Last week, we jumped right into our our first look at the Top 100 Hitters for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.  If you missed that article then please pause the current programming and give us a quick read to catch up.  This week we continue to jaunt down the rankings by looking at the next 20 hitters on the list.  This week’s edition is smattered with risky bets like Ronald Acuna and Mookie Betts, solid producers like Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies, and upside potential with Eloy Jimenez and Tyler O’Neill.  So let us kick this off with a #11 who really should be #1, but thanks to a the injury risk he is our headliner at the end of the first round.

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I really didn’t understand the whole Bo Bichette is greater than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. movement that took place this draft season. That’s not a knock on Bichette by any means, but instead an affirmation that Vlad is a very special player that came into this league as the highly touted number one prospect ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr, Eloy Jimenez, Kyle Tucker and Bo Bichette. While it does seem like Bo had a smoother transition into the big leagues, anyone that thought Vlad wasn’t going to find his groove likely made a bad decision (or three) along the way. A few years ago there were many preaching that Guerrero Jr. was going to become the best player in the game. Well the hype train has just arrived at the station as he currently leads all hitters in fantasy points. I know Ronald Acuna Jr. has been lighting the roto world on fire, but he still has less points than Vlad. By the way, what’s the deal with there being so many top tier hitters with a Jr. at the end of their name? I wonder if I should change my name to malamoney Jr.

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One of the great things about points leagues is that they are very straightforward. You don’t have to balance out a guy with a poor average who hits bombs or steals bases. All we need are the guys at each position that score the most points. “Wow, that’s so smart, why didn’t I think of that earlier?”  Yes, I can hear the groans now. Obviously, you know that the team with more points wins. What I’m getting at is that at the end of the day we have a nice clean number to quantify fantasy performance. So what’s my point you ask? Well, it also highlights the differences between points leagues and categories. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how the player rater compares to the current points standings.

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One more week in the book and we’re starting to see guys separate themselves. It’s still early but things are starting to clear up and the season is in full swing. So what have learned? Ronald Acuna is pretty dang good at hitting a baseball and we should have taken Corbin Burnes earlier. If you were fortunate enough to snag either of them congrats and if you have both well… you’re the envy of the rest of your league. But we all know those two are crushing it, you don’t need me to tell you that. Now, on to some other players to take note of.

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You know what’s fun? We’re already equal to a quarter of the way through the 2020 sprint season here in 2021. But you know what? We’re barely scratching the surface here in 2021. There’s month of games to go, and the good players haven’t gotten good yet. Hell, most of our first round picks are straight booty cheeks. It’s okay y’all! Brighter days are coming, it’s 4-20 and we’re smoking you out with all the bad vibes on this week’s show. So don’t fret, it ain’t June yet! We got time. So relax and tune into the latest episode of the Razzball podcast.

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Ryan Gosling wants you to believe in Jazz Chisholm. Did you know that I love Ryan Gosling? Not just because La La Land helped me rediscover my love of Los Angeles. Or because he’s a bird if Rachel McAdams is a bird. Not even because of his squeaky voice in Gangster Squad or his face tattoo in the Place Beyond the Pines. Nope. I love him because he saved Jazz. Baby Goose loves Jazz. And now he’s got that crazy, stupid love for Marlins rookie middle infielder Jazz Chisholm, who had himself a night Friday going 2-for-3 with his third dinger and helped spur the Fish (get hooked!) to victory. The 23-year-old is currently slashing .294/.405/.706 with three jacks, seven runs, and six RBI through his first 12 games. Did I mention he has three steals? Because this is a power-speed combo available in over 65% of fantasy leagues. Mmhm. Dude is smooth like…uh, smooth jazz, I guess. Anyway, as I did my 5-10 minutes of toilet research for this post I noticed many articles referenced some eye-popping stats on Chisholm’s baseball savant page. Most notably, his average exit velocity is way above the league norms (93.9), and his 34.8% barrel percentage is one of the highest in the league. Yes, but what does it all mean, nerd?? It means he’s absolutely demolishing baseballs. Molly-whopping. Mashing. And Fueling that insane .783 XSLG%. Now, obviously, the 12 strikeouts in 34 ABs is more than a bit concerning, but he’s also drawn seven walks and hasn’t been chasing pitches outside the zone on those Ks. If the Jazz Dinger can keep his strikeouts down and continue to be selective with the pitches he swings at there is a rare raw power-speed combo here that would make Emma Stone blush. He could be a 25-25 guy! Gosling says Jazz is “conflict and compromise, And It’s Just… It’s New Every Time. It’s Brand New Every Night!” Intoxicating enthusiasm from The Gos and he’s right. Grey told you to BUY and all that Jazz could be worth a speculative add wherever you need middle infield help. Time to Jazz up your fantasy team!

Here’s what else I say Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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Another week in the books. So what have we learned? We’re starting to get more clarity on playing time situations and the cream is rising to the top. The Mets can’t figure out how to stay on the field, having only logged 8 games. Unfortunately, there will continue to be Covid issues going forward which could affect any team so it’s more important than ever check your lineups daily. That leaves weekly formats out in the cold so check Monday mornings and then just hope for the best. Hopefully the situation gets better going forward but there’s really no way to be sure. 

As we see guys begin to separate themselves remember that we still have many many more weeks to go. Be ready to ride a hot streak on waivers but don’t over react to your guys starting slow. Slumps happen and we’re only a couple weeks in. 

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Steals might ain’t got no face, but team stolen base attempts definitely do got yes face. (Totally crushed this lede!)

Today we’re going to get into something that normally makes fantasy baseball FAR superior to fantasy football in my opinion: coaching decisions. You could have the best wide receiver in the game, but whoopsie daisy — Mike McCarthy decides he wants to run the ball a lot today. Now you’re out $500. At least with fantasy baseball, the manager will always put his best lineup on the field and it is completely up to the hitter to do his job. The coach isn’t telling him “Hey you, I don’t even want you to swing up there.” 

Today’s article deals with managerial decisions on the basepath — specifically the stealing of second base. I’m going to let you in on some secrets on which managers have itchy trigger fingers when they have a runner on first with an empty base 90 feet away and those who are a bit gun shy when it comes to sending their runners. (Wow with all the violent imagery. What is this, CPAC?) 

First, some alarming data — here are the average manager second base stolen base attempt percentages from the past 10 years. (Analytic nerds will soon refer to this stat as MASBSBAP.) 

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When it comes to strategy in dynasty formats, I deploy an unorthodox approach. Depending on where you play and the roster rules that accompany your league, my method may or may not be feasible for you, but it’s simple. I do my best Dave Dombrowski impersonation, fully equipped with a suave, silver wig, a coating of Jurgen’s Natural Glow and a Palos Heights, Ill. birth certificate. What I mean by this, is I like to make win-now moves while my league-mates are busy competing for the strongest prospect pool award and salivating over the talent that is waiting in the wings, each one desperately trying to convince the rest of the league that they are the very best at identifying young talent.

If I’m in any position to win in any given year, I’ll happily dump a few prospects, even ones with top 100 status, for a veteran player with a lower career ceiling in order to help my chances. Like I said, this may or may not be a possible trade-off for you depending on your league rules, but I’ve seen all too many league-mates dwell in the cellar year-after-year, stockpiling more and more top 100 names and never getting the production they were waiting for. Win when you can win — and be willing to sell your highest-rated prospects. That is, except for the select few that you should stash and forget, and wait on no matter the circumstances. This does not necessarily mean honing in on the top 10 in the MLB 100, but rather identifying the players who are young and quickly developing skill sets you just know are going to play at the next level. The fantasy gems. They play loud. Think of Ronald Acuna during the 2017 season, before he became the No. 1 prospect in the game.

Today, I’ll go in-depth on three players you could make this type of argument for: Julio Rodriguez, MacKenzie Gore and Matthew Liberatore. I’ll provide detailed, unbiased data along the way, before providing my own brief opinion at the end regarding whether or not you should pack this player for the long haul. As a reminder, all the players I’ll go over today were previously requested in the comments section by the readers of Razzball. If there is a particular prospect you would like to see an in-depth profile for in the future, please feel free to voice such in the comments section. Now saddle up, take off your shoes and belt, and join me over at the TSA security check.

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Today’s Main slate on FanDuel has plenty of enticing value targets at SP. Madison Bumgarner is tempting in his first start back in San Fran, but he’s coming off the IL and only got up to 70 pitches in his month long rehab. His opposite Trevor Cahill let us down last week, but he is facing Bumgarner’s Diamondbacks who have been struggling mightily at the plate. The best dice roll from this view, however, is Tony Gonsolin. Sure, he’s facing the Rockies, but he’s doing in Dodgers Stadium not Coors. The slumping Charlie Blackmon has posted a .339 average on the road, and Trevor Story is at .258. Everyone else in a varying levels of bad to terrible on the road. Meanwhile the Dodgers continue to bounce Gonsolin around between the big club and the alternate training site, yet he’s put up a 0.51 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and around 9 K/9. So grab Tony Gonsolin ($7,600) at a massive discount and run. Now on to the rest of the picks.

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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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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Welp……whatever was in the water in the Bronx last year that led to one of the most ridiculous injury riddled seasons ever apparently is still sticking around, because the Yankees just keep taking hits left and right.

Last week, we chronicled Giancarlo Stanton’s hamstring issue, and a week later, the Yankees are now down two more stars, as DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have both landed themselves on the IL.  Judge has a calf issue that SEEMS minor, but this is Aaron Judge and the Yankees we’re talking about here.  The hope is that he’ll only miss a couple of weeks, but these things have a tendency to snowball in this training room.  With LeMahieu, it looks like he’ll be able to avoid surgery after an initial scare with his thumb injury.  His timeline is also 2-3 weeks at the moment.  So all three big Yankee hitters are slated to come off the IL in 2-3 weeks.  Until then, we gave you Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier last week, but adding Tyler Wade and Thiaro Estrada in deeper leagues makes sense as fill ins for LeMahieu.  Guys like Miguel Andujar and Mike Ford should also see some boost to their value with an OF and DH spot opening up full time.

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