- A reminder about relievers
- Daily DFS
- Thin Thursday
1. A reminder about relievers
This is for the traditional fantasy owner out there. Relievers are often the answer to a pitching slump. Lately, several spots starts have gone wrong for me, so it’s time to reinvest in a deep bullpen. The advantage of relievers is they usually post an ERA, WHIP, and strikeout rate several deviations better than starters. If you pick the right ones, they can also catch the occasional save and record a wins per inning rate similar to waiver wire starters. The downside is a single bad outing can ruin their value to you. And even Craig Kimbrel can have one bad inning.
Using relievers to improve pitching stats is a process, not a guarantee. You can pick the right guys and still get unlucky. If you want to know which guys to pickup, I recommend taking a look at the K%-BB% leaderboard.
2. Daily DFS
Early: There are two games to be played before the usual 7:05 role call. They aren’t included in any FanDuel contest. Hisashi Iwakuma would have made for a smart start. Oh well.
Late: That leaves us with 13 games in the main contest. Rain mucks up a couple choices today.
The Athletics have a couple lefty mashers to target against Vidal Nuno. He seems to avoid clunkers by the skin of his teeth, which tells me it’s only a matter of time.
Nicholas Martinez hasn’t struck out many batters (12 percent) and he’s walked nearly as many (10 percent). As such, it’s no surprise his 4.66 FIP and 5.30 xFIP are out of line with his 2.75 ERA. The Orioles offense is mid-tier against right-handed pitching, but that includes a lot of time without Chris Davis.
Speaking of guys outperforming their peripherals, Daisuke Matsuzaka has some real luck on his side. His BABIP is just .186 and he’s managed to post a 2.45 ERA despite a whopping 16 percent walk rate. Of course, the Cubbies feature the league’s worst offense, so this isn’t a great target.
Maybe you’ll to look at the perpetually “unlucky” Edwin Jackson. They say we make our own luck, and it does seem Jackson makes too many mistakes. The Mets feature a lot of left-handed hitters and Wrigley Field starts to play a lot smaller in the summer months.
Josh Collmenter is visiting Coors Field. He gets by on deception, which bodes well for a Piss Water Field visit. He’s a fly ball pitcher, which does not bode well.
The Dodgers feature several dynamic lefty bashers. I usually wouldn’t target John Danks too aggressively, but a Puig-Ramirez pairing sounds highly productive.
3. Thin Thursday
We have 11 games tomorrow, so it isn’t the thinnest Thursday on record. I have a feeling we’ll see a doubleheader in Cincinnati add to the options.
Pitchers to Start: Jacob deGrom draws the Cubs matchup tomorrow. He’s been rather sharp in his brief career, although he has walked too many batters. Eventually those are going to catc up to him.
He’s not available in your league (at least he probably isn’t), but Yordano Ventura makes his return from the not-disabled list today.
Pitchers to Exploit: The Tigers very right-handed lineup will finally face another lefty – J.A. Happ.
Tropicana Field isn’t usually a place to target hitters, but tomorrow’s starters require the (bad) spotlight. Jacob Turner and Jake Odorizzi both feature ERA’s above 5.00. With Odorizzi, the issue is mostly BABIP related. His 3.44 FIP and 3.64 xFIP hint at better times ahead. Turner’s peripherals are less inspiring, but even he has a 3.86 xFIP.
I like Tyler Skaggs well enough (actually I haven’t rostered him once all season, so maybe I don’t). However, I do worry about his performance against a fairly powerful Astros lineup. Perhaps Brad Peacock is the better target in this game, since he faces the Angels’ juggernaut.
If he starts, Corey Dickerson will be a good play. Big if.
Hitters (speed): Rajai Davis is definitely a high value target.
Gerardo Parra isn’t a fantasy stud, but I’ll take him in Denver.
Leonys Martin bats down in the order, but he’s worth a look against Gonzalez.
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.
Cleveland has a high chance for rain and Cincinnati is supposed to get hammered. Detroit and Washington D.C. aren’t free from risk either. Keep a look out around the league, the weather is unstable right now.
The Link. Even if you’re avoiding the rain, there are a few good hitting stadiums to target.
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