The Daily Grind: 8-25-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. September Considerations
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Tuesday Picks
  4. Table

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1. September Considerations

September is kind of like an entire month of football’s week 17. If teams are out of the running or have a playoff spot locked down, they could go with some unusual lineups and defensive configurations. The veterans you relied on the entire season could find themselves with increased bench time as an organization evaluates a minor leaguer. To combat this issue, I recommend you get streamy. Owners in same-day moves leagues can respond dynamically based on the lineup. Owners in next-day leagues have to guess.

Weird lineups offers opportunities for DFS owners. With unusual players taking prime spots in the lineup, it might be easier to build offensive value while rostering a reliable pitcher. Or you can pick up a Maikel Franco cleanup day in order to squeeze Mike Trout into your outfield. You’ll just need to monitor lineups.

Pitching quality decreases in September. Some of the guys who have hung around since March are gassed. Then there are the untested call ups. Some of those will be very good, but most will look like below average middle relievers. We could see some mid-tier hitters catch fire in September; it happens every year and is usually blamed on pitcher quality.

2. Meager Monday

Yesterday’s Grind

All 10 games are late.

J.A. Happ versus Clay Buchholz has the potential to yield plenty of runs or a competitive game. Both guys twirl the occasional gem interspersed with garbage outings and mediocrity. Buchholz has been unstable this year and has the tougher matchup. Happ should survive Boston’s soggy attack without allowing huge DFS numbers.

The Athletics offense has slumped through most of August, but I’m not willing to discard their upside against Scott Feldman. Maybe Brandon Moss will finally get back online.

Jarred Cosart has a difficult matchup in Los Angeles against the Angels. He’s pitched well-ish since coming over to the Marlins. I wouldn’t count on a solid game against Mike Trout and Co. Cosart is opposed by Wade LeBlanc, who is filling in for the injured Garrett Jones. LeBlanc is a southpaw who works in the 85-88 mph range and is exceptionally hittable. The Marlins have enough hitters to make him pay.

The Mariners will mostly have the platoon advantage against Miles Mikolas and his 7.48 ERA. A 5.18 FIP and 4.80 xFIP indicate that he’s a more typical type of bad.

The good news for Eric Stults is that his start is at home. Unfortunately, he’s facing a Brewers lineup with some of the best lefty mashers in baseball. Stults has only a typical platoon split (righties hit for 40 more points of wOBA), so it’s not like he’s Drew Smyly out there. But then again, he doesn’t have anything like Smyly’s stuff…

Tyler Matzek has looked overmatched making most of his starts at Coors Field. We’ll see how he handles the pitcher’s paradise of AT&T Park.

3. Tuesday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Matt Shoemaker is one of my favorite new pitchers this season. Eno and I talked about him briefly on Twitter, where I said he smelled somewhat similar to Corey Kluber circa 2013. That’s not to say expect him to be a top pitcher next season, but I do expect him to be a core performer for fantasy owners. Without his own society, Shoemaker might even get overlooked by some.

James Paxton has allowed just one earned run in his last three outings. He did allow four runs total last time; three were unearned. In any event, he has an easy matchup against the Texas Rangers.

Pitchers to Exploit: Much to this writer’s chagrin, Rubby de la Rosa has not been a source of reliability. He performed well against the Angels last time out, but got hammered by the Astros before that. This will be Toronto’s third start against de la Rosa, and they hit well in the previous two. I don’t put any stock into team versus pitcher data, but I do think inconsistency, a strong lineup, and a little extra confidence for the Blue Jays is a bad combination for the Red Sox pitcher.

Travis Wood will take his fly ball profile to Great American Ballpark, where all fly balls leave the yard. GABP is especially friendly to right-handed hitters. Being a lefty, that’s not great news for Wood.

Speaking of righty friendly parks, southpaw T.J. House will start at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox only have a few big power threats, but the one is BIG. House has an impressive 61 percent ground ball rate, so not many balls are in the air. Unfortunately, he has a sinker baller’s HR/FB ratio. His is over 17 percent.

Saint Nicholas Martinez has come bearing gifts for all the Seattle hitters. His 5.13 ERA is supported by a 5.27 FIP and…wait for it…5.27 xFIP.

Hitters (power): You can give Adam Duvall another go against Jorge de la Rosa.

Seth Smith is viable against Jimmy Nelson.

Dustin Ackley will probably bat second with Kendrys Morales hitting cleanup.

Derek Norris, Jonny Gomes, Nate Freiman, and Sam Fuld are among the many Athletics to try against a tough lefty – Dallas Keuchel.

Hitters (speed): David Peralta and Ender Inciarte are decent speed picks if you don’t mind a lack of power.

Norichika Aoki is only useful for speed. You can also cross your fingers for BABIP luck.

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.

Sound the all clear on the weather front.

The Link. Most of the extra-high octane ballparks are off the board today.

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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