Please see our player page for Jaime Barria 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.

Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.

Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:

• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.

Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.

And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!

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Yesterday, Jason Vargas was traded to the Phillies. Good luck, Phillies reporters! Vargas will be the 1st player to throw batteries back at fans. “What’s with that stupid grin?” Rhys Hoskins pulls Vargas by the arm, “Hey, Vargy, that’s, uh, the Phanatic. His expression doesn’t change.”  “I’ll knock that smirk off his face!”  So, Vargas now becomes the ace of the Phillies’ staff, which means he’s a league-average starter.  I keed. A little. Aaron Nola is good, just not this year.  Since Vargas doesn’t even change divisions, his value stays pretty level, except Citizens Flank is a worse park than Metco, so there’s a slight tick down, if anything. How about this trading deadline so far?  Huh?  It’s almost as good as the Winter Hot Stove.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 11th and 12th homer, hitting .304.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the greatest living hitter, and I’m not living in a hyperbolic chamber, while dining out on superlatives to describe how hot Gurriel’s been since he returned from the minors.  On our 30-day Player Rater, he’s a near-top 10 hitter over the last month. His father, Yuli Gurriel, calls his son every day and asks him how he does it and LouGu Jay R is just like, “Father, I cannot explain my success with the white ball.”  And Yuli’s like, “Careful with the coded language because I learned the hard way people don’t like racism. Who knew?”  LouGu Jay R may simply be a hot bat, but there’s something to be said for a guy who has been hot the entire time he’s returned from the minors.  Maybe this is LouGu’s floor vs. ceiling.  At least one Junior is impressing on the Jays.  “I got a better butt.”  That’s Vlad Jr. modeling in front of a mirror for ESPN’s Nude Magazine. However, the song Vlad Jr. sings to his reflection is apt, “Gurriel, you knows it’s true.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Things can change in a hurry in baseball, and when they do, things can change even faster in fantasy baseball.  Since last week, we’ve seen the horrific collision between Starling Marte and Erik Gonzalez, the Pirates promotion of shortstop Cole Tucker, and Tucker’s sudden fantasy relevance.  He went from being a 2% owned player in CBS leagues, where he was probably only hanging around on keeper/dynasty league type rosters, to being a 30% owned player who has a legitimate shot to obtain at least some degree of mixed-league relevance this year.  It’s just another reminder that, in leagues both deep and shallow, you need to stay on top of things and not let a potential asset to your roster get away. The players we’ll be looking at this week may not have the upside of a Cole Tucker type, but may be worth a look for those of us searching for help in AL-only, NL-only, and other very deep leagues.

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“After Chris Davis raved about it, I had to check it out.” said James Paxton, as he sipped maple syrup.  He continued, “It was my favorite show since the last time I saw Rush.”  The Canadian then put on moose antlers, an orange vest and grabbed his shotgun.  Before he exited the press conference, he smiled, adding, “Eh.”  So, James Paxton busted that slumped like Chris Davis before him and like every team that faces the Sawx.  Crazy when you have Mookie Betts hitting near-.200 and Benintendi out of the lineup, what a massive hole the Red Sox become, or a Mass-hole for short.  Yesterday, James Paxton went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.91, putting to doubt some concerns that he would be eaten alive by the New York lights.  Paxton laughed, “It’s just like downtown Saskatchewan.”  All the New Yorkers grinned, Paxton was already growing a tough, sarcastic sense of humor indicative of New York, when Paxton added, “Seriously, eh, there’s nothing finer than Regina.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With these top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Sample sizes are everything, or so I’ve heard.  From other people.  Not about me.  I’m personally told sample sizes mean nothing.  Gently reminded, as I’m also reminded, it happens to everyone.  What is ‘it?’  Damn, that’s deep, which is not what I hear often when discussing sample sizes, but Tim Beckham (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) went deep twice yesterday (11th and 12th homer).  I’m talking about sample sizes more than a bachelorette party because Beckham had done nothing up until yesterday’s game.  At this point in the season, it’s not what has a guy done this month or past week, but what did he do yesterday and what can he do today?  Two homers tell me a guy is locked in.  *Beckham mimes being in a box* Perfect!  I’d grab him, sample size be damned.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The story of German Marquez isn’t one they tell you in your parochial schools.  It’s an ugly story punctuated with cowardice and the worst atrocities in history.  You’d think if a family emigrated from 1940’s Germany they would’ve had the common decency to not name their child German.   Also, his father claiming to be an appliance repairman who specializes in ovens is disgusting.  The last straw was when his family tried to claim sauerkraut was good in tacos.  Shame on you!  What’s less shameful is how he’s pitched in the 2nd half.  He now has a 2.64 ERA in the 2nd half in 68 1/3 IP, and his peripherals on the year are gorgeous — 10.2 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 3.21 xFIP.  He’s doing it with newfound success in his slider, which he throws 15% of the time. That slider is top 15 in the majors, and is supported with a 95 MPH fastball.  In other words, this breakout appears real.  Last night, he went 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.94, and I see no reason to not start him in any matchup, even in Coors.  Or Löwenbräu as he calls it.  Disgraceful!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This week is getting barren for waiver wire additions. The season is coming to a close, and we’re just looking for anything to ride out for these last few weeks. For this FAAB period, I’m looking closely at two hitters who never received the respect they deserved. These AL East batters are Luke Voit (FAAB: 1-3%) and Rowdy Tellez (FAAB: 1-3%). Depending on how much power you need, these two should both garner up to 3% of your total FAAB remaining, maybe more.

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Everyone is so sad at the Shohei Ohtani news that he needs Tommy John surgery.  People being sad at this has me gobsmacked.  He had elbow problems when he signed with the Angels, then a Grade 1 sprain of his UCL became a partial tear in June.  He threw a whopping 25 IP the previous year.  Were people really ostrich’ing their heads into the sand to the point where they didn’t see the writing on the wall?  Of course, he needs Tommy John surgery.  How is this awful news?  It was awful news for Angels fans when we first heard of the elbow issues.  It’s not awful news now.  It’s actually great news because he has a chance to be healthy again in 2020, instead of becoming Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker and every other pitcher the Angels shoved towards PRP injections rather than getting them healthy.  Did people really think pitching a guy was the answer to a torn UCL?  Seriously, people thought this?  Sad news that people are surprised by the least surprising thing since finding out taco diarrhea burns.  This would be like a memo coming out of Nike headquarters that says something like, “This Kaepernick thing is great for business, who cares about the politics?”  You mean a company is trying to sell products?  Get out of here!  You want seriously sad news?  Ohtani and the Angels haven’t decided he will have Tommy John surgery yet.  That’s sad!  Maybe they’ll just let him be a hitter as he was yesterday (4-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and a double slam (17, 18) and legs (7) and mouth-to-mouth’d a baby chick back to life).  A torn UCL hasn’t looked that good since LiAngelo Ball tried to get paid twice from selling one ripped jersey in China.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?