On our Steamer Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which have been updated to a 60-game season, we have 1,310 players ranked. 645 of them gained value. Some, for unstints, gained $0.1 of value like Juan Soto. Another hundred had zero value change like Christian Yelich. Another 600+ lost value. I’ll go over those guys in another post. This post will feature the top 20 players who gained the most value from doing nothing but bingeing Netflix for the last three months. Who knew watching Joe Exotic would add more value than any Driveline drills? Apparently, all baseball players need to know is, “Who is dumpster diving at your nearest Costco?” Anyway, here’s the top 20 biggest positive value changes for fantasy baseball pre vs. post-shutdown:

1. Austin Riley – $15 of extra value. Quick bit of obviousness. The money I’m quoting doesn’t mean, say, Austin Riley is now worth $15, which is the same as, say, Marcus Semien. He gained $15, but Riley is actually worth $3.40 and $6.20/game and ranked 214th overall. He was worth a negative prior to the shutdown, and gained $15. Clear? Prolly not, but moving on. Bless you and your NL DH, you crackpot season! Seeing some places report Nick Markakis as the Braves’ DH, Johan Camargo as their 3rd baseman and Ender Inciarte as an everyday outfielder, to which I say, nice try, liars! Or maybe they’re not liars, but an extra spot in the lineup adds an extra 250-ish at-bats and those have to go somewhere. “With extra room comes extra value,” as Spider-Man said when he briefly started a fantasy sports blog. I’m all hail-ing the universal DH, and Austin Riley should too, it will give him near-everyday at-bats somewhere in the lineup, and make him a mixed league target. (This is different than a Universal DH, which is person you pay to stand in line at Universal’s The Mummy Ride.) Also, here’s my Austin Riley sleeper.

2. Ryan Mountcastle – $14.40. This is assuming, of course, the Orioles do the right thing (RIP Radio Raheem) and add Mountcastle to their roster. C’mon, Orioles, it’s no surprise to see Mountcastle gaining so much value here after three months of Netflix, since he sounds like a British crime drama. “Mountcastle, you need to go see the gaffer about this new case. It’s a missing child who was abducted by a side character who is in the entire series tangentially for no reason that no one suspects. Say the neighbor who is a teacher at an all boy’s school.” That’s the 1st episode of Mountcastle on BBC, the Baltimore Baseball Club! Also, with Mancini going down, Mountcastle’s spot opened; now someone tell the O’s. I’ve been raving about Ryan Mountcastle since last year. Or rather, the raves are in, he’s a smash!

3. Nick Madrigal – $12.20. With the delay came promise of Madrigal’s sweet siren voice of steals and batting average. As I’ve been saying (here’s my Nick Madrigal sleeper), with a shortened season, it would take some serious crackers in the White Sox’s collective head to not start Madrigal out of the gate, since every game is critical.

4. Brendan McKay – $10.70. Still not running out to roster him. I’m sorry. I get the appeal now. With a shortened season, any pitchers throwing 2nd thru 6th inning one game a week, actually get a boost, because, unlike mediocre starters, they’ll be in during the key moments of a game for a Win. There’s just safer names for this. See below for Yarbrough, and my milkshakes bringing all the boys to him.

5. Alex Verdugo – $7.50. One brief note, Yasiel Puig actually gained more than Verdugo, but I didn’t list him, because…Has anyone signed him yet? So, Verdugo took one of the stranger trips through the preseason, having his value change about nine times in ten months. Dodgers’ 4th outfielder? No thank you! Red Sox leadoff hitter? Yes, thank you! Injured back? No thank you! Injured back that has ten months to heal? Yes, thank you! Verdugo’s value has done so many 180s it could a world class figure skater. “Wow, the Russian judge gave Verdugo’s value a 5.4, sinking its chances for gold.”

6. Nate Pearson – $7.00. Check out my Nate Pearson sleeper. It was written while pontificating on a corner while dressed as a sandwich.

7. Michael Kopech – $4.30. Big drop-off between value changes on Pearson and Kopech. Yes, and no. I skipped a few names in-between like Justin Dunn — he’s still ranked 500th overall, so value change or not, who cares — and others who are just as irrelevant. Later in the list, I skip some guys who are also irrelevant, due to how high they’re ranked anyway. For unstints, Shane Bieber gained value, but so what? As for Kopech, he’s still ranked around 340th overall, so he’s pretty borderline even in deeper mixed leagues. It might come down to how long until the White Sox cease Cease or no longer Roll-out-naldo.

8. Jarred Kelenic – $3.50. Nearly skipped mentioning Kelenic, because, while he might be on a taxi squad, the M’s are turning to him? I have doubts — sorry, Gwen Stefani.

9. Jo Adell – $3.30. Not since Christopher Lloyd was added as a series regular in the 2nd season have I cared so much about taxi squads. Jo Adell as AL Rookie of the Year. Get the chants started now in those empty stadiums! Also, my Jo Adell sleeper.

10. Giancarlo Stanton – $3.10. Mi novio, my amore, the father of my beautiful daughter, Giancarla. I love you, let me count the ways. The first way–damn, I just felt my oblique go. Might be sympathy pains.

11. Dustin May – $3.10. If you said to me you were a time traveler and you came from the future to tell me Dustin May threw as many innings as Kershaw this year, I’d say, “Cool, and how far from the future are you coming because you don’t have on a mask?” Pitching is going to be a bleepin’ mess this year. Quality over quantity, one person said. Another person said, quantity over quality. A third said, “What does quantity mean?” No one knows. My best guess is it will be similar to other years. Good pitchers will be good, and many will still get injured. Next-to-no spring training games is going to hurt starters, good or bad ones. It will be a shizzshow.

12. Jose Urquidy – $2.50. Kinda samesies with Dustin May. My t-shirt reads on the front, “I didn’t say you’re a cutie.” On the back, “I said Urquidy.” Any hoo, my starters to target featured Urquidy, because he sounds like a compliment and he makes me swoon.

13. Carter Kieboom – $2.20. In a shortened season, Kieboom goes the dynamite on his fantasy value! Skyrocket that shizz to the moon, baby! Yeah! *looks at Steamer projections for him* 6 HRs, 2 SBs and…okay, it’s 60 games tho, right? I mean, that’s okay, isn’t it? No? Hmm…Well, he got better!

14. Jesus Luzardo – $2.10. Podcaster Ralph and I were discussing this on text the other day. There’s gonna be a lot of Middlers this year. Or Openers who throw three to four innings. The A’s aren’t gonna be like, “Cool, we only have 60 games, let’s throw Luzardo for 8 IP every start for 12 starts. I have him projected for 39 IP. Steamer pitcher projections have Luzardo at 50 IP. That’s a decent difference in only a 60-game season, so I might be a tad too low. My thoughts on it are the A’s have Puk, Bassitt, Blackburn and others who are going to see some innings, and the definition of ‘some’ might vary there too. Luzardo won’t see a full-time run of innings just because now a “full-time run of innings” is only 75 IP.

15. Lance McCullers – $1.90. Was super out on McCullers during Spring Training 1.0, which I’m being told was this year. “Hello, Quote-A-Day Calendar Maker, when was March? How many months ago? No, that can’t be right, and I don’t want a Gandhi quote. Have a nice day, you big dummy.” McCullers is still less than an ideal guy for me, but I could see rostering him. I still think there’s issues with thinking he can just throw a full 60-game season, and won’t be babied. I have him ranked around 190 overall, and Steamer auction values have him at 151. A mighty nice rum, but too much for me.

16. Ryan Yarbrough – $1.80. One quick moment of honesty, Yarbrough has about ten guys between him and McCullers as gaining value, but there’s a ton of irrelevant ones. Dallas Keuchel went from $2.60 to 4.50? Meh, whatever. Any hoo! I loved Yarbrough enough to write a sleeper post about him in January (which I actually wrote in, like, November), and I still like him. He’s going to see a lot of 2nd thru 6th inning starts and be in-line for wins.

17. Hunter Renfroe – $1.70. I let out a little laugh when I saw Steamer’s projections for Renfroe:  15/10/18/.231/1 in 175 ABs. And that’s good! Projections for this season are so goofy.

18. Rougned Odor – $1.60. Kanye West’s song, Ghost Town, was playing while I was writing this up and, really, doesn’t that say everything for Odor? Draft Odor is the manifestation of, “I put my hand on the stove, to see if I still bleed and nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free.” Also, here’s my 60-game season Rougned Odor sleeper.

19. James Paxton – $1.60. It’s no surprise to see Paxton gain value, since he already got his one injury per year out of the way. Paxton usually has the best 60-game stretch of any pitcher in baseball once a year. I’m not joking; he could win the AL Cy Young in 60 games.

20. Matt Shoemaker – $1.50. The Cobbler is actually in a great position to help this year. Think about it. Who’s great over about 50 IP? Check! Who’s got two garbage pitchers in front of him in Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark? Check, check! Where does a Brit say he’s at when in Prague? Czech, mate!

21. Hansel Robles – $1.40. Wanted to drop in one more, because I didn’t get to mention this above. Closers that teams can Ron Popeil and set ’em and forget ’em are going to have more value, and middle men with no role are going to be reduced to the value of Nadir Bupkis. Well, losing value is for the next post.

 
  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!!

    Awesome positive value report! Keep ’em comin’!

    a. So, any news? When do players have to report to ST? Will you be monitoring ST 2020 any differently from previous years?

    b. MLB quote of the day for June 30, 1995

    ‘I don’t get excited talking about myself. Guys such as Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio and Steve Carlton did not interview, and it was no big deal. They were quiet. I am also quiet. I just want to concentrate on baseball. Why does everyone want to hear me talk, anyway?’

    Albert Jojuan Belle, aka Joey Belle until 1990. First player to earn 10M and hit 50 doubles and 50 HRs in the same he was also a class-act jerk!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      A. July 1st is report day — Yeah, I think you have to watch Summer Camp, but there’s not going to be hardly any games

      B. Haha

  2. Dave D says:
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    Good shizznit, Grey. If I draft another team to make up for my four evaporated NFBC teams, Ill try and scavenge a couple shares of Verdugo again. Renfroe is so hot and cold that hes worth drafting and holding for hot streak. He could be top 80 if one of his streaks lasts a few weeks in a 60 gamer.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      Yup, Renfroe is the type who could lead majors in HRs in 60 games

      • Nick says:
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        Renfroe over Kris Davis?

        LOL

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    This is great, thanks! Where does Hillaird fall for you with Desmond opting out? Of course, literally swapped out Hilliard In my weekly league yesterday (at least it was for Riley).

    • zombie says:
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      Could very well be Tapia. Less thrilling. But still notable. Both lefties don’t help. Tough call. 60 games won’t allow it to shake out. & never underestimate Bud Black to do what Bud Black do.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Prolly opens some ABs for Tapia/Hilliard tho too

    • NUX says:
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      Unfortch, Matt Kemp just signed, Rox gonna Rox

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Would you be surprised to hear the Rockies signed Matt Kemp?

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        Thought this was a joke, alas they actually freaking did it lol!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Hilarious, right?

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            Here I thought for 12 glorious hours that McMahon and maybe Hilliard would play everyday.

              • Player X says:
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                Rockies gonna rockies fml

  4. Cram It says:
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    There’s no date set for the ‘Perts league draft yet, correct?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nope, no date yet…Truss should be along shortly, can ask him

      • Cram It says:
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        All good, I suppose I’ll get some sort of email notification. Or I’ll just keep pestering him.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Guessing we’ll figure it out soon…Season starts 23rd, I’d guess around 20th

  5. RicoSuave says:
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    Great stuff Grey!

  6. The cubs plan to bat Bryant lead off this season. How much does that improve his value in 60 game season

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It doesn’t increase his value, it just makes him more of a runs guy vs. an RBIs guy

  7. Robert J Schroeder says:
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    What about Ohtani? Figured he would be helped as a SP by the shortened season no?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s on the list of guys who lost value

  8. NUX says:
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    THIS NEEDS JUST 1 MORE! Let’s go!!!!! Draft before the season is cancelled again :)

    A copy/paste from my yesterday’s comment:

    $10 to play

    NFBC doesn’t appear to work in all 50 states or overseas. So if you have an issue joining, it may be that.

    A few things to point out about this type of league:

    Starting Lineups as follows:
    1 Catcher
    1 1B
    1 2B
    1 3B
    1 SS
    2 OF
    1 UTIL
    4 Pitchers

    Yes you read that correct, only 2 OF and 4 OF start in your weekly bestball lineup. There are 12 starting slots and 32 rounds in the draft, so you’re drafting 20 bench slots.

    You don’t select your lineup, you draft and then your done. Optimized lineups run by NFBC does the rest of the work.

    The points/scoring can be found within the league page.

    Payout:
    $75 to 1st
    $20 to 2nd
    $10 NFBC Credit to 3rd

    When this league fills today, the draft will start. There is a 2 Hour clock on picks until the last round or two, then its a 1 hour clock.

    https://bestball10s.shgn.com/signup/baseball?for=0;399,70,2972,7200&private_code=80c03s

    Password: Bobby

      • NUX says:
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        This gonna start any minute, we found a guy

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          What draft pick do I have?

          • NUX says:
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            7

            Knoche has #1 again. I feel like that’s everytime…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Let’s get this cheddar

  9. Will says:
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    I keep hearing the Puig to the Giants rumors. Makes sense looking at their weak outfield. But maybe Puig is still asking too much.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Honestly, I’m not sure if I were a team I’d sign Puig for what he should get — It’s 60 games, what do the Giants gain with Puig?

      • Will says:
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        He’s got to be better than the woeful trio of Alex Dickerson, Billy Hamilton and Mike Yastrzemski.

        Puig .269, 9, 29, 5
        Dickerson .268, 4, 20, 1
        Yastremzski .254, 9, 27, 1

        But when I looked at your projections I guess I see the cost / benefit point you’re making. If your numbers are right they don’t gain much at all with Puig.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, simple as $5 million (prorated) for an extra 3 wins so you can finish dead last? Meh

  10. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Thoughts on Madrigal v Didi given likely lineup placement and Madrigal likely making the opening day roster?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Kinda leaning Madrigal for that juicy upside

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        Thanks!

  11. sideshow says:
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    Aaron Hicks? Michael Fulmer?

  12. swaggerjackers says:
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    Kinda surprised Wil Myers didn’t get any love in this post. Seems like a good bet for everyday at bats now and we’ve seen the HR and SB upside before.

    Roster Resource has him penciled into the 5 spot.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Myers gained $0.20 in value, going from -1.3 to -1.1 — he just wasn’t good to begin with

  13. Luzardo, Pearson, Urquidy and Paxton likely pitch well and agree Giancarla looking better.
    Hope is there for Riles & Madrigal, but only for a moment on Hilliard.
    Thanks pal, great stuff! Have a great day

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes, love Austin Riley and Madrigal…

      You too!

  14. Dave D says:
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    And Matt Kemp is instantly intriguing…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      More so, at least… I think, sadly, Rockies shituation is just a mess of PT and Kemp is added into the mix

    • Mile high DH Double D!

        • Dave D says:
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          Pretty much

  15. omarlittle says:
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    10 team Weekly H2H 6×5 (standard + OPS)

    Better IF bench bat: Yuli Gurriel or Howie Kendrick?

  16. yuck says:
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    Took a late round flier on Brandon Rodgers. You guys are making me feel so good about betting anything more than my mother in law on the rox. So, thx.

  17. Cram It says:
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    ‘stache test

      • Cram It says:
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        *thumbs up emoji*

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Can’t believe the absolute fire you came with this new pic…Yo, this a GQ message board?

          • Cram It says:
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            I left my suits in storage.

            I tried going straight ‘stache pic, but it wasn’t coming out right. Maybe when it curls up to my nostrils.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              HAHA, “when it curls up to my nostrils” — you are GQ!

  18. Play Ball says:
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    Someone offered me Bregman for Baez. Leaning towards rejecting it. Bregman is a slow starter and worry about him getting hot over a short season. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d take Bregman, but it’s close, and if you’re not feeling it, hold

      • Play Ball says:
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        I also thought about Baez providing some SB. Bregman doesn’t run anymore.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s fair, I like Baez, but have Bregman above him in rankings

  19. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Hey grey,

    I have a trade offer on the table

    I give up Kyle Schwarber ($20), and Jurickson Profar ($6)
    I get Miles Mikolas ($34) and $6 in salary

    Would you make that deal?

    • Scott Kimmel says:
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      offer 2

      I give up: Schwarber ($20) for Mikolas ($34) and $10 in salary?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        These are terrible deals

  20. Tyler says:
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    I have McMahon as my MI and could use the help in steals ( have Lindor, Albies, Soto, Springer). Just dropped Civale for Teoscar, who is my only bench bat,when I saw his second half HR/FB and Hard Hit rate.

    I would have to drop a pitcher for Madrigal.
    I have Josh James, Keller or A Wood. Really having a tough time wanting to drop any of them.

  21. Corey says:
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    9 year H2H (one-win) 10 team keeper league debating whether or not we should switch to roto for this season only. I’d hate to lose Sunday scoreboard watching, or to have someone run away with the season as is prone to happen in roto, but there are concerns about fairness since not every team will face each other.

    What’s the conventional wisdom on this? I’d settle for Razzventional.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think you have to go to roto this year…H2H doesn’t really work in 60 games

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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      h2h leagues’ll have 9 max matchup weeks, if you have more than 4 teams in playoffs that’s 3 weeks for playoffs out of those 9, only 6 season matchup weeks. up to you want you want to do, roto or h2h this year at all, almost all of my h2h are voting on roto vs h2h for this year.

  22. Rick Brown says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Have Puig on a couple teams.Do you think there’s a chance he signs? I know baseball is still a month away but there should’ve been word by now.
    RICK

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I highly doubt it, but we’ll know soon if he’s going to

  23. DonnieB says:
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    Would you drop McCutchen for Austin Riley? Peralta for Pearson? D. May for M Gore?

    Thanks!

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