The Daily Grind: 5-16-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Musings
  2. Today’s Tango
  3. Tomorrow’s Waltz
  4. Table

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1. Musings and Rambling

About a month ago, I got it in my head that I could play baseball again. It had been about five years since my last college game, and I really wasn’t a player so much as a warm body in my final season. Well it turns out doing nothing for five years does not solve shoulder problems, but it is still fun to play.

Which brings me to today’s lesson about injured players – they’ll sink your ship. When you hear so-and-so has a gimpy quad or such-and-such pitcher had to sit out his last game with shoulder tightness, it’s an immediate red flag. You should be discounting their expected production. Perhaps the quad guy will only perform at 80 percent efficiency. Since his price is probably based on full health production, the dollars-to-points ratio won’t be very attractive.

My point: avoiding injured players is another part of a balanced process.

2. Today’s DFS

Early: Guess who nobody will be using in DFS today. Kyle Lohse and Jeff Samardzija.

Late: The other 14 games are late. Woo boy.

Keep an eye on Athletics lefties against Zach McAllister. By now, you probably know I like McAllister, but Progressive Field is a good place for the lefty yaya.

The Pirates have some lefties too and a short porch to target at Yankee Stadium XXI. They’re opposed by David Phelps.

Jeremy Guthrie isn’t particularly great. You can try Orioles hitters in spacious Kauffman Stadium.

Left-handed Braves won’t have a good park, but they will face Lance Lynn. For the uninitiated, Lynn is particularly prone to lefty bats.

I don’t think I’ll ever actually recommend stacking Padres, but you could probably take a guy or two tonight in Colorado against Jorge de la Rosa. I’m much more interested in those pricey Rockies against Eric Stults.

The right-handed Dodgers will enjoy their Wade Miley pairing in Phoenix.

Whew, that’s a lot of choices. Or is it? Do NOT skip section 4 today.

3. Tomorrow’s Picks

We could see one more or double headers tomorrow, although only 15 games are scheduled for the nonce.

Pitchers to Start: He’s not particularly available, but Homer Bailey has probably worn thin on his owners. His peripherals suggest a return to the normal Bailey is in the works. A start against the Phillies could set him on the right track.

Usually I would never think about using a pitcher in Colorado, but Jordan Lyles has been fine against much better offenses than the San Diego Padres. Regression will find Lyles, but regressions plus Padres matchup still leads to good results.

Tom Koehler and Tim Lincecum both pitch at San Francisco tomorrow (fancy that, both of them). What more can we ask for?

Pitchers to Exploit: Hector Noesi and Jarred Cosart appear to make fine targets in Astro-land.

Certain right-handed Blue Jays should enjoy their time with Robbie Ross tomorrow. The game is to be played in Texas.

Another Robbie, surnamed Erlin, has the unpleasant task of recording outs in Colorado against the Rockies right-handed stack. Robbie Erlin is the kind of pitcher who could lose both his stuff and command in the rarefied air.

Hitters (power): My favorite power play C.J. Cron will face another lefty. At some point, the Angels are going to see more right-handed pitchers.

On the other side of the Angels game is Sean Rodriguez.

Drew Stubbs should start tomorrow, but it’s no guarantee.

Josmil Pinto will take some big hacks at Roenis Elias. We’ll see if anything comes of them.

Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza will face Cosart.

Hitters (speed): Just as with Stubbs, Brandon Barnes should start. Charlie Blackmon sometimes blocks one of them from action.

Mariners speed-based lefties like James Jones and Brad Miller are worth a look. Michael Saunders could be interesting if he’s ready to return from injury.

Norichika Aoki is an automatic recommendation against nearly all right-handed pitchers. Bud Norris is in fact right-handed.

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.

For the traditional fantasizers, Wriggles Field will experience light rain throughout the game. DFS owners have to watch out for sparse showers in Cleveland, a potentially postponement in New York, and more chances for rain in Philadelphia, Boston, and Colorado. Remember when I said there were a lot of choices today? This is where they go byebye.

The Link. With so many weather risks around the league, our choice of good stadiums is reduced considerably. You’ll want to watch the weather situation in New York and Colorado since they’re two of the best plays today.

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.

9 Responses to “The Daily Grind: 5-16-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

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  1. Kris says:

    Stubbs should start tonight against Stults too, right. Like him in regular fantasy plug for today and tomorrow @COL?

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  2. ABSkippers says:

    Brad, what do you think of Marcell Ozuna? He started out April looking like he was making some progress with the strike zone, then that has totally disappeared in May – 17 K’s and 0 BB’s in 49 AB’s. Is it time to dump him while it still might be possible to get something for him?

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      There are some strikes against him beyond his own talent, so yea, I think you should shop around. A challenge trade for a underrated veteran like Torii Hunter could work.

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  3. dazzle says:

    I enjoy these posts a lot, thanks for doing them.

    Point of inquiry regarding Mssr Aoki: you say he is an “automatic recommendation” versus righties; however, his wOBA against righties this year is 0.265 compared to 0.336 against lefties. In fact, according to the FanGraphs splits stats (amazing tool, btw) he has performed equally (in terms of wOBA) over his career against lefties and righties. Are you saying “automatic recommendation” because of something other than batting (e.g. baserunning)?

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      Platoon splits are tricky things. It’s very hard to tell what’s real and what’s noise because the sample tends to be over a very long period or insignificant. In the case of Aoki, I’m regressing heavily to league average and looking at his peripherals. For his career, he has more power against righties and reaches base more often. The reason his wOBA is similar comes down to a 30 point difference. Given his batted ball profile, I would expect him to have a higher BABIP against RHP, not the other way around.

      In other words, I have my reasons for thinking he’s better against RHP. I could be wrong.

      Don’t forget, pitchers often have platoon splits too.

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      • FeslenR says:

        They sure are, I just picked up the hot hitting Seth Smith in hopes of riding his pine tar while he see the baseballs as beach balls. I just have to remember to bench him against “tough lefties”….

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  4. Jay says:

    Yeah Aoki is not someone I’d be on against Norris. Unless you think he might steal bases on one of the O’s catchers. But not for his bat alone, outside of maybe a KC stack of some sort.

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  5. Mark H says:

    Great content Brad, keep up the great work, appreciate the advice!

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