Please see our player page for Yuli Gurriel 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’m not sure what has gotten into general managers, but they are making trades like it is the midseason deadline and free agents are already coming off the board.

This action has me so excited, I can’t wait to get into this week’s 2023 Top Keepers – First Basemen edition.

What Kind of First Baseman Do You Want?

Today’s first basemen are all over the board. Some fall into the category of the traditional first baseman – the dudes who hit with power but didn’t do too much more at the plate. You also have your high average, high OBP first basemen who didn’t hit for a lot of power. And there are the few that do it all – or at least get close to doing it all.

Then you have your utility first basemen. Today’s game features plenty of first basemen who also play two to three other positions. We have second baseman who are playing first, or first basemen playing in the outfield or third base.

Because of this versatility, the position is no longer the home of just sluggers. You have to pick a first baseman to keep who best fills your specific needs because the complete first baseman – a run producing power hitter who hits for average and gets on base, are a rare breed.

So let’s dive in and get to the rankings.

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Just like last week, I’m going to change up the traditional Corner Infield Mashup and give you my fantasy highs and lows for 2023.  In the last edition, we discussed several hot corner names to chase and avoid in 2023.  Today, we’ll do the same for the other hot corner. Just like before, I’m going […]

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Rocco Baldelli asked to see James Karinchak’s hair this past weekend to see if he had any foreign substance in there, to see if he was cheating, and I said, in my head, “Karinchak is getting a call from the manager, so that makes Baldelli a Karencheck,” and now Karencheck pulled Joe Ryan (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.83) from a no-hitter in the 7th with 106 pitches thrown. Karencheck! You wanna make new rules, MLB? (By the way, in the video at top of this post, it’s this week’s podcast, where BDon and I discuss the new rules — it’s about 10 minutes in.) How about this new rule, no matter what, if the player is healthy, they have to pitch if there’s a no hitter? Make that a rule, you sissies! *puts chew in bottom lip, accidentally swallows chew, vomits up chew and vomit spells out “THAT’S WHAT REAL MEN DO”* My vomit is calling you out, Karencheck! Joe Ryan’s peripherals are 9.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 4.40 xFIP and a hilariously terrible ground ball rate (26.6%), so he’s very susceptible to homers, and that burned him at times this year. How’sever, Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy, I’m still a believer, as long as he doesn’t show up at camp with a dead arm (lots of IP this year). He’s a rookie, who had excellent command in the minors, and hasn’t scratched that surface yet. Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy will be an ace or need to be shutdown in the spring with arm issues. Roll that dice, you momma’s boys, and don’t make me spell out things in my vomit anymore! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, the Nats’ GM Rizzo put his feet up on his desk, rolled up a million dollar bill and used it to lit a cigar filled with million dollar bills, saying, “And that’s why I gave Patrick Corbin $140 million eight years after his prime.” Patrick Corbin went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 6.06. You can think to yourself, “Damn, I should’ve streamed Patrick Corbin yesterday because the Streamonator loved it,” but I’d prefer to think, “I ain’t ever starting a pitcher with a 6+ ERA.” His last three years of ERAs are…I’d ask for a drum roll, but they deserve a sad trombone…4.66, 5.82, 6.06. If we were in Bizarro World, you’d be collecting your crown from America’s Next Top Model and Patrick Corbin would be an ace. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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*wavy lines* Hey, what’s up, it’s back in March! This is awesome! I did a time travel! No, I don’t want to sell my crypto while it’s still at an all-time high! No, I don’t want to bet on Aaron Judge winning the MVP! I wanna draft Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin and avoid Julio Urias and Walker Buehler. And draft Anderson and Gonsolin in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, just to freak everyone out! *Wavy lines* That was the best dream sequence ever. Surprised Dave Roberts didn’t bring in Clayton Kershaw to finish off the no-hitter. It was, after all, a gazillion pitches thrown by Tyler Anderson (8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.82). Towards the end, it seemed like he wanted the Angels to get a hit just to end his night. I got goose pimples for Tyler, since he could no longer feel his arms. I’m not casting aspersions on Anderson and Gonsolin but I think they both lost the same amount of weight in the preseason. 21 grams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

Who knew the most emblematic song about MJ would’ve been Smooth Criminal? Or going from Pretty Young Thing to Beat It. Or Bad. Jeez, now that I think about it, a lot of Michael Jackson songs become Creep City. Would’ve been hilarious if he named Neverland, “Creep City.” Not haha funny, but more like, “Hey, lots of red flags here, guys, maybe we should investigate?” Speaking of investigating, MJ Melendez (how about that segue?) sounds like a 90s tabloid reporter who would’ve been invited to Neverland to “take a look around” while the help hide children in closets, waiting for Michael. Speaking of segues, I took a Segway tour through Beverly Hills and we stopped at the former Menendez Brothers’ house and the people who now live there just looked at us with disgust. Was pretty cool. Any hoo! Sal Perez is the type to play through all kinds of shizz, so that he was IL’d means he must’ve truly been hurt. MJ Melendez was also up with the club even before the Sal P. IL stint, so the Royals seem committed to him. We don’t care about catchers usually, but Melendez could be a 17-homer, .250 catcher this year with even some steals thrown in. Him or Adley? If both were up, I don’t think Adley’s necessarily the better choice for this year. The guy who is up right now is the easy call. A-B-C, as easy as 1-2-3, for the King of Pop Times. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Kyle Tucker (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homer) has three asses, because he’s — count them with me now — an unassuming assassin.

That photo of him brings me so much joy. He’s like, “I’m on your fantasy team? Okay, cool.” He looks like he just let out a fart, and only he knows it. Using one of his three asses, I presume. This Kyle Tucker assault was brought to you initially by Nathan Eovaldi (1 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.32) as he gave up five homers, all in the 2nd inning. Apparently, Manfred tried to work the 2019 ball back into circulation. Also, in this game, not simply Eovaldi — Nothan? Novaldi? Meh, maybe now’s not the time for portmanteaus — Yordan Alvarez (2-for-4, 3 runs) hit his 12th homer. Captain Woo Cubano gonna star in Dongs Just Wanna Have Fun; Yuli Gurriel (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 3rd, and 3rd homer in the last five days for the smoldering schmotato; Jeremy Pena (2-for-5) hit his 7th for a nice welcome-back-old-friend to the lineup and to the New England area (he’s from Are-Eye); Michael Brantley (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 3rd homer, and I just thought of something, everyone on the Astros is better than that former Astros player Carlos Correa. Bummer for him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“This is 911, what’s your emergency?”
“I need a defibrillator!”
“Someone’s having a heart attack?”
“No, it’s for the dead ball.”
“Please stop calling, sir.”

Tarik Skubal was a victim of being sneezed on by Matthew Boyd, and used to give up a homer just about every three pitches, but no longer. It might not just be the dead-ball, Skubal was a top pitching prospect a mere three years ago. That timing tracks. Usually it’s three years in the majors, and a rookie pitcher becomes what we expect from him. A rookie pitching prospect has moments his rookie year, then he has more moments his 2nd year, then his third year it’s all moments. Tarik Skubal (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.50) is currently living in the moment. 94 MPH fastball, 89 MPH slider, 76 MPH curve and 84 MPH change, each used liberally. Not relying on the fastball as he had in the past, even though you wouldn’t blame someone with a 70-grade fastball. There might be something to his success and the homers allowed thing, but the ball doesn’t seem like it’s being resuscitated any time soon, so Skubal can absolutely maintain his newfound success. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Closer and Closer we can see the light beaming ever so strongly as we make our way to the start of our baseball journey. April Day baseball          will be upon us soon, DFS lineups to pour over, lineup decisions hmmm do I start Jace Peterson or Josh Harrison this week can’t wait right? Man I’ve never been so interested in the Chicago weather when I wake up than I do from April-Sept. Well we all love it and that’s why you are here. Here’s the deal, Today I’m ranking the 1b top 25, not a whole lot has changed from last week but a few players have some recent news so let’s get after it.

TOP DOGS

  1. Vlad Guerrero Blue Jays

2. Freddie Freeman Dodgers

3. Matt Olson Braves

4. Pete Alonso NY Mets

5. Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis Cardinals

Not much change here as you know what these guys are all about. Some drafters like Goldy over Alonso but I’m sticking with my man Petey         here in a revamped Mets lineup that I think gives him some more opportunity to drive in runs. Olson could eventually surpass Freddie but it       might not happen until next season.

SOLID PROS

6. Jose Abreu Chicago White Sox

7. Jared Walsh Los Angeles Angels

Walsh contributes in all categories except for steals and came within one HR and 2 RBI of 30/100 along with a .277 BA. Sounds like Jose             Abreu only you can get him a couple of rounds later and I think there still is another level Walsh can reach.

8. C. J. Cron Rockies

9. Joey Votto Reds

10. Josh Bell Nationals

All solid options here, The players here have a safe floor, nobody is threatening their playing time and all have good lineups around them.

  STUCK IN MIDDLE

11. Ty France Mariners

Excellent contact skills and will provide a boost to a category that has razor thin margins which could separate you from winning your                  league or not. Doesn’t have as much power as some of the others above but is hitting 4th in an interesting lineup in Seattle and is a very                useful fantasy player.

12. Rhys Hoskins Phillies

13. Max Muncy Dodgers

Muncy made his spring debut yesterday and walked and scored a run in two plate appearances. All concerns look to be alleviated for the               moment as he will be the Dodgers primary DH this season. Still looks like a very solid 1B/2B player with a possibility at 3B sometime during       the season as well. Looks like the drafters that took a chance on him at the beginning of the draft season are looking at him as a bargain.

14. Luke Voit Padres

Perfect fit for the Padres and will hit in the middle of that lineup. Wasn’t it just one year ago we were drafting him at pick 150 after leading          the league in 2020. I don’t think the skills have diminshed as he was hurt for most of the season last year which obviously factored in his sub      optimal 2021 season. He’s going to be one of the fastest risers in drafts at this position.

15. Johnathan Schoop Tigers

I know it’s been 4 years since Schoop went 30/100 with a .293 AVG playing in Baltimore but the Tigers are a sneaky team this season and           have a decent lineup. There will be plenty of runs scored in Tigers games this season and Schoop has still got the pop and is going to                     contribute in 4 categories.

16. Anthony Rizzo Yankees

17. Yuli Gurriel  Astros

Solid Vets here with room for more than what you paid for them on draft day. Some injury concerns here but worth the risk imo.

HAZY FUTURE

18. Ryan Mountcastle Orioles

Seems like he’s locked in at 1B for the O’s so maybe the stability will ease his mind and he can be more relaxed at the plate. To be determined     how the ballpark changes anything so he’s down on the list a bit for now and the Orioles are going to be pretty bad once again so the                       expectations have to be muted somewhat.

19. Alex Kirilloff Twins

20. Bobby Dalbec  Red Sox

We all know about the huge strikeout issue with Dalbec (career 35.8%). Dalbec lowered it to 28.8 % after August 1 last season and the barrel        rate was elite so you have to pick your poison. Is it a fatal flaw you can’t get over or are you willing to take that chance at his ADP?

21. Tyler Stephenson Reds

22. Spencer Torkelson Tigers

Avila said they won’t manipulate service time but who knows what spin the Tigers will put on it if Tork and Greene don’t start the season in        the majors. Torkelson is ready and he’s going to make it painfully obvious to everyone he belongs in the majors. I really like the kid and this        Tiger team. I think he vaults up into the teens sooner than later.

23. Trey Mancini Orioles

24. Miguel Sano Twins

25. Brandon Belt Giants

A mix of vets and young guns here as all have a clear path for playing time and have shown in past they are worthy of a starting Major League job. Good corner IF guys here for your team with the youngsters having more of a ceiling and the vets a strong floor.

Back with the 3B rankings next week thanks for reading and have a great drafting week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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