Please see our player page for Joe Mauer 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.

Unfortunately we all put a lot of hope that the 21 year old Rafael Devers would live up to his massive potential this season, but he’s been oft-injured and oft-not hitting. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 10 team league — if you have a better option available — then jump on him. Fill In: David Fletcher (3.4%.) With Ian Kinsler traded to the Red Sox, Fletcher could be due for a big boost in playing time. In 254 AAA ABs was hitting — wait, this can’t be right — .350?! Fletcher also hit 6 HRs so he has some power potential and stole 20 bases last season so he can even steal a few bags. He only has 1 of each in 114 ABs so far, but the .298 is pretty on par for him and the added at bats should result in more power and stolen base opportunities. 

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Can you imagine if Kevin Pillar (OF, Sprained Shoulder) played in Boston? Yeesh. Boston Radio would be the most unlistenable noise ever recorded. “You see dat catch by Kevin Pillah?! I almost friggen ran outta my pahlah!” Pillah is going to be out 4-6 weeks after injuring the area near his collarbone. Shame. His 19 HR+SBs were looking pretty good and I think there was a good chance his run production numbers would’ve gotten a boost if he got traded to a competitor. Stash or Trash: Stash. He was having a pretty good year so far and will be back to help you for your stretch run. Fill In: Kevin Kiermaier (8.4%.) “Wait Klug. You want me to replace one injured guy…with THE injured guy?” Yea I know, Kiermaier, Shmiermaier. “I don’t want to pick that clown up just to read about him in next week’s Ambulance Chasers!” I know it’s been a lost season for KK, but he’s hit safely in 9 of his last 11 games and has a HR and two SBs in that time as well. He’s got 10 HR/10 SB capability in the second half even though, yes, he also has DL-60 capability in the second half as well.

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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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I hope everyone enjoyed themselves on America’s Holiday.  Everyone kept their fingers intact I presume. Unlike the past few Thursdays we actually have ourselves a pretty awesome slate tonight.  However, I still find us having but one pitcher worth starting, especially in cash games, which means you’ll have to beat the field with your bats.  In GPPs, things get a little dicey, but I’d probably still roll with the high-priced favorite, Justin Verlander there too.  Verlander checks in at a whopping $12,200 today, $3,900 more than the next starter, Johnny Cueto.  Verlander is at home against the two man offense that is the Chicago White Sox. Their .708 team OPS and current league leading 820 strikeouts (tied with the Texas Rangers) means Verlander should go for 40+ FanDuel points easy.  Lock him in and let’s dig for some value bats!

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Welcome to Perception Vs. Reality where we look at the player rater to determine the valuable assets in the fantasy baseball world that might cost you less or be performing better than you think. This week we should talk about values at individual categories. Shout out to the roto league grinders who might be lacking in certain categories. Let’s try and take care of some of that one this fine (possibly rainy?) Wednesday.

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*life flashing before eyes right before death* Wow, that’s a lot times I picked up and dropped Chase Anderson.   Is it weird I can understand where Mike Tyson was coming from when he said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children?  Some of these players — Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Chase Anderson — come to mind that make me want to eat someone’s children.  Not really (yes, really).  Why couldn’t Chase Anderson do this when he was on my team?!  *lines tacks up on desk, slams head down*  I’m okay!  *blood dripping from forehead like Abdullah the Butcher*  I can’t see!  *screaming at intern*  Getmeahandiwipesoicansee–Okay, I can see again.  I’m still seeing blood though.  Yesterday, Chase Anderson went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.13.  The peripherals are still not there for Anderson — 6.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 5.17 xFIP — so I won’t be going back in on him.  That doesn’t mean it won’t make me think about salt and peppering some kids if he pitches well again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This is Rich Hill’s second DL stint of the year already. What were you expecting? Now he’s asking the MLB to allow him to pitch with tape on his finger. He’s also asking around the Dodgers locker room if anyone will pee on his hands. I’d be surprised if either side said yes. Stash or Trash: Sure go ahead stash him — just don’t set up a Google alert for his name or your phone will literally explode with weekly injury updates. He’s going to miss a month this time. Trash in shallow leagues. Fill In: Vince Velasquez (22.8%.) VV is someone who we’ve all been tempted by due to his 10+ K/9 potential. However, that came with a BB/9 over 4 and a HR/9 close to 2 most of his career. He’s been limiting his walks so far this year though — he’s only allowed more than two walks once. He’ll always be prone to getting blown up like his 4 IP/6 ER start against the Braves or his 4.2 IP/4 ER start against the Diamondbacks at the end of April, but if he can limit the walks and keep the ball in the yard slightly less against lesser opponents — he could be a solid matchups play.

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Howie Kendrick is out for multiple 10-day DLs with a ruptured Achilles injury.  Look at it this way, if Achilles couldn’t come right back from an Achilles injury, how would Kendrick?  He can’t, he’s out for the year.  Enter stage left, Juan Soto.  True story, as I was listening to Prospector Ralph and Lance Broetc. discuss the top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball (clickbait!), every time Ralph would say Juan Soto I’d think he was asking Lance if he wanted soda.  I kept wanting to say, just give him a Dr. Pepper and stop asking if he’s thirsty!  I don’t drink Soto, because it makes me burp, but I’ll tell you what?  I’ve found a special appreciation for La Croix.  Give me flavored seltzer or give me death, as Alan Hale Jr. once said.  Any hoo!  Love, love, lurve what the Nats did.  If you have a guy that’s going to be a superstar?  You call him up!  H to the hockey sticks with an E in between!  If the Blue Jays don’t call up Vlad soon, I will call them the BJs for the rest of eternity.  Ralph has gone over Juan Soto so many times, that it’s silly to reiterate.  Literally, he just wrote a Juan Soto fantasy.  If you’re really lazy and you have wheels on your barcalounger so you can get around, the most succinct is Soto could be a 35/12/.300 hitter during his peak and is 19 years old with extra fizz.  You can expect this year something similar to Bryce Harper’s rookie year — 20/15/.270.  If your eyes don’t bug out on that, you’ve lost feeling in your eyes.  Get them checked.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Last year some fellow co-workers and I decided it would be fun to join a flag football league. Seemed like a solid idea. Do some ‘team building’, get some running in, and enjoy a little competition. Well, by the end of the season we had gone through 4 QBs, one broken thumb, multiple pulled hammies and quads, and a grand total of 2 wins to show for all of our pain, so, safe to say, we made the right choice to be auditors and not professional athletes.

With the NFL draft ongoing, I thought it would be interesting to see what the best backyard football squad we could put together of current MLB players would look like. As this is a backyard/adult sport league type of team build, we’ll forego the offensive and defensive line. By NFL standards, there aren’t many guys that could play the line anyway.  David Ortiz, Big Papi, is by all accounts a mountain of a man for a baseball player at 6’4” and listed at 250 lbs. (I’m not sure I buy the weight, but that’s neither here nor there) would still be an inch short and 60 pounds light of the average offensive tackle in the NFL…

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We’re back with our second installment of this year’s Roto category leaders.  Once again, listed is the current leaders, favorites in a group (if tied), and who is licking their chops to, meow mix meow mix please deliver, take over the lead, ready to run a train on them chicken fingers nom nom nom nom.  You know what, let’s get right into it!

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