Please see our player page for Travis Shaw 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.

After missing all of April and then some, Miguel Andujar (3B, Shoulder) apparently returned prematurely for 34 disappointing ABs and is now back on the DL with his shoulder MRI not looking any better than his last MRI. I’m thinking the Yankees bite the bullet and put Miggy Andy under the knife especially with the emergence of… Replacement: DA GAWD GIO URSHELA (6.9%.) I hate naming the obvious same-team injury replacement, but I can’t help myself this week. It seems like for every Javier Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown there is a Gio Urshela — a guy who thrives under the big city lights of NYC. Can he keep this up? A career .270 hitter batting .341? Yea and monkeys might fly out of my butt. But is he due for a ROS amount of ABs behind a slowly healthy Yankees lineup? Definitely. He’s also hitting a 4th best in the league 7.9% soft contact rate — tied with a young slugger named J.D. Martinez. He’s not hitting a lot of fly balls (26.3% — would be bottom 20 if he was eligible) but is hitting a fair amount of lasers (28.9% — would be 12th best if he were eligible.) He’s probably going to cap out at 10-15 HRs this year, but with a good place in the Yankees lineup, he could get a fair amount of runs and a sneaky solid amount of RBI.

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Was Yordan Alvarez indeed called up? Allow me to clear things up. He’s not. At least not yet. Despite leading AAA in home runs (14) and runs batted in (44) and boasting a .398 batting average, Yordan Alvarez appears no closer to Houston than the next Astros prospect. Speaking of Astros’ prospects, there’s also the problem of Kyle Tucker, who is a more heralded prospect. Unlike Alvarez, however, Tucker is having a rather mediocre start to 2019. He has hit a fair share of homers, but that’s about it. Considering Tucker already struck out in his first taste of the Majors, I’d say Yordan has the edge should a need arise on the Astros roster. And that brings us to the real problem. The Astros roster. In order to get Alvarez on it with regular playing time they’d have to expose either Tyler White, Max Stassi or Tony Kemp to waivers and I don’t believe they are ready to do so. Couple that with the fact that the Astros offense is near the top of many categories, there just isn’t a place for Yordan Alvarez. Sadly, many (myself included) see mid to late June as a more realistic timeline for a call up. For what it’s worth, I stashed him two weeks ago. Hopefully we are all wrong and he’s up sooner.

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With the promotion of first baseman Nate Lowe ($2,300) the Rays have made life difficult for fantasy players who are looking for Brandon Lowe ($3,700) and pick the wrong one. Fortunately, they both make good plays today. Jorge Lopez does not present a great challenge. Brandon has been doing quite well in April, rocking a solid average with lovely counting stats. As for Nate, he could be a monster as he has the tools to provide power and a high average. Either way, going “Lowe” could take you high.

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It’s a 4 ace slate today on FanDuel and we have to figure out which one we want to play in cash. Let’s see how the numbers compare:

Aaron Nola – 26.3% K, 7.2% BB 3.34 xFIP

Max Scherzer – 34.5% K, 5.5% BB, 2.96 xFIP

Corey Kluber – 25.6% K, 5% BB, 3.4 xFIP

Jacob deGrom – 32.9% K, 5.9% BB, 2.68 xFIP

Obviously Scherzer and deGrom are the best pitchers of the group, but how do their matchups compare?

Tigers (vs Nola) – 26.6% K, 8.6% BB, .138 ISO

Cardinals (vs Scherzer) – 21.3% K, 9.2% BB, .191 ISO

Marlins (vs Kluber) – 27.5% K, 7.1% BB, .110 ISO

Reds (vs deGrom) – 23.9% K, 8.2% BB, .164 ISO

The best pitcher of the group gets the worst matchup, and the worst pitcher gets the best matchup (for the purposes of this exercise, because this is DFS and we care about strikeouts). Power is way up this year, and Scherzer has a propensity to give up bombs. He also has the worst matchup, and costs the most, so he’s not my cash game pitcher. Jacob deGrom is the next best pitcher, but the Reds have some pop and they don’t strike out as much as the Marlins or Tigers. Especially this year, we want to target teams that have trouble hitting the ball out, and the two teams that really struggle with hitting for any kind of power are the Tigers and Marlins. The Tigers lose the DH from a team that already strikes out a lot and don’t hit for power, and the Marlins are the worst offensive team in the league and will swing at any pitch remotely near the plate. I would play the matchup and go with Kluber, since the Marlins are really bad. But, if you need the money to get to the studs you want to get to, I don’t have a problem with playing Nola at the $1,000 discount.

On to the picks…

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There hasn’t been a  #1 ranked hitter in my rankings besides Mike Trout since he went down with an injury at the beginning of August 2018. His replacement, Mookie Betts was in the thick of his AL MVP/World Series campaign and the difference between them wasn’t that vast anyway.

This year, the 2018 NL MVP who everyone was sure was going to regress has done just the opposite and started off even hotter than anyone anticipated. Christian Yelich has tied Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez with 14 HRs to begin the season. To top both of those jabronis, Yelich has also stolen 6 bases. Just to whet the appetites of Yelich owners — A-Rod went on to win the AL MVP that season while Pujols was the runner-up in his season. Yes, I know that Cody Bellinger is beating Yelich in some statistical categories already this season, but forgive me if I believe more in Yelich’s .350 AVG right now over Bellinger’s .420.

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been the most talked about prospect since I can remember, and his debut has been one of the most anticipated events since many of us have begun playing fantasy baseball. Congratulations to everyone that owns him in keeper leagues as you have very likely just won the lottery. I guess you […]

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It had been so long since I drafted Zack Wheeler (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (zero walks), 11 Ks, ERA at 4.85) in multiple leagues, and, after so many subpar efforts, I was beginning to forget why I drafted him as my number two.  Was a number two a harbinger of things to come, I asked myself while sitting on the toilet.  His control in previous starts left something to be desired, which is the understatement of the year after:  Christian Yelich’s poster is on just a few ceilings in Milwaukee of couples who are trying to have a baby.  And the guys are the ones looking up.  Yesterday, Wheeler pinged up on my iCal, reminding me why I wanted to own him.  If you weren’t able to see him or the highlights, he is the first pitcher to throw 100 MPH and pitchslap the opposing pitcher, Zach Eflin (4 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.15) with a 100+ MPH exit velocity.  “I’d like to report a Zack on Zach crime.”  911 Operator, “Is it a H or K on the first Zack?”  “Get down here!”  If Wheeler pitches like he did yesterday, he’s not a number two.  Dot dot dot.  He’s a number one!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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*wavy lines indicating a dream sequence*  It’s the winter of 2019.  And I’m wearing pants.  Okay, that’s not realistic, but it’s a dream sequence, so I’m going to go with it!  Crap, I have to do my rankings.  Quick, rank Gregory Polanco in the top 40 outfielders overall, because you like how he hit more fly balls last year than previous years and think 23 homers is repeatable with maybe more.  Also, he’s got some 10-15 steal-speed!  But, since this is a very realistic dream other than the whole pants thing, someone, who you can’t remember now, told you Polanco won’t be back until June.  Better check the news reports, even though that’s rather boring for a dream sequence.  Yup, Polanco’s not due back until June.  Frantically, by any man’s measure but calmly by yours, move Polanco all the way down so you’ll never draft him.  Now fall into a kiddie pool so you wake to think you had a wet dream.  *wavy lines*  Whoa, that dream was crazy in its mundaneness!   So, here we are on April 23rd and Grey doesn’t freakin’ own Polanco because reports in March were saying he wouldn’t be back until a much later date.  *bites stress doll’s head off*  I’m good.  Thanks.  Yes, I would own Polanco in every league; he can be a top 40 outfielder.  Yesterday, he went 2-for-4, 2 runs, which was better than Jesus Aguilar’s entire season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m starting a new feature for this column — Jose Ramirez Watch! The mood is tense! No one is losing more value than Ramirez right now. In a lot of leagues he was a top-10 pick and right now he isn’t even justifying a top-100 pick. It’s still early for him — but his owners have to be disappointed.

Last Week: 14 | This Week: 25

Last 7 days: 5/22, 6 runs, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 227 AVG

Another disappointing week for J-Ram, however, it is better than the previous week when he went 2 for 25. Baby steps? Here’s what I said to a commenter in last week’s top 100 column:

“JRam wasn’t hitting over .250 until April 24th last year.He’s got a higher hard contact rate so far this season (yay!) but also a higher soft contact rate (boo!) His BABIP is only .167 after last year’s 252. I’d obviously hold and wait until May 1. I think he’ll be fine — not 2018 foooiinnneee — but 2019 fine.”

Let’s see where his average sits later this week…

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Happy Easter Eve to you all, I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow in your adult Easter egg hunts.  Yes, that is actually a thing and yes, I’m just as surprised as you to learn about them. We’ve got a very odd slate scheduled for this Saturday. There are several games in the 4-6 o’clock hour that FanDuel is choosing to ignore unless you spring for the “All Day” slate.  The rainouts yesterday have wreaked havoc as well. There is also a 4 game early slate, but we’ll be focusing on the Main Slate today which is the standard 7 PM ET time slot. We’ve got 5 games to cover here including everyone’s favorite, Coors Field!  For my best value starting pitcher on the main slate I’m springing for Eric Lauer ($7,300). We love us some Hodgepadres around these parts and Lauer fits the bill perfectly. Lauer’s 4.51 FIP isn’t the most inspiring thing but his opponent isn’t either.  The Reds haven’t exactly been dynamite to start the season, in fact, they have the league’s 6th worst team OPS. I’m banking on the mediocre pitcher here taking down the mediocre offense. On a day with jacked up Coors bat prices, I like the discount at SP that Lauer allows.

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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