The Daily Grind: 5-12-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. A note about weather reports
  2. Monday Mashables
  3. Tuesday T-Word
  4. Table

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1. How to interpret a weather report

Meteorologists are a confusing sort of people. Their job is not unlike picking which scrubby hitters and pitchers will do well on a given night. In order to maintain the user’s trust, they must hedge their bets, use lots of qualifiers, and educate you as to why weather is so unreliable.

One of the ways they confuse their audience is by providing a chance for precipitation. We’re used to percentages in life, Derek Jeter has around a 30 percent chance to reach base in a given plate appearance. But weathermen employ a different technique. When they say there is a 50 percent chance of rain, what they’re really saying is the predicted weather conditions produce rain 50 percent of the time. Those are subtly different ideas. There are times in the weather world when 50 percent projection is functionally zero or 100 percent.

In my experience over the last two plus years of running this column, a 20 percent chance of rain results in precipitation roughly five percent of the time. Conversely, an 80 percent chance of rain results in precipitation at least 90 percent of the time. I don’t have a complete data set or else I’d do a more detailed study. Those observations come with a caveat, the data has to come from within about four hours of game time. As time to game increases, the crapshootiness of it all also increases.

2. DFS for Today

We have 10 games today and they’re all late again.

The Tigers lineup leans right-handed, so they can’t use the platoon advantage against Bud Norris. Baltimore is still friendly to right-handed hitters, so it’s an option.

I like the idea of using lefty-Yankees against fly-ball oriented Bartolo Colon.

Mark Buehrle isn’t easy to mash, but he spins the occasional clunker. The right-handed elements of the Angels lineup are very potent.

Colby Lewis versus Brad Peacock smells like a lot of runs. The over-under of nine runs scored smells low to me.

The Nationals have a couple lefties to try in Arizona against Josh Collmenter. With Bryce Harper on the disabled list, there’s much less to stack.

Certain righties in the Oakland stack look like decent options with John Danks opposing them. Unfortunately, the A’s are playing at home.

Felix Hernandez has been slapped around a bit lately, so let’s try Rays hitters against him. I’m just kidding. Really, you should never target Hernandez, much less in Seattle. Talk about bad process. Now some clown is going to beat me today with a Rays stack.

3. Picks for Tomorrow

Pitchers to Start: Drew Pomeranz was a scouting pick of mine this spring, but Jesse Chavez beat him out for a job. The big question surrounding Pomeranz is how low he can maintain his walk rate. The matchup isn’t great, so don’t feel like you have to use him.

Josh Beckett survived his first outing against the Marlins, although it was a mixed bag. It seems like he’s pitching healthy, which I think is the top indicator of his success.

Since we have very few options today, Ryan Vogelsong has been decent lately, and he has the opportunity to enjoy his home park against the home run happy, strikeout friendly Atlanta Braves. This one could break either way.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Mets are lucky enough to face Vidal Nuno tomorrow. Look for some righties.

The very left-handed Indians will try to tee off against R.A. Dickey. I see this one being a shutout or a carpet bombing.

Use the righty-heavy Twins against struggling left-handed Felix Doubront. I’m convinced he’s not a major league pitcher in his current state.

Hitters (power): Wilmer Flores comes to mind as a guy to use against Nuno.

If Domonic Brown is available, it might be worth trying him against Matt Shoemaker.

Lonnie Chisenhall sometimes bats second. Mayhaps tomorrow is one of those days. David Murphy is another lefty worth trying.

You can try Matt Joyce and David DeJesus against Hisashi Iwakuma, but it’s not the best matchup.

Hitters (speed): Nyjer Morgan is leading off for the Indians while Michael Bourn rehabilitates.

I’d give George Springer a spin against Matt Harrison. Obviously, he’s a double threat.

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.

Half of the non-dome games come with a low percentage chance of rain, including Baltimore, New York, and St. Louis. The odds are 50 percent or below currently, so keep an eye on it.

The Link. Plenty of green and red today. There’s definitely a top tier of stadiums with New York and Baltimore – at least as long as they remain dry.

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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Dr. Nick
Dr. Nick

“The very left-handed Indians will try to tee off against R.A. Dickey. I see this one being a shutout or a carpet bombing.”

Is this why you like daily fantasy so much? C, neither of the above, is of course the most likely outcome.