We’re almost at the end of August and I’m here to remind you that projections are still more important than what a player has done so far this year. MGL did a study a few years ago and found that a “hot” player, after 5 months, can have his projection bumped up a few points of wOBA, but a “cold” player hits what the projection says he’ll hit. Obviously if you’re reading this you’re statistically inclined, but even the best of us can weight the current season too much, especially for players who are in a big time slump. And in DFS when salary moves based on streaks and people get fearful after cold streaks, you should jump all over these guys.

On to the picks…

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The Tampa Bay Rays’ Charlie Morton ($10,100) has an excellent numbers (2.78 ERA and 30.1% K%) on the season, and should improve on those numbers in this one. The right-hander finds himself in a nice spot today. The Toronto lineup potentially should include just two left-handed batters. Lefties tend to give Morton fits more so than righties because he can’t throw his best pitch (the slider) to them. He has thrown three times as many sliders to righties than lefties this season. Right-handed batters own a .197 batting average against his slider in 2019 so you can see why this a great matchup for the Rays’ starter. 

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Grey Albright threw two innings on opening day. Sweat, and other mysterious bodily fluids, dripped from Grey’s brow; he was gassed. Albright didn’t wait for Rudy to call to the pen, Grey signaled himself for the lefty, Donkey Teeth, to enter the fold. Fantasy Master Lothario is still knocking some of the spring rust off, just like Chis Sale, so you’re stuck with Donkey Teeth telling you tales of Paul Goldschmidt’s monster 4-for-5 night with 3 homers & 5 RBIs in only the second game of his Cardinals career. Truth be told, Dan Pants will be back to take over this column next Friday, since Friday is slinging night for Grey, Cougs, and Donkey Teeth. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As we get into September with the expanded rosters, I do feel there are some pieces of advice that I can offer — stuff that may not be entirely obvious, or things that may be obvious but are worth being reminded of once again. Let’s take a look at some general strategy, along with some specific picks for your FanDuel tournament today.

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Today’s slate shares some similarities with last week’s slate in it’s straightforwardness. However, whereas the simplicity of last week’s slate caused it to be incredibly boring and not worth playing, I’m not sure that’s the case this week. The reason why is that there’s some actual decisions here, ones where there may not be an obvious answer. The short version of it is this – because Justin Verlander is the overwhelmingly obvious cash pitcher, you’re not going to be able to afford that many high end bats. However, the two teams that are in the juiciest spots for offense today – the Yankees and the Red Sox, are both filled with a lot of high end bats. You probably can only afford one of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Giancarlo Stanton – which one do you choose? Or, do you fade all three altogether to try to get two of three from the next tier (such as Benintendi or Andujar).

On to the picks…

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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Despite what their owner, fan base, and majority of their players believe, the Washington Nationals remain in the playoff chase, just a half game out of the wild card. Bryce Harper’s dad has never doubted them for a second! So what’s changed? Has Juan Soto taken his game to Coke Zero levels? Is Bryce Harper single-handedly carrying the team on his mega swole back? It’s actually been Ryan Zimmerman who has really caught fire of late and has given them that extra spark that not even a players over involved father can provide. “Mr. Harper I’m going to ask you again to stay out of the showers. You can’t be in here. This is the last time I’m going to tell you this.”  Zimm went 1-for-4 with his 10th home run on Friday night as the Nats cruised past Miami. Since returning from a lengthy stay on the disabled list, Zimmerman is slashing .341/.417/.732 with four homers and 15 RBI. Those are Soto/Harper-esque numbers, folks! Despite his early season struggles, Zimm is a bat that demands to be owned across all fantasy formats due to the line up he hits in and his history of mashing dingers. Lucky for you, much of the fantasy baseball world has dog days disorder where they’ve moved on from baseball to trendy end-of-summer activities like “going outside” and preparing for fantasy football (check out this shameless plug and click the link for gridiron gold). This is our time to strike, my over-the-internet friends. When everyone else has given up. Ryan Zimmerman was a BUY and is under 50% owned, but not for much longer. Ignore what Bryce’s dad says about his team mates, I’d grab Zimm everywhere he’s still available.

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

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Short slates (such as a 6-gamer, which is what we are presented with on FanDuel today) usually present the decision of whether or not to pay up for Coors Field bats (and run an inexpensive pitcher) or fade the expensive bats, selectively play one or two bats from Coors Field if they are cheap enough, and pay up for a high end pitcher. Today may be an exception – because it’s entirely possible that the two offenses I am personally going to recommend later are in as better spots overall, and are comparably priced. I see a fairly decent Ross Stripling making the Rockies not at the level that they’d need to be to justify paying their salaries, leaving only the Dodgers as cash playable. Justin Turner, Matt Kemp and Chris Taylor are the cash game plays if you want to go there. Manny Machado is quite expensive, as is Brian Dozier. Enrique Hernandez is always a DFS tout-darling because of his success against lefties in his career, but he’s fool’s gold because he’s got a pretty high pinch hit risk once the lefty-starter is out of the game. It’s really hard to play anyone in cash when there is a very strong possibility he’s going to only get 2 plate appearances. The other Dodgers like Yasiel Puig and Austin Barnes bat too low. It’s simply a spot where you’ve got a team that overall seems to be in a decent spot and worth playing, but when you look at it on the individual level, you’re not looking at a lot of attractive plays worth the salaries. What that suggests to me is that this is a classic GPP spot where the play at the macro level is much better than any individual play. So for you GPP players out there – either you’re going to go with a full-blown Dodger stack (pick the 4 you like, or pick the 4 that best fit with what you want to do with the other games, or heck, randomly pick 4 guys in the lineup because it’s a GPP), or completely fade the Dodgers altogether.

On to the picks…

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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This past week has seen an extreme heat wave in parts of Texas, including Arlington. It has been at least over 100 degrees for 5 of the last 6 days (on Tuesday it was “only” 97) getting as high as 107 on Friday and 109 Saturday. While it’s normally pretty hot in Texas in late July, it isn’t normally this hot (I looked it up – typically it will be about 95-96 degrees, and it rarely exceeds 102. These last few days have all been abnormally hot). While I do believe that weather is generally overrated in baseball DFS, when it gets to be this hot, you simply can’t ignore it. Just to illustrate:

Friday, July 20th (107 Degrees) – Cleveland 9, Rangers 8
Saturday, July 21st (109 Degrees) – Cleveland 16, Rangers 3
Sunday, July 22nd (102 Degrees) – Rangers 5, Cleveland 0
Monday, July 23rd (100 Degrees) – Athletics 15, Rangers 3
Tuesday, July 24th (97 Degrees) – Athletics 13, Rangers 10
Wednesday, July 25th (100 Degrees) – Athletics 6, Rangers 5.

In other words, when it gets really hot, offenses just become downright silly (except apparently on Sundays). Yesterday’s game was a disappointment in that there were “only” 11 runs. To put it bluntly – no matter what DFSBot might want, at some point when it gets to be this hot, you have to just weather-truth it.

On to the picks…

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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Nick Kingham, the Bucs newest hot-shot rookie pitcher, notched his second win in a row last night pitching six and a third innings allowing just six base runners (5 hits) and striking out nine Brewers for his fourth win of the year. Back in Pittsburgh, they treat themselves post game to some of the finest foods available using only fresh local ingredients–then they put cole slaw and fries on it to make it even better. Since flirting with a perfect game in his April debut, Nick Kingham’s stock has slowly fallen, but I’m telling you now he just had a handful of fresh french fries dropped on top of him and its time to eat. We’re talking about a post post hype pick up here, folks! That’s two posts! He looked more than comfortable Friday night, coasting through the first five innings without issue before giving up solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Taking on the Brewers is a tough assignment for any pitcher, let alone a n00b like Kingham, but he pitched admirably finding the strike zone consistently and working into seventh. Real talk, I’m not telling you to add Kingham because he throws strikes, it’s that 51/12 K/BB in just 50.2 IP that’s got me all “In My Feelings” like Drake. Ignore the 4.26 ERA, the 1.13 WHIP is looking pretty regal, no? If it’s not clicking let me spell it out for you. A 26-year pitcher with a 22.2 K% is locked into that number five rotation spot. That means IPs and Ks and possibly even Ws. Lots of letters, people! Kingham is available in over 80% of fantasy leagues. I’d pick Nick everywhere I needed starting pitching help for the strikeouts and the upside and if we’re lucky we might even get a handful of fries with that.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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If you are reading this before the early 2-game FanDuel degenerate slate starts, allow me to propose a possible lineup – the use of an Astros reliever. Now hear me out – you can’t get all the good Coors bats with any of the four starters. So instead, click the “show only probable pitchers” button to turn it off, and pick the best Astros reliever who didn’t pitch yesterday. Maybe he’ll pitch an inning and get you a strikeout for 6. And you’ll have all the money, so load up on every single Coors field bat, since it’s 91 degrees and the game is in Coors. And when the game is 15-14, and the Astros/Athletics game is not, you’ll win a GPP. Also, only do this with an entry fee you are perfectly willing to lose for being dumb enough to actually use a relief pitcher. If you’re reading this after the degenerate slate, don’t do this on the main slate, it’s for the degenerates playing a 2-game slate only

On to the picks…

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?