On Saturday, Stephen Strasburg went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 15 Ks, ERA at 2.94.  That’s right, fifteen strikeouts, a career high.  Ah… If only every starter got to face the Padres in every game…*wavy lines*  Hey, Danny Salazar is facing the Padres?  This is awesome!  Wait, why is he walking a guy with a .260 OBP?  Did he just give up a homer to Erick Aybar?  He’s having an epileptic fit trying to pronounce Szczur?!  He’s wiping a booger on my Reggie Jackson rookie card?!  How does he even have my Reggie rookie card?!  Mom, did you give Danny Salazar my Reggie rookie card?!  Oh my God, make it stop….Please… *wavy lines*  Worst dream sequence ever!  On this day of BBQs and Memorials, hot dogs and beer, baseball and refreshing our fantasy baseball team page, we can be thankful Strasburg is not a dream.  Though, the reality is Strasburg was a 2.62 ERA pitcher in the 1st half last year and a 6.15 ERA pitcher in the 2nd.  Happy Memorial Day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Positional depth is a fascinating topic. Preseason, it’s one of the first things returning owners look at when emerging from their offseason hibernation. Thoroughly fattened by chips and Dominos’ pasta dishes – please tell me nobody is actually spending money on those – understanding where “fall offs” occur at positions is essential in constructing overall rankings and providing guidance for where targeting positions might be more appropriate.

A narrative I remember hearing in March was that elite first basemen were hard to come by. We had Goldschmidt, Votto, Freeman, and Encarnacion, followed by some Wil Myers believers (justified!), and a stretch of murky waters. As with any depth estimation, what happens in-season always throws a metaphorical wrench in what we initially thought. Cody Bellinger gets called up after less than one month, Freeman is lost for 10 weeks, Encarnacion once again starts slow, and everything we thought we had ironed out is tossed like that salad you should have eaten instead of that Dominos’ pasta dish! Has Jenny Craig taught you nothing?!

Enter our two darlings of the first base position two months in, Justin Bour and Justin Smoak, single handedly causing disgruntled twitter followers to tweet at the likes of Tristan Cockcroft and complain that he should do his job better. Yeah Cockcroft, we want four LABR titles in a row, three isn’t enough!

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I have no time to be wasting time on the mic, so lets get to it!  Hunter Renfroe has power, like, majorly, and now in his age 25 season he’s only going to get more.  If he’s available in your OPS league or you need power go get him now.  Did you check?  Add him?  Ok, now I’ll tell you why.  A first-rounder out of Mississippi State he’s Mississippi through and through, born in beautiful Crystal Springs (I’ve never been there, I have no idea if it’s beautiful…and a quick image search yields…it’s not a tourist destination unless small towns of 5,000 people with some lakes and nice foliage and gravel roads are your thing, then have at it, not that I can’t appreciate and enjoy them as well mind you).  Renfroe has shown good power in the minors, hitting 21, 20, 30 homers in his past three minor league seasons to go along with 13 homers in 227 PAs between this season and the last in the bigs.

Renfroe has scuffled a little bit through late April into May so his .734 OPS isn’t looking great but he’s been hot the last couple weeks with a 1.125 OPS and four homers in that span.  You know what I like best about his recent stats?  A 15% walk rate, which is way higher than his career numbers of 4%; already this season even with that weaker OPS his walk rate is 7.3%, so his eye is improving, too.

Lastly, this website has the hots for him too as Grey recommended him back in November and Ralph had him as the #24 prospect going into 2017.  So if you didn’t add him at the beginning of this like I told you to, go do it now.  The Padres are home against the Cubs and Rockies this week.

Top OPS past 14 days (min 30 ABs as of this writing):

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Pineda, Polanco, let’s call the whole thing off!  Actually, let’s get it on!  Happy Memorial Day weekend fellow DFSers.  I hope you’ll join me in BBQing, enjoying adult libations and winning some cash while sleeping it all off Monday morning.  It’s Clayton Kershaw Day mixed with a Coors Day, which means we have some serious decisions to make.  I’m personally fading Kershaw and instead starting a little cheaper at starting pitcher with good friend, Michael Pineda ($19,200).  I’m such a sucker for Pineda and that crazy K-rate.  His 61:9 K:BB is a fair impersonation of Kershaw and for $6K cheaper, I’m all in.  Pineda gets a play-date with the Oakland A’s who are tied for 7th in the league in strikeouts.  Fellow roation-mate Masahiro Tanaka just K’d a baker’s dozen and Pineda will be looking to duplicate that effort.  So, grab a hotdog and raise a glass to the unofficial beginning of summer while hoping Pineda delivers a 12 pack.  Remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice this weekend and allow us all to live in a land where (most of us) can freely wager some dough on our ability to pick the highest scoring group of fantasy baseballers.  Those men and women are true heros.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before you do.  It’s how we know you care!

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As the Durham Bulls took the best little minor league pitching circus this side of Mississippi, literally, on the road. I promised myself I’d check out at least one game during the nearest stop on their International (League) tour. This is a rotation that now features the struggling, but still talented Blake Snell, recently activated off-season acquisition Jose De Leon, top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell, and the strikeout king of AAA Jacob Faria. I’ve discussed Faria a lot of late, because he’s obviously a prospect that fascinates me. On Saturday in Pawtucket he went 4 strong innings before ending his night after completing the 4th. The early exit was more than likely due to the line drive he took off his leg earlier in the inning. It was really too bad, as Faria looked to have his best stuff on the night, outside a two run homer to Bryce Brentz nothing was hit hard at all. The first thing that strikes me when watching Faria is I love his change up. It has some nice break, and he throws it from a similar arm slot to the fastball. Speaking of the fastball, it too is a solid pitch getting some sink, and making it tougher on the hitters to barrel cleanly. This 1-2 punch gives Faria all the fuel he needs to pile up the strikeouts in bunches, however he has a tendency to nibble and that limits how deep into games he can get. Saturday was one of his more efficient performances, making the injury all the more upsetting. I have to admit I came away impressed by Faria, and think he has solid mid-rotation upside with some nice K potential. I mean look at that gif below and tell me you don’t like what you see. Amirite?!?  Today I venture back to Pawtucket to check out the Rays top prospect Brent Honeywell, who just so happens to check in as the 7th most valuable pitcher on Rudy’s Prospectornator. Don’t worry I promise to give you all the details on Honeywell….Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB…

 

In just his first full week back J.D. Martinez topped the charts in week 7 coming in with 40 points and doing what he does best, hit dongs. I freaking sound like Casey Kasem with that opening line. Is he still doing top 40 countdowns? I haven’t heard him in quite some time. But then again I pretty much only listen to the Howard Stern Show. En route to those 40 points, J.D. smacked four home runs, drove in nine and walked ten times. Owners that have been stashing him until now must be pretty happy with themselves. Have yourself a shot of JD! Jake Lamb fell one point short of Martinez with 39.

The winner for week 7 is the contestant that picked Nelson Cruz (21 points), Corey Seager (23 points) and Jose Bautista (33 points). That person is Peter guigli with a total of 77 points. Coming in at second on the charts was Smallwine who scored 76 points by picking Nelson Cruz (21), J.D. Martinez (40) and Buster Posey (15). With both selecting Cruz, it came down to Seager and Joey Bats versus J.D. and Posey, with just one point separating them.

Here are the top-5 from Week 7:

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I was originally excited to focus on Baby Thor Mike Clevinger in my first post taking over the Two-Start Starters for M@, but the rainout on Thursday threw everything out of whack. So, I had to pivot and focus on what’s going on in Seattle. Enter Ariel Miranda and Sam Gaviglio.

Of the two starters for the Mariners right now, Miranda is the one to target. To be honest, neither one is likely to be a long-term fix for your rotation. Gaviglio is a 27-year old who has an ERA of 4.01 over seven seasons in the minor leagues, while Miranda is a 28-year old Cuban who had moderate success in the Cuban National Series and the minors. Both are scheduled to start two games next week for the Mariners.

At first glance, it would appear that Gaviglio is the tasty treat that a starter-needy fantasy owner should target. After all, he has the shiny 1.29 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Unfortunately, not only is that a very small sample size, but there are some pretty serious red flags. For starters, while he only gave up one run against the Nationals, he only struck out one batter in six innings. That shiny ERA is also aided by the fact that he actually gave up five runs, but just the one was earned. Against the White Sox in his previous start, he went five innings and only struck out two batters. In his two starts this season, he has thrown 11 innings and struck out just three batters.

But that’s not it, here is the bigger issue with Gaviglio. His ERA might be 1.29, but his FIP currently sits at 4.22. At 2.93, his FIP-to-ERA ratio is the highest of any of the 40+ two-start starters in week 9. Between his lack of strikeouts, his lackluster career in the minors, and his inflated FIP-to-ERA ratio, you better believe he is going to regress to the mean sooner rather than later. Ignore that ERA and stay away from Sammy G.

As for Miranda, I like him more and hate him less. While he doesn’t have the same sub-2.00 ERA as Gaviglio, he does have an 8.75 K/9, a less hideous .40 FIP-to-ERA, and a 5.77 K/9-to-BB/9 ratio. While he has had a couple of disastrous starts this season, he also has six starts in which he has given up two runs or fewer. You could do worse than Miranda as a two-starter starter. In fact, you could have Gaviglio. Both should be available in more than 75% of leagues. Despite the fact that the Mariners visit the Rockies next week, there are worse options for two-start starters…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Ever been on a couples trip to the beach where the other couples have AT LEAST three kids a pop? That’s right, I say “at least”, for I am not even entirely sure how many of these little bastards I’ll be d*cking around with. I bring this up only because I’ve been participating in extravagant amounts of soul-searching, spending more time on my knees than Elton John’s personal taint-trimmer, begging the Elders for a resolution that never seems to arrive: Does Beddict want children of his own some day? First off, who are you to say that I don’t have a child somewhere that I don’t know about? Secondly, I passed out last night before even finishing a paragraph as, for some reason, people still actually believe getting fast food is a wonderful idea, even though it’s full of outrageously disgusting products that make me feel like I just inhaled four sticks of deep fried butter and washed it down with a liter of turbo-lax. Seriously, I love sitting around with 17 kids, pretending to be somewhat interested in whatever these other adults living the American dream have to say, while simultaneously following all the MLB action going on and wondering if their wive’s were attractive at one point in time…

“Sorry, what did you say dude? Your truck has how much horsepower and your hatch-back with super-sick exhaust is hella bad-ass, even though you are pushing 50? Why are your dogs locked in a cage in the middle of the living room and why do they look as if they would love nothing more than to chew on my throat for 35 minutes, following that up with a neighborhood cat-killing spree that makes The Purge, look tamer than Home Alone 3, you know the one with that wack ass kid from Liar, Liar?”

I seriously need answers on how you guys/gals live your life with actual children around all the time… I cannot get anything done. In fact, I can hear the little beasts now, as everyone is waking up for a FULL 8 hours on the beach in 90-plus degree weather. Maybe I’ll tell them I’m almost done with an extremely important write-up and that I’ll meet them at their beach spot, when in fact I’ll just be doing lines with one of those creepy bathroom attendant dudes who sells cologne spray and single cigarettes at the local strip club, which I’m sure is absolute garbage. You’ve got to be realistic about these things.

Anyway, here’s what I noticed last night regarding the fantasy baseball world as I rudely ignored all the other adults in the house. Take heed!

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I’m not a religious girl, but when I was sitting down to write this post and saw the magic words “Stephen Strasburg versus the San Diego Padres” and [email protected] (mmm, strudel), I raised my hands and gave up a “hallelujah.” Which caused some raised eyebrows in the coffee shop I was sitting in, let me tell you (ugh, whatEVer, Man Yelling Into Skype About His Deck Repairs).

So it’s fair to say I’m reasonably excited about Stephen’s match-up today. Even if he does cost me $11,100 (gulp). Collectively, the Padres are hitting .221 at time of writing. They’re the third-worst team in MLB (and I hate pointing all this stuff out — I do root for the Padres). I have some worries: so far this year, Strasburg’s K/9 is a little down (8.80) and his ERA at home is not ideal (4.00 at home versus 2.70 away), but I gotta have faith. I also want to stack some Rockies and Cardinals bats. Trying to squeeze all this into my FanDuel salary cap is gonna hurt like kneeling too long at church when you’re as old as I am, but I’ll make it work.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot  for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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I start the podcast with what I thought was the excitement of Lucas Giolito’s no hitter on Thursday, but it turns out Ralph couldn’t have cared any less about it. I then try to lighten the mood and ask about his weekend, but it just sends him into a deeper spiral of despair. Amed Rosario and Luis Robert did start to pull him out of it, though, and then we really hit our stride by digging into the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft and First-Year Player Fantasy Baseball Drafts. We discuss if Hunter Greene is worthy of the #1 overall pick, and who the other top contenders for that slot are, including Brendan McKay, Royce Lewis, and MacKenzie Gore. We also debate the strategy of taking high risk/reward prospects, such as Austin Beck and Jordon Adell, over some of the safer college players, like Kyle Wright, JB Bukauskas, Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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