- Fringe Five
- Daily DFS
- Friday Picks
1. Fringe Five
If you aren’t doing so already, use Carson Cistulli’s award eligible series Fringe Five as a prospect scouting tool. Cistulli is particularly adept at following those mostly un-hyped prospects. I’ve heard third hand that Dave Cameron once described Cistulli as “good” at identifying pitching prospects. More colorful quotes are not available at this time.
One thing I do not recommend is reading the Fringe Five (or any Cistulli) immediately prior to undertaking your own column writing. His voice is infectious in a bad way.
2. Daily DFS
Early: We have four early games to shuffle through.
Roberto Hernandez usually makes a lousy target due to his impressive ground ball rate. However, aside from that one trait, he’s not particularly good. As such, he’s one of the better stacking options today. Aaron Harang is of a similar quality without the ground ball hijinks.
Francisco Liriano has the stuff to quiet the Tigers, but he also has the left-handedness to unlock their scary platoon side. We’ll see which force wins in Detroit.
Don’t go overboard with the Mike Fiers love. He profiles as an adequate major league pitcher whose high fly ball rate will result in plenty of home runs. He belongs in Miami or San Francisco, not Miller Park (to avoid confusion, today’s game is at Wrigley Field). The other side of this matchup contains on immolateable Edwin Jackson. “Immolate” is indeed a word, hence immolateable is a valid extension of said word.
Late: Six games are late and the always popular Coors game comes with a 50 percent chance of storms.
In Boston we find Scott Feldman and Allen Webster. Feldman is a decent pitcher with a low ceiling and high floor. He’ll probably allow some runs, but he’s not likely to melt. Webster has struggled with the transition to the MLB hill, a trend which may continue into today.
Personally, I think Brad Penny could pitch well today against a tepid Diamondbacks team. It’s just his second major league start since the 1990’s (erm, 2011), so there’s a lot of room for error.
Robbie Ross is back in the majors after pitching pretty terribly in Triple-A. The Rangers are now down one Yu Darvish and Ross just happened to be on the 40 man roster. Expect a crooked number or three against Ross.
Eric Stults is a regular guest due to middling stuff. He makes the most of very little with strong command and control, but he’ll have his days where nothing works. John Lackey has been doing his best Jason Hammel impression since joining the Cardinals, but I think he’ll be just fine against the Padres.
Sinker ballers like Alfredo Simon seem to have a very hard time with Coors Field. Maybe I’ll do an analysis over the offseason. Jorge de la Rosa can usually survive his Coors outings, but it’s not a guarantee.
3. Friday Picks
Pitchers to Start: Wei-Yin Chen will face an Indians lineup that has some difficulty against left-handed pitchers. The game is to be played at Progressive Field, which further aids Chen. The downside is that he’s against Corey Kluber, so a win might not be in the cards no matter how well he pitches.
Charlie Morton versus Tanner Roark pits two decent pitchers against one another. Both can pitch just well enough to be a fantasy asset, but neither is likely to excel. Since the Nationals and Pirates have decent lineups, I’d lean towards taking a pass.
Clay Buchholz has been doing his best to bob and weave on me. Last time out, he was exceedingly sharp with his command and control, just like when he last faced the Astros. That complete game, 10 strikeout shutout is a big reason I’m considering Buchholz, even though the saberist in me is shaking his head.
Brandon McCarthy ran into Kluber last time and wasn’t able to run him off. He has an easier but still difficult opponent in Alex Cobb. More importantly, the Rays lineup will present a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Pitching at Tropicana Field should help.
Marcus Stroman joins the ranks of what appears to be a great day for pitcher streaming. He’ll face the White Sox.
Pitchers to Exploit: Look, I like James Paxton as much as the next guy (actually I probably don’t), but I’m not fool enough to trust him against the Tigers. Their array of potent right-handers is frightening to any pitcher and should be doubly so for a most untested rookie. This won’t be like dismantling the White Sox last week, he’s going to need all his wile to survive.
If it weren’t for Marlins Stadium, a game between Trevor Cahill and Brad Hand would look like a LOT of runs. As it stands, Cahill has pitched rather well since re-joining the rotation. I don’t buy it, nor do I think he’ll survive the Marlins. Hand is even shakier, but the Diamondbacks lineup is quite pitiful.
Now that Darvish is out, just aim to exploit every Rangers pitcher. Tomorrow is Nick Martinez.
The Reds will see southpaw Franklin Morales at Coors Field. Woohoo.
I guess people have jumped ship on Kole Calhoun. Don’t overreact to a mini-slump, his ownership should be at 90 percent, not 64 percent. He’ll lead off against Martinez.
Hitters (speed): Norichika Aoki is hitting well, which only really means that he’s a lock to start. He has six steals in the last 30 days.
Rajai Davis is the most available of the Tiger fantasy threats.
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 Rockies game has a 50 percent chance of storms.
The Link. The early games lack a standout ballpark. Weather in Chicago might be a little dreary. The late contest has some good hitters and pitchers parks to target.
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