The daily grind: 9-25-13

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

A few cloudy games today but no true weather threats.

Today’s grind

Today is not the day to exceed your innings limit. The waiver wire is too thin.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): Robbie Erlin has been solid since returning to the rotation in late August. The soft-tossing lefty has to continue limiting walks to succeed with his merely adequate whiff rate and stuff. He’ll pitch at Petco tomorrow against the Diamondbacks.

Ivan Nova is at 42 percent owned and will face the Wild Card bound Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays lead the Indians by only one game for hosting rights to the Wild Card game, so don’t expect them to ease up off the throttle. They’re also only two games ahead of the Rangers, who are currently on the outside looking in. As for Nova, he’s coming off a brilliant outing against the Giants. He was struggling prior to that outing and he’s been walking more batters recently.

Miguel Gonzalez is a fringy choice against the Blue Jays. He’s a nice innings eater for a real major league team but not somebody to use in fantasy unless you must.

Dillon Gee is one of the top pitchers available tomorrow. He’ll face a Brewers team that struggles offensively and is throwing a bad starting pitcher. The chance for a win is high.

Despite an excellent debut in which he struck out 45 percent of batters faced, David Hale has a pedestrian repertoire and should be expected to be adequate, like Erlin and Gonzalez. He’ll face the Phillies in Atlanta. He’ll probably be allowed to make a full start since he’s not likely to join the playoff roster.

Zach McAllister is up there with Gee in terms of match-up quality. The Indians are in a desperate fight to reach the postseason. They’re just one game behind Tampa to host the Wild Card game, but the Rangers are right on their tail. McAllister will be allowed to go deep if he’s pitching well, but he’ll also be on a short leash.

If you’re using the Yahoo innings exploit today, Edinson Volquez and Andre Rienzo can be added to the list of starters. I recommend holding off for the end of the week, but I know not all owners have that option.

Pitcher (bum): Johnny Hellweg continues to look terrible. He escaped major damage in his last outing but still gave up seven hits and five walks over five innings. The walks in particular have been a huge problem for Hellweg so stack Mets hitters.

The Braves will probably rest a couple of their top hitters, but the match-up against Tyler Cloyd is still a good one. Aside from Colby Lewis, not too many right-handed pitchers get by on 86 mph fastballs.

Hitter (power): Danny Valencia will face Mark Buehrle.

Try Josh Satin, Lucas Duda, and maybe Andrew Brown against Hellweg.

Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs face Andrew Albers.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Hitter (speed): Put Eric Young Jr. at the top of your Mets wish list. He should work a couple of walks in this one.

Jordan Schafer could swipe a base or two if he starts.

Will Venable might be slipping back to the waiver wire in a few leagues as owners cycle over the last week.

Pitchers to come

Friday: It appears that Scott Kazmir and Corey Kluber have flipped days, so now Kluber is the top choice for Friday.

Saturday: Target Saturday for blasting over the innings cap. Kazmir, Charlie Morton, Yordano Ventura, Erik Johnson and Yusmeiro Petit are among the available pitchers.

Sunday: Sunday is also a good day for heavy streaming with Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark, Jose Quintana, John Lackey, Marco Estrada and Gerrit Cole penciled in as starters.

Noteworthy news

Manny Machado is due to miss only six to eight weeks, so owners in keeper leagues can breathe a sigh of relief. Now is a good time to try to acquire him as a keeper (if your league allows that sort of trading).

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10 years ago

Okay, so I’ve got 5 more pick-ups in a head to head league and need pitchers that can keep my ERA/WHIP low (slightly trailing in both, about 3.10 and 1.14) but are likely to get Wins. K’s are desirable too, but I’m projected to finish about 25 short depending on how deep Verlander/Greinke/Cueto/Buchholz get to pitch in their games for my opponent. Who are my best streaming options? Some available guys are Niese, Pettitte, Estrada, Edwin Jackson and most young prospect types since this isn’t a keeper league. I could also pick up a few closers and try to gain 4 saves since we both have 0 RPs on staff and he’s only got 3 pick ups left and will need to use them all on SP’s to catch me in Wins. Any good advice?

Brad Johnson
10 years ago

Hmm, what closers are available? If they are very good and you have a decent shot at holding your lead in W’s, then I would shoot for SVs and hope to pick up ERA and WHIP in the process. Just keep in mind that closer usage is going to be funky over the remaining days.

Of those you listed, I’m using Estrada and Niese and I have similar goals to your own (but in a roto league). I listed out all the best names above, but the creme de la creme are Gray and Cole.

10 years ago

Yeah, I’ve got Gray already thankfully, and Cole is already owned, but Estrada is definitely high on my radar. And literally 60% of closers are on the wire right now for whatever reason, Grilli, Holland, Romo, Johnson, Perkins, Janssen, Benoit, Perez, Brothers, and Ziegler are all available. Do you think I could only pick up 2 of those and get to 4 or 5 saves? I’m hoping to pick up 2 closers today and 3 weekend pitchers so I can use them if necessary or bench them if I get ahead in ERA/WHIP and still hold W’s. I figure Holland’s a good bet since he’s 1 save away from their record but the rest I’m not so sure about. I’d say Benoit as a 2nd but he’s been used 3 straight days now.

Brad Johnson
10 years ago

Now that the Tigers have clinched, Benoit will be given tune up outings. They’ll probably just pick a day that he’ll pitch regardless of score.

It’s definitely a stretch for 2 closers to give you 4-5 saves in 4 days. Perez may be the best bet since the Indians are going to be fighting down to the wire, but he’s also probably the worst pitcher of that group. If you are comfortable going to 3 closers, you probably increase your odds of getting those 4-5 saves from around 15% to 40% (just guestimates).

10 years ago

So do you think of those I listed Perez, Holland, and Grilli would give me the best chance of getting 4 considering their schedules, or maybe someone like Ziegler or Romo? Jim Johnson against the Red Sox doesn’t give me good vibes, but Grilli will be called upon given their situation I’m sure and Ziegler and Romo aren’t facing the best opponents in the world

Brad Johnson
10 years ago

Not Grilli, isn’t Melancon still closing?

For the third I would say Romo, Perkins, Benoit in that order but obviously it’s a crap shoot. Leyland’s old school so he might just continue using Benoit in save situations only too.