The daily grind: 5-2-13

The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice for tinkerers and daily fantasy players. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective, including notice of impending weather events, new injuries, and changes to platoon situations. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!

The daily picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.

Today’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Yesterday I recommended Roberto Hernandez and Ervin Santana for today. Rain and wind will make that game interesting to say the least. Predictable outcomes are out the door.

Despite Dillon Gee failing me again, I love almost anybody starting against the Marlins. Today that is Kyle Kendrick, who is probably worth owning outright. Lefties (like Lucas Duda) can still take advantage, but he seems to have made legitimate improvements last season that have carried over to 2013.

Justin Grimm is also on that fringe of guys who can be rostered outright. I never saw through his 9.00 ERA last year to the solid peripherals, but he generates a good number of whiffs and rarely walks anybody. In a small sample this year, he’s not getting mashed. In last season’s mini-sample, he gave up a 29 percent line drive rate and .438 BABIP compared to this season’s more sane rates of 19 percent line drives and .288 BABIP.

Pitcher (bum): I’m suppressing the urge to make a Joe Blanton fat joke, which is a shame for you because I had a good one loaded up. Anyway, start Orioles.

What’s the over/under on runs scored in a Rick Porcello versus Jordan Lyles match-up? 15?

Dan Haren has lovely peripherals. The question is, do his .386 BABIP against, near 16 percent HR/FB ratio, and continued decline in whiff rate tell us that he’s serving them up? I’m betting the Braves have a feast.

Hitter (power): Scott Hairston sees a lefty. Which is one of Dr. Seuss’ most conventional stories.

Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava also see a lefty.

Juan Francisco sees a righty. He’s different.

Hitter (speed): Chris Denorfia sees…a lefty! But you knew that as soon as I wrote Denorfia—he doesn’t play otherwise.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Jonathan Pettibone faces Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins. Have I mentioned that this is a near auto-start?

The Yankees’ fairy tale has to end sometime, right? A.J. Griffin is down to 32 percent owned. He’s a solid pitcher with a solid match-up. He does oppose C.C. Sabathia, so he shouldn’t be choice 1A.

Felix Doubront has a fringy match-up in Arlington. I’m not sure that goes well with his penchant for home runs allowed.

Barry Zito is a wild card. I’m a fool for associating with him, but I don’t much respect the Dodgers offense at the moment.

Homestretch: The 1967 AL Pennant Race, Part 3
A tight race shows no signs of letting up.

Pitcher (bum): Jason Marquis has been good this season, but I’m betting on the Diamondbacks’ offense.

The Rays will be the latest team to prey on lefty Jeff Francis.

Poor Shaun Marcum has a tough game ahead of him against the Braves.

Hitter (power): Marcum starting equals Francisco in the fantasy lineup.

Ryan Raburn looks like he’s on one of those hot streaks he used to supply once a year. And he’ll have the platoon advantage.

Another lefty for Gomes and Nava.

Hitter (speed): Try Nate Schierholtz against Mike Leake.

It’s a Craig Gentry start day.

Also try Gerardo Parra.

Weather watch

A windy, rainy game is expected in Kansas City between the Rays and Royals. Games hosted by the Rangers and Cubs could also see a spate here or there.

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Douglas Mattingly III
Douglas Mattingly III

The Yankees “fairy tale” shall never end, for it is indeed reality! Wishing a franchise’s demise has no effect!

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

At best, that’s an 81 win roster IF it was in the NL and you know it smile

Lineup from yesterday.

1. Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
2. Jayson Nix (R) 3B
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
4. Vernon Wells (R) LF
5. Travis Hafner (L) DH
6. Ben Francisco (R) RF
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) SS
8. Lyle Overbay (L) 1B
9. Chris Stewart (R) C

That’s one of the worst leadoff’s in baseball, the worst 2-hole, Well’s revived corpse, Hafner’s revived corpse, the worst 6-hole, probably the worst 7 hole, a poor hitting 1B, and a replacement level catcher.

Which begs the question, how long will these necroscopic magics last.


At least they don’t have Wells, Hafner Overbay as the 3, 4, 5 hitters like they did when Robinson was out of the lineup. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t much better, but wowza. George was rolling over in his grave. And I loved every painful second of it.


How’s that Haren prediction?  Seriously, any chance he is turning this around?

AJ Leight
AJ Leight

I was happy that I went against the majority and started him tonight. Kinda ballsy, but then again with Dickey not a sure thing when rosters locked on Monday and my only other options being Fernandez, Grimm & Ogando, I figured it was worth the risk. Probably wasn’t, but glad it paid off. I’d say he’ll be mediocre the rest of the way – but once that team starts clicking, mediocrity could net him 15 wins.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

He absolutely could turn it around. On the peripheral side of things, the only reasons he’s not doing well is a reduced whiff rate(still not bad at 7.5%), elevated BABIP (now down to .330 after yesterday), and elevated HR/FB ratio (14%).

I see two ways to interpret that. He’s either prone to strong contact now, or he’s in line for some positive regression. If you saw some of his previous outings, you’d probably think the hard contact theory was the front runner, but statistics tells us to expect some positive regression here.