Here we are on the penultimate day of the regular season. It actually happened, we’re almost to the finish line. With so many teams making the playoffs, and so much at stake for some and not as much at stake for others, we have to tread carefully if we want to finish in the money. The White Sox are 2-8 in their last 10 and looking to turn things around as they go into the playoffs. The Cubs are slugging under .600 in September and no matter what happens this weekend cannot loose their 4th seed in the NL playoffs. They’re more likely to sit their bats to rest them rather than get them going these last two days. All of this adds up to grabbing Dane Dunning ($7,700) as your starter today. Over his last three starts he’s averaged 29.8 FanDuel points, and he’s grabbed the win and quality start bonus in two of those three. Many will be on Civale and the Indians against the Pirates, but Joe Musgrove is cooking again and the Pirates are showing a bit of life at the plate. Dance with Dunning and open up some payroll for a surprising stack.

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So much of 2020 baseball has me dazed and confused. One injury pops up and “poof”, there goes the season. One 10 day hot stretch begets a 10 day cold stretch, and players pop up and go away like so many prairie dogs on the windswept empty plains of stadiums with no fans to be seen except in cardboard. Those who have hovered away include, in no particular order, Jonathan Schoop, Robinson Cano, Kyle Schwarber, Willy Adames, Alex Dickerson, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Shohei Ohtani, Jesse Winker, Yuli Gurriel, Mitch Moreland, Pedro Severino and Max Kepler. Some of that is poor performance. Some of it is as simple as paternity leave at an inopportune time. Much of this unlucky 13 is gone simply because others have outperformed them. Now the good news.

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Shades of Lionel Richie, you wake up, and suddenly…the season is almost over. Congratulations to all the fanbases that have the playoffs to look forward to. Incredibly that includes the Houston Astros, who currently sit at 25-26 and are currently the 6th seed in the AL. What a year. For a team that has been reviled and looked down on you have to appreciate their moxie. They’re motivated and fighting for a playoff spot. One of the reasons for that is young Christian Javier ($7,500). He won’t go deep, but he went 5 innings two outings ago, then only 2 innings in a relief role his last time. Of course, that was no ordinary 2 innings. He stuck out 5 Dodgers with no runs, not easy against that lineup. Today he goes against the Diamondbacks at home, where he has a 1.80 ERA. It doesn’t hurt that the struggling Diamondbacks struggle even more on the road. Javier is the best value starter on the main slate at FanDuel today, and we have some spots to put that extra cash, although it won’t be as Dodger and Rockie focused as you might think despite that Coors matchup.

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The time is getting close. The possibility of a season ending that was barely a possibility in June is upon us. Fall is peaking around the corner and pumpkin spice (I SAID PUMPKIN SPICE) is everywhere! I mean, the NFL is back, not all of football but at least the NFL. So it’s the home stretch and Fantasy Baseball championships can still be won and lost in the last two weeks. Additions to the list of players like #90 Jeimer Candelario, who has 5 homers and a .417 batting average the past two weeks, can boost you in multiple categories. Someone like D.J. Stewart can too, but his 6 homers and .455 batting average were done in bulk the last 7 days so he’ll take a bit more to get on the list. His teammate #91 Ryan Mountcastle, however, has won a spot thanks to his 4 homer .367 last two week mark and slightly higher pedigree. Other additions include the practically homering in every game #98 Bobby Dalbec (sure, it was close with Stewart, but Dalbec set a Red Sox rookie record for homers so…), welcome back #92 Michael Brantley  and #96 Isiah Kiner-Falefa (a lone Ranger highlight). Of course, we can’t forget that sultan of swat, that bountiful Brave, #70 Adam Duvall. Are you serious with a 9 home run barrage, including hitting in the .290’s over the last 15?

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Sometimes things just make sense, even in 2020. Today Julio Urias ($7,400) pitches for the 32-13 Dodgers against the 22-23 Astros in Dodgers Stadium. The Astros have been struggling with injuries the whole season, and their best hitter this year Kyle Tucker only hits .231 against left handed pitching. Urias has settled into a pattern of 6 or more innings every other start. Last time he only went 4.1 against the Rockies, so the pendulum should swing back to 6+ today. He’s also averaging around a strikeout an inning. The reason to search for value in the starter of course is to pile into players playing in Coors field without restriction. When it’s the Angels and Mike Trout is hot there’s more than enough reason to go there. The other thing to keep in mind is the Twins are looking good against young Zach Plesac according to our calculations. This is definitely a place to mine for profit while others jump on the Plesac train. Now onto that and other picks for today’s Main Slate on FanDuel.

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Here we are again with nine more changes to the Top 100. In general a drop happens either through flash in the pans that hopped on or season long slumps for highly touted guys or injuries. A hot two weeks can get someone on the list, but if there is no history it takes more time than if there isn’t. First the good news. The six newcomers are San Francisco treats #97 Brandon Belt and #96 Alex Dickerson, (welcome back) #84 Andrew McCutchen, #78 Willy Adames propping up Tampa, #77 Robinson Cano (the old man has ramped it up big time),  the San Diego boys #71 Jake Cronenworth (proving me wrong) and #70 Eric Hosmer, (welcome back) #68 Rhys Hoskins and #67 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Those leaving are Aaron Judge and his injuries, Gary Sanchez, David Peralta, Edwin Encarnacion, Hanser Alberto and Christian Vazquez all batting around or under .200 with little power or slumping, and IL trips for Justin Turner and David Fletcher. The biggest blow is Anthony Santander. An oblique is probably the end of his season. It was tempting to move Trout back up to Number 1, but Tatis’ slump is too small to knock him off. #6 Trea Turner is hot as a pistol but couldn’t crack the Top 5 (Soto’s MRI came back clean), and #19 Charlie Blackmon all of a sudden isn’t squaring everything up. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to some of the other movers this week.

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Today’s Main slate on FanDuel has plenty of enticing value targets at SP. Madison Bumgarner is tempting in his first start back in San Fran, but he’s coming off the IL and only got up to 70 pitches in his month long rehab. His opposite Trevor Cahill let us down last week, but he is facing Bumgarner’s Diamondbacks who have been struggling mightily at the plate. The best dice roll from this view, however, is Tony Gonsolin. Sure, he’s facing the Rockies, but he’s doing in Dodgers Stadium not Coors. The slumping Charlie Blackmon has posted a .339 average on the road, and Trevor Story is at .258. Everyone else in a varying levels of bad to terrible on the road. Meanwhile the Dodgers continue to bounce Gonsolin around between the big club and the alternate training site, yet he’s put up a 0.51 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and around 9 K/9. So grab Tony Gonsolin ($7,600) at a massive discount and run. Now on to the rest of the picks.

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As the 2020 season turns there’s plenty of ongoing changes in the Top 100. Things are very very good for some players, and bad and getting worse for others. Six players have left the list which means six have jumped on. #80 Jonathan Schoop, #85 Pedro Severino, #89 Austin Nola, #90 Renato Nunez, welcome back #92 Eugenio Suarez and #99 Kyle Tucker. These guys are obviously killing it in various degrees of goodness. In particular perhaps it’s time to take Baltimore seriously. With all those Yankee injuries, and all the great performances by various Orioles, it’s no wonder the Rays are looking to be active in the trade market. Those dropping off include Mike Moustakas, Ramon Laureano, Eduardo Escobar, Gleyber Torres and unfortunately Josh Bell. I have defended several of these players recently but their struggles, and the good play by so many others, have made these moves inevitable. As Suarez shows, a week or two of good play can make all the difference. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to the details for some of the movers this week.

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When the Padres are in Colorado finding some value in a starting pitcher is essential to get as many high priced bats in your FanDuel lineup as possible. In this case the needle points to Trevor Cahill ($7,000). In this season m/ore than ever it’s about what have you done for me lately. In Cahill’s case he just scored 37 points against these same Diamondbacks on 8/23. He’s stretched out and likely to go at least five, which is more than you can say for most of the pitchers. And sure, you could attempt to go with Bundy at more thank $2K more but then be left to pick up the riskier pieces for most of your lineup. One extra nugget on this game in Cahill’s favor: Eduardo Escobar has two homers in four at bats against Cahill in the past but is badly slumping to a .184 batting average. This is one area you can find some value on the Main Slate today at FanDuel. Let’s look for a bit more and figure out how to add Tatis and Machado to your lineup. Of the two Machado is much hotter, and look to Boston of all places to perhaps zag while others stick with the Padres and Rockies. More on that in the “Doing Lines In Vegas” area. Sometimes those lines can make you $$$.

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There are times in life when one is right, and times when one is wrong. I realized over the past week that this list has been much more 162 than 60. We have passed a third of the season and one thing has become apparent above all: The changes implemented by MLB and teams have not affected everyone equally. Some have thrived, others have wilted. A big part of this list was the theory that a short season would help the older players. For the most part, this has not happened. So gentle readers, the electronic tones of LCD Soundsystem to you. I can change.

There is so much change in this list from last time we’re more or less starting over. There are no previous rankings or plus or minus this week because 15% of the list changed in one week. Pour one out for the 15 who are gone. We’re looking to the future, and a new Number 1.

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