The daily grind: 9-2-13

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.

Alex Wood was disappointingly terrible against the Marlins yesterday. Funny how baseball works that way.

Today’s weather watch

Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Atlanta may see isolated thunderstorms, while New York (AL) and Boston are fairly likely to see storms.

Today’s grind

As discussed on Saturday, there are a few decent choices for today. Jose Quintana has a good match-up with the Yankees, but weather could interrupt that game. Charlie Morton will start against the lowly Brewers, but he’s more of a mid-risk, mid-reward type of option. Danny Duffy‘s match-up with the Mariners would be great were he not paired against Felix Hernandez.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Michael Wacha will be recalled to start against the Reds. While this particular outing isn’t one to target, Wacha should remain the rotation if he pitches a decent game. You can expect him to post a healthy strikeout rate while limiting walks—not unlike column regulars Wood and Danny Salazar.

Gerrit Cole draws the Brewers match-up, although he remains highly owned at 47 percent. He’s walked substantially fewer batters in the majors than he did at any other level, so be aware that his walk rate could spike over a batter per inning.

Erasmo Ramirez has settled down in his last three outings to look like the pitcher the fantasy community expected. He’ll face the Royals tomorrow. His is another skill set built around generating a healthy number of whiffs while limiting walks.

With Jose Bautista out of the lineup, I’m somewhat comfortable recommending Wade Miley against the Blue Jays.

Pitcher (bum): Command continues to be the story with Ethan Martin, specifically a lack of command. In his brief time in the majors, he’s walked close to six batters per nine innings (5.68 BB/9) and his ground ball rate is below 30 percent. He’s a threat to allow base runners in bunches and home runs.

The Twins don’t possess a threatening lineup, but it’s only a matter of time before some team finally gets to Jarred Cosart. Don’t be fooled by his shiny 1.59 ERA in 51 innings— that’s an outcome that probably had less than a tenth of a percent chance of happening. Over his small sample, he’s walked more batters than he’s struck out, but he’s allowed only 39 hits with the help of a .250 BABIP.

Robbie Erlin remains green at the major league level and strikes me as one of those guys who will take time to adjust. He did well against the Diamondbacks in his last outing, so a match-up against the Giants isn’t an automatic slugfest.

Hitter (power): Michael Choice could get a start against lefty Martin Perez. Choice is a guy scouts love as a pure hitter. His power is yet to actualize, but he could contribute about 20 home runs per season in his prime. His stolen base numbers have declined throughout the minors to just one this season, so he’s really only a four-category contributor at best. Playing time will likely be scarce in 2013.

Try five-category guy Christian Yelich against Edwin Jackson.

Hitter (speed): Rajai Davis sees a lefty in Miley.

A Todd Redmond start means Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra can be deployed without reservation. Over the last 30 days, Eaton is showing a healthy roto slash of 18/2/11/3/.326.

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

Jordan Schafer is overdue for a recommendation. While his skill set is that of a backup outfielder, he’s getting plenty of starts for the Braves and is running early and often.

Pitchers to come

Wednesday: Taijuan Walker heads an otherwise uninspired day.

Thursday: Sonny Gray draws the Astros on Thursday.

Friday: Marco Estrada is set to face the Cubs.

Noteworthy news

Neftali Feliz returned to the Rangers and could be a huge bullpen asset down the stretch and in the playoffs. There aren’t likely to be any fantasy implications, though owners in keeper leagues may want to speculate upon him.

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First week of playoffs starts today in my H2H league, lineups have to be set by 1 pm for the week.  Domonic Brown hasn’t played in a few days, but my only other options are Gerardo Parra and Kole Calhoun, both of whom face 4 lefties this week.  Calhoun might sit entirely against the lefties, while Parra has a pronounced split.  Who should I go with?

Also how would you rank these starts: Haren @ MIA, Salazar vs. NYM, Nova vs. BOS, Lynn @ CIN?

Thank you.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Nova, Salazar, Haren, Lynn.

I think I’d gamble on Brown, they’re still talking about him being day-to-day and as you mention, your other two options aren’t likely to be of any help.


Brad, thanks for all the good info this season. Thought you’d like to know that I eked out a win in the first round of H2H playoffs last night when Zimmerman hit that “infield single” in the bottom of the 8th. That moved my avg ahead by .0002 and gave me a 6-5-1 blowout victory.

Of course any of the other hits over the last two weeks was equally responsible, but it’s always more fun when it’s at the end of the last game.

How do you like McCarthy as a starter today?