The Daily Grind: 4-30-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. The hidden value of early games
  2. Wet Wednesday
  3. Thin Thursday
  4. Factor Grid (i.e. the table)

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1. The hidden value of early games

In this case, “early games” refers to the earliest of a group, i.e. a 7:05 start as opposed to a 10:05 start. Yesterday hurt for some people. A few didn’t switch out players from the Baltimore game, but really, that’s on you. The more damaging surprise was Matt Cain missing his start due to a lacerated finger. The Cain news came after the start of action last night, so FanDuelers were royally screwed. Thankfully, I used Alex Wood (oh wait, he tied Cain’s output), but Cain’s juicy hamburger against the Padres had plenty of people buying in.

Freak accidents happen, sometimes you’re going to lose Jean Segura in the second inning because a teammate hit him in the face with a bat. If you prioritize early pitchers, you can at least make sure they take the hill. The rest is up to fate.

To be clear, the time of a game should be seen as a tiebreaker and nothing more. Pitchers will rarely miss starts with less than a couple hours of warning.

2. Wet Wednesday

Early: With just two early games, there isn’t a bonafide early group. You might be able to join an all day league on a different platform, but do you really want to?

It’s a shame the Tigers stack against Hector Noesi won’t be in play tonight. They play at the Chicago Launchpad.

Late: The other 13 games are late. If the weather clears up in Boston, a stack against Felix Doubront may be in order. He’s struggling.

Zach McAllister returns on three days rest, which usually has a negative effect on performance. The weather is great in LA for long balls.

Hello there Edwin Jackson. Cincinnati will finally have a dry evening, and the conditions are good for home runs. Jackson hasn’t allowed any bombs this season, but he has to start sometime.

The Nationals have righties with a very particular set of skills; skills they have acquired over a long (or short) career. Skills that make them a nightmare for lefties like Brett Oberholtzer.

The Rockies stack is savory against Josh Collmenter. What, you thought I could follow up on the last comment? Nobody can follow my boy Liam Neesons.

3. Thin Thursday There are nine games tomorrow, but more rain could mean more doubleheaders. The Twins have one scheduled.

Pitchers to Start: Brandon Cumpton got pushed back by yesterday’s rain. He may get pushed back yet again, which is fine. He’s nothing special; use him if you absolutely need a guy.

Josh Beckett might be floating around your waivers. Despite good offensive results, I’m not buying the Twins as the fourth best offense in baseball.

Pitchers to Exploit: Like with Cumpton, Mike Pelfrey got pushed back to tomorrow. If the Twins get postponed again, he might get bumped altogether.

Who is Kris Johnson? He’s a 29-year-old left-hander with solid minor league numbers. The Pirates gave him a cup of coffee last season if the name looks familiar. You’ll want to load up on Dodgers either way, what with two games being played.

Hitters (power): The Red Sox are currently set to face lefty Cesar Ramos, which is good for Jonny Gomes. Weather may intervene.

Juan Francisco will have the platoon advantage at home. Have the Blue Jays been home for every game? It feels like it.

Danny Valencia probably should start tomorrow, but the Royals haven’t been very predictable about getting him into the game.

Matt Joyce will face righty Jake Peavy

Hitters (speed): I saved David DeJesus for the speed section because I needed someone…

4. Table

The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.

Again with the rain? Baltimore looks set for another rain out. New York and Philadelphia look liable to be postponed too. Boston and Minnesota have about a 50 percent chance of rain -it’s still frigid in both cities – and Kansas City has a lesser chance of rain.

The Link. If it weren’t for the rain, it would be a very green and red day on the grid. The White Sox game is early, but you still have four rain-safe parks for hitters.

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, RotoWorld, and Rotoballer. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

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Phelps vs the Mariners or Morton vs. the Orioles? Or just avoid them both