If you go on the Weather Network website, it’s easy to just type in “Chicago” and get a weather forecast. Right now, for example, it’s 63 and sunny with an 11 MPH wind blowing Northwest. Later, it might rain. Sounds good, right? The Cubs and White Sox are playing in low temperatures with strong wind and a chance of rain.
Except that, y’kno, Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field are 10.5 miles apart, Wrigley to the north and The Cell to the south. That might not seem extreme, but also consider that the parks face different directions. Batters at Wrigley hit the ball north-east while those at U.S. Cellular hit it south-east.
Thus, it’s important to look at each individual park’s weather, using a site like Daily Baseball Data or something similar. Just how big a difference can the parks make beyond “Chicago weather?”
|Side to Side||304||0.411||4.451||0.031|
|Side to Side||128||0.390||4.016||0.024|
The Daily Five
Josh Johnson – $9,540
As a Jays fan, my faith in Johnson is extremely low. But it’s the Astros, and they have the league’s highest strikeout rate and second lowest wOBA against righties. They made Mark Buehrle, a lefty, look like Chris Sale on Thursday. Sure, they got to R.A. Dickey on Friday but who hasn’t done that? Johnson is coming at a discount, still brings the whiffs and is still backed by some decent peripherals (4.26 FIP, 3.60 xFIP).
Austin Jackson – $6,085
I can’t tell you a whole lot about Raul Valdes, other than that he’s a journeyman swingman making his first start of the season. I can tell you, though, that Comerica should play friendly to righties today, making the lefty Valdes a nice match-up. I’ve grabbed Jackson here because the Phillies are pretty poor at controlling the run game, making Jackson an upside play for HR and/or SB.
Adam Dunn – $6,539
Even though we just saw that strong outward winds don’t really turn The Cell into a bandbox, that data doesn’t know that Wade Davis is on the hill today with that 12 MPH wind blowing straight out. Enter Dunn, a risk-reward play due to the strikeouts but one with a fine set-up to succeed – he’s done his best work this year against righties at home (.289 ISO).
David Wright – $9,725
I’ve provided some pretty low-cost picks above, so it’s time to spend a little here. Man-crush aside, Wright has a strong chance at a good game. Dan Haren has been a bit Josh Johnson-y with his up-and-down, peripherals-are-lying performance, but he’s been shaky enough that you don’t avoid the match-up. Beyond that, the Nationals are one of the worst teams for giving up stolen bases and there’s an 11MPH wind blowing out to left. Also, he’s David Wright. Swoon.
Andres Torres – $5,967
Chris Rusin is a bit of a non-prospect who doesn’t whiff anybody and has struggled in his brief appearances in the majors so far. Torres has a .329 wOBA against lefties and has the potential to exploit the Cubs’ poor management of the run game. I’ve also given five options here for a total of just $37k, leaving ample budget for another starting pitcher or a more match-up-proof bat.
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