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There’s times where you just need to trust your gut. About 14 months ago I added a UCLA righthander with impressive stats in one “open universe” league I’m in. His name was Griffin Canning, and while there were some mechanical knocks, injury history, and a lack of premium stuff. I saw something in early March of 2017.  He mowed down the Michigan lineup going 8 strong, allowing 6 baserunners on 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 12. He showed a curveball with depth, a fastball in the low 90’s that he commanded well, a slider, and an off-speed pitch. Despite a very good 2017 season in the PAC-12, Canning dropped down boards due to his size, injury history, and the aforementioned mechanical issues. He dropped all the way to the Angels in the second round, and in what is becoming an increasingly reality based narrative, Billy Eppler stole another one. Coming off consecutive seasons at UCLA where he exceeded 100 innings, the Angels were prudent to delay his professional debut until 2018. The righty was assigned to High-A Upland out of camp, and such begins Canning’s second act. His first two professional starts produced 8.1 scoreless frames, with 14 punchouts, and 7 baserunners. He saw promotion immediately to AA Mobile and while his next few starts were struggles, Canning clicked in his next six allowing a single earned run over 32.1 frames. A few starts later Canning was promoted to AAA Salt Lake where he made his debut this Thursday, going four, allowing five baserunners on 2 hits, and 3 walks. Over his time in the Southern League he made 10 starts, going 1-0 with a 1.97 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, and 3.7 Bb/9.

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I like my Two Start Pitcher schedules the same way I like my coffee: robust, and diarrhea inducing. We have a strong slate this week of double dippers, complete with a vast array of crap in Tier 5 and a pleasantly surprising amount of goodness in Tiers 3-4. Tier 1 holds a trio of no-brainers, but Tier 2 is ripe with the scent of potential over-performance! Price, Gonzalez, Hamels, and Stripling all raise their stocks with non-intimidating opponents. Tyler Skaggs is worthy of discussion in Tier 3 as someone who could have been pushed to Tier 2, but despite Boston’s weakness against southpaws, I’m not stoked about that matchup. There are some really interesting names in Tier 4, not the least of which is Reynaldo Lopez. Despite his decent matchups and surface stats, he’s got a lot of red flags under the hood and that keeps him from Tier 3. Have a look at Tier 5 if you want to know who not to start. Let’s have a look at some more two-start options of interest this week.

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“There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.”

Understand that not every team in your league has a desire to trade. Many very successful fantasy owners prefer not to make trades and build their roster via the draft and waivers/FAAB/FA only.  There is nothing wrong with this approach and many players I respect adhere closer to this model.  Some of these people really won’t trade while others simply do not have or want to spend the time talking trades through.

If you are sending an offer to these owners in your leagues, I’d recommend that you use your best and final offer as you may not get a second chance to communicate with the team. Understand that without any form of trade communication, you will likely have to make it well worth it for them click accept.

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

We all want to play the game and see how much we can get out of a trade, but you have to realize that sometimes the easiest way is to start at a point much closer to your best and final rather than trying to work up to it.

At any point, if you get the offer you want, TAKE IT. Take some advice from the salespeople of the world and A.B.C., always be closing. On the other side, a bad trade offer can end your trade talks before they even begin, as well as, damage your ability to make trades in the future.

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Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.

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

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It would appear that the MLB Saturday schedule is being made by an 85 year old that must be in bed by 7pm ET.  What other excuse could there be for putting a whopping FOUR games in prime time on Saturday night? Instead, we have ten games on in the afternoon when everyone is out and about on a Saturday afternoon.  Makes sense. With the majority of games on the early slate (FantasyDraft is going with a 4 o’clock start and 7 game slate), I’ll focus mainly on that today. The early slate is where all the fun is and Sonny Gray ($13,700) should have some fun with the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays are bottom third in the league in team OPS (.705) and in the upper half of the league in team strikeouts.  The Yankees are also one of the biggest favorites on the day sitting at -164. Gray has been a little rough this season, but seems to have settled down in June with a 2.63 ERA and 22 Ks in 24 IP.  Most importantly, he’s only walked 5 in those 24 IP. Enjoy some Sonny delight this afternoon while out and about and probably not watching any of these 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 you do.  It’s how we know you care!

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Broshitz hit the road this week, two brothers in arms hundreds of miles away fighting the same fight. To get the freshest looks, and best information possible on all of the top prospects they can. This led Lance to the Midwest League All-Star Game in Lansing, Michigan where he got on field access, chatted with Alex Kirilloff’s dad, rubbed elbows with Royce Lewis and Austin Beck. But most importantly got a good looks at all the Midwest League has to offer. I on the other hand packed my two sons, 7 & 3, into the family sedan and headed down to Wareham, Massachusetts to get looks at some of the top 2019 & 2020 draft talent in Greg Jones, Bryson Stott, Kyle Hurt, Andrew Vaughn, and Spencer Torkelson among others. The two of us go back and forth with our thoughts on all the top talent, before moving along to our weekly 5 by 5 where we highlight players like Luis Robert, Julio Pablo Martinez, Nolan Gorman, MacKenzie Gore, Shane Baz, and Brock Deatherage. As always, big shouts to our sponsor Rotowear! You can order the Rotowear Classic shirts I spoke about on the show by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

 

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Here’s what I’ve said previously about Aaron Hicks, “Open Up and Buy AH, because owning Aaron Hicks is Nothin’ But A Good Time!  Also, a good time is searching any girl’s name from Rock of Love with your parental controls turned off.  Okay, I have a few Bee Tee Dubs here.  Unless you have a child, you don’t set parental controls on your TV.  You can filter what you see without magically stumbling on porn.  The internet though?  You need parental controls on it, no matter if you’re home, at work, 12 years old, 64 years old, at school or on the john.  You can Google something as innocuous as “Persian cucumber” with no parental controls and all hell breaks loose in your search results.  “Oh em gee, I just wanted a recipe for a cucumber salad!  And, wow, I didn’t know Omar Sharif had so many nude scenes.”   Bee tee dubya II, we’re due for a terrible 80’s hair band renaissance.  Someone needs to do a cover of a Poison song.  Bee tee dubya III, there is no bee tee dubya III.  Bee tee dubya IV, I have this nugget in my brain that says, even though I was only 14 years old, I knew how awful Poison was at the time.  Like, when they did Your Mama Don’t Dance, a big part of me knew they were absolutely terrible, even then.  Any hoo!  Hey, any hoo’s initials are Aaron Hicks.  Coinkydink?  Thinks not.  He’s on a 162-game pace of 25 HRs, 15 SBs and a .260 average.  Of course, that doesn’t matter.  We just want a hot player at this point, and, on our 7-day Player Rater, he’s near top 25, and should be owned everywhere.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, the royal we (which is me wearing a Burger King crown) have been here before, but every year it’s the same story with Hicks, until he gets hurt.  Hey, he’s more predictable than that hair band renaissance apparently!  For now, Hicks is healthy, and should be owned.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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The news that Hunter Strickland has fallen down and needs a time out for punching a door has sent a reliever ripple effect down the closer ranks.  Since this is the Holds week and this is the most pertinent info going, I figured we would roll with anyways.  So roll with the suspenseful animation of holds love and glory for a little bit, and while you are at it, temper your expectations of reliever-dom as we dive into the Giants reliever sitch.  So Strickland got all mad, punched a door, broke his hand.  The Giants are not short of ex-closers that have had time in the limelight.  Sam Dyson gets the first look as expected, because Mark Melancon is not ready for prime time… yet. Dyson got the first save chance, nice!  Smooth sailing.  Then on Thursday?  Yaks up 2 runs and gets yanked for a guy I just brought to light in Reyes Moronta.  The story isn’t that intriguing as I wish there was some Usual Suspects twist where Mark Melancon was Bruce Bochy all along and he just uses the nickname ‘Verbal’  from his me-ma.  Dyson seems to be the guy, until the trust level is at a reasonable level of fortitude for the previous 52 million dollar man in Melancon.  The Giants aren’t going anywhere fast, so involving assets of tradeability like MM and Dyson are a boon to not only your fantasy team, but real life baseball.  So the Giants may start to implore an Oprah approach to saves.  You get a save, and you get a save, and you get a save!  The save chase is great and fun until you are on the losing end of it.  So enjoy the stat heist that you may have with Dyson, soon to be Melancon, and eventually everyone.  More saves and holds goodies after the bump.  Cheers!

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This is definitely the guy that will be the hardest to “Buy Low.” In what is a down year for Bryce Harper , he still has 19 HR, a .257 ISO, and 116 wRC+. It is the batting average that has been frustrating owners, as he is now hitting a career worst .209 through 314 plate appearances. However, there are many positive indicators that his average will bounce back up to normal levels. For one, he is sporting an absurdly low .204 BABIP! Harper has a career .314 BABIP so we should expect to see some positive regression for both his BABIP and batting average. Additionally, his hard hit rate (41.2%) is way up compared to his 34.9% career mark, while his soft hit rate is down ~3%. His .345 wOBA is still great but he is underperforming in that department according to his .398 xwOBA (expected wOBA), a very significant difference of .053. The Nationals lineup is finally at full strength, and represents one of the most dangerous offenses in the MLB. This added protection should give Harper more pitches to hit. He may still hold an extremely high asking price, but if the Harper owner in your league is struggling and needs to move him for a couple pieces to compete for a playoff spot, this is the lowest his value has been.

Steamer ROS:.278/.402/.542, 19 HR, 55 R, 52 RBI, 6 SB

#6 ROS on Razzball Player Rater

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Happy Friday Razzballers and welcome to FanDuel Friday.  It’s looking like we could have some potential rain issues on this full slate, but we’ll do our best to monitor and adjust closer to lineup lock.  If the rain holds off in Hotlanta tonight I’m all over Sean Newcomb ($8,900) as my top pitching play.  First of all, the O’s are in an NL park, which means Alex Cobb will have a bat in his hands.  Secondly, the O’s have been dreadful. They have the third worst team OPS and are 11th in team strikeouts.  As long as Newcomb can be efficient with his pitches, he should have no trouble mowing down O’s. The 9+ k-rate is juicy and the 3.23 FIP shows that the 2.70 ERA isn’t that fluky.  Oh, and just for good measure, Alex Cobb and his 7.14 ERA are in town, so the Braves bats should have a field day. Now, let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates with our money-making plans.

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!

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