Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 12 — For Draftstreet

Wade Miley was atrocious to begin the season, posting a 4.79 FIP in April. He turned it around in May, posting a 3.66 FIP. Then, the wheels fell off again, as he pitched his way to a 4.77 FIP in June. So far, he’s been very good in two July starts, seeing his FIP slot in at 0.77. Let’s go back to June, though; perhaps the wheels didn’t actually fall off completely.

Miley’s poor April and June numbers have one main driver: home runs. He allowed seven in each month. Considering Miley’s never been a strikeout artist, his HR/FB rate has kind of always told the story. In 2012, he didn’t allow many. He did in 2013 (along with more walks), and his numbers suffered. This year, he’s allowed homers at an even higher rate, and his numbers have fallen further, but something else has changed: his strikeout rate has shot up.

Miley’s current 22.8% strikeout rate is nearly five points higher than his career number. It’s been even higher since June began, sitting at a robust 27.9%. His pitch mix has changed some as the year has went on; more sliders, specifically. And hitters are making less contact, both in the zone and out of it, than they ever have versus his repertoire. All good things, but there’s something else at play here.

In Miley’s seven starts since June 1, he’s faced: Cincinnati, Atlanta (twice), Houston, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. Those six teams have the following ranks in strikeout rate versus left handed pitchers: 9, 2, 7, 5, 27 , and 10. Perhaps total strikeout percentage would be a better way to go about things, but we’re forced to deal with small sample sizes in daily, anyways.

Long story short: Wade Miley has been better than his ERA suggests, and missing bats isn’t a fluke, but he’s probably not quite as good as he’s looked over the past month and a half either. He’s facing the Giants today; a team that has hit lefties pretty well (107 wRC+), but struggled mightily lately at the plate. The game is in San Francisco, though, which should help Miley keep the ball in play. Interesting matchup, indeed.

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Probables Chart

Sorry for the long intro. Now for a quick rundown.

Feel free to target both sides of the Scott CarrollZach McAllister match-up in Cleveland. Ditto for the Baltimore-Yankees and Minnesota-Colorado tilts. [Edit: Not able to update the chart to show Tillman replacing Jimenez, but I still like the Yankees today. David Price was scratched as well. Buying the illness or is a trade coming?]

Jimmy Nelson will make his second start of the year versus St. Louis. It’ll be interesting to see if his command shows up, considering it appears he has made strides in that department this year.

Lastly, it feels like kicking them while they’re down, but unless Yu Darvish is on the mound, picking offensive players versus Texas pitching seems like the way to go more than it doesn’t.

The Daily Five

Wade Miley – $15,449

I can’t somewhat tout him and then not use him, right?

Mark Teixeira – $6,519

Tillman’s home run issues haven’t gone anywhere; Tex’s power, however, has rebounded rather nicely, especially from the left side.

Orioles stack

Adam Jones – $7,842
Manny Machado – $7,293
Steve Pearce – $7,154

I’m not a huge fan of Machado in fantasy, but he is absolutely on fire at the moment; same with Pearce.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. 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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Landon is a senior writer at The Fantasy Fix. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter (@joneslandon).

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jim S.
jim S.

The Rays don’t want Price to pitch in the all-star game. Since his fastball is off 2 mph he might get knocked around, and that would lower his trade value.