Please see our player page for Elvis Andrus 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.

Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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It’s time for my first (and longest) post of the year. My LABR Mixed draft review.

As always, thanks to Steve Gardner at USA Today for the invite.

Last Year Recap (here’s my post-draft writeup)
Yet again, another competitive season (92 points) but outside the top two (6th place out of 15). The last 5 years I have scored between 87-102.5 points and finished between 3rd-7th.

This is not for lack of trying or being too conservative. Sometimes you barrel a ball only to end up with a double off the Green Monster vs a home run.

One year after basically throwing away a 4th round pick (Darvish 2018), I ended up getting absolutely nothing from my 2nd round pick (Stanton). Combine that with a 10th percentile bad outcome with my 5th round pick (Daniel Murphy) and it is a marvel I was in the top half of the standings. The rest of my early picks were solid to very good: deGrom (#1), Rendon (#3), Mondesi (#4), Robles (#6), Vazquez (#7). I hit big on two later picks with Austin Meadows (#14) and Christian Vazquez (#28). I do not recall any major in-season pickups but I imagine I did pretty well in that regard. I traded Mondesi for Hoskins once my SB lead was secure but Hoskins struggled. Traded Robles late for Bryce Harper which worked out okay.

Congrats to Steve Gardner on the win and Zach Steinhorn on the tough 2nd place finish (crazy last week).

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The top 20 shortstops for 2019 (what this is, read the title once in a while) are deeper than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 (not clickbait at all), and even deeper than the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 (click or not, but don’t judge me). Rhys Hoskins, the 20th ranked 1st baseman, was about as valuable as the 23rd ranked shortstop (Asdrubal). To make sure we’re not losing perspective, the 20th ranked shortstop was better than the 6th ranked catcher. The catchers were still terrible, don’t get it twisted — sorry, it’s too late for your Mitch Haniger, you need to get it untwisted. Without further Machado, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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We must really love baseball. Today we have an 11-game FanDuel Main Slate, but the large format contest sizes have been chopped by about 90%, I’m guessing because today is National Hug Your Hound Day and FanDuel figures people will be too busy celebrating. Maybe. Just a quick aside, while we may enjoy it, our hounds definitely do not enjoy being hugged and are likely, at the very least, confused by this action. Ask them. It’s true. Let us not hug our hounds, even on National Hug Your Hound Day, it’s a selfish expression of affection we assume they appreciate, but the benefit is wholly one-sided. Instead, try showing affection for by licking. They love it.

So, our large-format contests are not so large. What do we do? We can adjust our lineups to incorporate more safe plays, such as we would for cash contests, and fewer of the high risk, high upside plays we need to have a shot at soloing a 50k+ tournament, without reducing our expected value.

A player like Gerrit Cole, SP: $12,000, fits the bill nicely. He is very expensive, so we’d better have good reason he’ll be worth the expense. The reason he should be acceptable today is he is facing a strikeout-prone Mariners lineup, which has proven to be overmatched by Cole. The last time he faced the Mariners, back on June 30th, Cole managed 58 points from 10 strikeouts over 7 innings. This performance seems like the average outcome we should expect today, which is right in the range of value we are seeking.

Still reading? Wow. You deserve a treat! Stay here and read on for some winning DFS picks.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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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In this age of prospects and chasing the hot new thing we can sometimes forget about the veterans such as Hunter Pence (OF: $4,000)  What a steal he’s been for the Rangers. He’s been so much better than they could have possibly hoped when invited him to camp. Today’s matchup should give him another opportunity to keep doing what he’s been doing all season. I’m still sad he’s no longer a Giant, but it’s great to see him thriving. He’s not a cheap option but the way he’s been playing, he certainly earned it. Best not to overlook him.

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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It’s rare to see a player having a breakout year in his age 35 season in the post-Selig era, but Yuli Gurriel needs just 2 runs, 1 RBI and even 2 SB to set career highs in all of those categories. He already has a career-high in HRs with 25 and could end the season with 30-35. With 37 games remaining Gurriel could end the season with an 85/33/100/8/.300 line for the year. Not too shabby from a guy with an ADP in the 200s. This production uptick is due to a career-low ground ball rate, career-high fly ball rate, career-high hard contact rate — the underlying numbers are pointing to this being for real and he should finish the year strong.

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Yacht Rock has polluted my brain. I’m singing Bertie Higgins, dressed like Thurston Howell, III, and wearing deodorant that smells like Pina Colada. And the most frightening aspect of the previous sentence is only one of those statements is make-believe!  Cougs figured since I like blended, virgin pineapple drinks it would be a good idea to buy me Pina Colada-scented Suave deodorant. I walk around all day wanting to lick my armpits! I’m damaged! Even more upsetting, I don’t own Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .308) or Rafael Devers (2-for-4, 2 runs, 25th homer, hitting .327) in any meaningful way. (I own Bogaerts in one league, but it’s my worst league, so it doesn’t matter.)  I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but last year Betts and Martinez put fantasy owners on their backs (no easy feat for some of you), and this year it’s been all Bogaerts and Devers. On our Player Rater, both guys are top ten for the season (Acuña reached the mountaintop, by the by). Incredibly, neither guy has been lucky. Bogaerts upped his walks; has a BABIP in line with career norms; held all batted ball profile marks from previous years, except raised his launch angle and fly ball rate just a tad. Bingo-bango-Bogaerts! Devers’s numbers are new from him at the major league level, but nothing jumps out as a career year and he’s only 22 years old.  Both guys will and should be highly ranked next year. Now, excuse me, while I go lick my armpits. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Who else got victimized by Nelson Cruz last week? In his last 75 ABs here’s his line: 19/14/26/0/.333. That’s more than some guys had in the entire first-half. Oh wait — that’s almost more than the 16 Cruz put up the first half. The Twins are going to be battling for the AL Central with the Indians until the bitter end and clutch Cruz should keep them afloat the rest of the way.

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Who would’ve thought little D.J. LeMahieu would be the best free agent signing of the past decade? Yeah, I said it! Mainly because I have an awful memory and suffer from extreme recency bias! He’s definitely the best signing of this preseason though. He’s 3 HRs away from setting a new career-high, already has a new career-high in RBI and is again leading his league in batting average as he did with the Rockies in 2016. His disappointing, injury-plagued 2018 caused his stock to dip a bit, but Brian Cashman is looking like a genius again for this signing. And oh yea, not that it matters to us, but he’s playing Gold Glove defense again at both 2B and 3B. Does defense matter to you? Do you use any defensive stats in any of your leagues?

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Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to PBMs and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  I should’ve used different mugs.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Giancarlo Stanton in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him, and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2019 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Cody Bellinger number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2019 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bellinger.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while Aaron Judge did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, we have to believe in miracles — my 12-year-old self would want that, and to sleep with Cher.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2019.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2019:

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