Please see our player page for Justin Upton 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.

This is a Coors Field slate and the weather is going to be hot, so you’re going to want to jam Coors Field plays into your FanDuel lineups. The biggest issue in your quest for 4 Astros is that they are a right handed hitting lineup and Peter Lambert, while terrible, is actually pretty decent at keeping the ball on the ground vs righties (52.9% and 30.6% vs lefties), so you’re going to want to target him with fly ball righties and anyone who swings a bat from the left side. Alex Bregman (36.2%), Robinson Chirinos (33.3%) and Tyler White (39.4%) are the righties who keep the ball off the ground (Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick are the lefties who project to start and are good plays). But, Lambert isn’t someone who you avoid playing ground ball righties at Coors because he can’t get them to swing and miss at all (11.5%) so George Springer and Jose Altuve are fine plays due to the fact that you’re in Coors and those 2 are capable of making contact and they do have some raw power. On the other side, Miley is like Lambert in his ground balls, except he is fairly neutral in his splits. But he throws with his left hand and the 2 best plays on the Rockies when they face a guy who throws baseballs with his left hand just happen to be guys who hit the ball in the air with some frequency. Trevor Story (31.1%) and Nolan Arenado (36.5%) are the top plays, but this game environment is going to be so good, playing any 4 Rockies is acceptable as well.

On to the picks…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Seeing Zac Gallen called up and I’m reminded of me doing karaoke.  Picture, if you will, the song Tequila playing and me just holding a mic, dancing.  Now imagine I’m surrounded by multiple Mickey Rourkes feeding strawberries to multiple Kim Basingers, because this scene is filled with eroticism like you’ve never witnessed before.  It’s taboo filled with self-sacrifice, transgression is in the air while being dominated by a song with only one word.  I’m alive for the first time!  Now, watch Gallen get trounced by the sissy AF Cardinals.  Okay, I’ve been telling you to pick up Gallen for about a month.  On our Prospectonator, he’s the 4th best rookie pitcher, which translates to him possibly being the rookie pitcher of the year.  Think Chris Paddack.  Fo’realsies.  Prospect Mike just gave you his Zac Gallen fantasy, and I’d just go there and read that to find out what kind of pitcher he is, because that’s what I did.  He had lefties hitting .127 off him?  I mean, are you kidding? Seriously, is this a joke?  Do you want me to faint while I am entertaining a room full of drunk people with Tequila?  Do you?!  I didn’t think so. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On the first pitch Justin Upton (2-for-4) saw back from the IL, he slammed it into the seats for his 1st home run. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Anyone who wants to come over on Saturday, I’m doing a screening of the short film I did about O.J. Simpson and a lovable group of his former Bills teammates plotting to break into a Vegas casino to steal back his memorabilia called, O.J.’s Eleven. I play O.J. in blackface.”  People have been asking about adding Justin Upton, and he’s currently owned in 70% of ESPN leagues, though Klara Bell owns 17,000 teams to help fill his virtual trophy case, and doesn’t own Upton, so, technically, Upton’s owned in 101% of leagues, but, if he’s available, I’d add him everywhere.  Prior to his injury, he was a top 30 outfielder, and see no reason why he can’t do something similar from here to there.  There being October.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For Mother’s Day, all MLB players use pink bats.  On Father’s Day, all bats should be painted to resemble penises.  I try to convince MLB of this every year, and every year I’m met with awkward silence.  Another Father’s Day, another year MLB didn’t take my suggestion for an, uh, equipment update.  How about they use the pink bats again, but with hanging scrotum on the knobs? They could at least call all home runs on Father’s Day “dongs,” or if the player is over the age of 35, then they’re long balls.  These are not big fixes I’m asking them to do.  So, Edwin Encarnacion took his long balls (see?!) to the Yankees (unintentional pun, but still worthwhile).  Turns out the Home Run Parrot on Edwin’s shoulder is a better agent than Kimbrel’s.  “Polly want 15%.”  This made me chuckle:  reporters on Saturday suggesting the new potential Yankees’ lineup had Edwin Encarnacion penciled in as a question mark like he was some mystery-flavor Dum-Dum.  It’s because Encarnacion doesn’t really make sense for the Yankees — is he the DH? (Voit? Judge? Stanton?)  1st base? (LeMahieu) — but they’ll find room for him since he was the AL leader in home runs.  Clint Frazier was sent to the minors, as he awaits a trade; this will completely kill Gio Urshela’s value, and might hurt DJ LeMahieu’s, as well.  With Giancarlo and Judge returning, Gardner’s about to become the 4th outfielder, Maybin’s gonna get DFA’d and Aaron Hicks better make sure he doesn’t slump or he’s going to be benched too.  Of course, all of this becomes moot when Judge, Stanton and Edwin all get hurt this week.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry, but first I must purge myself of all Yu song references.  If you don’t like that, Yu Can’t Always Get What Yu Want, but, if Yu try, Yu might get what Yu need, because all Yu Need Is Love, and I Wish Yu Were Here.  Yu Give Love A Bad Name, but I’m gonna Run to Yu.  Even if Rick rolled, I’m Never Gonna Give Yu Up, and shut don’t go up, but Yu do. Yu Take My Breath Away when Yu pitch well, but Yu Never Give Me Your Money, which makes sense since Yu Don’t Know Me.  Without or Without Yu Yu (stutterer!) can put together a solid rotation, but Yu Light Up My Life when it’s the Best of Yu. Have I Told Yu Lately he needed to cut down on his walks? Yesterday, he went 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks (zero walks!), ERA at 5.14, and I Know What Yu Did Last Summer (disambiguation: song), but what about now? Don’t Yu (Forget About Me).  Did the Rangers closer, Chris Martin, Fix Yu? Remains doubtful, but no walks is Arthur’s Theme (Best Yu Can Do).  Any hoo!  Yu Darvish might’ve been dealing with a mechanics issue, and maybe now that’s fixed.  He does have a near-12 K/9, the only bugaboo is his 7+ BB/9, but if he can tame that he immediately shoots to at least a number two, and stops plopping out number twos.  Do Yu Understand (ft Tory Lanez & Gunna).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m not going to overreact to 20 at-bats. I will not do it. That being said, if you’re in a league with me — every one of my players is a bum and is on the block. Starting next week we’ll start to see some moving and shaking, but this list is mostly a refresher from the pre-season. There are really only six “fallers” this week and they’re all injury related. I’ll be writing more about them in my injury column which drops on Wednesday, but here’s who slipping, tumbling, sinking, fumbling:

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Fernando Tatis Jr. made the team.  Did not see that one coming.  Don’t own him anywhere.  To which you now say, “Tough Tatis.”  Wow.  I’m stunned.  Good for the Padres!  This is not good for the Luis Urias, who I’ve lowered in my top 20 2nd basemen.  Possibly bad news for Ian Kinsler too, but owning Ian Kinsler in fantasy was bad news for you anyway.  Here’s what I said earlier in the preseason on Tatis, “Fernando Tatis Jr. was born in 1999.  Recently, it was announced Acuña was so young he didn’t know who Mickey Mantle was, well, Tatis Jr. is so young he doesn’t know who Mike Trout is.  Dude was born like a minute ago, and not a minute as it’s defined in Urban Dictionary, which is a long time, but an actual minute.  Fernando Tatis Jr.’s dad is so young he didn’t even use charcoal as his medium; he used MS Paint.  Tatis Jr. looks like an All Star ready to happen, until the 75th round draft pick, Albert Pujols Jr., comes along and replaces him.  Jokes aside, Tatis looks damn near perfect.  A lanky Machado maybe, a young Hanley possibly.  Like something Ryan Brasier would cover, Tatis looks real and spectacular.  I’d say the difference him and his pops is the difference between Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr., but Ken Sr. wasn’t that bad.  How about this, the difference between Tatises (Tatii?) is the difference between J.D. Martinez and J.D. Martinez Sr.  Was there a J.D. Martinez Sr.?  No idea, but that’s the point.  FTJ is going to be special.  Now Fun the Jewels fast!  Now Fun the Jewels fast!  Now Fun the Jewels fast!”  And that’s me quoting me!  I love him, guys and five girl readers, and you need to own him in all leagues.  Immediately.  He has some swing-and-miss tendencies, due to his age, so I conservatively projected him up to around 18/18/.250, but, honestly, he could be so much more.  He was also moved up my top 20 shortstops, if you’re into that sorta thing.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Redraft leagues are the standard of the fantasy sports industry. Each year you get a fresh start at remembering you shouldn’t draft A.J. Pollock. Ever. You can draft whoever you want at your draft position or spend as much as your budget on whoever you want. But for me there is nothing more fun than a good long-term keeper league. Smart owners get to flex on their leaguemates by keeping players they selected deep in their drafts or picked up on a hunch. Keeper leagues are a great intermediate option between full-on redraft leagues and the craziness of a dynasty league. 

Below you’ll find my keeper rankings for 2019. I’ve included each player’s age, position eligibility for the start of the 2019 season and any concerns I have about each player. Here’s what you’ll also see: I’m not high on starting pitchers. Too likely to suffer an injury and miss a large chunk of time. I’m not high on guys with less than two seasons of experience. I’ve seen sophomore slumps and prospect busts far too often. There are exceptions like Ronald Acuna who seem like a sure thing — but when it comes to Vlad Guerrero Jr. I prefer the wait and see approach. Plus, we really don’t know when he’ll even debut. Players over the age of 31 worry me — especially players whose value is speed dependent. I don’t want to keep a player whose decline is starting to begin. Injury prone players: duh. I’m not going to keep someone who can’t take the field.

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Auction drafting reminds me of playing poker. Having a plan of attack, choosing the right hand to play, and then subsequently winning the hand while finding out that you could’ve made a lot more money if you had played it correctly. If you’re patient enough, play the rights hands and stick to the calculations, it’ll work out to your benefit more often than not, but are you that patient?

Can you let a player go under value because he’s not part of your plan? Can you avoid getting sucked into the auction and over paying for your guy? Can you avoid killing your budget faster than a college kid on spring break?

Hindsight is 20/20 and that is rarely more apparent than over the course of an auction. I don’t believe I’ve ever left an auction without regret. However, even if you don’t stick to your plan, there are ways to maneuver the auction to make your team build complete.

My plan coming into the auction was similar to my draft strategy for most of my leagues. I wanted to concentrate my bat spending on top of the order, high average, speed guys. Accomplished this with my combination of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Trea Turner. I balanced that speed with power in Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Andujar, Justin Upton, and Max Muncy.

For my pitching, I took a more aggressive stance than normal and only wanted one ace and two established closers. I got Max Scherzer and then grabbed Edwin Diaz, Sean Doolittle, and Pedro Strop late.

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Categories, eligibility and speed. These are the things that dictate where I rank hitters. Categories: A guy who contributes in all 5 categories is going to be ranked higher than someone who contributes in only 4 — even if those 4 categories are elite. That’s why I’m a bit lower on J.D. Martinez and Nolan Arenado compare to other people. Eligibility: obviously guys with multiple position eligibility or a shallower position will be ranked higher than say an outfielder. “Then why aren’t you higher on catchers?” Because after the top-2 catchers they’re basically all the same and likely to miss time. Speed: the most elusive of 5×5 categories. If you can give me at least 10 steals I’m going to give you a boost in my rankings. That’s why I’m higher on someone like Tommy Pham than others. If Trea Turner gets the 75-80 stolen base attempts that the Nationals want him to get then he has the chance to end the season as a top-3 player.

Please, blog, may I have some more?