The daily grind 5-8

The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every-morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!

Today’s grind

Danny Duffy is still widely available. As a commenter yesterday noted, he held the Yankees offense in check and they’re more potent against left-hand pitching than the Red Sox. I will be starting him in the three leagues I own him in, but if you have room to be careful, you might want to wait until he’s facing easier inter-division foes.

On the opposite side of that match-up is Daniel Bard. He’s probably not available given his 36 percent ownership rate, but it’s a good start for him.

The Brewers swapped Marco Estrada and Yovani Gallardo at the last minute. Estrada actually started last night. He had a rough outing so you didn’t miss anything.

Shelley Duncan faces John Danks in what’s rounding into a classic TDG match-up.

Miguel Batista will start for the Mets today, which means that Juan Pierre and Laynce Nix should be owned.

I was shocked to learn that Kirk Nieuwenhuis is only eight percent owned. He has a well-rounded fantasy skill set that lends itself toward plugging roster holes. He faces Joe Blanton today, so add away.

Tomorrow’s grind

Christian Friedrich has a prospecty glow and strong numbers in five PCL starts this season. More importantly, he faces the Padres at Petco for his major league debut. That’s a match-up made in heaven.

Anthony Bass faces Friedrich. Bass has been sneaky good this season but he’s leaned heavily on a good moving fastball in the outings I’ve observed.

Drew Smyly has done well this season thanks in part to improved strikeout and whiff rates. He gets the always juicy Mariners match-up tomorrow.

It’s somehow slipped notice that Jeff Keppinger is nearly a full time starter now. He faces David Phelps tomorrow.

Craig Gentry will probably start against Wei-Yin Chen.

Bruce Chen is set to face the Red Sox, which means Marlon Byrd and Darnell McDonald might be useful.

Reliever watch

Kenley Jansen appears to have officially taken over as the Dodgers closer. He immediately becomes a top three reliever in baseball. There might still be a few opportunities to buy low, but that window is probably closed.

Octavio Dotel blew a spot save. Jose Valverde had gone three consecutive days. Joaquin Benoit is the better handcuff if you’re worried about Valverde.

Jonathan Papelbon took the loss and allowed three runs yesterday. The game was tied 2-2, so no blown save.

Retroactive Review: Ace
Looking back at some of Justin Verlander's most interesting moments.

Yesterday’s results

Philip Humber exploded in the worst possible way: 2.1 IP, 1 K, 30.86 ERA, 4.71 WHIP. I thought I had identified a Don Cooper-aided change in him, but his last few outings have been painful.

Carlos Zambrano helped to mitigate the pain with a three-hit shutout win: 9 IP, 9 K, 0.00, 0.44 WHIP

Felix Doubront got one of those wins where you kind of just shake your head: 6.1 IP, 2 K, 5.68 ERA, 1.48 WHIP

An empty 2-for-5 for Byrd. He’s below the Mendoza line with his batting average, but he seems to be hitting lefties well.

McDonald was 1-for-4 with a walk.

Gentry also posted an empty 2-for-5 line.

Duncan played in only one game of the double header. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

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Joshua Pransky
Joshua Pransky

Can I ask how the Yankees are more potent then the Red Sox this year vs lefties? Red Sox are slugging .513 vs lefties (best in baseball) vs the Yankees .443. I didn’t read that comment from yesterday, but so far this season, it isn’t even close who is the more potent offense vs. lefties.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Good observation. I suppose I took yesterday’s comment at face value. Lazy on my part. The story makes sense though, I would expect the Yankees lineup to outhit the Red Sox versus LHP just from glancing at the talent on both clubs.