Please see our player page for Brian Dozier 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.

Jose Altuve was the clear cut number two coming into the 2018 season. As a matter of fact, there were some “experts” that even dared to put him ahead of Mike Trout. Personally I though that was about as silly as drafting the oft injured James Paxton in the earlier rounds. Fool me once James. I guess that’s why I put the word expert in quotes when referring to those of us that write down our thoughts and call it advice. Altuve has averaged about 512 points a season over the last four seasons with 0.738 points per plate appearance. That’s pretty damn good. However, my preseason rankings had him as the fourth hitter behind Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado and Mookie Betts. Overall I also had Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber ahead of Altuve. Regardless, he was an obvious first round pick.

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That’s the question that’s been on my brain as I worked on these rankings the past few weeks. I’m not over the past 10 years, not for next year, not for the next 10 years — right now — is Mike Trout still the #1 hitter this year? Even with a lengthy DL stint, Trout is still one of the top players in the league and is close to surpassing all of his numbers from last year’s (also) injury shrunken season (88 runs/31 HRs/2 SBs in 116 games so far this year vs. 92/33/22 in 114 games last year.) But while he missed 19 games in August this year, three players have kept chugging right along and putting up phenomenal numbers. Let’s take a look at these three challengers for the crown.

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The 10 HR/8 SB/.302 AVG player we saw from AJ Pollock over the first month or so of the season is a top-20 player if that pace continues for a full season. However we know how this story goes, since May 4th (yes I know there was an injury in there because OF COURSE there was) Pollock has 184 ABs with only 6 HRs and 2 SBs with a .261 AVG. However, I keep him on these rankings because peak Pollock is a 20/40 threat. The only problem is peak Pollock is a pretty preposterous proposition. Whatever is hurting him this time seems to be limiting him on the base paths which is limiting you in your standings. 

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Wheeler dealer: the big man who makes things run (says a handy Google search. What the hell did we do before Google? Lived in ignorance, that’s what). Of course I’m hoping that Zach Wheeler makes your DFS team run on Draft.com today, not the Giants’ hitters. But over the last month, he’s been wheelin’ and dealin’, giving you innings and K’s, so I fully expect that to continue against the Giants, whose offense has been anything but giant. You may not be looking at a win, as the Mets have offensive struggles of their own, but he should have no trouble mowing down the Giants bats. Let’s take a look at who else is out there.

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Rick Porcello said of his catcher, Sandy Leon, “He’s the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to.  Period.”  It’s a shame people don’t end include other forms of punctuation when speaking.  “I am the Red Sox ace.  Question mark.  No, I forgot about Chris Sale.  Period.  Actually, exclamation mark.  The best Red Sox pitchers.  Colon.  Not Bartolo.  Period.  I’m going to list them.  Period.  Okay.  Comma.  Damn.  Comma.  I apostrophe V-E confused myself.”  Yesterday, Porcello threw a sparkler — 7 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 ER, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.04, and roped a double to right, which is fun in a dog on rollerblades-type way, but is kinda irrelevant.  What’s less irrelevant, Rick Porcello is pitching better this year than his Cy Young year, though with less ERA to show for it, obviously.  That could change in the final six weeks if he finds his groove.  Period.  Ya know what, exclamation mark.  Strike that, interrobang.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m going to do something a little different this week. I wanted to do a fun little experiment to show how tricky it can be to rank 100 hitters every week. It can be tough to decide which statistic is more valuable in standard 5×5 leagues while also taking into account: age, injury history, lineup, previous performance, home stadium, position eligibility, splits, etc.

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Matt Carpenter (up 36 spots): In his first 186 ABs: 23 runs, 7 HR, 21 RBI, .215 AVG. In his next 183 ABs: 47 runs, 19 HRs, 36 RBI, .339 AVG. End paragraph. 

There’s a few guys every week who I’m keeping a close eye on who are on the cusp of making the Top 100 Hitters list. This week the guys on the bubble are: Mallex Smith, Kole Calhoun and Ian Kinsler. Smith is looking like everything  we want Billy Hamilton to be. Like Hamilton, Smith had an eye-popping stolen base season in the minors (92  in 2014!) But Mallex is actually getting on base at a great rate (.357) this year, something Hamilton has sworn against. Mallex has all the speed of Hamilton and with opportunity could put together an amazing full season next year. I’m sure you already realized this, but Kole Calhoun was just the worst until the end of May. .162 batting average. That’s worse than some pitchers! Maybe — I don’t know. I’m pro-NL-DH. Haters gonna hate! Well Kole world got demoted and found the ghost of Babe Ruth while hitting for the Salt Lake Bees. (Beads?!) Since his return to The Los Angeles Trouts he’s hitting .302 with 27 runs, 13 HRs, 30 RBI and has even stolen 2 bases just for fun. If this pace keeps up, he’ll be rocketing up this list. Finally, Ian Kinsler has a pretty nice 20 game hot streak. He’s got 15 runs, 2 HRs, 10 RBI, 2 SBs, and a .347 AVG in that span. Now, put those numbers batting 6th behind Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and friends. His value just got a nice shot in the arm.

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Know why Steve Pearce went off yesterday for three homers (3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 6th, 7th and 8th homer)?  Because he’s only owned in 3% of fantasy leagues.  That’s spiteful, Steve Pearce.  Spite is one of the seven deadliest sins.  Right after that soup the fat guy ate in Se7en.  Not to be confused with Goop, which is Paltrow’s career after she stopped being harassed by Harvey Weinstein.  Allow a gross, sweaty producer to rub his genitals against you in unwanted advances, win an Oscar.  Sleep with that guy from Coldplay, do movies with Huey Lewis.  Speaking of Coldplay, Pearce has been terrible for the last few weeks, but the Sawx have committed to Pearce in a favorable lineup spot, at least against lefties, which he’s rewarded them with solid production (hitting near-.360 vs. lefties).  He’s not quite at a Goop-level bounce back, but he is above starring with Huey Lewis and/or Chris Martin.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Kole Calhoun went 1-for-2 and his 14th homer and, seriously, how many home runs does he have since the break?  475?  Am I warm?  Because it feels like I’m super warm…*eyes drift to a mirror* …so super, super warm.  Hot even.  What’s your name?  *snaps out of it*  Damn it, reflection!  Okay, starting a dynasty team, Trout or Calhoun?  It’s too difficult to decide!  What is this world coming to with the fire emoji that is Kole Calhoun in the last two weeks?  I can’t handle it.  Literally, and I’m wearing oven mitts.  Here’s Calhoun two weeks ago:  *opens DeLorean door*  “I can go anywhere?  How about Balco in 2001?”  Somehow, Calhoun is only owned in 45% of leagues, which I hope means 55% of people are already checking out our fantasy football rankings.  If not, shame.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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