Over the last couple of weeks, Dr. Easy — my fantasy baseball partner-in-crime — and I having been playing the “Where Are They Now?” game, which has been pretty enlightening — for us, anyway. We’ve looked back to the beginning of the 2017, to compare the top 12 players on the Razzball Pre-Season Player Rater (PS PR) versus the top 12 as of right now per the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR). With the regular season drawing to a close (<sob>), how have things changed? What can we glean for next season: Who’s steady; who isn’t? In week 1, we looked at Trout, Betts, Kershaw, Turner, Machado, Altuve, Scherzer, Goldschmidt and Arenado. In week 2, we went over Harper, Cabrera, Bryant, Blackmon, Stanton, Sale, Votto, Judge, Kluber and Andrus. This week, we’ll move into the next 6 according to the PS PR and the STD PR.

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Alex Wood ($9,400) takes on the Phillies tonight. He’s fresh from his little procastination break, and decided to post 8 K’s across 6.0 IP last week – whatta guy! Despite that one good outing though , Wood’s ERA this month is still as fat as a butcher’s dog (4.76). He clearly went on a serious earned run bender towards mid season, but against a Phillies team that has been hovering around .245 this week, he’s the cheapest semi-elite option you’ll come close to. Here’s who else I like on this fine Wednesday:

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Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base.  Mean’s while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932.  Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor’s prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola.  Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand.  Any hoo!  Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I’m in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year.  25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again.  However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we’re at six players.  I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well.

Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now.

If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it.

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Greetings and welcome back to everyone except salty commenter Fogimon. Just kidding. Love you, Fogimon. If you didn’t read Saturday’s post, I moved up north from South Florida just in time to avoid Hurricane Irma, avoiding the chaos of evacuating or staying and hunkering down for the storm. Can’t have much better luck than that, I guess.

Hopefully, you survived without me for a week as we head into the home stretch and fantasy playoffs. If you didn’t, then you are probably not reading this, I guess. So, welcome, survivors. Let’s all bring these leagues home.

We only have so much time left, so we have to continue to focus on the players who are contributing now. If that means dropping Miguel Cabrera (in non-keeper and non-dynasty formats) in order to pick up Matt Olson or a Nick Williams, so be it. Now is not the time for name value consideration. I usually preach patience in this space, but we only have a few weeks left here to close this out. Go, go, gadget Jose Reyes!

Expanded rosters make these last few weeks even more difficult, especially if you have players on teams like the Dodgers or Nationals who can afford to rest players like Daniel Murphy and Corey Seager. You want to make sure you have some additional positional flexibility where possible, which makes waiver wire additions such as Eduardo Escobar and Matt Olson that much more valuable. Not only are they producing right now, but they play a couple positions and give you some added flexibility.

I touch on Olson a bit in a blurb below, but Escobar is a guy who taking a look at because of his eligibility at both shortstop and third base. He won’t have too much value once Miguel Sano returns, but it sounds like Sano is progressing pretty slowly. With only a few weeks left in the season, we probably still have at least another week of Escobar playing time, if not more. There is no guarantee that he continues to play every day once Sano comes back, but it is equally possible that, if he keeps hitting, the Twins find a place for him in a lineup that could certainly use the help. For a guy with a 9.92 PR15 who is owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues, I would definitely be willing to take a chance.

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The Cleveland Indians may never lose again! Friday night the Tribe won their 16th straight game, the longest streak in baseball this season, and the longest winning streak since the Oakland A’s won 20 in a row back in 2002 (and that team had Jermaine Dye and Chris Pratt!) Kind of gives you that good old fashioned hometown community pow-wow feeling. Relax Isaiah Thomas, you’re a Clevelander now. Regardless! Mike Clevinger has been a big part of the winning streak and he continues to pitch well winning his third straight start Friday night going six innings, giving up just three hits and three walks while striking out seven for his ninth win of the year. In his past three starts, Mike has gone 18 innings, allowing just 10 hits and no runs, with a 22/7 K/BB ratio lowering his ERA from 3.97 to 3.30 in that stretch. Clevinger Assemble! Mike is available in little over half of fantasy leagues, and he’s getting hot at just the right time for playoff stetch. He gets a nice home start versus the Detroit Tigers next week and after limiting them to three hits last week I will definitely be starting him there, especially if they’re going for some kind of silly 21 game win streak record by that point! Or did I just jinx by writing all this? Whatever! Pick up all the Indians! And put all your fantasy faith on Believeland right now, folks, you need to ride this magical streak while you can because the Indians keep winning! Let’s give them the chop!

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

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Doh!  A deer, a female deer and also what the Dodgers say.  Ray, a drop of golden filth.  Me, a name I call myself who owns J.D. Martinez and Robbie Ray.  Fa, a long long way to run if a Bostonian is saying far.  SO another name for strikeouts.  LA is where the game took place.  Ti I dribble down my face, when J.D. Martinez and Robbie Ray play.  Yesterday, Ray went 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.80.  Robbie Ray is an ace.  No matter how you slice that pecan pie, he’s an ace.  No matter how you put that pancake batter on the skittle.  No matter how you put whipped cream in my mouth.  My God, I’m so hungry.  Cougs has got me doing this Whole30 diet and I’m legit about to eat my hand.  At Endorphin Ralph’s top 100 starters for this week, Ray’s ranked 6th.  Can’t argue that, and last night he dunked all over the LA K’ers.  Then, J.D. Martinez got my goosepimples all a-titter.  He went 4-for-5, 6 RBIs with his 31st, 32nd, 33rd and 34th homer.  Someone has to Just Dong, so who better than Just Dong?  Who?!  Sorry, I’m writing this wearing an owl costume.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher end of summer backyard bash, where we talk about our beloved top 100 hitters. I will be taking a one-week hiatus after this post as I pack up my apartment and drive 1,200 miles north from Fort Lauderdale, FL up to Pennsylvania. That’s right, the true King of the North is returning home to his roots. No more tank tops in January for me for a little while. After my one-week absence, though, I will be back to tell you how good Rhys Hoskins is. You may have heard of him by now. We focused on him last week, so we don’t have to go over him again, even though he has pretty much homered in every game since we talked about him. And for once, that isn’t even an exaggeration. Check out his game log:

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I really wish Rhys Hoskins pronounced his name “Riz” so that I could use a “Nobody Beats The Rhys” headline, but it is apparently pronounced “Reese.” Who do I talk to about making that change? Does anyone have the phone number for his parents or, better yet, his grandparents? This is important stuff here.

Anyway, added Rhys to our beloved 100 because chicks dig the long ball. While you probably haven’t had to search hard to find home runs in 2017, neither has anyone else, so it’s always good to have some more. Hoskins has big boy power, which he displayed in the minors the last few years (where he was stuck for way too long thanks to the Phillies). After hitting 38 home runs in 135 games in hitter-friendly confines in Double-A in 2016, he backed that up with 29 home runs in 115 games in Triple-A this season.

But his game isn’t all power. As a somewhat older prospect, Hoskins actually has a pretty nice approach at the plate. In Triple-A in 2017, he posted a 13.5 BB% against a 15.8 K% while slashing .284 / .385 / .581. Through his first two weeks in the show, his average is down, but everything else looks about the same. And a .154 BABIP helps explain the .237 average he woke up with on Monday morning.

So, the real bonus with Hoskins is that the power numbers come with some above-average peripherals. He might not hit .280+ the rest of the way in the bigs, but would it surprise anyone if he did? If you are in OBP or OPS leagues, even better, since he has shown that he is not afraid to take a walk. Plus, that power…

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Happy Bryce Harper Replacement Week! :::sobs into the couch cushion I have been carrying around since watching the video of Harper tumbling over that base:::

The cruel baseball gods took Harper away from us just after we got Trout back. As of this writing, there is no timetable for his return from what they are calling a “significant bone bruise.” I’m no doctor (sorry to peel back the curtain), but how the heck did that non-contact injury get a bone bruise diagnosis? I thought for sure he tore every CL in his body. I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear that he tore his UCL from reaching for his knee so fast. But a bone bruise? Interesting. Let’s just hope he wasn’t evaluated by the Mets’ training staff because “bone bruise” is going to very quickly become “Oh crap, his knee actually isn’t there anymore. We can’t find it anywhere.”

Now, there is no replacing Harper’s production on your fantasy team, especially in the middle of August. That much is obvious. If you’re lucky, you took Grey’s advice about selling a superstar to heart and cashed in at the deadline. I have Harper in a keeper league where I currently sit in first place, so I have to decide if I want to deal him now to make a playoff push, pray he comes back this season and helps me, or just accept the fact that he is done for the fantasy season but still keep him for next year. I am probably going with option B/C, if we’re being honest with each other here.

I’m removing him from our beloved 100 while we wait to see how he looks this week. Hopefully, the baseball gods decide to heal him from his mystery bruise quickly and we can have him back. But it seems more likely we are going to be without him for most, if not all, of the fantasy season. Now, enough crying about Harper (at least publicly). Anyway, to the notes…

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