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Slight format change going forward with this column — I’m going to be leaving short term DL candidates near where they were ranked previously. It was become too hard to remember who and when players were coming back. (Yes, I do write the injury column — but I don’t write the healthy column.) This is what happened with Starling Marte — I don’t own any shares of Marte so I didn’t notice his return from DL so he was an unfortunate oversight the past few weeks in these rankings. If someone is looking like they’ll be out for a longer period of time — they might drop a bit more in the rankings or be removed entirely (as is the case with Jorge Soler and his broken foot.) Due to these new additions we’ve got a Top 110 hitters this week with guys like Josh Donaldson, Mookie Betts, Wil Myers, Yoenis Cespedes, Ronald Acuna and others making their surprise reemergence. Next week 10 of these hitters will probably work themselves off this list. Also, as a side effect to these new additions a lot of players will look like they’ve fallen really far in the rankings — again, this should normalize by next week. 

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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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Did you hear about this Joc working overtime?  He was too uptight!  Take it, Highlights, it it yours!  One guy whose completely uptight in the forbidden Fruit of the Looms is Joc Pederson.  Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homer.  That gives him five homers this week.  Yabba dabba drool!  “So, I was hoping to buy a screw in this hardware store, but I’m having lustly feelings about a Joc.  Will you serve me?”  That’s me walking into a hardware store in Tennessee.  Some of my hotter buys — buys I make while wearing a thong — are owned in more than 50% of leagues — Rendon, Desmond, etc. — but Joc is pretty sexy if he’s going right and available in a multitude of leagues.  By the by, someone who changes attitudes frequently has a multitude.  The royal we are talking about a guy in my Joc who could sneak into a 30+ homer, 7-steal season, and he’s not even hitting for a bad average this season (.272).  Giddy up on this Joc!  And that’s not the first time I’ve said that!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Has anyone started calling David Dahl (OF, Broken Foot) China Dahl yet? If not, let me be the first. ANOTHER major injury for China Dahl that will see him miss 6-8 weeks. Stash or Trash: Trash. He wasn’t getting consistent playing time and now two months on the shelf? You deserve better! Replacement: You know who will never let you down? Leonys Martin (17%.) Oh god, what did I even just type? Oh well, let’s commit to the bit. Martin actually has been downright ownable in 12 team mixed leagues. 34 runs, 7 HRs, 20 RBI — only two steals which is what we all wanted — really not bad. The athleticism was always there with Martin but he never seemed to be able to get out of his own way. Well he’s out of his own way now and hitting pretty well. Leonys more than anyone else on the planet has committed to the launch angle revolution — he’s hitting a staggering 51% of balls in the air. I don’t know how sustainable that is with only a 16% line drive rate — but we’re not going to find gold on the waiver wire — only pyrite.

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Coming into this season Yu Darvish owners had a lot to be excited about with his off season signing with the Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs potent offense averaging 5.07 runs per game in 2017 and Darvish’s career 3.41 ERA coming into this year, he was set to get all the run support he’d need to prosper. Unfortunately even with a career K/9 of 11.04, Darvish’s 2018 season has been a disappointment. Even though he’s still striking out at least 11 batters per nine, he’s only averaging 9.38 points per start over his eight starts. For comparison, Miles Mikolas is averaging 19.09 points per start. Darvish is currently on the disabled list with inflammation in his right triceps which I’m sure owners are hoping will explain his less than stellar start to 2018. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some other players that are not living up to our preseason expectations.

I’m going to go out on a short limb (think Jim Abbott) and say that if you were able to exit this year’s draft with the following starting lineup that you’d be awfully excited for the coming season.

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Times like this you wish Noah Syndergaard wasn’t complaining of a ligament strain and just had a bad lisp.   “Oh no! My finger is Thor, and it needs a Syndergaard.”  More like Noah Fingergaard!  Noah Syndergaard hit the DL with a finger ligament strain.  I’m fully aware that at least one person in every league ignored my advice to ignore Syndergaard and drafted him very early, so I will do something I’ve never done before, not gloat.  True story, my crazy aunt used to say I gloated all the time behind her back (I did) and I drove her into a mental asylum.  See, when I say my ‘crazy’ aunt, I’m being literal!  So, without gloating, let me just say when a pitcher proves himself to be injury prone, take his word for it.  His Synderwoord?  DeGrom’s already had a dislocated elbow, and my money’s on him getting injured at some point again soon too.  Same goes for Kershaw.  Not trying to be harsh, it’s just truth bombs.  If you own Syndergaard, hope he returns relatively soon, but this is the kind of injury that sidelines a pitcher for an entire season.  Sorry, another truth bomb.  Oh, and the Mets said Syndergaard can return in ten days.  What’s the opposite of a truth bomb?  That’s what that is.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.

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I rarely like to make too many movements in the Top 20 or so players, but this week I thought it was necessary. Last week saw me drop Paul Goldschmidt from 8th down to 21st and this week he tumbles a bit further down to 24. In the 4 games since my last top 100 article Goldy has gone 2 for 16 with two measly singles. He can get hot in a minute and rocket back up to the top 10 — but right now it’s disrespectful to the other players to place him in the top 10.

Jose Altuve’s slight fall is going to make a lot of people angry, but he’s just not doing enough with the bat or on the base paths to warrant a top 10 placement. I see the average over .300 but 2 HRs and 2 SBs isn’t cutting it. Just as a heads up — if you have a frustrated owner in your league who is willing to accept your offer of Jonathan Schoop and an OF2/OF3 for Altuve — make the offer now. Altuve is an avid Razzball reader and will be out to prove me wrong!

Two little Indians jumped up in my rankings: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They are ranked 6th and 5th respectively on ESPN’s Player Rater and earned their boost. A commenter last week pointed out how much better Lindor was performing than Carlos Correa and I that message was received loud and clear. Correa has been more lauded than Lindor, but I can’t deny Lindor is out-performing Correa so far this year. Ramirez on the other hand has statistics that compare favorably to fantasy baseball Gawd Mike Trout. Ramirez only has 6 less runs, the same amount of HRs, 5 more Rbi, 2 less steals and a higher average (even if only by .006.) With second and third base eligibility that screams top 10 talent to me. Soon.

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I used to be a Catholic schoolgirl. I was bad at it (ahem), but some things stay with one, lo these many years later. The urge to dip my fingers in holy water and genuflect (why does that word sound so dirty somehow?) whenever I walk into a church. The impulse to reply “and also with you” when someone says “May the fourth be with you”. An enjoyment of wafers and religious experiences, such as watching James Paxton ($24,100 on FantasyDraft today) deal a no-hitter against the Blue Jays last week. He’s taking on Detroit today: yes, his last start, which was also against the Tigers, saw him give up 3 earned, but I’m going to put it down to the food poisoning he was allegedly dealing with (gotta go easy on the loaves and fishes) and exhort you: Pay up and start him and may (a) piece (of the action) be with you.

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