Alex Wood. He has a 33.1% K rate, 7.6% BB rate and a 62.8% gb rate. All are elite and combine for a 2.17 xFIP, 48% better than league average. How is he doing this? Well, his starts have been @Cubs, @Arizona, @Giants, vs Giants, vs Pittsburgh and @ Colorado. Outside of the Cubs there aren’t any powerhouse offenses, but it’s 2 games in hitters havens, one of which he got hit around (Arizona) and the other he destroyed the Rockies, and loyal readers know what I think of the Rockies (hint: it rhymes with schmucks). He’s facing the Marlins this fine Friday and although the Marlins are an above average offense vs lefties this year, they don’t walk (8% BB-rate, 24th in the league) and are 16th in K rate (21%). Even though they have been above average so far, I don’t believe them to be an above average offense with the bottom of the order as bad as it is right now and nothing too good versus lefties outside of Stanton and Ozuna. Wood’s velocity has been ticking up after dropping to 88-89 in 2015. In 2016 it was 91-92 and he’s come out this year gassing it up to 93 (he only throws sinkers, very few 4 seamers). The other thing with Wood that keeps his price down is he hasn’t been allowed to go past 6 as a starter, in fact it’s a Dodger philosophy to (correctly) not let your starter go through the lineup more than 3 times and frequently it’s even less. Since Dave Roberts took over the Dodgers, no team has let their pitchers face fewer batters per start. The Dodgers starters have faced 22.3 batters per start, with the Reds coming in 2nd at 22.87. The Dodgers starters are also 2nd in fWAR since Roberts took over. The average fWAR rank of the non-Dodgers bottom 10 is 23.1. Most teams who don’t let their pitchers go far into games do it for good reason, the pitchers aren’t very good. The Dodgers let their pitchers air it out for 22.3 batters and then pull them to get better pitchers in. Given the times through the order penalty, this makes sense and is the future of baseball. But, in the meantime, for DFS, when there are teams like the White Sox (what?) and Giants who just let their pitchers throw until Dr. James Andrews tells them to stop, you will want to avoid non Kershaw Dodgers pitchers unless the price and matchup is right. This is especially true for FanDuel, because the QS bonus is a significant part of a pitcher’s overall DFS production, and the QS bonus requires you to pitch at least 6 innings.

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Something funky is going on in Denver. At the 2016 all-star break, Charlie Blackmon was a 30 year old OF sporting a career line of .292/.342/.446, good for a 99 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .327/.375/.612 hitter, which has been good for a 140 wRC+. At the 2016 all-star break, Carlos Gonzalez was a 30 year old OF sporting a .297/.355/.541 line as a member of the Rockies, good for a 125 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .252/.310/.403 “hitter”, which has been “good” for a 70 wRC+.

At some point during those 5 days right around the 2016 All-Star break, Charlie Blackmon tapped into some dark magic and cast a voodoo spell on Carlos Gonzalez, draining all of Cargo’s talent and keeping it for himself. Blackmon went from being an average-ish centerfielder with decent on-base skills to a legitimately good centerfielder who can hit for average and power. Poor Cargo went from a good power-hitting corner outfielder to a broken shell of a man who has been a liability since the 2016 All Star Break. Even Neifi Perez, the walking embodiment of an all-glove no-bat shortstop, managed to cobble together a .282/.313/.411 triple-slash line as a Rockie, and Cargo can’t even beat that right now! Poor Carlos Gonzalez. Meanwhile, Charlie Blackmon has become a legitimately great DFS hitting centerfielder who bats leadoff for a team playing half their games in Coors Field – mmmmm…tasty. As for how he’s done it, if my theory is correct (and this is a real, scientific theory), that means that Charlie Blackmon is a real life Shang Tsung, and I really don’t want to offend someone who can drain my soul, so please Mr. Blackmon, if you’re reading this, you’re my favorite player and your beard is awesome, although it’s not as good as this one, I still cannot lie.

On to the picks once Shang Tsung steals my soul…

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All judging aside, Yankees’ right fielder, Aaron Judge, is loudly (opposite of quietly) making a name for himself. As if his 6’7″, 282 pound frame wasn’t enough to garner attention, how about a league leading twelve home runs in just 99 plate appearances. Having played in all but one game this season, Judge has granted his owners 107 fantasy points in 24 games. During that span he has 26 hits, 12 of which were long balls. That sounds like the name of a porn starring six old men. While Aaron also has 24 strikeouts, he is still sporting a .313 batting average. Personally I have a soft spot for Yankees right fielders as Big Dave Winfield is my favorite player of all time. Well it seems the Yankees have found an even bigger dude to man right field. I think Judge might project to Winfield-like stats, and considering he was a 12-time MLB All-Star, that’s a considerable comparison. He should be owned everywhere. I realize that’s a obvious Captain Obvious statement, but his ADP was greater than 200, so he was likely available for the pickings in most leagues earlier in the season.

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As the old expression goes, you can count on three things in life, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers ruining your week/month/season with an injury of some sort. This is a slight update on the late 80’s iteration of this expression, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers at a snowstorm. If you’re a Noah Syndergaard owner you might want to hit up Doc’s medicine man, because the mighty righty was skipped in the rotation due to a sore bicep. Apparently curls are for the girls, and the DL too. Seriously how does Bartolo stay healthy eating like Kristie Alley on a bender, while Thor spends his free time living like Schwarzenegger in the beginning of Twins? Nothing makes sense, I’m writing the Notes! Riddle me this, Does that mean Colon was birthed from his poop? Or is it the other way around. Yes, I was an odd child. As for Thor, and his right arm, he’s headed for an MRI today. After first experiencing pain between bullpen sessions, and playing catch. He said he “felt great” playing catch, two things, “who doesn’t feel great playing catch?” and as far as I know “felt great” doesn’t mean I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder. But Syndergaard is from Texas and a Viking, so he may speak a different language. Oh, yeah, that’s not a joke. He actually said I “felt great playing catch”, but his bicep “stiffens up when it gets cold”. Funny, mine does the opposite when it gets cold. The worst part is that gem of a comment was followed with “I couldn’t really lift my arm above my shoulder at that point”. However, the Mets and Terry Collins assure us that Thor isn’t hurt. In fact, he showed up to the park ready to pitch! But old cautious Terry pulled the plug, because as he so eloquently put it, “when you are talking about anything that runs into the shoulder to where he changes his delivery and other things happen.” Damn, the man has the vocabulary of Sling Blade! Not going to lie, I’m intrigued about these “other things” happening in Syndergaard’s bicep. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m with Streamonator: Carlos Carrasco is your No-Brainer O’ the Day. (Not to be confused with your Darren O’ the Day, which is a fish submarine sandwich.) The last time Carrasco faced the White Sox, at home, it was to the tune of 1 ER over 7 innings, and this matchup is in the more pitcher-friendly Sox park. (Mind you, his last start versus the Tigers was a tad more worrying — still only 2 ER, but he struggled with command.) But today on FanDuel, he’s $10,300. And at the same time, the Giants are in Coors. I’ve set myself a silly challenge: to play Carlos Carrasco AND stack as many Coors bats as possible, all while plugging the remaining holes as cheaply (and well? Ha) as I can. And you’ll see that through my own stubbornness, I’ve created possibly the most lopsided FanDuel lineup ever, one that will need complete rejigging if any one of my players doesn’t actually start. Like George Michael, I may come to be filled with regret and (totally logical consequence to cheating on someone!) never dance again, but it’s not for nothing that my mother calls me Victoria Mary Quite Contrary. So here goes!

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So smooth and well crafted. Not talking about the Irish Whiskey. Talking about Pittsburgh Pirates Ace Jameson Taillon. Already matched zeros with Chris Sale in his first start, going 7 innings and striking out 6. The young prospect showed a lot of promise last season posting a 3.37 ERA in 104 innings of work. Priced at $16,200, he has good value as the Pirates are the biggest favorite of the night at -185. He faced the Reds last year at PNC Park and was able to come away with a Quality Start (6 IP, 1 run, 6 Ks). I expect a similar stat line and  hopefully come away with the win as the Reds are throwing a rookie pitcher. Saving up on pitching can allow to rack up on some bats in Coors, a game in which Jared Weaver is involved and should be a slugfest. Now on to the picks.

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 wonder if Freddie Freeman has Fletch-like dreams where he pictures himself with a huge afro and his name is Freddie World B. Freeman.  “He’s actually 6-5, with the afro, 6-9.  Pretty good hands, loves to hit ones deep.  His club is behind by three, and World B. Freeman drains a three-run homer!  Wow, was that some kind of hit.  You know this kid from the gritty streets of Orange County, California sure can play.”  By the way, gritty in Orange County refers to a Sonic Drive-In that has a B grade from the Health Department.  So, yesterday, Freeman put up those stats that I told you to pay a 2nd round price for — 4-for-5, 3 runs, and a double slam (1, 2) and legs (1), hitting .346 on the year.  I was truly perplexed how low I saw some people ranking Freeman in the preseason.  If anything, I think a stronger case could’ve been made to have Freeman ranked above Miggy, who was a consensus top 12 pick everywhere.  Guess Freeman could use the name Mr. Under-ranked when he sneaks into country clubs to visit Dansby Swanson (1-for-5, 1st homer, hitting .179).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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So maybe the first day of a full slate didn’t go your way; the beauty of DFS baseball is that it is a daily grind. Tuesday offers an 8 game slate with some very solid pitching options such as Johnny Cueto, Carlos Carrasco, Lance McCullers Jr. and Matt Shoemaker. One young arm that stands out and could provide options to build around, though, is Sean Manaea. Priced only at $14,800, Sean allows you to pay up for some top bats. Manaea was the top Pitching prospect in the Oakland A’s organization last year before getting called up at the end of April. His season was the tale of two halves as he had a rocky start to his career. Carrying a 5.24 ERA through his first 12 starts, he was able to turn it around in his final 12 starts and recorded a 2.67 ERA, finishing with a 3.86 ERA for the year. The promising prospect looks to improve and become the Ace for the A’s. He is squaring off vs. the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, an offense that can be neutralized. They ranked towards the middle of the pack in most offensive categories last season. Oakland is a -110 favorite and the run line is set at 7.5, not a lot of offense is expected. With that, lets take a look at the rest of the picks.

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Since I know that the only thing most of you like more than rankings and projections are contests, I’ve decided to host a points leagues related fantasy baseball contest this season. Did someone say contest? And for all of you non-points league players, don’t hang up the phone quite yet. The contest is so simple that even a caveman could play it. In all seriousness I urge you to consider participating.

*Just wanted to update everyone in that this contest for Week 1 will lock on Sunday at noon (12:00 EDT) since this week starts on Sunday. All other weeks it will be Monday as stated in the post above.*

Here are the rules…

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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