Now that we are a few weeks into the second half, we are able to take a look at players and their rest of season rankings a little differently. For starters, we can see how players are starting the second half. Even though it is only a few days off (or not off, for those who participate in the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game) and is not even technically the real halfway point of the season, the All-Star break seems to hit the reset button for some players.

Some players get off to a hot start in the second half and ride the wave for a hot August and September, while others seem to lose their momentum and start off ice cold. You could write a book on the different explanations and theories about why it happens or whether or not the Home Run Derby messes up your swing or the All-Star Game schedule itself is exhausting, but we all know as fantasy owners that we have to really pay attention to our squads coming out of the break.

Players who had unreal, otherworldly breakout first halves like Aaron Judge have come back to earth a little bit, while players we had come to rely on in previous years who had disappointing first halves like Christian Yelich have gotten hot. If those disappointing players don’t get off to a good start to the second half, though, we have to make the tough decision about whether or not it is time to move on.

And that is the other way we have to look at these rankings, with time in mind. Depending on your league and format, you probably have roughly two months left in your season and about a month and a half or less until the playoffs in leagues that have them. Carlos Gonzalez is the 600th ranked player in Razzball’s year-to-date player rater, but he is still owned in 93% of RCLs and 67% of ESPN leagues as apparently, Razznation is still waiting for CarGo to turn back into the hitter he has shown he is over the year.

And while Gonzalez has been somewhat better in the second half and has sown signs of life, at some point time is going to run out. I gave up on him weeks ago and have not looked back. In the leagues where I had him I am in first or second place and am clawing to either stay there or overtake the top team, and I just don’t have any more time to wait on him. Granted, I gave up on him when it looked like he wasn’t going to have regular playing time anymore, and that is no longer the case since the Rockies can’t stay healthy, but I don’t regret the decision. Even after showing he can still hit a little in the second half, he still only has a 0.02 PR15. That isn’t enough to make me regret the decision or convince me he is going to get hot.

For Gonzalez this season, his Hard%, FB%, and HR/FB% are all down, while his AVG, OBP, and SLG are all well below his career averages. Most troubling to me is the SLG, which is currently sitting at .341. It would not be surprising to find out that he has been playing through injuries all season because 1. He is pretty much always injured and 2. These numbers are awful. You know I love creating these graphs, so check out this one:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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My dislike for catchers in DFS is well documented.  Thankfully, FantasyDraft has an awesome format that doesn’t require me to waste money or a roster spot.  IMO, catchers in fantasy are an absolute waste of time and I’ll never understand the two catcher formats.  That said, I’m throwing out the playbook for the day because today is the Ultimate Zig Day.  Yep, I’m rostering not one, not two, but three catchers for tonight and I’m hoping their stats are sweeter than a Tres Leches cake.  Brian McCann, $7,200 is my numero uno because he mashes against Alex Cobb posting a solid 8/15 with 2 HRs.  At $7,200 he’s solid value as he’s back at home in Minute Maid Park and he’s got 2 HRs over his last four games.  Salvador Perez, $7,600 is my number two because he has an excellent matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez in hitter friendly Camden Yards.  We all know about Baltimore’s pitching woes, but Ubaldo is rocking an extremely hitter friendly 8.42 ERA at home.  WOW!  I’ll be adding a few more Royals to the roster tonight, K.C. Stack anyone?  Rounding out catcher heavy lineup is J.T. Realmuto, $7,200.  He’s facking Gio Gonzalez who has been pitching well this season, but he’s giving over 1.50 ER more when pitching on the road.  Now that we’ve got our infield set, let’s see who’s going to rack up our Ks for the night.

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 jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Adrian Beltre was promoted to the Dodgers the same year I moved to Los Angeles.  I distinctly remember listening to AM sports radio a lot that summer, and, man, did people in LA hate Beltre.  With justification too, he struggled for six seasons.  When he finally broke out in 2004 (48 HRs, .334), no one believed it.  If you would’ve told people in LA, Beltre would be a surefire Hall of Famer, they would’ve thought you were related to him.  This would be the same as now saying Nick Castellanos will be a Hall of Famer in 14 years.  Yesterday, Beltre went 1-for-5, 2 runs and secured his place in history with his 3,000th hit.  Good on, Beltre, may all your cheap beers and head remain untapped.  As for fantasy, well, doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a hat tip, while a hat pat is forbidden.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

When I saw Dunkirk last weekend, I realized how important a great score and sound editing can be to a movie. Similar to how anxious moments in horror films are set up with ominous chords lingering in the background, Hans Zimmer’s infamous ticking and ability to build suspense fit Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster to a T. As I walked out of the theater, ears ringing and heart filled with lust for Tom Hardy, I gave a quick call to my man Zimmer, and asked if he’d be willing to drum up some music for each of Bradley Zimmer’s at bats in 2018. You won’t be surprised to discover that Hans never answered, which is due in part to me never actually calling, but hey, a boy can dream right?

Right around the All-Star break, analysts have a tendency to reflect on what happened in the first half. For those with an ear to the ground for rotisserie leagues, a lot of focus lingers on players who contribute in both home runs and stolen bases. Arbitrary thresholds are placed at double digits in each, as we feverishly search for hitters that we never expected to see there. At the time, to find players with this double-digit contribution in each category, you’d venture to studs like Paul Goldschmidt, Mookie Betts, and Jose Altuve, later incorporating surprises like Elvis Andrus, Brett Gardner, and Chris Owings. As stolen bases are often a buck-shot statistic – attempting more usually means producing more – it’s important to realize each of those players mentioned played 80 or more games in hitting that mark…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

As a millennial, I’m too young to know what Monty Python is, all I know is that I’ve heard the name before. My Google search led me to a couple of YouTube videos of skits from the show. It turns out it was a British comedy show from the 60’s and 70’s dubbed as the “Beatles of comedy”. I got a little sidetracked this morning with my writeup as I was glued to the skits. Now that I’ve shown my age, or lack thereof, let’s get to the article. Jordan Montgomery is a high risk, high reward pitcher today going up against the Rays. The Yankees bullpen is absolutely disgusting so Monty only needs to go 6 innings strong and the bullpen will take over from there. The Ray’s offense has been awfully inconsistent and there is no telling when they’ll strike like a python. History shows that they are among one of the worst teams when facing left-handed pitching as far as average and k% go. Monty’s price is discounted at $15,600 and has a high upside today. The key to this start will be getting through the first inning quickly. Monty has an opportunity to rack up the K’s against this offense. Since the Ray’s offense is so unpredictable I would only start Monty in GPP formats today.

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 jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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There is a decent chance that the MLB Trade Deadline throws some wrenches into our list this week. Yu Darvish is currently on the list and could very well get traded. He got absolutely rocked his last time out, though, so some owners might be a little shy about throwing him out there for two starts this week. Depending on your team and league format, though, the chances are you should probably send Darvish out there for his two turns this week. He is going to start at least once even if he gets traded, and August is not the time to start second-guessing your squad.

Our focus for this week is Charlie Morton. He is only owned in 49% of RCLs, and Streamonator likes him for a $13.60 value that is partly due to favorable matchups against the Rays and Blue Jays, both of whom are in the bottom eight in team wOBA over the last couple weeks. In his last start out against the Phillies (who are surprisingly in the top eight for team wOBA over the last two weeks), he tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts on just three hits and a walk.

The main difference in Morton this year that has increased his fantasy value is he is striking out batters at a much higher rate than he ever has in his career. His career K/9 is 6.66, but his K/9 in 2017 is up over 10/9:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Jose Siri is locked in, not just because he’s found a way to avoid iPhone jokes for a majority of the season, but because lately Siri has the answer. What? You didn’t think I’d go there? It’s like you hardly know me. (BASEBALL FOCUS.) Not since Francisco Mejia’s 50 game hit streak have we had a streak so epic. So not since last year, and even that, meh not really true. Regardless Reds outfield prospect Jose Siri is in the midst of a 34 game hitting streak, one that’s raised his average to .299, and left him with the very healthy slashline of .299/.343/.541. Siri has never been much of a contact guy, and has fallen into the power/speed upside camp. So far in 2017 the strikeouts are way down, the walks are up, the average is up, and the homers and steals have nearly doubled! So things are going good for Siri. Here’s a look at Siri cranking a homer against South Bend earlier this season.

He is however, still only a depth prospect in most dynasty formats. Despite recent success, he’s had a history of swinging and missing, inconsistency with his approach, and some off the field concerns. Despite all that a high upside low minor player remains, and one that might be worth a speculative grab in 16+ team leagues. At 22 he’s old for A ball and he could use a promotion to high A to really put this breakout to the test. No matter the details the streak pushes on… Here’s the rest of the happenings in MiLB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

With sixteen weeks in the books we have made it to the end of this contest’s regular season. For all but sixteen of you, thanks for playing, but your time in this contest is over. Who are these sixteen survivors? Well, according to the rules, in order to be eligible for the playoffs you need to win a weekly contest or finish in the top three in the overall standings. And for those of you math nerds that are about to race to the comment section to tell me that sixteen weeks of contests plus three from the overall standings equals nineteen, slow your roll. The reason we only have sixteen in the playoffs is because we had two people win twice and one of the top three won a week.

Before I announce the sweet sixteen I need to share the results of weeks 15 and 16. Week 15 was our shortened, three-day week after the All-Star break. Anthony Rendon led the charge that week with 32 points, including three home runs. The winner of the contest was Smallwine, who also won back in week 8. Thanks to Anthony Rendon, Travis Shaw and Josh Reddick he scored 38 points. Have yourself a large wine and enjoy. El Famous Burrito finished second with 34 points. In week 16 Jonathan Schoop was the top scorer totaling 44 points. The winner of our final weekly contest was LenFuego with 75 points. LenFuego’s batters were Andrew McCutchen, Mike Moustakas and Giancarlo Stanton. B. Rabbit finished in second place with 68 points.

Here are the sixteen weekly winners…

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I was craving sashimi last night, so I sauntered to my local sushi joint. When I walked through the door, I heard the familiar, “Irrashaimase maido,” from the chefs behind the counter. As I nodded my head down reverently, I realized there was a new member of the crew. I like to live dangerously, so I sat down at the bar in front of him. I usually ask the chef, “What’s good today?” but last night it was just, “Prepare what you think is best.” Like I said, I like to live dangerously. If I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, I would’ve knocked my chair backwards and banged my head on the floor from the show I was presented. It was all so un-Benihana-esque. The skill. The grace. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead after slicing and dicing the manta rays placed before him, I asked him one simple question. “Who are you?” He looked me in the eye and responded, “I am Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.” Tanaka was perfect for five innings Friday night. He ended up allowing two hits, one earned run, did not walk a batter, and struck out 14 in eight innings. 77-of-109 pitches were thrown for strikes. That’s how you earn a big tip! Now, keep in mind that Tampa Bay strikes out the fourth-most frequently against RHP and the huge night knocked down his ERA to 5.09 for the year. He did give up four, three, and five earned runs in his prior three starts and got pummeled in his two previous starts against TB. As Friday night showed, though, Tanaka does have the ability to absolutely dominate. When I eat raw fish, I know there’s always the risk that I could be eating some three-eyed monster from Fukushima. That’s how I feel about starting Tanaka. As I said before, I like to live dangerously.

Here’s what else I saw from Friday night’s action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

You know how some days you stand in front of the fridge with the door open (until your wife/husband/love-ah/mum/dad/other shouts at you for letting the cold out), staring at all the perfectly nutritious, healthy, slimming foodstuffs you bought from Whole Foods in a fit of enthusiasm because really you ate far too many crab cakes and drank too much Natty Boh while on holiday in Baltimore, and you know you should make a spinach and hard-boiled egg salad because that has like zero calories, but none of it is exciting, and all you really want is a honking great Big Mac? Well, that’s what the pitching slate is like today. It’s all…spinach. Yes, you know your only real options are Corey Kluber (at the White Sox; $11,900), Rich Hill (at home versus the Giants; $9,400—and hopefully starting, after his respiratory ailment), or Zack Greinke (at the Cardinals; $10,200), because they’re all good and they all have decent match-ups. But $$$$, you know? And then there’s Dinelson Lamet ($7,900) and Jacob DeGrom ($11,200) with iffy match-ups, followed by Ivan Nova ($8,300; more on him below), and after that the pitching options fall off a cliff. None of it is particularly appealing. Today I want something heavy, calorie-laden, sexy. I just want to use a cheap-ish pitcher as a plate for my delicious FanDuel hitter pancakes and smother the whole lot in syrup and whipped cream: in other words, Mama’s gonna stack. (Mama is also hungry, can you tell?)

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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