Please see our player page for Willson Contreras 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.

Good Sunday to you. We have a relatively small 8-game FanDuel Main Slate, providing us only some 250 billion possible lineup combinations, without salary cap considerations, compared to our usual 1-10 trillion. It’s quite the lack of options we’re facing.

But, there are actual limitations we face today, not just exaggerated ones, as the majority of games provide us with far better hitting conditions than pitching, leaving us little in the way of potential starting pitcher value, and an abundance of potential value for hitters. More than usual today, we’d like to reach for cheaper starting pitching in order to pay up for hitting.

Our preferred reach is Asher Wojciechowski, SP: $6,700, who has flashed high upside over the past couple months and has a favorable matchup today against Detroit. While he can struggle with control, which results in his higher than average hard contact and walk rates, the Tigers are near the bottom of the league in both measures. Pair that with this game being played on the road, virtually guaranteeing a more favorable pitching environment than the bandbox of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it’s reason enough to confidently deploy him. We do not need to rely on a world-beating performance here, above average will do us perfectly well, as the scoring fireworks today are likely to be predominantly hitter-driven.

Keep on keeping on, and read below for additional Razzball picks.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner hit his first career home run Friday night going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. He started off the Chicago onslaught with a 2-run shot in the first inning and added a 2-run single in the fifth! He was a BUY and here’s what Grey had to say about him, “Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value.” And that’s me quoting Grey! If that’s not a high endorsement, I don’t know what kind of waiver adds you’re looking for in mid-September but Nico might be your best bet. Does he make you Hoerner, baby? Woah, sick reference, bro, how old even are you? Nico is slashing .350/.435/.600 through his first 20 at-bats with a home run and 8 RBI, he’s also still available in most leagues, which is important since I don’t know how many of you are even left reading this at this point in the year. Just my mom and my stalker, most likely (hi mom, hi Gordon!). My stalker Gordon’s wondering why I had to stop playing WoW Classic for 4 hours to do other fantasy things. I’ll be right back, Gordon, I swear, please don’t send my family death threats again! Nico could be worth an add for any team in need of some runs and average, especially if the Cubs plan on scoring 17 every game from here on out.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s rare to see a player having a breakout year in his age 35 season in the post-Selig era, but Yuli Gurriel needs just 2 runs, 1 RBI and even 2 SB to set career highs in all of those categories. He already has a career-high in HRs with 25 and could end the season with 30-35. With 37 games remaining Gurriel could end the season with an 85/33/100/8/.300 line for the year. Not too shabby from a guy with an ADP in the 200s. This production uptick is due to a career-low ground ball rate, career-high fly ball rate, career-high hard contact rate — the underlying numbers are pointing to this being for real and he should finish the year strong.

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Who else got victimized by Nelson Cruz last week? In his last 75 ABs here’s his line: 19/14/26/0/.333. That’s more than some guys had in the entire first-half. Oh wait — that’s almost more than the 16 Cruz put up the first half. The Twins are going to be battling for the AL Central with the Indians until the bitter end and clutch Cruz should keep them afloat the rest of the way.

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It’s never too early to turn the page towards 2020. Which is what Hugh Downs used to say while wearing a smoking jacket and flipping through a script. By the way, Hugh Downs missed his porn actor calling.  “Oh my God, that’s an Orca in your pants!” “Well, I ain’t Churchill Downs.”  Fun Fact! Hugh Downs only wore slippers. Okay, okay, OKAY, enough about freakin’ Hugh Downs. This is like when Seinfeld was telling Bania to ease up on the Ovaltine jokes.  Grey, you’ve got fifteen minutes of Hugh Downs! Let him go! I’d love to but he goes Downs so easy! So, Luis Castillo pitched another gem in a season of them (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.63). His peripherals are equally gorge like Barbara Walters fluffing Hugh–I’ll stop! Castillo’s has a 10.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 3.71 FIP and his fastball velocity is up and he’s throwing his change a lot more (26% to 32%). He kinda reminds me of another Reds pitcher, Trevor Bauer. Castillo’s ERA could easily be near-4 vs. near 2.50. Still like him, not saying make a chump dump like when Hugh Downs used to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom and blame Mike Wallace, but Castillo looks a lot better than Bauer in ERA, but for 2020 I don’t see a ton of difference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A reporter, ducked behind chairs, yells at Aaron Sanchez at his no-hitter, post-game press conference. All we hear is the reporter’s disembodied voice, “Isn’t it true your four-seam spin rate went from 2,300 rpm to 2,565 rpm overnight?” Some reporters move out of the way for the reporter, who is crouched behind the chairs. One reporter recognizes him, asking, “Trevor Bauer, is that you?” What are the Astros feeding their pitchers? Pine tar and they’re being told to eat with their hands. Aaron Sanchez (6 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.76) had a 6.07 ERA before this game! I get it, it was the Mariners, but this is crazy. Sanchez wasn’t usable at all in Toronto.  The Astros’ coaching vs. cheating argument:  Sanchez did kibosh his sinker, which was by far his worst pitch. Could it have been that easy?  How could the Jays not figure this out?  I could’ve figured this out!  I guess Sanchez’s worth the flier. If he’s fixed, he’s too valuable to ignore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Shane Bieber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.44. Donkey Teeth and I made a trade the other day. My first trade of the year. I sent him Kenley Jansen for Shane Bieber. I discuss it on this week’s podcast. I receive Shane Bieber in this trade…TOMORROW! I don’t even want him now! He’s tainted with Donkey Teeth juice. That one-hitter is supposed to be mine! Mine, I say! Only thing worse would’ve been he threw a one-hitter and broke his hand high-fiving Bauer. Ugh, why couldn’t Donkey Teeth offer the trade the day before so I had Bieber on my team? I want him. Me! Me! Me! *Idris Elba opens an envelope* “…and Best Dramatic Retelling of a Fantasy Baseball Trade goes to…Some guy in his mom’s basement you never heard of.” Damn, I lost that too!  Donkey Teeth offered me Rhys Hoskins, Madison Bumgarner or Bieber and I jumped at the lattest (totally a word), because Bieber’s peripherals are gorge — 11.2 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.19 xFIP. Bieber was a preseason sleeper of mine, and he is essentially a top ten pitcher. So, put that in your natch and natch it!  Too bad I own him in one less league as of yesterday.  Me!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Who would’ve thought little D.J. LeMahieu would be the best free agent signing of the past decade? Yeah, I said it! Mainly because I have an awful memory and suffer from extreme recency bias! He’s definitely the best signing of this preseason though. He’s 3 HRs away from setting a new career-high, already has a new career-high in RBI and is again leading his league in batting average as he did with the Rockies in 2016. His disappointing, injury-plagued 2018 caused his stock to dip a bit, but Brian Cashman is looking like a genius again for this signing. And oh yea, not that it matters to us, but he’s playing Gold Glove defense again at both 2B and 3B. Does defense matter to you? Do you use any defensive stats in any of your leagues?

Please, blog, may I have some more?