Having a big bank account certainly helps the Dodgers, but it’s guys like Zach McKinstry and Luke Raley who make them a juggernaut. You might’ve familiarized yourself with McKinstry at this point, but one thing to mention here is that he’s outfield eligible in most leagues now, even Fantrax’s Util purgatory, making him a nice option in leagues of all sizes. Second base eligibility should come next. He’s got six games there already. 

Side note: my Perts league team is thick with second basemen (DJ, Whit, Villar, France), so it’ll be special for the group when McKinstry earns that badge. Whit just got his. Ty France is in the waiting room with eight games at 2B as of today. Big Perts party incoming for team Itch. Michael Brantley finally added OF this morning. Woohoo for positions!

Back to Luke Raley, who started on Thursday and again Friday when he went yard against the Padres, likely earning himself a few more chances on a team that likes to play the hot hand. Los Angeles clearly liked Raley, having taken him out of tiny Lake Erie College in the 7th round of the 2016 draft. He wound up with Minnesota for a couple seasons as part of the Brian Dozier trade, but Los Angeles got him back about a year later in the Kenta Maeda deal. On the field, Raley is a plus runner who’s stolen 21 bases and been caught five times across his minor league career. In 2019, he stole four bases in 33 games without getting caught. While he’s not going to carry anyone in the category, he’s a sneaky source for deep league speed, and one that comes equipped with plus power. He has never posted a below average offensive season according to wRC+, living mostly in the 125 range, or 25 percent better than the league average hitter. All this is to say: while his name probably rings hollow for the average fantasy player on first first reference, Raley has serious upside if he can minimize the strikeouts. If anyone can get the most out of his rotisserie skills, it’s the Dodgers. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The 2020 season was an adventure for several reasons.  However, there were still breakouts and breakdowns across the circuits.  It is always much more fun to talk about the young upstart that represented a draft day gamble that paid off, while it is much more likely that identifying the early season pickups will win the day (or league).  We are not talking about predicting that Christian Yelich will rebound from a rough 2020 as a bounce back.  Anybody can make those calls.  The real winners find diamonds in the rough that have been cast off and left for dead.

A few weeks into the season is a great time to find waiver wire gems to plug the holes in your draft strategy or react to the injury bug.  In today’s hitter profiles column we will look at some names delivering early season value after abysmal 2020 seasons. and make the call on whether we should buy or sell them for the long haul.

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I hope we got all that rain out of our system yesterday.  Trying to field a full lineup in season-long while constantly hitting refresh on the weather before DFS lineup lock is no fun.  I much prefer when we can just Ron Popeil those lineups and wait for the screen to turn green.  Our rainouts yesterday have caused a little havoc with tonight’s Main slate, leaving us with just five games, three aces and not a lot of options.  I’ll go over those aces in a bit and implore you to play them, but sometimes I like to get cute with a GPP lineup or two and Chris Flexen ($6,800) is just that, a cute option.  This is that dart throw you just hope hits and hope you’ve stacked the right bats when it does.  Flexen does have a couple things going for him, 11 strikeouts in 10 IP for one.  For two, he’s facing an Astros team that is short-staffed to say the least.  Thirdly, he’s at home.  It’s just enough to make me think some magic could happen here and it’s worth a couple darts.

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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Ryan Gosling wants you to believe in Jazz Chisholm. Did you know that I love Ryan Gosling? Not just because La La Land helped me rediscover my love of Los Angeles. Or because he’s a bird if Rachel McAdams is a bird. Not even because of his squeaky voice in Gangster Squad or his face tattoo in the Place Beyond the Pines. Nope. I love him because he saved Jazz. Baby Goose loves Jazz. And now he’s got that crazy, stupid love for Marlins rookie middle infielder Jazz Chisholm, who had himself a night Friday going 2-for-3 with his third dinger and helped spur the Fish (get hooked!) to victory. The 23-year-old is currently slashing .294/.405/.706 with three jacks, seven runs, and six RBI through his first 12 games. Did I mention he has three steals? Because this is a power-speed combo available in over 65% of fantasy leagues. Mmhm. Dude is smooth like…uh, smooth jazz, I guess. Anyway, as I did my 5-10 minutes of toilet research for this post I noticed many articles referenced some eye-popping stats on Chisholm’s baseball savant page. Most notably, his average exit velocity is way above the league norms (93.9), and his 34.8% barrel percentage is one of the highest in the league. Yes, but what does it all mean, nerd?? It means he’s absolutely demolishing baseballs. Molly-whopping. Mashing. And Fueling that insane .783 XSLG%. Now, obviously, the 12 strikeouts in 34 ABs is more than a bit concerning, but he’s also drawn seven walks and hasn’t been chasing pitches outside the zone on those Ks. If the Jazz Dinger can keep his strikeouts down and continue to be selective with the pitches he swings at there is a rare raw power-speed combo here that would make Emma Stone blush. He could be a 25-25 guy! Gosling says Jazz is “conflict and compromise, And It’s Just… It’s New Every Time. It’s Brand New Every Night!” Intoxicating enthusiasm from The Gos and he’s right. Grey told you to BUY and all that Jazz could be worth a speculative add wherever you need middle infield help. Time to Jazz up your fantasy team!

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

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I remove my Christian Door glasses, an offshoot of Christian Dior I was told, to study the side of the colonic box. Reading the instructions, “Take two of these pills, drink sixteen cups of coffee, place yourself on top of your toilet, flush every three minutes until you no longer hear the sound of Niagara Falls.” Hmm, interesting, I ponder thoughtfully, as I’m known to do. Then I say to the pharmacist, “What if instead of streaming out my butt, I’m streaming out of my outfield?” He points towards waivers, where there’s a Kelenic. Excellent, a holistic treatment! My hippie mother will be happy to hear it! Jarred Kelenic is up…Dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot…Now? Okay, was trying to stall, but he’s coming up any day now. You need to grab him in all leagues. I see he’s at 48% rostered, and he should be at a hun’dit. He could be a top 20 outfielder this year. We’re talking a guy who could be 24/17/.280 in five months. Otherwise known as what you want from Randy Arozarena. Side note: What’s funny is I wrote the preceding, then went to look at what I wrote back in November, and here’s November Grey, “What if I were to tell you Jarred Kelenic could be next year’s Randy Arozarena? I’m kidding, it’s just funny to overhype some guy by comparing him to a guy with, like, twelve games played. But, seriously, would Randy Arozarena 2021 interest you? Still joking. Kelenic has bigger power than Randy. Blasphemy! But it’s true.” And that’s me quoting me! Get this Kelenic in your system and stop streaming. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Look, I know when you realize that this is now my second Padres post in a row, the typical reaction should be a rolling of the eyes and a sigh. I would also accept “typical” muttered underneath your breath. After all, it’s all I heard during my childhood! But no matter how much pity you feel for me and my plight, I would like to note for the record that before these past two posts, the last time I had spoken (wrote?) about a Padres player was (checks brain…) Tommy Pham… and how awesome he was going to be. Well, if you just muttered “typical” again, right you are mom reader. So as Tommy Pham’s playing time both on the Padres and your roster enters into a flux state, let’s close the loop and analyze why exactly everything I had said about has not come true but how it still could. Maybe.

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Another week in the books. So what have we learned? We’re starting to get more clarity on playing time situations and the cream is rising to the top. The Mets can’t figure out how to stay on the field, having only logged 8 games. Unfortunately, there will continue to be Covid issues going forward which could affect any team so it’s more important than ever check your lineups daily. That leaves weekly formats out in the cold so check Monday mornings and then just hope for the best. Hopefully the situation gets better going forward but there’s really no way to be sure. 

As we see guys begin to separate themselves remember that we still have many many more weeks to go. Be ready to ride a hot streak on waivers but don’t over react to your guys starting slow. Slumps happen and we’re only a couple weeks in. 

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Usually you want to avoid starting pitchers in Coors Field, but Jacob deGrom is an exception. He’s got 21 strikeouts in 14 innings and has the highest upside of any starter on the slate no matter what planet he’s pitching on. deGrom is so dominant it’s like he’s playing a video game. If deGrom’s rostership goes down because of the ballpark he becomes an even better play, as this is one of the ugliest iterations of a Rockies lineup we have seen in years. The cold weather will also favor deGrom, so as long as there are no snow delays he can be locked in as your starting pitcher.

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?