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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands. We’re Lambda Lambda Lambda and Omega Mu. We come here on stage tonight to do our show for you. We got a rockin’ rhythm and a hi-tech sound that’ll make you move your body down to the ground. We got Jake Lamb on the violin, and Mark and Aaron will be joining in. We got Mike Moustakas on the mean guitar and a rap by little ol’ me Nomar. We got Schebler beating on his gong, the boys and the Mu’s are clapping along. And just when you thought, ya seen it all, along comes a Lambda four foot tall. So Altuve come on out here on the floor, so we can move our bodies, like never before. Break!Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Sundays are fantastic. Around my house, they are typically the recovery day of the weekend. Sundays usually go unscheduled, there is sleeping in, sitting on the couch in sweatpants and sipping coffee; all the good things in life. In the fall and winter there’s football to be had and in the spring and summer there’s a day full of baseball. The full slate and early start times makes for my favorite DFS day of the week as well. Full slate days tend to favor the better DFS players and I much prefer them to a slate with 5 games and 10 similar lineups in every tournament. The early start times mean we have almost every single lineup at our disposal by the time lineups lock. That means we can make accurate lineup decisions, have our lineups in by 1 EST and enjoy the rest of the day watching games and watching our DFS winnings grow. So, let’s dive into the FantasyDraft waters and see if we can’t get some nice ROI on this Sunday Funday.
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 you do. It’s how we know you care!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Scooter Gennett had the game of his life yesterday. Well, isn’t he Vespecial? You say to me, “Unkie Grey, can I sit on your lap metaphorically and you tell me why Scooter hit so many homers?” Sure, Nephew, it’s simple. A story of my Scooter in two tweets:
Someone left me a note w/ stock tips, but didn’t specify what bike company pic.twitter.com/1ikcQpTgYY
— Razzball (@Razzball) June 6, 2017
I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN NOW PERSON WHO LEFT ME A NOTE ABOUT MY PARKING, I SHOULDN’T HAVE PARKED MY SCOOTER ON MY BENCH! pic.twitter.com/S42hZlEOQ0
— Razzball (@Razzball) June 7, 2017
I am the first person in the history of fantasy baseball to bench two hitters for games with at least three home runs in the same season. *opens oven, sticks head in oven, opens The Bell Jar to read* Ugh, could someone check on the pilot light? You might be asking yourself why I had Scooter on my bench, while you coyly bat your eyelashes. I’ll explain, you coquettish bastard! He was hitless the entire previous week! WHAT THE EFF?! Any hoo! Scooter had a big game, and will now be invited to all the same parties as Mark Whiten, but Scooter is not much more than a hot schmotato. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: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?
If only every starter could return from the DL like Corey Kluber did yesterday — 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.36. Though, if every pitcher returned from the DL like that, there would never be another run scored in the major leagues because every pitcher is returning from the DL in every game, and then Orel Hershiser’s scoreless inning streak would get surpassed, and that would cause Orel Hershiser’s self-esteem to be damaged, and then to fill that hole he’d run for president. I don’t want Orel Hershiser as our president, so I don’t want every starter to return as gracefully as Kluber. Any hoo! Corey Kluber has a pattern of abuse he drags his fantasy owners through. In April, he starts Cold as Ice and you wish he were a Foreigner, that Dirty White Boy, but he turns it on as the season progresses and you’re like, “Feels Like the First Time.” There’s some of you who read the previous sentence as a tribute to Foreigner, and some who thought of Vanilla Ice. Which one you thought of says more about you than any Buzzfeed quiz. 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?
Mookie Betts led all hitters in week 6 with 45 points. Unfortunately, if you placed your bets on Betts, then you earned yourself 0 zero points since he is an Unpickable. Next was Buster Posey with 37 points. Unfortunately no one picked Buster. After Posey was Carlos Correa who scored 36 points. Again no one picked Correa. As it turns out no one picked the top 22 highest scoring batters. The first batter that was actually selected in week 6’s contest was Mark Reynolds who scored 24 points. So the question remains, who deserves this week’s honors, Buster Posey or Mark Reynolds? How about Buster Reynolds?
It’s not Posey’s fault that no one picked him. Last week the San Francisco backstop hit four home runs en route to his 37 point performance. He now has 7 homers on the season is on pace for a career high 27. With 102 points on the season, Buster is once again leading the way at the catcher position. Surprise, surprise!
Week 6 brings us our first tie of the year. There was actually a three-way tie for first place. Who doesn’t love a good three-way! With 57 points, DonSlaughtOnslaught, Thor da Man and MattH didn’t exactly light up the high scorers list. But there can be only one winner. And that winner is the contestant that picked Ian Desmond (15 points), Mark Reynolds (24 points) and Cody Bellinger (18 points). That contestant is Thor da Man. For those unfamiliar with the rules, a tie goes to the runner. I mean a tie goes to the contestant that submits his/her entry first.
Here are the top 5 from Week 6:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Braves rookie phenom/shortstop/TV dinner mogul Dansby Swanson was 2-for-2 last night with his fourth home run and two RBI. Daaaaaaamn, B! YES! Keep doing this. If you held onto Swanson this long (especially in a redraft leagues) you deserve what is happening to you right now. What is happening is Dansby is hitting .360 with 4 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI in the past week! When your draft day sleeper is finally making you look smart, but most people have already forgot. Sure, he’s still hitting just .201, but these are the kind of things you ignore when you have blind faith and are looking to ride the rookie train to some fantasy fame. I attribute some of this to the cleansing therapy we’ve been taking together. It’s pretty simple, bad vibes–bad, good vibes–good. Harness the good energy, block out the bad. Pretty easy, right? Also, let’s just meditate in this sweat lodge for 12 hours and have a “vision” about how not to strike out as much. After hitting just .156 in April, Dansby is hitting .286 in May. He’s also doubled his OBP, SLG% and has drawn twice as many walks as he did last month. Dan’s be good like that! He’s available in little over half of fantasy leagues right now and if Swanson happens to be out there on waivers in your league, this might be your last chance to grab him before the hype returns. Trust me, this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?