The daily grind: 8-24-13

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

After a week of clean weather reports, it looks like the nation is finally seeing some normal summer weather.

Today’s grind

Today is not the best day to be playing the wire for pitching. I ended up choosing Eric Stults in my H2H league after Todd Redmond and Hiroki Kuroda blew up yesterday.

Do note that Scott Kazmir and Zach McAllister swapped rotation spots, so the latter will be pitching today against the Twins.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Everything I said yesterday about Kazmir remains true.

Jorge de la Rosa is merely solid, but a game against the Marlins makes him an attractive choice.

Tony Cingrani will face the Brewers. Be wary of his back issue, which wasn’t fully healed during a recent bullpen outing.

Don’t rush out to own Sonny Gray‘s start against the Orioles, but he’s still a decent option. He’s showing the same strong strikeout and walk rates that he’s featured in the minors this season.

Ivan Nova is still sitting at 46 percent owned, which is just a travesty. This is a pitcher with a 2.88 FIP and the peripherals to back it up.

The Dan Haren bandwagon filled back up quickly, as he’s up to 72 percent owned. Farewell, the column will miss you.

Andrew Cashner has disappointed many an analyst this season due to a sharp decline in his whiff rate. The total package is still pretty solid, especially when facing a lineup like the Cubs.

Pitcher (bum): Mike Pelfrey has been better since returning from the disabled list, but that isn’t much of an accomplishment. He’s still showing weak peripherals, especially his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.71.

Tyler Cloyd is a fine emergency starter, but that skill set lends itself to exploitation. Talent wise, he’s similar to Colby Lewis, but it took Lewis many years and a trip to Japan to figure out how to retire MLB hitters.

The Blue Jays are without Jose Bautista, but they can still get to Dallas Keuchel.

Ryan Vogelsong has been just one of several Giants pitchers to struggle mightily in 2013. His velocity is down, his whiff rate is down, and his walk rate is up, so the outlook is not rosy. He’s been most hurt by an obscene 17-percent home run-to-fly ball ratio (HR/FB).

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.

Aaron Harang has been all over the place this season, firing gems and duds with frequency. He’ll face an Angels lineup that’s down Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

Hitter (power): Jonny Gomes will get another start, and David Ross may get a look, too.

Garrett Jones holds the platoon advantage over Vogelsong.

Hitter (speed): Chris Denorfia likely will start against Chris Rusin.

J.B. Shuck may be worth a look versus Harang.

Keep an eye on Felix Pie as a speed option. He’s been usable in the past if very carefully platooned.

Rajai Davis is rolling some nice matchups. I will be looking hard to find a way to roster him against Keuchel.

Craig Gentry sees another lefty in John Danks.

Do consider Adam Eaton against Cloyd. Gerardo Parra and Matt Davidson also would work.

Pitchers to come

Monday: For those avid readers who made it this far, I’ll warn you that the odds of a column tomorrow are below 25 percent. With most of Monday’s starters named, the only ones to keep an eye on are Andre Rienzo versus the Astros and Zack Wheeler against the Phillies. Wheeler’s opposed by Cliff Lee, which hurts his chances of a win.

Tuesday: Jose Quintana remains my choice for the day since he faces the Astros.

I usually watch three to five games at a given time, but I will be full-screening Danny Salazar versus Alex Wood.

Wednesday: Wade Miley draws the Padres on Wednesday, but I expect other options to oust him as the top target.

Noteworthy news

The most important news that I can find is that Vin Scully will be returning to the booth in 2014. While I’m not one to drool over Scully’s broadcasts, they are a refreshing change of pace from the generic and highly commercial banter from the other 29 teams.

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jeff baker is up against a leftie on sunday.


Need Holds,can you give me some options? Was thinking about Paco Rodriguez ?

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson


That’s hard without knowing who’s available in your league. The percentage play is to take the guy with the best K/9 and K/BB who gets holds, which may well be Paco Rodriguez.