The Daily Grind: 7-17-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Build Your Own Grind
  2. Friday Picks

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1. Build Your Own Grind

Today’s column is a courtesy piece for those in traditional leagues who are thinking about starting the second half on the right foot.

Readership on all fantasy blogs decreases as the season wears on. Many owners become less serious about their daily activities, while the best of the best gain enough confidence to do the work on their own. I would like to reverse the trend by introducing a new twist; I just don’t know what it is yet. I’m currently brainstorming several ideas ranging from a special Cistullian tone to lock in a cadre of dedicated followers to new tools designed to appeal to more owners. I’ve seen this column criticized for its focus on DFS play, but most of the effort still goes into traditional fantasy.

So regulars, what keeps you coming back for more? What would you like to see?

Transients, what needs to be here to draw you in every day?

This is your chance to shape The Daily Grind.

2. Friday Picks

Pitchers to Start: R.A. Dickey has struggled with walks this season, which accounts for most of his struggles in my opinion. Maybe 3.60 BB/9 doesn’t look like “struggles,” but he’s had his best success when his walk rate is closer to 2.10 BB/9. He’ll face Yu Darvish, which is obviously a bad matchup. However, the Rangers offense is pretty unimpressive.

Clay Buchholz is coming off a masterful complete game shutout of the Astros. He’s allowed five home runs in four starts since returning from the disabled list, but his velocity is also around where it was last year when he was pitching well.

Speaking of the Astros, Jose Quintana will face the strikeout prone club tomorrow. The biggest drawback is the venue – U.S. Cellular Bandbox.

Pitchers to Exploit: Another start at Yankee Stadium has David Phelps back in the exploit category. The Reds offense is far from ferocious, but they can still pop home runs in the right conditions.

Scott Feldman also has to contend with The Cell, and he’s not as good as Quintana.

Edwin Jackson is coming off a nightmare outing. As I’ve noted umpteen times this season, his peripherals are much better than his ERA, but this is also a long term trend for him. He’s opposed by Trevor Cahill who is making his first major league start since April.

Hitters (power): Seth Smith remains lightly owned despite a useful power bat against right-handed pitchers. He’ll face Bartolo Colon tomorrow.

John Jaso will get a couple hacks at Chris Tillman. Surprisingly, he’s popped seven home runs, which is about four more than I expected from him all season.

Neither Chris Coghlan nor Luis Valbuena are big power threats, but they’re hitting well enough to be of use.

Matt Joyce will see Kyle Gibson. Joyce was quiet for a looooooong time, but he’s picked things up again recently.

A couple down roster Astros – Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes – could be interesting versus Quintana.

Conor Gillaspie took his sweet time popping his first home run of the season, then he found three more in quick succession. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Feldman.

Hitters (speed): Drew Stubbs will face Francisco Liriano in Liriano’s return to action.

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.

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Please no Cistullian. One is more than enough. It would kill my interest.

I play traditional fantasy and MLB Beat the Streak and find this blog somewhat useful for deciding who to stream and who to consider for BTS, though I have to apply my own spin heavily for BTS (a mix of pitchers to exploit and any leadoff or high-avg hitters that appear on the blog today, but I especially don’t limit myself to hitters mentioned).