The daily grind: 9-27-13

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

Yet another day of clear skies.

Today’s grind

Today has mostly fringy choices. Load up on Saturday and Sunday.

Tomorrow’s grind

Pitcher (to start): The Indians continue to battle for their playoff lives which is probably a good thing for those looking to start Scott Kazmir against the Twins. Expect Kazmir to go deep into the ballgame if he’s getting good results.

The worm burning Charlie Morton has a tough match-up against the Reds, but he’s another guy whose team is playing for the win.

With the Padres and Giants featuring under-powered offenses, Eric Stults versus Yusmeiro Petit offers two good streaming candidates. This is especially true if you are using the Yahoo innings exploit tomorrow.

Jimmy Nelson is considered to be the Brewers’ top prospect. In five innings out of the pen, he has mixed a strong 94 mph fastball with a slider and change-up. We’ll see how those pitches transfer to starting. One item to note, his minor league career has shown inconsistencies with his ability to limit walks.

Wei-Yin Chen is at 26 percent owned and will start against the Red Sox. It’s a tough match-up but there’s no telling how hard the Sox will try to win the game. They haven’t yet clinched the best record in the American League, but they may have by tomorrow. Chen shouldn’t be your first choice.

If you want to gamble on the Tigers resting hitters and you absolutely must stream pitchers, Nathan Eovaldi may be worth considering. He’s at the bottom of the list for streaming.

Yordano Ventura versus Erik Johnson features two good, young pitchers against middling or worse offenses. We may get a pitchers duel out of this one and the only reason not to start both is that you can’t get two wins from the pair.

Andy Pettitte makes the final start of his career for the second time. He’ll face the Astros who could help him rack up a couple of extra strikeouts. He also has a good chance to pull down the win.

Joe Kelly is generally unexceptional—despite a 2.81 ERA—but a Cubs match-up should make him attractive for streaming.

Pitcher (bum): Cole De Vries is exploitable at any time, but especially with the Indians clinging to that second Wild Card.

The Mets will allow Aaron Harang another start, this time against a weak Brewers lineup.

Expect the Yankees to go out in style against Paul Clemens and the Astros.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Brandon Maurer has struggled this season, although a peek at his numbers reveals that the damage has mostly been to “luck” related stats like BABIP. Having watched a few Maurer starts, my hypothesis is that he’s making too many fat pitches in hitters counts, which can also lead to elevated “luck” stats without luck actually playing a hand.

Juan Nicasio is struggling mightily in September. Four of his last five starts have included way too many walks.

Hitters: Unfortunately, you are on your own for hitters. Between expanded rosters and the bare handful of teams that are playing for something, it’s extremely difficult to predict who will play and who will sit a full day ahead of time. For those in leagues with daily moves, keep an eye on lineups as they are announced.

Pitchers to come

Sunday: The final day includes Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, John Lackey, Marco Estrada, Johnny Cueto, and Gerrit Cole. You may also have unusually good pitchers available to you if other owners have cycled their lineup. Don’t forget to check waivers.

Noteworthy news

Brian McCann strained his right adductor yesterday and Andre Ethier has been shelved until the postseason begins.

In other news, Carlos Gomez received a one game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing incident between the Brewers and Braves. The announcement was largely pooh-poohed by the Twitterverse.

You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam
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10 years ago

Can you please explain the Yahoo innings exploit?


Brad Johnson
10 years ago

Sure thing. Many roto leagues have inning caps to prevent owners from compiling a huge number of innings to auto-win the W and K categories. A league I run has a 1550 IP cap. You might guess that you can’t go over that cap, but Yahoo actually allows you to exceed those 1550 IP by any number, so long as you accrue all of your innings on the same day as the 1550ith.

For example, in that league I mentioned, I can start up to 9 pitchers. I have manipulated it so that I should have about 3-5 IP remaining on Sunday and I have rostered 6 SP that start that day. That means I can exceed the innings cap by roughly 30 IP if I choose to start those pitchers (I may not if my scores in K and W are secure). That would give me a shot at up to 5 extra wins (expected value of around 2 wins) and 25 extra K’s than if I started just one guy and finished with the 1550 IP.

I think that covers it, any questions?

Brad Johnson
10 years ago

When and why to use the exploit (briefly)

You want to use the exploit if there are points available to you in W and K or you are at risk of losing points in those categories. The same applies for any positive (i.e. QS=positive but BB=negative) counting stat in atypical leagues. If your categorical risk is more in ERA/WHIP, you probably don’t want to use the exploit because a starter is almost always expected to make your ERA/WHIP worse*.

*that of course assumes that you have a contending team and at least an average ERA/WHIP.

10 years ago

Yep, thanks—crystal, actually. I had heard about it, just wanted to make sure of it.

Follow-up question now that we’re talking about Yahoo—once games begin on Sunday, can I add drop a starter of that game in Yahoo, for keeper purposes?

For example: If I pick up Estrada and Ross for Sunday gravy, can I drop them after first pitch for forgotten keepers like Corey Hart, Brandon Morrow, Jaime Garcia, Daniel Hudson, etc.?


Brad Johnson
10 years ago

I think so but I’m not entirely certain.