The Daily Grind: 8-17-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Bullpen Report Upgrade
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Meager Monday
  4. Table

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1. Bullpen Report Upgrade

Without somebody else mentioning it, you might not realize that Daniel Schwartz put in a lot of work upgrading the Bullpen Report. Take a gander. It contains some nice tables that could help you in your fantasy dealings. A few teasers: Aroldis Chapman is the best closer and Ken Giles is the best non-closer (with an admittedly small sample).

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: 10 games have start times before 4:00 ET. Keep in mind, these games can be combined with those under the late category – you just won’t have starting rosters.

Danny Salazar is beginning to earn a reputation similar to Francisco Liriano. I never know what to expect from the guy. Salazar’s biggest issue is his control. Kevin Gausman is also pitching in this one. He gets hit around on occasion despite his 95 mph fastball. You could stack either side, although I wouldn’t call either move a percentage play.

Robbie Ray has struggled in his brief major league career, but he’ll finally have an advantageous matchup against the lefty heavy Mariners. We’ll see how this goes.

Another youngster who has struggled at the major league level despite good stuff is Rafael Montero. He’ll face a Cubs team that generally scuffles against right-handed pitching.

The Blue Jays were originally slated to face Chris Sale, but he’s been bumped to tomorrow. Now the matchup is much more enticing with Scott Carroll on the mound. Drew Hutchison remains a dark horse target simply because home runs are common in Chicago.

Guess what I’m going to say about Hector Santiago versus Nick Tepesch. It’s a recipe for runs! One of my first offseason posts is going to be a fantasy cookbook with all the different recipes for runs.

Late: The late crew has five games.

I think David Buchanan is probably about as good as his 4.40 ERA, which isn’t really something you stack in San Francisco. But not too long ago, I thought he was a 5.50 ERA quality pitcher. In case Brad minus 30 days is right, let’s keep him up here.

You wish you could target Dylan Axelrod and Yohan Flande, but they pitch in the second game of today’s Colorado doubleheader. Instead, you get to try Mat Latos and Jordan Lyles. I could picture Latos struggling at Coors Field and Lyles has been shaky since his return from the disabled list.

Dan Haren was bad for awhile, then he’s been alright over his last two outings. Now it’s the Brewers turn to see which Haren shows up. He’s homer prone, which is a good thing for Milwaukee hitters.

The Athletics have a bunch of right-handed hitters to throw at Mike Minor. The BABIP gods have chosen to spurn Minor in most of his recent starts, which has contributed to his poor numbers. A high fly ball rate and HR/FB ratio of 15 percent do not help. When I see both a high BABIP and HR/FB ratio over a large sample, it tells me that the pitcher in question is throwing cookies, tipping pitchers, or doing something else that let’s hitters outperform luck neutral numbers. Or it could just be luck.

3. Meager Monday

With only eight games tomorrow, the pickings are slim.

Pitchers to Start: Both Kyle Hendricks and Bartolo Colon are fringy candidates for desperate owners. Hendricks has an excellent walk rate and solid ground ball rate on his side against a mediocre Mets roster. Colon is similar in that he survives by avoiding walks. If you go by season numbers, he has the better matchup, although that undersells the presence of guys like Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara. Colon’s fly ball habit isn’t a great fit for Wrigley Field.

Since I surprisingly found Ervin Santana on the waiver wire of two leagues, I’ll mention him despite a high ownership rate. A game at PNC Park could help keep the runs off the board. The Pirates have a decent offense, but without Andrew McCutchen, it lacks dynamism. If you really need to make up an innings deficit, Vance Worley opposes Santana and could do fine against the Braves. They aren’t particularly good against right-handed pitching.

If you can find Santana on the wire, then you might be able to find Mike Leake too. He’s a similar quality pitcher, and I like his matchup slightly more.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Nationals can hit lefties pretty well, which is one of many reasons to avoid Vidal Nuno. He’s a fly ball pitcher and the Nationals can stack a few power hitting righties.

Jerome Williams was fine in his first start for the Phillies. He turned the same trick in Texas before an impressive meltdown, so don’t be fooled. Williams reminds me of a bad Edwin Jackson.

Trevor May walked everybody in his major league debut, a problem that recurred often during his minor league tenure. Let’s just say a repeat is possible.

After two major clunkers, Justin Masterson turned in a gem in his last start. I assume the righty is still hurt and therefore liable to do anything.

Hitters (power): Conor Gillaspie will have the platoon advantage against Bud Norris.

Kole Calhoun, if he’s still out there in your league, should really be owned. He’ll see Brandon Workman.

Darin Ruf probably starts against left-handed Roenis Elias.

Any Mariners – Dustin Ackley, Kendrys Morales, and even Logan Morrison are worth consideration against Williams.

I think Wilson Ramos is the freely available National. If Michael Taylor is still with the club tomorrow, then I could see him getting a spot start in place of Bryce Harper.

Hitters (speed): Norichika Aoki will look to get things started against May.

Another Mariner – Endy Chavez – could start and swipe a base.

The previously mentioned Alcantara and Chris Coghlan (not a speed threat), could net a few hits against Colon.

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.

Minnesota, St. Louis, and Washington D.C. all have storm risks. They’re below 40 percent. Boston could see a storm late in the game.

The Link. My phone is not in my possession, so no weather scores today. Other sites like Daily Baseball Data have their own version of weather scores, so you can take a look there.

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.

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