While sweet sixteens are traditionally celebrated by girls, it’s 2019 and so many lines have been blurred that we are living in a very “anything goes” society. Setting a new personal high, Walker Buehler struck out 16 Colorado Rockies while throwing a three-hit complete game gem. What I like most: Well I guess what I like most is the sixteen punch outs, but what I really like is the zero walks. Sixteen strikeouts and no walks is so sexy. How sexy? 2007 Grady Sizemore sexy. Walker did give up two solo home runs, but those were to two of the best hitters in baseball. Charlie Blackmon has been unbelievable lately and Nolan Arenado is Nolan Arenado. He did strike both of them out (Arenado twice) over the course of the game, but when you strikeout 16, that’s bound to happen. To put Buehler’s performance in terms my usual nine readers might better understand, he scored just under 50 fantasy points depending on if you league gives points for complete games. That’s the kind of points jolt that feels like a gut punch to your opponent when he checks his/her matchup and sees he’s playing Buehler.

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In his short stint with the Brewers, Keston Hiura had thirty points and a 0.447 PPPA over 17 games and 69 plate appearances. Somewhere out there Bill and Ted just rejoiced. In case you were wondering Travis Shaw has 36 points in 180 plate appearances. Mind blown. So sorry Keston, but clearly the head office in Milwaukee might be putting back a few too many Miller Lites. Since being sent down to San Antonio Hiura has gone 11 for 34 with 4 home runs, 11 RBIs and a stolen base. Factoring in seven strikeouts he’d be good for about 40 fantasy points. In case you were wondering what Travis Shaw has been up to since his return, he’s managed ten points thanks to four hits in 21 at bats. Like I said, it’s a head scratcher.

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As I was looking to figure out what to do with my teams and see if there were any trades/waiver moves that would strengthen my rosters I thought it was the right time to put together some positional rankings. Understanding a player’s value relative to another goes a long way in simplifying the process. The rankings that follow are a combination of year-to-date performance and rest of season expectations. The blend is about 70/30 YTD (in most cases). I live in the here and now and put a much heavier weight on what someone’s doing right now than I do on what they did last year or the year before that. Don’t get me wrong, it counts, but that’s where the thirty percent comes in.

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Two years ago Heath Capps, a fellow fantasy sports writer, invited me to join a daily fantasy baseball league he was running. Every Friday about twenty of us self proclaimed wannabe fantasy experts would compete against each other in MLB DFS using FanDuel’s Friends Mode. Each week the results were combined with the previous weeks’ contests as Heath maintained an overall leaderboard. The league was named DFS Wars and it was as much an experiment as it was competition. Nonetheless I was a big fan of the format and enjoyed participating.

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I really hope the O’Reilly Auto parts jingle is stuck in your head for the rest of the day like it’s been for me since I thought of the title. Damn you Austin Riley. Damn you shitty commercial. Talk about picking up right where he left off in AAA. Austin Riley has sprinted out of the gates in the race for National League Rookie of the Year. He’s got a lot of ground to make up if he’s going to catch Chris Paddack, but he’s certainly giving it the ole Major League try. In 38 plate appearances he has exactly 38 points. For those of you that don’t have a calculator nearby, that’s one point every time he steps into the batters box. And for those of you that are wondering if that’s good, well it’s better than good. As Tony the Tiger often said, it’s grrrrrreat! It’s only been 38 plate appearances, but if it’s any consolation, through 144 plate appearances in Gwinnett he tallied 156 points (1.08 PPPA). If he can come anywhere near close to keeping this up, he’s going to make Atlanta fans and fantasy owners extremely happy. Keep an eye in your rear view mirror Chris Paddack.

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Was Yordan Alvarez indeed called up? Allow me to clear things up. He’s not. At least not yet. Despite leading AAA in home runs (14) and runs batted in (44) and boasting a .398 batting average, Yordan Alvarez appears no closer to Houston than the next Astros prospect. Speaking of Astros’ prospects, there’s also the problem of Kyle Tucker, who is a more heralded prospect. Unlike Alvarez, however, Tucker is having a rather mediocre start to 2019. He has hit a fair share of homers, but that’s about it. Considering Tucker already struck out in his first taste of the Majors, I’d say Yordan has the edge should a need arise on the Astros roster. And that brings us to the real problem. The Astros roster. In order to get Alvarez on it with regular playing time they’d have to expose either Tyler White, Max Stassi or Tony Kemp to waivers and I don’t believe they are ready to do so. Couple that with the fact that the Astros offense is near the top of many categories, there just isn’t a place for Yordan Alvarez. Sadly, many (myself included) see mid to late June as a more realistic timeline for a call up. For what it’s worth, I stashed him two weeks ago. Hopefully we are all wrong and he’s up sooner.

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I’ve seen a few articles the past few days about how to replace Corey Kluber and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think they were all shit. It is absolutely not possible to replace the hole left in your roster by losing Kluber. Not with any player or players on the wire at least. The way I see it there is only one way to fill the void, and doing so will weaken your team in other areas. You’re going to have to trade a hitter for a pitcher of Kluber’s caliber. To do so you are going to have to part with a top of the line bat. As I said, this is obviously going to weaken your offensive production. Even if you have a surplus, moving a guy like Freddie Freeman, Francisco Lindor or Andrew Benintendi is going to hurt. The other option would be to sacrifice the future by including a draft pick, prospect or both if your league permits. You could also consider trading Kluber. These options would allow you to trade away a lesser bat right now, reducing the immediate impact. I’d target teams lower in the standings for a move such as this. No matter how you slice it, when that line drive hit his forearm, every one of his owners felt the pain. I heard a rumor that he was going to team up with Corey Feldman and revive the show The Two Coreys on YouTube Premium.

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been the most talked about prospect since I can remember, and his debut has been one of the most anticipated events since many of us have begun playing fantasy baseball. Congratulations to everyone that owns him in keeper leagues as you have very likely just won the lottery. I guess you […]

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The only reason Junis has the lede is because his name enabled the title. His points per start is piss poor at 10.25 points and it seems he must have eaten some stale matzah before Friday night’s start in New York because it was terrible. Here are my four questions. Why is this night different from all nights? It’s not. Jakob’s performance really put a damper on seders throughout the fantasy community. However… I am still a believer. In Junis that is. After all it has only been four starts. My preseason estimations had him at about 13 and change points per start, but I was/am optimistic that he’d outperform those numbers. I still think he gets there, but he has some work to do. In 22 innings he does have 24 strikeout. So there’s that. Like I said, it’s only been four starts. Look at Jameson Taillon, he’s averaging 8.75 points per start. Anyone ready to throw in the towel on him yet? I do realize that we are talking about pitchers of differing pedigree, but the point is four starts a season does not make. Instead of Junis, let’s take a look at a few starting pitchers that are off to an excellent start (pun intended).

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In recent news, Cody Bellinger still leads all hitters in fantasy points with about 85. I say “about” because it depends on your scoring system. Aside from the fact that he is on pace for 81 home runs, there’s little I can say about Bellinger that would make him any less of a must own, must start player. We all know he’s not going to come close to 81 home runs, but I have a feeling he’s going to pick up quite a few fantasy points trying. Besides, playing the “on pace” game is a very dangerous proposition less than three weeks into the season.

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