The Mariners have been something of an s-show. On one hand, they’ve been an excellent source of cheap speed. On the other hand, Dee Gordon, J.P. Crawford, Shed Long, and Tim Lopes are a combined 9/76 with 3 steals over the last 7 days. Checks notes again. Throws up in mouth. Tosses notes into trash. Praise the fantasy gods for the Mariners newest speed demon Sam Haggerty (.7% ESPN, 1% CBS). The Mariners’ rookie batted second on Sunday and has a pair of steals and a homer in 20 plate appearances. He was never a power prospect in the minors but did steal 20+ bases in 2017 (49), 2018, and 2019. His speed kept his batting average decent due to a high BABIP. Haggerty is the proverbial shiny new speed toy in the Seattle lineup. Starting Friday, the Mariners get a four-game set against the Angels. The Angels have allowed the most stolen bases this year, so if you’re desperate for steals, grab Haggerty now to get ahead of your opponents.

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The Padres traded Franchy Cordero to the Royals. Vincent Vega, “Franchy calls them the Royales with cheese.” If Padres keep trading away fun ballplayers, then Fernando Tatis Jr. better watch himself aka FTJ aka Fun The Jewels. First, the easy side of this trade. With Franchy packing up his red, white and blue flag (no stars), the Padres have an opening for Edward Olivares. They wouldn’t dare, would they? If they dared, then I might be interested. In Double-A last year, he went 18/35/.283, but he was a tad old at that level. Still those numbers are eye-poppers. His overall value until then was of a 4th outfielder (IRL, not IFL). Our Prospectonator (it projects every single rookie) has him down for 14/22/.244 over 162-game season. That’s honestly not bad. I don’t know if Olivares sees any actual playing time, or enough to make him worthwhile. I have added him to today’s Buy column that will be up in a few hours. Yes, that’s right! There’s a Buy this afternoon! Exclamation! (It was released yesterday to our Patreons.) My guess is Wil Myers, Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are the outfield; Josh Naylor is the DH with, I guess, Ty France, and Edward Olivares is the 4th outfielder. With Franchy headed from the ocean to a-near-a-riverderci, he goes to an equally terrible hitters’ park, and likely still in a platoon. Only now his platoon is less about outfielders needing looks. Against righties, Maikel Franco possibly moves to the bench, and Hunter Dozier takes over third. But vs. lefties, Maikel gets in at third, Dozier moves to the outfield and Franchy is out of the lineup again. It’s pretty flat on fantasy value movement. But, as Franchy was told by Ty France, “If we are going to get men to wear berets, we’re gonna have to spread out.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.

For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

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Draft season is getting into full swing. Unless things break right for you early you’re likely to find your team a little light in the steals department. Take a stab at some of these cheaper players to boost your speed.

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

Usual Suspects

  • Jarrod Dyson – Dyson probably has the most guaranteed playing time coming into the season. Injuries tend to cut into his ABs but when he’s in the lineup he’s running.
  • Delino DeShields Jr. – We’ve all been there with Delino. He’s cheap and has 50 steal speed if he could only play everyday and avoid the litany of injuries that tend to derail his season.
  • Dee Gordon – I’m actually interested in Gordon as a speed dart. He’s been around a while but is a seemingly young 31. The wheels aren’t what they used to be and will likely degrade as the season goes. Still, there’s plenty of scenarios that see him leading off in Seattle.
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Contracts, the lifeblood of Major League Baseball. If you’re good enough, after you put in your time making nothing and riding on buses, the team owns you until you run through the rookie contract. Of course teams want to protect themselves from paying the next Jon Singleton, and this is how contracts end up with options. Some favor the team and others the player. It usually boils down to who has more leverage at the bargaining table.

Vested options are typically put on the back end of contracts, especially for older players. Some of these milestones might mean that a guy pushes through a minor injury. Others may put the club in a position where they prefer a player miss their vested option. The team can control the likelihood of completing the option.

For instance, Wade Davis has a vesting option to finish 30 games this season. Given his performance last year, the Rockies are more likely to find an alternative option should he falter or give him more days in between closing opportunities even if he returns to form.

What does this mean for you in fantasy? It means Scott Oberg, Jairo Diaz, and Carlos Estevez become interesting options at the back end of the draft. Oberg had the best numbers last year, but underlying numbers show he might have been lucky and has lost velocity on the fastball the last 3 seasons. Jairo and Estevez both throw upper 90s with sliders.

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The Beat Grey Albright NFBC league filled up so quickly that the NFBC folks (you can still use promo code: Razzball25 and get $25 off at NFBC—sign up for a Draft Champions or Cutline Championship League today!) decided to create a second league where 14 unlucky fans got a chance to take on the Donkey who poops in Grey Albright’s backyard. So much has happened since this Donkey draft started on November 22nd and completed, 750 picks and 18 days later, on December 10th: Gerrit Cole signed with the evil empire for *pinkie to mouth* ONE BILLION DOLLARS, Anthony Rendon now calls Los Angeles or Anaheim or wherever home, the White Sox locked up prized prospect Luis Robert for six years, the Astros took cheating to whole new levels and I fell off my roof seven times while putting up and taking down Kwanzaa lights. Fortunately, the roof of my barn isn’t very high off the ground so I only stubbed a hoof. Anyway, here’s my NFBC Draft Champions errrr, draft recap:

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One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and all the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility.  Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning. It was expressly written for them. You guys! Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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If the Dodgers promote Gavin Lux, will that put them over the Lux cap? I said, will that put them over the…*looks up* Lux cap? Wow, no balloons dropped from my ceiling for that gorgeous pun. “Hello, is the balloons-in-the-ceiling salesman that came out to my house? Yes…I said, what I thought at least, was a grade A pun and I expected balloons to fall from the ceiling. Well, I was talking about the Dodgers promoting Gavin Lux. Yes, they said they will in September. Will he play? My guess is sure, why not? At least some days. They’ve got the division wrapped up and I see no reason why they won’t play him. Why do we care?  Haha, Mr. Balloons-in-the-ceiling Salesman, we care because he’s hitting .400 in Triple-A. Shoot, Ted Williams’ frozen head is on the other line. Hold on one second….Yes, Frozen Ted Head? Lux is hitting for power too — 13 HRs. Also, he’s got some light speed. Yes, I’m excited. He could be *the* September call-up, but he’s hitting over-.400 just in the minors, so you don’t need to be stunting on your .400 batting average claim. Yes, you too, and say hello to Jack Dawson, Walt Disney and the vault where they make astronaut ice cream…Okay, Mr. Balloons-in-the-ceiling Salesman? Hello? Are you there?” Hmm, he hung up on me. Any hoo! Stash Gavin Lux now. He’s arriving soon, and the Dodgers can afford to play him. It’s a…*looks up at ceiling* Lux-ury they have. Damn, these things never fall. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Robinson Cano went 4-for-4, 5 RBIs and became the oldest 2nd baseman to ever hit three homers in a game (and he still has 4+ years on his contract!), hitting his 7th, 8th and 9th homers, and nearly had a fourth homer, but pulled it fowl (Mets sold the rights to their foul poles to Chick-Fil-A; don’t ask).  Kill me now:

Seriously, lay me down on the hot pavement and let Tawny Kitaen stomp my genitals like I’m Chuck Finley. The awfulness of owning Robinson Cano coupled with actually owning him for a three-homer game while he’s on my bench is too much to bear.  Sprinkle Doritos dust on my head, put me in an office chair, and roll me towards Billy Butler, then run the other way so you spare yourself.  He was going against Chris Paddack (5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.84) — my baby boo! — how could I start Cano?  How? *screaming in the rain, shaking fists at the heavens* How?! So Cano hasn’t been good, but maybe this is the turnaround he needs.  More than likely, I’ll now put him in my lineup for an 0-for-45 stretch.  HOW?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hello, poppets! VictoriaB here, pinch-hitting for Wander34 while he summer vacates (totally a verb). I was pleasantly surprised to find that MLB is not running a skeleton crew this sunny summer Monday: in fact, it’s rather a fulsome slate, with 11 games going down across baseball land. Options are varied by position, but I think we can build ourselves a decent enough slate on FanDuel today, around our anointed centerpiece, Robbie Ray.

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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