Please see our player page for Marcus Semien 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.

So much of 2020 baseball has me dazed and confused. One injury pops up and “poof”, there goes the season. One 10 day hot stretch begets a 10 day cold stretch, and players pop up and go away like so many prairie dogs on the windswept empty plains of stadiums with no fans to be seen except in cardboard. Those who have hovered away include, in no particular order, Jonathan Schoop, Robinson Cano, Kyle Schwarber, Willy Adames, Alex Dickerson, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Shohei Ohtani, Jesse Winker, Yuli Gurriel, Mitch Moreland, Pedro Severino and Max Kepler. Some of that is poor performance. Some of it is as simple as paternity leave at an inopportune time. Much of this unlucky 13 is gone simply because others have outperformed them. Now the good news.

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Welcome to the home stretch. One silver lining of this shortened season, with expanded rosters from the beginning, is fewer question marks at this point. We aren’t worried about teams resting players for the playoffs, or how expanded rosters will juggle playing time. It’s pretty much business as usual. We start pitchers against the worst offenses and we start visiting hitters at Coors. Tonight is no different. The pitcher lucky enough to grab a start against one of those worst offenses tonight is rookie Jose Urquidy, P: $6,300, who is our top value play of the day. Urquidy is just getting started this season, but threw nearly 90 pitches in his most recent start, so he shouldn’t be restrained much by a pitch count. He is facing the Rangers, the worst offense of the slate by wOBA. We are hoping for a repeat of his performance against the Rangers last season, when he threw 7 innings of two hit ball with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Any performance even approaching that will see Urquidy return exceptional value.

For additional reading material, including our other top pitching choice for FanDuel Main Slate contests, keep on keeping on, and read below.

 

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“Keep on go on wondering why, I got out of bed at all,” which are the lyrics for Thank You by Dido, which was the chorus for Stan by Eminem, and I want to thank you, Kwang-Hyun Kim (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.63) as he was activated from the IL after having kidney problems, and to misquote Eminem, “I Stan Kim.” Actually, here’s Eminem singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem.” Eminem is a big Golden Girls fan, obvi. Any hoo! What a year by Kim, whoa. He has 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed only one home run all year. Granted, he’s only thrown 28 2/3 IP all year, has allowed only two earned runs all year, and that’s less than a month of a regular season. But, wow, what a year! We’ll leave it at that. Will Eminem, or us for that matter, be singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem” in 2021? That seems less likely. His peripherals are not particularly inspiring, but for this year *genuflects* Stan Kim, Stan Kim, Stan Kim. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The time is getting close. The possibility of a season ending that was barely a possibility in June is upon us. Fall is peaking around the corner and pumpkin spice (I SAID PUMPKIN SPICE) is everywhere! I mean, the NFL is back, not all of football but at least the NFL. So it’s the home stretch and Fantasy Baseball championships can still be won and lost in the last two weeks. Additions to the list of players like #90 Jeimer Candelario, who has 5 homers and a .417 batting average the past two weeks, can boost you in multiple categories. Someone like D.J. Stewart can too, but his 6 homers and .455 batting average were done in bulk the last 7 days so he’ll take a bit more to get on the list. His teammate #91 Ryan Mountcastle, however, has won a spot thanks to his 4 homer .367 last two week mark and slightly higher pedigree. Other additions include the practically homering in every game #98 Bobby Dalbec (sure, it was close with Stewart, but Dalbec set a Red Sox rookie record for homers so…), welcome back #92 Michael Brantley  and #96 Isiah Kiner-Falefa (a lone Ranger highlight). Of course, we can’t forget that sultan of swat, that bountiful Brave, #70 Adam Duvall. Are you serious with a 9 home run barrage, including hitting in the .290’s over the last 15?

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We’re getting into the stretch run in this sprint of a season. Football is just around the corner but you can still dominate on the diamond. Let’s start with AJ Pollock (OF: $3,000) a guy who I feel has gone a little under the radar. Pollock is putting up a solid season with production across the board. He’s got a good matchup in a park that still favors hitters. At this price, I really like him today.

 

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Here we are again with nine more changes to the Top 100. In general a drop happens either through flash in the pans that hopped on or season long slumps for highly touted guys or injuries. A hot two weeks can get someone on the list, but if there is no history it takes more time than if there isn’t. First the good news. The six newcomers are San Francisco treats #97 Brandon Belt and #96 Alex Dickerson, (welcome back) #84 Andrew McCutchen, #78 Willy Adames propping up Tampa, #77 Robinson Cano (the old man has ramped it up big time),  the San Diego boys #71 Jake Cronenworth (proving me wrong) and #70 Eric Hosmer, (welcome back) #68 Rhys Hoskins and #67 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Those leaving are Aaron Judge and his injuries, Gary Sanchez, David Peralta, Edwin Encarnacion, Hanser Alberto and Christian Vazquez all batting around or under .200 with little power or slumping, and IL trips for Justin Turner and David Fletcher. The biggest blow is Anthony Santander. An oblique is probably the end of his season. It was tempting to move Trout back up to Number 1, but Tatis’ slump is too small to knock him off. #6 Trea Turner is hot as a pistol but couldn’t crack the Top 5 (Soto’s MRI came back clean), and #19 Charlie Blackmon all of a sudden isn’t squaring everything up. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to some of the other movers this week.

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Well, here we are again friends.  Another injury article, another lead off for Aaron Judge.  Judge made it halfway through a single game off the IL before re-aggravating his calf injury last week and has been promptly put on the shelf again.  This time, it seems like the Yankees are going to take their time with their start outfielder to make sure they don’t run into any more setbacks.  At this point, everyone worth grabbing on this Yankees squad has been profiled already, but these are no longer fluke issues with this team.  Even upon the return of Stanton and Judge to the lineup, I’d hold onto Clint Frazier (who’s flashing some impressive leather lately) and Mike Tauchman as it’s only a matter of time until they hit lineups again.

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As the 2020 season turns there’s plenty of ongoing changes in the Top 100. Things are very very good for some players, and bad and getting worse for others. Six players have left the list which means six have jumped on. #80 Jonathan Schoop, #85 Pedro Severino, #89 Austin Nola, #90 Renato Nunez, welcome back #92 Eugenio Suarez and #99 Kyle Tucker. These guys are obviously killing it in various degrees of goodness. In particular perhaps it’s time to take Baltimore seriously. With all those Yankee injuries, and all the great performances by various Orioles, it’s no wonder the Rays are looking to be active in the trade market. Those dropping off include Mike Moustakas, Ramon Laureano, Eduardo Escobar, Gleyber Torres and unfortunately Josh Bell. I have defended several of these players recently but their struggles, and the good play by so many others, have made these moves inevitable. As Suarez shows, a week or two of good play can make all the difference. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to the details for some of the movers this week.

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Lucas Giolito was the first White Sox pitcher to get a no hitter and rack up ten-plus Ks, going 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 13 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.09. And you didn’t think he was an ace that you should draft as your 1st starter! *screams at the heavens* REDEMPTION! Crap, I think I just hurt my back. Okay, the Pirates’ lineup was hilariously bad. They didn’t have one hitter with an OBP over .300. No need to bring in a defensive replacement for the White Sox outfield. Go ahead and put your glove away, DeWayne Wise. “Aw shucks.” That’s DeWayne. I turned the game on for the 9th, and I more just wanted to see a social distancing no-hitter celebration. Something akin to Don Larsen jumping into Yogi’s arms, and Yogi sidestepping him to put on a mask and Don skidding on his butt. But that wasn’t the case. We had our first good thing of 2020. Dot dot dot. Until Eloy Jimenez looked like he got hurt in the celebration. “You thought you’d get something nice?” That’s the year 2020 as it evilly cackles. You suck, 2020! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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White Sox hitters, White Sox pitcher, White Sox in the fall, white socks in the winter. It doesn’t often happen where both sides of the same team are the best options for your large slate roster, yet in FanDuel’s Main Slate tonight we see just that. Lucas Giolito, P: $10,400, is coming off a dominant 13 strikeout performance, and is facing a Pittsburgh team that is dead last in the majors against right handed pitching this season. We’re talking a team wOBA of .257. Bad. On the hitting side, the White Sox roster a right handed heavy lineup and have simply destroyed left handed pitching. They’ve posted a league leading 1.037 OPS and .427 wOBA in these splits. Very, very good. Brault hasn’t been his usual 5.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP self, but this looks like a very rough spot for him in any environment, much less at a park that easily yields home runs. This is about as lopsided as a Major League Baseball matchup gets.

Keep reading for more picks for tonight’s slate.

 

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