I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Eric Thames is in Arizona vs Randall Delgado. Yes please. Delgado historically has been a fly ball pitcher with a career 42.4% ground ball rate. You know what Thames does to fly ball pitchers? He takes them in and spits them out and slugs nearly 1 vs them. Randall Delgado throws with his right hand and you know what Eric Thames does to pitchers who throw with their right hand? He hits .422/.576 with a .303 ISO. Player X (I’m sure you can guess who it is, given that this article is about Eric Thames) has a .417 wOBA, hits 2nd vs a below average fly ball pitcher in a top hitters park. What would you expect this player to cost? For comparison’s sake – Joey Votto has a .410 wOBA and costs $4,300 and is in a pitchers park. So, maybe $4,300 for Player X? Nope. Not $4,300. Paul Goldschmidt has a .416 wOBA and in Arizona and costs $4,500 without the platoon advantage, so Player X must be priced comparably to that, right? Nope, incorrect. Player X inexplicably costs $3,000. Player X is Eric Thames (huge shocking surprise there, I know). Three thousand dollars for one of the better hitters in baseball in a hitters park vs a fly ball pitcher with the platoon advantage.

On to the picks once The Thames inspires you to win money…

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Something struck me the other day.  Luckily, not a bus.  No, it was a thought.  Bus-sized thought!  I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics.  It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do.  Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things.  Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer.  His hot takes on politics are fine.  Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball?  He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN.  Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN.  The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes.  Any hoo!  Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross.  He’s why we’re here.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks.  Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.)  His peripherals can go either way.  His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down.  Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%.  The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate.  Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Okay, full disclosure. This post was planned for last week, but after Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Quintana‘s sh!t shows of a performance I decided I’d rather chug beers and yell racial slurs at online images of those two bastards. I was actually planning to title this post Smoak and Mirrors, but in Saturday’s Hey Batter³ Contest post Larry Chip 10 picked Smoak ‘n Mirrors as one of his three batters. Once that happened I realized I was going to have to either shift gears or throw him a footnote. It didn’t help that Mike Maher titled his most recent Top-100 Hitters post Full Bour Or Smoak And Mirrors? So here we have a slightly modified title for today’s points league post.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, I’m happy to be back for another stupendous slate on FanDuel today!  Today is interesting with no real pitchers sticking out to me.  I first want to tackle the staple for all my lineups today: that’s going to be the one, the only Eric Thames at 1B for $3,000.  I know what your going to say… “but he’s going up against a LHP.”  I know he is, but I expect him to break out and what better time than against a bad pitcher.  I’m not the only one that likes him either, Hitter-Tron has him as the 6th highest hitter for today and the 10th best bat on the FanDuel DFSBot.  I think he’s too good of a hitter to struggle this bad; the guy is just due.  Play him, watch him go deep twice, and then get “randomly tested.”

Now on to the picks…

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Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

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It’s an extremely short schedule tonight with only seven games, five NL and only two AL contests.  Carlos Martinez, $24,300, is the top pitcher facing the Reds tonight in the Great American Home Run Park.  I’m staying away from this game mainly because of the weather, but I might slide in a hitter from this contest.   I’m not touching anyone in the PHI at ATL game.  This is strictly a weather related decision, as I do like Bartolo Colon at only $11,200.  Enough about who I’m not rostering, let’s talk about my two Monday night G’s.  Gio Gonzalez at $15,600 at the Dodgers looks like it could be a scary play, but the Dodgers are only hitting .247 vs LHP and are in the top seven in Ks.  Gio has been solid all year as he’s only let up 4 or more ER twice, against the O’s (6 ER) and the Braves (4 ER).  The Nationals offense has been mashing all season and with them behind him, he can easily cruise to a win while picking up 6-8 Ks along the way.  My other G for tonight is, Junior Guerra, $15,200 vs the Giants.  He’s been solid in his 2 starts since coming of the DL, 11.2 IP, 1 ER and 9 Ks.  I’d the to see more Ks, but he’s locating the ball where he wants to and he can throw gas.  Granted he’s at home in a hitters park, but it’s against the Giants and I like the matchup.  Now that we’ve got a ton of cash to spend on offense, let’s go shopping…[EDITOR’S NOTE]: right after I bring the best $5 deal you can find!  We have our weekly Razzball Listener’s League going down tomorrow.  Hop in, drop that fiver, and win some of our monies!  Now on with the show.

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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Sometimes, baseball can be that game we all fell in love with *covers mouth so you can’t hear number* years ago.  Whether it’s Paul O’Neil hitting a triple with an error to score a home run for a child in the hospital or that minor leaguer who crashed through a fence to make a catch or Bryce Harper tossing a foul ball to an actual clown to silence his questions or Reggie Jackson thinking about someone other than himself for a moment after Thurman Munson’s plane crashed or Lou Gehrig’s speech or Kirk Gibson’s fist pump or Saturday.  It would’ve been Yordano Ventura’s 26th birthday.  Obviously Edinson Volquez was very close to him when they were both on Royals.  According to Volquez, they shared everything, even constantly having to tell people, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.”  Edinson posted a pic of Ventura on his Instagram page Saturday morning, then went out and pitched the game of his life that afternoon, a no hitter — 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.79.  For one day, Edinson was able to say, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.  I’m better.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Like a goat at a dog park, Gary Sanchez stands well ahead of the competition at catcher on Thursday and is one of the top plays on FanDuel at any position. While Sanchez isn’t on the same torrid pace he was last year, he enters play with a solid 113 wRC+ and is batting second in the high-powered Yankees lineup. Sanchez is facing Marco Estrada at the Rogers Centre, a launching pad for hitters, and while Estrada has been good this year, he is still giving up his fair share of homers. Estrada has a 1.18 HR/9, so Sanchez has a good shot at taking him deep. At $3,400, he’s the most expensive catcher, but far cheaper than other elite plays, making him almost impossible to pass up. Best of all, Sanchez just had a day off on Wednesday, so it’s a lock that he’ll be in the lineup Thursday – you won’t have to scramble to check lineups and find a replacement.

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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The Astros exploded for 17 runs yesterday, and it was the second game in the last three where they scored at least 16 runs.  Twins pitching, “Hold my beer…”  Am I doing that right?  The hero of the Astros’ offense, and a man that is widely known as George Jefferson Springer led the way with 4-for-4, 4 runs and his 12th homer and 13th homers, hitting .265.  The only thing missing from George Springer‘s game is saving a baby that is stuck in a tree and/or figuring out a way to ensure future babies don’t get stuck in the same tree (and maybe some steals).  Serious question, why is Springer hitting leadoff and Jose Altuve (1-for-4, 2 runs, hitting .319) in the two-hole?  It’s not hurting the Astros, but it is hurting my fantasy teams’ RBI totals!  Evan Gattis (4-for-6, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer) needs to hit cleanup?  How about Alex Bregman (2-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer) hits cleanup, Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer) hits fifth, Gattis sixth and Yulieski Gurriel (1-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) hits eighth or lower?  Is that the most obvious thing I’ve ever said in my life?  Okay, after the time I said, “I’m not going up in any hot air balloon.”  All right, also not as obvious as the time I said, “I’m lost,” after driving around for two hours pretending I knew where I was going.  Fine, also after the time I said, “I can’t bench press 55 pounds.”  After those things, this is the most obvious thing I’ve ever said.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?