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.

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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There is just under two weeks left in the regular season.  In single-season leagues, there is no more waiting.  It is perfectly acceptable to drop the struggling star while playing for the category wins.  While this column all season has been focused on 2020, unless you are in the running at this point you are moving on to 2021.  Even if you are in the running, you might have one foot out the door of 2020.  I know most of the world does…

In keeping with the 3 Up, 3 Down and 3 to Watch theme, let us take a look at a few of my favorite names up the middle of the infield to watch going into 2021:

  • Dansby Swanson – I will admit I was not a believer in Swanson going into this season and it seems there is still some doubt in the industry. Is anybody else questioning why he is only 85% owned in Yahoo leagues?
  • Whit Merrifield – There was concern this year that Merrifield was not going to run enough to stay relevant. Not only has he been running, but he is on a 30/30 pace for an entire season.  Merrifield has a high floor and will be consistently undervalued playing for the Royals.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

October 2019, the A’s had just been eliminated in the wildcard game by the Tampa – Billy Beane sits in his office *click* as turns off the TV with a sigh… he then stares out the window for a good minute as he draws a calm and quiet, deep breath. “It’s been a helluva run,” he thinks to himself, reflecting back on the nearly 20 years since the team had their 20-game win streak on the back of Scott Hatteberg (disregarding that Tejada won the MVP; but, I digress) and the hollow shell of David Justice.

They had changed the game. And in those 18 years with a small market budget, they’ve had a winning record 11 times and won the AL West 5 times with 3 wildcard berths. Billy and Peter Brand had found the formula to stay competitive in the brutal business of sport, where, money doesn’t guarantee success but it punches tickets; and, it certainly can patch quite a few mistakes like a soldering iron. They had found a way to be nimble with the data apart from the extra cash. Getting on base is what mattered, not just the hit. Walking was the same as singles. If the slugging and hard hit-rates were there, OBP was just as good as average—just get on base…

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Am I recycling a headline pun? Yes. We have two weeks left in the baseball season, are you going to hold it against me? Oh, you are? Fine. I don’t blame you. Just as long as you don’t hold it against me when the closers I offer up gash your ratios. The 2020 season has been very, well 2020-ish in regards to bullpens.

  • Stefan Crichton was the reliever that made sense to get the Diamondbacks closer gig based on performance so of course, they handed it to the struggling Kevin Ginkel. That experiment turned bad quickly enough. Crichton has gotten the call since to earn three straight saves.
  • Ken Giles goes back to the IL just as quickly as he returned from it. That does it for his 2020. Rafael Dolis should stay firmly atop that pen.
  • It appears more is going on with Brandon Workman than Joe Girardi just trying out all his closer options. He came in to a tie game last night and served up a homer and RBI triple. Workman had last appeared in the seventh (of a nine-inning game) and walked two while giving up three hits. Hector Neris has moved back into the closer role but literally dropped the ball in his last appearance, resulting in a balk that led to that runner scoring from second. Something is barking in his kinetic chain if I had to guess.
  • Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the San Francisco waters Gabe Kapler starts getting all Gabe Kaplery. He used Tony Watson to face the bottom of the order in the seventh and went with Sam Selman for the ninth. G’abe la vie.
  • There’s no lack of blown saves for the Cardinals back end options. I really can’t tell you who gets the next crack it. Maybe the just say yolo and try to let Alex Reyes cook in the ninth.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow ($10,100) is the top starting pitcher option in GPP tournaments because of his enormous strikeout upside. He’s got a ridiculous 37.4% K-rate and has struck out seven or more batters in six consecutive starts. Glasnow isn’t an ideal cash play because of his volatility, but he has slate-breaking potential in tournaments. Go ahead and smash Glasnow in your lineups.

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?
 

Is Ian Anderson rapidly pitching himself into top 40 starting pitcher consideration heading into the 2021 fantasy baseball season? *turns down TV volume, cups hand to ear* “Hey, what’s that sound?” If it were 2019 and there happened to be another human within ear shot, they would respond, “yes, that’s the sound of someone screaming.” To which I would reply, “did Eduardo Escobar see a cat?” “No, that’s just Madison Bumgarner wailing down the side of a mountain after tripping and falling off a cliff, subsequently opening up a spot in next year’s top 40.” Luckily, he landed on an ATV and drove safely to the top 80 starter campground, where he’ll likely preside for the next four years.

As Anderson trudges his way up the same mountain, covered in brambles from the forest floor below, there are those who might actually think top 40 consideration is a foregone conclusion — and why not top 30? After all, the 2016 MLB Draft’s third overall pick is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 22 innings of work through his first four Major League starts. Does he deserve to be drafted as a top 40, or even top 30 SP next season? Today, we’ll dive into Anderson and some takeaways from his first taste of Big League action, including a refresher of his Minor League track record. At the end, I’ll answer that question.

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A wise man once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” But what if that box had only one kind of chocolate in it? Then what, Mr. wise man? Because sometimes I have a favorite and just want to binge it. That reminds me of my first year in NYC. The different seasons were cool and all, but why not be in a place where it’s spring 24/7? Like LA, for example. Yes, I’m a homer. If I want some snow, I can drive an hour and half. If I want to be in a sauna-like environment, well, I can go to a sauna. Anyways, there’s a place in life for both volatility and consistency. Take the readings on an EKG machine for instance. If there are no spikes and valleys, that means the poor soul hooked up is dead. When sine waves are present, there needs to be a consistent rhythm or, doctor, we have a problem. The same can be said for fantasy baseball. It’s a game inherently based on failure, so we look for players who provide spikes in production, at a relatively consistent rate. The higher and faster spikes are produced by the superstars sitting on the pantheon of the fantasy landscape. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many. Which brings me to the pillars of the game, those who don’t stand out from the crowd but provide production across the board to allow each fantasy house to stand firm and stable. Kevin Pillar of the Colorado Rockies is such a player, yet he’s been dropped in 10.2% of ESPN leagues over the past week. Is this Pillar crumbling or is he a Pillar of Destiny to bring fantasy glory?

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Alright, I admit, my title doesn’t quite have the same pomp as some of the other pitcher-named days, but that is not to discount Framber Valdez ($9,100) and what he could potentially do tonight.  The biggest reason for this is his opponent.  I mean, the title could have been “Happy Pitcher Who Is Facing The Rangers Day”, but that’s a mouthful.  Just look at what Jose Urquidy (7 IP, 7Ks, 1 ER, 3 Hits) did to them the other day.  Sure, Bieber will likely dominate, but I’d prefer to take a discount and roll with Framber.  His near 9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 are more than enough to pay the bills.  Framber has also been a tad unlucky as suggested by his 3.34 FIP vs. 4.08 ERA.  Add in the Rangers second to last team OPS and we have a recipe for success, be it in GPPs or a pivot in cash games.  Save some money with Framber and load up on juicy offense to win the day.

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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Here we go, back again for some more DFS at Razzball. Not too many chances left in what has been a weird, wild, fun season. So let’s get down to business. Not the first name that comes to mind for an outfield option, but don’t forget Kevin Pillar (OF: $3,300) was traded to Coors where everyone can smash. Really any Rockies (or A’s) outfielder is a worthy consideration but let’s focus on the guy who might otherwise get overlooked. The power should go up and he’s chipping some speed. He has a great projection from the bot, making him one of your best bets today.

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?
 

Back in 2013, a high school math teacher embarked upon one of life’s greatest mysteries: Did Double Stuf Oreos truly have double the cream between the wafers? Utilizing the free labor from his students, the experiment concluded that Double Stuf Oreos only contained 1.86 times the stuff. This is why I have trust issues. The lesson here, boys and girls? Never fully trust what your eyes see and take the time to dig deep. Which brings me to Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers, who has been absolutely en fuego to the tune of a .325/.385/.571 slash with 7 home runs, 27 runs, 28 RBI, and 1 stolen base in 169 plate appearances. Is this for realio?

Candelario is 26 years old, 6′ 1″, 221 pounds, and bats from both sides of the plate. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2010, then was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2017. Throughout his minor league career, he exhibited good plate discipline, often having a walk rate over 10% and a strikeout rate below 20%. The batting average was all over the map, though. While he did exhibit a little bit of pop, the ISO only exceeded .200 once. His high in home runs was 11 for a season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?