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…
What if I told you there was a pitcher on the Indians with a sub-3.00 ERA with a swinging strike rate above 12%. This mystery man has been a cog in the gears of Francona’s first-place ballclub after some wondered whether their devastating loss in game seven of the World Series could be overcome simply by adding Edwin Encarnacion. What if I told you I’m not talking aboutCorey Kluber?
*Plays triangle* come and get it, boys, it’s time for a Hodgepadre treat! In San Francisco! Which kinda makes it a San Francisco Treat! I’m sorry for shouting, I’ve had too much coffee! *Takes some purple drank and Xanax*…ah, much better. Now where was I? Oh yeah, Dinelson Lamet. Don’t let the 6.40 ERA fool you, Dinelson has some more intriguing stats you’ll want to get to know. Namely, a 12.40 K rate to go with a 3.80 BB rate as well as a 13.3% swinging strike rate. He’s been very unlucky with his strand rate (52.6% LOB) and because he’s a flyball pitcher, he does tend to give up some long balls with a 19.3% HR/FB rate. The great thing about that last stat, though? He’s at AT&T Park, one of the hardest parks to hit one out in right next to Petco. Throw in how the Giants offense is straight awful this year, Dinelson should eat and so should you. So lets feast on some other picks. Here’s my Chinese taekout taeks for this Sunday brunch slate…
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In his first game since being called up on Tuesday, Astros rookie Colin Moran had himself a 2017 debut going 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run and driving in two runs Friday night versus the Orioles. You can see how upset his teammates were with his performance here. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the Astros desperately need another young, extremely talented infielder, and Colin Moran could be that missing piece. Called up to to play while Carlos Correa misses the next month and a half with an injured thumb, Collin could see time at 3rd base, especially if he keeps having games like this one. Did you miss out on the Astros sweepstakes this year? Did you ignore the prophetic Sports Illustrated article that all but guaranteed a World Series victory for the Houston Astros in the year 2017? Are even the Yulieski Guerriel’s and Marwin Gonzalez’s owned already? Well my over-the-internet friends, this could be your last chance to get in on this action and add Moran. In 79 games (338 ABs) at AAA Fresno this season, Moran slashed .308/.373/.543 with 18 dingers and 63 RBI. With 18 homers and 15 doubles, he was having his best offensive season to date. Although part of that could be the hitter friendly PCL as the 55/31 K/BB rate isn’t really impressing. Still, the 24 year old left-handed rookie could see some serious playing time if he starts hot, and in a stacked line up like the Houston’s a player like Moran can really make some noise. He also has a really cool red beard. If you you missed out on Yoan Moncada and want a rookie with upside it’d be moronic not to take a chance and add Colin Moran in deeper mixed and AL-Only leagues. In shallower league its best to see how his playing time will shake out, but I’ll be watching him closer than the Game of Thrones premiere. Which judging by the ratings, you all watched. (Arya is BAE). So check out Moran, he’s Colin to you!
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!
For the second time in the last five weeks, George Springer has been the top batter for the week. Back in week 11, Springer led the way with 45 points. Well, in week 14 he was at it again, slugging his way to 46 points, just edging out Jose Altuve for the top spot. How about that, I managed to squeeze three commas into that sentence. I’m not sure it was proper grammar, but I can tell you that neither George Springer or I really care. Springer hit three home runs, drove in nine, scored twelve and stole his first two bases of the season en route to those 46 points. Only Nolan Arenado, Adam Duvall and Jose Ramirez have more extra base hits than King George. At 27, it seems Springer is hitting his stride and emerging as the powerhouse he promised to be back in 2013 when he fell three home runs short of a 40/40 season in the minor leagues.
For those that are wondering if Foul balls completed the three-peat, the answer is no. The winner was jesusc97 who selected Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor and Domingo Santana. Those three batters scored a total of 65 points, which was enough to win week 14. In second place was MattH (55) with Jose Abreu, Ryan Braun and Scott Schebler.
Aaron Judge baffles me. Is he a beefy version of early 2000s Richie Sexson, or he is something more legit? No offense to early 2000s Richie, of course. His (we’re back to Judge, now) numbers in the minors (albeit a relatively small sample size of) suggest more of the former, but his 2017 insists on the latter. Strikeouts aside, he seems to have combined a complete and nearly flawless approach at the plate with a compact swing and elite power. In March, we weren’t even sure if he was going to be the everyday right fielder for the Yankees. Now, he is a lock to win Rookie of the Year, the clear favorite to win MVP, and could very well win the Triple Crown.
He has 30 home runs to only 13 doubles (big boy has three triples, too), which means nothing except that when he connects he CONNECTS. Lifting power, my friends. The fly ball revolution is upon us, and only 50 years after Ted Williams told us all about it. And with Judge’s superhuman power, a willingness and ability to drive (and lift) the ball to the opposite field, a right field porch in Yankee Stadium that is a few feet behind first base (roughly), and juiced baseballs that are leaving parks like they’re golf balls, what is a popup behind second base for most batters is a home run to the upper deck in right field for Judge. That was a very long sentence. Let’s pause to catch our breath here.
Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here, enjoy some coffee. Oops, you just drank rat poison. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Matt Harvey in the 1st half. Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison! Now, I’m following! Hey, I’m supposed to be leading! Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2017 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2017 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce. Why soil a good thing, ya know? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Mike Trout did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, Mike Trout. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2017. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2017:
I need to come clean about something. It’s embarrassing, and I hope once I tell you you don’t judge me. This is a bit of a trust fall for me. Okay, the truth is, whenever a player breaks out, I start singing Breakout by Swing Out Sister. I put down the convertible top on my canary yellow Sebring, flipping down my sunglasses, adjusting my spandex shorts, because they ride up all the time, and Tommy Pham, fist pump, BREAKOUT!
In Triple-A, Pham had 10 homers and 20 steals in 2014, but, like some many young hitters with the Cardinals (really, only hitters; pitchers they have no problem promoting and playing), they’ll play someone like The Federalist and never give a prospect hitter an opportunity. Now that Pham’s about to turn 30 (in nine months), the Cards have finally given him playing time. There’s nothing here long-term, but he does have power, speed and, finally, the playing time, so, Swing Out Sister and BREAKOUT! And, y’all who think I don’t keep it real, Tupac would date Swing Out Sister, then send her a letter from prison, breaking it off, only to realize halfway through the letter, he shouldn’t break it off, he should BREAKOUT!
Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
So, this legit blew my mind. As you know, I’m busy getting my top 100 for the 2nd half ready for next week, and I was looking at our Player Rater. So, Domingo Santana? He’s top 50 on the season! No, not for outfielders. For all players! Seriously! For all hitters and pitchers. Digest that for a second. What are you swallowing? I was speaking metaphorically. What does this mean? Invest in players with home games in domestic swill parks. Rename PNC Park to Iron City Park and I want me some Jordy Mercer! Busch Stadium is the exception that proves the rule, whatever that means. This also means fantasy value is about filling out five categories. All your Miggys and Edwins are purdy, but you get a guy that hits 15 homers and steals bases, and you’re getting value. Yesterday, Domingo went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th steal, as he hits .288 with 14 homers on the year. That’s how you get fantasy value. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: