Please see our player page for Juan Lagares 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.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The ones that don’t draft pitching early. The Muslim Mrs. Garretts. The Yu’s that we saw in the 2nd half. The ones that see things differently and not simply the ones who are holding drinking glasses up to their face to make googly eyes. They’re not fond of the rules like:  Don’t wear sweatpants every day. And they have no respect for the status quo, because they’ve checked out every time someone defined “status quo” for them. They held onto Yu Darvish (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.97) all 1st half and were rewarded nicely. Unless he’s just on a team that started checking out fantasy football in June. Back in July, Coolwhip wrote, “I’m not prepared just yet to say he’s back back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back. I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Hashtag nailed it. Prior to that, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA.  Since then, 2.44 ERA in 66 1/3 IP. The fix, as we all know by now, he’s stopped walking everyone. His season-long peripherals 11.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.39 FIP are sweet, but his 2nd half peripherals are legendary, and some of the best in baseball — 12.6 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 3.20 FIP. For 2020, the thought of getting anywhere close to Darvish’s 2nd half has me, not only interested in him, but thinking he could be a steal as a number two fantasy starter. Yu might think I’m crazy, but the crazy ones change the world, or at least do well sometimes in their leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At one point in Sunday’s draft, Andy Behrens said to me, “I can’t believe you went to $3 on Peter O’Brien.  That’s not on brand for you.”  You know what; he’s right.  Shame on me for briefly going off brand. Even if it was for a millisecond between bids $2 and $3 on the 35-year-old rookie, Peter O’Brien, who has more holes in his swing than Swiss cheese at a shooting range.  Maybe the, um, spirit of drafting on St. Patty’s Day overcame me.  Maybe I was hoping O’Brien could make me some hurricanes while I waded in my kiddie pool this summer.  It’s Andy Behrens’s brand to draft terrible players.  That’s not my brand.  I realized that soon enough, Dear Reader.  Andy went to $4 and I let him have O’Brien.  I suppose if things break right, O’Brien will retire at some point this summer and look kindly on Behrens for drafting him, then offer his services as a babysitter.  I don’t need a babysitter; my wife is like a decade older than me!  Okay, I’m about to drop on you one of the sexiest NL-Only teams. You might want to place an extra-wide condom over your head, before I impregnate your eyes.  Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars 12-team, NL-Only draft recap:

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NL WestNL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.

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We’ve done it!  We’ve reached the end of the fantasy baseball hitter rankings.  Give yourself a big round of applause.  I’d clap for you, but I have carpal tunnel from actually ranking all the hitters and writing all their blurbs and calculating all of their projections and– What exactly did you do?  Oh, yeah, you read them.  No wonder why your hands can still clap.  Okay, let’s get to it because this post is like 5,000 words long and I wrote it with my toes.  C’mon, pinkie toe, push down the shift key!  Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Ya know, if you’re gonna get busted for PEDs and be suspended for 80 games, the way to do it is right after fracturing your hand.  It’s like coming down with mono the week of your prom when you have no date.  “Damn, am I gonna miss that?  That is too bad, but I am so drowsy I feel like I have two Forest Whitaker eyes.”  That’s you getting prom-o-mono.  I am more surprised to hear Robinson Cano was busted for PEDs, than I am to learn he had no idea he was taking the illegal substance.  Baseball is currently batting a thousand for denials of PEDs suspensions. MLB players’ denials of taking the illicit substance should get into the Hall of Fame on its first ballot.  Speaking of Hall of Fame, I kinda thought Robinson Cano was headed there.  This will obviously shade a cloud over his entire career, which I do think is a shame.  What’s also a shame, you need to drop him in all leagues.  He’s more or less done for the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The season is now just days away… We all have either drafted or are just about to and Spring training positional battles are in their death blows as expected starters have gone down with injuries throughout. Certain players we were excited about are now sitting in one of those DL spots, and we need to find those few players that everyone overlooked during the draft, some that could be nabbed off the waiver wire in a few weeks. I found a handful of players that fit the bill, all of which Grey ranked in the late 200’s or much later. Give these guys a look and consider adding them to fill up those new empty spots before the rest of your league catches on!

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Today, we take a look at the positional battles for the National League East, a division that is quite emblematic of the US of A. The power and leadership resides in Washington DC. The New York Mets have the money, 11th highest payroll in baseball, but they are not the Yankees. Atlanta. Sorry, I mean Hotlanta, always gets overlooked, but there’s tons of talent down south. We may be seeing lots of non-Native Americans tomahawk chopping on TV very soon. Philadelphia is usually in the shadow of New York. Well, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, so suck on that New Yorkers. I kid. There’s tons of young talent on the Phillies, especially on the pitching side, but they will continue to play in the shadow of their brethren to the east. Miami. This is where things break down. A city of opulence and culture, yet the Marlins sold off all their assets like a Pookie crackhead would for one last hit. The only way I can tie this into the US of A analogy is that Miami is located in the state of Florida, a state in which the lawmakers said that porn is dangerous but refused to talk about assault rifles. Ladies and gentlemen, the NL East.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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When does the trend end for the path of articles that trend in the direction for Bux-ton?  Weirdly enough, he shares the same name as the guy who stole Pee-Wee Herman’s bike, pretended to hide it in the Alamo, and then in the end got what he deserved.  I wish I had some genius follow-up to that haymaker of a comparison, but there is more in the world of steals than some Minnesota Twin who is actually not a twin but quite possibly an only child. So ignoring the greater northern Midwest, as there are other things going on in steals-ville.  Ahhh, who am I kidding, the world needs another Byron Buxton article.  I have only seen 42 in the past three days across the fake baseball world, so one more should summarize it nicely.  The dude is straight up sizzlin’ right now.  If it’s not Hoskins, it has to be Byron.  If you don’t know his stats over the past fortnight… well here they are anyways: batting .345 with 9 runs and 5 steals.  This is the speed portion of the Buxton love affair, so the taters and other starchy stats aren’t included, sorry.  It’s the end of year SAGNOF grab who you can and will drool all over… the fancy guys that you don’t own in the concessionary drooling steals/saves session.  Let’s see what else is going down in the lower ownership SAGNOF ship of love!

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I fired up the trusty Razzball Stream-o-Nator to glean its wisdom about the pitching slate for today, and nearly fell over. The top-ranked pitcher of the day? Kyle Hendricks versus the Phillies, which in itself is not surprising; the surprising part is that he is 8.9 Stream-o-Nator dollars ($SON 8.9), which is oscillating wildly on the brink of “don’t start this guy.” To put this into perspective, things get back to normal with SON’s Sunday’s prospects, with the top-rated pitcher of the day being Yu Darvish at $SON 33.6. Uhhh… can we punt pitcher altogether today? Sadly, FanDuel’s not going to let us do that and still enter a valid lineup (harrumph; the cheek of it). SON’s number 2 (so to speak) for the day is Ross Stripling ($6,000 on FanDuel; SON$ 7.5), who has actually been Quite Good as a long reliever, but this is a spot start and he has a limit of 55 pitches. So, as much as I’ve made it my life’s purpose to follow the Way of SON, I’m going risky and starting Gio Gonzalez (a terrifying $SON 1.3), while trying to compensate by paying up for batting, with games going down in hitter-friendly parks like Arizona today. A.k.a.: time to stack and hope!

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James Shields has given up a home run in 11 of 13 games this year. Outside of the first 2 games when he gave up 2 each, he’s given up at least 5 hits a game (he’s gone more than 6 once this year and that was 6.1). He’s walked someone in every single start. This is a more flavorful way of saying what you already know – Shields is terrible and won’t have his option year picked up in 2019 (that’s right, we’re going to have another year of James Shields to pick on). The other plus about this game is it’s in Texas and it’s going to be hot. Also, Shields’ splits this year are hilarious. When a left hander is in the box, he strikes them out 15.7% of the time and walks them 12% of the time (with a normal .313 BABIP), gets a ground ball 35.7% of the time and allows a home run on 23.6% of his fly balls. All of which is leads to an unfathomable 9.17 FIP and a 6.86 xFIP. Yes, loyal readers, James Shields has a FIP over 9 vs lefties. The worst FIP I can find vs lefties is Jose Lima’s 6.14, including an 8.29 in 2006 and Lima’s 8.29 was in only 7 innings. James Shields is having a legendarily bad season vs lefties (he’s actually relatively decent vs righties with 21.2% strikeouts and 8.2% walks for a 4.14 FIP and 4.73 xFIP). So given all of this information, here’s what I would do: play Texas Rangers lefties as much as physically possible, with Mazara and Gallo being the top ones, but all of them are good plays. As for the righties, they aren’t nearly as good as the lefties, first, because each Rangers righty you play is one less Rangers lefty to play if you’re going to have four Rangers, and second, a lot of the Rangers righties are expensive. That said, in a vacuum, the righties are still good plays as it’s hot, James Shields is on the mound and when he’s out of the game, the White Sox gas can of a bullpen will come in and suck. Beltre leads the righties since he hits righties pretty well over his career (113 wRC+) and has hit them well this year (.382 wOBA). Basically, play all the Rangers you can.

On to the picks once James Shields allows another home run to a lefty…

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?