That’s right, I said it. Let’s Go Islanders!!!! I have been a New York Islanders fan since the second grade. That was back in 1984. Most assume I was an Islanders fan because of the dynasty in which they won the Stanley Cup the four previous seasons. That is not the case. Unfortunately I missed that boat. I was too young at the time. Others then assume that my dad was an Islanders fan. That too is incorrect. My dad was a big New York Yankees fan, but was indifferent when it came to hockey. There are two reasons why I became an Islanders fan. The first is that my best friend in second grade was a big Rangers fan, and he and I used to play street hockey nearly every day. Nearly every day is a probably an exaggeration, but frequently would be a fair assessment. We used to play with milk crates for goals because that’s what we could find in the garage. It actually made us very accurate shooters as we got older. While I did grow up in northern New Jersey, the Devils didn’t move to the Meadowlands until 1982. Back in the eighties, the Rangers’ local rival was the Islanders. Since my buddy always wore a Rangers shirt of some sort, I backed the Islanders to keep the spirit of rivalry alive. However, the real truth behind why I chose the Islanders was because I liked their colors. This fact is a bit ironic considering I don’t like the Mets or Knicks. Perhaps going to Yankee Stadium at the age of two I had already been roped into the Pinstripes. Fast forward to today and any NHL fans know that Islanders fans have endured a very difficult 35 years. Never having watched your favorite sports franchise win the championship sucks. Last year they gave us something to be very excited about. This year they are doing the same with an opportunity to avenge last year’s elimination loss. And in the process they have given Islanders fans such as myself that now live in the Boston area a bit to brag about.

So now that I’ve spent the last few minutes talking about a hockey team I guess I should switch focus back to fantasy baseball points leagues. After all that is what you are here to read about. But before I do I have to give Ryan Pulock a huge shoutout for saving a goal with only a second or two left in the game.

Matt Olson – Only two hitters have more points than Moslon Golden. Those players are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr. If those are the only two batters ahead of you I think you are doing a pretty good job at the plate. Olson is a career .253 hitter, but he’s currently batting .301. His strikeout rate is way down and his isolated power is up. At 0.986 he has nearly a point per plate appearance. Everything sounds great, but I think I’d be selling if I owned him. But that’s just me hedging my bets.

Jesse Winker – Only Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. have a higher points per plate appearance stat than Winker. Like I said earlier about Olson, if those are the only players ahead of you, you are having a good season. Are we really talking about Jesse Winker? Yes we are. I was very interesting in Winker in 2019 and I drafted him in a lot of leagues. That investment did not pan out. Perhaps I was two years too early on that call as Winker is looking like an MVP. I’m selling Winker too.

Cedric Mullins – Seriously, where in the world did this guy come from? I’m pretty sure he went un-drafted in just about every normal sized league. I sure do wish I owned him in at least one league. This is a player that’s going to end up on a lot of fantasy championship rosters come season’s end. He’s got to be the top waiver hitter (or player) pickup of the season.

Carlos Correa – Correa is slowing turning into the world class player he’s been expected to be since about 2015. He has more points than Xander Bogaerts, Bo Bichette, Trea Turner and Francisco Lindor. I know Lindor hasn’t been much to talk about this season, but I see him as a major buy low candidate. But back to Correa, who’s on pace for 30 home runs. I wouldn’t mind him being my shortstop in every points league. At least the one’s I don’t own Tatis.

Mark Canha Nick Castellanos is having a great season. He is batting .341 and has 202 fantasy points. Mark Canha has 200 points. That point differential is easily erased with one swing of the bat. I think Canha stands a very good chance of maintaining his current production the rest of this season.

Alex Verdugo – On draft day in my most important league I was targeting Austin Meadows with my first found pick. We keep ten players, so that makes the first round really the 11th. I had the sixth pick and Meadows was taken with the fifth. After a little deliberation I selected Verdugo. Meadows currently has 187 points. Verdugo has 190. He’s a buy for me.

Raimel Tapia – Tapia is nearly on pace for a 15/15 season with a .300 batting average. Did I mention he plays half his games in Colorado? Buy, buy, buy…

Bryan Reynolds – He should be owned in nearly all leagues.

Jared Walsh – Walsh’s stat line is very similar to J.D. Martinez and he has only 13 fewer fantasy points. Walsh brings both 1B and OF eligibility, compared to J.D. with just OF.

You know those posts where they list two players’ stats, but label the players as Player A and Player B? Well I’m going to try that out.

Player A – 89.7 IP, 14 GS, 11 QS, 8 W, 1 L, 103 K, 1.51 ERA and 361 points (166.75 ADP)
Player B – 89.7 IP, 14 GS, 11 QS, 8 W, 3 L, 117 K, 2.31 ERA and 347 points (3.65 ADP)

These stats are nearly identical. Player A has the better ERA, but player B has more strikeouts. Player A has the narrow edge in the points department. These two SP are the top two SP with respect to points. For those that haven’t figured it out, Player A is Kevin Gausman and Player B is Gerrit Cole. Given their ADP I think it’s save to anoint Gausman as the most valuable SP YTD. I drafted both, but since I also own Carlos Rodon, Freddy Peralta and Alex Wood, I was able to trade Cole.

If anyone is willing to part with Juan Soto for any sort of a discount, I’d make an offer. Especially in keeper leagues.

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney