Please see our player page for Tommy Milone 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.

Greetings all, I’m stepping in for Mr. Pants today throwing on short rest. I went and got loose in the pen and now I’m ready to get poppin’. It’s been a long week so rather than beat around the bush, let’s just dive right into what I saw around the MLB on Friday night:

 

Ryan Weber – 3 inn 7 baserunners 2 ER 3 Ks. He’s bad and so is their bullpen.

Brandon Workman – 1 inn 0 ER and SV. Okay except for him, he’s the only bright spot in that radioactive wasteland.

Andrew Benintendi – 0-4 with BB, 1 run, and the golden sombrero as he continues to bat leadoff hitting .061/.279. I’ve noticed he’s walking a lot yet his contact is atrocious. His eyes are fine, but his swing is way off. I have no idea why Roenicke is keeping him at leadoff. Could be to ensure he has more ABs to help him out of his funk and/or further evidence the Sawx are mailing in this entire season. Just one big extended Spring Training.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

August 3-9, 2020

The Major League Baseball 2020 season is a mess, and this is a post about it. As of Saturday night, 104 players and 24 staff/training members had tested positive for coronavirus since the inception of the season, with 42 cases identified in the last week. Boston Red Sox star and former Tier 3 member Eduardo Rodriguez has been shut down for the 2020 season following myocarditis that was associated with his bout of coronavirus. 20% of MLB teams had games postponed this weekend, with the Marlins and Phillies not having played since last week. At the time of writing, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that he intended for the remaining teams to continue playing the truncated season, although there are reports that if more positive cases erupt on Sunday, then a work stoppage would follow. There’s a non-zero chance that if you’re reading this on Monday afternoon, baseball is again in a holding pattern.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

July 27-August 2, 2020

We’re watching baseball again! I’m watching baseball again! The Japanese and Korean and Taiwanese people, well, they’ve been watching baseball for like a month because they stayed home instead of going to Uncle Johnny’s Cinco de Mayo party. Be a hero, wear a mask!

This top 100 starting pitchers series is, as David Bowie would stutter, Ch-ch-ch-changing. For the duration of summer training, I treated readers to a daily update in the Top 100 Starting Pitchers while they went through their draft boards. Feedback on the constantly updated list was super-positive for the most part, because most sites weren’t providing news links and sleeper articles and rankings–all updated daily–in one spot. Now that drafts are finished, I’m shifting back to the usual weekly updates. It’ll be like Friends used to be, before you could watch it 24/7 on every streaming platform and TV network.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.

Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:

• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.

Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.

And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At least one of you is reading this with a bandaged thumb from a fireworks mishap. I had a Cousin Pete (Italian side of the family) who lost the tip of his thumb on the 4th, but rather than stop the festivities, he taped the tip of a hot dog on his thumb to act as a tourniquet for the rest of the 4th, so we could all go about our fun-having business. I suggested my Cugino make a PSA about hot dog tourniquets, but I was turned away by NBC Cares. Let us bow our heads and pray that if anyone loses a finger, may there be a proper-sized hot dog nearby.  Okay…*claps hands* Play ball!  Yesterday, Matthew Boyd went 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners (zero walks), 13 Ks, ERA at 3.87.  Flavor Flav secures his giant clock to his chest with one hand and pumps his fist with his other hand, “Yeah Boyd!”  Boyd was the 1st pitcher with less than 6 IP, zero walks and 13 or more Ks.  You kinda have to get hit around a bit to have that record, but, damn, that’s impressive.  Let’s hear it for the Boyd, let’s hear it for the…MATT!  See what I did there? No one saw that coming!  Not a soul!  Boyd is one of the few guys in the entire major leagues who is pitching better than his ERA would indicate.  I’m kidding, everyone’s ERA is crap!  But Boyd’s been very special — 11.9 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 3.33 xFIP — and is looking like a solid number two with upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise, but Grandpa-Donk is what they call a “Donk of all trades”.  At one point in his legendary life, the venerable jackass even tried his hoof as a weatherman. In fact, he was one of the first weatherdonks on television back in the ’50s.

When I was just a little donkus, no bigger than Trevor Bauer’s poodle, Gramps would gather all us youngins round and tell us about his days of Hollywood stardom. The weather forecasting tools back in his time were just as primitive as the are now, so he was frequently way off on his prognostications. But he always delivered his forecast with the classic family wit, mixing in his token skyarrhea toilet humor and even the occasional dong joke, which was very risque back in his day. Grandonkey would always finish his meteorology tales with one bit of sage advice, “Find an occupation where you can be wrong 90% of the time and people still come back for more”.

Writing the Top 100 Starting Pitchers post in 2019: the year of the juiciest of juiced balls, and baseballs, I imagine is exactly like being a weatherdonkey. Just other day, when The Kooch was getting lit up for the 17th consecutive outing, G-Donk called me up to tell me how proud he was that I had discovered my niche. Actually, he called to ask where he might find a fresh pair of Señor Crappers, but I could sense the pride in his voice.

The only thing we know about 2019 Starting Pitching is there’s going to be lots of rainy days with a few random sunny days mixed in, followed by a tornado which will destroy what’s left of your already fugly ratios. Your 2019 fantasy pitching staff is more or less going to be Seattle with a little bit of Kansas, but we’re all living there in rainy tornado alley with you; so quit your whining and grab an umbrella!

Speaking of umbrellas, Mike Minor has provided a pleasant refugee from the storms this season, and he’s only become sturdier as the summer monsoons set in, sporting a 1.70 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 37 June innings. Unfortunately, there’s some large red regression fairies lurking here, the first of which is a massive and unsustainable 97.5% strand rate over this past month. Pair that with a lucky .200 June BABIP, and Donkey begins running for new shelter. I’d aggressively shop Minor if someone in your league thinks he’s actually a top 20 pitcher, but I wouldn’t sell him for a cup of Grey’s baby gravy. I’ll take a guy that might continue getting lucky over a cup of Grey goo any day.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On the first pitch Justin Upton (2-for-4) saw back from the IL, he slammed it into the seats for his 1st home run. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Anyone who wants to come over on Saturday, I’m doing a screening of the short film I did about O.J. Simpson and a lovable group of his former Bills teammates plotting to break into a Vegas casino to steal back his memorabilia called, O.J.’s Eleven. I play O.J. in blackface.”  People have been asking about adding Justin Upton, and he’s currently owned in 70% of ESPN leagues, though Klara Bell owns 17,000 teams to help fill his virtual trophy case, and doesn’t own Upton, so, technically, Upton’s owned in 101% of leagues, but, if he’s available, I’d add him everywhere.  Prior to his injury, he was a top 30 outfielder, and see no reason why he can’t do something similar from here to there.  There being October.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

You’re at the local grocer staring at a shelf in the cereal aisle, wishing you were watching baseball and/or Naked and Afraid. Perched next to each other on the shelf are a $4.00 box of Cocoa Puffs and a $2.00 box of Choco Spheres. Do you choose the known quantity name brand or take a gamble on those mysterious spheres at half price? It was always an easy choice for frugal old Grandpa-Donk, he didn’t build his fortune of Donkey-units by purchasing the luxury orbs of chocolate. To this day Gramps would poop himself if we ever brought home a box of Depend’s Diapers. It’s Señor Crapper’s or nothing for the old timer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Masahiro Tanaka’s first 11 starts have been about as good as you could’ve hoped when you drafted him around the 30th-40th SP off the board. It felt like he was being ignored in some leagues and came at quite the value. He’s a no doubt starter this week with the way he’s been performing, but it may be a good opportunity to sell high on the veteran pitcher.

Most of the numbers are in line with his career (GB rate, LD rate, K rate, BB rate, 1st strike rate). However, there are a few indicators that he’s been a little lucky and his stuff may not be quite what it has been in previous seasons, specifically his moneymaker, the splitter.

His swinging strike rate is down to 11.1% from 14.1% in 2017 and 15.1% in 2016. His 77% contact rate is the 2nd worst of his career along with career worsts in hard hit rate, launch angle, and average exit velocity allowed. 80.6% left on base rate isn’t completely unsustainable, but it would be the highest of his career.

It’s my belief, and the numbers back me up, that the splitter is not the pitch we’ve seen in previous seasons (below), which is leading to less swing and miss, and harder contact. The vertical movement on the pitch is the worst we’ve ever seen from Tanaka. His swinging strike and K rates are down, and of his 3 primary pitches (FB, Slider, Splitter), the splitter is the only one that has a worse whiff rate at 11.69 down from 22.99 the previous season and easily the worst of his career. The batting average against the split finger is .333 this season compared to .220 and .191 in the previous 2 seasons. Similarly, the slugging percentage is up to .560 this season vs .344 in 2017.

I don’t believe that Tanaka is just going to fall apart and if you need a steady arm to balance your roster, I think he’s fine, but with his current numbers I believe you may be able to sell him high compared to what he provides the rest of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One thing I always like to reference when digging for starting pitchers on a given slate is total team strikeouts.  If a team is striking out a ton, that only increases upside in a given match-up. It’s for this reason I tend to avoid using pitchers in DFS who are facing the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals do in fact stink, but as a team, they don’t strike out as often as say, the Padres do. So, pick your crappy team carefully. Tonight, on this juicy 11 game slate, I’ll be using quite a bit of Zack Godley ($16,800).  Godley was a big target of mine coming into this year and he’s disappointed, there’s no getting around that.  However, he gets a match-up in San Diego that een he should be able to handle. He’s still rocking a 9+ K rate, but his 4 walk rate has killed him.  Fortunately, the Padres are also near the bottom in total team walks (24th of 30). Couple that with their league worst .660 OPS vs. RHP and I think you’ve got yourself a winner.

New to FantasyDraft? 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 you do.  It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?