Though his birthday was on Saturday, let’s all wish him a great year ahead. And many more on Channel 4. The now 34 year old Yu Darvish, $9,900 today on FanDuel, is having an incredible start to the season. Including the last half of 2019, this stretch is arguably the most dominant of his career. It’s fun to see. But we don’t let fun get in the way of winning; we need value. Well, wouldn’t Yu have it. Even as the most expensive pitcher on the slate, it’s tough to ignore Darvish as also being the best value. He has kept his high strikeout rate while halving his walk rate this season, and faces a Cardinals lineup near the bottom of the league in most every offensive category. Thus, we recommend whirling Darvish into your lineups. Yu lineups will look great. As long as you don’t mess up the rest of it.  So let’s not mess up the rest of it. Read on to secure additional picks.

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Hello, again. Hope all you Razzballers enjoyed my takes on how some bats in the West might be impacted by the DH. This time around I’ll take you through each team in the Central. Remember, folks, I’m not here to guess who will DH necessarily. I’m looking at the overall boost a player might get because of the likelihood of an extra hitter in the lineup being a thing. Think more along the lines of guys who would have platooned or had questionable status entering the season.

Welp, let’s jump right in, shall we?

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Happy Friday DFSers!  We’ve got the full 15 game slate tonight on FanDuel, so let’s take this journey together.  Blind resume time!  Including his start on 7/1, the following pitcher has gone 53.1 IP with a 5.74 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 10 starts.  Guesses, guesses??  Nick Pivetta??  Drew Hutchison??  Jordan Zimmermann?  Try, Zimmermann’s opposing SP, Luis Severino ($10,600).  Of the 131 pitchers that have thrown >35 IP over that time period, his 5.74 ERA ranks 16th worst.  Over those 10 starts, Severino’s only gone 6 or more innings twice, most recently on August 8th.  One of the few bright spots on this resume is that the Ks have still been there.  In fact, he’s sported a 29.6% K-rate over his last 4 starts.  Soooooooo, what do we do with Severino?  I think I’ll be fading him in cash, but his strikeout upside always makes him a GPP play.  Let’s take a look at the rest of today’s slate.

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Unfortunately we all put a lot of hope that the 21 year old Rafael Devers would live up to his massive potential this season, but he’s been oft-injured and oft-not hitting. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 10 team league — if you have a better option available — then jump on him. Fill In: David Fletcher (3.4%.) With Ian Kinsler traded to the Red Sox, Fletcher could be due for a big boost in playing time. In 254 AAA ABs was hitting — wait, this can’t be right — .350?! Fletcher also hit 6 HRs so he has some power potential and stole 20 bases last season so he can even steal a few bags. He only has 1 of each in 114 ABs so far, but the .298 is pretty on par for him and the added at bats should result in more power and stolen base opportunities. 

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After hitting 6 HRs and stealing three bases with a .254 average in his first 17 games, Franchy Cordero (OF, Forearm Strain) has slowed down considerably hitting only 1 HR and stealing 2 bases with a .222 average over his next 23 games with a 30:9 K/BB ratio. With Hunter Renfroe returning and Wil Myers due back soon — I’m afraid it’s the guillotine for Franchy. Stash or Trash: I’d be thinking of trashing him unless you’re in a deep league with not a lot of options. Fill In: Daniel Palka (2.1%.) Palka has been filling in for an injured Leury Garcia for the Chi-Sox and has been doing pretty well lately. Who is Daniel Palka? He’s a former third round pick who hit 34 HRs in 2016 in the Twins AA and AAA program. He’s also a guy who hit 29 HR and stole 24 bases the year before that. What the hell? Why isn’t this guy being added in all leagues? Well throughout his minor league career he’s had a strikeout rate in the high 20% with a contact rate in the 60’s. So far this season in the majors he has 23 strikeouts to only 3 walks so he’s performing pretty on-brand. After an 0 for 8 start to his major league career, Palka has 26 hits in 85 at bats with 4 HR, 15 RBI and 2 SB. If you need help in deeper leagues take a chance on Al Palka.

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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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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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