2019 Draft Kit

Like a fair portion of you out there in Razzland, I had my fantasy football draft over this past weekend. It’s easy to shift gears and pay more attention to the fooze at this point in the season, but we aren’t done here yet! We have matchups to win, standings points to gain, glory to achieve! I enjoyed a tasty chunk of smoked brisket over this past weekend, and it got me thinking…how many things in life do I enjoy more than this delicious meat? I didn’t come up with much – cats, Aubrey Plaza, the feeling you get when you have a four-alarm tummy grumbling emergency when you’re rolling down the highway and eventually find a rest stop to end your suffering. Those things, and the glory of winning a fantasy baseball league.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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For the vast majority of leagues, we are on to the playoffs. Those no longer with us will not see this as they are understandably moving onto football season. But not us. If you are reading this right now, you made it! Playoff bound, and by this time of the week you are getting a good idea of how things are shaping up. Or you’re getting a really BAD idea of how things are shaping up. (Looking at you, my team down 9-1-1 in my main league.) This is where H2H sucks, as all your success all season comes down to showing up this one week. Cheers to you if you’re comfortably up and not sweating this matchup. But for those of you suckers down in a hole like me, its time to scrape and fight for our lives. I’m trying to pick up an ground on any category any way I can. One area I found I may be able to gain an advantage at is with saves. In other words, I’m out here trying to save the season!

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(Yes, I know Grey has already used the line, but imitation is the sincerest form of Flaherty.) It’s a bit of a peculiar day on FantasyDraft. The early slate (more on that below) is tough for pitching, other than Jack Flaherty ($21,400), who takes on the Tigers in Comerica Field. Later, there are some star pitchers on the mound — your Max Scherzers ($24,300), your Noah Syndergaards ($19,300) and what-have-yous; those whom Streamonator ranks all the way at the top. But they both have match-ups that make me slightly nervous: the Cubs and the Phillies, respectively. At the same time, both slates feature a couple of delicious hitting situations, such as Astros at Red Sox early, and Dodgers at Rockies late, plus some lefty pitchers against teams who, frankly, feast on LHP. So the TL;DR version: I’m leaning more hitting than pitching today. Let’s take a look at some options.

New to FantasyDraft? 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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Oakland A’s rookie outfielder slash speed demon slash rocket arm slash hot shot Ramon Laureano hit two home runs Friday night including his first career lead off bomb to which even Ricky Henderson nodded in approval. He became the first A’s player with two multi-home run games in his first 30 games and the rook upped his slash to .309/.387/568 with five bombs, 13 RBI, and let us not forget, a perfect 4-for-4 in steals chances. Yes, hashtag SAGNOF. That’s why we’re talking about him for 2018. Ramon lead off for just the second time in his young MLB career (he doubled twice leading off Wednesday) but considering such positive results, it’s likely he’ll see a lot more time there throughout the remainder of the season. Laureano held an .895 OPS with 13 homers and 11 steals in 63 games at AAA before his call up and has done nothing but excel since he got here. Everybody loves this guy! Is it because he delivered a game winner in his MLB debut? Is it because he has the potential to be a real life 5-tool player? Or is it because he plays defense like a gold glover and has an absolute cannon of an arm that would make Tom Brady blush. Sweet sassy molassy! I’m sorry I have to watch that again. And you’re sure I don’t get fantasy points for that? If, like most people, you’ve already moved on to fantasy football and are sad about your Leveons or your McKinnons, try to remember Ramon Laureano for your 2019 sleeper radar. But if you are still with us, and you need some speed and runs and average in the stretch run, go grab yourself a bowl of Ramon while he’s hot!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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On this week’s show we broke out of our normal setup to answer some of your questions. It’s a full episode from the mailbag, and we got some good ones. Everything from player development philosophy to which prospects rank the best for fantasy. We of course open the show with the latest victim of the Tommy John epidemic, Michael Kopech. Obviously Lance and I lament our recent loss, and ask where to rank him heading into the off-season. It’s another week of prospect banter from Broshitz! As always make sure you stop by Rotowear.com, and support our sponsor by picking up some of the freshest T-shirts out there.

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How does Franmil Reyes have such quick hand-eye coordination for a big guy?  Of course, it’s due to his 20/20 over 20/20 vision.  Franmil’s two-upping your vision!  Franmil Reyes isn’t just a big-time power hitter, he’s also the winner of the 1st Annual Kyle Blanks Look-A-Like Pageant.  You might remember Franmil’s now famous answer to the question, “California is going through a world-record drought, what would you do to solve this dilemma if you had one afternoon to spend with your doppelgänger, Kyle Blanks?”  Franmil took his time, then answered, “I’d go to the tallest peak in the Rockies with Mr. Blanks and we’d make snow angels, melting more snowflakes than Fox News and that water would roll into California.  I.e., This is my Fran-friction!”  I lifted myself from my Furby beanbag and cheered in my man cave.  Bless you, Franmil!  Bless you, child!  Also bless his power.  His batting average will come down some with a larger sample size, but there is no larger sample size than this 7-foot, 450-pound behemoth when it comes to dongs.  Sounded better in my head!  If you need power, I’d grab Franmil in all leagues.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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We’re inside the final month of your fantasy baseball seasons. Hopefully you’re in contention for some titles and payouts. Who to trust for saves matters down the stretch. Don’t let a brain freeze drop you in the standings. Also keep an eye out for shifting roles in places like Minnesota, Cleveland, or San Francisco. The Brad Hand types could make or break your stretch run depending on what inning their manager calls on them.

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…….welcome to Friday.  FanDuel has us set up for a 14 game slate and I’m here to help you through it.  Today’s slate contains some aces; Kershaw, Nola, Snell, Carrasco, Paxton, Corbin, Tanaka, Cole, Price…..so naturally, I’m going to lead with Carlos Rodon ($8,700).  Rodon’s been really good since his return from shoulder surgery this year.  While I will admit, the SIERA points to regression, I’m going to ignore it some and think more about what he’s done for me lately.  Rodon gets a match-up with the Angels, who have struggled vs LHP all year.  In fact, they only field one above average bat vs LHP…..it just so happens that its really really above average in Mike Trout.  Trout was absent from the lineup on Wednesday with calf tightness, so if he’s out on Friday, Rodon goes from a nice GPP play to a potential cash play.

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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Francisco Mejia is quick to the ball, boy, oh, boy.  I watched his 1st career home run at-bat yesterday because there was only four games last night for the MLB because they went about the start of the fantasy football season like this:  Picture the scene in Braveheart when they moon the other side, then charge at them.  Okay, picturing Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic ass?  Good, now after the mooning, imagine instead of charging, they high-tailed it the eff out of there.  That was MLB last night.  “We ain’t even got time for a white flag, we’re going home to watch football!”  By the way, one more Braveheart note, was mooning really common of William Wallace and in the 1300s?  *Googles first known mooning in history*  Wow, Wikipedia says, “In 80 AD, Flavius Josephus recorded the first known incident of mooning.”  Yo, yo, yo, it’s Flava Flavius!  And I’m here to show you my big white ass!  Any hoo!  Francisco Mejia is going to be all over my cheap catcher radar in 2019.  Really hoping Austin Hedges gets traded, because time shares suck — except when they’re giving out $20 in free casino chips to just look at one! — and I don’t want Hedges muckety-mucking up my Mejia mmm muah!  (Say that fast 117 times!)  Yesterday, Mejia hit his 1st career homer, then, in his next at-bat, hit his 2nd career homer, going 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs.  He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, and, for this year, he’s in a platoon, but you know my cyclops has got that monocle.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Late in the minor league season is a trip. It constantly has the ability to skew everything you’ve come to know over the course of an entire season. That can be good, and bad. On one hand, you might be guilty of reacting to smaller sample sizes. That’s obviously never great, but to act as if we’re not all going to fall victim to it, is naive. However, on the rare occasion a true breakthrough has taken place, we have to be agile, and prepared enough to adjust to that new information. While there’s numerous examples of the former late this season, there might be no better example of the latter than the Astros 2017 first rounder JB Bukauskas. The right-hander from UNC made his AA debut on Sunday with the Corpus Christi Hooks. Facing a San Antonio lineup featuring Josh Naylor, Austin Allen, Hudson Potts, and Buddy Reed, Bukauskas made quick work of the Missions. Going six scoreless frames, he allowed three base-runners, two via the walk, and a single hit (that came in his final inning of work). While striking out 8, throwing 94 pitches, 60 of them for strikes. I watched the entire game Sunday night, with extra attention on Bukauskas, and the verdict is he looked legit. Mixing the, as advertised, plus slider, with two plane break, and sharp downward movement, with (what looked like) a pair of fastballs, a plus mid-90’s sinking two-seamer with nasty downhill angle, and a four-seamer he wasn’t scared to elevate. He mixed in an inconsistent, but promising changeup, that looked nasty with fade and drop, to lefties, while at other times showed no shape at all. His Two-seamer + slider combo is a serious weapon, tunneling together and making it difficult to differentiate until late in the zone. The downward movement on his sinker is so sharp, he buried it a few times a s a wipeout pitch inside to lefties for ugly hacks. I came away from the start thoroughly impressed. He 100% looked like a starter to me, which has always been one of the biggest knocks on Bukauskas’ profile. I’d say take a flier if you’re looking for a high floor arm with some strikeout upside.

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