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!

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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.

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When I was a kid, it was routine to go thrift shopping with my mother every Sunday morning (queue the Thrift Shop song by Macklemore). My mother has a niche for finding deals and bargains. I reflect back and look to use some of those skills to find the pitcher I’ll be pairing with Clayton Kershaw in my cash games. I look no further to Trevor Cahill. This will be Cahill’s second start since coming off the DL with shoulder issues. Prior to Cahill’s injury he was having a career year. I was a bit worried watching his rehab starts coming back from the shoulder injury but he handled the Indians in the 4 innings he pitched. With guys coming off injury there is always the risk of getting pulled early because their pitch count is limited. The Padres allowed him to go 85 pitches in his first start back. I’m not worried about the pitch count given he faces a deflated Phillies lineup who is amongst the worst versus right handed pitching this season. Cahill is the bargain of the day at $15,300. The Padres are the favorite on the road today and I will be pairing Cahill with Kershaw in all cash games.

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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R.A. Dickey held the Nats in check last night pitching seven innings of three-hit baseball, allowing one run, a walk and striking out seven. Hey, Atlanta, 2012 called, they want their Cy Young back. Might as well send them 2012 Matt Kemp as well. I think he was banging Rihanna at that time? Mmm. Wild wild wild thoughts. Unfortunately for Dickey, Jim Johnson failed to lock down his win allowing three runs on four hits and a walk for his seventh blown save of the year. Methinks Braves might be a team to watch if they could figure out their ugly bullpen. Arodys Vizcaino come back soon! Irregardless! Despite posting just two wins in the stretch, R.A. Dickey has been absolutely en fuego over his past four starts going at least six innings in each, while allowing just one run or less (27.0 IP, 17 hits, 3 ER, 23/6 K/BB ratio). Also with Dickey back to being fantasy relevant I have so many phallic jokes I have saved for you guys!  Let’s see now…oh no, I’m blanking! Nothing worse than a Dickey blog that fires blanks. Unless those blanks are shutouts! How about, Dickey got a rise in Washington? Wait. Pause. Am I actually suggesting you pick up a 42 year old knuckle baller who pitches for the Braves? Well, I’m just saying for a player available in over 80% of fantasy leagues, the 1.35 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over the past two weeks is worthy of your attention. Maybe he can recapture some of that 2012 magic. Okay I got it, last one–Dickey was standing at attention last night, but Johnson blew his happy ending. Boned! Cough. Ahem. I will see myself out.

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

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Thankfully, I no longer do 4th of July like I used to, because when you have a holiday weekend that lasts five days, you will get alcohol poisoning if you go too hard, and the 4th is especially dangerous because:  day drinking.  At least with New Year’s Eve, it’s at night.  The Fourth is lying on a discarded sofa on the side of a highway at 3 PM and being like, “The hum of 75 MPH cars is so peaceful, I go to sleep now,” and waking up with a flashlight you mistake for a fleshlight and now you’re a registered sex offender.  Hopefully, none of that happened to any of you, well, maybe the fleshlight part, and you all had a safe holiday.  Any hoo!  Yesterday, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 and his 15th and 16th homers as he hits .288.  He found the Fountain of Youth sometime in May and has been a Zombino eating brain custard ever since.  I’m still half expecting — cting? — McCutchen will resort to blah in the 2nd half, but it looks like I wrote off McCutchen before his sell-by date.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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First Mike Trout and now our beloved Trea Turner (and a bunch in between, but we’ll focus on baseball’s young heartthrobs for the time being). The baseball Gods are clearly punishing us all for the use of juiced baseballs this season. Major League Baseball has denied any kind of change in the balls despite some mounting evidence, but I bet it is something that gets looked at and adjusted in the offseason. Which leads me to wonder whether this will be something we will be talking about come March…

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Michael Taylor and Keon Broxton are pizza delivery men.  And–Yes, two of them delivering one pizza.  Okay, and you answer the door naked.”  Jim Bowden squints, considering it.  “Can I be riding a Segway?”  “Sure, sure.”  “And you’re saying it’s not erotic?”  “Not traditionally.”  That was a pitch for a Showtime After Dark movie called The Bowden Fluffers.  Before they’re through, they will also pitch it to Skinemax, Spike and NatGeo TV.  Sadly, no one will bite on the Fluffers, pardon the phrasing.  They will say they want to work with Michael Taylor and Keon Broxton again in the future, and rightfully so.  Brucely, I was shocked they were both under 50% owned in ESPN leagues.  I’d usually go on to say something snide here about ESPN leagues, but I get the feeling that we’re thisclose to every fantasy site closing its doors and opening its own video chatroom.  Who would’ve guessed twenty years in the future all journalism professors would be Max Headroom?  Any hoo!  I’m off-off topic.  Taylor has 11 HRs and nine SBs and hitting around .275, and Broxton has 13 HRs and 14 SBs and hitting around .250.  If these numbers don’t immediately grab you like an angry sock puppet that needs its coffee, then you don’t know fantasy value.  On our Player Rater, Broxton is the 24th best outfielder and Taylor the 46th best, i.e., they should be owned in 100% of leagues.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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The theme of the Top 100 hitters this week is triumphant returns. Carlos Gomez is back from his latest trip to the disabled list and is mashing. Ab-so-lute-ly mash-ing. Keon Broxton, left for dead just a few weeks ago, is the hottest power-speed combo hunk in all the land. Even Cameron Maybin has returned to our ranks, though his return has been more gradual over the last few weeks since we lost our beloved Mike Trout.

I have not been overly kind to the newcomers since taking over this series. Perhaps that is my way of initiating them and making sure they belong among us Top 100ers. This week, though, my heart is filled with warmth. Perhaps it is because I am looking ahead to a mini 4th of July vacation, or maybe I am just getting soft in my old age :::pause here and smirk as you slowly look around the room:::.

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Every year, there are surprises in fantasy baseball. Some players come out of nowhere and breakout or, in the case of Aaron Judge, absolutely dominate. Other players regress after a breakout season the year before. There are even the players who have long track records of mediocrity who, all of sudden, appear to have figured something out en route to becoming legitimate contributors both in fantasy and in, you know, real baseball. I like to call these players Justin Smoak-Logan Morrison-Yonder Alonso. The more popular terms among Razzballers for these players are Schmohawks and Hot Schmotatos.

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Happy Father’s Day to all Yu dads out there and all Yu dads that don’t know Yu are a dad. Today’s article is being brought to you by Yu Darvish ($23,400). Darvish is not the best pitcher on the board today however he comes in $2,600 cheaper than Robbie Ray. If you can afford to put Ray in your lineups today go ahead and do so. Alright, Darvish takes the mound against a struggling Mariners offense. My confidence in Darvish really stems from his outing earlier this week. He looked flawless against the Astros which is arguably the best offense if you take away the park factor. He’s going to need more than 4 k’s today if he’s going to meet his value. My only concern is that Yu is pitching at home where he sports at 3.30 ERA. DFSBot has Darvish as the 3rd best pitcher today and is projected 6.6 k’s. There have only been 2 out of 14 starts where he didn’t make it to 6 innings this season. Darvish is extremely conservative with his pitches which is why he’s successful on the mound. Get him in your lineups today and hopefully he logs 7+ k’s today.

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?