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Life was good for Derek. Retired from the Yankees in 2014 at the age of 40. On top of the world. The King of New York. Started up ThePlayersTribune.com. Opened restaurants. Partnered on multiple business deals. Even got married in 2016! Was able to join Bruce Sherman’s consortium in purchasing the Marlins. Life was indeed good. Then the Marlins lost seven of their first ten games. Jeter knew it’d be bad, but he didn’t know it’d be this bad. The competitive juices began bubbling in his body. Then the Marlins lost eight of the next ten games. Steam began venting through his ears. Jeter stormed into Sherman’s office. “Bruce! I can’t take this shit anymore. I gave you my Black Book for this? You’re a gazillionaire. Do something.” KAPOW! Bruce b-slapped Derek with the Black Book…knocking him out. Little did Derek know, but underneath Marlins Park, a group of scientists had been working feverishly after getting the order earlier in the year. “I’ve been watching Westworld. I’m a gazillionaire. Do something.” When Derek woke up, he felt woozy. “Mirror. I need a mirror.” Ahhhhhhhhh. After the doctors had explained what they had done, Derek got up. Legs felt spry. Arms felt strong. Let’s do this. It was tough sledding in the beginning. From April 22nd to the end of the month, a span of eight games, Derek “Dietrich” (36% owned – increase of 15.4%) hit .179 with one home run and a 42.9% strikeout rate. Once the month of May hit, though, Derek got his groove back. 8 home runs, 25 runs scored, 21 RBI, .348 batting average and a 23.4% strikeout rate. Now, the BABIP has been .426. That’s obviously going to come down, but….Derek is batting lead off against righties and fifth against lefties. While he strikes out more against lefties, he’s more than held his own against them and actually has a higher ISO (.211 vs .182). Playing for the Marlins stinks and regression will kick in, but the 2B/3B/OF eligibility is nice and there’s a chance it really could be Jeter. No? Show me evidence to the contrary. TREASURE

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Some days on DFS, it’s like standing sadly in the grocery store at 7 a.m. the morning after a long weekend (happy upcoming Canada Day, by the way, fellow Canadians!); i.e., the shelves are BARE. Other days, it’s as if you’ve been let loose in Whole Foods with a $500 gift card and everything’s on sale. [Sidebar: I may or may not be hungry at time of writing.] This is one of those latter days, people. One of those delirious days where the pitchers are good, many of the parks are pitcher-friendly, and there are bargains a-plenty to be had for your slate on FanDuel. I’m putting Jacob DeGrom at the top of my list today, but really I could just do the eenie-meanie-miny-mo thing over Streamonator’s top 10 and be reasonably happy about whomever I landed upon. Of course not all of them are cheap (that would be too much to ask), but let’s take a look at some options for hitters alongside all that sumptuous pitching.

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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Yesterday, Zack Greinke went 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 2nd steal, hitting .300–Oops, sorry!  The only pitcher whose hitting stats matter are Shohei Ohtani, because he can’t pitch anymore.  That tracks logically.  Has any site that made Ohtani a hitter and pitcher clarified why?  Because there was public pressure to make him both?  Because he was going to do both?  Doesn’t every pitcher do both?  Ohtani’s not going to throw more than 50 IP this year, which is, what, a quarter of a full season for a starter?  That’s doing both?  I know, I’m just being a hater, but it does feel like there was a double standard given to Ohtani without him actually doing anything, and he had 25 IP thrown dating back to 2016.  Any hoo!  Greinke!  Yes, he was awesome again — 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.41.  His peripherals are also one of the few pitchers who is doing well that could do better — 9.4 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 3.35 xFIP.  His velocity is down two miles per hour and I’d be lying if I said I was going after him hard, unless, of course, he’s eligible as a hitter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tough starts can really tank a prospects perceived value. There might be nothing worse for dynasty managers, than watching one of your blue chips struggle very publicly for the better part of the first half. It’s only magnified when a player is on the cusp of the majors, and touted as a potential impact player from the jump. Think about how far Willie Calhoun has fallen. Earlier this year, I could have moved Calhoun for legit MLB talent in one of my more competitive dynasty leagues. Coming into the season Calhoun was a hot commodity, as I turned down deals for James Paxton and David Price amongst others. Just a few days ago in the same league, my Willie Calhoun for Max Muncy trade was scoffed at. All this to say a few things; 1. Things change quickly in the world of dynasty baseball. 2. Is a much more important lesson, and one tough for struggling Calhoun owners. Don’t write off players you believe in. At the moment there might be no better example of this lesson than the Indians Francisco Mejia. The young backstop moved through Cleveland’s minor league ranks like a rocket the past few seasons, before being assigned to Glendale of the Arizona Fall League. There, the Indians tried Mejia at the hot corner to less than stellar results. Everything started to go south. Mejia’s hitting wasn’t what it was billed to be, and the struggles carried through the beginning of 2018. Hitting just .189 entering June, the diminutive catcher has gone on a tear slashing .419/.438/.640, with four more hits on the month than his prior two months combined. In fact he has 15 multi-hit games in his last 21! That’s raking, but the point should hit you like a ton of bricks. We knew Mejia was a talented switch-hitter with plus-plus hit, even through his struggles we shouldn’t have lost sight of just how good this player is. Will he win you a fantasy league one day? Not likely, but he can be one of the better offensive talents behind the plate. Which leads me to my next question, what’s his future at catcher? While he might never be an everyday catcher, he’s still played a majority of his games behind the pate this season. Which could work out to be a best case scenario in fantasy. If he has the ability to play enough games every year to keep catcher eligibility, but not to breakdown over the course of the year it could amount to a perfect storm. A plus hitter at the catcher position that avoids the daily wear and tear that can negatively impact offensive output.

 

   

I’ve been thinking about how great things would be right now if I’d just been restricted from drafting a handful of certain players this year. When I like a guy going into the season, it’s always tough to decide just how many shares I should stock up on, and it’s particularly painful when I overbuy in situations where the answer should have been zero. If I had been unable to place Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, Luis Castillo, Zack Godley, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, or Sonny Gray on a fantasy team in 2018, it seems like all would be right with the fantasy baseball world. Instead, I have leagues where a combination of these guys has pretty much sunk my team, and other leagues where I am doing well only in spite of having to overcome horrible (or non-existent) pitching from them.

It’s unrealistic, though, to think any fantasy team will be mistake-free, and as destructive as a few bad picks can be in a deep league, it does make acquiring a waiver-wire gem all the more sweet. I don’t know about any of these guys turning your season around, but it really is difficult to predict when the diamond in the deep-league rough will pop up — so we’ll keep plugging away with a handful of players who may be available in your NL-only, AL-only, or other deep league.

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Welcome to the final 2018 edition of Perception Vs. Reality. I want to thank you all for reading this article this season and I hope that you enjoyed it and found it helpful. As for me, I’m going to be putting all of my focus into the fantasy football draft season. Jay and Grey have promoted me to Co-Head of Content over on the football side of things. I’ll tell you what, we have the CONTENT. So, if you play fantasy football, click on over to the football side and check out what what have to offer so far.

We haven’t taken a look at pitchers yet this season. So let’s do just that. Let’s celebrate those handle the other side of our points/categories. We have quite that sample size as the Major Leagues scoot towards the finish of the month of June. As always, we will take a look at the player rater as a reference.

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Another day, another small 4 game slate, albeit with a few solid pitchers instead of choosing between garbage and hot garbage fire. We also have a few nice spots to attack hitting, so it should be a fairly straight forward slate. I don’t have much more to say in terms of a general overview of the slate, but before I get to breaking down the picks, I want to point out that the Orioles are starting someone named Jimmy Yacabonis today (in an early game). I refuse to believe someone’s last name is Yacabonis because that is absolutely the last name that a soccer video game uses for a created player from Lithuania, and not an actual person who will be making his first start in the Majors today.

On to the picks…

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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To paraphrase DJ Khaled, “We got a Minor key alert!  Another one.”  To paraphrase the cops that arrested Principal Rooney, “This is because of the Minors.”  *Donald Trump looking at the Rangers’ rotation*  “Glad to see Cole/Minor’s jobs are secure.”  Over Mike Minor‘s last four starts, he has a 2.06 ERA, 18 Ks, 5 BBs and 15 hits in 26 innings, after his sparkling one last night when he threw 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.64.  I know what you’re thinking, it was vs. the Padres.  Right, one of those starts was, the other ones were the Astros, Twins and Rockies.  So, it’s not all smoke and Minors.  Minor’s peripherals are nothing to write home about (unless his family lives in the Appalachian Trail, then they might like to hear from a Minor) — 7.4 K/9, 2 BB/9, 4.50 xFIP.  So, it’s been a good run (not Niko), but I can’t say I trust him in the big picture, unless it’s about Cole/Minor’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, played with spunk by Sissy Spacek (Spunky Spacek?  Sissy Spunkit?  Spunky Spunkit?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Poor Aaron Sanchez (SP, Index Finger Contusion) probably hurt his finger on the latest episode of Chopped: All-Stars! The boring old baseball version of Aaron Sanchez has yet to rediscover his Cy Young caliber abilities after missing most of 2017. Sanchez rebounded nicely after a 5 inning, 7 ER performance at the end of May with three quality starts in a row in June. Hopefully this injury won’t derail his progress too much. Stash or Trash: I’d stash. If he can come back quickly he could provide some solid value in the second half. Fill In: Rather than force myself to find five starting pitchers who I might not even fully believe in — I’m going to give you three solid options at the bottom of this article who could fill in for the five injured starting pitchers this week.

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Billy Ray Butler isn’t nicknamed “Country Breakfast” because he likes to eat his early morning meal outdoors. Currently a free agent, the 2012 All-Star is perhaps coming to the realization that his professional career might be over. “Moving onward” said Butler in a recent interview with designatedeaters.com when discussing his newest business venture that is literally beginning to explode. Approaching three bills on the scale, Billy knew he had to make some changes. But change is never easy, especially when said change interferes with one’s daily responsibility of stuffing one’s face. “But why eat less when you don’t have to. What if you could still eat as much as you want and still lose weight,” remarked Butler who was indeed looking like he was down to about two fifty. Billy’s latest craze, known as Fartio, promotes eating as much as you can. It stresses foods loaded with beans. Mexican meals are an excellent example. Other flatulence inducing foods such as chicken with broccoli, corned beef and cabbage and sausage and peppers are near the top of the list. The objective of Fartio is to head directly to one of Billy’s studios and jump on the treadmill, spin bike or elliptical and fart off those calories. “The place smells like the men’s room at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning stretch, but it’s worth it,” said Matt Albers whose eating spiraled out of control after losing the closing gig in Milwaukee when Knebel went down earlier this season. All machines are equipped with barf bags for those overcome by the stench of rotting intestines. Pablo Sandoval credits his weight loss to Fartio. Many thought Butler’s venture would lay an egg, but instead his brand is being franchised across the country by ex-ballplayers such as Prince Fielder and Mo Vaughn. Rich Garces has taken the idea one step further and has an onsite Venezuelan restaurant run by his family. Needless to day, Billy Butler is blasting his way to a better body one fart at a time. If you struggle with weight gain perhaps Fartio can work for you too. To give it a try, call 888-4-FARTIO. And don’t forget Billy’s mantra “you can’t outrun a fart on a treadmill”…

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