Please see our player page for Jordan Lyles 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.

Well, the All Star break may not be until next week, but we’re already more than halfway through the season, folks, as just about all MLB teams played their 81st game earlier this week. As we look over the season’s first half from a fantasy perspective, it’s clear that some suggestions for deep-league pickups have been more successful than others.  Let’s focus on the positive:  starting with the NL this week, let’s take a look at a few of our own Deep League Fantasy All Stars, guys who were mentioned in this column earlier in the season and weren’t even drafted in most leagues.  Each of these players has managed to achieve at least some degree of mixed-league relevance, and we’ll look at them with an eye towards the hope that they can continue to provide value in slightly shallower leagues over the second half of 2019.

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Super Duper!

Mitch Haniger, OF, Oh God: *Vomits uncontrollably* *Still* Replacement: Who does this white bread Garrett Cooper (7.2%) kid think he is anyway? Well dating back to May 15th he has 28 hits, 19 runs, 5 HRs, 16 RBI in 86 ABs. He’s firmly entrenched as the Marlins #2 hitter right now and is really making the most of it. He’s not some spring chicken either — he’s a 28-year-old career minor leaguer who has always had a solid hit tool hitting .305 AVG/.371 OBP across 1,640 minor league ABs. He has 15-20 HR power, absolutely no speed (think: negative stolen bases somehow,) but he’s a great fill-in option who isn’t going to kill your ratios.

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Carlos Correa hit the IL with a fractured rib, and will be out three to four weeks.  He suffered the injury from a massage.  Kinda makes you respect Bob Kraft more.  Correa, “That isn’t the bone I want yanked!”  Masseuse, “That is called The Bulgarian Tickler.”  You’d think a Correa’n could handle an Oriental massage. Or maybe we should be asking which Cardinals exec was working undercover as a masseuse?  This is why I just sit in a Brookstone chair for 45 minutes or until a store employee asks me to leave.  When Correa is picked 120-ish in 2020, he’s gonna be a bargain!  The Astros said to replace Correa and the already injured, Aledmys Diaz, they will go with Jack Mayfield and Myles Straw.  More like Jack Junefield!  Amiright?!  I need a nap.  *shuts eyes for five seconds, claps hands*  I’m back!  Mayfield’s tearing shizz up in the minors (10 HRs, .938 OPS), but the Prospectonator is meh on him.  As for Myles Straw, aka the Straw that stirs the Myles, looks like he has blazing speed and might hit .220 with no playing time. As a dolphin might sing at karoake, “STRAW! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” Now bring up Kyle Tucker aka Crush Hour!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The last time anything this exciting came from a Reds’ DD was Kevin Mitchell in 1994 when demonstrating his barehanded catch on Morganna. Yesterday, Derek Dietrich went 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with his 15th, 16th and 17th homers. To add insult to injury, it came against the Pirates, who earlier this year he homered off of, which sparked a benches-clearing brawl because of how he was lallygagging around the bases.  For yesterday’s home runs, Dietrich would not be outdone.  For his first home run, he tagged Ric Flair and had him WOOOOOOOO around the bases. A totally legal maneuver, says in the rulebook.  For his 2nd homer, he stood on the shoulders of a bear on roller skates and skated around the bases.  Then, not to be topped, for his third home run, the PA announcer played porn music and Dietrich stopped at every base and mimed sexual acts with the Pirates infielders. So disrespectful to the game!  Ex-Marlin Dietrich has 17 homers, the entire Marlins team has 36 homers.  *lays on the floor, rolls around, laughing* If only there was an acronym for that.  If you drafted Dietrich, Bellinger and Yelich (a totally reasonable possibility), please drop by the comments so I can bathe in your glow.  As for Dietrich, reminds me of Scooter’s breakout a few years ago. Not sure if Dietrich gets to 30+ homers–Excuse me, I should say I’m not sure if he gets to 30 homers by the All-Star break.  Speaking of which, vote Derek Dietrich for the All-Star Game so he can do a three-day home trot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Cavan Biggio will be promoted today to join Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Soon, Bichette will join Guerrero and Biggio and the Jays’ master plan to reunite the 2005 All-Star Game in the luxury boxes will be complete.  “How’s Darin Erstad Jr. look?”  “More like Darin Ersatz!”  “I don’t get it.”  “Ersatz means an inferior substitute.”  “Is that some thinking man’s humor? I don’t like that.”  That was overheard in the Jays’ front office.  Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Biggio this preseason, “At 23, Biggio had a solid 2018 campaign at Double-A. He hit .252 with 26 homers, 20 steals, and a walk rate of nearly 18%. He has the pedigree and patience to make it in the pros and the power to hit 20-25 homers, but he also strikes out a lot and I’m not sure what position he’ll end up at. This could mean he ultimately finds a role as a super-utility type like a Swiss Army knife. Speaking of which, anyone know where Grey is, I want to harvest his liver.”  Okay, what now?  This year, Biggio cut down on his Ks, and held his walks, hitting .306 in Triple-A, while adding in his usual mix of power and speed.  I imagine he takes over for Sogard and hits leadoff. Sogard? So long!  I added Biggio everywhere I could because I have a sickness for upside.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, on the way to the park, Chris Paddack felt under the weather.  Not to confuse people, Paddack had the flu, there’s no weather in San Diego.  So, Chris Paddack was touching 100, and I’m not talking about his fastball.  As Paddack made his way to the mound, he’d cough and:  “You rang?”  That’s the on-staff hernia nurse.  Well, it’s not just the hernia nurse who’s on-staff when it comes to Paddack.  Yesterday, he dismantled the Mariners — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.67 in 27 IP, getting some swinging strikes that were…Well, one swing by Daniel Vogelbach was the highest pitch generating a swing all year at four-feet and eight-inches aka “an Altuve.”  Currently, Paddack sits at 10 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 3.80 xFIP, and, Steamer’s rest-of-the-season projections for him are 3.49 ERA with a 10 K/9 in 120 IP, i.e., a top 40 starter in all mixed leagues.  With all his commercials, Justin Verlander can push his Flonase down our throats (noses?), but Paddack pitching is sick — God bless you!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sometimes you wake up, and everything is perfect. Other times you wake up and Kris Bryant is awful, Jesus Aguilar has less homers than Jarrod Dyson, and all of your pitching sucks. Has 2019 been a bad dream? Will it ever end? The Fantasy Master Lothario and myself answer these questions and more as we look under the hood of some under-performing stars. Don’t be scared, it’s the latest episode of the Razzball Podcast!

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Jordan Lyles was exceptional Friday night capturing his second win of the year going six strong innings allowing just four hits, a walk and striking out six. He now leads the league with a 0.53 ERA. Mazel tov, Jordan, and happy Pesach! Well, someone clearly did not observe the High Sabbath last night. He had better things to do, busy mowing down the San Francisco hitters. So is the Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage is a miracle worker or a Three Eyed Raven or some kind of warg magic man?? The Pirates pitching staff now boasts a league best 2.54 ERA. But back to Jordan. Lyles has now struck out 16 over his past two starts and holds some real pretty ratios like that league leading 0.53 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP with an 19/5 K/BB. Yes, more please. Put that on your seder plate. After the all star break last year, Lyles started relying more on a combination of his curve ball and 4-seam fastball and benefited from this greatly posting a 3.00 ERA with hitters batting just .213 against him. His curve ball, in particular, can be pretty nasty when its on and when he’s mixing in the 4-seamer effectively Jordan has looked like a dominant pitcher. Seems like he’s brought this strategy with him to Pittsburgh and things with Searage have clicked. He had his outing shortened Friday after taking a line drive off the hand but the injury does not appear to be serious and he is expected to make his next start Wednesday versus Arizona. Lyles is available in over 75% of fantasy leagues and worth your streaming consideration at the very least. He’s starting to look like a steal for Pittsburgh, and he seems like a real mensch you may not want to Pass over!

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

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If one goes purely by Streamonator (SON), Justin Verlander is one’s top man on FanDuel today, for his match-up versus Texas. There will be Ks. There may be a win. But… JV is also the chalk play, and at $10,800 (I just choked on my Easter chocolate), he will cost you a third of your total lineup budget. I think we can do better than that. On this very Good Friday — which is also the first day of Passover and a day upon which I’m well chuffed to be here for the first time this season, pinch-hitting for Richardo — let us explore some ideas beyond the obvious. Some of them might be gambles, but hey, we’re here to gamble, right?

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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How’s it going, deep-leaguers?  Hope everyone out there has dodged as many fantasy baseball injury bullets as possible, since we know that losing your studs in a deep league is a much different level of disaster than it is in the shallow, mixed-league world.  It’s not super helpful to read about how you might consider picking up Dansby Swanson or Eduardo Escobar to replace Trea Turner in your lineup when the “best” shortstop available in your league is Kevin Newman. As we continue to ask for leniency from the fantasy baseball gods, let’s do what we do here, and take a look at some players who may be on the radar for those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues.

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