There’s quite a bit of chaos in the Murphy household at the moment, so I didn’t have time to dive into more stadium-specific wind effects, but look for Wrigley Field data on Saturday.
As for today’s slate, we’ve got an uncharacteristically large player pool to choose from, with 28 teams playing. Usually Thursday’s are heavy on the off days – instead, today’s schedule has six afternoon games. That’s great for viewing but it’s not ideal for daily leagues as you’ll be forced to either set a line-up early or play with a thinner player pool in an evening-only format.
Instead of an environment or league-wide stat focus in today’s preamble, I just want a few extra words on a particular value play among today’s early games.
Alex Wood, welcome to the Major League rotation for the Atlanta Braves. Wood has made it here quickly, with just two partial seasons and 114.2 innings of minor league work. He’s thrown 22 innings for the Braves already this year, with all but three of those coming out of the bullpen. He had been utterly dominant shooting through the minors and has shown great strikeout potential so far this year. He’ll move into the rotation, perhaps for good now with Tim Hudson out, and try to maintain something close to his 30% strikeout rate, but a paltry 25% may be more likely.
The Daily Five
Alex Wood – $7,890
For his second career start, Wood will be capped at 90 pitches. This somewhat limits his upside but it’s not really all that restrictive. He draws the Mets, against whom he allowed one run in three innings in his only other start this year, with cool temperatures and a ridiculous wind blowing in toward home plate. The set up could not be better for Wood to hit the ground running as a starter.
Justin Verlander -$14,557
It’s always tough to burn a big chunk of the budget on a starter considering how volatile single outings can be, but you have to start at least two of them. Today there aren’t many great bargains, so since the best pitcher in baseball is just the eighth most expensive for the day, we’ll take him. Verlander draws the White Sox, too, who aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.
Coco Crisp – $5,741
This isn’t a C.J. Wilson indictment or an environment-based predictor of a home run, it’s all about the basepaths. The Angels are perhaps the worst team in baseball when it comes to surrendering stolen bases, giving Crisp value even if his OBP has taken a dive in July.
Manny Machado – $7,948
I’m also rolling J.J. Hardy at $7,851. It’s Jeremy Guthrie with a strong wind blowing out to left field. Beyond that, these guys are just really good and grabbing them both below the average player price on the day is a smart play.
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