In a surprising move, the Nationals promoted infield prospect Wilmer Difo to the majors yesterday when Jayson Werth hit the disabled list. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, as Difo was already on the 40-man roster and hitting well in the minors to start the season. This move reminds me of the Twins jumping Jorge Polanco to the majors last year to fill a need on their major league roster – opting to temporarily go with an unproven player already on the 40-man instead of shuffling the entire deck. Difo is still pretty raw, and raw prospects are a lot like raw eggs. All the “stuff” is there, but it’s usually a good idea to cook ’em. It’s uncertain exactly how the Nats will use him going forward given that their current infield seems to be working just fine. So while I don’t expect Difo to stick this year once the Nats get healthy, this presents us with a good opportunity to peek at his profile…

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The short answer is: It’s made some of us very rich.

As someone (in some small capacity) involved in the online fantasy baseball industry, it is impossible to ignore the massive changes over the past couple years due to the rise of daily fantasy baseball.

Before “The Rise” it seemed like fantasy baseball was losing, a little bit more each year, a portion of its casual participants. This undoubtedly put a strain on people trying to make a living by doling out fantasy advice. Also the fact that even people who avidly consumed fantasy baseball content were reluctant to ever pay for it only added to the problem.

(Kudos to Grey by the way for doing a good job of catering to the casual player and creating an atmosphere where people are also happy to throw a few bucks his way.)

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I was the last one. It didn’t matter what it was, my family was not well flush with the monies so I watched as my friends got the latest and greatest toys and game while I had to wait, and wait, and wait to get the same toy/game if I ever got it at all. On the holidays I wouldn’t open presents, we’d go down to the store and look at what I was going to get later, after getting it on layaway.

But don’t think I was any less thankful. Hey, I didn’t know any better and may have been better off in a lot of ways for having to live that way. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. When I finally did get that toy/game, it was almost always passe’, beyond its value already. Everyone else was onto the next so I made do with what I had.

In DFS, there is a similar, less warm and fuzzy things that happens when folks jump on the trending toy. They chase the previous performance and end up overpaying for what has already happened rather than look to see what was going to be the hot sexy item tomorrow.

Recency bias. It was the same thing I wrote about Corey Kluber last week. I relished the fact that I knew folks were going to steer clear because of his 5+ ERA and the fact that, most recently, he had burned them in games. Everything else was screaming that he was due to get his sexy back, but he was fairly low owned when we rostered him last Wednesday.

It’s not always a bad thing to jump aboard a bandwagon. Sometimes they run on pretty well. Kluber followed up last week’s told-you-so special with another beaut. And Bryce Harper’s heater has gone on long enough to be dangerous to the touch.

Still, chances are if you are paying based on yesterday, you’ll miss out on today. Look at everything, disregard yesterday. If your research says he should be good today, then do it, man, put him on the board! But if things aren’t in his favor, think twice and don’t do it just because he did well yesterday.

The same is true for bad performance. If you see that your guy should be good to go for his matchup, but his recent play looks stinky, don’t hesitate, beat the crowd to the performance and reap the rewards.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yunel Escobar (+31.3%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The 32-year-old middle infielder who hasn’t reached double digits in home runs since 2011 and has never stolen more than 6 bases in a single season. The same player who hasn’t produced a batting average above .258 since the 2011 season. Yup, that Yunel Escobar. So, what exactly is going on here? Is he a late bloomer? Early zombino? Well, through 35 games and 150 plate appearances, Escobar has launched 2 homers and is 0-for-1 in steal attempts. His BB-rate is down (6.7% in ’15; 8.9% career) and his K-rate is up (12.7% in ’15; 11.3% career). On the plus side, his 23 runs scored and .326 average are among the NL leaders. However, that average is being fueled by an unsustainably high .364 BABIP (.302 career), and while his current 21.7% LD% would represent a new career high, his 17.5% FB% would easily represent the lowest mark of his career and all but ensure another single digit HR campaign. Unless your league includes douchebaggery as a category, ride the hot streak then cut bait at the first sign of trouble. Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

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You might be wondering what’s with the title, and to be honest, I thought it was kinda catchy. Okay, I get it, I have too much time on my hands, and no time isn’t the name of the lotion I use. Love’s 7 and 7 is is one of my favorite precursors of punk rock songs. I have read oral histories on the subject and this song comes up as a big influence. It’s always interesting to see where something we love comes from. Groups like the Seeds, the 13th Floor Elevators, the MC5 and the Blue Magoos all laid down the tunes that influenced a great genre of music. You might be saying to yourself: What the hell does this have to do with the RCL update? Well, it’s me telling you that you need to study this format (and those playing it) at a high level. I’m hoping you try and organize strong leagues among fellow commenters next year that take on the RCL strategies. It’s what I did and I have never had as much fun playing fantasy baseball. This week, I have the usual suspects in here… weekly leaders, top ten, team profile and a new edition, the league ranks. These high index leagues at the bottom of the post are about as punk rock as they come when shattering the glass walls of the fantasy leisure suits. Playing in them is a proverbial mosh pit of action that will leave you with black eyes and bloody knuckles. It’s like dating a Salvadorian girl!

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I read a great piece this offseason on J.D. Martinez.  He was such an interesting player last year and I was trying to make heads or tails of him.  Was his breakout for real?  Was he to be believed?  Was this a fluke?  Where in the world am I going to draft this guy this year?  In my research of the man, the myth, the J.D. I found an article talking about his failures in Houston and adjustments he made.  You can read it for yourself here.  J.D. talks about how the breakthrough happened when watching film.  Not film of himself mind you, but film of his teammate, Jason Castro.  Next up, he checked out film of Ryan Braun, then Miguel Cabrera and finally Mike Trout.  He noticed how each of their bats stayed in the zone for a much longer time than his did and realized he needed to make this adjustment to succeed.  He worked on it with great success in winter ball, but was cut by Houston during spring training.  The Tigers welcomed him with open arms and the rest is J.D.’s breakout season.

Why am I telling you this and how does it related to DFS?  Well grasshopper, I will tell you.  I am telling you this because you can learn something from J.D.  You can employ this same technique to improve your daily game that J.D. used to tattoo baseballs.  I think one of the best ways to learn how to play this game well is to study those that are more successful at it than you.  Pick a DFS player you see at the top of tournament boards most nights and play them heads up, join the same tournaments as them and study them.  Don’t just look at who they picked, but why they picked them.  If you can’t come up with a good reason why they picked them, dig deeper.  I personally believe this is helpful in all walks of life, but I can guarantee it won’t make you a worse DFS player.  So, give it a whirl and see what you can learn, you might just have your own breakout.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Rubby de la Rosa threw 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners (0 BBs) and 5 Ks, a semiprecious stone of a game. (Maybe I didn’t need to use a thesaurus for the word gem.) Rubby reminded me of Celine Dion and her baby. If I could hold Rubby to my ear, what would his future sound like? *paints Rubby on a seashell for makeshift future-telling device, puts seashell up to ear* I hear Johnny Gill saying, he will Rubby me the right way! That’s amazing! But how can we be sure Johnny Gill isn’t just saying that because no one has asked for his opinion on anything in 25 years? Wait, maybe we haven’t heard from him because he’s been living in a seashell all of these years. Rubby’s K-rate is 8, his walk rate is 2 and, yes, they’re even numbers, unless we’re going to the 2nd decimal, and 2nd decimals are for nerds! Speaking of which, his xFIP is 3.43 and he’s been a tad unlucky to have a 4.08 ERA. I don’t see Rubby as a potential ace breakout candidate, but I own him in multiple leagues, and like him since he throws hard, has solid control, should get cushy matchups and could have a fantasy number three to four year. Now how do we get Johnny Gill out of this seashell?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Man, I was coming into yesterday afternoon all pumped for today’s Profile – high-caliber young gun in Noah Syndergaard going on Sunday, facing my terrible Brewers, it was going to be a monster start…  Andddddd – he plunks my favorite player Carlos Gomez in the face.  F you Noah!  You went from Chris Hemsworth to whoever played the nincompoop in Blue Lagoon.  What a ninny!  And he didn’t even look remorseful, but in retrospect while re-reading my open, he was a little shaken.  Regardless, I only barely like him more than Yordano Ventura now…

Biases be as they be (I think I heard that on some rap mixtape Grey made for me), but I still gutted through an objective-as-possible Pitcher Profile to break down how Syndergaard looked and how much we can expect from him in his rookie season:

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What an eventful SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) week it was.  Shawn Tolleson, who was originally a high priority SAGNOF Special recommendation two weeks ago, now looks to be in a position to steal some saves from Neftali Feliz or possibly take the job outright.  Feliz is in serious trouble and it will probably be either Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela that takes over if Feliz is in fact removed.  Right now the word is that Rangers manager Jeff Bannister is going to use whoever he fancies on any particular day to close out games and that leaves the door open for just about anyone, including Feliz.  I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Tolleson is capable of running away with the closer role so he’s my heavy favorite.  If I’m wrong, call me bad names, but try to make it funny at least.

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