Hello all my loyal followers!  I hope everyone is well on this amazing Wednesday.  I’ll tell you right now I’m in love with today’s slate.  There are two pitchers I love today, but I’ll go into that a little later.  The team I love today is the Texas Rangers.  As a team, they’re really starting to heat up, having scored five or more runs in five of their last six games.  Texas also faces off with a pretty bad pitcher in Elfin from the Phillies.  Finally, this game will take place in Globe Life Park which becomes a launching pad once we get into summer.  We’re lucky enough to get a nice hot, humid day today and I expect the ball to fly in this park.  My lineups will start with Rougned Odor at $2,800; he’s playing a lot better and I expect it to continue.  He’s slowly starting to hit and he’s also beginning to steal some bags.  He should continue that today.  Others I like today are Elvis Andrus at $3,000,  Joey Gallo at $3,200, and Delino DeShields at $2,800.  All three of these guys bring something a little different to the table.  Andrus has five hits in his last two games and has really turned into a solid run producer for a team that really needs it.  Gallo is just a beast who can hit a homerun any at bat, and Deshields will probably hit lead off with huge steal upside.  He also has a very sneaky batters eye with solid pop.

Now on to the picks…

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Greetings and salutations!  The Collector here once again welcoming you to a amazing Wednesday slate over on FanDuel.  We have quite a few pitchers to use today, but I’m going to focus on my boy Yu Darvish at $11,200.  He’s one of my favorite pitchers in the game right now, as I love his stuff and wish/hope he’d stay healthy.  Darvish’s K/9 is down a bit this year, but I expect it to start rise back to his career norm and this is the start it begins to do so.  Today he gets the really good San Diego Padres… San Diego let AJ Griffin get a complete game shut out yesterday, that’s how good they are. This seems very easy to me and even though it’ll be popular, I think you need to go with Darvish today.

Now on to the picks…

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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As we continue our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters.  For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up late at night, remembering there’s a Dorito under the couch and go reaching for it.  That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  The main character has just been Frito-Laid off and is described as Pringley and Ruffled.  Last year, this post had Adam Duvall, Jackie Bradley Junz, Jay Brucespringsteen and a bunch of vomit.  So, there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Drury (62.0% owned; +41.5% over the past week) is this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues. If you thought that the DBacks traded all of their promising prospects to the Braves in the Shelby Miller trade earlier this offseason, well, it’s understandable. Dave Stewart might have given up his firstborn child and Curt Schilling’s World Series ring in that deal, but Drury survived the exodus to make the big league roster and platoon with incumbent Jake Lamb at third base for the snakes this season. At least, that was the initial plan. Drury impressed so much in the early going that he quickly forced himself into the everyday lineup and has done everything in his power to stay there. Since April 17th (19 games), Drury has produced 13 runs, 6 homers, 11 RBI, and a .329/.354/.671 triple slash line in 82 plate appearances. Not too shabby. To keep his hot bat in the lineup as well as get Lamb some playing time against right-handed pitching, the DBacks have moved Drury all over the diamond (2B/3B/LF/RF) this season, which should make for some nice positional versatility (though he might not get enough starts at 2B to qualify there). Those are the positives. The negatives (for fantasy purposes) are that he doesn’t have much speed (0 SBs in his last 111 games between AAA and MLB), has limited on-base skills (3 walks in 109 PA this season; 2 walks in 59 MLB PA last season), and is more of a LD/GB hitter than a fly ball one (27.3% FB% in MLB). Drury’s ability to make solid contact should keep his average respectable (.270ish range), but he’s better served as a flexible bench piece in the Brock Holt mold rather than counted on as a fantasy cornerstone.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Last week, we looked at Lucas Duda and determined that he might be a player who is being slightly undervalued by the fantasy baseball community entering the 2016 season. This week, I’d like to put Neil Walker under the microscope. You might be thinking, “Neil Walker? He’s as boring as a Ben Stein lecture. Are you a Mets fanboy or something?” That’s a fair question. Maybe that World Series run caused me to hop on the bandwagon. Or maybe all of the hip hop talk in the comments this offseason has me reminiscing about Rakim talking about his queens from Queens. I’m not really sure.

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The Rangers have one of the deepest systems in the majors and it’s packed with upside for fantasy. Even after trading away three good prospects in the Cole Hamels deal, it’s still a beast. The appeal for our game is the type of player – toolsy, power bats, power arms…all good stuff. One of the pleasant surprises on the MLB roster was Delino Deshields, who the Rangers selected as a rule 5 pick from the Astros organization. If you’re like me, you threw Deshields on your farm for some depth and by the end of the season it was all like ‘whoa this is a solid player right here’ and then Grey’s writing a sleeper post on him and next thing you know he’s got an ADP in the teens. Grey is influential like that. Coincidentally, the Rangers also lost Odubel Herrera in the rule 5 draft to Philly, and that young man had a hell of a season too. Just goes to show that this whole prospect game isn’t always easy to peg, and you have to stay on your toes and roll with it. Back over to the Texas farm now, which features three top 50 fantasy prospects.

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Greetings to the end of August which is a firm reminder we’re just one month away from the fun ending. Or for some of you, the question might be…did it ever really begin? Well no worries because if that’s the case, you’re not reading. Hrm, borderline philosophical question: if you lead with making fun of people who don’t read what you have written, have you really insulted them? DEEP. Speaking of deep, here’s the dig down on those Cinci Reds. Though they haven’t been the greatest team or offense in the second half overall, they’ve really tanked in August as they hold the third worst wRC+ at 79 while maintaining a healthy 21.8% K rate. And with that, in enters Kyle Hendricks. Kyle is a bit of a home schooler as his ERA goes down a full run when in Chi-town and his K/9 jumps from 7.18 to 8.67. Given the matchup and the K potential, I’m a tad surprised to find Hendricks so reasonably priced at $6,700. I’m probably not leaning towards him in cash games but if you’re a GPP addict like myself, you know exactly what to do with this call. Snort it up your nose, of course! Oops, wrong addiction. But enough about nose candy, let’s go. Here’s my red hot takes for this Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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Left-handed hitters are always going to be popular given their tendency to hold the larger “half” of a platoon’s playing time situation, but as we enter the final five weeks of the season — or in DFS — production of any type is worth employing. While most of these names aren’t flashy, all of these players have something to offer in terms of counting or rate stats for hitting southpaws. The ownership rates (not the availability) are listed after each player for the three major fantasy sites. To add an arbitrary filter to things, we’re looking at 50 plate appearance minimums, with numbers excluding Monday’s games.

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SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd.  Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good.  Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad.  If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of options available.  Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition.  What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer?  How about WHIPs greater than 1.40.  These players need to come with a warning label.  “Implosion likely to occur.”  I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three.  Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively.  Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer.  Unless you’re Brad Ziegler.  Then it’s okay.  (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one).  Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.

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