Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

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Joey Gallo tested positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, positive, negative, negative for Covid and is asymptomatic. The good news is the Rangers, fans and fantasy baseballers have been contact tracing Gallo for years. You, “This makes no sense, Statcast shows Gallo’s avoided contact for his entire career.” Snort, snort, wheeze! “Geez, Gallo can’t avoid contact when it’s most important.” Wheeze and repeat! Get this pretty fun testing story: Gallo tested positive for Covid on 6/29, then negative on 6/30, then positive again on 7/2, then negative on 7/7, so he seems to be fine, but who knows. Like the guy in The Royal Rumble who hides in the corner for most of the match, the smartest team will just hole themselves up in a hotel somewhere, until every other team loses all their players, then emerge World Series champs. On the reals, Gallo seems to be okay now, and why it’s so iffy on moving guys down in redraft 2020 rankings right now based on a positive test. Don’t think anyone knows how long someone tests positive or negative or positive or–Well, you get it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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I just read, “On March 6th, manager Mike Matheny said Ryan O’Hearn could begin the season in a platoon at first base with Ryan McBroom,” and I cackled multiple times. There’s something legitimately funny at just about every third word in that news blurb. March 6th? Was that this year? March 6th was pre-Covid and I don’t remember anything about that — cackle #1.  Mike Matheny is just a cackle waiting to happen every time I hear his name because he’s such a terrible manager. Imagine even calling him manager. Matheny makes bad managers scratch their heads. Woofity woof woof and cackle #2. There was no cackle #3, then, onto cackle #4: “Could begin the season.” Dude, what season? You’re making me cackle like a gee-dee fool! Okay, moving on! Cackle #5 was at the thought of a platoon with Ryan McBroom. If McBroom doesn’t make you laugh every time you hear his name, you’re dead inside. Check your pulse. The only reason O’Hearn and McBroom should platoon is because Matheny is so dumb and can only remember the name Ryan. “Um, yeah, starting at 1st today is…um, that Irish kid…What’s his name again? Ryan something.” 1st base coach, “McBroom?” Matheny thinks, then, “You wanna clean the bathroom at a McDonald’s?” So, what can we expect from Ryan O’Hearn from 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a great dart throw?

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I don’t really care about the Super Bowl too much this year. I’m a Giants fan so I’m just biding my time until they’re back in it in 2022. MARK MY WORDS! So instead I’ll do the next best thing — I’ll cover the Kansas City baseball team. Now I’m not going to be writing about Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi or Jorge Soler. Those are the 3 obvious names on this team and you can find articles about them on Razzball by people much smarter than myself. Just like when I get to the Angels — what am I supposed to write about Mike Trout?  “He’s the best player in the game — draft him!” Duh — you should be so lucky. No, instead I’m going to focus some other lesser-known guys on this team who should be on your radar. 

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Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As you steamroll or limp your way towards the end of the fantasy season, depending on how your teams are doing, why not remember that it’s never too late to keep an eye out for upgrades even in the deepest of leagues.  Well, it may officially be too late if your team is mired at the bottom of the standings, but why not end the year on a positive note by trying to make improvements rather than thinking about how much better your life would be if you’d never heard of Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, or Jose Ramirez?  Here then, are some players who might be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, or other deep leagues.

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If the Dodgers promote Gavin Lux, will that put them over the Lux cap? I said, will that put them over the…*looks up* Lux cap? Wow, no balloons dropped from my ceiling for that gorgeous pun. “Hello, is the balloons-in-the-ceiling salesman that came out to my house? Yes…I said, what I thought at least, was a grade A pun and I expected balloons to fall from the ceiling. Well, I was talking about the Dodgers promoting Gavin Lux. Yes, they said they will in September. Will he play? My guess is sure, why not? At least some days. They’ve got the division wrapped up and I see no reason why they won’t play him. Why do we care?  Haha, Mr. Balloons-in-the-ceiling Salesman, we care because he’s hitting .400 in Triple-A. Shoot, Ted Williams’ frozen head is on the other line. Hold on one second….Yes, Frozen Ted Head? Lux is hitting for power too — 13 HRs. Also, he’s got some light speed. Yes, I’m excited. He could be *the* September call-up, but he’s hitting over-.400 just in the minors, so you don’t need to be stunting on your .400 batting average claim. Yes, you too, and say hello to Jack Dawson, Walt Disney and the vault where they make astronaut ice cream…Okay, Mr. Balloons-in-the-ceiling Salesman? Hello? Are you there?” Hmm, he hung up on me. Any hoo! Stash Gavin Lux now. He’s arriving soon, and the Dodgers can afford to play him. It’s a…*looks up at ceiling* Lux-ury they have. Damn, these things never fall. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Anthony DeSclafani went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.05. This start was against the Marlins, so, thankfully, Anthony DeeScalated the hard-charging school of fish. “Lobsters don’t have sex, they butter each up and green stuff forms in their middle belly.” That’s a substitute teacher at fish school half-assing it. So, DeSclafani bought a pet goldfish and named it Flushy, but he’s better than some random game against the Fish. The Fish haven’t been good since Hootie said, “I’ve had enough of all of you.” DeSclafani, on the other hand, has been good in the not-too-distant past and is better this year — his peripherals:  9.2 K/9 (best of his career), 2.8 BB/9 and velocity up to 94.6 MPH from 93.6. His gamely homer allowance (GamHomAll) needs to be curbed for real success, but I can see why the Streamonator likes his next start. He’s underrated, unlike the Marlins, who are underwater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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America’s greatest Indian was Sitting Bull. Maybe Pocahontas. Possibly Bob Feller. I’d accept Apu even. But on the list of great Indians, Jose Ramirez and the service he provided this year does not go unnoticed because I am here noticing it. First, he did awful to make me look like a genius for telling you to avoid him in drafts, then he did well after I told you to buy him in June. Jo-Ram did what others thought impossible:  made me look brilliant. Stop throwing roses at my feet, I’m allergic. Now, Jo-Ram’s gone for the year with a hamate bone injury. If he’s anything like Matt Olson, he’ll return in October and hit 35 homers in ten games. Glory be. He’s droppable in redraft leagues though, and Yu Chang will replace him. He was David Bowie’s favorite player. Time may Chang Yu, but Yu can’t Chang time. Prospect Mike just gave you a Yu Chang fantasy, and I didn’t run out to grab him, but, in deep enough leagues, I could see it. Prospect Mike did mention Aristides Aquino in relation to Chang, and I had to Chang my underwear. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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According to the Gregorian calendar, today is Sunday, June 9th, 2019, and we are in a universe with no specific name, because it’s the only one we know. In this vast universe we are in a galaxy we call the Milky Way, in a solar system named Our, and on planet Earth, trying to predict what specific people near us will be doing with a bat and a ball. That may sound impossible to predict, but we can usually narrow down the probabilities to identify the likeliest outcomes and relay that information here. Today is not that day. Apologies.

Today there are literally (not literally) an infinite number of best possible lineups in the FanDuel Main Slate.

What contributes to this lack of certainty? It’s all about the flux of players’ salaries in relation to their likely outcomes. Likely outcomes are determined by past events, current match-ups, and how weather conditions affect these probabilities. So, what we see here is a higher than average number of players who are fairly priced, given their likely range of outcomes, and fewer players who are likely to out earn their salaries.

For the best picks we can identify today, embrace the unknowable infinite, and read on.

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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