Please see our player page for J.D. Davis 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.

Another huge Yankees’ threat was activated last night, and he’s a big, big threat, I mean, big, big, big, it’s Aaron Judge, guys and five girls! And, wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees hit seven homers, with three of them from Kyle Higashioka (3-for-4, 5 RBIs with his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homer); DJ LeMahieu (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two homers (8, 9); Luke Voit? Oh, you know Voit (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit one of them! He has 19! Clint Frazier (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) even got in on the action, hitting his 7th homer. Oprah screaming like a lunatic, “You get a home run! You get a home run! You get a home run!” Aaron Judge looks under his seat, pulls out a gift-wrapped box, “I get…an 0-for-4?” *hears Final Jeopardy music* “What is six games?” “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s wrong. Aaron Judge will be injured again in four games.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the home stretch. One silver lining of this shortened season, with expanded rosters from the beginning, is fewer question marks at this point. We aren’t worried about teams resting players for the playoffs, or how expanded rosters will juggle playing time. It’s pretty much business as usual. We start pitchers against the worst offenses and we start visiting hitters at Coors. Tonight is no different. The pitcher lucky enough to grab a start against one of those worst offenses tonight is rookie Jose Urquidy, P: $6,300, who is our top value play of the day. Urquidy is just getting started this season, but threw nearly 90 pitches in his most recent start, so he shouldn’t be restrained much by a pitch count. He is facing the Rangers, the worst offense of the slate by wOBA. We are hoping for a repeat of his performance against the Rangers last season, when he threw 7 innings of two hit ball with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Any performance even approaching that will see Urquidy return exceptional value.

For additional reading material, including our other top pitching choice for FanDuel Main Slate contests, keep on keeping on, and read below.

 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As an Angeleno, I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to be able to watch Clayton Kershaw every 5th game for all of his 2,500 Ks. I kid, games are blacked out here, and I’ve only seen him in the playoffs. Is he good? Really? Can you describe what he looks like when he’s good? He’s a lefty? A good slider? Are you messing with me? I can’t tell. *opening up Kershaw’s player page* Wow, I feel like I might’ve missed something by never seeing him pitch in a regular season game. Geez. Yesterday, Clayton Kershaw (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.50) recorded his 2500th strikeout and he seems likely to avoid the Doom of F-Her, where he disappears in his 30s, and ruins his Hall of Fame candidacy. Forget that, actually, Kershaw could win the NL Cy this year for old time’s sake. Be kinda awesome to see him collect the award before Game 4 of the World Series, then goes out and gives up seven earned in the 1st inning, eliminating the Dodgers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My, my, my my hitters can’t hit so hard! Makes me say, “Oh my Lord!” Thank you for blessing me, but please! I didn’t sneeze! Okay, okay, OKAY! Let’s bask like a Spanish omelette (that might be Basque) in Kenta Maeda. Yesterday, was nearly the best start of the year until Taylor Rogers did the doo-doo after being told “don’t do doo-doo.” Maeda went 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.27. By the by, you can see all the top 100 starts of the year under that linkiemajiggies. (I say ‘nearly’ because that page updates after the start, and Rogers blew his win.) I called Maeda a sleeper for a good four months this preseason. Here’s a brief snippet of me back in February, “Traded to the Twins, because all, and I mean, all things I touch turn to gold. *touches lamé jumper* I’m Beyonce, snitches! This can’t be bad for Maeda. If you want, like, actually facts, fine. Maeda’s about to be a top 20 starter.” Then I went on for about 1500 words across five different starter sleeper posts about Maeda’s swinging strike rate and how much I loved Maeda. If you didn’t draft him, that is really more on you. You could’ve touched him, now you Kenta’d. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals, Marlins, and Phillies have born the brunt of the misery in this young baseball season thus far with Covid outbreaks and cancelled games.  This week, we’ve got a group of other teams that are getting put through the ringer with your more traditional injury issues…..”injuries classic” we’ll call it.  We’ve also lost some more big time arms for the remainder of the season as the herd starts to thin here.

Mike Soroka is out for the season after suffering an achilles injury in his latest start.  It’s a brutal blow for the young righty, and even a bigger blow for the Braves, who are now in a real crunch for arms.  This solidifies Touki Toussaint and Sean Newcomb’s spots in the rotation, but the rest of the rotation couldn’t really be worse shape given the recent DFA of Mike Foltynewicz and Cole Hamels still ailing.  Without a trade, it’s hard to see any potential fill in being roster worthy here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We got a week in the books, folks, and I didn’t think I’d being doing another post this year after the unthinkable, unspeakable, most-obvious-thing-to-happen happened when a good quarter of the Florida Marlins team tested positive for coronavirus. Most would think when a worst case scenario like this occurs, the season would be halted, or at the very least restructured. (After watching some NBA last night, the bubble certainly appears to have been the way to go). But no. It’s just the Marlins, right? Who cares. I wonder to myself, “Self, would the reaction have been the same had 15 Yankees tested positive.” But they didn’t, it’s just the Marlins. The “worst” team in baseball. Besides this was a one off thing, right, what are the odds another team gets it? *Fast forward three days* Oh, three teams have it now, you say? Welp. And Commissioner slash idiot Rob Manfred claims he could shut down the season Monday if the “players aren’t more careful.” L-O-L. Careful like sending hundreds of players and workers back into situations where they not only have to travel, but its often impossible to maintain social distancing? So now we have six teams not even playing, teams that actually “matter”, and its an absolute mess not just for players and fans, but anyone trying to field a daily fantasy line up. Phew. OK, sorry for the tangent but this could very well be my final post of 2020, so I’m going to write about what I want, and I want to write about Taijuan Walker’s best start and first win in almost four years! After missing the majority of the past two seasons due to Tommy John, Taijuan Walker returned “home” to start in Seattle for the first time since 2016 Friday night. Walker looked dominant pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and striking out eight A’s. Tai consistently threw strikes and used his fastball effectively, topping out at 95 mph. Sweet sassy molassy! His Jordan cleats were hitting different, too. It’s always the shoes! The cutter was cutting, his breaking ball had good movement but it was really the way he commanded that fastball that made the difference. After a rough first start in Houston last week, it was an excellent rebound for Walker to get him and the M’s back on track. Rotoworld called a Walker add quote “risky” today, but as I ranted above, this season is all about risk, so why not take a risk on Taijuan Walker!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Mets debuted their 2017 1st round pick, David Peterson, and he went 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Here’s bit of tid on him:  Tall dude, stands about 6’6″. *standing on my chair, arm up in the air* About yay high. Fastball velocity sits *gets off chair, points at my framed picture of Angela Lansbury* low 90’s. Slider and curveball are *looks around to illustrate, points at colored-in Denny’s placement of a cowboy, realizes that won’t be enough, takes crayon and draws a cape on the cowboy* That’s a super okie. As in okie doke. C’mon, that was an easy one. So, lots of okie-doke usually equals okie-dookie, but he has solid command, so he might be a four to five real-world starter, which makes him good for Streamonator in shallower fantasy leagues. In a short season, there could be some value here. He should at least limit damage, as he did last night in Fenway. Also, Prospect Itch wrote about 500 words on David Peterson in his 2020 Mets fantasy baseball prospects writeup, and only one overt threat directed at me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The great Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, etc.) recently revisited a topic that’s always ripe for debate: what kind of extra value does a multi-position player get, compared to those who only play one position? We can all agree that multi-position is better than single; quantifying that value, however, proves more difficult. A few years ago, Rudy assessed this briefly in his seminal piece, “Debunking Positional Scarcity“, and recommends adding a $1 for multi-position players.

Jeff’s article took a different approach: instead of measuring what a player’s value should be, he attempted to measure the actual impact in terms of draft cost. In other words, what premium does the market place on these players? Read the full piece; Jeff estimates ~$3.20 bump on average.

While I like the goal (understanding market premiums), Jeff’s methodology (comparing the draft cost of two similarly-projected players) was limited in scope. So I’ve set out to do additional analysis with the same goal: measuring the market premium of multi-position players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. Time to wrap this baby on up with the NL East. I don’t know what else to write here that I haven’t in the other two pieces. Check out the NL West Edition and the NL Central Edition if you haven’t already.

Just made myself another old fashioned, the wife is reading, and the kiddo is asleep. Let’s do it to it.

Atlanta Braves

Probably not gonna surprise anyone with this pick: Austin Riley. Riley was having himself a very nice spring, but so was Johan Camargo, his competition at third. Now the DH solves all that – let the slugging prospect, well, slug. Camargo is the better glove, so there you go.

Riley showed glimpses of serious power last season, bashing 18 homers in only 80 games. My lazy and mathematically-challenged brain would double that to 36 HR in 160 games just to give a very rough idea of what we’re looking at. Of course, that’s not sound fantasy advice nor very accurate given those were his first 80 games ever in the majors. We gotta look deeper. Deep dives are king! I’m no expert delver, but let’s give this a shot anyway. He slashed .226/.279/.471 with Atlanta, but hit for a much better average all through the minors. I know that’s not very telling, but I like to at least see if someone has shown ability to hit for average somewhere, sometime. The power last season was nuts – 127 games total and 33 homers. Looking at just his AAA numbers, in 2018 he hit 12 HR in 324 PAs, but launched 15 HR in just 194 PAs last year. Then came up to the bigs and hit 18 more. That’s quite the progression in just a year’s time. His isolated power was .182 in AAA in 2018, which is pretty solid (.200 is the baseline for “great” according to FanGraphs, though it fluctuates a little relative to league averages in a given year). Anyway, his ISO spiked to .333 in 2019, which is off-the-charts good. Yes, we’re judging these numbers off fewer PAs than FanGraphs recommends, but whatever. You can see the power is there. Riley did his best Aristides Aquino when getting the call last season, slashing .324/.368/.732 with nine homers and 25 RBI in his first 18 games. Buuut in his final 62 games, he had almost the exact same production (nine HR, 24 RBI) and a yucky, yucky slash (.192/.249/.379).

The 2019 AAA Riley struck out 20.1% of the time (his best anywhere) and walked 10.3% of the time; but alas, 2019 MLB Riley struck out 36.4% of the time and walked only 5.4% of the time. He still managed a .245 ISO in the majors, which is very damn good, but the rest of his offensive metrics definitely took a nose dive as the year went on. The batted ball metrics are great: 13.7% barrel rate, 44.6% hard-hit rate, and a 20.6-degree launch angle. Riley had 7.7% barrels per plate appearance, which would be top 50 in the league if he qualified. Better than Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Max Muncy, and like a ton others, of course. Those are just some big fantasy studs that stood out.

I think you all get the picture. Riley has the chops to be a fantasy force as is, but he’s got improvements he needs to make. If a pitch is in the zone, dude swings like every time (okay, 80.5%) but also chased almost 38% of the time. If he can keep barreling balls and show some more patience, then whoa nelly. They’ve got Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and now this guy?!

Please, blog, may I have some more?