Please see our player page for Travis Jankowski 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.

I hope you’re all making a standings push as we inch toward September. Now is the time for action. Don’t wait too long and need a drastic solution. Don’t be like Patrick Swayze’s star character in Road House, bouncer extraordinaire Dalton. He kept having to up the violence ante to maintain the status quo. Look ahead at which categories could be within reach with a few wise adds this week.

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A Loch Ness Monster waits nervously in a doctor’s office.  He turns to his left to a unicorn.  “What brought you in here?”  “I was having a weird pang behind my horn for a few weeks while in Candyland, and I went for an MRI when they found a growth.”  The unicorn chokes back its fears, finishing, “I’m having a biopsy.  You?”  The Loch Ness Monster hands the unicorn a tissue, then, through tears, “I’ve been pooping this tar-like substance, and they’re not sure…what…it…is.”  As the the two of them sob uncontrollably, they look across the receptionist area to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  The unicorn fights through tears and asks, “Why are you at the National Institute of Made-Up Injuries and Diseases?”  “The Jays said I had an oblique injury to delay my free agency.”  So, Vlad Guerrero Jr. has an oblique injury, which, honestly, is likely a real injury, but doesn’t sound serious.  Maybe it is just an aching venient injury.  Who knows.  I’ve been saying for a while that I’m not drafting Vlad, due to his ADP, and wrote a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. schmohawk, so this doesn’t affect me a ton.  Nor his MLB ETA.  He wasn’t starting the year with the Jays either way.  I haven’t changed his projections or ranking in my top 20 3rd basemen, though there have been a bunch of changes in my rankings, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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NL WestNL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!

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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.

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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Today’s slate shares some similarities with last week’s slate in it’s straightforwardness. However, whereas the simplicity of last week’s slate caused it to be incredibly boring and not worth playing, I’m not sure that’s the case this week. The reason why is that there’s some actual decisions here, ones where there may not be an obvious answer. The short version of it is this – because Justin Verlander is the overwhelmingly obvious cash pitcher, you’re not going to be able to afford that many high end bats. However, the two teams that are in the juiciest spots for offense today – the Yankees and the Red Sox, are both filled with a lot of high end bats. You probably can only afford one of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Giancarlo Stanton – which one do you choose? Or, do you fade all three altogether to try to get two of three from the next tier (such as Benintendi or Andujar).

On to 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Jays’ catcher prospect Danny Jansen was called up.  Finally, the Jays are ready to move on with their prospects.  *Vlad Jr. waves his hand, trying to get their attention*  It took long enough, but finally the time is here.  *Vlad Jr. takes out a bullhorn and blows it*  Did you hear something?  The Jays did…Danny Jansen’s bat!  Jansen looks like an offensive-minded catcher in the mold of Jerry Tomato Realmuto (think 15/7/.280).  I grabbed Jansen in one league, because, I had Cervelli, who has a magnet for foul balls on his face like Stormy Daniels, and Russell Martin is going to play third while Yangervis deals with an oblique strain and, shucks, if only the Jays had someone else to play third.  *Vlad Jr. marches with color guards’ flags, waving them.  Finally, Vlad Jr. sighs.*  Damn, too bad.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Ah, words.  It is funny how the simplest play on words could lead to such stupid humor.  Because on one hand, Mallex Smith could be an exotic dancer… on the basepaths, and the other?  Well, we know the implication.  Either way, in his artistry it can only be called one thing:  SAGNOF sexy.  The base-stealing profession hasn’t been the most flourishing business, with the price of liquor licenses and the growing deficit of accumulation on the stat.  It is a dying business.  One that allows you to jump all nimbly-pimbly from steal branch to steal branch.  When looking at steals, especially in the SAGNOF world, I try to break them down into a two week stretch.  I look for who is getting the at-bats, who is getting on base, and of course who is actually stealing bases.  Over that 14 game stretch, Mallex is doing all three.  He is getting at-bats, and not all from the leadoff spot either.  ( He’s getting on base at a .528 clip, with a BB% of 13%.)  These numbers are all the dream scenario for a SAGNOF savior for a week or three.  Steals?  Well, he stole more bases (6) than everyone in baseball not named Jose Ramirez or Whit Merrifield. The joyous thing about this, is that the Rays are basically punting but not actually trying to lose.  So the at-bats and opportunities will and should continue.  As with most saviors of the theft, counting stats are going to be spotty and the one thing you can count on slightly are runs scored, but in smaller comparisons, because… well, the Rays don’t score a ton.  So if you are on the lookout for a few here and few there steals, then Mallex is your boy for the next few games, or even a week.  But don’t fall in love, because he will break your heart by Labor Day.  Cheers!

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In an unexciting season for the Royals, lead off man Jon Jay (OF, Royals – (12.5% owned on ESPN, 9% on Yahoo) has been one of the few bright spots. After a slow start, Jay has been heating up at the dish and been one of the hottest hitters in May. Jay is 5th in the MLB in batting average with an incredible .368 mark this month. His 43 hits in May are the most in the MLB, and although in a weak lineup he has been able to help in other areas. Forget your awful Justin Timberlake memes, because it’s gunna be JAY! Jay is a career .290 hitter, so although impossible to sustain his current pace, he remains a good bet to be a solid source of hits and batting average for your fantasy teams the rest of the way.

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In the spring of 2018, the Catholic Church summoned Father Carmen Sandiego to the Vatican to give him the job to investigate miracles, supernatural signs and apparitions.  Unfortunately, Father Carmen Sandiego, who wasn’t very good with his GPS, got lost for four days in the Steven Avery car lot in Wisconsin, then ended up in Milwaukee.  When he wandered into the parking lot of Miller Park, and Brewers fans tailgating with MGD and cheese curds, everywhere Father Carmen Sandiego turned he heard about the resurrected Jesus Aguilar, so he chose to investigate.  He found a player who had lowered his strikeout rate 8% from last year, upped his walk rate, cut his soft contact and could be a sneaky 25-homer, .275 guy.  Jesus didn’t appear to him in a vision, he was flesh and blood, like the Lenny & Squiggy cosplayers he also encountered.  However, Father Carmen Sandiego didn’t report back to the Vatican, instead he grabbed Jesus for his fantasy team.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Travis Jankowski was called Fred, by his older brother and sister, because he loved watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid. Mister Rogers was in fact Fred Rogers. Mind blown. Hey, I thought he was one of the neighbors. I wasn’t a big MRN guy, but I do remember the “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Anyways, Mister Rogers’ neighborhood was a place for children to learn and grow. “To foster the social and emotional ‘tools’ for learning self-esteem, curiosity, self-control, the ability to pay attention, to handle mistakes, and deal with anger.” Maybe I should have been more of a MRN guy. I’m not sure Mister Rogers would approve of Jankowski’s main professional skill, though: stealing bases. But check out what Mister Rogers would say before the end of each episode: “You always make each day a special day. You know how. By just being yourself. There’s only one person in the whole world that’s like you, and that’s you. And people can like you just the way you are. I’ll be back next time. Bye bye!” And then I realized…Mister Rogers would have bunted to break up a perfect game and given no shits about it.

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