Holy cow! Somebody call Phil Rizzuto because scooter pies are on this week’s menu. I’ve never even seen one of these, let alone eaten one, but from what I gather they are very similar to moon pies. Can anyone confirm said statement? Personally I was more of a Devil Dog, Ring Ding and Yodels kind of guy. I was a staunch supporter of Drake’s Cakes back in the day. I used to love collecting the baseball cards on the back of the boxes when they ran that promotion. I still have a bunch of them buried in some box in my baseball. I’ll have to dig them suckers up one of these days.

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Hello readers, hope you’re ready for another wonderful write up from The Collector!  Today should be an interesting slate as long as we get the pitcher right.  As my title suggests, I think Michael Pineda at $8,700 is that pitcher.  I’ve talked in the past how he has high strike out upside; besides that, he’s also been very consistent this year if you take the Toronto game out.  He’s looking more and more like the Pineda we all fell in love with during his rookie year.  It also helps he gets to face off against a Trout-less Angels team.  Angels in the Outfield can’t even save this team without Trout.  I expect Pineda to have the best game of the slate, though he might be a little higher owned than I normally like.  Today just focus on picking the guy you like and worry about ownership elsewhere.

Now on to the picks…

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Stephen Strasburg, $24,800 is taking the mound tonight against the Braves and I for one purchased my ticket for the SS K machine back on Thursday.  The good news is, there’s still tickets available, the bad news is they’re a little pricey.  I hate to use the word underrated when it comes to Strasburg, but all you hear about is Kershaw, Mad Max, Keuchel and Greinke.  Where’s the Love for Strasburg?  His last four starts are ridiculous, 3-1 with 5 ER and 41 K’s over his last 27.2 innings.  Yes, you read that correctly, 41 K’s over his last 27.2 innings (Mic drop).  I’m matching Strasburg up with Jameson Taillon, $13,600 who’s got the Rockies fresh off the DL.  Now I typically don’t like starting guys coming off the DL due to pitch counts, but Taillon wasn’t gone due to any baseball related injury and he was hitting 97 on the radar gun in his last rehab start.  He was straight money before the sudden cancer diagnosis and I’m sure it’ll be an emotional night for the Pirates team upon his return.  I think Taillon will have a little extra juice in the tank tonight and at this price I can’t pass him up.  Now that we got our pitching locked in let’s see what offense is going to help us cash in.

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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I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

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Springer springer hit a dinger. Actually he hit five of them in week 9. Until last week you might say that he was having a rather pedestrian start to the 2017 season. Coming into the week he wasn’t even a top 30 outfielder with respect to points. As a matter of fact his starting percentage was slowly taking a dip, and as a result, there were quite a few angry managers staring at 45 points on their bench last week. I have a rule that I nearly always abide by in weekly league: Play your studs. Well if George Springer was curious about what it’s like to be in the top 20, he now knows as his week 9 performance has catapulted him in the 17 spot.

Enough about this George dude from Houston, what you all really want to know is who won week 9. Actually there are probably only a small handful that really care. That would be those of you that had at least an outside chance of winning. Well wait no longer. The winner is the contestant that picked George Springer. Since there was only one of you that did so, the mystery winner should be easy to figure out. Ok, fine. I won’t make you go back and do the leg work. The winner was Fungazi with 90 points. Fungazi picked George Springer (45), Carlos Correa (40) and Brian Dozier (5). Dozier’s five points were meaningless considering Springer and Correa were the top two highest scoring players of the week. Second place was The Padre with 73 points. Like I said, no thanks to Dozier. Congrats Fungazi!

Here are the top 5 from Week 9:

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Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

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The Astros exploded for 17 runs yesterday, and it was the second game in the last three where they scored at least 16 runs.  Twins pitching, “Hold my beer…”  Am I doing that right?  The hero of the Astros’ offense, and a man that is widely known as George Jefferson Springer led the way with 4-for-4, 4 runs and his 12th homer and 13th homers, hitting .265.  The only thing missing from George Springer‘s game is saving a baby that is stuck in a tree and/or figuring out a way to ensure future babies don’t get stuck in the same tree (and maybe some steals).  Serious question, why is Springer hitting leadoff and Jose Altuve (1-for-4, 2 runs, hitting .319) in the two-hole?  It’s not hurting the Astros, but it is hurting my fantasy teams’ RBI totals!  Evan Gattis (4-for-6, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer) needs to hit cleanup?  How about Alex Bregman (2-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer) hits cleanup, Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer) hits fifth, Gattis sixth and Yulieski Gurriel (1-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) hits eighth or lower?  Is that the most obvious thing I’ve ever said in my life?  Okay, after the time I said, “I’m not going up in any hot air balloon.”  All right, also not as obvious as the time I said, “I’m lost,” after driving around for two hours pretending I knew where I was going.  Fine, also after the time I said, “I can’t bench press 55 pounds.”  After those things, this is the most obvious thing I’ve ever said.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Over the past few weeks, Yasmani Grandal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Despite being a pinch-hitter who sometimes wears the wrong helmet, he has been hitting .345 with a .392 wOBA over his last 30 days. Part of that has to do with an unsustainable .409 BABIP during that span, but most of it has to do with Grandal being locked in and being more aggressive at the plate. While he has a history of being frustrating to fantasy owners who aren’t utilizing him in OPS or OBP leagues, Hot Yasmani has been very different this season.

Regular Yasmani is a patient hitter who posts OBPs 100 points higher than a mediocre AVG, who walks 15% of the time and strikes out 25% of the time. He can hit home runs but hurts AVG in standard leagues. Last season, he rewarded fantasy owners with 27 home runs, which is great, especially at the catcher position. But, again, he hit just .228, struck out 25.4% of the time, and recorded just 86 hits. That means a third of his hits went for home runs. With 116 strikeouts and 62 walks, it also means that he either struck out or walked 50% of the time. Other than the home runs (which, again, are great to get at the catcher spot), those numbers are fine for OBP/OPS leagues but are not ideal for your standard leagues.

Hot Yasmani, 2017 Yasmani, is a different story. Hot Yasmani has no time for patience at the plate. He wants to eat. HY’s BB% over the last 30 days is less than 6%, and it’s below 10% on the year. He already has 42 hits and is on pace for well over 100 for the first time in his career. He his hitting around .300 after hitting below .235 the last four seasons. The home runs are down, for now, but he is making up for it with career marks in nearly every other offensive category (except walks, of course). I included HY in this week’s Top 100 because he is no longer just posting good numbers for a catcher; he’s one of the hottest hitters not named Charles Cobb Blackmon (full name, look it up) right now.

Now, for a few guys who are not so hot right now…

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Aloha from Clearwater Beach, Florida. I will be relaxing at the beach in this 90-degree weather today. I promise, I’m not trying to rub it in. The weather is starting to warm up as we approach summer, which means the balls will start flying out at a higher rate than they already are this season. Today’s lede has done a great job limiting home runs this season and I’m excited to see him deal today. I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised how good Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched this season. Rodriguez looks to make it 6 quality starts in a row today and he has a stellar matchup against a team with the 3rd highest K rate vs. left handed pitching. If you haven’t noticed I like using lefties in DFS, especially when the teams they are facing struggle at the plate against lefties. John Farrell has no problem letting Rodriguez eclipse 100 pitches as he’s done it on several occasions this season already. There appears to be no pitch limit for E-Rod, so if he gets off to a hot start today we could see a high K total in the box score. Today’s game is being played at O.co, which is smack dab middle of the road in home runs per game this season. Eduardo’s price tag is $17,600, which I consider a steal for his upside. Plug him into your lineups and lets win some money 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 be sure to sign up through us before jumping into the fray.  It’s how we know you care! 

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The phrase is no longer “Chicks dig the longball,” it’s “Chicks dig the flyball.”

From the forgotten (Yonder Alonso) to our freshest superstars (Francisco Lindor), the want for more lift in hopes of combating infield shifts hasn’t played favorites in the style of hitter it acquires. While Alonso and Lindor lead list of qualified hitters with the largest increase in flyball percentage compared to last year, another name sits atop the list of hitters with the highest overall flyball rates in 2017.

Ryan Schimpf (63.8%).

I’m barely five months into my Razzball tenure and this is my second column about a San Diego Padres’ player (Austin Hedges was my first). Maybe my next one will be about that first basemen who has been better than Anthony Rizzo! Wil Myers who?

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