The Daily Grind: 6-26-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Doubleheader Boons
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Friday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Doubleheaders

For fantasy owners, doubleheaders are particularly valuable for one specific reason – certain position players will make two starts. Many fantasy owners have fallen behind on the games played category, but that’s leaving value on the table. If you were playing poker, it would be akin to playing with four cards while everyone else had five.

The tricky part is acquiring players worth starting. The Rays and Orioles have a doubleheader tomorrow. Ben Zobrist is an obvious must start, but nobody is picking him up on waivers. All four starters are righties, which means a guy like Matt Joyce is likely to make both starts. He’s somebody worth targeting, although people don’t often fall behind on outfield games played. At the skills positions, J.J. Hardy is increasingly available. Yunel Escobar and Jonathan Schoop are everywhere. But do they offer enough to bother rostering? The answer depends on your league and your specific roster concerns.

2. Daily DFS

Early: Two games are early, so go ahead and throw them over your shoulder. You DFSers won’t be using players from the Braves, Astros, Twins, or Angels.

Late: We’re left with eight late games, which is a nice sized contest. You have some options for stacking despite the thin slate.

Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s high walk rate makes him something of a target against the Pirates lineup. The top of said lineup is formidable. The rest is not.

The Blue Jays are always a solid bet to blast their share of home runs. Of course, that’s already built into their cost. Scott Carroll will get another crack at the rotation. His low low strikeout rate is not complemented (anti-complemented?) by his mediocre walk rate.

J.A. Happ is coming off a real stinker. The White Sox have a few noteworthy right-handed hitters – really just two.

Nick Martinez is a balls in play kind of pitcher. With the Tigers stout bats in the picture, those balls in play might be driven quite hard.

A couple Nationals – one Jayson Werth in particular – really mash left-handed pitching. Scientists have discovered Travis Wood is a lefty.

All aboard. The Brewers face a non-elite lefty. Not only is Christian Friedrich non-elite, he’s probably not even mediocre.

3. Friday Picks

The Orioles and Rays have the aforementioned doubleheader, so there are 16 games from which to choose.

I didn’t expect much when the Angels called upon Matt Shoemaker, but he’s been a pleasant surprise. The walk rate will be difficult for him to maintain, yet I think we’re basically seeing who he is as a pitcher. A matchup against the Royals is desirable.

Trevor Bauer has been surviving some rough matchups. Given his fly ball tendencies, it’s difficult to start him against any team with powerful lefties. A matchup against the Mariners is a green light for many pitchers. For Bauer, I think it’s a greenish tinged yellow light.

This is one of those times I feel comfortable using Brandon McCarthy when maybe I shouldn’t. The matchup against the Padres at Petco Park is fine. His 2.99 xFIP is more fine. I have trouble believing his true talent HR/FB ratio is really 21.7 percent.

Pitchers to Start: Kevin Gausman seems to be pitching better in his latest major league audition. I think the strikeouts will come, although maybe not as many as we all originally expected.

Jake Odorizzi is still dangerous due to his fly ball tendencies, but I’m starting to buy shares of him. The reason is simple – whiffs and strikeouts. He used to be a low-4’s ERA pitcher. Now he has that low-4’s ERA, but his peripherals say he’s a low-3’s ERA pitcher. At Camden Yards, this start is particularly worrisome.

A game featuring Nick Tepesch and Kevin Correia has the potential for a lot of hits.

The Brewers get another crack at lefty Tyler Matzek.

Pitchers to Exploit: Alex Colome is known to have a bit of a wild nature. He strikes me as a reliever in the majors, although the Rays need every starter available.

I say this every five days. Vidal Nuno usually keeps the wheels on the bus, but it’s still a busted bus. Last time around, he allowed five runs on three home runs in 6.1 innings.

The Mets have enough lefties to make Brandon Cumpton sweat a little. They aren’t stars by any means, but Cumpton has shown a sizable platoon split in a small sample of work.

Chris Tillman is going the wrong way. His velocity, whiff rate, and strikeout rate are all down and his walk rate is up. The resulting profile looks like a spot starter.

The Marlins are trying to catch lightning in a bottle in the NL East. With the division in reach, they’ve turned to youngsters like Anthony DeSclafani. His success in the majors probably comes down to his strikeout rate rate. He’ll need to bump it up about five percent to be a viable fantasy pitcher.

Hitters (power): Joyce is the easy pick from the Rays mess of mediocrity. James Loney and Kevin Keirmaier may also be worth a stretch.

Jonny Gomes will face Nuno tomorrow.

Seth Smith will face homer friendly McCarthy.

Hang on to Mark Reynolds or Rickie Weeks if you grabbed them for today.

C.J. Cron has lefty Jason Vargas on the docket.

Oswaldo Arcia has been forgotten on the waiver wire. This is a player who many analysts projected to hit 30 home runs. I wasn’t one of them, but I’ll still take him for free.

Hitters (speed): Michael Saunders is rumored to be returning tomorrow. James Jones is out there too.

Leonys Martin was the leadoff man yesterday. He may draw the same honors 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.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to sound the all clear. Only Houston has impending weather, and they have a roof.

The Link. There’s just enough green and red to make some stadium based choices 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, RotoWorld, and Rotoballer. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

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just picked up Shoemaker…hopefully he does well