Therapy is a good thing. Much of the stigma surrounding therapy appears to have disappeared and that is positive. Though I am not a therapist by trade, I feel as if the amount of back-and-forth banter I have shared with my fellow DFS writers and the Razzball readers has provided me some insight into the fantasy baseball owner’s mind. So, sit down on Dr. Staniger’s couch, and let’s chat about problems and how to get better.
The first step to fantasy baseball recovery is admitting you have a problem. Since you are still reading, I am going to assume you are open to this therapy session. If you make multiple DFS lineups or have double-digit best ball leagues or you play in multiple home leagues, most nowhere close to your actual home, then repeat after me, “Hello, my name is *insert name here* and I have a fantasy baseball problem.
My name is Mitch Staniger and I most certainly have a problem. Mine, the basis for my therapy sessions, is a tendency to allow my season-long rosters to influence my DFS plays. Those season-long rosters have bias built into them based on my pre-season rankings. Some guys I had to have and some guys I never considered rostering. Since I am not always correct those biases created missed opportunities. The key with mistakes is learning how not to make them again. As you are well aware, season-long and DFS are two very different animals. What is great about DFS, when we understand our biases and look at only today’s slate, we recognize every day is a new day to avoid bias-based mistakes and win some money. Today, I start anew by selecting DFS players from a list almost exclusively limited to players not rostered in my season-long leagues. Relax, we are not going through an entire 12-Step process today as much as we are simply admitting our previous mistakes.
Mistakes are fine when you learn from them. I assume you have looked back through your DFS picks and noticed a few glaring errors. Same here! Though I have provided some fantastic DFS picks over the first two months of the season, I have also allowed the above biases to enter my process resulting in less than stellar recommendations. Today, in fact, every day, starts fresh for DFS and I welcome the opportunity. We will consider all players and mix some non-season-long players with those we may have avoided due to our “problem”.
Side Note: Since I have freely admitted to making mistakes, I happily admit the one home league recommendation is Trevor Story and he is blazing. He is single-handedly carrying my team and I look for him to make another big splash on Saturday. Spoiler Alert: Keep reading for some fun information on our guy.
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Joe Musgrove, SP: DK: $9,900 / FD: $10,800 – One of a handful of starting pitchers I do not roster anywhere, for some reason I was not sold on Musgrove and avoided him everywhere. Mistake! He plays in a good pitchers park. He has a solid offense providing runs for him. His K/9 is good enough to get by. He is probably just below what some consider an Ace and, for some reason, I just did not see it. Dude is 5-0 with sparkling ERA (1.90) and WHIP (0.94) and welcomes the Pirates to San Diego.
Brady Singer, SP: DK: $6,600 / FD: $7,100 – My next mistake is not trusting the Kansas City Royals front office. This team does not seem to compete very often, so my bias is at least backed up by some credible evidence. Now, sooner or later, a blind squirrel finds a nut and that is what has happened with Brady Singer. The KCR scouts appear to have a young arm blossoming into a true MLB talent. He started a little late this season so he is a little under the radar. I like him on the road against a Twins team that has struck out over 10 times per game over their last four. Singer, similar to Musgrove, is sitting on an ERA below 2.00 and WHIP below 1.00. We will save a little money with the KC starter allowing us to pay up for some bats later.
Adley Rutschman, C: DK: $2,900 / FD: $2,600 – The Orioles, akin to the Royals, do not win many games. In fact, the O’s dropped 100+ last season. As a Mariners fan, I am not here to poke fun at the Orioles as that would be too easy and unkind. I stayed away from this young backstop purely based on the ineptitude of the Baltimore front office. He could have made the team out of Spring Training (if not for an injury) or the O’s could have watched him murder AAA pitching for no reason. For those reasons, I stayed away. With that being said, the Orioles have some interesting names in the minors and have just brought up their (and MLBs) #1 prospect in Rutschman. He started off his career with a triple and, though I do not recommend rostering him for that particular stat, I do recommend using him Saturday. With a double-header for the O’s you know he will play once, probably the second game.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B: DK: $5,100 / FD: $3,800 – In Rizzo’s case, it is not so much that I had bias against him as much as I coveted other 1b ahead of him. In looking back, waiting on Rizzo was the better play. As mentioned above, I can roster him in DFS any day I choose. Well, folks, I choose Saturday in St. Pete versus Corey Kluber. You just gotta love the lefty bat on righty arm, right? 11 HR, 27 RBI and three steals snuck in there for good measure. Can you imagine what those numbers would look like if Rizzo was batting above .230?
Trevor Story, 2B: DK: $5,300 / FD: $4,100 – This guy is on FIRE and the BoSox fans wanted his head at the beginning of May. Story was ice cold coming into May and the Massholes disdain came to a fever pitch on May 5 when Story struck out four times and, for the first time, heard the boo-birds at Fenway. Old news! Story is Boston’s new favorite son. After that 4K game, he has clobbered 9 HR with 28 RBI and 5 steals while raising his batting average almost 30 points. Ride the hot hand and my home league will thank you!
Manny Machado, 3B: DK: $5,100 / FD: $4,300 – Machado is the name atop my list of reasons I am in fantasy baseball therapy. I have no explanation for avoiding him in season-long other than possibly other owners had him ranked much, much higher than me and I never seemed to reach for him. Other than that, the talent is unmistakable. In support of Musgrove and the Friars, give me Machado facing JT Brubaker at home. .361/.437/1.027 is his line. What more do you need?
Trevor Story, SS: DK: $5,300 / FD: $4,100 – See 2b above. He qualifies at both positions so I am recommending him at both. Since we cannot roster the same guy at two positions and I always need to find a way to squeeze in a Mariners player, consider a cheaper JP Crawford at SS today versus a RHP (Urquidy) at home. Crawford is hitting both lefty’s and righty’s and Seattle has the lineup to turn it around. No better time than Saturday with my money on the line! This “recommending the same guy at multiple positions” may be another problem I was unaware of. Maybe we cover that in our next session.
Kyle Schwarber, OF: DK: $4,000 / FD: $3,400 – If we are drafting beer league softball players, Schwarbs is at the top of my queue. The problem is he looks soft but is far from it and now he does not have to labor around LF for nine innings. He can DH (when Harper is back to playing the field) and just rake. The Mets are tough and Taijuan Walker is coming off an impressive start, but with an O/U of 8.5, I am banking on Schwarber to bring a healthy return.
Cody Bellinger, OF: DK: $4,500 / FD: $2,900 – Is there any player that epitomizes hot and cold streaks more than Belly? Go back to his MVP season and you’d think this guy was going to follow the Trout Trajectory. Nope, he goes into prolonged, high-K slumps only to start tearing the cover off the ball. There is no rhyme or reason to Belly’s ups-and-downs, so for that reason, I have avoided him. Considering the Dodgers will hit and will hit a lot and Max Muncy is likely headed to the IL, I see Bellinger moving up a little in the lineup thus starting one of his hot streaks.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
No weather to report, except light (10mph) winds on the South Side of Chicago for CHC @ CHW.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I am happily taking even or plus money on Seattle, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Colorado (twice—double header).