Bryce Harper is clearly no Jon Snow. Perhaps I should say that Harper is no Jaehaerys Targaryen. If you have no desire to read about my Game of Thrones theories, I suggest you skip down to the line that reads “I’m done with my Game of Thrones theories” and ignore what comes before it. By now most have come to the conclusion that Jon Snow is a Targaryen. I’m not going to go into the details, but the short of it is that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Lyanna, Ned Stark’s sister, died giving birth to Jon. Ned claimed him as his own to save him from being killed by Robert Baratheon.

Ok, so maybe I am going to go dive into the details. Bran is one of the few living people that know Jon’s true identity. He learned this in one of his visions where he traveled back in time to the Tower of Joy, when he followed his father up the tower in which he found Lyanna who had just given birth to Jon. Before she died she begged him to raise Jon as his own. Obviously Ned obliged.

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Allow me to paint a visual metaphor.  A vetaphor.  The entire league’s pitching is cornered on the grounds of a wildlife preserve.  A tiger, we’ll call him Blister, stalks towards the league’s pitching.  There’s no way out, but the league attempts to urinate on Blister to keep him away.  Then, out of nowhere, Nat Gio, dressed as Lord Beasley, a world famous butterfly collector from Gilligan’s Island, rides his Eddie Bauer jeep into Blister’s den, and befriends the beast, saying, “I slay pussy,” then off everyone’s look, “…cats.”  Yesterday, Gio Gonzalez had yet another great start — 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.49.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Gio hears people talking about the new baseball and how offense is up.  Maybe he’s the one pitcher who likes a tightly-sewn baseball.  Up until this year, he must’ve been like, “Geez, is this ball going to unravel when I throw it?”  Of course, his outlook for 2018 fantasy doesn’t look anywhere near as optimistic.  Besides his ERA, there’s nothing promising in his peripherals.  He has left 85.7% of men on base.  That’s more than a wife with a headache.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Between Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Ozzie Albies, Amed Rosario, Rhys Hoskins and Yoan Moncada baseball is staying at a Renaissance Hotel.  “Is that a Cal Ripken mint rookie card under my pillow and a Beckett Baseball Card Guide in the side table?  What a great hotel!”  That’s me staying at a baseball-themed Renaissance Hotel.  Oh, and this is barely touching a majority of Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects.  By the way, I Googled top 100 baseball rookies from the preseason, and Baseball America had Dansby Swanson, Josh Bell, Tyler Glasnow, Jharel Cotton, Jose De Leon, Robert Gsellman and Albert Almora in the top 10.  (Judge was 12th, Bellinger 19th and Ben Grieve 5th.  Okay, not Grieve, but you get the drift.)  Rookies are a crapshoot, but baseball ate some beans and is shooting crap!  (That sounded better in my head.)  Yesterday, Rafael Devers hit his 5th and 6th homers, coming in only his 16th game, as he hits .339.  He’s only 20 years old!!!  Triple exclamation marks due to sticky keyboard because of Giancarlo, my apologies.  If I had the time or motivation, I’d go back to the comments from people who said within three days of Devers’ call-up that he’s overmatched.  Yo, I think you might want to hold back your hot takes for a minute.  For 2018, Devers or Benintendi?  Okay, I’m gonna hold back my own hot takes, but you’re seriously considering the guy who’s only been up for two-plus weeks.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Last week, we added Tommy Pham and his pal (unconfirmed) Marwin Gonzalez to the realm of the 100. This week, we’re feeling so good that we’re moving them on up the rankings. Pham has the second best PR15 (ESPN leagues) right now (13.01), behind only the respected Coors Field masher Nolan Arenado. Marwin, while he has a respectable 5.26 PR15 that is good for 34th overall, is moving up because he suddenly has an inside track to playing time.

Someone ask Grey if I get any bonus points for running it back on players in back-to-back weeks AND rolling with a double player reference headline. I was going to go with a Gregory Polanco reference but decided Matt Adams was both more ridiculous and had the added bonus of allowing me to use former teammates (kind of). More bonus points? Let me know what Grey says.

As for Carlos Correa, well, you guys know already, right? I’m dropping him from the Top 100 because he is going to miss most of the rest of the season. He could potentially return and help you for fantasy playoffs or the last couple weeks, but we won’t know for sure for a few more weeks. This IS good news for Marwin Gonzalez, who I focused on last week, as there is suddenly another opening in the lineup for him. Obviously, hold Correa for now, but I’m dropping him from the ranks of the beloved and pouring out some Coors Light for him.

I never thought there would be a week where I would be adding Matt Adams and removing Carlos Correa. 2017 is bumming me out, but I promise to make it one full article without mentioning Super Balls (this doesn’t count!). Screw it, let’s add Steven Souza, too. He’s got 20 home runs to go with a .272 average, .239 ISO, an increased Hard%, and what looks to be an increased approach at the plate. He has been on the fringe, but I managed to make room for him this week. I give up, 2017. You hear me? I give up! You win!

Anyway, here are some other notes on the additions and subtractions for this week…

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Fredo, you’re my older brother and I love you, but don’t ever pick up Cameron Maybin again over Tommy Pham. If you do, Maybin will find himself on the disabled list and you’ll take a one way row boat ride out on the lake. If you think I’m kidding watch the movie. Tommy is the future of this phamily. In the past thirty days he has been a top ten batter in points leagues, scoring 96 points. Here are the seven hitters that are ahead of him. Jose Ramirez (98), Carlos Correa (98), Mookie Betts (102), Jose Altuve (102), Anthony Rendon (102), Bryce Harper (105) and George Springer (113). That’s quite the company he’s keeping. Looks like the heads of the five families and two of their captains if you ask me. Pham has score more points than every other hitter not mentioned in that sentence. That includes Joey Votto (93).

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Now the baseball Gods have gone too far. Carlos Correa was my AL MVP pick for this year, my biggest keeper in my main league and one of my few reasons for joy so far this fantasy season. 6-8 weeks is his time table and since it is a torn ligament and not a broken bone he probably won’t have that super-human Freddie Freeman healing time frame. August 29th is the earliest we might see Correa take the field again in real life, but he’ll be playing SS and hitting HRs every night in my dreams. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 2-team league. In which case, what the hell is wrong with you? Fill In: I grabbed Jose Reyes (18.3%) because I’ve lost control of my life. Since the beginning of July, Reyes has a .405 AVG with 3 HR but only 1 SB. If he’s figured something out he might find eventually himself hitting higher than 7th in the Mets lineup. More likely though, I’ll be cycling short stops in an out until August 29th. 

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Who’s got one thumb and hit over 60 home runs in their career? Sorry, Carlos Correa ain’t what I’m looking for. Yeah, so what if I spent my Tuesday night researching weird thumb stuff? We already know Correa wasn’t the first person to pull off a thumb injury like this. But hey, turns out, he’s not even the first person named Carlos to do it! Yep, former Chicago White Sox-ian Carlos May blew off his own thumb in 1969 while serving in the U.S military. His story is one hundred and ten times cooler than Correa’s, and it’s kinda scary that he went on to have a more productive career with one appendage, than 40% of all Major League players.

A week after the All Star break is the best time to ignore actual stats and ride on a whim of “yeah, he should probably play better in the second half, my Dad thinks so”. It’s like a relapse of Opening Day optimism, only by now you probably know that your team sucks. Enough of the history/heartfelt reflection, though, here’s my take for Wednesday’s slate:

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Yesterday, J.D. Martinez was traded to the Diamondbacks for Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King, a package that has been described by me as a .280, 40-homer hitter for Okay, Who Cares and So What.  My visions of Yasmany Tomas returning and helping my NL-Only team went from “Hello, what’s your name, Pamela Sue?” to “No, my name is Pamela and I’m suing you for sexual harassment.”  The ol’ 180 in the pants.  Well, I’ll save the rest of my moans and/or groans for my shrink, since this is great news for Just Dong.  That should be a 90 degree turn in the pants for Just Dong owners.  Has he ever hit in Chase Field?  Doesn’t matter, he’s about to love it.  Outside of Coors and Miller, there’s no place I’d rather my player move for hitting and between-inning dips in a hot tub.  (The Coors and Miller hot tubs are gnarly, by the way.  “Did you say swell?”  “No, I said swill.”) For FAAB, I’d go aggressively after Just Dong like he was the last guy to move to the NL, even if he might not be.  He’s a 35-homer guy in Comerica.  In Chase, he could be the equivalent to a 45-homer guy over the final ten weeks.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hehe, I’m such a jerk.  I finally dedicate a lede to Jason Vargas and it’s to point out how bad he was last night — 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.06.  Well, look at it this way.  If he wasn’t good for so long, him being bad wouldn’t matter.  For unstints, my friend texted me yesterday, “R. Kelly’s being accused of holding girls against their will in his cult.”  I texted back, “That’s one cult where you really don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid.”  It was the least surprising news yesterday.  2nd least surprising is the Vargas regression.  What happens with regression, stays in Vargas.  He’s not done regressing either, if his peripherals hold.  He has a 6.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 4.87 xFIP, i.e.,  A lost Vargas is not just a Wynn, but one of those sure-cuts, sure-cuts.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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2017 has been a weird season for baseball. Not only are baseballs leaving ballparks like super balls, but players like Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison are winning fantasy leagues for people. Before the season started, I never thought I would be writing those names on this website. Now, I write them every week (Okay, usually I just have to copy/paste).

While doing some research over the All-Star break, I found more than a dozen players who had already hit more home runs in the first half of 2017 than they ever had in any other full season. That wasn’t even really what I was looking for. I just kept finding more and more of them. One of those players, as you may have guessed because of the title of this article and the number of professional baseball players named Marwin, is Marwin Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is a player I have been keeping an eye on all year and is someone commenters have been asking about a lot lately. Until recently, he still wasn’t playing every day and was moving all over the field. When he did play, though, he was mashing. Son wrote about him in his Bear or Bull series last week, and I recommend going and giving that a read. I’ll wait here while you do.

Like Son goes over in his piece, the biggest difference for Gonzalez this season has been his approach at the plate. His BB% is way up, his K% is way down, and his O-Swing% is down. That all indicates an improved approach at the plate. For proof, here’s a chart!

Please, blog, may I have some more?