I’m at my computer checking baseball news about six months a year.  Give or take about five hours here and there.  On Saturday, it was one of those times I was away from my computer, due to a family wedding in Cape May.  Closer change, prospect call-up.  Happens when you’re away from the computer, that’s it.  Call it a wrap.  With Prospector Ralph in the league, there’s no chance for me.  Around 6 PM, I got the dreaded text.  “Lewis Brinson was called up.”  Too bad I didn’t see it until about 7 PM.  Had a lavender-flavored champagne in one hand, a lobster claw in the other hand, my mom was like, “You have butter dripping down your chin,” my grandfather was complaining Bruno Mars doesn’t have good choruses in his songs, and there was the text, sitting there on a locked iPhone screen.  Done.  Sigh.  Well, if you got him, or can still get Brinson, you should.  Jonathan Villar hit the DL, and, brucely, he wasn’t playing well and Keon Broxton (1-for-4 and his 7th homer yesterday) moves to a platoon role.  Unless Brinson totally flames out, he’s up, and playing for good in center.  In Triple-A, he had six homers and seven steals in 45 games, which is what I’d expect from him in the majors.  Your basic 25/25/.280 guy.  Yesterday, he hit leadoff went 0-for-2 with two walks and stole his first base. Yes, he should be owned everywhere, and could be the Trea Turner-type call-up of the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cameron Maybin returned from the disabled list last night after a minimum stay and got right back to business. Leading off, Maybin went 3-for-4 scoring four runs, and stole four bases to bring his total to seventeen for the year. That’s right, folks. FOUR STEALS! Sweet sassy molassy! Killer Cam already has more steals than he did all of last year in Detroit (15), and he became the first player since 2013 to steal four bases in a game, and just the 12th player in EVER to steal four bases and score four runs. Have a day! Setting records! Making history! Years ago I wrote a lede pleading with my readers to pick up Cameron Maybin in April and he ended up having one of his most productive seasons ever. So here’s hoping lightning can strike twice, and by lightning I am of course referring to Maybin’s speed. He stole 10 bases in May in 89 at bats hitting .270 with two home runs. Basically, if you got a need for speed, you’re not going to do much better than Maybin, who is available in a little over 80% of ESPN leagues at the moment. With the Angels outfield decimated by injuries, Cam should have ample opportunity to play, and leading off can only help his stolen base numbers. He’s capable of putting up big speed numbers for your team (he stole 40 for San Diego in 2011) if he can stay healthy, which of course with Maybin is a huge Aaron Judge-sized “if.” Still, Cameron is worth riding while he’s leading off, and hitting, and stealing and healthy and I’d add him everywhere I had a need for speed. Let’s hope Maybin this time will be different.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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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Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ty Blach threw his first career complete game shutout Friday night surrendering seven hits and striking out four enroute to his fourth win of the year. If he were Jewish you could say yesterday was his Blach Sabbath. *crickets* It was Ty’s fifth straight quality start and his fourth straight win. He even walked three times and scored two runs to help his own cause. He’s been an excellent replacement for Madison Bumgarner so far and the best part is he’s terrified of motocross. Sure it was the Phillies last night and anyone can shut out the Phillies, but he’s gone at least seven innings in his past five starts including some tougher lineups such as the Cubs, Dodgers and Reds. Over the past two weeks, Blach has a 1.90 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 23.2 innings pitched. The strikeout numbers won’t impress but those ratios certainly put him in the streaming conversation. By the way, if you’re looking for good convo topics at your next dinner party, fantasy pitcher streaming is always a solid choice. Blach’s .250 BABIP and 4.64 xFIP could suggest some regression is coming but he’s certainly worth an add while he’s on a roll. Ty has a tough test in Milwaukee next week but he’s available in about 75% of leagues and worth a look if you’re in need of a solid streaming option before he fades to Blach.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bronson Arroyo, in his last full season, was a pitch-to-contact innings eater who didn’t walk a lot of guys and had a below average GB rate. Although he wasn’t good by any stretch, the combination of not walking guys, combined with below average K-rates and GB-rates meant that he could still have a role as a back-end starter and innings eater. Except that was 2013 and pre Tommy John surgery. While it’s a great story that he’s back in the bigs now, he now doesn’t do anything well. His walk rate and his GB rate have taken a huge hit, so now you’ve got a guy who walks batters, doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, and has a truly atrocious GB rate (31.6%). Pitch to contact guys who don’t get ground balls and still manage to walk guys don’t belong in the major leagues. But we’re not the GM of the Cincinnati Reds, we’re DFS players, so as long as the Reds keep trotting him out, I’m going to keep recommending the guys facing him that day. I’m fairly certain anyone reading this is smart enough to know that Matt Kemp ($3,800) is nearly the same hitter he was when he put up 8.3 fWAR in 2011. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true, Matt Kemp has a 160 wRC+ this year and had a 168 wRC+ in 2011 (his wOBA is actually higher this year, .416 to .413). He cut his walk rate from 8.9% to 5.5%, he’s dropped his K rate from 23.1% to 21% (while the league has increased its K rate). But, you might say, he’s got a .398 BABIP this year, that has to be the main driver from the Matt Kemp we knew and loved from his Dodger days and I’d say, you’d be wrong. Shockingly, his BABIP in 2011 was .380. He’s swinging at more pitches in the zone and less out of the zone this year (that’s a good thing) and making more contact on those pitches in the zone. When Kemp was with the Padres, he employed the Padres approach of swing at everything that is remotely close to the plate, and if it’s not, still swing at it. It’s a unique style of hitting that only works for a very select few, and like most of the Padres, he wasn’t good at it. Now, he’s back to the approach he had as a Dodger. He likely won’t continue to put up a .345/.381/.608 line with a .398 BABIP, but he’s a hitter with a solid approach that, while not leading to a lot of walks, is still leading to good counts and then he’s punishing the ball like he did in the year Ryan Braun won MVP. I would expect Kemp to actually start walking more as pitchers start to respect him again and throw more balls out of the zone, and if they don’t, they might just find that Matt Kemp may once again be one of the top hitters in baseball. Kemp is plenty good enough to take advantage of the Reds’ masochistic desire to give the ball to Bronson Arroyo every 5 days.

On to the picks once Matt Kemp takes advantage of the Reds masochistic desire…

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

The title is referring to 24.  I never saw 24.  Well, I’ve seen the number.  I never saw the show.  No interest really.  Not my sorta thing.  I do have a Kiefer Sutherland story though.  I think I recapped it in my book, Who Is Grey Albright?  Long story short, at my first job ever in Boston (and really only job ever where I collected a weekly paycheck), I was working in a film production office and someone called for the producer and I asked them who they were.  “Tell him, it’s Kiefer,” and I was like, “Kiefer?  Kiefer who?”  “It’s Kiefer Sutherland, you jackass!”  I wasn’t made for answering phones, apparently.  Y’all gotta admit; you hear the name Kiefer out of context and it’s a bizarre name.  Though, it wasn’t fully out of context, I suppose, since it was a film office.  Any hoo!  Whatever Trevor Bauer did prior to yesterday’s game, do it again!  Was it the pre-game chucking of a softball three-quarters of hectare?  Then do that!  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners with 14 Ks.  Well, hello, there.  Can you stay a while?  Maybe I can make you a Cuba Libre and some Brazilian cheesy bread?  His peripherals are gorge too — 11.5 K/9, 3 BB/9 and a 3.03 xFIP.  Of course, his opponent, Sonny Gray went 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER, and thus illuminates the problem.  Gray was solid too, a game ago, and now look at him.  I’d grab Bauer for some Ks, but the risk is enormous.  He doesn’t just happen to have a 6.00 ERA even after yesterday’s game.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?