The Daily Grind: 5-8-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. How to use the Factor Grid
  2. DFS Picks
  3. Fish Friday
  4. Table Talk

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1. How to use the Factor Grid

If the player picks are the meat and potatoes of this column, the Factor Grid is the savory gravy. Without it, the meal is filling, but not very special. Understanding how to use the grid can help fantasy players of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, I’ve written a post specifically on this topic.

The weather component is the black box section. I use a third party holistic grade from SI Weather. I do not know anything about their formulas. What I do know is their 0-10 grades correlated with home run production in 2012. Zeroes are bad, 10’s are good, and everything in between is in between. It would be great if I could say each increment correlated to a 2 percent increase in home run production, but I can’t. I use the grades to inform my choices, but the park factors take 96 percent of the weight.

2. DFS Decisions

Early: Two games are in the early bin, which force an “all day” option. I avoid all day games like something you would want to avoid, especially on a platform like FanDuel. On some other platforms, you can sub after the contest starts but before each individual game.

So unless you like all day contests more than me, you’ll miss out on the Kevin Correia special.

In the other early game, Dallas Keuchel has the unenviable task of retiring a very right-handed Tigers lineup. Drew Smyly has the same task, except the Astros’ hitters are much less potent.

Late: We have seven games late. Some people prefer the full slate of options, I do not. The thin slate usually means fewer points are needed to win. Skill can get you in the 40-50 point range with frequency, but only pure luck can take you above 70 points.

R.A. Dickey could be a stud or a dud today. Pitching in the Rogers Centre, Dickey will face Chase Utley and some other guys.

Matt Harrison has to contend with a potent Rockies lineup. They sawed through the Rangers’ first three offerings like kindle – two of which were fellow lefties.

Jake Arrieta and Scott Carroll also have a hitter friendly stadium to contend with. The difference is the quality of competition. The two pitchers have combined to allow one run over three starts, so recent performance is on their side. You should know I don’t give a fiddlers fiddle for recency. (On a similar note, Adam Jones made me a lot of money last night).

3. Friday Fried Lutefisk

And we’re back to 15-headed action, and they’re all night games. Good, I get to sleep in tomorrow.

Pitchers to Start: With the Phillies visiting the New York Mets, both Roberto Hernandez and Jenrry Mejia appear viable.

The Corey Kluber express is gaining steam once again. Tomorrow, he’ll pitch in a very pitcher friendly park.

Doug Fister is back tomorrow, although I’m unsure who I feel about a debut matchup against the Athletics.

Pitchers to Exploit: Scott Feldman returns from the disabled list tomorrow to face the Orioles and the specters of regression.

Dustin McGowan‘s replacement is actually on the major league roster. I assume the Jays are trying to manage Marcus Stroman‘s innings, or maybe they need more time to watch McGowan.

Left-handed Rangers will benefit from a dose of Clay Buchholz. He’s getting through some of his outings on pitchability, but not all of them.

I wouldn’t necessarily bet against him, but I do worry about Brandon McCarthy at U.S. Cellular Bandstand.

The Nationals have a few right-handed hitters who punish lefty-pitchers like Tommy Milone.

Brandon Maurer does not seem to be reliable insofar as his skill as a starting pitcher. He does seem to show up on time, which is a different type of reliability.

Hitters (power): Tyler Moore will either start at first or designated hitter.

Anyone from the Indians collection of left-handed hitters is viable, including Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, and David Murphy.

C.J. Cron appears to be getting a full trial.

Hitters (speed): Norichika Aoki is still a leadoff hitter, which makes him valuable against struggling righties like Maurer.

Alejandro De Aza is likely to remain the White Sox leadoff hitter against right-handed pitchers while Adam Eaton is sidelined.

Another leadoff man – Gerardo Parra – has a good matchup against Andre Rienzo.

Yet another leadoff hitter, this time Nyjer Morgan, will have the platoon advantage. He’s filling in for the once-again-injured Michael Bourn.

Leonys Martin may bat second against Buchholz. Not leadoff, but close.

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.

Most of today’s weather is clear or protected by a dome. Texas appears to have thunderstorms lined up for during the day. They may linger into the evening, so keep an eye out. Similarly, Chicago has a very low risk of storms. These are the top games for run scoring, so watch carefully.

The Link. Two of the three best stadiums tonight have a storm risk. It’s also expected to rain in Toronto, but they have a dome.

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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TOR only 3/10. Must be the weather outside the dome. So when closed it’s better for hitting I would assume?