The daily grind: 9-18-13

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

August has been a great weather month after a rainy summer. Today is another clear day.

Today’s grind

There are a couple of good streaming options for today. Zach Miner is making the start for the Phillies, which gives you another guy to exploit.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Gerrit Cole is at 56 percent owned and will face the Padres. Cole has been slowly upping his strikeout game while playing into the Pirates’ defensive philosophy.

Jon Niese is also heavily rostered at 51 percent. While he’s generally unexceptional, he is decent enough to use against weak offensive clubs like the Giants. He’s opposed by Madison Bumgarner, so his odds of winning the game are reduced.

Michael Wacha‘s match-up with the Rockies would be more interesting were it not also at Coors Field. Wacha is one of many young pitchers who is showing a strong strikeout rate while limiting walks. He’s a fringe options since we don’t know how he’ll be affected by the altitude.

Ubaldo Jimenez is yet another pitcher with a solid match-up who may be rostered too frequently to use—57 percent. He’s showing his best strikeout rate since 2010, when he threw five mph harder than now. He still walks too many batters, but the rest of his profile lines up well against the Astros.

Dan Straily is worth consideration against the Twins. His peripherals look more like the AL version of Niese than some of the young guys I’ve recommended like Wacha, Danny Salazar or Alex Wood.

Pitcher (bum): Roy Oswalt continues his rehab circuit with the Rockies. He should be able to deliver close to 100 pitches this time around, but he does have to make that start at Coors. The Cardinals’ stout offense should be favored.

The Indians mash lefties and Dallas Keuchel is one of the lesser lefties in the game.

Kevin Correia is a pedestrian right-hander and the A’s platoon heavy offense likes those kinds of pitchers.

Jake Arrieta has a good match-up against the Brewers but can’t seem to get his career off the ground. Walks have been a huge problem for Arrieta in 2013.

Hitter (power): It’s a great day for Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs.

Seth Smith‘s been an afterthought this season, but you can consider him against Correia.

Scott Van Slyke tends to start when lefties oppose the Dodgers. He’s not truly a major power threat but he might get some RBI opportunities while batting sixth or seventh.

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

Hitter (speed): Norichika Aoki has been hitting waiver wires as owners grind through the end of the season. While he’s still 65 percent owned, I’ve seen him become available in all of my leagues. He will probably bat leadoff against Arrieta.

Jose Tabata is getting fairly regular action as a leadoff hittercwith Starling Marte battling a hand injury. Marte started yesterday but will be rested frequently going into the postseason.

Pitchers to come

Friday: Friday really lacks options with Zach McAllister standing out from the crowd.

Saturday: Saturday should make up for Friday. There’s a plethora of friendly match-ups on the waiver wire, headlined by Ivan Nova against the Giants.

Sunday: There are two standout options for Sunday—Corey Kluber against the Astros or Sonny Gray versus the Twins.

Noteworthy news

The big news of the day was Matt Harvey choosing rehab over surgery. While that seems to rarely work out in the long run, it could mean that he’ll be available to pitch in 2014.

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Looks like some good match ups, how do you feel about Kazmir against the Astros?

Ugh, looks like we were about Petit…oops

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson
Coin flip between Kazmir and Nova. I picked Nova since Kaz has been slightly more meltdown prone. As for Petit, that’s the hard thing about doing this column. My gut said that I should expect poor outings more than great outings, and the overall data backed that up, but if I always went purely by that I would have missed on a lot of great breakouts over the years. Fantasy baseball is about calculated risk and the most frustrating part is remembering that the outcome doesn’t really matter in the decision. In Hold’Em, you’ll always play pocket aces against pocket… Read more »
Brad, true enough…this is the thing I tried to point out to several league owners of my own league when I make fantasy trades (that no one would make in real life).  Fantasy baseball IS a calculated risk, it’s fun. I love Nova myself, but I am planning to pick up Kaz- I figure all his ‘good pitching’ can’t be illusionary, right? and sorry about the missing word in my original writing…I meant to say, WRONG about Petit .  Still, I was happy I plucked him for his three good starts.  I still believe he will rebound (not against the… Read more »