The Daily Grind: 5-28-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Guitar Riffs
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Thin Thursday
  4. Table

FanDuel has unleashed the World Fantasy Baseball Championship; a week-long, $5,000,000 celebration of Fantasy Baseball in Las Vegas! The WFBC has something for everyone, from the $250,000 single-entry championship, to the live $3,000,000 DFBC Final in Las Vegas.

Remember to use promocode FANGRAPHS to get your huge 100% deposit bonus up to $200. Click here to win your seat ticket.

1. Guitar Riffs

Must we always talk business? I’ve experienced some music burnout lately, having listened to Highway Star and Renegade a couple hundred thousand times. My quest is to find face melting guitar work, preferably available on Spotify. Some of my favorite face melters include Anastasia by Miles Kennedy, Downfall by Trust Company, and Beast and the Harlot by Avenged Sevenfold. I’ve worn them all out, so new content is needed. Thoughts?

2. Daily DFS

Early: Just three games are to be played early. Let’s run through them all.

It’s rare for Citi Field to qualify as the best place for offense. When the Mets moved in the walls last season, they increased the home run factor to six percent above neutral. The Pirates Charlie Morton is far from homer prone, but Bartolo Colon can toss his share of fly balls. He’s allowed nine yakkers already, although his 3.78 xFIP says his 5.34 ERA is unlucky.

Ready to watch some batters walk? Jarred Cosart is opposed by Danny Duffy at Kauffman Stadium – the other “offensive” park today. Unlike Citi Field, the Big K allows an above average rate of runs but well below average home run rate. I wish the Astros would put Cosart in the bullpen, he doesn’t strikeout enough hitters as a starter and he walks way too many. Duffy is well known as a hard throwing, fly ball pitcher. His current walk rate of 9.5 percent is impressively low for Duffy (though high for most pitchers). Of course, he’s whiffing fewer batters than ever before, so perhaps a tradeoff has been made.

Here’s a game I don’t know how to handicap. Well I do, but it’s high variance. Edwin Jackson takes on Tim Lincecum at AT&T Park. In 41 starts for the Cubs, Jackson has struggled with his BABIP and LOB%. We usually call that “bad luck,” but at some point you start to wonder when something else might be at play. Lincecum has his own weird peripherals with a high BABIP this season and a three-year home run problem.

Late: I like the Rockies lefty stack against Roberto Hernandez, but there are a couple red flags. Hernandez’s ground ball ways can shut down any offense. You’re hoping his high HR/FB ratio kicks in for this game, but he occasionally refuses to allow any fly balls. There’s also a 50 percent chance for rain.

The Blue Jays have some very potent left-handed bats, which makes a play against Chris Archer reasonable. The Rays have less potency in their lineup, but they face an inferior pitcher in Liam Hendriks.

The game in Chicago is just hitting me over the head today. Lefty T.J. House is opposed by Hector Noesi. White Sox righties benefit from an untested pitcher and a 128 home run park factor. Meanwhile, Cleveland lefties will enjoy a scuffling Noesi and a 114 home run park factor.

Target Field is not an offensive haven, yet it’s hard to pass up a game against Texas starter Joe Saunders. The Rangers feature two of the most hittable pitchers in baseball between Saunders and Scott Baker.

3. Thin Thursday

It’s not too thin with 10 games total. DFS owners won’t get to use two of those games.

Pitchers to Start: R.A. Dickey has become available in many leagues, with a 69 percent ownership on Yahoo. His rest-of-season projection is not dissimilar from Julio Teheran, so a start against the mediocre Royals is an easy pick.

I seem to catch all of Ubaldo Jimenez‘s best starts, when he’s (kind of) spotting his viscous sinker. When it’s on, the pitch looks damn near impossible to hit. His last two starts have been real clunkers, so maybe you’ll want to work against him. However, with the matchup against Houston, I’m inclined to roll the dice.

Pitchers to Exploit: David Buchanan survived his major league debut against a fierce Dodgers offense. That he recorded just one whiff over five innings and was pulled after 66 pitches should tell you something about his stuff and the organization’s faith in it. The Mets aren’t anything like the Dodgers, yet I bet they’ll trounce Buchanan.

We say it all the time, the Braves offense does two things – strikeout and hit home runs. Jake Peavy is suffering through career worst strikeout, swinging strike, and walk rates. He’s also had a touch of trouble with his HR/FB ratio. We could be looking at bad juju or the beginning of the end.

The Orioles lack a ton of left-handed talent in their lineup, but Chris Davis might be enough by himself against Astros’ starter Brad Peacock. His problem (Peacock) is a 14.6 percent walk rate, which works out to 6.0 BB/9.

Angels starter Wade LeBlanc is heir to Jamie Moyer‘s nonexistent fastball, but he’s yet to master the rest of his game like Moyer. With an 86 mph heater, he needs to be spot on. I usually pick against the Mariners when they face a lefty, but maybe not tomorrow.

I’m definitely picking against Mariners starter Brandon Maurer. He’s forgotten how to record strikeouts or whiffs which has made him ridiculously hittable.

Hitters (power): Stefen Romero is pretty fringy, but he’ll probably start tomorrow – possibly in the two hole.

Jonny Gomes has a start lined up versus Mike Minor. Two of the three times I watched Minor, he was pretty stingy about throwing hittable pitches.

Lucas Duda and pretty much any unowned Met is worth a shot against Buchanan.

Hitters (speed): Maybe tomorrow is the day Kole Calhoun returns to the top of the order?

A.J. Pollock is a nice leadoff play against Tony Cingrani.

If he starts, Juan Lagares is a decent bet for a steal.

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.

Weather instability persists for another day. Games in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and St. Louis need to be monitored closely.

The Link. The weather ratings are all over the board, and there is an interesting mix of colors from which to choose.

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.

Print This Post

The critics love The Daily Grind! "Reading these every day is like watching one man's slow descent into insanity." - Thomas ..... Follow Brad on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Re: Guitar: For face melting guitar work I like Black Dahlia Murder (guitarist Ryan Knight)…solos on Map of Scars and Carobonized in Cruciform are prime examples…the guitar work is unreal; if you don’t like the metal vocals just skip to the good stuff…Check out Exmortus’ Moonlight Sonata (Act 3) if you’re into neoclassical shred…Periphery’s instrumental album will keep you entertained for awhile too

Mike C.
Mike C.

Never heard of Exmortus, but I’m now a big fan. Thanks Dave!