Please see our player page for Michael A. Taylor 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.

Another week, another post by me mentioning the Mets. Does it seem like I pick on the Mets too much? I am a Phillies fan, so it’s entirely possible. Maybe the Mets could teach their pitchers how to hold runners and get to home plate faster like the rest of baseball. This is the same organization that lets it’s pitchers decide for themselves whether or not to get an MRI on their sore arms so I’m not expecting much. Sorry, Mets rant over. Here are the week’s speed notes.

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Opposing baserunners must circle a series with Mets on their calendar. It’s like a lion staring a slab of meat. Even a half decent defensive catcher in Wilson Ramos can’t keep the Mets pitchers from handing out speed like Bobby Brown. Every week injuries seem worse than the week before. Grab a fill in that can pad your steals category.

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Draft season is suddenly reaching its climax, not unlike the titular Rabbit does in women that aren’t his wife in Rabbit, Run. He’s not the rabbit we’re interested in, however. We’re after some free steals late in drafts because Steals Ain’t Got No Face. Let me type that again in all caps so you’ll know I’m shouting. STEALS AIN’T GOT NO FACE. Don’t overpay for Mallex Smith when you could get Dee Gordon much later. Either could be the leadoff hitter for Seattle. Chasing speed is a dangerous game. I prefer building it into my entire roster little by little but at some point, you need someone to lead the charge in the steals category. Consider these speedsters as speculative plays late in your drafts…

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The value of Michael Taylor is that he can play centerfield better than anyone else on the Nationals roster.  I get that defensive metrics are not a fantasy stat, but it keeps players like him in the lineup from day-to-day.  With the emergence of Juan Soto and the impending return of Adam Eaton, it causes a luxury that most teams don’t offer.  Four decent to great outfielders that all offer a different set of skills but all rosterable in most fantasy formats.  I think the biggest question we have to ask is: Is Juan Soto going to stay up when Adam Eaton returns from the 60-day DL on the 8th?  Given what we have seen from him based on on-field merit, absolutely.  Making Eaton or Taylor the fourth man on any given day is the right choice, but I am leaning that Eaton or Soto form a nice rotation based on what the skipper has said about Taylor: “He wins games with his play on the field” is the truncated version of what he said.  He isn’t wrong, and basically Taylor is the Nationals version of Keirmaier. Similar skill set, maybe a bit more speed for Taylor, but their main asset is their propensity for great glove work.  Listen, I get and hear all the prospect thumpers saying there is no way that Soto comes out of the lineup, but to think that he doesn’t sit occasionally upon Eaton’s return is just plain naive. Eaton won’t play everyday, because he is about as durable as a street watch bought in Chinatown. So if you are a Taylor owner, be semi-nervous he should be owned for SAGNOF appeal, but not a pillar that is in your lineup for any other counting stats.  Even if the are getting better over the past 14 games to what they have been over the course of the year so far. So to summarize on the SAGNOF love, Eaton coming back, Soto, Taylor and Eaton will all lose 4-6 at bats a week, all is well and all are ownable.  SAGNOF Monday starts off your week with class and style.  Cheers!

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I must admit, I’m a real sucker for stolen bases. This is especially true in H2H each category leagues, where I have seen countless matchups come down to who wins stolen bases. I’m not the “draft Billy Hamilton way too early then become disappointed when he can’t hit the baseball AGAIN” type of sucker though. I’m more of a “piecing together a lot of guys that will chip in 10-15 stolen bases but will also help considerably in other areas” type of sucker. With stolen base numbers on the decline, they are harder to find. Which in turn means that stolen bases are becoming more valuable. This is no secret, but with power and home runs being more accessible than before, stolen bases are being really undervalued.

One of the problems with trying to add stolen bases is that most guys that steal bases are either already owned, don’t play every day, or don’t help you/significantly hurt you elsewhere. Or maybe a wonderful combination! This week, I’ve got a guy for you that hopefully does not meet the above criteria: Michael A. Taylor (26.6% owned in ESPN, 38% owned in Yahoo), outfielder for the Washington Nationals.

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Alright ladies and gentleman, just a forewarning this will be very brief as I am posting from 35,000 ft above the Pacific Ocean.  After a weekend of wedding festivities, I am now on my way to the land of cheese, bread, pasta, and pizza.  The beautiful country of Italy.  Let’s be honest though, there was no way I’d be able to spend my entire honeymoon without dabbling in Roto Leaders for our lovely Razzball followers.  Time change is a little confusing so let’s see if we can find a way to make this happen! Once I’m back home, I’ll be able to go more in depth, Ciao! and Eccoci qui! (Here we go)!

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If all the experts in the world had baby T-Rex arms, no one would be able to pat themselves on the back. I am lumping myself into the SAGNOF love fest that the grand master Lothario himself, Grey,  was part of and preached in the preseason on why Tim Anderson was the mac.  Or the PC, whatever your preference in lapputers is. I not only loved the guy two months ago, I love him more now that he is living up to the steals hype and maintaining other stats that make him basically a eight-games-into-the-season stud. Looking over his stats and nothing jumps out as a SSS type thing… Is the OBP higher than it will be in 20, 50, or 80 games?  Maybe, but are we certain that he can’t maintain a .350 OBP moving forward? Looking at the back of his baseball card, speed has always been there. As he develops into his body, considering that he is only 24, the power was going to develop from what we saw in the minors.  His high total for any other season besides last year was 13 combined for 2016 that encompassed AAA and 99 games with the Sox. But this is the SAGNOF corner of the world, taters are good, but swipes are delicious.  He has 5 steals in eight games, and is on pace for a whole lot more if he can keep that vital OBP to a respectable number.  He has the license to steal and should continue to do so…but it could get better.  He hasn’t hit anywhere but the bottom-half of the order.  This has eerie similarities to what we saw last year from Merifield.  Sustain great number from the bottom and then boom, move up the order and become an even better kleptomaniac.  So while the steals now are fantastic and a boon to his draft day value (thanks Grey!), keep an eye out for if/when he moves up the order and his numbers could from what they are now to even better.  SAGNOF rant over, let’s get to the tidbits, and the bits of tid that keep all the girls squirrely.  Cheers!

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Josh Reddick has been on a tear since returning from a concussion injury with an OPS over 1.500, two homers, and three steals (although his return sent future OPS Monster Derek Fisher back to AAA, sad trombone).  Last year I recommended him when he was also coming off the DL (you don’t have to click on that link but I included it for posterity’s sake and so you won’t call me out.  Of which there was a 0.0% chance of happening).

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Hello OPSers!  Hold up; we need a better name than that.  That sounds like we like to add lots of Post Scripts to our letters, but it’s a surprise or we work for UPS but there was a typo.  Someone think of something better, I implore you.

Anyway, I hope all your teams are dominating; I’m lucky enough to be doing really well in my home league; the rest, eh, not so much.  Still, I’m not deterred.  I’m looking at some trades but I don’t really like to assess the standings until the end of May.  Because by then we should have a month of good weather hitting (and pitching, though I don’t really talk about pitching here as there are better sources, like JB) and know if guys are who we thought they are(LINK).  Man, that never, will ever, get old.

What is getting a little old to me?  The Cubs and their zany road threads.  Joe Maddon might be too loose.  Every time I watch the Cubs they show them getting off the bus in their crazy threads (check them out!).  It’s definitely hilarious but as a longtime cursed Cubs fan I worry.  It’s like they are all rookies when I don’t think any of them are (correct me if I’m wrong, wait, don’t make me look bad, keep it to yourself).

I figure this week we’ll look at the some of the top OPS hitters by position and some slumping guys to acquire.  Note: all stats through May 3rd.  Let’s dive in!

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My wife and I have a long running joke on what’s worse, Hot Dog breath or hot dog breath?  Hot dogs are a requirement for me at the ballpark, but the last time I was there, I gleaned some interesting information about the difference between the jumbo dog and the regular dog.  That is, there is no difference.  At least not at my local stadium, named after a terrible beer.  I asked for the jumbo dog, didn’t have enough cash for it, and asked for the regular.  They were the same size, except one was in silver and blue foil, the other in silver and red.  I asked the woman at the counter what’s the difference? She smiled and said “nothing.”  I appreciate that kind of candor and told her so; so I took my regular hot dog, covered it in mustard and onions, and enjoyed my favorite food at the ballpark.

Furthermore, the breath you get after eating a hot dog isn’t great.  On the flip-side, in the middle of summer after taking the dog on a long walk, yields some strong hot dog breath.  Is there a difference?  Sure, but not too much.  So I pop a mint, the dog takes one of those dog improving breath treats, and we move on.  What did all that have to do with fantasy baseball?  Uh…not much, so take the hot dog tip, avoid hot dog breath in all cases, and add Ben Paulsen to your fantasy teams.

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