The Daily Grind: 6-7-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. What you want from a pitcher
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Sunday Picks
  4. Table

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1. What you want from a pitcher

This should go without saying, but let’s quickly run through the ideal skill set you’re targeting for DFS plays. If you’re playing a GPP, you want somebody with a high ceiling who isn’t necessarily super expensive. It’s easy to pick Max Scherzer, but then your lineup is going to be full of spare parts. Most fantasy platforms give points for innings, wins, and strikeouts. They subtract points for runs and other stats.

Obviously, you want pitchers who can throw seven or more innings with about a strikeout per inning. Every inning pitched also increases a pitcher’s chance to win the game. Often the points associated with the ‘W’ are the difference between a good night and a great night. Sometimes, you’ll see a recent call up with a low cost. If that pitcher looks like a five inning guy, leave him to the rest of the field.

2. Daily DFS

Early: Eight contests fall into the early time slot. FanDuel isn’t including any game before 4:05 ET in their contests today.

My go to left-handed lineup – the Cleveland Indians – are away at Globe Life Park. Lefty power is increased by 20 percent in Texas, so Nick Tepesch is an easy target.

The Cubs have been above average against left-handed pitching. With Randy Wolf opposing them at Wrigley Field, this might be the rare day you want to target Cubbies.

The Reds offense has been unimpressive this season, but it might be worth trying a few guys against Roberto Hernandez. He can allow a big fly or three on bad days.

This season, Jhoulys Chacin has posted the lowest strikeout and highest walk rates of his career. Such numbers are not forgiven at Coors Field. He’ll face the Dodgers today.

Late: Seven games are to be played tonight.

The Oakland Athletics will see Kevin Gausman in his latest bid to become a rotation regular. Gausman throws heat, but he hasn’t experienced good results at the major league level. Meanwhile, the A’s are among the best teams in baseball at hitting righties and Camden Yards is quite favorable to hitters.

There are a couple cheap lefties on the White Sox. I wouldn’t attack this matchup with gusto, but Matt Shoemaker isn’t a standout pitcher. Nor is he bad. You might want to use the Sox as a roster patch.

The Braves have lit up southpaws this season. They’re on the road at Chase Field, hoping to feast again. Wade Miley is often exploitable, but he’s doubly so tonight.

3. Sunday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Charlie Morton doesn’t rack up the strikeouts, but he can provide low offense innings, especially at a PNC Park. The Brewers are a solid team against right-handed pitching, but they lack the explosive upside they feature against lefties.

I’m not a huge Chris Archer fan, I think he’s somebody who’s slightly better than your typical waiver wire pitcher. That said, I’ll take him against the Seattle Mariners.

Collin McHugh is up to 41 percent owned on Yahoo. He has a strong matchup against the Twins tomorrow, so there’s no reason to hold back.

Pitchers to Exploit: David Buchanan had his blowup outing last time around. There’s no reason to expect good things at Great American Ballpark.

The Indians haven’t hit lefties very well this season (they hit them well last year with almost the same roster). Joe Saunders isn’t a normal lefty; he’s very hittable. I think Cleveland will do just fine tomorrow.

While Petco Park is a difficult venue for right-handed hitters, the Nationals have a few lefty bashers who will try to overcome the park factors. Eric Stults often makes for a good target and tomorrow is no different.

Hitters (power): This is just a guess, but I expect Scott Van Slyke to get a spot start against Jorge de la Rosa.

Dayan Viciedo will have the platoon advantage against C.J. Wilson.

Yan Gomes makes for a nice plug against Saunders, assuming he starts.

Hitters (speed): Tommy La Stella is a high floor, low ceiling kind of guy. He’s probably worth owning in most formats.

Gerardo Parra‘s pairing against Aaron Harang isn’t the worst place to look for a steal. If your league counts caught stealings, you may want to avoid him.

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.

The game in Minnesota has a 50 percent chance of rain, while Colorado has a measly 30 percent chance to see scattered storms.

The Link. We have a few perfect 10 weather scores today, and they’re clustered in hitter friendly stadiums. You know where to go for offense.

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.

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