James Shields has given up a home run in 11 of 13 games this year. Outside of the first 2 games when he gave up 2 each, he’s given up at least 5 hits a game (he’s gone more than 6 once this year and that was 6.1). He’s walked someone in every single start. This is a more flavorful way of saying what you already know – Shields is terrible and won’t have his option year picked up in 2019 (that’s right, we’re going to have another year of James Shields to pick on). The other plus about this game is it’s in Texas and it’s going to be hot. Also, Shields’ splits this year are hilarious. When a left hander is in the box, he strikes them out 15.7% of the time and walks them 12% of the time (with a normal .313 BABIP), gets a ground ball 35.7% of the time and allows a home run on 23.6% of his fly balls. All of which is leads to an unfathomable 9.17 FIP and a 6.86 xFIP. Yes, loyal readers, James Shields has a FIP over 9 vs lefties. The worst FIP I can find vs lefties is Jose Lima’s 6.14, including an 8.29 in 2006 and Lima’s 8.29 was in only 7 innings. James Shields is having a legendarily bad season vs lefties (he’s actually relatively decent vs righties with 21.2% strikeouts and 8.2% walks for a 4.14 FIP and 4.73 xFIP). So given all of this information, here’s what I would do: play Texas Rangers lefties as much as physically possible, with Mazara and Gallo being the top ones, but all of them are good plays. As for the righties, they aren’t nearly as good as the lefties, first, because each Rangers righty you play is one less Rangers lefty to play if you’re going to have four Rangers, and second, a lot of the Rangers righties are expensive. That said, in a vacuum, the righties are still good plays as it’s hot, James Shields is on the mound and when he’s out of the game, the White Sox gas can of a bullpen will come in and suck. Beltre leads the righties since he hits righties pretty well over his career (113 wRC+) and has hit them well this year (.382 wOBA). Basically, play all the Rangers you can.

On to the picks once James Shields allows another home run to a lefty…

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Clearly, the Razzball Vulcan Mind Meld is complete: just as the Mustached One put up a post addressing rookies, Dr. Easy and I had begun to wonder how the current crop is actually doing. We combed through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) to see who’s living up to their hype. Who’s floundering in the face of big-league hitting or pitching? Who’s doing better than you think they are? Who’s doing worse? Why did basically no one draft Aaron Judge in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? We need answers! To get them, once more unto the Player Rater breach we go, my friends!

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The trading deadline for the Razzball Commenter Leagues went out with a bang on Friday with 19 trades being completed, 9 on Friday alone.  I still don’t understand why ESPN insists on the noon trade deadline time, but there it is.  I maintain the opinion that if the deadline was midnight Friday night there would be more last minute deals.  The trade deadline expiring while I’m settling into my lunch break at work just doesn’t feel right.  Who’s with me?  Week 8 saw 19 trades and week 14 saw 20.  In a 4.5 day week we got to 19, not a bad pace.  There were 232 total swaps made this season.  Cougs R Us finished the year with 16 deals made, the most of all RCLs.  Two other leagues finished in double digits, ECFBL (12) and DFSers Anonymous (10).  Is it coincidence that those are both leagues commished by your RCL Updater Extraordinaire?  I think not.  There were 16 leagues that didn’t make a single trade this year.  That makes me sad.  Billy Hamilton was traded 8 times this season, as was Rougned Odor.  Wade Davis takes the cake though, being involved in 12 separate trades.  Gotta get those saves.  You can find all the saves for the year right HERE.  It’s not the best formatting in the world, but if you’re curious about these sort of things like I am, the data is still interesting to wade through.  Let me know in the comments if you find any other interesting nuggest.  Jump below for more about the trades this week and all the other happenings in the week that was, Week 19:

The Razzball Commenter Leagues for Fantasy Football are now open! Take on your favorite writers and other readers of the site for a chance at prizes!

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If for some reason you are watching Mariners baseball excluding those who live in the area *can’t be happy trotting out Yovani Gallardo in the middle of  a Wild Card Race*, you know the beauty of announcer Dave Sims calling “Boom Stick Baby” on Nelson Cruz HRs or “Giddy Up, Baby” on great plays. Well those are words we may hear often tomorrow night when the Seattle Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles with Wade Miley taking the mound. Mariners are a great stacking option, led by Nelson Cruz ($10,200) who is currently on a huge tear. He has hit 9 HRs over his last 15 games and has an OPS over 1.400. A match-up against a struggling Wade Miley is a juicy one, Miley has allowed 17 HRs to right handed batters and a .851 OPS/.366 wOBA. All Mariner righties should be a go tonight Danny Valencia ($8,400), Jean Segura ($9,000) and Mike Zunino ($6,000).

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That’s right DFSer’s, you read that correctly, it’s Discount Double Check time!  I’m not too thrilled with the pitching slate tonight, so instead of payin’ top dolla’ for some so-so matchups, I’m going grab a couple under the radar guys and lots of offense.  First up on the Blue Light Special, we have Jake Junis, SP $11,100.  Last Week, he came out of nowhere and threw up 31.60 points against a strong Seattle Mariners team.  He went 8 IP, 1 ER and 7 Ks, not too shabby for a guy who is going for a little more than my top offensive picks for tonight.  He’s facing an Oakland team who is one of the worst in the AL and they lead the league in K’s vs RHP.  He doesn’t have the home cookin’ on his side, but he is in a very good pitchers park.  Let’s hope this Blue Light Special goes all Blue Streak and delivers a gem for us at a discount.  Matching up nicely with JJ is Jerad Eickhoff, SP $15,600.  J-Rad has the lowly Padres in San Diego tonight, Yes, Please and Thank You.  He threw up a juicy 27 points against them last month in Philly, so I’m hoping he can surpass that tonight in pitcher friendly Petco.  Now that we’ve scrapped the bottom of the barrell for our starting pitching, let’s have some fun and spend some cash on offense.

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Can I have all Razzball readers knock on wood prior to reading this article? Thank you! I don’t want to jinx Kenta Maeda who is putting together a great and under the radar season. Maeda struggled earlier this year with control and an injury. For a while the Dodgers were unsure what they were going to do with him, they had him work out of the pen for a few weeks. Naturally, Maeda came back to life and started dealing. FantasyDraft has some crazy high prices for the elite pitchers today and this pick at $16,000 seems like a no brainer. Maeda’s ERA at home is under 3 and his k/9 is 8.64. He also gets a favorable matchup against the depleted Padres. Unfortunately I think everyone will be on this pick today just because there is not much downside to his matchup today.

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It’s safe to say that Danny Salazar ($9,300) is back on his game, after striking out 12 batters in seven innings his last time out against the Yankees. Salazar’s numbers have been bonkers since returning from the DL, striking out 28 batters in 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA. The strikeouts should keep coming on Thursday against the Rays, who have the third-highest K-rate against righties at 25.0%. Other fantasy players may be scared off by Tampa’s strong-hitting lineup, but Salazar’s upside makes him a great contrarian play. He looks straight up untouchable, and I’ll be starting him in just about every lineup.

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Far out brussel sprout! Kevin Gausman with a 5.10 ERA? *cracks knuckles, puts on ‘Danger Zone’* this could take a while… Okay really, you can break down Gausman’s season into four chunky sized Manilla folders. First, there’s April/May Gausman: 7.50 ERA, six home runs, innocent bystander in Red Sox kafuffle. June Gausman: 19 earned runs allowed, fantasy owners convulsing with hate. July Gausman: 45 strikeouts, serious trust issues. August Gausman: urge to add rising, “I told you he’d come good” from every armchair expert. Gausman starts today @ the Angels. Good call, he is one of my pitcher picks for today’s slate ($9,100) and since the Angels have struggled against righties at times this year, there’s no rhyme or reason why you shouldn’t take full advantage of that discounted price tag. Here’s who else I like for Wednesday’s slate:

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Happy trade deadline week RCLers.  This is the final week you have to trade for some steals, saves, power or help out those pitching ratios with a big time name.  It’s at this point in the season that you can really see some overpaying going on.  Giancarlo for Ken Giles?  Possibly.  Aaron Judge for Billy Hamilton?  It all depends on team needs and where the most points can be gained.  Remember, there are no extra points for winning a category by 50.  Take a look at the overall standings in your league and see where teams are bunched together.  If there’s an opportunity to leap over multiple teams by taking a category by storm, make your move now.  If you’re in second place right now, make that move for first, play to win, go out and make it happen.  The Razzball Commenter League trading deadline is Friday, August 11, at noon Eastern.  I expect there will be a flurry of activity to break down for next week’s update.  For this week however, we have eleven trades to look at as well as a new overall leader, our former leader regaining his grasp on the top spot in the ‘Perts League and a new name making an appearance as the team of the week.  Come read about all of this and more in the week that was, week 18 in the Razzball Commenter Leagues:

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On a night were aces such Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Dallas Keuchel and even Jose Quintana in a great match-up are taking the mound ; it is key to be able to pair up one of those studs with a valuable streaming options. This way you can afford some quality bats to go with your top arm. One option that stands out to me is Ariel Miranda (12,900), the lefty has been inconsistent all year but has a great opportunity to produce tonight. Oakland A’s are one of the worst hitting team against south paws, carrying a .236 AVG and .683 OPS. By no means is Miranda a safe bet but he has significant value in a great match-up. Oakland ranks in the bottom ten in runs scored and are in the top three in strikeouts. That makes for a great streaming option, also allows some wiggle room to fit in one of the aces taking the mound.

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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