The daily grind: 7-30-13

The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice for tinkerers and daily fantasy players. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective, including notice of impending weather events, new injuries, and changes to platoon situations. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!

The daily picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.

Today’s weather watch

The double header in Chicago shows a 30 percent chance of rain for both games, but the rest of the country looks like it’ll get a dry day.

Today’s grind

There is no shortage of widely available, useful pitching today.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Corey Kluber is the top pick for the day, mostly due to his solid ratios and strikeout totals. He’s 28 percent owned, but he’s the kind of fantasy core performer who usually sees ownership rates around 80-90 percent. In other words, many of you still have the opportunity to pick up a guy who would usually go in the 10th to 14th round or cost around $10 in a 12-team league.

Kluber is opposed by Jose Quintana. He’s only 17 percent owned and features a similar story with solid ratios and a tolerable strikeout rate. Chicago’s terrible offense (likely to get worse soon), eats away at his value since wins are unlikely. To give you a comparison point, Quintana is similar to pitchers who are drafted in the 14th to 20th round or cost around $5. The Indians have one of the top offenses in the league, so be wary.

Kyle Kendrick is somehow owned more frequently than both Kluber and Quintana despite being substantially worse. Kendrick has a solid shot at a win against the Giants with decent ratios, but a lousy strikeout rate makes him a pure spot starter—not somebody to own in 39 percent of leagues.

If you are looking to chase a win, Miguel Gonzalez is a better player to pick up than Kendrick and he’s 35 percent owned. You get the same profile as Kendrick with solid ratios and a low strikeout rate, but you also benefit from a top offense supplying early leads.

I’ll mention Jenrry Mejia because he’s lightly owned and has that prospect glitter all over him, but I’m staying away. He was quite unimpressive last season and has barely been available this season despite good results thus far.

Martin Perez generates enough whiffs that he should be striking out more batters and thus seeing better results. As a young pitcher who’s battled some injuries, he likely needs further refinement before becoming a fantasy mainstay. A match-up against the Angels will be challenging.

Edwin Jackson is down to 28 percent owned. He’s a brand name, core performer paired against an abysmal Brewers offense.

Pitcher (bum): The Chad Gaudin bus broke down against the Reds last week and I expect the poor performance to continue against the Phillies.

Erik Bedard was a nightmare earlier in the season, but managed to turn things around. However, he’s remained inconsistent—particularly with walks—and a dynamic Orioles offense is a dreadful assignment.

Hitter (power): Christian Yelich should be owned in most keeper formats, but for the re-draft types in the crowd, he’s a solid spot start against Mejia.

Josh Satin is working his way towards multi-positional eligibility and should start against Henderson Alvarez.

I feel like I’ve recommended Brandon Belt against Kendrick a thousand times without a single positive result. The match-up should improve Belt’s outcomes substantially.

How an Ace Performance Impacts Reliever Workloads
Bullpenning has its advantages, but it's great when an elite starter eats up a bunch of innings, too.

It’s been awhile since I’ve dropped a Seth Smith and Brandon Moss recommendation. It’s the right time against R.A. Dickey.

Hitter (speed): Lorenzo Cain has had a quiet season. A decent match-up against Kevin Correia might be worth a spot look.

Jerome Williams is a solid match-up for Leonys Martin. Just beware of the Rangers making a trade that bumps Martin to the bench.

J.B. Shuck is a new name around these parts. Treat him like a left-handed Craig Gentry. He can steal a few bases, rarely strikes out, and has trouble hitting for any sort of power. He’ll face a lefty tomorrow so this isn’t the time to jump on him if you have alternatives.

Pitchers to come

Thursday: Chris Tillman remains the top available arm.

Friday: Friday remains TBA heavy, but Gerrit Cole is a solid choice for re-draft owners. I assume he’s owned in all keeper leagues.

Saturday: I’m currently split between Zach McAllister versus the Marlins and Dan Haren against the Brewers. I’m leaning towards that Marlins match-up.

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Would you throw AJ Burnett tonight vs STL?  I am below my leagues inning cap projection, but need to improve my ratios. (QS, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, SV+H)

Currently at a 3.22 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.04 K/BB

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

I would start him. My reasoning is that roster constraints and available starters down the stretch are likely to be worse than Burnett’s projected line against STL. He likely won’t improve your ratios tonight but unless there’s something wonky with QS and K in your league, you’ll need to hit your league cap somehow.

Put another way, Burnett vs. the Cards is a better hill on which to make a stand than say Eric Stults against the Dodgers.


Thanks Brad.  I think you’re right.  In most cases, I’m willing to absorb bad ratios in exchange for a QS, and in Burnett’s case, a K/IP near 1.


Thoughts on Mike Morse coming off the DL? is he worth an Add for the Power? looking at replacing Adam LaRoche.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Absolutely. I’m considering cutting LaRoche in a league where Morse is nowhere near the waiver wire.


I strongly agree with starting Kluber tonight, but everyone seems to like him ROS. Here is his next few starts:


After that it gets better but do you still agree with keeping him until it gets better in a 10 team H2H?

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Depends on how the league is structured. I’m in a 12 team H2H where Kluber is a solid 40-60 SP away from the waiver wire despite the bad match-ups. Some of the guys who regularly appear in the exploits section of this column are regularly streamed.

That said, if you’re able to pick up players that help you win your match-ups, I say go for it. H2H is all about micro’ing categories with in-week waiver moves.