Finally, things are happening! Wait, an exclamation point in the title, and to close the first sentence of this post?? Feels a little desperate, but maybe a little desperate is just what I’ve been… desperate for some intriguing, consequence-inducing major league baseball transactions, that is. And sure enough, some actual interesting major league baseball trades and moves are happening, trades and moves that have actual interesting implications in fantasy, hence my inability to refrain from the exclamation points. It’s a frustrating time of year if your team(s) are already out of the hunt, but if you have even one league where you’re still in it (or a keeper league where moves you make now affect your team’s future), then it’s worth paying a little extra attention to baseball this week.

When stuff goes down, the effects tend to be magnified in the world of NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues. A rock thrown in the ocean might not even be noticeable, but the same rock tossed into a tiny pond can make quite a series of ripples. And so it goes with trade implications in the deep-league world – one crummy closer getting traded to a new team to become a set-up man on another can set of a series of player value changes, waiver wire activity, and FAAB pickups that might make what proves to be a make-or-break difference to your pretend squad of real-life major league baseball players. A minor league promotion/demotion can give you or taketh away from you a player that can make an awfully big difference to you fantasy team – there’s still a lot of time left, after all. Keep your head in the game, check your preferred online sources of information a little more often, and don’t be the one to miss out on a move that could ultimately cost you a fantasy title two months from now. (!!!)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Did you know that David Peralta’s name is actually Senger Guerreiro? So it’s Senger David Peralta Guerreiro Maria Conchita Alonso. Whew. Ok, without the Maria Conschita Alonso, but it made me think of this. That’s better than Sum Ting Wong and Yu Stin Ki Pu. Anyways, his father is also named David Peralta, so I respect that he decided to go with that. I also love his back story…

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What if I told you there was a pitcher on the Indians with a sub-3.00 ERA with a swinging strike rate above 12%. This mystery man has been a cog in the gears of Francona’s first-place ballclub after some wondered whether their devastating loss in game seven of the World Series could be overcome simply by adding Edwin Encarnacion. What if I told you I’m not talking about Corey Kluber?

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Almost 10 years before The Fast and the Furious, many of my friends were into street racing. They’d form crews and fix up their cars to race at Battle of the Imports or on the street for cash or pink slips. I remember one crew was called the Decepticons and had the logo plastered all over their cars. Some looked so tight. I’ll never forget one guy, though. He’d spend a ton of money on the exterior: rims, lights, body kit. He even decked out the interior with a roll cage, racing seats, pedals, instrument gauges, etc. His ride looked so, so nice. The only problem was that he spent no money on the engine. ALL SHOW NO GO. Which segues perfectly to Carlos Gonzalez (70% owned – decrease of 6.1%). CarGo sucks. One of Grey’s favorite movie lines is: See that S Car Go from Trading Places. One of my all-time favorite movies by the way. Anyways, this CarGo ain’t going anywhere. He hit 40 home runs two years ago. Last year, he hit 25 home runs. This year? He’s hit six. SIX! The ISO is at .116. The triple-slash line is .218/.296/.335. wRC+ is 47. His ground ball rate is at a career-high, hard contact rate is at a career-low, and he’s going oppo at a career-low rate. Steamer has rest of season projections at .277 average, 12 home runs, 33 runs scored, 38 RBI, and one stolen base. I’m just not buying it. He’s 31 years old. Side rant. Why didn’t the Rockies trade him last year? Anyways, other than the fact that he sucks, is he even going to play everyday? Charlie Blackmon is entrenched in centerfield. You guys know my love for Gerardo Parra. I guess he platoons with Ian Desmond. But….what happens when David Dahl returns? TRASH.

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Paul DeJong (25.7% owned – increase of 19.2%) is batting .313/.331/.602 with nine home runs, 17 runs scored, and 20 RBI in 128 at-bats. Over the past week of regular season games, DeJong is 11-for-16 with five doubles and three home runs. He has hit a home run in three consecutive games! Why am I suddenly walking through a Vegas casino and see a roulette board showing that the last 15 spins have all been red? “Always bet on black.” When trying to dig deeper into DeJong, Fangraphs just happens to be down. Kind of like every missle launch that the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un has had. Thank goodness the internet has a plethora of options for any and every subject matter. Too much perhaps? North Korea scoffs at the notion, as they have just 28 websites. Anyways, DeJong is striking out 28.6% of the time and has an ISO of .289. The BABIP is also .378, so expect that .313 batting average to come down. DeJong is eligible at 3B/2B/SS, but he’s batting eighth in the batting order. He did hit .299 with 13 home runs in 190 at-bats down in Triple-A, so there’s hope, the same amount as an American going to North Korea and not getting arrested for being a spy. TRASH…

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Yes, I know that title doesn’t really make sense, but my mind is clouded by the lack of meaningful box scores. I normally like to be on vacation during the All Star Break, especially ever since Major League Baseball cruelly lengthened it from three to four days. In my opinion, the only thing worse than having no baseball for four days in the middle of the summer is having fake baseball and something called the ESPYs on for three days in the middle of the summer, and I’d rather be as busy as possible during this time.  Sure, every once in a while something interesting will happen during the Home Run Derby, and occasionally the actual game is watchable, I suppose.  But seeing Yadier Molina hit a bomb that doesn’t count for any of the fantasy teams I own him on just makes me, well… sad.

Basically, watching baseball the last two days was just a few hours of waiting for things NOT to happen. It was worrying that a player crucial to one of my teams would screw up his swing trying to hit pretend homers, or pull a hammy running out an infield hit that wouldn’t even help his own batting average, let alone my fantasy team’s. It was also a painful reminder of why I’m not doing well in certain leagues – namely, having to watch the players I don’t own anywhere who came out of nowhere (and by nowhere, I mean the late rounds of a fantasy baseball draft) to become bona fide 2017 all stars, often leading their fantasy team owners to the top of the standings.

Drafting players in the middle and late rounds who outperform their draft position or auction cost is important in any fantasy league regardless of structure, but it is absolutely crucial in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues. I’m sure Clayton Kershaw and Jose Altuve are on plenty of first place fantasy teams, but I suspect the real names you’ll find over and over again when looking at the top of the standings are more like Ryan Zimmerman, Ervin Santana, and Jason Vargas. With that in mind, and with no fringey deep league player playing to talk about picking up, I thought I’d use the break to take a look at the players who are some of the first half MVPs in deep fantasy leagues: those that have outperformed* their 2017 pre-season ranking** by the widest margins. We’ll also take a look at their second-half futures via Steamer projections for the rest of the season (with some completely unscientific, woman’s intuition-style guesses from me as to whether or not I agree). Obviously none these guys is likely to be available in a shallow league, let alone deep formats, but with most of us facing a fake baseball trading deadline around the same time the real one hits, we’ll need to be thinking about whether any of these players are worth buying… or selling, at the right price.

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I am Son. Son I am. I like green eggs and Tommy Pham (20.6% owned – increase of 9.7%). I do! I like them, Son I am. When I think of Tommy I crave for Pho (pronounced “fuh”), probably due to the fact that he’s half-Vietnamese. Duh!!! He’s hit ten home runs and stolen nine bases. Those numbers are real. You didn’t drink too many cases. The walk rate is good (11.5%) while the strikeout rate is high (25.7%). Not anything too obscene to crucify. The average is solid (.289) while the OBP is great (.381). I’m feeling the same vibe from when I listen to Warren G’s Regulate. The BABIP is high (.358) so some negative regression should take place. But not so low that I’d link The Sign by Ace of Base. The swinging strike rate is 8.8% and he only chases 20% of pitches outside the strike zone. I hear the moans. How can we clone? Mike Matheny bats him in the two-hole against both righties and lefties. That’s more valuable to me than snatching the panties. Now, he’s much better on the road than at home (.234 vs .344). Yo, Google Chrome! Shalom! Enough PaRappa the Rapper. Pham won’t be a season winner and he’s streaky, but he could be a viable fill-in. If you do pick him up and have the urge to drop him, just watch this over and over again. On a side note, Pham has a rare eye disorder called keratoconus, which thins the cornea. He started wearing contact lenses back in 2009 to be able to track the pitches better. I’m just excited for the inevitable moment when Pham is used as a guinea pig for a Terminator-like eye transplant. TREASURE

Here’s what else I saw in the most added/dropped list:

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G’day, Thursday crowd! I’m venturing beyond my usual Saturday DFS territory to bring you a brand-new series that straddles DFS and roto and, well, pretty much every category in between. Dr. Easy — my partner in fantasy baseball crime — and I will be taking a look at some differences in fantasy baseballers’ (Grey’s mom’s term) perception versus reality when it comes to the value of players, with the help of the Razzball Player Rater.

There are a few reasons for doing this. In no particular order other than the one they’re in: one, to help you out with trade targets — where to buy low and sell high (trade deadline is six weeks away, kids!). Two, to point you to some overlooked players that may even be able off the waiver wire, whether in the Razzball Commenter Leagues or others. (OKAY, let’s face it — more likely in other leagues.) Three, to highlight the value of the Player Rater — which is FREE! — and why you should be using it more than you likely are; trust me when I say that just combing through it for this post has been an enlightening experience, so much so that I want to sit cross-legged, light some incense and dust off my mantras. And four, for a little DFS action, we hope to throw you some ideas on zigging where others zag: to do well in DFS, you want to start players who are going to play well, but whom your competitors may not have thought of (e.g., if 50% of people start a player, 50% of you are going to get the same number of points for that player). Every week, we plan to look at one surprising player in each position. Feel free to hit us up with requests or questions in the comments — about specific players, trade ideas, anything you like.

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