The daily grind: 9-17-13

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 game between the Indians and Royals has a 30 percent chance of isolated storms.

Today’s grind

Today has a little bit of everything to choose from. The Braves and Nationals have a surprise doubleheader as well, so any streaming options from those teams may be desirable.

Yordano Ventura will take Danny Duffy‘s turn in the rotation today. He strikes out hitters at a high rate, but he straddles the line with walks. He’s allowed a tad under four free passes per nine innings over the last two seasons.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Alex Wood had his last start skipped after a couple of poor outings. He was supposed to be opposed by Stephen Strasburg, but that start will now be filled by Ross Ohlendorf.

Nathan Eovaldi will face the middling Phillies offense. He’s a typical fantasy replacement level pitcher, good for the occasional spot start but risky to own outright.

Charlie Morton has blossomed into a fairly reliable pitcher. He mostly gets by on his elite ground ball rate supported by solid walk and strikeout rates. The Padres are a decent match-up for him.

The Indians turn to Danny Salazar in their quest to reach the postseason. As before, his strong strikeout and walk rates make him a great play. He’s still likely to be pitch-,constrained so a five-inning outing is not guaranteed.

Pitcher (bum): Scott Diamond versus John Danks is an interesting match-up. You get two struggling pitchers and two poor offenses.

J.A. Happ has struggled since returning from the disabled list. He’s survived several seasons with a bad walk rate, but that seems to have finally come to an end. His fly ball tendencies do not help. He’s opposed by Phil Hughes, who will be on a very short leash.

Aaron Harang is posting similar peripherals to his career rates despite terrible results. While the Giants aren’t a challenging match-up, Harang has struggled enough that he’s worth exploiting.

Bruce Chen has a difficult match-up against the lefty-mashing Indians. He’s having a career best season in the “luck” department, but his peripherals still suggest that he’s the same high ERA pitcher.

Hitter (power): Drew Stubbs and Ryan Raburn get to face another lefty tomorrow.

Brandon Belt has raised his profile a bit after a six- RBI performance the other day. Belt is 55 percent owned.

Try Christian Yelich against Kyle Kendrick.

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

Brian Dozier gains the platoon advantage against Danks.

You can give Avisail Garcia a shot too, although his upside isn’t very high for fantasy purposes.

Hitter (speed): There’s always Eric Young Jr.

Cesar Hernandez has been leading off with some frequency for the Phillies, and he has some stolen base upside.

Pitchers to come

Thursday: Ubaldo Jimenez is at 53 percent owned, but he’s still the best choice.

Friday: Zach McAllister versus the Astros is a good bet to provide an adequate outing.

Saturday: Ivan Nova and Scott Kazmir are the early favorites for Saturday.

Noteworthy news

Yesterday’s game in Washington D.C. was cancelled due to the shooting near Nationals Park. They will play a doubleheader today.

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I need to pick one pitcher for today.  Who is my best option?  Sonny Gray vs. Angels, RA Dickey vs. NYY, or Yusmeiro Petit @NYM.

Initially I was thinking Gray, but the Angels seem hot right now.  Who is safest here?


I’d go with Petit vs. the Mets…mainly because the Mets have a terrible offense.

Based on ability and talent alone, Gray is worth a spot start as well.  why not pick up both if you can?


I can only start one because it’s a head to head league and I’m just looking for one more starter.  I have two other pitchers slated to pitch.  One other option is Corey Kluber tonight @KC.


What do you think of Carlos Torres’ start against the Phillies on Saturday?  I’m trying to look ahead to beat people to the punch.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

I’m not very impressed by Torres and I actually like the Phillies lineup as currently constructed.

Jimbo, I would use Kluber – Petit – Gray – Dickey in that order. Petit and Gray are really close to a tie but you said you preferred safety and I think Petit is safer because of that weak Mets offense and no DH.

Kluber is one of the top fantasy pitchers in baseball. Without crunching numbers, I’m confident calling him a top 20 pitcher among those that are currently healthy (so no Matt Harvey for example)