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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Vince Velasquez will try his best Vaudeville Villain impression on Thursday against the Rockies, flashing more heat than Viktor Vaughn rapping about an armed robbery. At just $7,400 on FanDuel, buying Velasquez is a modern day mugging. I get that he has a 5.98 ERA, but as Viktor Vaughn says, “the roach is never dead.” VV is still rocking a 9.27 K/9 on the season, which he gets from his dominant fastball and his curveball (respect the drop). He’s getting killed by a 21.4% HR/FB rate, and while it hasn’t been purely bad luck, Velasquez is a better pitcher than his results have shown. The Rockies on the road are about league-average, with a .313 wOBA, good for 16th in baseball. They strike out a lot, at 23.8% away from Coors, so VV has major strikeout potential against them. The best part about Velasquez is that everybody else is too afraid to play him, especially since the Rockies have thumped the Phillies three nights in a row. Even if Velasquez has another blow-up start, the strikeouts should buoy him. But if Velasquez can hold it together, he will provide huge numbers at a bargain price.

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Okay, this is weird, but Sonny Gray and I are complete opposites.  Sonny Gray is in Bay Area, and it’s Grey Albright in Los Angeles.  Weather you like it or not, that’s weird!  Pun noted too!  Grey Albright plays fantasy baseball; Sonny Gray plays reality baseball!  It’s freaking me out!  Grey Albright’s face is mustachioed; Sonny Gray’s is not.  Sonny Gray is athletic; I am not.  He works for a newspaper called Ballrazz, which is super-terse and serious.  It’s uncanny!  Yesterday, Gray (him) went 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.34.  Okay, time to take a new look.  I did like him at one point in his career, before everything went sideways.  His velocity and two-seam fastball are back.  Right now, his two-seam is his best pitch, however, his curve is not back to where it was in 2015.  Watching some video on him showed a guy that can get swings and misses, but had a bit of a favorable strike zone yesterday.  I’d be careful in shallower leagues, but he looks closer to his breakout from two years ago than he has in a while.  Now, if he’s married to a younger woman, I’m gonna plotz over all of our opposites.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Or will he?  Dun, dun, DUNNNNNN…ok, I don’t think he will.  What, you thought I’d drop a hot beat and a fresh rhyme on you a la Grey?  Psssh, I ain’t about that life, son.  I’ll belt out some Cornell for you live and in person, but you won’t catch me getting lyrical up in this wordpress.  Ok, ok, supply and demand so here’s a hot track.  I’m not sure what the equivalent of being rick rolled is in this day and age, but consider yourself as such.  You got served!  But now that I’ve served you in a way you didn’t like, let me serve you in a way you should: JC Ramirez at $14,400 is middling in terms of price on this slate and ripe for K opportunity facing the surging Rays.  Surging, I say?  Yes, I do.  Sadly, the Rays are a weird bunch so far this year.  Though their K% against righties leads the league, they’re 2nd in the league in wRC+ against them as well.  If you want some further schism, Rays are also 1st in K% on the year but 4th in wRC+.  All this to say that Ramirez isn’t a slam dunk, but I think the Ks will give him a nice baseline.  I’ll tentatively give him the green light as an SP2 in cash, but will definitely be in on him as either a 1 or 2 for tourneys on today.

Speaking on Chris Cornell a bit more, if you’ll permit me…we’ve had some great sounds come out of Seattle and it’s a sad trend that lots of those lungs lend themselves towards ending early.  Cornell was a voice you heard above the fray, whether you wanted to or not.  He had a long and amazing career.  People who thought he sold out with Euphoria Morning and beyond have no clue what it means to be an artist who wants to challenge themselves.  The man could sing anything he wanted…and he wanted to be a lot of different artists.  You metalheads who needed the hard edge couldn’t appreciate that his love of Beatles and Otis Redding brought you Superunknown.  In kind, you all who couldn’t appreciate his time with Soundgarden who thought it was just screeching noise, don’t actually understand that soul comes in many forms.  I’m gonna drop one of those in between tunes that seemingly few heard here called Sweet Euphoria and going on with my picks for this slate…right after I drop the Razzball Listener’s League that goes down with tomorrow’s slate.  Reserve your spot now, win money tomorrow.  It’s almost like investing!

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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Yesterday, on the holiest of Hallmark-created holidays and celebrated most of all by Bill Hall, mothers from all different backgrounds came together to put up their feet, sip mimosas and talk about how “The Handmaid’s Tale” could totally happen now with Trump.  I’d contend that Hallmark should get a little credit for women’s rights.  Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Secretary’s Day, “Buy a card just because you love her” Day… Before this, it was, “Do you wanna make this pelt I skinned into a rug or a sweater for little Kevin?  What?  You’re tired from churning butter?  Okay, you can have the afternoon after you make beef and kidney pie.”  In honor of Mother’s Day, one of the great lovers of women (who are handcuffed to his bedpost), Aroldis Chapman was diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation, and will be sidelined for a month.  If Dellin Betances is available in your league, can I get into your league?  If there’s an entry fee, all the better.  You pay it, and we’ll split the cash prizes.  I even grabbed Tyler Clippard in one league just in case Betances gets all Cuddle Boy on us.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Greetings my fellow dweebs.  I know, I know, my Staind fanatics…it’s been a while.  You think that reference is old?  I’m writing up Ariel Miranda with a nod to a 1989 Disney cartoon whilst simultaneously dropping a 2001 Zoolander on you.   The kicker to all of this?  You got all three references, which means we’re both a little closer to pushing daisies than either of us thought, though not that any of it matters as we’re all hurtling towards the end of days with an ever dying sun at the middle of our solar system.  Eat at Arby’s…Now that I’ve done my job of setting a jolly mood, let’s talk about Ariel!  Or better yet, let’s talk about the Phillies.  I’m not gonna lie and say this is a bottom five team like we’ve seen in recent history but really, they’re not spectacular either and their bats can be exploited.  The Phils tread water against lefties on the year, sitting middle of the pack in some key DFS categories such as 99 wRC+ and a 22.1% K percentage.  Miranda has been pitching a bit over his FIP for the year, but I don’t think these Phillies bats are gonna be the ones to set him straight and with a near 8 K per 9 and miniscule 2.18 BB/9, he’s doing plenty to help his cause as it is.  Is this a cash nod?  Nah, man, but as an SP2 in tourneys, I’m definitely willing to go with this banded, bulbous snarfblat.  Speaking of tourneys…we got ourselves some featured fun via FantasyDraft with a exclusive Razzball Listener’s league contest.  Why listener’s league?  Because you’ll have heard about it earlier today first on the Razzball Podcast.  So if you want in on the Razz family fun, hop on in.  But with that out of the way, let’s move on.  Here’s my hottah unduh dee watah taeks for this Tuesday DFS slate…

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 had the occasion to travel to Montreal this week. I live a mere two-hour train ride away, but visiting Montreal always feels like entering a different country. Suddenly, you’re surrounded by French. You can get the best bagels <looks defiantly at New York>. People are Paris-elegant. All the boys are still wearing man-buns, because dear God they are still pulling it off. Also, suddenly, there’s no Blue Jays on the telly: in Montreal, they’re (wistfully) all about the Washington Nationals. It’s partly a TV rights thing, partly a geography thing, but also partly because, of course, the Nats used to be the Montreal Expos. So all that to say (at last! The point!), this week I got to watch a fair bit of the Diamondbacks versus Nats series. The Nats ultimately ran away with it, but Arizona, second-place run leaders, were so fun to watch. I’m looking forward to tracking them in Colorado this weekend and I’m going to hoard as many Diamondbacks and Rockies bats in my FanDuel lineup as I can today (spoiler alert: not many — they’re pricey. [Shocker!]), and find ways to plug up the gaps. That said, in case you’re looking to pursue a strategy that may be a little different from mine, Boston and Baltimore bats should make for good picks versus Nick Tepesch and Dylan Covey, respectively. Without further Machado, let us unveil the crystal ball (because really this is a crap shoot, isn’t it?) and see what the future holds.

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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Did you see last night’s Yankee/Red Sox clash? No? It lasted a super fast 2 hours and 20 minutes and here’s a recap: Sale crushed souls to start the game and then gave up runs late. Masahiro Tanaka threw the year’s first Maddux (CGSO under 100 pitches) and it was glorious. Maddux’s are fantastic. The dominance and efficiency is a thing of beauty (Come on DFS sites, let’s get a Maddux bonus!). On the other side, the Red Sox offense continues to struggle. They have the league’s worst isolated power (.107) and are a below average offense (99 wRC+) with the league’s 2nd best BABIP (.319). They are thoroughly mediocre despite getting well above average offense from Benintendi (143 wRC+), Betts (144) and Moreland (151). Hanley (62), and Pedroia (66) are going to rebound, but I’m not sure that regulars Chris Young (77) and Pablo Sandoval (74) will improve by much – those numbers are likely just who those two players are at this point in their careers. A rebound from Hanley and Pedroia will likely be offset by the normal regression of Benintendi and Moreland and the extreme regression of Christian Vazquez after he just had the best 25 PAs of his life (254). All of this means the Red Sox might be an offense to target in GPPs with pitching because without Ortiz it relies on Betts and Benintendi and a bunch of average-ish bats.  As we are seeing with Toronto right now, you take a link or 2 away from a very top-heavy chain and the entire thing breaks down.

On to the picks once we celebrate the year’s first Maddux, which are better than no-hitters…

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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Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Who won week one? Before I answer that question let’s talk about the top batters from the week. Paul Goldschmidt and J.T. Realmuto led the way with 32 points. Goldschmidt is an Unpickable. Despite this fact, he was picked by one competitor, turning 32 points into zero. Realmuto was not picked by anyone. The next top hitter was Brandon Belt, who totaled 31 points. Belt was selected by four people. One of these people was the winner. In addition to Belt, the winner also chose Ian Kinsler and Justin Turner. The winner from week one, with a total of 70 points, was Chris Montgomery. Congratulations Chris on earning a bid into the playoffs in just the first week.

Here are the top five finishers from Week 1…

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