- Game Pace Changes
- Daily DFS
- Meager Monday
1. Game Pace Changes
I have a suspicion we’ll have an unusual factor of analysis over the offseason – game pace. In particular, the slowest hitters and pitchers may be forced to adjust to the existing, uninforced rules. As Jeff Sullivan points out, the 12 second rule is a little extreme – it’s an ideal rather than a reasonable average. And really, you want the time on that rule to be a standard deviation or so below average. Hitters may also be forced to drop their mid-bat antics.
If something happens, most players will transition cleanly. However, it’s never too early to do a little home work about hitters and pitchers with pace issues. Those are the guys who could see their performance affected while they adjust. Here are lists for hitters and pitchers.
2. Daily DFS
Early: 11 games qualify as early. You should get the lineups for those before rosters lock on the main contest.
Drew Hutchison has struggled recently and could be gassed. Best I can tell, he’s never thrown near 100 innings in a season. He’s at 144 this year.
Allen Webster has walked more batters than he’s struck out at the major league level. That’s all you need to know for a stack. He’s a bit of a mystery with a high swinging strike rate and tiny strikeout rate. The Mariners generally don’t provide a great stack.
Justin Masterson versus Jerome Williams could result in some crooked numbers. Don’t be surprised if the runs skew heavily to the Cardinals. Masterson is the kind of pitcher who can completely flummox the Phillies, while Williams is overdue for a disaster.
With a strong performance out of the bullpen, the Rangers are giving Scott Baker another shot at the rotation. As long as he can retain the decent strikeout rate, I suspect he could soon be the Rangers best starting pitcher. He’s still exploitable for the Royals.
Rapid Fire: The White Sox don’t have a dangerous lineup, but they do have enough right-handed thump to threat Chris Capuano. Southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada has been assigned the difficult task of surviving the Orioles, right-handed onslaught.
Late: Four games start after 4:00 ET.
Kevin Correia will deal with the Mets lefty stack. He really seems like the kind of pitcher who would have a platoon split, but he doesn’t. Not this year, nor for his career. Nevertheless, he is hittable.
3. Meager Monday
With 10 games, the options for tomorrow are slightly limited.
Pitchers to Start: Tomorrow lacks anybody I’m comfortable starting. The closest is Roenis Elias against the Rangers. He’ll have a good shot at a victory. I see Roenis as somebody who could improve, but he’s not worth more than the occasional spot start at this time.
Pitchers to Exploit: Clay Buchholz versus J.A. Happ could yield some useful hitting matchups. The pair are prone to bad outings this season. Buchholz seemingly exchanges excellent performances with crap, while Happ is a little more predictable in his mediocrity.
Jarred Cosart has a tough matchup with the Angels – a team against whom he has a fair amount of experience. He’s opposed by Wade LeBlanc. The soft tossing lefty is a lot better against minor league competition than major league hitters. Our projection systems peg an ERA between 4.56 and 5.39 for him. The Marlins should be able to exploit that.
Miles Mikolas is scheduled to pitch tomorrow now. He avoids a tough matchup with the Royals in exchange for a slightly less difficult challenge from the Mariners. Their lefty lineup could still give him fits.
The Brewers will see lefty Eric Stults. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee righty stack will have to deal with Petco’s 86 park factor for right-handed home runs.
Tyler Matzek will pitch in San Francisco. The Giants are scuffling, although they’re also decent against righties. With Matzek, it will be interesting to observe his home and away performances. A start at AT&T Park – the anti-Coors – should be a refreshing change of pace.
Hitters (power): Adam Duvall could be an interesting power play against Matzek. I’ve ignored Duvall due to his oppressive home park.
Dustin Ackley will probably bat second against Mikolas.
Adam Lind draws Buchholz.
Hitters (speed): I’m guessing Mookie Betts will start with Happ on the hill.
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 Twins have a low chance for late game storms. The rest of the league is in the clear.
The Link. The worst weather rating is a seven in the second half of a late game in Oakland. You weren’t going to use that game anyway. It looks offense could be prevalent.
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