The Daily Grind: 6-20-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Alternatives to Wins
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Saturday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Alternatives to Wins

I’m running a bit behind today, so I’m going to borrow a topic from Nicholas Minnix – what are some alternatives to wins for fantasy leagues?

Obviously, a linear weights-based points league solves the “wins” conundrum. My preferred alternative in Roto leagues is innings per games started (IP/GS). Innings pitched is already a top indicator for wins, so using IP/GS captures much of the same information without the downside of wins or quality starts.

Ultimately, I don’t have too much problem with wins. Sure, they’re a pain in the ass. In my home league, the biggest reason I’m not in first is terrible luck in the wins column (two of 12 score). However, they do force owners to focus on things besides strikeout and walk rates.

2. Daily DFS

Early: Charlie Morton and Edwin Jackson square off in the lone early game of the day. Cross them off your list.

Late: As a result, we have 14 late games.

The Nationals have a few lefty mashers in the lineup, most notably Jayson Werth. The difference between Mike Minor in 2013 and 2014 is home runs; he’s allowed them at nearly double the rate of last season. We should expect positive regression.

Liam Hendriks has a snappy 2.31 ERA. He can thank his .133 BABIP. To paraphrase House Stark, regression is coming. Hendriks is a fly ball pitcher preparing to start at Great American Ballpark. Get ready for action.

Hector Noesi and Ricky Nolasco are both hittable. While neither the White Sox nor Twins feature high octane offenses, they’re good enough to spray hits all over the field.

Marco Estrada has always been a bit homer prone, and it’s especially true this season. His strikeout and whiff rates are also down a touch, which makes a game at Coors Field all the more dangerous.

The other side of the Coors game has the Brewers pitted against Christian Bergman. We don’t yet know much about Bergman except he allows a lot of balls in play.

The Diamondbacks are far from the most powerful offense, but they may still put up a home run or two against Tim Lincecum.

The Angels have the hitters to punish a good left-handed pitcher. Joe Saunders is a decidedly mediocre lefty. Expect some offense. Unfortunately, Mike Trout costs more than a mid-tier pitcher these days.

Felix Doubront versus Brad Mills has potential for fireworks. Doubront is making his first start since returning from the disabled list. Mills is making his first start since being acquired for about two percent of a bucket of baseballs.

3. Saturday Picks

Pitchers to Start: One of the drawbacks of writing this column seven days a week is seeing the same words flow out of my fingertips day after day. The Mariners have a rather left-handed lineup, one that isn’t particularly good. Jason Vargas is a left-handed pitcher, perfectly positioned to exploit the M’s.

Rumors had Rubby de la Rosa headed back to the minors after his last start. Instead, he’ll get a chance to test hit mettle with the Athletics. It’s a tough assignment, but he has the talent to prevail. In case I’m not being clear, this is a risky start.

It’s possible Jake Odorizzi has figured something out. You may want to stash him in case it’s true. And you may want to start him in case he turns in a strong outing against the Astros.

Is Vance Worley an exciting option? No. He does offer a low walk rate and a few strikeouts with a solid matchup against the Cubs.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Orioles have a couple particularly potent right-handed bats to use against Vidal Nuno. He’s coming off a three inning, eight run clunker.

In Minnesota, today is Noesi v. Nolasco. Tomorrow’s matchup is scarcely different – Andre Rienzo versus Kevin Correia.

Start salivating. The Rockies are activating once promising prospect Christian Friedrich. The left-hander has been terrorized in the Pacific Coast League and Coors Field isn’t any friendlier. Moreover, he’ll face the Brewers’ right-handed uber stack. Good luck surviving Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, and friends (yes, there are more home run threats).The Rockies now lead the league in Christians.

Hitters (power): You can try Matt Joyce yet again. He’s been sort of productive even though his power has deserted him.

Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds look spicy tomorrow. What does that even mean?

Juan Francisco continues to have a good power matchup.

Hitters (speed): Kole Calhoun has a bit of power and speed atop the Angels lineup.

Adam Eaton will see the supremely hittable Kevin Correia.

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.

Ohio has a chance of storms today, which could affect the games in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

The Link. While the stacks are plentiful, there are a few obvious choices for stadiums.

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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I believe the Brewers are scheduled to face 3 lefties in a row (Sat – Mon). Given how they usually divide the playing time at 2B, would you expect 3 straight starts from Weeks?