Now isn’t the time to let the mayonnaise malaise take over, now is the time to win your season! See where you need to make up games; if its innings pitched, clear some unwanted bench spots with spot starters and if you’re like me, add a second catcher to get those games played up. Get happy since you’re still in it! This week we’re going to take a look at the top 25 thus far in Yahoo! OPS leagues.  Here’s the list (as of this writing):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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James Shields has given up a home run in 11 of 13 games this year. Outside of the first 2 games when he gave up 2 each, he’s given up at least 5 hits a game (he’s gone more than 6 once this year and that was 6.1). He’s walked someone in every single start. This is a more flavorful way of saying what you already know – Shields is terrible and won’t have his option year picked up in 2019 (that’s right, we’re going to have another year of James Shields to pick on). The other plus about this game is it’s in Texas and it’s going to be hot. Also, Shields’ splits this year are hilarious. When a left hander is in the box, he strikes them out 15.7% of the time and walks them 12% of the time (with a normal .313 BABIP), gets a ground ball 35.7% of the time and allows a home run on 23.6% of his fly balls. All of which is leads to an unfathomable 9.17 FIP and a 6.86 xFIP. Yes, loyal readers, James Shields has a FIP over 9 vs lefties. The worst FIP I can find vs lefties is Jose Lima’s 6.14, including an 8.29 in 2006 and Lima’s 8.29 was in only 7 innings. James Shields is having a legendarily bad season vs lefties (he’s actually relatively decent vs righties with 21.2% strikeouts and 8.2% walks for a 4.14 FIP and 4.73 xFIP). So given all of this information, here’s what I would do: play Texas Rangers lefties as much as physically possible, with Mazara and Gallo being the top ones, but all of them are good plays. As for the righties, they aren’t nearly as good as the lefties, first, because each Rangers righty you play is one less Rangers lefty to play if you’re going to have four Rangers, and second, a lot of the Rangers righties are expensive. That said, in a vacuum, the righties are still good plays as it’s hot, James Shields is on the mound and when he’s out of the game, the White Sox gas can of a bullpen will come in and suck. Beltre leads the righties since he hits righties pretty well over his career (113 wRC+) and has hit them well this year (.382 wOBA). Basically, play all the Rangers you can.

On to the picks once James Shields allows another home run to a lefty…

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Yesterday, Phillip Ervin went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd home run and 2nd in as many games.  This blew my mind:  there was no mention of Phillip Ervin on this site since 2014, when then-prospector Scott Evans said, “We’ll have a much better feel for (Ervin) after he’s had a chance to settle in at a full-season assignment, but on the surface, Ervin looks like a potential 20/20 outfielder who’ll also help in AVG and OBP.   I hope Grey reads this in three years…IN HELL!”  Damn, some animosity there.   Now, the real puzzler maker, as they say in the Haus of Rubik, Prospector Ralph hasn’t spoken about Ervin once.  So, I took it up with Endorphin Ralph on text, and he said, “He’s a 25-year-old, slugging fourth outfielder that’s Quad-A.  RUSNEY IS BETTER!!!”  So, Ervin’s a former 1st rounder, who might not be anything, due to weak contact he makes too often.  In Triple-A, he did have 7 HRs and 23 SBs with a .256 average.  He might just be a schmotato, that cools off and vanishes, but a speed/power combo plays in fantasy if he plays, which he is.  Better than Rusney Castillo?  WE SHALL SEE.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s taking everything out of me not to dedicate every lede to White Sox Prospect Eloy Jimenez. Last night my new novio debuted in AA with a bang, going 2 for 4 with a homer. At the moment with Victor Robles struggling somewhat in AA, and Devers in the majors, it’s a battle between the Braves Ronald Acuna vs Eloy Jimenez for the number one prospect in the minors. Before you dismiss this as a silly discussion, think about what type of prospects and players you prefer. Are you the type to bet on a middle of the order bat like Rafael Devers or Eloy Jimenez? Or do you prefer the 5 category stud with Mike Trout upside like Yoan Moncada or Ronald Acuna? It’s a tough call, and as my Uncle Manny would say, “I ain’t going to kick either of them out of bed for eating cookies”. Yeah, my uncle is a strange guy when it comes to baseball, and you thought I was bad. All this to say, it’s a battle that will rage well into 2018. In the words of the street poets Black Sheep, you can get with this or you can get with that. The choice is yours. I waffle back and forth, as I typically prefer the mashers, but Acuna’s assault on AAA is hard to ignore. I’m going to hold judgement until I have to… Here’s what else I saw in the MiLB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Kolten Wong (14.2% owned – increase of 9%) was far from being the most added player over the past week. In fact, he barely made the list, but the fact that he made the list at all is amazing. It would be Wong of me to not at least dig into him further, no?

Ok, I apologize. That was bad. Anyways, since the start of the month, Wong has a triple-slash of .375/.458/.583 with one home run, five doubles, one triple, 12 runs scored, 10 RBI, and one stolen base. Remember, back in 2014 Wong hit 12 home runs and stole 20 bases, so there’s some potential here. Let’s break it, break it down. He’s walking 10% and striking out 14% of the time. Those are nice numbers and an improvement from his 2014/2015 numbers. BUT…they are very close to his 2016 numbers when he hit .240. The swinging strike rate hasn’t changed but the chase rate has improved by 5%. In addition, his contact on pitches outside the strike zone has increased 6%. He’s also hitting left-handed pitching very, very well so far (.333 average vs .258 career mark). Now, to the portion of the show that you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your seats for…..We are not Wong to be overlooking Kolten. The BABIP is a sky-high .353. That batting average is going to come back down to the .260-ish range. That batting average against lefties is fueled by a .385 BABIP. Nothing in the peripherals shows a drastic change that motivates me to think that his recent success is sustainable. Looks like a lot of luck. TRASH

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Clearly, the Razzball Vulcan Mind Meld is complete: just as the Mustached One put up a post addressing rookies, Dr. Easy and I had begun to wonder how the current crop is actually doing. We combed through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) to see who’s living up to their hype. Who’s floundering in the face of big-league hitting or pitching? Who’s doing better than you think they are? Who’s doing worse? Why did basically no one draft Aaron Judge in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? We need answers! To get them, once more unto the Player Rater breach we go, my friends!

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After his electric White Sox debut, Reynaldo Lopez ($7,200) will be back on the mound against the Rangers on Thursday. Lopez was shredding triple-A before his call-up, striking out 63 batters in his last 46 2/3 innings, and continued his success in the majors with six strikeouts in six innings against the Royals. In his second start of the year, Lopez gets to face a Rangers team that strikes out 23.7% of the time against righties, which is the 5th-highest mark in the league. That’s a ton of strikeout potential for dirt cheap, although it’s a possibility that the 23-year-old completely implodes. For that reason, you might want to avoid him in cash games, but Lopez is gold in GPPs.

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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On the ones and twos, it’s not DJ Khaled, with a cigar in his baby’s mouth, dropping another one in a major key.  It’s yo’ boy, DJ LeMahieu (4-for-5, 4 runs, 1 RBI), the French-sounding EDM mixmaster, spinning his wheels around the bases.  Yo, DJ LeMahieu, what you got to say about that?  “Pouvez-vous chicken francaise?”  Yo, you sound like me pretending to be French!  Next up throwing down, it’s Mark Reynolds (3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 25th homer), the man, the myth, the Mini Donkey.  All brays to you!  Then how about Trevor Story (3-for-4, 6 RBIs and his 17th and 18th homers) finding his way into back-to-back home run games, like succinylcholine finds its way into back-to-back Forensic Files.  Then there’s Carlos Gonzalez…Actually, you still suck!  So, the Rockies, scored (fill-in-number, too high to count) last night, and Jon Gray did all he had to do — 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, which in Coors is all you can ask.  His peripherals are gorgeous — 8.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 3.59 xFIP, but something I failed to remember this past preseason, it’s still a struggle to start him in Coors.  I mean, shizz gets ugly fast like a reality TV person at a reunion show.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Is it just me, or has anyone else already started worrying about which players are going to burn them the most in 2018? Grey has already mentioned how the sudden late-season production of guys like Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson will probably dupe folks into buying into them next year with a sense of false promise. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I’m already imagining and stressing over the bad relationships I will probably enter into during my 2018 drafts and auctions, and trying to figure out if there’s anything I can do to avoid them.

The gentleman who I feel has strung me along the most, given me a handful of fun times over the last couple of seasons, but ultimately disappointed me to the point where I’ve decided it’s probably time to break up for good, is Yoenis Cespedes. Even after a spotty, injury-plagued 2016, I put a lot of eggs in his basket this year as my go-to NL power/average guy. Cut to mid-August, and dude has fewer homers than (among a million other people), Paul DeJong and Scooter Gennett (and now Ces has pitched fewer innings than Scooter to boot!) He’s been one of my biggest busts of the year, and yet, after seeing him hit 4 bombs over his last 7 games, I can feel my head starting to turn in his direction once again. I’m already wondering if he’ll be a value pick next year, and worrying that if I don’t stock up on as many shares of Cespedes as I can get my hands on, he’ll pull a 2017 Giancarlo and lead the way to 2018 victory for everyone else’s fantasy teams. Am I the naïve girl falling for the jerk who’s mistreated her before, and will again? Or the wise woman ready to give a great guy the final chance he deserves before ultimately walking off into the sunset with him?

The Razzball Commenter Leagues for Fantasy Football are now open! Take on your favorite writers and other readers of the site for a chance at prizes!

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Thank Cobb this injury wasn’t worse. After failing to stick the landing on his improvised triple lutz down the first base line, Bryce Harper owners ran to their bobble head and starting lineup figure shrines to pray to the old baseball Gods and the new (Praise Be to Frank Thomas.) Luckily, there was no knee meat damaged in the play which is good, but it is still looking like a mid-September return from a bone bruise in his knee. But Harper is just crazy and young enough to beat that time frame. Funnily enough, the first few suggestions when you start to type “bone bruise” into Google are “bone bruise knee,” “bone bruise heal time” and “bone bruise knee heal time.” Fantasy managers are so quick to become amateur physicians when their players go down. How you handle a Harper replacement could be key to you making & surviving your playoffs. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Say it with me now: “Goosfraba.” No one man can replace Harper. Now that that’s out of the way let’s see what we’re working with. You know who you should grab before it’s too late? Eddie Rosario (37%.) Since July 1st Rosario has a .333 average with 20 runs, 6 HR, 22 RBI and 3 SB — 5 of those HR have come in his last 8 games. Is this realistic? Not entirely. However, Rosario is only 25 and was a 20/20/.280 threat in his minor league days. Ride the hot hand here.

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