Yesterday, Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6, 5 runs, 10 RBIs and his first three homers of the year.  *gulps*  Sonavabench!  That is worst sonavabench I’ve had in my life and I thought my worst sonavabench was when I benched Conforto on Saturday for his double slam and legs.  Five homers on my bench in two days.  I feel a little uneasy from this sonavbenching.  Is woozy a side effect of sonavabench?  I feel legit woozy.  I need to sit down.  *vomits*  I feel worse.  “Hello, I need a paramedic.  The problem?  I BENCHED RENDON FOR THE TOP OFFENSIVE GAME OF THE SEASON!  Yes, I have insurance.  No, it’s not an HMO.”  *turns on oven, sticks head in oven, reads The Bell Jar lit by the pilot light*  This book is so boring, at what point does Plath mention Rendon and bite the big one?  So, yeah, I’m an idiot for benching Rendon, but what can do, as my Polish neighbor used to say.  On the bright side, he appears out of his early season slump.  That’s a consolation prize like coming in second on The Bachelor and all you get is herpes.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Grey had Taijuan Walker as a top 30 starting pitcher in his preseason rankings.

I thought that was clinically insane when combing through his pitcher rankings upon their release in early February.

The argument was there, I just couldn’t support it. Walker had a favorable division change to the NL West which made sense, but not 20 spots worth of an impact. I was stumped as to how you categorize him an SP3 (top 36 SP). Using youth to project future success is one I often turn to, but rarely in regards to seasonal relevance.

Joey Gallo is a good example of a player who over the last two years I have suggested taking a step back to see the big picture with. Even with the genuinely terrifying strikeout rate, to say you have never been unbelievably impressed with a good handful of Gallo’s at bats is a flat out lie. Anybody who can hit baseballs as hard and far as him, at the age of 23, has to be given some leeway for developmental matters. (Side note, I talked with Murray Chass on a podcast I host and he suggested that distance on home runs didn’t matter. Take that for data!). The fault in my “step back and calm down” philosophy with young players is that I sometimes miss the breakout year. I wasn’t high on Gallo for this season, and that was a mistake, but I’m fine with being cautious season-to-season on breakouts without something underneath the surface that I can believe in. I didn’t envision an early Adrian Beltre injury, nor did I think his swinging strike rate could come down 5% so quickly.

Pitching is different animal, but the general theory still persists. I just couldn’t wrap my head around Walker…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We’ve reached the one month mark and as expected, there are plenty of early surprises. Eric Thames is the #1 player according to the Razzball Player Rater, Ryan Zimmerman is #3 and Ervin Santana is the #1 overall pitcher. Quietly sitting at #5 is Mike Trout. Trout’s line is outstanding with 18/7/18/5/.365 yet all of the talk is about Thames, Bryce Harper and a few others. At the end of the day, this is why taking Trout with the first overall pick is a no-brainer. We all know this. There’s nothing like safety and upside in the first round which is why I have Paul Goldschmidt on a bunch of teams this season. Au Schizz is as safe as anybody but Trout yet he was consistently falling in drafts to the middle or late part of the first round. I preach on the hockey side of things that you can’t win your league with your first two picks but you can certainly lose it. “Safety first” is even more important in baseball where it is easier to find hot schmotatos to fill out the bottom of your roster. Obviously we are long past draft season at this point but if you can trade some guys off hot starts for some consistency, I’d generally advise doing it. Let’s take a look at everything that was posted on Razzball over the last week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Happy May day!  Or is it still April?  I ‘m not sure because I started writing this in April, but it may not go up on the site until May, and I’m just so confused…and isn’t that what you want out of your fantasy baseball ‘pert?  (Don’t answer that, please).  If you read last week I went to the Angels game the other night, first time.  Those two big ball caps outside the stadium are odd.  Do they serve a purpose?  Like if it ever rains people can stand underneath them (they look permeable)?  As Grey says, I need answers, y’all!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Dallas is screaming my name today. There is a good chance that Dallas Keuchel is chalky today as he has the best matchup. He is a must play in all cash games. The Oakland bats are striking out at a rate of 28% in the last 7 days and 24% on the season.  Oakland has been held to 1 run in 4 of the last 7 games. Keuchel has been struggling to rack up K’s this season and this will be an opportunity for him to cash in. For this reason he is my favorite play of the day for the pitchers. FantasyDraft has Keuchel priced at a modest $18,300. I’m not overly enthused with today’s pitchers and I think you need to be careful as it looks like a lot of these game may have high run potential.

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Pitching prospects are funny. Sometimes the best major league starters seemingly come out of nowhere. A mechanical tweak, or improved grip on a breaking pitch can sky rocket a prospect’s status to new heights. Sometimes, a high floor prospect that wasn’t getting too many prospect hounds or dynasty managers excited, progresses to the point of at least real mid-rotation upside. The later seems to be the case of the Reds AA righthander Tyler Mahle. On the heels of a perfect game just about a week ago. One in which, he made quick work of the 27 batters, throwing just 88 pitches. He produced another strong showing Friday, going 6 scoreless innings, striking out 6, and allowing 5 to reach. Mahle’s displayed pinpoint control throughout his time in the minors, and the results have been good outside a blip during his first go-at AA last season. A four pitch arsenal includes an average low 90’s fastball, a plus changeup, and a slurvy breaking ball. He’s not someone I foresee breaking a K per inning rate, but so far the swing and miss has been there, with 34 K’s in 32.1 innings. If Injuries to Reds starters begin to pile up, we might see Mahle in the big leagues by mid-July. As always Great America Ballpark is a horrible landing spot for any young starter, but I’m more inclined to believe in one with control and tendencies to induce weak contact (14.8%) and ground balls (44.4% GB).

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

You may think I’m high for this. In the slack channel for the #Razz30 our very own @Ralph Lifshitz himself mentioned that the Mets 5th man Robert Gsellman just may not be that good. And he may be right. Or…maybe not?

Don’t all race to raise your hands when I ask who wants a SP with a 6.23 ERA that just got lit up by my still-one-year-away Atlanta Braves. I know that’s not exciting, just like if Phil asked ‘Who wants a mustache ride?‘ above. But what if the Phil Dunphy wisdom bomb in that gif actually plays out with our highlighted man? What if Ralph’s wrong and we’re dealing with a great buy low option?

Now that I feel like I’ve used-car salesman’d (yep, we’re making that a verb) you for 30 seconds, let’s cut to the chase. The Mets rotation has more red crosses in it than the road in Mereen after Daenerys crucified the previous slavers. And that was a bloody mess. Awful to see. I’m not totally sure what’s happening to seemingly every Mets stud starting pitcher, but with Noah Syndergaard’s biceps trouble another one bites the dust. Sure, they got Zack Wheeler to return, Matt Harvey’s been impressive in his bounce back, and Jacob deGrom is still dominant (for now), but Steven Matz caught the bug the preseason, as well as Thor. Hell, even  Seth Lugo couldn’t avoid the plague happening in New York? Goodness, what pharaoh pissed off Moses in that organization?

Now, back to the focus of Gsellman. Not even 24 years old, he flashed enough promise through the minors to be the first named called up when it became clear Lugo and Matz couldn’t crack opening day. However, while his ERA, FIP and BB/9 were all impressive, strikeouts were not his forte. In his short debut last season, and thus far in 2017, the storyline’s been different: 66.1 IP and 64 Ks. That’s a small part of the picture, but when you see the whole portrait, especially the deeper cats, you find a great buy-low option. While ~70% of baserunners are usually left on-base (LOB%), Gsellman’s strand rate sits at only 52.5% this year. That will change. As will his HR/FB% that sits at 16.7%. 1 out of every 6 fly balls don’t leave the yard across a whole season. Oh yeah, and there’s the whole .377 BABIP thing. He’s not facing Tony Gwynn every at bat.

So, now that I’ve overwhelmed you with peripheral stats, here’s the bottom line. Is he as good as his 2.42 ERA and 2.63 FIP from last year? Maybe not, but he’s also not as bad as his current 6.23 ERA suggests. Meet in the middle and you have a 4 ERA (which is still higher than his current FIP) with a strong strikeout rate. Add in all the opportunity to remain in the rotation against a middling NL East and I’d put him on all my watch lists. Especially for his two starts this week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Recovery Center for Madison Bumgarner and Starling Marte owners. I apologize for my absence couple weeks, but I had to go out and do some crazy stuff like get married and then head out on a honeymoon without internet or phone reception for a week. Seeing friends and family, getting married, and then taking a cruise through the Caribbean was fun and all, but I missed pretty much the first two weeks of the MLB season. Not only is there no internet on a cruise unless you pay insane amounts for it, but there are hardly any televisions on board except for the one in your room that has about five English-speaking channels that all show Chicago Bulls playoff games from the 90s or the same two episodes of Ladder 49 all week.

Why am I telling you this? Well, for starters, I wanted to talk about the unique perspective that gave me. Since I missed the first two weeks of the season and didn’t even really get to see any highlights, I came back and had to make fantasy evaluations based entirely on box scores and the statistics available to me. I spent my first 48 hours back reading box scores, recaps, game logs, and statistics (not literally. I would be very tired and my full-time employer would not be pleased). When I checked my fantasy leagues, I found out that I was in first place in three leagues, second place in another, and absolutely dead last in the Razzball ‘Perty ‘Perts league (thanks for getting injured while I was gone, Jackie Bradley).

I considered cramming in an article last week as soon as I got back, firing off opinions based solely on Greg Bird batting around .100 or yet another hot start for Travis Shaw, but I decided to give myself a week to compare the numbers I was staring at with every bit of baseball I could consume for a week. That brings us to where we are now…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Astros corner infielder Yulieski Gurriel continues to mash going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, his second home run and two RBI. Opposing pitchers be like, why you all up in my Gurriel, Yuli? When you’re on fire and everyone knows you’re flame. The Gurriel is hot, where da burgers and dogs at? Dude is  hitting .436 (17-for-39) over the past two weeks with 7 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI. Sure he hit just .260 with 3 homers and 15 RBI in 36 games last year with Houston, but he ALSO hit .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba in 2016 which are the better stats that I will cherry-pick for the purposes of this blurb. I’m just saying it’s not like this success is coming out of nowhere. He’s a good Gurriel and he knows it, and he’s batting 6th in a stacked Houston lineup. If we take a look at some of the advanced metrics (NERD!), the .371 BABIP may unsustainable, but fantasy is about riding streaks and Yuli Gurriel is a hot little potato right now. Grey told you to BUY and he’s available in about 75% of leagues. Pick him up you only Yuli once! Whoa, now that’s two Drake references in the same lede. That’s how you know it’s going to be a good day!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

In 2008, Eric Thames was drafted by the Blue Jays. At the very end of Spring Training in 2012, he won the starting left fielder job over Travis Snider (it was a fierce competition, but in our house, it was always Team Thames). It did not go well and by August 2012, he’d been traded to Seattle for relief pitcher Steve Delabar. (Steve Delabar who, now relegated to the Cleveland minor league system, was given an 80-game suspension for PED use this week.) Shortly thereafter, Thames took his talents and his fine, fine biceps to the Korean league, and the rest, as they say, is history. As a Jays fan, I’m pretty depressed about all this back-story (well, I’m Jays-depressed generally right now, TBH; the highlight of my baseball week was Chris Coghlan’s audition for the Cirque du Soleil), but I’m going to make myself feel better by building a whole damn FanDuel lineup around Eric Thames. I choose to believe that this Saturday is not the day he stops hitting, and this matchup versus lefty Jaime Garcia, at home in Milwaukee, is the gift that all mournful baseball girls (and boys) deserve. I’m slotting Mike Trout in as well and filling in the gaps around them both. Thankfully, there are also some good pitchers on the slate today who won’t break the bank.

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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