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?

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:

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?

I hope everyone’s Memorial Day was filled with hot dogs, hamburgers, Coorses (Coorii?), fireworks that were meant to be saved until July 4th but were blown off yesterday so close to your ear that you still have a ringing, and all the other red-white-blue American things one hears backstage at a Larry The Cable Guy concert.  My Memorial Day was filled with eating and burping and farting and wearing an American flag t-shirt, but that’s every Monday.  Eat a D, ISIS!  Someone whose Memorial Day was less than ideal is Mike Trout.  He was diagnosed with a ligament tear of his thumb, and will opt for surgery.  This will knock him to the DL for the first time in his career, and it will be a two month stay.  Just like that, he went from GOAT to goatse.  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…

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On Saturday, Stephen Strasburg went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 15 Ks, ERA at 2.94.  That’s right, fifteen strikeouts, a career high.  Ah… If only every starter got to face the Padres in every game…*wavy lines*  Hey, Danny Salazar is facing the Padres?  This is awesome!  Wait, why is he walking a guy with a .260 OBP?  Did he just give up a homer to Erick Aybar?  He’s having an epileptic fit trying to pronounce Szczur?!  He’s wiping a booger on my Reggie Jackson rookie card?!  How does he even have my Reggie rookie card?!  Mom, did you give Danny Salazar my Reggie rookie card?!  Oh my God, make it stop….Please… *wavy lines*  Worst dream sequence ever!  On this day of BBQs and Memorials, hot dogs and beer, baseball and refreshing our fantasy baseball team page, we can be thankful Strasburg is not a dream.  Though, the reality is Strasburg was a 2.62 ERA pitcher in the 1st half last year and a 6.15 ERA pitcher in the 2nd.  Happy Memorial Day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grey Albright drops a bomb to start the podcast. A Twitter bomb to be exact. Head over to Razzball’s Twitter page to see if you notice a difference. I then use that as an opportunity to pepper Grey with questions about what he is really up to out in Hollywood. We eventually shift focus back to fantasy baseball, and talk about the ramifications of Freddie Freeman’s injury, along with the impending return of Steven Matz and David Price. The meat of the podcast is all about general trade strategies and specific trade targets. We discuss strategies based on where you are in the standings, such as “buying high” on recent breakouts rather than trading your best player for four mediocre ones. We also dig into the merits of specific targets, including Danny Salazar, Justin Verlander, Rich Hill, Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios, and many more. Finally, I congratulate the winner of last week’s Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest, MuneForNothing (who I believe is VictoriaB), and look forward to JOINING THIS WEEK’S CONTEST. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

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Let me know if you can tell what song I’m listening to while I write this.  Scott Schebler hit his 13th home run; it was the third straight game with a homer.  Whoa, make me sweaty (Bam-ba-Lam)!  I’ve mentioned before (numerous times) that Schebler was always loved by Razzball/Steamer projections, but why?  He’s so rock steady (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Whoa, Dave Righetti (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Schebler took a while to catch on, but he’s still only 26, and, as a 23-year-old in the minors, he hit 28 HRs and stole 10 bases while hitting .280 in Double-A, and continued that in Triple-A, always hitting for power and getting some steals.  He’s not from Birmingham (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Way down in Alabam’ (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Well, he’s shakin’ that thing (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Boy, he makes me sing (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Whoa, drop confetti (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Across the board now, ROS projections are singing Schebler’s praises and I’m done fighting him.  If you combine his ROS projections and what he’s done so far, they have him down for a 30 HR, 10 SBs, .255 guy.  Whoa, pot of neti, (Bam-ba-Lam)!  At this point, there’s no reason to not own Schebler until further notice.  Whoa, sometimes I dress my dog up like a yeti, (Bam-ba-Lam)!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Justin Smoak isn’t simply the hottest hitter in all of baseball.  No!  There’s more!  He’s hitting near-.400 in the last week with four homers.  But wait, there’s more!  Justin Smoak is the world’s first liquid smoke for a fantasy team.  Put Justin Smoak on your fantasy team and it instantly adds an unmistakable Smoak flavor.  Sick of bland boeuf Welington, try Justin Smoak!  Once you taste Justin Smoak, you’re gonna be like, “Now I know why those crazy Canadians measure everything in meat’ers!”  This Eve is not covering her naughty bits with a fig leaf, she’s wearing Smoak’d beef!  Justin Smoak adds such flavor to a fatty piece of old beef it now becomes lean and fresh, leaving our Spanish customers saying, “Si, newy!”  I don’t want to Bragg about our Liquid Aminos, but Justin Smoak can be added to real-live cows and they take on the unmistakeable smell of an ashtray!  All of this for the low, low price of a waiver wire pickup!  Justin Smoak is too good not to try!  (Awaiting FDA approval.)  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Atlanta rapper Young Thug were to re-release his song “Texas Love” this year, he’d probably change up the hook, instead rapping “If Texas love was a drug, you’d belong to me, Nick Pivetta.” Texas love is, indeed, a drug on Thursday’s FanDuel slate, as the Rangers take on Phillies starter Nick Pivetta at home in their wonderful hitter’s park. Pivetta’s got a 6.14 ERA in his three major league starts and has already allowed five homers in his 14 2/3 innings. To give you an idea about how much Stream-o-Nator loves the Rangers today, Rougned Odor ($2,900) is the second-best hitter on the entire slate for Thursday. And that’s not even considering his price, that’s his straight up raw output that SON expects. Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, and Shin-Soo Choo are all top plays coming in at a low price. You can legitimately just stuff as many Rangers as you can into your lineup, as SON expects production out of anybody who might start (except for Pete Kozma. Sorry Pete, the robot doesn’t account for grit.) Elvis Andrus, Delino Deshields…even Jared Hoying? You name him, because if Jeff Banister pencils him in on Thursday, he’s worth a shot in your lineup. After you get your fair share of Texas love, here are some more picks worth checking out…

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?