—but a start against the Orioles’ elite offense is just about the only time I’d consider not playing him.

Jerome Williams versus Mark Buehrle features two pitchers who are on a roll but are still relatively scary to use for fantasy purposes. I’d be more comfortable using Williams.

Tony Cingrani draws an easy Cubs lineup, but there’s always cause for concern due to his fastball-heavy repertoire. His fastball velocity is also hovering just above 90 mph over his last four starts, which is down from the 92 he was pumping earlier in the season.

Dillon Gee draws the Nationals. This is yet another match-up that I would not rush to the waiver wire to own, but he has a decent enough shot at a win and will probably post respectable ratios.

Pitcher (bum): Tyler Cloyd features a 3.57 ERA, but he’s not remotely close to that good. The Padres’ platoon-heavy lineup should find ways to get to Cloyd.

Erik Johnson is likely to appear in the positive section in future starts, as he possesses a nice mix of fantasy skills. Unfortunately, he’s paired against the Tigers tomorrow.

Definitely stack Athletics against Liam Hendriks.

Do the same with Diamondbacks versus Edinson Volquez.

Jordan Lyles is pitted against Joe Saunders in a classic game of “Who Blows Up?”

Hitter (power): Our old buddies Seth Smith and Brandon Moss may enjoy facing Hendriks.

With Saunders on the hill, the Astros will send out their platoon masher Chris Carter. L.J. Hoes and Robbie Grossman are less intriguing options.

Dustin Ackley has been red hot with the stick while Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders have been pretty frigid. Still, all three have a nice match-up with Lyles.

Lucas Duda is being evaluated at first base and has the platoon advantage tomorrow.

Hitter (speed): A Volquez start means another recommendation for Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra.

Guess who? Eric Young Jr.

Will Venable has the platoon advantage against the hittable Cloyd.

Pitchers to come

Wednesday: Scott Kazmir might have the best combination of talent and match-up, which isn’t a good thing for streamers.

Thursday: Alex Wood has burned me twice in a row against crappy lineups, but rather than learn my lesson I’m going to keep trumpeting his stuff. As an interesting anecdote, I live in Atlanta and warned a friend that we could start to see Wood (andJulio Teheran) tire out down the stretch. This was the day before Wood’s first meltdown. Apparently, I don’t see the same viewpoint when I put on my fantasy analyst hat.

If you’re feeling less adventurous, Corey Kluber draws the White Sox and should be allowed deeper into the ballgame.

Friday: Pitch count-limited Danny Salazar is still a stud. And he’ll face the White Sox.

Noteworthy news

Clay Buchholz returns to action tomorrow, but 88 percent of owners found a way to hang onto him all season long.

Baseball will not return to the 2020 Olympics, which seems a given since there isn’t any chance that MLB would interrupt the season to send its best athletes.

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  1. Will H. said...

    Today: Arroyo vs. the fearsome Cubs, as well as Chacin @ SF (pitcher’s park, not-good Lincecum or lineup—though of course COL’s ain’t all that without CarGo’s bat)

    Tomorrow: de la Rossa also gets @ SF (and Vogelsong) while Cashner gets PHI and Cloyd

    Wednesday: did Petit have TJ or something back when he missed all that time in 2011? Because his velo has actually jumped along with his AAA/majors peripherals. Might be worth it vs. Nicasio.

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    I would pass on Chacin and de la Rosa. That’s just my two cents though, they’re both in that marginal territory where it could go either way.

    I left Cashner out because they’re managing his pitch counts now and he (and the Padres run support) aren’t quite good enough to justify using in that event.

    Petit’s definitely interesting. I don’t have a read on him yet, but the skeptic in me keeps saying to continue ignoring him. This late in the season, that’s a safe enough tactic. We’ll have a full offseason to parse out what he’s done recently and over the next few weeks.

  3. Will H. said...

    If I were beating my league by over a dozen points I would most certainly go with that advice. Hypothetically speaking, of course, I might need to shoot for the moon and do otherwise…

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    Good point and one I try to address whenever possible. Everyone should make their individual decisions based on where they are in the standings and what’s at stake.

    Especially at this point of the year it’s all about knowing what kind of risk profile is acceptable. The league Will’s referencing (where I have a strong lead over fellow THTers Jeff Gross and Nick Fleder) is one where I should be sitting risky pitchers. My only path to losing at this point is if I ruin ERA and WHIP.

    Conversely, I have an H2H league where I’m trying to shoot the moon with high risk/high reward pitchers and position players.

  5. FeslenR said...

    didn’t Nova just pitch a complete game shut out vs. the Orioles last time out?

    Brad, what’s your advice on Liriano vs. Rangers?  I’m hesitant due to his last blow up, but if he keeps his good-bad outings pattern he SHOULD have a decent outing against the Ranger.  start or no?

  6. Brad Johnson said...

    I have the same dilemma with Liriano and I haven’t made a decision yet. If you can afford to sit him, it might be a good idea…

    And yes, I don’t know why I was pessimistic about Nova this morning. The Orioles aren’t THAT good and most of their better hitters have crashed back to reality.

  7. Anthony said...

    Thoughts on starting Cosart tonight in an AL-only league?  Looking for wins with hopefully a decent whip/era.  Seattle matchup doesn’t look too bad…

  8. Brad Johnson said...

    I don’t know when the other shoe is going to drop on Cosart, but a 1:1 K/BB ratio should mean problems against even the worst lineup, despite the 2.13 ERA in 55 IP.

  9. ChuckR said...

    OK, how about the H2H teams that have byes this week, but who might be looking to anticipate 2 start pitchers for next week?  Wednesday pitchers this week are particularly of interest since they’ll have two starts next week.

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