The Daily Grind: 8-22-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Prospect Value
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Saturday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Prospect Value

Commenter Lucky Strikes offered this post by Peter Gammons as a reason to downplay prospects in fantasy baseball (even deep keeper leagues). The short version: according to Dayton Moore, prospects often take three years to hit their stride at the plate after reaching the majors. Not only do you have to sit on the player’s development years, you’ll then need to wait out their first few seasons in the majors.

Typically, a prospect’s value is highest before he reaches the majors, because there is that chance he’ll pull a Mike Trout (or a George Springer if you prefer a more realistic example). Once they reach the majors and scuffle – as so many do – the acquisition cost will often drop. Short term fluctuations can strongly affect asking prices. At the beginning of this season, I traded Gregory Polanco for Fernando Rodney in a keeper league (Polanco will cost $8 after the season). I’ve since offered Rodney back for Polanco on two occasions – on the eve of his promotion and a couple weeks into his slump. Both offers were rejected. Without consideration of standings, I suspect the same offer might be accepted today.

Pitchers are a different beast because it’s seemingly easier for them to enter the majors at their peak. However, the frequent incidence of early career injuries can undo a pitcher’s value quickly. Just ask Jose Fernandez.

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: Kevin Gausman and Jake Arrieta hog the early slot. DFS owners can forget about them.

Late: Brad Peacock has three problems – walks, fly balls, and home runs. Add them all together and you get a 5.47 ERA. He’ll face the Indians at Progressive Field. Regular readers might recall how kind Cleveland is to lefty power.

I usually choose to start pitchers against the Phillies, not exploit them. Today, Shelby Miller draws the desirable matchup. However, he coming off a six walk, four run outing against the equally miserable Padres lineup. I think I’ll have room for a couple Phillies. Never mind. ESPN has not picked up that Adam Wainwright is starting.

Since joining the Red Sox, Joe Kelly has walked 13 batters in 17 innings. He also has huge career splits. Lefties have hit for a .370 wOBA against him this season (.350 career wOBA), and we know the Mariners are loaded on left-handed bats.

Colby Lewis has allowed a lot of hard contact this season. The Royals have specialized in batting average. Let’s interact the two and see what happens.

Robbie Ray versus Tommy Milone is today’s recipe for runs. I’m not buying the hype on Ray. His peripherals scream swingman. Even if the latent talent is there, he’s unlikely to channel it this season. On the other side of this is a competent pitcher in Milone who happens to be facing a nightmare lineup.

Rapid Fire: Who’s scuffling more – John Danks or the Yankees lineup? We find out after a word from our sponsors. Kyle Kendrick has a habit of early game hiccups this season. Mike Minor was strong in his last outing, but he’ll need to watch out for homer friendly Great American Ballpark. I like Jeff Locke, but not so much at Miller Park against the Brewers. Of course you’re going to stream against Franklin Morales. Duh.

3. Saturday Picks

Pitchers to Start: I want to recommend Kyle Hendricks because he’s been a useful streamer for me. Unfortunately, a matchup with the Orioles has me taking a hands off approach. I’ll let your level of desperation decide if you take a stab at him.

Collin McHugh versus Danny Salazar offers two intriguing opportunities to stream. Unbelievably, McHugh is a safe pick against most offenses. Salazar is a high risk, high reward play who skews heavily to risk.

Pitchers to Exploit: Buck Farmer‘s debut was fine except for those pesky runs he allowed. I don’t really anticipate him doing particularly well in the majors this season, although I do think he’ll have good starts intermingled with blah. Yohan Pino, aka King Blah, is on the other side of this one. Game two of the double header includes Trevor May. With 13 walks in nine innings, I’m not too hopeful of a good outing.

Scott Carroll is always exploitable. Failing to strike out anybody tends to open that door. This game would be more interesting if it were Joe Carroll on the mound.

Nick Tepesch is hittable enough to be spanked by the Royals. He’s had four consecutive “quality starts.” I put that in quotes because one outing lasted 5.2 shutout innings. In any case, I still like the Royals to pop eight or more hits.

Jordan Lyles isn’t quite as sharp as he was earlier in the season. In three starts since returning from the disabled list, he’s allowed 11 runs in 16.1 innings.

Hitters (power): C.J. Cron is expected to be activated in time to face Jon Lester. It’s not an A-list matchup, but I do so enjoy Cron.

Garrett Jones is probably freely available for a Coors Field start.

Hopefully, Kennys Vargas will get two starts.

Sean Rodriguez will likely start if you need a utility knife.

Hitters (speed): Grab any Tigers you can for the doubleheader, like Rajai Davis or Eugenio Suarez.

Norichika Aoki could get a few hits off Tepesch.

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. is down, so I have to go to my backup site, weather underground. They don’t list percentage likelihoods. Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Colorado all have some kind of risk for a storm. Keep an eye on the details.

The Link. I guess it’s getting cold later tonight. The chart is very green.

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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