The Daily Grind: 8-13-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Strength of Schedule
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Thin Thursday
  4. Table

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1. Strength of Schedule

Jeff Sullivan took a peek at the remaining strength of schedule for each team. The article is worth a gander, but let’s think about how to use this for fantasy purposes. The easiest way to leverage this information is for pitcher wins. Your goal is still to acquire pitchers with a low ERA and high innings per start. However, if you can also grab guys from teams like the Indians, Athletics, or Angels, you’ll be giving yourself an even better chance to earn the win. Ultimately, it’s a very small effect we’re chasing.

You can also use strength of schedule as a proxy for pitching talent. A team like the Tigers (weakest schedule) is probably paired against several teams with bad pitching. Their offense could see a small boost down the stretch. The opposite applies as well. If you’re sitting on Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins, now may be the time to divest.

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: There are three to five early games today. The Rockies and Padres play at 6:40, which disappears off FanDuel’s radar (other sites like DraftKings usually include the 6:40 games). The other game that could be missing is the day component of the doubleheader in Cleveland.

While Great American ballpark is definitely the place to go for home runs, Anthony Ranaudo and Mike Leake are both solid pitchers. Pick selective targets rather than stacking.

Houston’s Minute Maid Park is homer friendly too, and it’s a lot easier to stack against Brett Oberholtzer. Kyle Gibson keeps enough balls on the ground that he makes for an indifferent target (grab a couple lefties).

Since his move to San Francisco, Jake Peavy continues to look like a bottom of the rotation pitche. Id be more aggressive with him if he weren’t playing in the best stadium to pitch.

Late: We have 11 late games.

The Tigers hope to catch lightning in a bottle with Buck Farmer. He has just two starts above the A-ball level. While he’s featured strong peripherals at each level, he’s taking a big jump to the majors. Detroit probably doesn’t expect to use him more than a couple times, so this will serve as a good audition for next season.

Justin Masterson has struggled in two starts for the Cardinals. His velocity, which was at 90 mph in his last start for the Indians, was down to 87.9 mph last time out. He recently came off the disabled list, and there’s indication he may still be hurt. The Marlins have enough offense to make him pay.

The Rays aren’t a DFS juggernaut, but they keep drawing saucy matchups with the Rangers. This time, they face Miles Mikolas. He’s probably about two runs better than his 6.57 ERA, but the important lesson for DFS players is that he’s prone to meltdowns.

Usually, I recommend to use Tsuyoshi Wada. This time around, he’s facing a Brewers offense that features frightening power against southpaws.

Rapid Fire: Chris Tillman‘s combination of low strikeouts, high-ish walks, and fly balls opens him up to the occasional meltdown outing. Tillman is against Michael Pineda, who could be shaky in his first start back from the disabled list. Jason Vargas is a solid pitcher, but the A’s have a LOT of lefty mashers piled up in their lineup.

3. Thin Thursday

There are 10 games tomorrow, so it’s not that thin.

Pitchers to Start: Mike Fiers pitched well in Triple-A and was sharp in his return to the Brewers rotation. There is plenty to watch out for against the Cubs including his low strikeout rate and fly ball tendencies. Personally, I won’t be using him, but I know others without my reservations.

Chase Anderson has emerged as perhaps the sole bright spot in a dismal season for the Diamondbacks. The right-hander’s biggest issue is the long ball, but he’ll play at pitcher friendly Miami Stadium.

If you can find Jake Odorizzi, he’s a pretty easy pick against the Rangers pathetic offense. Who would have thought that line was even possible?

Pitchers to Exploit: The always unpredictable Francisco Liriano will face the Tigers in Detroit. The southpaw will have to survive a lineup that destroys lefties. Liriano has a reverse platoon split on the year (I’m confident in calling that a small sample hiccup). More importantly, he’s never been truly terrible against righties. He could survive this.

Edwin Jackson has mostly struggled over the last two months or so. He’ll face a dynamic Brewers offense tomorrow

Allen Webster got pushed back to tomorrow. He’s against Scott Feldman in a game that could yield a few runs for both sides.

Eric Stults has been exploitable all season with his mixture of balls in play and misfortune on home runs. He’ll face the Cardinals and struggling starter John Lackey.

Alfredo Simon is the kind of pitcher who could really struggle in Colorado. You could also pick some righties against Jorge de la Rosa.

Hitters (power): Johnny Peralta is a solid choice against Stults. He’s the Cardinals five hitter.

I’ll keep up the recommendation for Jon Singleton.

Hitters (speed): David Peralta does leadoff man work including the very occasional stolen base. It’s seems like he’s trying harder to take bags due to his role with the team.

Gerardo Parra could snag a couple hits and a base against Edwin Jackson.

Brock Holt is now freely available again. Jackie Bradley Jr. is another guy who could work in a little base running.

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 looks like we should stay dry today after two rainouts yesterday. The Diamondbacks-Indians doubleheader is the most likely to see rain (20 percent).

The Link. Our green choices today are VERY green. Go get ’em.

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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Damnit. I had it in my notes to pick up Anderson, but I was sick yesterday and didn’t remember. Oh well, he’s a good pickup for you (not that I want him to be), a matchup I’d consider playable even on a deep day.