I feel like I’m walking a little on the wild side today. I should just start Chris Sale versus Tampa Bay; he’s likely your Sure Thing o’ the Day (sorry if I just jinxed him, Sale owners), him and his 3.03 ERA at home, but he costs $11,300. Thus, I’m going to go a little cheaper and start Alex Wood ($9,200) — with some trepidation, admittedly. Of course I’m hoping for a repeat performance of Wood’s last match-up versus Colorado, on June 23rd, at home in Dodger Stadium: 6 innings pitched, 1 earned run, 3 hits. I’m aware I might not get that: in his last outing, he got beaten up by the Padres (! [Sidebar: I have to confess to feeling secretly glad when the Padres do well]) to the tune of 4 earned runs, in San Diego (!) and he has been falling victim to the long ball (ah, Wood and the long balls…[ya, I’m 12]), but he still sports a very decent 2.57 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and he’s going to get run support. Moreover, he has a 2.77 ERA in Dodgers Stadium, while the Rockies are hitting .251 away. So I’m crossing fingers and hoping for the best and building my lineup around him. More pitching options below, though, for the more sensible among you!
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The Brewers should be in sell mode, or is that should have been in sell mode? Well, I guess it’s not either here nor there. The unheraldness (totally a word) of the infielders as of late is becoming a fantasy monsoon. The play of and the eligibility of Hernan Perez of late is becoming quite the fantasy add. He qualifies at both the third sack, which isn’t something you pay an extra 50 cents for at the county fair to see, and as an outfielder in most formats. Over his last 15 games, he has more HR, RBIs, and runs than the top-3 corners in baseball. Now you add the SAGNOF goodness and it makes me shake my head at the minuscule 23% ownership in ESPN leagues. Someone is paying attention on the ownership tip, but he deserves a ton more accolades from the millions and millions of fantasy ballers who play this game. His at-bats aren’t going to slow down as Will Middlebrooks isn’t going to walk in and go all hot schmotato. The added bonus for him are players in dynasty league formats, as he is only 25, should be taking even further notice on him as he is almost qualifying for SS, and has a few starts at 2B. So I am grabbing my lucky dice and saying that he can’t continue to put be a top-10 fantasy player (like he has just done over the past 15) over the next 30 days, but if he can possibly do top-10 fantasy 3B over that time, he is a waiver wire darling that can carry you to where flags fly forever. Let’s see what else is going down with steals and saves for the week…
Unless you’re not into that, of course. And if you are, that’s cool, I’m not into it myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…anyhoo, Phillies can be ponies, right? But of course, we know that even with that reference, it still doesn’t work seeing as, well, look at the dang gif, y’all. You know he ain’t talking about equestrians. For those who still haven’t got it, it’s a sexual innuendo, or ‘inyourendo’ if you’re 15 mentally which I am so we’re good! Now that I’ve dated myself very badly, lets get down to dropping that synth-burp bass and talking up Wei-Yin Chen. Feels like we’ve been here plenty this year and the theme has been common and easy to follow. Here’s a quick flowchart:
You’re welcome for offering up the Staples button for ya because yes, that was easy. The Phillies have found a new low of late as they’ve even slipped beneath the Braves in wRC+ against southpaws, sitting at a lowly 64. They say it’s lonely at the top, but what’s it like sitting down there on the porcelain throne? Whew…Chen isn’t the safest get for the night based on his own stats on the year and his HR tendencies, but with the opponent at hand, I could see 6 to 7 Ks and it’s just a question of how many bombs he gives up whether that’s worth much. I’ll play him in cash and tourneys alike on such a smedium evening slate. But enough about bad 90s R&B, let’s move on. Here’s my Peyton Manning grooving hot taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…
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3rd basemen are the new Dolly Parton. They are so top heavy they haven’t seen their toes in years. After the top ten 3rd basemen, the rest are a wing, a prayer and Winger doing a cover of Living on a Prayer, which can’t hold a candle to Bon Jovi, because A) Jersey B) No one can hold a candle to Bon Jovi because of Jersey. C) There’s no C. D) Jersey! I can’t remember a position like this for any other year in recent memory, but I’ve killed my brain for years with hard drugs. If you don’t have a 3rd baseman by the 100th overall pick, you might be kissing your 3rd baseman position goodbye. Literally, smooching your computer monitor like you’re in that Spike Jonze movie with Scarlett Johansson robot-talking. By the way, Johansson is 31 years old, in nine years, she’s gonna be old. In nine years, I’m gonna be distinguished. Damn, Hollywood, you’re messed up giving me these ageist ideas! As always, my projections and tiers are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:
All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…
Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Before I put internet pen to internet paper about my leads, I want you to know something: I do research. I know, I know, it may SEEM like this stuff is off the cuff because it’s so off the chain (kids say that still, right?) but I swear to you, I spend a good amount of time looking into season long stats as well as current trends before I start snuggling up to my starting pitchers, especially when I’m looking to go cheap. As you know by now if you’ve played a bit on DK, strikeouts for pitchers are the black gold of fantasy baseball DFS so scouting out the right scenario to rack them up is key. So first I go and look at team K% for the season to see how teams are fairing and see – sarcastic drum roll please – the Astros sitting on top at 25.1%. Then I change the view to last 7 days and guess what? The Astros are still waiving their bats in the air like they just don’t care as they’re at 26.2%. Why check both? Well, it puts you on going after teams that are perhaps slumping or it could make you recognize a particular team that normally Ks seems locked in as a group and may not be one to pick on at the moment. But for now, I’m following this whiff wagon and taking the Erasmo Ramirez discount of $5,600 so I can have all of the Coors. No not the beer, silly! I’d rather be a teetotaler than do that. I’m talking about those Atlanta and Colorado bats, of course. And of course, now that I have, I don’t have to mention them again. Damn, I covered a lot in this opener, I should just quit now! But instead, we’ll keep this Friday post rolling. Here’s some of my other hot takes for this Friday DK slate…
Yesterday, the Cubs scored seventeen runs, so enough jibber-jabbering, let’s get to it! Starting this whole she bangs, she bangs, Oliver’s got bangs in the 2nd inning, Addison Russell (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer as he continues to hit ninth. Joe Maddoning says he’s hitting Addison ninth to take pressure off him. McNulty would call that bunk. (By the by, tell me this doesn’t look like McNulty.) Isn’t there pressure just being in the major leagues? Did Addison not see how the Cubs pushed aside Javier Baez and Arismendy from year to year? Bunk! Chris Coghlan (2-for-3, 3 runs, hitting .251) needs to hit fifth? David Ross (1-for-5, 1 run) in any lineup should be hitting ninth. There’s absolutely no reason Russell should be that low. Move him up! Then Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs in his first major leagues start, and became only the third Cub in their history to have four hits in his first major league start. The other two were two guys you never heard of, which makes this record depressing. Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau! Oh, and there’s no pressure on Schwarber as he hits sixth? Okay, I’ll let it go. I pray to the deity of your choice that Schwarber gets four hits in every game until Sunday, Miguel Montero stays injured and Epstein says, “Okay, Schwarber schways. He schways! Stays, sorry, it’s hard to say anything normal after Schwarber.” Then (Yes, it keeps going!) Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .396. Put the microwave on defrost and stick in Ted Williams’s head! Never to be outdone (or overdue, as the case might be), Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Finally (I’m exhausted!), Kris Bryant (2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer) as he grand salami’d in the ninth. You at a 2016 fantasy draft, “I need a Bryant.” *Smash* As a pie gets thrown in your face. Five over-the-internet dollars to be paid out in fake installments, if you get that reference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
After beginning his career almost no-hitting the Red Sox through six innings last Saturday, the legend of Chi Chi Gonzalez, whether I mean that ironically or not, continued Friday night with a complete game 3-hit shutout of the Kansas City Royals for his second win. He allowed just five base runners in all, striking out two. Oh, hello there. I am now intrigued. *Raises eyebrow, googles stats* Err. O…k. Despite my intriguement, in 43.1 innings at AAA, Chi Chi posted a 4.15 ERA with a 26/19 K/BB rate. Hmm. Well, that’s not very good at all. Still, I am not one to stare a gift horse in the butt. That’s how you get kicked in the teeth. Gonzalez has now pitched 14.2 scoreless innings to start his MLB career, allowing just five hits. Let’s focus on that. So maybe he’s almost walked twice as many batters as he’s struck out. Fair enough. I’m not saying he’s here to save your team, but he gets the Oakland A’s next week and should certainly be worthy of a ping on your fantasy radar at this point.
Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Today is the first Saturday in June, and the first day that it really feels like summertime. At least in Southern California it does. Warm weather and baseball just go hand-in-hand. So if you’re not at a game today, fulfill your Saturday baseball with some Razzball picks on DraftKings. Starting Pitchers are your most important position. Are you going to spend your money on a young unproven rookie pitcher, or a pricey proven pitcher that “should” run up your score? It’s a hard decision sometimes, but when you have choices like today, you should feel good about your chances. My strategies usually consist a little of both. Play it safer in 50/50’s. For example, if you’re in a 100 person entry, you can pretty much count on pitchers like Kershaw and King Felix to be owned around two-thirds to three-quarters of the league. You aren’t going to want to gamble and pick Lorenzen and another low to mid-tier pitcher and stack heavy on hitting. You’ll usually get the most points out of you pitchers, so my strategy is to play it safe and stick with the heavy priced pitchers. However, if I’m playing a big ‘Guaranteed’ entry where there are thousands of entries and thousands of dollars to be won in a top five finish, I’m gambling a lot more, and not spending my money on Kershaw and King Felix. It’s all or nothing for me in those type of entries. I’m not saying I’d start Lorenzen and a low-tier pitcher, but I’m certainly not picking the two pitchers which I think will be owned the most. What has worked for you? Have you had a really big win on DraftKings? Share you success in the comments below and tweet at me using #RazzballReader. Enjoy the games!