We’re almost there! There are only 10 more days in the season and hopefully, you’re counting your monies as you excel towards the finish line. Three teams, Washington, Cleveland and Houston all clinched their division already and have nothing to play for. And as we get this deep into September, teams really start throwing out questionable lineups, and Dee Gordon starts trying to pad his stats by trying to steal at every opportunity. One key this late in the season is to make sure to follow all the lineup announcements pretty closely, as teams work in their minor leaguers (who are almost always punt-priced) into the lineup. Yesterday we had Mallex Smith, Austin Hays and Teoscar Hernandez all batting leadoff, all punt-priced, and all in decent enough matchups to be playable. I can’t tell you who specifically will be out there today as a punt-priced hitter at the top of the order, but I can tell you that it’s highly likely there will be a few options to choose from. I will even go so far as to guarantee at least one team will throw out numerous punts (but I’ll get to that later, at the end of the article). Now I’m sure you’re asking – but if there are a bunch of options, how do I choose between all the different uninspiring AAA-level punt-priced hitters at the top of the order? Well it’s a good thing you asked! I’d focus on looking at the rest of the lineup (although it should seem obvious, if AAA-caliber punt OF #1 is batting leadoff for an otherwise great lineup and AAA-caliber punt OF #2 is batting leadoff for an otherwise uninspiring lineup, the former is far more likely to be driven in, if he does luckbox his way on-base, and also is far more likely to get that extra at-bat because the rest of the lineup cycles around), while also focusing on who is facing the inferior pitcher and/or the inferior bullpen (for much the same reasons). I’d also give a lot of weight to each spot in the lineup, so I’d much rather use leadoff-batting AAA-caliber punt OF than fourth-batting AAA-caliber punt OF. Two final notes – first – some managers (*coughDustyBakercough*) love to ask their weak-hitting #2 batter to sac bunt, so I’d also be a little weary of using a punt OF if he’s batting 2nd for a one of these managers who are a little more “old school”. Second – NL teams still (stupidly) have the pitcher hit (seriously, just end this abomination) and they double switch guys out all the time, so your favorite NL punt might be out of the game in the 5th because the Manager must insert himself into the game by using some next level strategery, which you know, proves he’s there.

On to the picks once punting season begins…

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So it’s MLB Players Weekend, which I will admit is a legitimately great idea (of course the Cardinals have the least nicknames, because it’s a serious game played by serious people). Some players flat out nailed it – Travis Shaw with “Mayor of DDC” (that’s Ding Dong City for the uneducated), and Alex Avila with “Parkman” – google it, you’ll see the resemblance were two players that absolutely crushed the choice of what to put on the back of the jersey. That said, a few players missed out on truly great choices for the back of the jersey. First, Justin Turner – I know your twitter handle is @RedTurn2, but come on – how can you not have a nickname that references your twin brother, Tormund Giantsbane? That’s just horrible. And I understand “Chuck Nazty” is your nickname, Mr. Blackmon, but how can you not put something on the back of the jersey that references your truly amazing beard (it’s the #1 beard in baseball right now, and probably the 2nd best in all of sports, behind only this glorious mane .  Finally, while it’s great that Kyle’s referencing his brother, it could have been so much better. What if someone like Justin Upton put “The Good One” on his jersey (although Melvin might not like that)? So thinking about some of the missed opportunities got me to thinking about possible nicknames for retired players – here’s a few I came up with:

Prince Fielder – 

Randy Johnson – “R.I.P. Bird

Edgar Renteria – “Lefty-Mashing Patriarch”

Rickey Henderson – “I Am The Greatest”

Bucky Dent – “#%*@$*&”

Barry Bonds – “Ne Plus Ultra”

Anyway, you didn’t come here for nicknames (as awesome a discussion that could be), so onto the picks…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

My friends, welcome back from your DFS break if you didn’t play last Friday, Saturday, or Sunday…oh who are we kidding, you’ve been tying off and tapping that fantasy vein so much since the second half started, we should probably get you checked for infection.  Well, I’ve seen Trainspotting so let’s avoid that come down process that leads to creepy babies crawling along the ceiling for you and keep you DFS juiced.  Today’s third most expensive pitcher is Adam Wainwright, so the world is trying to tell you something: start Adam Wainwright.  Wait, no!  The world is trying to tell you it’s a tourney play kinda day.  I’d avoid cash play today and stay in the warm GPP waters.  But of course, that’s not what my title is about.  My title is pointing you to Josh Tomlin.  Tomlin’s a control freak with a minute 1.06 BB/9 with an alright K rate of 6.77 per 9.  His big issue is the long ball as he has HR/FB rates of someone pitching BP for the Home Run Derby.  Thankfully he gets to pitch against the Giants tonight in AT&T Park, a stadium that ranks last for HR factor.  Speaking of, Giants, you might wanna tap Cleveland’s shoulder about a trade or something here…anyhoo, enough of me playing GM, let’s play DFS.  Here’s my hot summer taeks for this Monday FD slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hope all of you out in Razzballland (who doesn’t like the ol’ triple L) enjoyed the All-Star Break.  We all now know making the All-Star game an exhibition game again was a great idea. It’s just too bad they only scored three total runs. Still I’ll take the more fun baseball games and juiced baseballs; reminds me of the nineties.  This season thus far has been a throwback to those days, right?

I think what the MLB marketing department did was they looked at the last truly successful, cross cultural, baseball era and it was the steroid era, right? Admittedly people did care and pay attention when the Cubs won last year and when the Red Sox won their first but that’s World Series time, a couple weeks in October.  But baseball needs fans for 162 games and that means continuing to target casual fans.  For example, my wife. She knows about Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire but didn’t know who Mike Trout was until we went to an Angels game. She doesn’t know Bryce Harper; she does know ARod and Barry Bonds but she’s familiar with baseball enough to go because of those guys (and buy a hat and a t-shirt and a hot dog and frozen lemonade). Point being, if baseball wants that all-important demographic that really doesn’t care about baseball (but will go to games) they should stick to this…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Someone, somewhere out there has to give me the 411 on where ‘gravy train’ came from and why it’s an idiom for a lucrative endeavor that requires minimal effort.  Was there ever a time where gravy was, in fact, a product hauled by train in a shipping container, perchance?  Now that I think about it, we also have a gravy boat…how many possible vehicle mentions should a meat juice-based sauce be given?  Where’s my gravy helicopter, yo!  But I digress…Jon Gray.  He’s only $6,400 today.  Yes, he’s $6,400 because he’s pitching in Coors, but so what?  Gray pitched in Coors for 83.2 IP last year and came away with a 21.9% K-BB ratio to go with a 3.07 xFIP.  Remember the year Ubadlo Jimenez had way back in 2010 for the Rockies?  Yes, it was a dandy but Gray’s stuff could be considered even better as his control is just as impressive as his whiffs.  His first start off the DL was in Arizona and all he did at Chase Field – a place deemed ‘Coors lite’ by many – was go 6 while striking out 10 and only walking 1.  That’s called ‘impressive’.  So back to that there train…hop on today and enjoy the strange idiomatic ride.  But enough of that, let’s talk about this.  Here’s my gravy trains, planes, and automobiles taeks for this Wednesday FD slate…

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How many of you remember the watershed 1993 film Dazed and Confused? In this coming of age saga, a young righty, with the flowing locks of Sampson himself, embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. It is in that film where we first meet Mike Clevinger. I could go on a lengthy diatribe about the film with the Indians righty supplanted as the protagonist, but I already did that a year and a half ago when I first introduced you to Mr. Clevinger. It’s like I’m watching my kids grow up right before my eyes. Either way Clevinger is long haired and goofy just like Mitch from Dazed and Confused. Not to toot my own horn, but to totally toot my own horn, I called this developing breakout a year ago. The Indians acquired the former 2011 4th rounder from the Angels back in 2014 for pen arm Vinny Pestano. Since then it’s been a classic Cleveland starter story, as the organization focused on bringing Clevinger along first as a pen arm, and now as a starter. With a 14.1% SwStr, and a 28.5% K%, there’s some signs that Clevinger, in a season of disappointing starters, could be a diamond in the rough. Let’s look under the hood, and then go pitch by pitch through his Sunday start vs. the division rival Detroit Tigers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no time to be wasting time on the mic, so lets get to it!  Hunter Renfroe has power, like, majorly, and now in his age 25 season he’s only going to get more.  If he’s available in your OPS league or you need power go get him now.  Did you check?  Add him?  Ok, now I’ll tell you why.  A first-rounder out of Mississippi State he’s Mississippi through and through, born in beautiful Crystal Springs (I’ve never been there, I have no idea if it’s beautiful…and a quick image search yields…it’s not a tourist destination unless small towns of 5,000 people with some lakes and nice foliage and gravel roads are your thing, then have at it, not that I can’t appreciate and enjoy them as well mind you).  Renfroe has shown good power in the minors, hitting 21, 20, 30 homers in his past three minor league seasons to go along with 13 homers in 227 PAs between this season and the last in the bigs.

Renfroe has scuffled a little bit through late April into May so his .734 OPS isn’t looking great but he’s been hot the last couple weeks with a 1.125 OPS and four homers in that span.  You know what I like best about his recent stats?  A 15% walk rate, which is way higher than his career numbers of 4%; already this season even with that weaker OPS his walk rate is 7.3%, so his eye is improving, too.

Lastly, this website has the hots for him too as Grey recommended him back in November and Ralph had him as the #24 prospect going into 2017.  So if you didn’t add him at the beginning of this like I told you to, go do it now.  The Padres are home against the Cubs and Rockies this week.

Top OPS past 14 days (min 30 ABs as of this writing):

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Vince Velasquez will try his best Vaudeville Villain impression on Thursday against the Rockies, flashing more heat than Viktor Vaughn rapping about an armed robbery. At just $7,400 on FanDuel, buying Velasquez is a modern day mugging. I get that he has a 5.98 ERA, but as Viktor Vaughn says, “the roach is never dead.” VV is still rocking a 9.27 K/9 on the season, which he gets from his dominant fastball and his curveball (respect the drop). He’s getting killed by a 21.4% HR/FB rate, and while it hasn’t been purely bad luck, Velasquez is a better pitcher than his results have shown. The Rockies on the road are about league-average, with a .313 wOBA, good for 16th in baseball. They strike out a lot, at 23.8% away from Coors, so VV has major strikeout potential against them. The best part about Velasquez is that everybody else is too afraid to play him, especially since the Rockies have thumped the Phillies three nights in a row. Even if Velasquez has another blow-up start, the strikeouts should buoy him. But if Velasquez can hold it together, he will provide huge numbers at a bargain price.

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Hello all my loyal followers!  I hope everyone is well on this amazing Wednesday.  I’ll tell you right now I’m in love with today’s slate.  There are two pitchers I love today, but I’ll go into that a little later.  The team I love today is the Texas Rangers.  As a team, they’re really starting to heat up, having scored five or more runs in five of their last six games.  Texas also faces off with a pretty bad pitcher in Elfin from the Phillies.  Finally, this game will take place in Globe Life Park which becomes a launching pad once we get into summer.  We’re lucky enough to get a nice hot, humid day today and I expect the ball to fly in this park.  My lineups will start with Rougned Odor at $2,800; he’s playing a lot better and I expect it to continue.  He’s slowly starting to hit and he’s also beginning to steal some bags.  He should continue that today.  Others I like today are Elvis Andrus at $3,000,  Joey Gallo at $3,200, and Delino DeShields at $2,800.  All three of these guys bring something a little different to the table.  Andrus has five hits in his last two games and has really turned into a solid run producer for a team that really needs it.  Gallo is just a beast who can hit a homerun any at bat, and Deshields will probably hit lead off with huge steal upside.  He also has a very sneaky batters eye with solid pop.

Now 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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I’m a tad worried about the comments this headline may generate, so maybe I should explain: this isn’t a Classified ad, but an ode to Chris Sale. Because today The Condor, a.k.a. the Jersey Slasher, takes the mound with his stupid-low 1.92 ERA and 73 Ks in 52 IP. If this were any other pitcher, I might offer a caveat that this start versus the Rays takes place at Fenway, but Sale’s been better at home (1.50 ERA in 4 starts at home versus 2.49 in 3 starts away). And Tampa has not: their road BA is .210, versus .265 at home (apparently they’re the only team that knows how to play at the bloody Trop). This is also tasty because Tampa does not do well against lefties. I expect them to go quietly against Sale. That said, on FanDuel today, we’re pretty much going to have sell ourselves on a street corner to be able to afford Sale (especially if you’re earning Canadian dollars!).

So if you’re not into what Chris is selling, it’s also a Rockies-at-home weekend, Fact Fans! If I were a lazier girl, I’d say “if you don’t want to pay up for Sale, just stack every Colorado bat you can” and cut this post short, but that would just not be cricket (if it were cricket, I’d be watching a five-day-long game involving men wearing white trousers with red smears on their crotches, which… You know, I kind of miss cricket). And there are several tasty Miami-Atlanta match-ups today, too, so I’m gonna try squeezing some Dodgers, Mariners and Marlins into my lineup. Let’s see how I got on…

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?