The daily grind: 9-23-13

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

Baseball is free and clear of rain today.

Today’s grind

Zack Wheeler‘s been scratched, leaving you with Marco Estrada, Tanner Roark, Charlie Morton, Jose Quintana and Yordano Ventura.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): People have noticed Ubaldo Jimenez‘s superb second half—he’s up to 60 percent owned. He’s pitching like it’s 2010 except his fastball is nearly five mph slower. He’s matched up against the lowly White Sox.

Gerrit Cole is also 60 percent owned. The young righty has seemingly improved during his stay in Pittsburgh and his strikeout rate has spiked over his last three starts. His average fastball velocity of 96.1 mph is tops in the game among starting pitchers who have thrown 100 innings.

Many owners made the mistake of ignoring John Lackey this season and missed out on a core performer. He’s only 55 percent owned heading into his game at Coors Field.

Michael Wacha is paired against the Nationals. While that isn’t the easiest assignment, the Nats are all but eliminated from the postseason and may be ready to take their foot off the accelerator. He’s only 30 percent owned now but expect him to be exposed as an early “sleeper.”

The Royals will be James Paxton‘s easiest assignment to date. He’s seen good results but a .180 BABIP is largely responsible for the success. In his small sample, he’s been very ground ball dependent. His minor league numbers suggest that his strikeout numbers could increase.

Pitcher (bum): Freddy Garcia has successfully muddled through two starts for the Braves, but he’ll need all his veteran wiles to get through each and every start—even against the Brewers.

Brad Peacock has been erratic this season, leading to a mixture of good and bad outings. Against the Rangers, the odds tilt towards a bad outing.

Scott Diamond has a difficult assignment against the Tigers. Diamond will never be a fantasy asset since he doesn’t strike out many batters.

Even against the Marlins, Zach Miner isn’t likely to go more than five innings and his middling arsenal is nothing to fear.

Hitter (power): Justin Maxwell is coming off a big night and will face the lefty Paxton tomorrow.

Get Christian Yelich in the game against Miner.

Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs haven’t been getting it done lately, but they’re still worth considering when facing lefties like Hector Santiago.

Retroactive Review: Ace
Looking back at some of Justin Verlander's most interesting moments.

Hitter (speed): With Wade Miley on the hill for the Diamondbacks, Chris Denorfia will start.

Leonys Martin has received fewer recommendations in this column since moving back to hitting ninth. Against Peacock, he’s worth considering.

Pitchers to come

Wednesday: Danny Salazar against the White Sox is the top choice of the day.

Thursday: Ivan Nova is scheduled against the Rays, but keep an eye on it since he’s had some recent soreness. If the Yankees have a rough week, he could get skipped.

Friday: Friday’s pick is Scott Kazmir against the Twins. Plan ahead for Friday because there isn’t much out there.

Noteworthy news

Yesterday featured a wide range of minor news, but clearly the bee delay in Anaheim takes top billing.

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So in my roto league I have 49 IP left and all pitching categories are pretty much set except for W’s.  On the day I go over the cap though I can go as far over as I want.  So below are the starts I can choose from through Friday, then two groups of 4 on Sat and Sun.  I could pick 7 of the first 8 then bust the cap with the first group, or similarly pick about 7 then bust with the Sun group.  Which starts of that first group should I NOT start, and which group should… Read more »
Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

I think Porcello is the odd man out despite a solid match-up.

My instinct is that the second group is the better choice. Haren is mighty inconsistent and Kluber could get a short start if they’re getting him ready for the postseason. I suppose the same is true of Verlander, but I think short start means something different with him.


Thoughts on Tyson Ross tomorrow v ARI ?

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Depends entirely on what you need. I would consider that a fringy match-up in a generic league, but it might be good in yours and the end of the season changes decision criteria quite a bit.

Skoolboy Jim
Skoolboy Jim

Brad last minute question. Since the Braves clinched would they be sitting a bunch of starters today against the Brewers? I want to start Estrada, but I can’t have my ratios hurt. I also have Verlander and I don’t have to start both. I also have Tanner Rourke for that matter but pretty much right on par with innings and Ubaldo Jiminez tomorrow.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Here’s an excellent lineup resource –

Looks like Freeman and Uggla have the day off.