Yesterday, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 11th and 12th homer, hitting .304.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the greatest living hitter, and I’m not living in a hyperbolic chamber, while dining out on superlatives to describe how hot Gurriel’s been since he returned from the minors.  On our 30-day Player Rater, he’s a near-top 10 hitter over the last month. His father, Yuli Gurriel, calls his son every day and asks him how he does it and LouGu Jay R is just like, “Father, I cannot explain my success with the white ball.”  And Yuli’s like, “Careful with the coded language because I learned the hard way people don’t like racism. Who knew?”  LouGu Jay R may simply be a hot bat, but there’s something to be said for a guy who has been hot the entire time he’s returned from the minors.  Maybe this is LouGu’s floor vs. ceiling.  At least one Junior is impressing on the Jays.  “I got a better butt.”  That’s Vlad Jr. modeling in front of a mirror for ESPN’s Nude Magazine. However, the song Vlad Jr. sings to his reflection is apt, “Gurriel, you knows it’s true.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The last time anything this exciting came from a Reds’ DD was Kevin Mitchell in 1994 when demonstrating his barehanded catch on Morganna. Yesterday, Derek Dietrich went 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with his 15th, 16th and 17th homers. To add insult to injury, it came against the Pirates, who earlier this year he homered off of, which sparked a benches-clearing brawl because of how he was lallygagging around the bases.  For yesterday’s home runs, Dietrich would not be outdone.  For his first home run, he tagged Ric Flair and had him WOOOOOOOO around the bases. A totally legal maneuver, says in the rulebook.  For his 2nd homer, he stood on the shoulders of a bear on roller skates and skated around the bases.  Then, not to be topped, for his third home run, the PA announcer played porn music and Dietrich stopped at every base and mimed sexual acts with the Pirates infielders. So disrespectful to the game!  Ex-Marlin Dietrich has 17 homers, the entire Marlins team has 36 homers.  *lays on the floor, rolls around, laughing* If only there was an acronym for that.  If you drafted Dietrich, Bellinger and Yelich (a totally reasonable possibility), please drop by the comments so I can bathe in your glow.  As for Dietrich, reminds me of Scooter’s breakout a few years ago. Not sure if Dietrich gets to 30+ homers–Excuse me, I should say I’m not sure if he gets to 30 homers by the All-Star break.  Speaking of which, vote Derek Dietrich for the All-Star Game so he can do a three-day home trot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Happy Friday everybody! I hope the fantasy gods were with you this week (and also with you). Today, FanDuel has us set up with a 13 game slate. This slate really runs the gamut, from high-priced aces to mid-priced sneaky starters and finally to the bottom barrel (cough, cough Straily) that we want to pick on. Naturally, on a slate that includes Chris Sale ($9,900), Clayton Kershaw ($11,300), and Tyler Glasnow ($10,500), I’m going to take a look at Matt Boyd ($10,400). It’s been a long road that’s led us to the Boyd we see today. Michael Ajeto wrote the ultimate deep dive into Boyd’s transformation here. The short/super dumbed down version is he’s tweaked his slider both in 2017 (hard slider phase) and 2018 (slower slider phase), which has brought us to 2019, where Boyd has a 31.8% K% (right behind Max Scherzer). Matt Boyd faces the Royals, who have the 25th best (worst?) wOBA versus left-handed pitching at .286 and a 24.8% K%. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my cash game play of the day, but I love Matt Boyd……………..as a GPP play.

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!

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Ron Swanson: Lover of meat, woodworking, hunting, whisky, and breakfast foods. Also, a promising rookie pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. That’s Erik Swanson, dummy. Who keeps inviting the random italicized voice and why is it so condescending?

Donkey Teeth and B_Don discuss the ins and outs of young Erik Swanson’s game, only hours prior to Swanson’s second major league start against the San Diego Padres. They then take a look at an early pitching breakout candidate, Matt (Matthew?) Boyd. Can these guys please stop changing their names on us already?
In the final segment, a bunch of hot pickup names are flipped around, fresh off the grill: Cole Tucker, Michael Chavis, Renato Nunez, Hunter Dozier, Mike Soroka, Mike Tauchman, Jesus Luzardo, and Alex Reyes, just to name more than a few. Grab your sausage and prepare for pleasuring on this week’s episode of the world’s #1 fantasy sausage podcast.
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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back at it: grinding the sausage, stuffing the sausage, and inserting the sausage into various holes. This week they take a close look at two young arms off to very promising starts to the 2019 season: Yonny Chirinos and Spencer Turnbull.

The guys also discuss German Marquez’s first rocky 2019 outing in Coors, Max Fried’s emergence into relevance, and Baseball Savant’s fantastic new film review features. The show is rounded out with some rapid fire pickup options. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to insert the sausage into your ear holes!

If there is anybody that you’d like for the guys to profile, throw it in the comments section or Tweet @DitkaSausagePod or @DonkeyTeeth87. Donkey Teeth and B_Don are also giving away a Rotowear Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports shirt for rate and reviews on podcast subscriptions. Tweet them a photo of your review to be entered for this sweet shirt!

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Briefly alluded to Stephen Piscotty in yesterday’s roundup and how I’d love to the see the A’s go deep in the playoffs.  Do I think they will?  Can pigs fly?  No, though, Puig can hit deep flies, and lick inanimate objects like he’s a fly regurgitating his food.  The A’s have two starters and they’re named Mike Fiers and Edwin Jackson (5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.18).  So, that’s an uphill battle as they say on the way to the soap box derby starting line.  They do have a well-balanced offense, which is a little crazy when you think about their home park.  Ron Jeremy has less foul territory.  Oakland is a top five offense, and their park, as it always has been, is a bottom five park for offense.  That’s so backwards it’s like, “I’m getting so lucky on Tinder recently!”  Then finding out you’ve actually been opening 23 and Me and you’re banging your cousins.  At the forefront of the A’s attack — A’stack? — is obviously Khris Davis (2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI), but ‘a little dab will do ya’ with Semien (3-for-5, 1 run, 5 RBIs), every Semien encounter begins with a Martini (3-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer), and Matt “Thank God I’m Not Matt Olson” Chapman (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) has been on one since July, but Stephen Piscotty is having the year everyone expected from him when he was on the Cards.  I know he had some personal issues, but he might be the first player ever to not be better on the Cards vs. anywhere else they’ve gone.  Piscotty went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 26th homer with back-to-back huge games, and in the last 20 games, he’s hitting .338 with eight homers and 26 RBIs.  For 2019, what can he do?  Piscotty doesn’t know!  Piscotty doesn’t know!  But I do.  He can do what he’s been doing this season, a solid third outfielder with 2nd outfielder upside.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Last week Madison Bumgarner journeyed to Arizona with his sights on his lifelong dream: jumping the Grand Canyon with his dirt bike. While he was in the area, MadBum decided to drop in at Chase Field to toss 5 innings of shaky one run ball against old man Zach Greinke. Both of these vets flashed nice wood in this outing. Not that kind of wood! I’m talking about wood baseball bats, they each flashed the lumber, driving in one run off their counterpart. B_Don and Donkey tell you everything you need to know about this intriguing pitching matchup, including what to expect from each of these aging aces for the rest of this season and beyond.

Your handsome hosts also profile the rapidly rising star Eugenio Suarez in this episode. Spoiler alert Donkey has a very lofty (and crazy) Eugenio Suarez comp. Lastly, listen in to find out which waiver wire targets might lead you to fantasy baseball fame and fortune down the stretch. Experience this week’s Ditka, Sausage Pod here.

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To find my preseason article, I Googled “Kevin Gausman sleeper” and Google asked, “Did you mean 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018?”  Google can be such a little snitch sometimes.  Yo, Google, mind your own business!  “Did you mean ‘How do I start my own business?’ or ‘How do I start my own business that actually makes money?'”  I hate you, Google!  In the preseason, I said, “In the 2nd half, Gausman was a top 20 starter-ish.  Top 20-ish?  Top-ish?  You get the drift.  In the 2nd half, he had the 16th best K/9 with a 2.8 BB/9.  He had the 21st best ERA with the 23rd best xFIP.  He had the 24th best fastball with the 3rd best splitter.  Or spliiter, if Desiigner is reading.  He averaged the 12th fastest, uh, fastball while throwing it the 12th most in the majors.  Some of these factoids are neither here nor there, but I’m filling in your charcoal sketch.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 10 baserunners (1 BB), 10 Ks, ERA at 3.48, and xFIP down to 3.65, which is the 29th best in the majors, between Hendricks and Newcomb.  And I ranked him 31st for starters in the preseason!  What does this mean?  Nothing really, but cool.  He has carried over that newfound command from the 2nd half and still striking out guys around mid-8 K/9.  Do I love owning an Orioles starter?  Do I look daffy?  But Gausman has been solid.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Each of the last two weeks, I’ve looked at pitchers who changed something in their repertoire. The first change I looked at was my opinion of starters – Take that for data! – before that exact trio started generating substantial buzz (Corbin, Bundy, Lucchesi). I then navigated to velocity changes on two arms I was particularly intrigued by (Berrios, Castillo). Now to complete the trinity, I wanted to look at what I consider “hipster pitchers.”

Said in layman’s terms – are hipsters layman now? – these arms are following the breaking-ball trend that has taken over the game, buoyed by the philosophy that your best pitch should be thrown more than the past would suggest. Breaking balls are the most successful pitch at inducing whiffs for the majority of pitchers, that’s why the majority of starters, when broken down by pitch usage and count, will tend to utilize breaking balls with two strikes (duh!). They’re also the most fun to gif up – just ask one of the most popular baseball accounts on Twitter, @PitchingNinja.

Speaking of pitchers, if you like the sound of my voice, which you can judge for yourself weekly on the Razzball Prospect Podcast I co-host with Ralph, I’m doing also doing a weekly “Pitcher Thoughts” podcast. It’s available on the Apple Podcast app, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Shameless plug!

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Sleepers do not have to lose their meaning after your draft is done and the season has begun. Everyone hunts the waiver wire to find that replacement for an early injury or a late round pick that has you frustrated. A pre-draft sleeper may still be hanging around to be picked up, or a player’s early performance could peak your interest. These posts will reveal those players that are hanging without a team that you’ll want to grab before anyone else notices.

Matt Boyd was a pitcher on shortlist of players I considered writing about prior to the start of the season. Mostly going undrafted, Boyd stood out as a potential deep sleeper as he’s been gradually starting more games over the last few seasons. Many managers will not find his 5+ ERA or his being a Tiger enticing. He doesn’t have a sexy K or BB rate either. Despite those concerns, Boyd may have been one of the unluckiest pitchers last season. He’s only started two games so far this season, but so far he looks to be building off of last year’s basics…

Please, blog, may I have some more?