The Daily Grind: 7-26-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Think Strategically
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Sunday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Think Strategically

I woke up to an accepted trade in ottoneu this morning, and I thought I’d share the circumstances. Ottoneu gives you a $400 budget for 40 players. You can trade or allocate the money as desired. When you cut a player, you get half of their cost back. So if I cut a $2 player, $1 would return to my budget and the other $1 would count as a penalty. Well, I ran plum out of those budget dollars, and the only players I could cut for any money also have some value as trade assets. So I made this trade…

The Trade

For my $3 Ervin Santana, I get a $47 Justin Verlander and $44. Santana is better than Verlander and he’s a not unreasonable keeper at $5 (all keeper prices for major leaguers are previous cost + $2). But when I need money, I can cut Verlander for $23 of budget. That should fuel whatever slim dollar pickings are left plus give me a shot at other pricey veterans who get cut. If Erik Hahnman cuts his $29 Prince Fielder, I can stash him for $15.

Most of you aren’t playing ottoneu, but your fantasy game probably has some quirks you can exploit (especially keeper leagues). Find them and use them.

As an operational note, I won’t be available for tomorrow’s post. It may still be covered.

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: Four games are early today. Of those, Chris Capuano makes for the most obvious target. The Blue Jays aren’t particularly potent against left-handed pitching, nor will they be aiming at the short porch. Yet Capuano has been irregularly used this season, and he’ll probably be competing without his best.

Shelby Miller would be a good stacking target if he weren’t visiting the Cubs. Considering the paucity of alternatives, throw a couple Cubbies on the fire.

Bud Norris versus Chris Young is the other game where you might pick up a hitter or two.

Late: We have 11 games late and a couple targetable stacks to go with them.

I usually ignore gut feelings, but I’ll mention mine today. With Zach McAllister facing the Royals, it seems to me that their singles happy offense could slap around 10 hits before knocking him out.

Jon Niese is an atypical target. A start against the Brewers mammoth righties brings him to the table.

Logan Darnell will pitch for the Twins today. His combination of low strikeouts and non-elite walk rate isn’t all that fascinating. This would make for a stronger recommendation if it wasn’t at Target Field against the White Sox. Even so, Darnell is a lefty, which means at least one name brand Chicagoan is worth using.

Jeremy Hellickson was shaky for most of the 2013 season, and he was shaky in his 2014 debut. Who wants to bet he’ll be shaky again with the Red Sox across the way.

Rapid Fire: The Athletics will (probably) unleash their tri-catcher (and other hitters) against Nick Tepesch. The Pirates face another lefty in Colorado – this time it’s Tyler Matzek.

Why I didn’t pick…Jeff Locke: Locke is definitely the kind of pitcher who can struggle in Colorado. His command and control profile and reliance on a sinker can cause problems when his pitches don’t move like they normally would. However, he’s throwing a ton of changeups this season, and there’s no reason he should lose the speed differential on the pitch.

3. Sunday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Jimmy Nelson is one of the few widely available pitchers to feature a high strikeout rate and decent control. His 5.06 ERA through three starts may dissuade others from using him, but there’s upside for a strong start against the Mets. It’s too bad the game is at Miller Park, which may convince me to take a pass.

Jacob deGrom has some things in common with Nelson – mainly a high strikeout rate and a start at Miller Park. The Brewers attack is scarier than the Mets.

Kyle Hendricks had strong walk rates throughout the minors. Perhaps his eight walks (six BB + a IBB + a HBP) through two starts are a symptom of nerves. The rest of his skill set is pretty solid. Beware! Adam Wainwright opposes Hendricks.

Pitchers to Exploit: J.A. Happ isn’t so bad that you need to trip over yourself acquiring Yankees hitters. A couple hitters are worthy of extra consideration in New York.

Vidal Nuno has pitched passably since moving to Arizona. The best thing he’s done in Arizona is drop his walk rate below five percent, but it’s only been three starts (aka super small sample). He’s a fly ball pitcher who has shown a bit of a problem with his HR/FB ratios. That’s not good.

Danny Salazar versus Bruce Chen is a potentially explosive matchup. Salazar still has bouts of wildness and doesn’t last deep into the game. Chen is still a mediocre lefty. The Indians aren’t very good against left-handed pitching, so maybe Chen will survive. Salazar has great stuff, so he could skate by too.

Scott Carroll and Yohan Pino are the latest mediocre starters to appear at Target Field. It’s the same as before, the pitchers are usually good targets, but the ballpark and respective offenses might not be worth the effort.

Hector Santiago has been slowly trimming his stats back to tolerable territory. Expect a relapse against the lefty slaying Tigers.

The next lefty on offer by the Rockies is Franklin Morales. It’s the last day of lefty fest for Pittsburgh.

Eric Stults is also pitching tomorrow. He’s against the Braves, who are known to be unfriendly with southpaws.

Miles Mikolas is the last target I’m going to list, although I could go deeper. He’s a contact oriented pitcher without elite command and control. I suspect he’s throwing too many hittable pitches, but I don’t recall watching him throw so much as one pitch thus far. I haven’t watched many Rangers games lately.

Hitters (power): Chase Headley is one guy who could benefit from a start against Happ.

Marlon Byrd is generally unavailable. Darin Ruf is very available, although Ryan Howard could steal the start.

John Jaso, Stephen Vogt, and Jed Lowrie are back for another round.

Yasmani Grandal may like to see a struggling Mike Minor. Every time I target Minor, he goes out with superb control and dominates.

Chris Johnson deserves some consideration for a day.

If Zach Sanders is to be believed, Kendrys Morales is already locked into the cleanup spot for the Mariners.

I popped Conor Gillaspie and Adam Eaton in the speed section yesterday. The same notes apply – they aren’t really power threats either.

Yan Gomes might miss Chen since it’s a Sunday game. That would be a shame.

Hitters (speed): If B.J. Upton is available, he’ll probably leadoff against Stults.

Rajai Davis may get another start if they decide to take it easy with J.D. Martinez.

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.

Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Minnesota all have a 30 percent chance for storms. They’ll probably be safe, but you know the drill.

The Link. Table comments

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.

One Response to “The Daily Grind: 7-26-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

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  1. FeslenR says:

    deGrom is homer prone, and Milwaukee’s hitters are powerful, but they also strikeout a ton. If you have SO/IP and SO/9 ratios as stats, deGrom would be a great pickup for any league.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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