The Daily Grind: 6-8-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Ideal Hitters
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Monday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Ideal Hitters

Yesterday we talked about ideal pitchers, so let’s cover hitters today. The most reliable hitters are often so expensive you can only roster one or two of them. Picking hitters is what makes DFS baseball very hard, because the game is so inherently unpredictable. On the FanDuel platform, I try to target batters I believe have a reasonable shot at two home runs. Even Giancarlo Stanton or Jose Bautista rarely hit two long balls, so this is a stretch goal.

You have eight hitters, but on a typical night you’ll need at least six home runs in order to win some money. I’ve had six homer nights where I walked home empty handed (and not because my pitching flopped). The alternative to home runs is multi-run extra base hits. This is where leadoff hitters can be a bit risky. You want the extra plate appearances, but you also want an opportunity for a high RBI total. Similarly, a guy like Carlos Santana is a better play for OBP leagues since he ends 40 percent of his plate appearances with a walk or strikeout. You need balls in play in order to rack up points quickly.

Ideally your hitters will all possess the following attributes:

  • Home run power
  • Good spot in the lineup (top four)
  • Platoon advantage
  • Few strikeouts or walks

In actuality, it’s almost impossible to build a top to bottom lineup of ideal hitters.

2. Daily DFS

Early: We have 10 games prior to the late afternoon.

David Buchanan is an obvious target at Great American Bandbox. Expect lots of balls in play.

I usually want to use Jaime Garcia, but I steer clear of almost everybody against the Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s probably going to rain (and rather violently at that), which spoils the Brewers’ A+ matchup against Pirates lefty Jeff Locke. Because this is an in-division game, they won’t put too much effort into forcing this one to happen.

I thought I saw Joe Saunders was going to miss this start with shoulder sorenes, but I see no reference of it now. Whether or not he’s banged up, he’s an easy target at Globe Life Park. Watch out for rain here too.

Jose Quintana is a good pitcher with a bad matchup against the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Trout has a sore back, so maybe this one leans in Quintana’s favor.

Late: Five games start at 4:00 ET or later, so let’s toss them in the late bucket.

Petco Park is hardly a hitter’s haven, but the Nationals do have a juicy matchup against Eric Stults. The Nats have a few particularly potent lefty killers.

The Dodgers have been surprisingly bad against left-handed pitching, but the top of the order should actually be mashing them. I expect their luck to turn, and a game at Coors Field is a good place to look.

Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum has a 3.68 xFIP. Unfortunately, he’s had this home run issue for three years running, so I’m not sure how far to distrust his 5.01 ERA.

3. Monday Picks

With 12 games tomorrow, the pickings are far from slim.

Pitchers to Start: Every time I recommend Charlie Morton, it comes with the same caveat. He won’t rack up strikeouts, but he can give you decent innings with a chance to win.

It feels funny to even think about recommending Ryan Vogelsong. He’s opposed by Stephen Strasburg, so a win is unlikely. However, the game is at pitcher friendly AT&T Park. Vogey is pitching like he’s forgotten his dreadful 2013 season.

Pitchers to Exploit: The Rays offense isn’t potent, but I’ll take them against Erasmo Ramirez. He seems to have all the components of a successful back end starter, but he’s yet to put the results together.

Jake Peavy is having his worst season by almost any measure. The game will be played at Camden Yards so expect plenty of offense. Bud Norris is on the other side of this one.

Ricky Nolasco has survived his last couple outings, but now he’ll face the Blue Jays. They kill all types of pitchers, especially hittable ones.

The Tigers face Hector Noesi at U.S. Cellular Field. Very few of them will have the platoon advantage, but that almost doesn’t matter.

Christian Bergman appears to be a command and control righty with a low strikeout rate. He’ll make his major league debut against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. Speaking of Coors, I don’t trust Gavin Floyd there. He’s never struck me as a very adaptable pitcher.

Hitters (power): Mandatory Matt Joyce and David DeJesus sighting.

John Jaso bats second against most right-handers now. He lacks for power, but has even less speed.

Michael Choice reminds me of a toolsier John Mayberry Jr. Maybe he’ll have a good day against T.J. House.

Rick Porcello has big platoon splits, so consider using Adam Eaton and Conor Gillaspie.

I didn’t realize Adam Lind and Juan Francisco were so widely available (40 and 35 percent owned respectively). They’re an automatic start against almost any right-hander.

Hitters (speed): Tommy La Stella should be batting first or second against any right-handed pitcher. Fredi Gonzalez isn’t quite ready to take the leap.

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.

It seems like there’s a high risk of storms late in the Pittsburgh game. Both the Texas and Colorado games have a lesser chance for pop up storms.

The Link. Once again, we have some 10 weather ratings in hitter friendly stadiums.

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It’s still early to say for sure, but Rick porcello’s platoon split is smaller than it has been in the past (.321 wOBA vs lefties compared to .355 for his career)