The daily grind: 9-4-13

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

Another day in the clear.

Today’s grind

Today has plenty of interesting match-ups with the usual amount of risk and reward.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): With just seven games tomorrow, the pickings are slim. Sonny Gray has a great match-up versus the Astros. He’s doing what most of the successful rookies have done—strike out a healthy number of batters while limiting walks.

Tony Cingrani returns from the disabled list tomorrow in time to face the Cardinals. This is more a game to be aware of than to use.

Ivan Nova is penciled in against the Red Sox according to ESPN, but MLB still lists the game as TBA. Keep an eye on it. I’ve been saying to use Nova in all match-ups. He handled the Orioles last time out and has also pitched well against the Tigers recently.

Miguel Gonzalez is a fantasy replacement pitcher, but his match-up against the White Sox could help him out. He’s up against frequent Grind pick Jose Quintana whose match-up is probably too fringy to use.

Pitcher (bum): Lance Lynn has looked spent in recent outings. That could just small sample variation, but he hasn’t looked like his usual self. A look through individual games shows that he’s mostly been hurt by an unusual number of hits on balls in play, so I’m either jumping the gun or he’s throwing too many fat pitches.

You can bet that Brad Peacock will have trouble with the feisty Athletics lineup.

I’m still doubting Ryan Vogelsong after he barely survived his last outing due to bad control. The Diamondbacks have some good hitters who should take advantage.

Jerome Williams is a pretty mediocre pitcher, and the Rays are very platoon heavy these days with expanded rosters.

Hitter (power): Kelly Johnson, David DeJesus, Matt Joyce, and James Loney all have a good chance of starting against Williams.

Seth Smith and Brandon Moss draw the Peacock match-up.

Justin Maxwell will face Joe Saunders.

Hitter (speed): Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra remain on the board today.

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Pitchers to come

Friday: ESPN has been saying all week that Marco Estrada will pitch on Friday (and still does), but has Kyle Lohse on the board and it’s right more often. If not Estrada, then 60 percent owned A.J. Griffin versus the Astros.

Saturday: Alex Wood will attempt to bounce back from last week’s disasterpiece against the Marlins. He’ll face the Phillies. James Paxton makes his debut as well, but he’s not as interesting to me as he was a couple years ago.

Sunday: Danny Salazar has been pushed back to Sunday and is now paired against Daisuke Matsuzaka. This is a rare occasion where a pitcher has a very high chance of winning coming into the game.

Noteworthy news

Billy Hamilton scored the lone run as a pinch runner in yesterday’s game with the Cardinals. In other news, Jason Grilli has returned from the disabled list. Mark Melancon is expected to continue closing games for the moment.

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S. Urista
S. Urista

How impressive was Hamilton’s steal last night? The entire world knew he was going to steal, and Molina ain’t exactly a slouch back there.

Over/under 11 steals RoS for Hamilton?

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Seems like a reasonable line. Jeff Gross and I were talking about Hamilton last night before the steal. We’ll see how often they sneak him into the lineup and while it’s not rational, it almost feels like he’ll steal more as a pinch runner than as a starter.