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Not your Grandfathers Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

Grandpa-Donk handled a lot of wood back in his day, if you know what I’m saying. Not that kind of wood! Alright, maybe that kind of wood, it was the 60’s and from what I understand the donkey world was pretty open-minded back then. But the way G-Donk tells it, his hobby of woodworking accounted for the majority of his wood handling back in the day. The old donk enjoyed taking very rough pieces of phallic shaped lumber and smoothing them out into much less rough pieces of phallic shaped lumber. Because it was such intensive and sweaty work, he typically handled the wood shirtless with help from his completely platonic friend Jimmy.

I always think of these stories of my gramps and his very heterosexual buddy handling that rough wood together when I hear the name of my lede for this week’s top 100: Brandon Woodruff. Brandon had a rough start to his 2019 campaign himself, but has begun to mold his season into a masterpiece that would make even Grandpa-Donk and sweaty Jimmy proud. After a seemingly unlucky April, Woodruff has been silky smooth since the calendar turned to May, sporting a 1.55 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP with 29 strikeouts across 25 innings. Impressively, 11 of those innings came in his home hitter haven Miller Park against the Mets and Nationals, while the other 14 innings were tossed in scary road starts against potent Philadelphia and Atlanta squads! I don’t think he’s a sub 2.00 ERA pitcher, but this dude is smoothing out penis-shaped timber with the best of them at the moment. Woodruff has thrust himself a full 30 spots higher in my rankings this week, all the way up to #42.

Here are a few other guys who have been smoothing and thrusting lately…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Indians called up Oscar Mercado, after a hilarious bit where they phoned their Triple-A team and asked to speak to Oscar and they were met with, “The Oscar Mercado called and said they’re out of you!”  The Indians have now cornered the mercado on Oscars like Meryl Streep.  Mercado has speed to burn. He is so fast he just ran into your room, mussed your hair and ran back out before you even had a chance to flinch, which is great because you’re secretly being filmed for the new Netflix game show, Flinch.  Mercado had one season in the minors with 50 steals.  I just became aroused like Lorenzo Lamas after he sees himself in the mirror.  Prospect Mike said of him, “Mercado came to Cleveland from St. Louis at last year’s trade deadline in a move that probably slipped under everybody’s radar. He had a crazy good season in Triple-A though, hitting .278 with eight homers and 37 steals.  Caveat:  Grey is dumb.”  What?  That’s not a caveat. I grabbed Mercado in a few leagues, because I could use steals, and, brucely, who doesn’t need steals?  Not to answer, but bat your eyelashes and look pretty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While B_Don is off taking care of “family business” in Puerto Rico, Grey swoops in to steal the one and only Fantasy Sausage Show about baseball. As usual, nobody has any idea whether or not the show is actually recording.

After 10 minutes of standard Grey Albright nonsense, Donkey Teeth and the Fantasy Master Lothario dig into Donkey’s most recent Top 100 Starting Pitchers post. The guys take a closer look a Hyun-Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, Chris Sale, Martin Perez, Lucas Giolito, Griffin Canning, Clayton Kershaw, and Joey Bag O Butts Lucchesi. Grey also admits he may have been mistaken about Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner, while Donkey Teeth makes yet another case for Yusei Kikuchi.

The show is rounded out with a comparison of two of Grey’s early season offensive darlings: Hunter Dozier and Christian Walker. Find out what to expect from these two young bats moving forward and where they might be drafted if fantasy drafts were taking place today. Enjoy this special Grey Albright Sausage episode while supplies last!
Please, blog, may I have some more?

Doe, a deer, a female deer that sounds like Chaz Roe.  Ray, a drop of eleven Rays!  Me, a name I call myself while looking in the mirror to check on my hair–Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you come in.  I was just singing a little song I call, “Julie Andrews is One Hot Cougar.”  Yesterday, Robbie Ray did the impossible.  No, not strike out 11 Rays hitters.  I mean, yes, he did that.  But that’s not what I found impossible.  I find it impossible to like him, and yesterday he made me smile a little.  Sure, this ‘impossible task’ is a bit subjective, but get out of your own head, it’s all subjective!  Life’s subjective!  Wow, I just became an angry philosopher.  Call me Socrankies.  Robbie Ray’s line yesterday 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (3 BBs), 11 Ks is almost exactly him to a T.  He is a 4.7 BB/9 guy and that was his BB/9 yesterday in under six innings.  He can’t go deep because of the walks, and his Ks are gorge, but also limit his IP.  I don’t hate him as much as it might seem.  I don’t own him, but I can understand the allure.  I “allurve” Ks.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Chavis continued to do nothing but hit Friday night going 2-for-4 with his fourth home run, a 459 foot 2-run shot (woh) off Reynaldo Lopez. Someone put a distress beacon on that ball so maybe Captain Marvel can find it in space!? Chavis is now slashing a real pretty .310/.442/.619 with four homers and two steals in just 42 at bats (13 games). Extrapolate that! If he started the season with the team he’d be the their home leader! I’m trying to figure out why he’s not owned in more leagues. Is it because he doesn’t have a sexy name like Skye Bolt or Carter Kieboom. Or maybe we haven’t done our due diligence as irritating members of Red Sox Nation to over hype this guy until you’re sick of hearing about him. Well, get ready to hear me gush about my newest BoSox heart throb because Chavis has done everything since arriving with Boston including five multi-hit games in his past 10. He’s famous around the clubhouse for the studious notes he takes after every at bat. Whaddaya think you’re some kinda smaht guy Hahvad boy? How do you like dem apples! Err, ok, wrong school but the reference still works. Did I mention the kid bats in the middle of a lineup that features Xander, JD and Mookie. Those are very good players we all know and love on a first name basis. Any hesitation most likely stems from the inevitable return of Eduardo Nunez and Dustin Pedroia (L out L) stealing his playing time, but I trust Alex Cora to play the young guys when the time comes. He was a BUY and needs to be owned wherever he’s available, Dustin and Eduardo don’t hit moon shots like that, folks. It’s time to join the Michael Chavis fan club.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Have you not heard yet? The hottest goss (I promise no Avengers spoilers) is that the Los Angeles Angels will call up top prospect slash future OC-heartthrob Griffin Canning to start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. What a Friday for the rooks! We got Vlad, Kieboom, and Rengifo all in one night, and now Griffin Canning. It’s almost like a symbolic passing of the torch with all these young guys arriving this week. New replacing old, etc. And no, that was not an Endgame spoiler. Leave me alone, nerds! I haven’t even seen it yet you bought all the tickets! Normally, I’d save the prospect posts for Mike or Grey, but I don’t want you dear readers and even dearer web crawling robots missing out on another sexy call up this weekend. So let’s talk about Griffin Canning. Sounds like a very dangerous game or the new coolest extreme sport they might play at Hogwarts. Griffin’s got a 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 17/2 K/BB ratio through his first three starts at AAA Salt Lake Bees (bzzz), which to be fair, looks a whole lot better than anything the Angels starters have been doing over the past four weeks. Canning features four solid pitches including his mid-90s fastball and a real nasty curve. His past struggles have all been related to his command but he’s thrown 66% of his pitches for strikes so far this year and the 3.3 BB% indicates he may have figured things out. Griffin doesn’t necessarily profile as an top end ace, but he could be a solid back of the rotation starter and help your fantasy team immediately. Rookie pitchers may be my kryptonite (not a spoiler), but what are you waiting for? The prospect sweepstakes has begun and Griffin Canning is worth a flier in all leagues. The Angels think he’s got the stuff to help them win right now and methinks he could do the same for you.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not Your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

Back when I was just a young Jack, Grandpa-Donk would regale all us little Donks with tales of his extensive world travels. The old donk especially enjoyed visiting Mexico. On his first venture down south of the border, gramps experienced the full wrath of Montezuma’s Revenge. His exact words, “Coming out both ends for days”. But somehow, after that maiden voyage to the other side of the Rio Grande, G-Donk never again suffered the Hispanic Hershey Squirts.

This reminds me of the curious case of Francellis “Frankie” Montas. Last year Montas started 11 games from the end of May thru October. After posting three quality starts in his first three outings, Montaszuma’s Revenge hit abruptly, as Frankie managed only 2 quality starts over the course of his next eight outings. The Runs were plentiful, if you know what I’m saying.

This season Montas has come out with some solid logs. Game logs, I mean. Thru his first four 2019 starts, the one named Francellis has thrown 23 1/3 IP, boasting three quality starts, a 2.70 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, an increased K rate, decreased walk rate, and loads of fiber in his diet. One cause for optimism this go round, is the addition of a nasty splitter to his repertoire this year which opponents are batting a measly .143 against. The splitter complements an elite fastball which is up almost one full mile per hour from last season, now sitting at an average velocity of 96.6 mph, along with an above average slider. Mr. Montaszuma has also been getting ahead of hitters often in the early going with a lofty 63% first pitch strike rate. Make sure Montas isn’t available in your league, I can wait.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Tyler Glasnow like an Afrikaan miner threw a gem — 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 0.53.  Hey, I wrote a Tyler Glasnow sleeper this year, so I’m down with TG-AF — that’s Tyler Glasnow as f**k!  Yes, I’d love to mock the Pirates for trading him away.  However, I’m not sure how much we can’t discount how Ray Searage preaches contact and is a wet blanket on Ks-slash-some pitchers, i.e., Glasnow may never have been this pitcher on the Pirates.  Then throw-in Meadows into the trade, though?  I mean, what were the Pirates thinking?  “Argh, we’re dumb.”  Pirates should be cursing themselves, which would sound like, “Plankety plank plank!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you are reading this article, it’s a safe bet you follow Major League Baseball, and it’s also a safe bet you know about the plight of Chris Davis. So I don’t need to get into the details of how historically bad he’s been. What I do need to get into is something that anyone playing today’s slate must be aware of. Chris Davis is priced at $500. That’s right, $1500 below the standard minimum price. This has happened before, either by accident (Kike Hernandez was $220 one day a few years back) or due to FanDuel running a silly promotion (on Alex Rodriguez’s final game, they made him $660). This is the first time FanDuel has priced a player at this low a price simply as a strategic/gameplay decision. So, what do we do? Well, first, there’s the chance he is not in the lineup. If that’s the case, he’s not a play even though accepting a 0 for $500 can allow you to get an extra high end bat or two. The lack of a truly expensive pitcher, the lack of Coors Field bats (since they’re on the early slate, and that’s if they even play since Denver is apparently going to be completely destroyed by a bomb cyclone snowstorm this morning) means that you simply won’t need to take the automatic 0 if he’s not in the lineup. But what if he is in the lineup? Absent an unusual amount of quality value that isn’t tied to the underpricing of a player currently failing at an historically bad rate, I think he’s a lock. Simply put, he’s a snap play regardless of whether you think he is truly this bad (not -76 wRC+ bad, but pitcher level bad), or whether you believe it’s simply impossible for him to be this bad and he will likely recover to below replacement level, but better than a pitcher. Let’s start with the easier case after a quick word from our sponsor.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

After volunteering to have his first start of the season skipped last week (what a stand up guy!), Joe Musgrove opened his season with a seven inning gem, cruising through the Cinncinati Red Legs line up allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out eight for his first win of the year. Joe has always been a master with his control (just a 5% walk-rate in 2018 and he threw 18 first pitch strikes Friday night) but it’s them tasty strikeouts that make me go crazier than a shadow person in a Jordan Peele movie. The replicants have risen, and they’re here to steal all our best waiver wire acquisitions right before we’re about to click add. That’s why you have to grab Joe Musgrove while he’s still available in about 40% of fantasy leagues. Shadow Lupita Nyong’o would tell you Musgrove put up some of his best numbers down the stretch last year (August and September), when he started mixing in his off speed pitches more his strikeout rate increased as a result. She’s saying if he carries that mindset into this season he’s got all the tools to break out in a big way in 2019 and if Friday’s night performance was any indication (induced 17 swinging strikes) we’re about to see Pittsburgh’s prize from the Gerrit Cole trade finally pay off. Buy Joe Everything Musgrove!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?