Happy Father’s Day to all but five of our readers. I am not a father, but I have a dog I ignore most of the time, then play catch with after my wife tells me to, so, technically, I am a father too. For Father’s Day, I went to see the Tupac movie, and to misquote him, “Back for a check, all respect to those who broke their neck to keep this movie in check, cause oh they made some mistakes with this movie majorly, damn, why does Jada keep paging me?” I should’ve taken Cougs to see Wonder Woman, but I was afraid it would empower her. One last note on Pop’s Day, MLB has pink bats for Mother’s Day, so they should have penis-shaped bats for Father’s Day. Yesterday, Jimmy Nelson looked like he should be getting dogged by Jada Pinkett for keeping it too real — 9 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.39. His peripherals are right there to match — 9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.52 xFIP with the velocity to back it up, and, if you throw out April, his ERA would be near 2.50 with an xFIP to match. The major change — excuse me, not change — the curve is his major key. Hat tip to Lance and his Jimmy Nelson fantasy. The crux of that is you should own Nelson and stop cruxifying him, and the crux of this is I don’t know how to spell crucify. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Yesterday, Jose Berrios went 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, bringing his two-game ERA to 0.59. Hi ho the Berrios, snitches! Here’s what I said previously on Jose Berrios (because this is instructive, and not out of laziness), “In Triple-A, Berrios threw 75 2/3 IP and had a 2.62 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 and a 1.7 BB/9. That’s Sizzlean that you leave on top of your camel’s head as you gallop through the Sahara heat. You don’t usually see that kind of sample size — that’s what she said! — in Triple-A. You know why? Most major league teams promote guys who are as good as Berrios. Most teams also don’t tie a player’s paycheck to a string then drag said check right in front of the player’s feet, just out of their reach.” And that’s me quoting me! Here’s the kicker. That was from two years ago! I’ve loved this guy for a long time — that’s not what she said! His first two games I’d describe as ‘a little difficult’ to pretty easy. His next start at Baltimore will be the true test. If you’re in a competitive league, you need to own him now before he goes out and throws a gem in Balty-more (they call it that, right?). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, on the holiest of Hallmark-created holidays and celebrated most of all by Bill Hall, mothers from all different backgrounds came together to put up their feet, sip mimosas and talk about how “The Handmaid’s Tale” could totally happen now with Trump. I’d contend that Hallmark should get a little credit for women’s rights. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Secretary’s Day, “Buy a card just because you love her” Day… Before this, it was, “Do you wanna make this pelt I skinned into a rug or a sweater for little Kevin? What? You’re tired from churning butter? Okay, you can have the afternoon after you make beef and kidney pie.” In honor of Mother’s Day, one of the great lovers of women (who are handcuffed to his bedpost), Aroldis Chapman was diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation, and will be sidelined for a month. If Dellin Betances is available in your league, can I get into your league? If there’s an entry fee, all the better. You pay it, and we’ll split the cash prizes. I even grabbed Tyler Clippard in one league just in case Betances gets all Cuddle Boy on us. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?