Updates on Luis Severino, Ryan McMahon, Raul Mondesi, and more.
Hitter of the Day:Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 3-3, 3 R, 2 2B, BB, SB. Now, let’s not get too rowdy (see what I did there?) about the stolen base, but the extra-base power has been evident this year in his first extended look at full-season ball. Just 20, Telez has gotten himself in shape, and the power production has improved accordingly. The raw power is there, so it’s just a matter of translating it to in-game application.
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Finding value on a loaded day of high-level arms and price-conscious bats
After a couple of thin days in a row, the DFS gamer's cup runneth over with high-end pitching options today. There is a full stable of pitchers poised to wreak havoc today, a market dynamic that should spread out the ownership of those arms while infiltrating the decisions on the batter end of the player pool. There will be a lot of tough matchups for hitters to navigate in order to score their points today, and the pitching crop is so bountiful that one could setup four unique tandems of pitchers and roll those lineups into a GPP. There's a full slate of 15 games that start at 7:05 EST or later, so expect a heavy day on the DFS market.
Painting a table of how the season's expectations have changed.
Our lives are ruled by probabilities. All things are possible, and the varying degrees of possibility of various things govern everything from our decisions to our dispositions. Often, we’re too preoccupied by our preoccupations to look forward very far, but the truth is that few events in our lives sneak up on us. Conscious or subconscious, perceptions of the likelihood of important events inform our mood, our priorities and our choices.
Sports fandom is a unique sliver of life, though, in which those probabilities aren’t floating whispers in the background. We’re constantly reevaluating them, recalculating and recalibrating them. Even in baseball, the sport of the long season, we look for significance in every win and every loss. We try to gauge the impact of everything we see, not only in the context of the game or the series at hand, but in the big picture. That’s why spirited fans so often seem to agonize over every pitch: it affects our perception of our team’s chances in the long run, and that affects our sense of well-being about our entire investment in the team. The effect of those small things is minute, compared to what we perceive it to be, but baseball is bedeviling. It lures us into the sense of constant cataclysm that characterizes the NFL, even though the moments that really matter as much as the outcome of any given NFL game happen perhaps once a month.
Reflecting on the strategy of creating multiple lineups for a single slate of ballgames
In a game with such a high level of variation on a day-to-day basis, DFS can be maddening at times as meticulously-constructed lineups are regularly thwarted. There's a natural solution to this issue that might be intuitive to the sabermetrically savvy as well as the Wall Street veterans in the evidence, but lineup diversification is a great way to spread out the variance while at the same time defeating some of the psychological demons that can chase any decision-making process.
The results are plain to see, but Joc Pederson's mechanics are also a thing of beauty.
Joc Pederson’s swing steals its inspiration from the greatest movie on Nick Cannon’s filmography. I speak of course of the 2002 classic film Drumline. For those of you who haven’t turned on USA or TNT in the midafternoon, this film tells the story of a talented drummer who finds real success when his drumline blends the soul of old-school music with the appeal of new-school sound.
Examining players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
We are making a change going forward, and The Deep League Report article will appear on Wednesdays starting next week; the Free Agent Watch will take its place on Fridays, beginning today, and will cover any midweek transactions that might impact your interest in available players.
With that out of the way, here are the players who might pique your interest this week:
If these players are available, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.
Welcome to Week Eight of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent answer to Dear Abby. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process. In case you missed the news last week, based on popular demand*, we decided to move this column from Monday to Friday.
The outcomes offer recommendations on 10 players in each league, then mock draft the 38th round on the podcast.
While the June supplemental draft is one of the annual highlights of the Scoresheet calendar, as the top Rule 4 draft picks get picked over by teams, May is probably the best chance to pick up some early breakouts and respond to trends. Here are our recommendations for the upcoming supplemental draft, again looking only at players still available in a majority of leagues. You may also want to review our April recommendations, as we still stand behind… well, most of them.
Helping you set your fantasy rotation for next week with a look at the two-start pitchers.
After a week of scarcity, this week our two-start cup runneth over. No clubs will play short schedules, which means a bump back up into the mid-40s for two-start options. American Leaguers will have significant advantages in both quality and quantity, while managers in NL-only leagues will be stuck pecking through a bunch of uncertain options after a shakier-than-you’d-like top five of startable hurlers. Personal pick of the week: Atlanta’s Williams Perez, whose nasty secondaries and bad-ass histrionics last week highlighted one of the more entertaining big-league starting debuts I can remember watching.
As far as the nuts and bolts guidelines for what lies within, the pitchers will be split by league and then by categories:
Don't forget the forgotten heroes of the sport's past.
My birthday was May 3rd. I'm 33 now. As I always do on my birthday, I turned dark. To quote Mitch Hedberg, “I bought a pack of carefree gum but it didn’t work, so I went back to pondering my own mortality.” So, while in Baltimore—I was cleared to travel in April—my wife and I went on a tour of cemeteries that included the grave sites of Edgar Allen Poe and John Wilkes Booth. When I Googled to see whom else was buried in those cemeteries, to my surprise many former ballplayers were laid to rest there, and long forgotten. It's amazing to me how long the lineage of baseball really goes. I went to the grave of Steve Brodie. Brodie was an outfielder for the Boston Beaneaters, St Louis Browns, the former Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The guy was a .300+ career hitter in 12 years and nobody on earth in my estimation has ever heard of him. Imagine what kind of attention a guy like that would get today. What kind of life would he have had if he'd been born a hundred years later, hit .300+ a hundred years later? The rotten luck of being born in the wrong century sucks. But to be there, to be reminded again that baseball's story began well over a century ago, blew my mind. It’s a fact we're all well aware of, but to actually physically touch a gravestone of someone who played a game that I work in is mind boggling. It made it real. It made me appreciate my own life even more.