It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out, “Give it to me, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2017.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2018.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  (If you missed it, I interviewed B-Real last year on our podcast, though that might not have been as good as our Jose Canseco interview.)  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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The Padres might be away from home on Thursday, but they’re still going to have to deal with a tsunami against Carlos Martinez ($9,800). Of course, Martinez goes by the curiously misspelled Twitter handle @Tsumany27, and he’s got the stats to back up the nickname. C-Mart’s rocking a career-high 25.5% K-rate and 17.0% K-BB, as well as a 3.36 Deserved Run Average. He’s a worthwhile start against even the toughest lineups in baseball, so he’s straight cash against the Padres. San Diego has just a .305 wOBA against right-handers this season, ranking them 29th in the league. They also have the second-highest K-rate versus righties at 25.3%. This easily puts Martinez as the top starting pitcher option on Thursday’s slate.

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Zack Godley ($8,800) takes on the Mets tonight. He’s dropped a serious poo in the pool since his fantastic July, surrendering 9 ER’s in 17 IP over his last three starts. Those are three chunky nuggets of bad, but hey, good thing David Wright has taken the form of Jesus to distract us! But let’s be real, there’s no forgetting this is the Mets, a team that has struck out 56 times over the last week. Here’s the game where Godley gets back on track, but the Mets are persistent, give em’ cred. This dumpster fire never dies quietly, but if Godley throws another 8 K’s against them like he did back in May, maybe, just maybe, the toaster will finally be thrown in Terry Collins’ crap-bath. On that positive, here’s your DFS plays this fine Wednesday!

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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Yesterday, Phillip Ervin went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd home run and 2nd in as many games.  This blew my mind:  there was no mention of Phillip Ervin on this site since 2014, when then-prospector Scott Evans said, “We’ll have a much better feel for (Ervin) after he’s had a chance to settle in at a full-season assignment, but on the surface, Ervin looks like a potential 20/20 outfielder who’ll also help in AVG and OBP.   I hope Grey reads this in three years…IN HELL!”  Damn, some animosity there.   Now, the real puzzler maker, as they say in the Haus of Rubik, Prospector Ralph hasn’t spoken about Ervin once.  So, I took it up with Endorphin Ralph on text, and he said, “He’s a 25-year-old, slugging fourth outfielder that’s Quad-A.  RUSNEY IS BETTER!!!”  So, Ervin’s a former 1st rounder, who might not be anything, due to weak contact he makes too often.  In Triple-A, he did have 7 HRs and 23 SBs with a .256 average.  He might just be a schmotato, that cools off and vanishes, but a speed/power combo plays in fantasy if he plays, which he is.  Better than Rusney Castillo?  WE SHALL SEE.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Kolten Wong (14.2% owned – increase of 9%) was far from being the most added player over the past week. In fact, he barely made the list, but the fact that he made the list at all is amazing. It would be Wong of me to not at least dig into him further, no?

Ok, I apologize. That was bad. Anyways, since the start of the month, Wong has a triple-slash of .375/.458/.583 with one home run, five doubles, one triple, 12 runs scored, 10 RBI, and one stolen base. Remember, back in 2014 Wong hit 12 home runs and stole 20 bases, so there’s some potential here. Let’s break it, break it down. He’s walking 10% and striking out 14% of the time. Those are nice numbers and an improvement from his 2014/2015 numbers. BUT…they are very close to his 2016 numbers when he hit .240. The swinging strike rate hasn’t changed but the chase rate has improved by 5%. In addition, his contact on pitches outside the strike zone has increased 6%. He’s also hitting left-handed pitching very, very well so far (.333 average vs .258 career mark). Now, to the portion of the show that you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your seats for…..We are not Wong to be overlooking Kolten. The BABIP is a sky-high .353. That batting average is going to come back down to the .260-ish range. That batting average against lefties is fueled by a .385 BABIP. Nothing in the peripherals shows a drastic change that motivates me to think that his recent success is sustainable. Looks like a lot of luck. TRASH

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After his electric White Sox debut, Reynaldo Lopez ($7,200) will be back on the mound against the Rangers on Thursday. Lopez was shredding triple-A before his call-up, striking out 63 batters in his last 46 2/3 innings, and continued his success in the majors with six strikeouts in six innings against the Royals. In his second start of the year, Lopez gets to face a Rangers team that strikes out 23.7% of the time against righties, which is the 5th-highest mark in the league. That’s a ton of strikeout potential for dirt cheap, although it’s a possibility that the 23-year-old completely implodes. For that reason, you might want to avoid him in cash games, but Lopez is gold in GPPs.

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Thank Cobb this injury wasn’t worse. After failing to stick the landing on his improvised triple lutz down the first base line, Bryce Harper owners ran to their bobble head and starting lineup figure shrines to pray to the old baseball Gods and the new (Praise Be to Frank Thomas.) Luckily, there was no knee meat damaged in the play which is good, but it is still looking like a mid-September return from a bone bruise in his knee. But Harper is just crazy and young enough to beat that time frame. Funnily enough, the first few suggestions when you start to type “bone bruise” into Google are “bone bruise knee,” “bone bruise heal time” and “bone bruise knee heal time.” Fantasy managers are so quick to become amateur physicians when their players go down. How you handle a Harper replacement could be key to you making & surviving your playoffs. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Say it with me now: “Goosfraba.” No one man can replace Harper. Now that that’s out of the way let’s see what we’re working with. You know who you should grab before it’s too late? Eddie Rosario (37%.) Since July 1st Rosario has a .333 average with 20 runs, 6 HR, 22 RBI and 3 SB — 5 of those HR have come in his last 8 games. Is this realistic? Not entirely. However, Rosario is only 25 and was a 20/20/.280 threat in his minor league days. Ride the hot hand here.

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Atlanta Braves top prospect/hot shot rookie/middle infielder/the “New” Georgia Peach Ozzie Albies hit his second career major league home run in just his ninth career major league start going 2-for-4 with the 3-run bomb. Albies has basically been doing what we expected/wished/hoped/prayed Dansby Swanson would do all season: hit baseballs. Well, luckily for us there’s plenty of young middle infielders in the sea. By the way, were you impressed by my Shelley reference in headline? You didn’t think I’d miss a chance to mention one of my favorite non-Shakespearian sonnets, Ozymandias, did you? Speaking of English romantic poets (killer segue, I know!), the 20 year-old Albies was slashing .285/.330/.440  at Triple A Gwinett, and the kiddo’s got some game-changing speed with 21 steals in 91 games. If those numbers aren’t romantic or poetic enough for you I don’t what it is you’re looking for. Funny enough, I said the same thing to my real life human girlfriend. He hit just nine home runs in the minors but its pretty clear the power is on the way, with two dingers already in just nine major league starts. Friday night was Ozzie’s first multi-hit game in the bigs, and with the homer and 3 RBI he seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings and getting plenty comfortable at the plate. Grey told you to BUY this week, and he gushed about him here. In keeper/dynasty formats you should own him already, but I think he’s worth a flier everywhere else based on his potential to help with speed/average. The .214/.313/.464 in just nine games is too small to take away from, but the two homers and 6 RBI are certainly an exciting sign for the young infielder and fantasy owners alike. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

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

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After one month spent as a visiting blogger for Monday picks, I have returned to the spot where I really broke through in the world of Daily Fantasy Blogging, FanDuel Friday. So we’re back to a one-pitcher site and positions mattering. And on today’s slate, we actually have a perfect example of how positions matter, because Third Base is loaded today. You’re going to have to make a tough choice at third, and that choice  may well be the difference between winning and losing (because if your third baseman stinks, you’re in trouble because with so many good choices in good matchups, odds are the public will get good production at the position). It’s actually to the point where the Braves decision to move Freeman leftward on the defensive spectrum makes everything more complicated – if Freeman was a 1B, he’d be the lockiest chalk-lock of all-time today, and you’d have one less quality 3B to consider. Instead, we have an absolute logjam at 3B, and very little in the way of cash-viable 1Bs. I remember the good ol’ days of one month ago, when Donaldson and Beltre were hurt, Turner and Lamb were overpriced, Machado and Seager were still priced as if they weren’t in massive slumps, and Nolan was priced as if he was playing in Coors even when he wasn’t – you were pretty much looking at either spending up for Bryant, spending down with Gyorko or Castellanos, or splitting the difference with Longoria. Those were the good ol’ days!

On to the picks once Freeman is 1B again…

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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If you got the title props for being a Dr. Henry McCoy fan and I salute you (even though he’s my least favorite X-Man, but that’s a topic for another day and another site). On that note, here’s hoping everybody had a good Fourth of July. I know I enjoyed the extra long weekend and I’m all for making the Fourth a minimum three-day weekend, and if possible, four. The only day we should never allow the Fourth to be celebrated on is a Wednesday. I think we can all come together as a country and get that done, I mean, who doesn’t think America deserves four days to celebrate it’s greatness, right? Anyhoo, last week’s lede, Josh Reddick, is number one in OPS for the past two weeks as of this writing (just wanted to remind myself that results sometimes do happen quickly and a hat tip to my friend and leaguemate for suggesting him – I thought he did so because he was on his team but nooooo…so I added him and have been reaping the benefits…thanks!).

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