The Daily Grind: 6-16-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. The World Cup
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Tuesday Picks
  4. Table

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1. The World Cup

At least in America, the World Cup is kind of like the Olympics. Most American sports fans might discuss soccer once in the roughly 1,400 days between World Cups, usually in the context of “the other football.” It’s a weird phenomenon to watch baseball fans argue over whether Landon Donovan should be rostered. I don’t know the answer, I do know their time and place knowledge of soccer amounts to zilch. I guess I’m an odd sports fan in that I believe a person must be “qualified” to bother arguing about a sport. It’s why I only follow baseball (and very closely at that). What’s the point of beginning a sentence with “I think…” if you have no expertise on the subject?

And yea, I couldn’t come up with a normal baseball topic this morning.

2. Daily DFS

While there is a late-late contest, all 11 games are grouped together for the main contest.

Jason Vargas is a decent left-handed pitcher. As you may have read each of the last four days and many others besides, the Tigers have a rather right-handed lineup. Vargas doesn’t show a big platoon, but a fantasy trip to Comerica Park is something worth considering.

It’s the Red Sox turn to face Kevin Correia. It feels like I never stop writing about some guys. With Correia, it’s all about balls in play.

Carlos Martinez deserves attention because he’s interesting. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been particularly great in 30 relief appearances this season. He’s not stretched out to start, so don’t expect more than three or so innings.

I wish I knew why Brandon McCarthy‘s 5.29 ERA is so far from his 2.86 xFIP. I mean I know why – home runs – but I don’t know why he’s allowed so many deep shots. The Brewers lack the platoon advantage, but they don’t lack power.

A sneaky DFSer might start Colby Lewis given his fly ball tendencies and pitcher friendly O.Co Coliseum. I’ll play the numbers and point out the Athletics strong offense. Lewis has a 5.74 ERA and 4.14 FIP. You won’t be rostering him in traditional fantasy any time soon, but he should be better than he has been.

3. Tuesday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Marcus Stroman might get ignored due to a terrible matchup against Masahiro Tanaka. Stroman will have a hard time winning this game, but he could contribute to three categories. I usually avoid starts where a win is unlikely.

Phil Hughes is at 62 percent owned on Yahoo! His success is based on two factors – almost no walks (eight in 13 starts) and a tame home run rate. Target Field is undoubtedly helping with the home runs. Tomorrow’s game is at Fenway, but Boston’s park also suppresses left-handed power.

Pitchers to Exploit: With Eric Stults being who he is, even the Seattle Mariners offense could be useful tomorrow. Stults has a 5.79 ERA and 5.16 FIP. He’s been a bit more homer prone than usual this season, and the Mariners do lack for power, so maybe his 4.43 xFIP sets a better expectation.

While I do think Brandon Cumpton is better than 6.06 ERA (his 3.45 FIP concurs), I might give the Reds a look. Sometimes these super high ERA’s in small samples indicate a pitcher is making too many fat pitches. Usually it’s just bad luck.

Jacob Turner‘s hideous 6.38 ERA is the result of an unfortunate sequencing of events (.358 BABIP, 61.5 LOB%, 14.3% HR/FB ratio). His mediocre 4.40 FIP is the result of who he is as a pitcher. This is Turner’s fourth spin in the majors, and he’s been disappointing each time. The Cubs don’t have a potent offense, but they could and should put up some runs against Turner.

John Danks seems to be hit or miss this season. The Giants have plenty of right-handed hitters who are used to the opposite of U.S. Cellular Field (at least where park factors are concerned).

I get very excited when I see the Brewers facing a non-elite lefty. Tomorrow it’s Wade Miley‘s turn to cower from the Brewers mashery.

Hitters (power): Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds are two of the lower profile Brewers who could benefit from facing Miley.

Matt Joyce and David DeJesus haven’t done much for us lately, but we’re more concerned about what they probably might do for us.

Hitters (speed): Tommy La Stella‘s on base skills could be of use against Kyle Kendrick.

Brock Holt has played well enough to keep finding his way into the lineup. Cheap leadoff hitters are always nice, even if they aren’t big power or speed threats.

Chris Denorfia should feature prominently against Roenis Elias.

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.

Atlanta has a 40 percent chance for scattered storms tonight.

The Link. Just one green stadium and a couple nice weather grades today.

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How do you feel about Ventura tomorrow at DET? The way the Tigers hammer fastballs makes me nervous.