The Daily Grind: 5-26-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Happy Memorial Day
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Regular Tuesday
  4. Table

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1. Happy Memorial Day

Holidays are a good time to take it easy, rest on our laurels, or some other idiom for disguised laziness. FanDuel offers three distinct contests today with a squeeze for each – early, late afternoon, and late. If you’re not too busy partying, it’s a good day for DFS.

2. Daily DFS

Early: Six contests qualify as early today. The best pitchers to target are to be found in Minnesota, where storms could interrupt the game. Keep an eye on the weather map as we approach game time before using anybody against Nick Tepesch or Kevin Correia.

The best ballpark to target is U.S. Cellular Field. The pitchers involved – Josh Tomlin and Jose Quintana – aren’t particularly prone to meltdowns.

The second best ballpark is in Milwaukee, where Chris Tillman is opposed by Kyle Lohse. Like the game in Chicago, both pitchers are a good bet for a quality start, which makes this a hard game to target for points.

Clay Buchholz is one of the weakest pitchers appearing in this timeslot. Usually a game Atlanta is one to avoid due to the left-handed park factors, but we don’t have a lot of options.

The Mets might almost be stackable against Brandon Cumpton. For their part, the Pirates see Jacob Degrom. Neither pitcher has done much work in the majors, so they’re a blow up risk. Cumpton is an extreme command and control guy (not unlike Tomlin) while seems to have a little less working in his favor based on his peripherals.

The final verdict: find values where you can by exploiting the platoon advantage and top of the order hitters.

Middle We have five games in the mid-afternoon contest. As a pitcher, I like Tommy Milone. However, I like the Tigers’ right-handed offense even more. There is a lot of power and lefty-destruction built into their roster. It’s almost too bad they’ve faced so few left-handers.

The Athletics also face a hittable lefty in Drew Smyly. They have fewer lefty-mashers than Detroit, but a few savory options come to mind.

Chris Young mixes deception with terrible peripherals. Which will win out today against the mighty Angels?

The Rockies have enough lefties to get to Kyle Kendrick. Meanwhile the Phillies will quest for their first hit since May 24th.

Late: Just four games left for the evening contest. Good luck finding offense.

Erik Bedard has some kind of effectively wild thing working in his favor. Certain right-handed Blue Jays seem like a good bet to go yard at the Rogers Centre.

Scott Feldman is the other obvious candidate to target this evening. The Kansas City Royals aren’t exactly a fearsome a lineup, but they have plenty of lefties to seed against Feldman.

The other six pitchers in this bucket are either good or very good. Focus on finding values.

3. Tangible Tuesday

Pitchers to Start: I don’t know what’s going on with Aaron Harang, but he’s having the best season of his career and it’s supported by his peripherals. I’m starting to think it’s safe to use him against anybody, even the Red Sox.

The Pirates lack a truly explosive offense, so it’s safe to use Jon Niese. He’ll have to watch out for Andrew McCutchen – Destroyer of Left-Handed Souls.

You can start Phil Hughes, just don’t expect a win against Yu Darvish.

Pitchers to Exploit: Wei-Yin Chen has a very unfortunate matchup against the Brewer tomorrow. He already has some trouble against right-handed batters, but the Brewers have two of the best lefty mashers in the bigs.

If you can find right-handed bats to use in the Eric Stults versus Wade Miley contest, go ahead and do so. I don’t suppose Paul Goldschmidt is on your waiver wire?

Bet on the right-handed bats of the The Angels Angels of Angelheim against lefty Roenis Elias.

Hitters (power): C.J. Cron Sees a Lefty would make for an interesting children’s book if he didn’t see so damned many of them.

Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte will have the platoon advantage against Lance Lynn.

Rickie Weeks tends to bat in the top five against lefties.

Go ahead and give Conor Gillaspie a try against Justin Masterson, though it’s a low upside play.

Sean Rodriguez is a useful utility knife against lefties.

I bet Daren Ruf plays tomorrow against Jorge de la Rosa. You forgot about him, didn’t you? Well I don’t blame you, there’s not much to remember.

Hitters (speed): A.J. Pollock might play leadoff man tomorrow.

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.

Games in the Midwest – namely Chicago, Minnesota, and St. Louis – have a risk of thunderstorms. So does the game in Kansas City, but it’s a lesser risk. Update: Atlanta’s also crept onto the storm warning list since the first time I checked.

The Link. We have a lot of great weather ratings today, just watch out for those possible storms.

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, The Hardball Times, RotoWorld, MLB Trade Rumors, and The Fake Baseball. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

4 Responses to “The Daily Grind: 5-26-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

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  1. asdfasdf says:

    Hi Brad, would you drop Masterson for any of Dickey, Kuroda, Liriano, Lackey, Garza, or Eovaldi? Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brad Johnson says:

      Probably not, but it sounds like your league is shallow enough that you don’t need to keep Masterson either. Anything stopping you from streaming that roster spot?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • asdfasdf says:

        Hi Brad,
        No, there’s nothing stopping me, that’s a good idea. Thanks for the response!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. bip says:

    asdfasdf- I would have recommended (and back up that comment) from Brad pretty much all the same, although I would recommend who I like (assuming it’s a typical 5×5 or maybe a 6×6 w/ QS perhaps). I have a league that while not necessarily shallow at all, is still just 12-teams and both leagues (AL and NL) are in the pool. However, each team has/holds more players than some (a lot, actually) 14-team leagues I’ve played in and am even in this year. So it’s really a crapshoot to how you want to look at it IMO…. deeper rosters just deplete the pool anyway, and most GMs do not even think about abandoning their teams until post-ASB if at all (some leagues have some nice and honorable folks…. others are more blind joins- I’m sure you get the gist by now too so I don’t need to explain any mote than I have already regarding that stuff :p)….. but I just figure if the pool is a certain size, that determines the league size. Anyway, my point was going to be I actually have built up my SP core that are holds (save an injury/season ending one at that), which is about 4 or 5 SP in itself, and then I had guys I had initially grabbed as streamers who wound up holds for me. I rarely play in uncapped leagues (as in unlimited moves- even w/ the typical WW time period and $100 FAAB budget in play, drops and FA adds are unlimited in this specific 12-team w/ deeper rosters I’m in this season).

    I tried to carve out a handful of stream spots to begin the year, but wound up with at least 6 current holds, so I feel almost silly holding onto some streams that I currently am even thought a few have been some of the hottest pitchers in baseball lately, and also help ratios in a big way. My main goal is usually to try to trade SP later in the season since I have too much sometimes. I had just had to cut Eovaldi a few days ago in order to active Sale, and chose to cut Bauer tonight to add Howell (in speculative fashion) which I felt mixed about because I still love Bauer’s potential but don’t like his pending match-up. But there have been a lot of players I intended to simply drop right after their start, and their success leading into and during the stream always suckers me in…+ I am used to capped moves. IF your league has a move limit, you might want to try to zero in on someone(s) to hold over time if you don’t have top-line options beyond a point for a shallow league (which like Brad said, it sounds)….. so I will just rank them in my personal opinion, for what it’s worth (and I probably have owned one or two- at least Eovaldi for that matter!)…

    If you can possibly make 2 stream spots in your league and afford it, there seems to be more pitching than hitting this season and I find in general, dealing for a top pitcher can be harder because of some demand….. there are so many streams even in deep leagues + guys like Alfredo Simon emerging out of their jail cell to pitch great, it’s almost not worth making that trade for the big name guys, but some of these streams become holds at a point depending on your lg. OK done with that, in order I recommend:
    Eovaldi (I actually like him, perhaps enough where I’d drop him for Masterson who seems an enigma this year, and bet he wishes he took the $ even if you weren’t into the idea of streaming), Dickey, Liriano, Kuroda (I think he has a little juice left to show- maybe a DL stint is going to be needed, but I think he will have his stretch this year eventually if you can catch it), Garza (he could have a big run but he has been pretty up and down, mostly down and for a team that scores for him too! He should have 30 wins sooner or later so maybe I should have put him #1? :sarcasm:)

    Good luck!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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