The Daily Grind: 5-15-14


  1. What’s with 12:35?
  2. Thin Thursday
  3. Funky Friday
  4. Table

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1. Another early day

These 12:35 start times are a bummer. Yesterday, I gambled on White Sox manager Robin Ventura starting Marcus Semien. He didn’t. I still made money on the day, but half my FanDuel lineups were wasted.

The moral of the (short) story? Even if you really like a particular matchup, sometimes it’s better to go with the guy you’re certain is starting. The corollary? I used Gordon Beckham too, and he was the reason I won money.

2. Thin Thursday

Early: We have four games in the early bundle. It’s probably easiest to say you don’t want to stack against Johnny Cueto or Michael Wacha.

Two pitchers are obvious bad nuts. Wandy Rodriguez at Miller Park is a disaster waiting to happen. His peripherals don’t appear any different than previous seasons. Usually he starts out hot and cools down, so this cold start is unnerving.

Clay Buchholz is the other pitcher showing signs of serious issues. With a game at Target Field against the mostly right-handed Twins, this isn’t exactly an ideal place to stream.

Late: There are five games in this bucket. The second Cincinnati game is a part of neither contest.

In recent outings, Danny Salazar has looked better but not necessarily better. As in, my cold isn’t as bad today, but I’m still sick. The Blue Jays lineup has several fearsome left-handed bats.

On the other side of the Blue Jays game is J.A. Happ. He’s probably the most stackable pitcher of the day. The Indians are currently the worst team at hitting left-handed pitchers, which is weird. Last season with almost the same roster, they were one of the best teams at hitting lefties. I’m going to chalk it up to small sample size and predict a mashing.

The Angels draw Erik Bedard. The only good thing Erik’s done this season is avoid the long ball. With guys like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and C.J. Cron populating the lineup, he has his work cut out for him.

In case you prefer the mystery box, the New York teams both debut relatively unheralded prospects. Yankees starter Chase Whitley is marginally interesting, while Jacob deGrom doesn’t appear to possess much upside.

3. Friday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Kyle Lohse is a solid starter with a good matchup against the Cubbies. He’s opposed by Jeff Samardzija, so expect a bit of a pitcher’s duel.

Alfredo Simon will face an exploitable Phillies lineup. They can still mash if they catch a pitch on an off night.

Jose Quintana has a decent matchup against the Houston Astros. They can really make a pitcher look good, but I worry about the righty power in the lineup.

Henderson Alvarez is the latest beneficiary of AT&T Park and the tepid Giants offense.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Pittsburgh Pirates have a couple left-handed batters to fear. David Phelps will try to steer them away from the short porch, but will he be successful?

The Orioles lack big, bad lefties aside from Chris Davis, but Jeremy Guthrie is hittable for everyone.

The Rockies face left-hander Eric Stults. Release the kraken, aka Troy Tulowitzki.

Dodgers righties should enjoy facing Wade Miley. Unfortunately, you won’t find anyone to use in the bargain.

Hitters (power): Travis Snider and Ike Davis will both be playing pitch-n-putt at Yankee stadium.

Tyler Moore finally gets the platoon advantage. I’ve been waiting forever to mention his name. Unfortunately, Jon Niese is pitching very well this season..

The Astros power stack include Chris Carter, George Springer, and Jesus Guzman.

Add Conor Gillaspie to the pool against Collin McHugh.

Hitters (speed): Chris Denorfia looks attractive against Jorge de la Rosa.

With Kyle Gibson on the mound, Mariners lefties lefties like Brad Miller and James Jones could be viable. Then again, Target Field eliminates almost any hope for power.

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.

Minnesota has a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain. Otherwise we’re looking at dry weather around the league. If you’re looking to play the early contests, keep an eye out.

The Link. The best stadiums are paired with the day games. At night, only Toronto is in the green.

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Isn’t Cueto in line for some regression? %99.5 strand, .160 BABIP. A lot of lefties in that Padre lineup, and we have to go somewhere after we fill the Wandy stack, right? *shrug*