Please see our player page for Anthony DeSclafani to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Was thinking how much I like Harrison Bader and how he feels tailor-made for a 2020 sleeper post, then I had a deep thought. No, not my deep thought about oat milk, but if you wanna hear that one, it goes like this. The dairy industry invented oat milk because when you order, “Coffee with oat milk,” you invariably get a coffee without milk, and it makes you appreciate dairy much more. I’m onto you, industrial dairy complex! But my deep thought about fantasy baseball sleepers was:  If every hitter is great, doesn’t it make more sense to only look at pitchers who are sleepers?  Anyone can tell you so-and-so hitter is a sleeper, because they will likely hit 30+ homers, but every hitter hits 30+ homers, so bleh! More discussion for the offseason, I guess. Yesterday, Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 with two homers (9, 10) as he hits .213. He’ll be 26 years old in 2020, and way past the point when he should have an everyday job, and we care because he has 20/15/.250 potential. Reminds me a bit of all the Bradley Zimmer/Clint Frazier sleeper posts over the years, and now I want nothing to do with him. Obviously, with three homers in last four games, he’s hot, but, as the eight-hole hitter, I’m once again wondering about pitcher sleepers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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If you are reading this, it most likely means you made it through another matchup and are in the semi-finals or championship. No time to celebrate though, as we must focus on bringing home the hardware. A wise man once said streaming pitchers is like playing with fire. If that is the case, streaming pitchers in the playoffs is like playing with fire in a suit soaked in gasoline and gunpowder. But you gotta risk it for the biscuit!

Below are my favorite streamers for each remaining day of the week that are 40% owned or less on ESPN:

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They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not!  Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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It doesn’t get much better than this folks. While everyone else is looking forward to fantasy football around the corner, the real fantasy all-stars are trying to grind out a fantasy baseball championship. For better or worse, your entire season comes down to a few critical matchups. That’s right, playoff Manaea is in full swing!

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Yesterday, Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-4, 3 RBIs with his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .241. Talk about a guy in a deep, danky funk who looks like he put a message on the Jumbotron announcing his retirement in July and all the fans were like, “That’s weird, I thought he said he was retiring but he’s out there playing, am I thinking of someone else?” Then rather than answer, one of the other Phillies fans vomited on the 1st fan and they laughed about it later. Digging into Hoskins’s numbers they are vom on the surface, but you can get some corn kernels of truth out of them that you might find nourishing. His splits are nauseating between 1st and 2nd half, but that’s a whatever goalpost. My biggest concern for him is he’s not driving balls. His average homer distance is 385 feet (awful), his average exit velocity is 89.3 MPH (mediocre), and his launch angle is easily highest in major leagues for qualifying players. Essentially, he’s hitting a ton of 365 foot outs, Don’t think that’s his destiny though, or density if George McFly is reading. For 2020, he just needs to get more aggressive (stop walking so much), trust his own power and drive the ball. Podcaster Ralph and I talk about him on the pod, that’s coming later today, and we both agree:  We’re gonna be all-in on him next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Anthony DeSclafani went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.05. This start was against the Marlins, so, thankfully, Anthony DeeScalated the hard-charging school of fish. “Lobsters don’t have sex, they butter each up and green stuff forms in their middle belly.” That’s a substitute teacher at fish school half-assing it. So, DeSclafani bought a pet goldfish and named it Flushy, but he’s better than some random game against the Fish. The Fish haven’t been good since Hootie said, “I’ve had enough of all of you.” DeSclafani, on the other hand, has been good in the not-too-distant past and is better this year — his peripherals:  9.2 K/9 (best of his career), 2.8 BB/9 and velocity up to 94.6 MPH from 93.6. His gamely homer allowance (GamHomAll) needs to be curbed for real success, but I can see why the Streamonator likes his next start. He’s underrated, unlike the Marlins, who are underwater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Today’s slate features a team that, as of the writing of this introduction, has a 7.8 implied Vegas total. How rare is that? Before 2019, pretty rare – from 2014 to 2019, it happened twice – on July 10th, 2016 (The Rockies had an implied total of 7.8 against the Phillies) and on August 28th, 2017 (The Rockies had an implied total of 7.9 against the Tigers). This year it’s already happened five times, including twice outside of Coors! The five games were the Yankees hosting the Blue Jays on June 25th (7.8 implied total), the Astros on the road in Coors against the Rockies on July 3rd (7.8), the Rockies hosting the Giants on July 17th (with the record high implied total of 8.2), the Rockies hosting the Marlins on August 17th (with an 8 implied total), and finally the Red Sox hosting the Orioles on August 18th (7.8 implied total). If you expect me to try to do a statistical analysis on these games to see any pattern, well that’d be remarkably silly, as the sample size of 7 games would limit any study to be statistically meaningless. If you open the range of implied total up to say, 7.5 or above you may get a sample size of note, but there are people way smarter than me who have already done such analysis. It shouldn’t take advanced analysis to know you want to play the bats on a team with a 7.8 implied total. Especially when they aren’t priced that high, which is the case today. But I’ll get to that in the picks. But before I do, let me say that by the time I went back to proof-read this introduction, the implied total had risen to 8.1 (which means there’s only two other instances since 2014).

On to the picks…

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With one week left in the regular season for most H2H leagues (20 regular season matchups) you most likely know if you will be making a championship push in the playoffs, or if you came up short. If you are still reading these at this point in the year, I’m assuming your team is still alive. So let’s make one last push this week if you are on the bubble, or let’s starting thinking about next week if you have a spot secured.

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The title refers to Lisztomania by Phoenix, which led me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia that I have to share with you. Lisztomania was a frenzy over composer Franz Liszt, the original Justin Bieber. This is especially hilarious from Wikipedia, “Lisztomania was considered by some a genuine contagious medical condition and critics recommended measures to immunize the public,” and not considered the same as Beatlemania, which was used to mean a craze; Lisztomania caused actual craziness. Will Luzardo-Manaea cause women to rip their brooches from their bosoms and throw them at passing horse-drawn carriages in Oakland? Well, let’s let Tupac tell you about Oaktown, “Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’, soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ brooches screamin’.”  Screamin’ instead of whizzin’ by for the rhyme, obviously. Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo should be back with the team within ten days and now’s the time to stash them. For thousands of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be elated,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, they make fun of you.” Manaea, the one skinny Samoan in the world, doesn’t have this problem. He has control, not just appetite control.  He could have an under-2 BB/9, which should limit damage, just like his home park. I’m stashing him everywhere. Luzardo is a bit more of an upside gamble. He also has pinpoint control, and can strike out a ton of guys. There’s little to not like about Luzardo, except how he might be deployed in September and does he get enough starts to matter. Plus, roofies, those darn things. I’m stashing Luzardo too, but I’m not throwing brooches at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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The Astros got two great starts this weekend from two guys who weren’t in the conversation until recently.  On Saturday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54.  He made my pants up-jump-the-boogie a little from his pitching.  I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is […]

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