The Daily Grind: 4-3-14 – Presented by FanDuel

What’s up today

  1.  Blasted early games
  2.  DFS late picks
  3.  Traditional fantasy pitchers (tomorrow)
  4.  Das Chart

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1. Why is there baseball in the morning?

I’ve lived on the east coast my whole life. Now that I’m in Pacific Time Land, I get/have to watch baseball in the morning. It’s weird. Two factors conspire to give me a very busy morning. First, Eno has me covering the noontime chat on FanGraphs (come visit me). That’s noon ET. Second, major league baseball saw fit to schedule most of the games in the early afternoon, which is too close to post time for me to provide timely advice.

The good news for me is that FanDuel doesn’t have many “early only” contests today. Other platforms do, but I’m not specifically in charge of covering them.

And by the way, I made $50 on $3 of entries last night. I don’t expect this run to continue…

2. DFS notes

Here are a few observations about the early games.

Jordan Zimmermann has been scratched. Repeated in all caps: ZIMMERMANN SCRATCHED.

Kolten Wong is back batting second today. Across the aisle, Chris Heisey is batting sixth. That’s just trivia though, rain might force this game to be cancelled.

Justin Ruggiano is batting third (ankle) and Mike Olt is lined up sixth. Watch out for mid-game storms.

Corey Dickerson is leading off for the Rockies. Meanwhile, Jeff Baker and Casey McGehee continue to bat second and fourth. Eventually one of those spots is going to go to Marcell Ozuna (sixth).

Danny Espinosa is in and batting seventh. Bryce Harper is finally in a premium lineup spot – second. Eric Young Jr. and Daniel Murphy are batting one-two for the Mets. Finally.

It’s just a four game night schedule to work with, so stack creatively. The Yankees definitely have the best matchup and the best park to play in, but keep in mind that everybody can see that. If you’re playing a tournament, consider stacking A’s and M’s hitters. They A’s are coming off a double header and both teams are probably going to hit the pen early. At least in FanDuel, everyone is cheap enough that you can use almost any combination of players.

Stay away from the Red Sox versus Orioles game. Trust me.

3. Tomorrow’s pitchers

To start: Travis Wood has a solid matchup against the Phillies. Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche might help them from being easily exploited by left-handed pitching, but that’s a big might here in April.

Erik Johnson will be on the road against the Royals. It’s not an easy matchup and I’d rather watch a few of his starts before jumping off the deep end. I picked him as a solid fantasy performer during draft season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tread carefully.

I think my colleagues would smack me upside the head if I failed to point to Jenrry Mejia. He’s got good stuff, I don’t know if that will translate into efficient outings.

Dan Straily looks especially useful tomorrow because he faces the ghost of Chris Young. Oh, you say he’s still alive. My apologies Chris. In all honesty, I’m rooting for him (Young, not Straily).

To exploit: I don’t know about Roberto Hernandez. The Phillies signed him because they caught their analytics team (person?) up to 2009, when we were pointing at HR/FB rate as an indicator of luck. Sometimes though, pitchers just have really home run friendly pitches. His slider was the pitch that allowed the silliest damage. Maybe he was hanging them. Maybe he actually was unlucky. In any case, I’m comfortable exploiting him.

I’ll take the Indians against Mike Pelfrey all day, every day.

Ryan Vogelsong is only in the rotation because the Giants don’t have anybody else. The Dodgers should mash him.

Joe Saunders is still around, but only because the Pitcher Reaper lives in Texas. Tropicana Field is a good park for him, but I still expect the Rays to put up plenty of runs.

4. Das chart

It’s a risky weather day. Cincinnati is a mess and may get rained out. Avoid if possible. The Orioles have a chance of showers all game, that’s another one to avoid. The Tigers are expected to face nasty conditions including a cold, light rain. They’ll get this one in, but it’ll be unpleasant. Pittsburgh will probably receive Cincinnati’s storms around mid-game.

So there are a whopping two games with good conditions. Which probably means you won’t be able to go green across the board with your hitters. Sorry for ya.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of FanDuel. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Brad is a former collegiate player who writes for FanGraphs, MLB Trade Rumors, The Hardball Times, RotoWorld, and The Fake Baseball. He's also the lead MLB editor for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

13 Responses to “The Daily Grind: 4-3-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

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  1. William says:

    Garret Richards at Houston isn’t worth mentioning?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dolemite says:

    Richards at HOU?
    Today (4/3) is Ivan Nova at Houston, the Angels are off

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    • William says:

      I was thinking Richards at Houston should be mentioned under tomorrow’s pitchers, not today’s.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brad Johnson says:

        As an exploit? He’s not somebody I’d start, but I don’t quite consider him an exploit either.

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      • William says:

        Hmm. I was thinking he’d be a great streamer.

        The Astros were last in WOBA in the Majors against RHP last year. Richards induces a lot of groundballs with no loss of control. The opposing pitcher is ‘eh’ at best.

        What am I missing in Richards that tells you to avoid him?

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      • Brad Johnson says:

        I have his ERA projection as over 4.00. Comparatively, Houston will have some of the best park conditions in the league tomorrow, and I’m not certain about how extreme to expect his groundball profile. I’m guessing around 50% GBs which is 5 points better than average.

        The opposing pitcher is a plus. If you like Richards more than me, go for it.

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  3. quinceleather says:

    I went large with O’s and M’s…….
    the early was tough, because Bailey was my best pick…had to do wheeler instead

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  4. c00lryan says:

    Sorry for being dumb… Can someone explain the weather factor to me? What exactly does 4/10 to 8/10 mean, etc.? Chance of rain?

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      No worries, I need to put some generic text in for new readers.

      It’s a 1-10 grade of atmospheric conditions. In that particular case, I’m saying the game will start with a 4 (slight below avg) and improve to 8 by the end (above average). The conditions are predictive of HR and run scoring. 10 is best for HR, 1 is worst.

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  5. chri521 says:

    Stay away from O’s vs. Sox because of weather concerns? Otherwise WYC’s splits look like a perfect stack exploit?

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  6. FeslenR says:

    No offense to Mike Pelfrey, who will always be 2Million times the athlete I’ll ever be, but a Little League team can smack him around…

    anyway, Brad, would you rather stream Paxton or keep Charlie Morton?

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      That’s so hard. Morton is really stable. Paxton is an unknown factor with stuff. Stuffy pitchers flop all the time – sometimes for reasons we can see and sometimes for none at all.

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