Please see our player page for Elias Diaz 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.

We’re one-third of the way through the 2019 baseball season, and let’s remember one thing: it is really, really difficult to predict what major league baseball players are going to do.  I just looked up the stats on starting pitchers this year in terms of who has provided the most standard, 5×5 fantasy baseball value so far in 2019. I am now going to jot a few names down to keep with me at next year’s drafts, as a reminder that no matter how dire things look in the middle of a draft or auction, there are options out there, even in the deepest of leagues.  So far this season, Justin Verlander ranks number one in 5×5 fantasy pitching value so far, which is not a huge surprise.  He is followed by three players who may have had injury/age concerns, but whom we all knew could be great:  Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Grienke, and Stephen Strasburg.  Then, things get interesting, as the next three guys probably were not even drafted in standard leagues:  Jake Odorizzi, Lucas Giolito, and Matthew Boyd.  Are all three of these guys overperforming and due for some serious regression?  Perhaps. (Though I’ve become a pretty big Matthew Boyd fan and am heavily invested… fingers crossed).  But even two months of top-10 level production from them is enough to make a huge impact on a deep-league fantasy team, as those of you who own any of them probably know.  Just something to keep in mind in future drafts, while for now we stay focused on 2019 and look to see who might be out there that could be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

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It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out, “Give it to me, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2018. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2018. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday, the Mets exploded for 16 runs.  Leading the way was Todd Frazier going 3-for-6, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with a slam (12) and legs (7).  Actually, Frazier, Jose Bautista (1-for-3, 1 RBI), Jose Reyes (2-for-5, 2 runs) and Austin Jackson (2-for-4, 2 runs) are all starting to click!  Wait, that’s their bones and it’s from arthritis.  Shoot, my b.  The true star, however, Brandon Nimmo (5-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) rose from the depths of the deep, dark water.  That’s not a Finding Nemo allusion. He plays in Flushing and we know what water is associated with that.  Nimms — Can we call him that?  Sure, right? — is hitting near .350 in the last week, and homered a few games ago (precise!).  For most part, it’s been dank Nimms but he’s no longer unDeRWaTEr aND HitTinG WeLL.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Weekend warriors assemble!!! We’re back for another jumbo 14 game main slate on FanDuel, which features Coors and only one SP over $10,000 in Gerrit Cole ($10,500). One of my favorite pitchers on tonight’s slate is Zach Eflin who comes in at $8,500. First of all, the Padres are not good; 29th in wOBA and dead last in ISO and K% vs RHP. Second, Eflin has been really good this year, limiting hard contact to 29%, and gets a nice park upgrade pitching in Petco. Finally, I’m going to implement a little NBA/NHL travel factor. The Padres played yesterday in Milwaukee, so they’re flying back to San Diego (am I the only one who hears Ron Burgundy’s voice??) for Friday’s game. Meanwhile, the Phillies had the day off on Thursday. I really like Eflin for Friday’s match-up. Let’s take a look at the rest of Friday’s slate.

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Michael Fulmer is officially oblique strain 1 of 3 in this report! Collect all three for a frustrating prize! Luckily it’s a grade 1 strain. Unluckily it’s a friggen oblique strain. They all suck and they all linger for weeks. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s 3-9 and his frustration will frustrate you — but he’s still a worthy SP4 or 5 on your roster. Fill In: Carlos Rodon (19.6%.) Last week I told you to add Carlos Rodon, but apparently the message was not received as he’s still under 20% owned. Rodon’s K/rate is still approximately 2 strike-outs behind his career numbers so you have to believe that number will normalize as he gets more starts under his belt. As it stands now he still has a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.56 ERA in 7 starts.

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Across the media landscape yesterday, people who vaguely know sports were giving hot takes like, “Cleveland lost their sports hero.”  “What do we hang on this LeBron sports banner now?”  “All Cleveland has left is the Browns, what will they ever do?”  I blame myself.  People don’t know baseball like they should.  That pains me.  What MLB was hoping for from Judge and Giancarlo is currently going on with Francisco Lindor (2-for-4, 3 runs, 7 RBIs and his 22nd and 23rd homer, hitting .298) and Jose Ramirez (2-for-4, 15th steal, hitting .298) and people outside of Cleveland have no idea.  Don’t worry, you’re not absolved of blame either.  I blame you, as well.  We need to shout from the rooftops at what these two are doing.  They are neck-and-neck in the top five on the Player Rater.  I can’t remember another time two teammates, who are hitters, were both in the top five.  (If you can think of an instance, hit me up in the comments.  I racked my brain, which is to say I placed my head on a video of a stripper’s rack.)  Together, they are worth nearly $90!  To swoop your pretty face back to the preseason, if your team added up to $260, you were at least working on even money.  Combined they’re worth more than a third of a total team!  Which one of them is going to end up worth more?  No idea, but this will be the greatest battle since Apollo-Rocky I.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve been thinking about how great things would be right now if I’d just been restricted from drafting a handful of certain players this year. When I like a guy going into the season, it’s always tough to decide just how many shares I should stock up on, and it’s particularly painful when I overbuy in situations where the answer should have been zero. If I had been unable to place Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, Luis Castillo, Zack Godley, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, or Sonny Gray on a fantasy team in 2018, it seems like all would be right with the fantasy baseball world. Instead, I have leagues where a combination of these guys has pretty much sunk my team, and other leagues where I am doing well only in spite of having to overcome horrible (or non-existent) pitching from them.

It’s unrealistic, though, to think any fantasy team will be mistake-free, and as destructive as a few bad picks can be in a deep league, it does make acquiring a waiver-wire gem all the more sweet. I don’t know about any of these guys turning your season around, but it really is difficult to predict when the diamond in the deep-league rough will pop up — so we’ll keep plugging away with a handful of players who may be available in your NL-only, AL-only, or other deep league.

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Did you hear about this Joc working overtime?  He was too uptight!  Take it, Highlights, it it yours!  One guy whose completely uptight in the forbidden Fruit of the Looms is Joc Pederson.  Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homer.  That gives him five homers this week.  Yabba dabba drool!  “So, I was hoping to buy a screw in this hardware store, but I’m having lustly feelings about a Joc.  Will you serve me?”  That’s me walking into a hardware store in Tennessee.  Some of my hotter buys — buys I make while wearing a thong — are owned in more than 50% of leagues — Rendon, Desmond, etc. — but Joc is pretty sexy if he’s going right and available in a multitude of leagues.  By the by, someone who changes attitudes frequently has a multitude.  The royal we are talking about a guy in my Joc who could sneak into a 30+ homer, 7-steal season, and he’s not even hitting for a bad average this season (.272).  Giddy up on this Joc!  And that’s not the first time I’ve said that!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Times like this you wish Noah Syndergaard wasn’t complaining of a ligament strain and just had a bad lisp.   “Oh no! My finger is Thor, and it needs a Syndergaard.”  More like Noah Fingergaard!  Noah Syndergaard hit the DL with a finger ligament strain.  I’m fully aware that at least one person in every league ignored my advice to ignore Syndergaard and drafted him very early, so I will do something I’ve never done before, not gloat.  True story, my crazy aunt used to say I gloated all the time behind her back (I did) and I drove her into a mental asylum.  See, when I say my ‘crazy’ aunt, I’m being literal!  So, without gloating, let me just say when a pitcher proves himself to be injury prone, take his word for it.  His Synderwoord?  DeGrom’s already had a dislocated elbow, and my money’s on him getting injured at some point again soon too.  Same goes for Kershaw.  Not trying to be harsh, it’s just truth bombs.  If you own Syndergaard, hope he returns relatively soon, but this is the kind of injury that sidelines a pitcher for an entire season.  Sorry, another truth bomb.  Oh, and the Mets said Syndergaard can return in ten days.  What’s the opposite of a truth bomb?  That’s what that is.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Ty Blach threw his first career complete game shutout Friday night surrendering seven hits and striking out four enroute to his fourth win of the year. If he were Jewish you could say yesterday was his Blach Sabbath. *crickets* It was Ty’s fifth straight quality start and his fourth straight win. He even walked three times and scored two runs to help his own cause. He’s been an excellent replacement for Madison Bumgarner so far and the best part is he’s terrified of motocross. Sure it was the Phillies last night and anyone can shut out the Phillies, but he’s gone at least seven innings in his past five starts including some tougher lineups such as the Cubs, Dodgers and Reds. Over the past two weeks, Blach has a 1.90 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 23.2 innings pitched. The strikeout numbers won’t impress but those ratios certainly put him in the streaming conversation. By the way, if you’re looking for good convo topics at your next dinner party, fantasy pitcher streaming is always a solid choice. Blach’s .250 BABIP and 4.64 xFIP could suggest some regression is coming but he’s certainly worth an add while he’s on a roll. Ty has a tough test in Milwaukee next week but he’s available in about 75% of leagues and worth a look if you’re in need of a solid streaming option before he fades to Blach.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?