The Daily Grind: 7-17-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Build Your Own Grind
  2. Friday Picks

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1. Build Your Own Grind

Today’s column is a courtesy piece for those in traditional leagues who are thinking about starting the second half on the right foot.

Readership on all fantasy blogs decreases as the season wears on. Many owners become less serious about their daily activities, while the best of the best gain enough confidence to do the work on their own. I would like to reverse the trend by introducing a new twist; I just don’t know what it is yet. I’m currently brainstorming several ideas ranging from a special Cistullian tone to lock in a cadre of dedicated followers to new tools designed to appeal to more owners. I’ve seen this column criticized for its focus on DFS play, but most of the effort still goes into traditional fantasy.

So regulars, what keeps you coming back for more? What would you like to see?

Transients, what needs to be here to draw you in every day?

This is your chance to shape The Daily Grind.

2. Friday Picks

Pitchers to Start: R.A. Dickey has struggled with walks this season, which accounts for most of his struggles in my opinion. Maybe 3.60 BB/9 doesn’t look like “struggles,” but he’s had his best success when his walk rate is closer to 2.10 BB/9. He’ll face Yu Darvish, which is obviously a bad matchup. However, the Rangers offense is pretty unimpressive.

Clay Buchholz is coming off a masterful complete game shutout of the Astros. He’s allowed five home runs in four starts since returning from the disabled list, but his velocity is also around where it was last year when he was pitching well.

Speaking of the Astros, Jose Quintana will face the strikeout prone club tomorrow. The biggest drawback is the venue – U.S. Cellular Bandbox.

Pitchers to Exploit: Another start at Yankee Stadium has David Phelps back in the exploit category. The Reds offense is far from ferocious, but they can still pop home runs in the right conditions.

Scott Feldman also has to contend with The Cell, and he’s not as good as Quintana.

Edwin Jackson is coming off a nightmare outing. As I’ve noted umpteen times this season, his peripherals are much better than his ERA, but this is also a long term trend for him. He’s opposed by Trevor Cahill who is making his first major league start since April.

Hitters (power): Seth Smith remains lightly owned despite a useful power bat against right-handed pitchers. He’ll face Bartolo Colon tomorrow.

John Jaso will get a couple hacks at Chris Tillman. Surprisingly, he’s popped seven home runs, which is about four more than I expected from him all season.

Neither Chris Coghlan nor Luis Valbuena are big power threats, but they’re hitting well enough to be of use.

Matt Joyce will see Kyle Gibson. Joyce was quiet for a looooooong time, but he’s picked things up again recently.

A couple down roster Astros – Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes – could be interesting versus Quintana.

Conor Gillaspie took his sweet time popping his first home run of the season, then he found three more in quick succession. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Feldman.

Hitters (speed): Drew Stubbs will face Francisco Liriano in Liriano’s return to action.

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, MLB Trade Rumors, The Hardball Times, RotoWorld, and The Fake Baseball. He's also the lead MLB editor for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

8 Responses to “The Daily Grind: 7-17-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

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  1. Roger says:

    Please no Cistullian. One is more than enough. It would kill my interest.

    I play traditional fantasy and MLB Beat the Streak and find this blog somewhat useful for deciding who to stream and who to consider for BTS, though I have to apply my own spin heavily for BTS (a mix of pitchers to exploit and any leadoff or high-avg hitters that appear on the blog today, but I especially don’t limit myself to hitters mentioned).

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  2. dudekid says:

    I think this article is great, keep up the good work. I guess I would recommend maybe some opinions on players who are way underperforming their actual numbers to provide some buy low targets. I know some of those pop up from time to time on this site, but you can never have too many, I love to scour the wire but admittedly am not the best at pointing out things in a players underlying profile that scream REGRESSION…either way great job and keep up the good work.

    ALSO – I will try to bring some of my knowledge in these comments when I can with Coors Watch (TM)…finding very under-owned players with good splits (typically against lefties, since the Rockies have basically all southpaws) and streaming them for a series at Coors. The results have been outstanding so far! (See: Trevor Plouffe, Scott Van Slyke)

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    • Jolly Good Show says:

      I jumped on Van Slyke as well when I saw he was facing three lefties at Coors. It just goes to show how few people pay attention to this, as his ownership was 1% I think during this time.

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  3. Jolly Good Show says:

    I am not into gambling (an argument for another day), but I do find your page more useful than the other two gambling pages, as yours provides advice for tomorrow’s games, which the other two do not. I find this really useful for my yahoo leagues.

    Your suggestions, with reasons why for choosing starting pitchers, has proved particularly useful, and I have gained a lot from it. I don’t always agree with some of you position player suggestions, although I do select other players based on your suggested way of thinking, which has also worked well. I tend to combine platooning with current form.

    I know The Book did research into the effects of form, but if a player has had a stinker of late, I tend to avoid him (e.g. Venable). It has worked very well so far, but I may have just got lucky.

    Truth be told, one of my teams wouldn’t be top of it’s league at time of writing without me following your suggestions and line of thought, so thank you.

    I would like to see the other two gambling pages include games for the next day to help non-gambling players, but I can’t really think of anything I would really change with this page. I quite like it the way it is to be honest.

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  4. Dave says:

    Just keep doing what you’re doing- I really wouldn’t change too much. Since I don’t get to watch too much baseball anymore these days I appreciate your picking out players to write about for more long-term ownership and getting your thoughts out on how you evaluate them. I picked up CJ Cron because of this column and have kept him since in a couple of my leagues. Great work. Most my leagues limit streaming but I’ve been following you since the THT days and have definitely benefited in those formats

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  5. Chad says:

    From a DFS perspective I’d be interested in seeing some splits by pitch type. Such as highlighting a hitter who hits a slider well facing a pitcher who throws a lot of sliders.

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  6. Jay says:

    1. DFS is not gambling. That is false. If it was gambling, it would not be exploding as much as it is, nor would the same players consistently be winning.

    2. The column is called “Daily Grind – Presented by Fanduel.” I would thoroughly expect DFS influence in something sponsored by the largest of the DFS sites.

    3. With that in mind, I’d like to see more emphasis on the current day’s DFS plays or daily league plays in general and less emphasis on the next day. Things often change from one day to the next so I’m not as interested in the forecasting element in that regard.

    4. With Draftstreet being gone, there are only 2 DFS-related blogs now. Unless one of the other 2 guys also intends to cover FanDuel, that will have to remain your niche.

    5. I like Chad’s suggestion.

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  7. Colin says:

    I appreciate the weather report for DFS. Keep up the good work.

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