Please see our player page for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 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.

It’s rare to see a player having a breakout year in his age 35 season in the post-Selig era, but Yuli Gurriel needs just 2 runs, 1 RBI and even 2 SB to set career highs in all of those categories. He already has a career-high in HRs with 25 and could end the season with 30-35. With 37 games remaining Gurriel could end the season with an 85/33/100/8/.300 line for the year. Not too shabby from a guy with an ADP in the 200s. This production uptick is due to a career-low ground ball rate, career-high fly ball rate, career-high hard contact rate — the underlying numbers are pointing to this being for real and he should finish the year strong.

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Yesterday, Michael Conforto went 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 24th and 25th homer, and, like, his 43rd homer in the last month (9 homers since the break). Men, dudes, bros, youse, five lady readers, Goofusses and Gallants, Cousin Sweatpants, my peeps from another Easter basket! Conforto gets scorching hot for these month-long stretches that makes you think he could put it together for a whole year one of these days, um, years. He’s the third Met player in history with 100+ homers before the age of 27. The other two are Darryl Strawberry and David Wright. The three of them all stayed at a Howard Johnson in the offseason. HoJo puts on a team-building seminar on his back patio and provides snacks, and Lenny Dykstra works the valet. Conforto’s in-Confort-ible! *screams for 10 minutes* Okay. I’m back. If you look at Conforto’s peripherals he really is more this post-All-Star break hitter, and less the one that struggled for the previous six weeks prior to this. Hopefully, Conforto stays in-Conforto-ible for the rest of this year and into 2020. I can see it now! (Only another 18 months of bad 2020 puns.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Who else got victimized by Nelson Cruz last week? In his last 75 ABs here’s his line: 19/14/26/0/.333. That’s more than some guys had in the entire first-half. Oh wait — that’s almost more than the 16 Cruz put up the first half. The Twins are going to be battling for the AL Central with the Indians until the bitter end and clutch Cruz should keep them afloat the rest of the way.

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Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.

Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:

• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.

Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.

And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!

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Who would’ve thought little D.J. LeMahieu would be the best free agent signing of the past decade? Yeah, I said it! Mainly because I have an awful memory and suffer from extreme recency bias! He’s definitely the best signing of this preseason though. He’s 3 HRs away from setting a new career-high, already has a new career-high in RBI and is again leading his league in batting average as he did with the Rockies in 2016. His disappointing, injury-plagued 2018 caused his stock to dip a bit, but Brian Cashman is looking like a genius again for this signing. And oh yea, not that it matters to us, but he’s playing Gold Glove defense again at both 2B and 3B. Does defense matter to you? Do you use any defensive stats in any of your leagues?

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The Astros got two great starts this weekend from two guys who weren’t in the conversation until recently.  On Saturday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54.  He made my pants up-jump-the-boogie a little from his pitching.  I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is […]

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The Magic Genie of Fantasy Baseball says that if I put a baseball card of a player I own in a Dreamcatcher and put the Dreamcatcher under my pillow while I’m sleeping then *gulps* then the Magic Genie of Fantasy Baseball will come in the middle of the night and give my player a Quality Start.  So…*bashfully looks down*..I put Chris Paddack‘s baseball card under my pillow and I’VE BEEN A GOOD BOY!  Holy Hayzeus Lazarus and Pontius, Inventor of Pilates, I had a good start! Yesterday, Chris Paddack went 7 2/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 ER and 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.70.  Please throw 170 more innings this year!  “Don’t be greedy,” interrupts Magic Genie of Fantasy Baseball.  “Hey, Magic Genie of Fantasy Baseball, you sound like a spot remover.”  “Just for that, I’m pushing Marquez back so he starts at Coors next!  Muahahaha!”  So, Paddack had a great start, which tacks onto his season of more-than-we-could’ve-hoped-for.  He currently ranks 25th for xFIP; 23rd for K/9 and 13th for walk rate.  And he’s in Petco for his home starts!  Happy to be the Mohel at his Star Mitzvah.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s been a few weeks since I ranked the top 100 fantasy hitters and a lot has changed! Stranger Things season 3 has dropped, Josh Bell broke the record for most extra-base hits in the first half of an NL season, my wife had our first child, and Giancarlo Stanton got injured and hit the DL! Only one of those is the real reason I haven’t written an article in a while and yea, maybe I took Stanton getting hurt too personally.

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*nervous finger tap*  How many days without baseball?  So, I can close my fantasy baseball team browser window without missing anything?  Okay.  *throws computer out window*  What?  Was there another way to close my fantasy team page?  I hadn’t in so long I forgot.  What do you mean I can go outside without worrying about missing anything in baseball?  But there’s real people out there!  I’m staying right here, thank you very much!  So, we’re headed to the break, and it couldn’t have come at a worst time for Jack Flaherty (7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.64).  Let him pitch again tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or until his ERA is under 4!  Also, can he pitch against the Giants for all of those?  Even if Alex Dickerson is as strong a cleanup man as you can find (in any Division II school’s lineup). Flaherty’s peripherals (9.9 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.07 xFIP) aren’t exactly whistling Dixie; they’re closer to ‘fixing dinner from stuff found on the floor of a Winn-Dixie.’  “Toomgis hate Winn-Dixie. Their bath salts are lame.”  I know, Toomgis, I know. Flaherty won’t appear in the top 100 for the 2nd half that’s coming tomorrow, but at least he’s headed to the break looking better than he has all year, even if it was vs. the Aints. By the way, I hear the Orioles are going to pitch on Monday to stay in game shape. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I spent 24 hours, and I wish I had more hours, writing and rewriting this post for you. This is a tough cat to understand. So many things point to positives, but there are still a few underlying issues that make you wonder if it’s real. Since being recalled from minors Lourdes Gurriel Jr., of the Swinging Gurriels, is destroying baseballs at a .355/.401/.739 clip with 14 HRs in 152 PAs. That would roughly pace him for a 60 HR season. No big deal right? He might be the hottest bat in all the land.

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