Tout Daily: Counting on Canning

It’s the second week of the final period of Tout Daily. Here are some of the players the Touts are counting on to grab the final three Golden Tickets

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Julio Teheran – Who doesn’t like a mid-priced option who has posted a 3.29 ERA over his last 10 starts, including five straight games allowing two earned or fewer?

Hitter: Matt Olson – Facing Milwaukee right-hander Adrian Houser? That sounds like an Olson HR waiting to happen.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: David Price – Price has allowed 3 or less runs in 6 of his last 7 starts while striking out 43 batters in those 37 innings. Pitching in Boston he has a 2.89 ERA and the Rays are 20th in runs per game while striking out more than 9 times per game on average.

Hitter: Anthony Rendon – Rendon has 5 hits in his last 10 at bats with 7 RBIs. On the season he is hitting .319 at home and faces Julio Teheran and his 4.45 road ERA.

Gene McCaffrey (The Athletic, @WiseGuyGene)

Pitcher: Griffin Canning – Not pitching well lately but he’s super-cheap and this is a home start against a weak Tigers’ attack.

Hitter: Carson Kelly – Has unbelievable numbers against lefties AND against flyballers. JA Happ is both and the ballpark is a bandbox. Not really cheap at $4100 but I’d pay more.

Derek VanRiper (Rotowire, @DerekVanRiper)

Pitcher: Griffin Canning – Eating chalk with one pitcher if you’re building around a few Dodgers and Rockies bats in Coors is necessary to make the pieces fit. The Tigers are the team I want to stream against the most in season-long leagues, so having a mid-priced option capable of bringing 20+ DraftKings points with a 5+ inning start should get it done.

Hitter: Bryce Harper – I’m actually buying into some of the adjustments that Tyler Beede has made this season, but on the road in a park that boosts homers, he’s in a very dangerous spot tonight. I like stacking the Phillies on this slate, but if I could only roll out one of their hitters, it would be Harper in this matchup.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Adam Wainwright – Time for the veteran to step and lead! Big series with Cubs opens tonight and he needs to set the tone!

Hitter: Paul Goldschmidt – Same with Cardinal hitters. Goldy has been on a homer terror this past week, he needs to keep it going against Cubs

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Justin Verlander – Justin Verlander is the most expensive pitcher on Draftkings tonight at $11,400, but he is well worth the investment. He’s given up no more than 4 earned runs any of the 22 games that he has started this season. He has close to a 33% strikeout rate and is averaging 26.2 fantasy points per outing. Shane Bieber at $10,600 as another option, but he faces Verlander tonight.

Hitter: Mookie Betts, Paul DeJong, and Robinson Cano – Recently, Mookie Betts ($5,000), Paul DeJong ($4,100), Robinson Cano ($3,300), and Nelson Cruz each hit three homers in a game and they did it on consecutive days. The unprecedented streak of home run hat tricks began with Cano on Tuesday and was capped by Mookie Betts on Friday. Unfortunately, Nelson Cruz is not starting tonight. I like my odds for one of these players hitting at least 1 home run tonight, right?

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez – Money where my mouth is — I’ve planted my second half flag firmly on Lopez, he tweaked delivery over the break, added 2 ticks to 4-seamer, throwing (and spinning) curve and slider more. Not to mention, not a bad matchup and price is right.

Hitter: Ketel Marte – Money where my mouth was three years ago. If I were a better marketer, I’d develop a strategy and call it the KETEL Plan.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: J.A. Happ – The Yankees are big favorites tonight at home vs. the D’backs and all Happ needs to do is go five innings to get the win. (And avoid the Ketel Marte land mine.)

Hitter: Tyler White – Yes, his season has been a disaster. But given a new life with the Dodgers and an enviable spot hitting fifth at Coors Field, his $3500 price tag is too good to resist.

Tout Table: Trading Mistakes

This week’s query:

What are some of the mistakes you’ve encountered in trade negotiations?

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Owners offering trades without looking at my team’s needs and non-needs. Why are you offering me Jose Abreu when I already have Freddie Freeman at first, Anthony Rizzo at corner, and Edwin Encarnacion at utility? On a related note, don’t offer me Mallex Smith if I have a 10 stolen base lead over second place in the category.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): That I make or that others make? I like to try to provide options for other owners to choose from and then if they do choose something, we can get to agreement that helps everyone quickly. I would say that one mistake I make most often is to go for a larger rather than a smaller trade. Not everyone likes that or will respond to that. What I don’t like: when someone is not interested, say so quickly instead of pretending to be interested then wasting time later or never responding again after that initial feigned interest. When someone offers me a trade, I like to tell them quickly what I think. What I don’t like: if you disagree with my view, trying to bully me or coerce me or get me to change my view point because “it is not how you would do it” is a waste of time and is counterproductive. Not everyone sees everything the same way. Maybe you are smarter than me. But when you try too hard to tell me you are, I start to think maybe you aren’t.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Don’t editorialize, it’s distracting and sets the wrong mood. For example, I received a recent cattle call where the person looking to deal wrote something like, “I need to trade so-and-so because of the stupid new rule.” As it happens, I was in favor of the rule, as were at least half of the other league participants, else it wouldn’t have passed. It’s not like I’m not interested in dealing with this person, but instead of combing our rosters for a match, I’m bitching to myself this guy had ample opportunity to state his opinion when discussing the rule, get over it.

Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld, @sethroto): Making an offer that’s one-sided, and that goes well beyond player value. When making a trade offer, you always have to put yourself in the other team’s shoes. Why would they accept this offer? Does it fill one of their needs (category, position, or otherwise)? Does it help their stated goal of winning the league or rebuilding? If the offer clearly has no chance of helping the other team, then you shouldn’t expect them to accept it. In some cases, you’re better off sending an initial email asking what they’d like to accomplish rather than an actual trade proposal so that everyone is on the same page entering potential trade negotiations.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): Always remember that I don’t care about your team. All I care about is my team, so you need to sell me on why this trade will benefit ME. And I am intimately knowledgeable about my team, so don’t try to sell me faux benefits that are really just speculations. I’ll see right through that. Like Mike said above, don’t try to sell me a starting pitcher when I have Scherzer and Wheeler coming off the DL this weekend.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): Don’t tell me how to run my team … ever. I told one owner so many times to quit doing it, I had to just block all correspondence from him.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): Be willing to walk away. Some owners get so far down the line on negotiations that they will accept a lesser offer just to finalize a deal. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): Salesmanship. Don’t try to sell me on why I should make the deal. Cut the crap, just ask me if I am interested or not. And don’t offer me a player from my favorite team as a lure. That is insulting to my Rotisserie integrity.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): I’m with Justin. Many of the best trades are the ones not made. And, I’ll plead guilty to getting involved in a negotiation, watching it go in a different direction than at the start, and then allowing myself to persuade myself that the deal is going to work when I should have walked away long ago.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): The thing that annoys me most in trade discussions is when someone offers something that is so lopsided that it can’t be taken seriously, but they still expect there to be a back and forth. I either don’t respond or immediately decline, depending on my relationship with the other owner. I usually come in with close to my best offer, just because I don’t have the time to trade a bunch of e-mails back and forth only for it to lead nowhere. If I didn’t enjoy the prospect aspect of dynasty leagues, I wouldn’t play in many leagues that allow trading.

Zach Steinhorn (Baseball Prospectus, @zachsteinhorn): Lopsided offers are bad enough, but offers that are both lopsided and demonstrate that the owner did zero research regarding my potential areas of need are a big turnoff and would discourage me from working out any trade with that owner in the future. Even worse is when there’s no accompanying note explaining why I might be remotely interested in making such a trade. It’s fine if your initial offer isn’t your best offer, but you also don’t want to be labeled as the owner who regularly sends out insulting trade offers. Have some respect for your competition.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): This isn’t personal, so while negotiations should be fair, if we don’t come to a reasonable agreement on this trade, it hardly means we can’t deal with each other. It’s not a character flaw. I just don’t want your Rick Porcello. We can deal but offer someone else!

Dr. Roto (Scout Fantasy, @DrRoto): Losing my patience with bad offers. I know everyone wants to get over on another owner in a deal, but I need to avoid taking it personally. People are going to do what they can to help themselves and I need to be rational and not react to that.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Not adjusting your evaluations of a player’s worth to you (or to a potential trade partner) to reflect where you (or they) currently sit in the standings. If I’m in first/last place by a wide margin with little opportunity to lose/gain points in a category, I should be more willing to trade a player (i.e. – value him less) who’s strong in that category than I would have earlier in the season, even if his underlying performance hasn’t changed.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): Overthinking it. For myself, there’s been times when I’m scouring rosters, looking for that good fit, and I might make some notes on possibilities to formulate an offer. Then I’ll put it aside, doubting that I could find a viable match, without even engaging other teams or options. Then several days later, my target has been traded, and I missed my opportunity. In this situations, I need to trust my gut more and just open up discussions. One never knows where it might go

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): Ever get the old “I’d be willing to consider [player x] …” line? What does that even mean? I’m with Mike/Ron here: lay out why the deal makes sense for *my* team, start with a fair offer, and be direct. The fact that you put some time and research into my team makes me much more likely to engage. Related: I got a trade offer today with a message that started: “I realize this is not fair, but…”. Mistake!

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): A big issue I’ve seen with trade negotiations is where one team makes an offer to the other team, with no understanding of what that team needs. I’ve seen owners offer steals to a team that doesn’t need it for example. They focus on their own needs, and not on the selling point enough.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): Two biggest mistakes are making the insulting offer just to see if you can trick someone. At that point, I just do not bother negotiating with that person. Second mistake – pushing for just a little more rather than taking a good deal that helps your team. It is a hard line to figure out sometimes but always ask yourself — are you being a little piggy?

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): All the answers above are excellent. The mistake I sometimes make is being TOO explanatory about why a deal helps the other guy. This is not usually a problem in experts’ leagues, where the other guy appreciates the analysis and thought-process effort, even if he disagrees with the outcome, but in home leagues or public leagues, a detailed explanation can read as manipulative or, paradoxically, as an attempt to pull the wool over his eyes with fancy-talk.

Derek VanRiper (Rotowire, @DerekVanRiper): I have realized that I didn’t always do a good enough job of doing the legwork of figuring out what the other owner needed before starting negotiations. Taking that time significantly increases the likelihood of getting a deal done that will help your team, and it probably saves all parties involved some time in the long run since there won’t be a series of wasteful interactions and offers prior to nothing happening.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I agree with many things already mentioned, so I’ll add something different. An owner left the draft with a very huge shortfall of power, and excess SP. I offered a power hitter for a SP and his response was that according to his projections he would lose more points in the standings than he would gain, so he declined. I tried to explain to him that he was so far behind in HR/RBI that this trade was the first step to get closer to the pack and be in a position where something else–a second trade, good FAAB acquisition, overachievers–could propel him to points gains. He didn’t understand or agree, never made a trade, and finished hopelessly out of contention.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Don’t try to get too much! When offered a good trade, like selling a house, your first offer might be the best one. As I sit at the bottom of Tout mixed, I regret not taking a trade offered to me by Seth Trachtman. He offered Ozzie Albies for Blake Treinen, while he was still the closer and scuffling, but hadn’t hit the IL yet. Treinen is my only closer, and my chance of gaining points in saves was nil. I countered but he balked. I thought I’d get a better offer. Turned out he picked up saves from the waiver wire, Treinen goes on IL, and still hasn’t regained closers role. So he sits uselessly on my bench, and I’m having a heck of a time getting out of last place. Albies would have helped!

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Trade partners who waste time with pointless offers. I get that, for years, people have heard the stale advice to begin negotiations with the lowball offer or the early-April buy-low, sell-high offer, but there’s so much more information available now and people are better versed in the game to ever fall for either. Do your homework, and get the deal done on the first try, or at worst the first round of counteroffers. A trade really doesn’t require more than 10 minutes. If it sounds like it’ll take more from the first offer, you’ve lost my attention.

Ian Kahn (Rotowire, @IanKahn4): I recently had an owner talk down a player that he was trying to acquire. It broke the trust in the negotiation. There should always be the hope and intention that both teams will get better with the deal being made. Especially in Dynasty, there is always a way to make a deal work. Respect and care often gets the job done.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Once you agree to an offer, don’t come back and ask for a “little sweetener.” I’m in one league where after a trade negotiation, I’ll ask my waiter/waitress for an ice tea with a “little FAAB.”

Tim McLeod (, @RunTMc59006473): A good offer is one that involves satisfying the needs of both parties. If you don’t start the process with that in mind, you’re not getting more than a “thank-you” and that’s only because as a Canadian I have no choice but to be polite. It’s a rule.

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): The most difficult obstacles to overcome in any trade are the inherent differences in how we all value players. You can make what looks like a fair deal on paper because it benefits the statistical needs of both teams, but you are also assuming that you’re going to get a certain performance level out of the players you receive (and to an extent, the players you trade away also). For instance, earlier this season I nixed a deal for a pitcher because he was experiencing a drop in velocity at the time. My trade partner thought I was crazy to pass up this pitcher because he was asking for a “lesser” player in return. I valued the hitter more than he did and I was biased against the pitcher because of my perception of his health. As a result, we couldn’t make a deal.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): In any trade negotiation, there at least needs to be a starting point. When you create a trade offer, you should do as up front homework as possible. The same applies when you receive a trade offer. If the trade offer received does not even come close to anything that is of benefit to both teams, then why bother sending me a trade offer? My biggest disappointment is when I see the trade offer come in and they ask for players that make no sense for me to trade. And at the same time, they offer me players where they are little to no benefit in return. If I’m leading the league in saves, why bother sending me a trade and you are only offering me another closer.

Adam Ronis (Scout Fantasy, @AdamRonis): One of the biggest things people fail to do is look at what the other team needs. Someone kept sending me offers for closers when that is one the categories that was tight for me and one where I can pick up points. While the trade may seem like a steal isolated, it doesn’t help my team. Make sure the trade can help the other team too or it’s wasting time.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Two mistakes I see quite often are trade offers that will help the senders team but don’t fill a need on the other side of the trade. For example, don’t offer me Corey Seager if I have Lindor at SS. Find a need of mine and let’s work out a match. Second, If you are offering 3-5 mediocre players for my superstar guess what…I’m not accepting that trade.

MIke Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): I encounter too many owners who just don’t respond to offers late in the season, perhaps because they’ve turned their attention elsewhere. Sometimes it’s an email gauging interest that never gets a reply, and sometimes it’s an actual offer that just sits there. When these owners are in keeper/dynasty leagues, it makes me less likely to try to negotiate with them in future seasons (whether they’re more willing or not) because I don’t want to waste my time.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Another mistake I see from both sides is categorically adhering to “Never deal the best player in a trade.” Granted, it takes special circumstances to deal quality for quantity, but if your overall roster is better after such a deal, it’s a good deal.

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): I think a lot of the problems we’re discussing here arise because email and the stat service’s Trade Centers make the trading process way more transactional and a bit colder than, say, talking on your rotary phone is. That’s a reason I recoil when I get an announcement in my email box that says this team offered these five guys for my five guys. My eyes usually glaze over with that approach, though I have to admit a couple of times my eyes have lit up because I had totally different values than the guy making the offer. But in most cases the cold approach is hard to understand, has nothing to do with salesmanship or marketing and usually doesn’t reflect any understanding of my needs. Because I have a hard enough time understanding my needs. All of this is prelude to saying that I like the approach of polling the league, offering something specific or something categorical in return for something categorical. Sample pitch: “Hey, I’m overflowing with Stolen Bases. I can offer steals, steals with homers, and steals with homers and average, in return for Wins, Saves, and good innings pitched of equal value. If you see something, please say something.” I’ll still dig through the rosters of other teams, but letting the league know what you’re doing can unearth surprises and inoculates you against the “I would have offered more” complaints that come up sometimes.

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, July 28

Welcome to our weekly summary of the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

16 free agents were acquired for FAAB this week in the AL.

Mike Podhorzer spent the most, $83, on the Royals’ Ryan O’Hearn. KC’s first sacker to start the season is back from Omaha, replacing Lucas Duda, and should get extended playing time in another opportunity to stick.

Will Sergio Romo close for the Twins, who now have the Indians hot on their heels? Colton and the Wolfman put down $72 of their money to acquire the former ninth-inning man of the Marlins.

Matt Duffy of the Rays was also a $72 acquisition, picked up by Jason Collette. When Jason adds a Tampa Bay player, take special notice.

Review all 7/28 AL bids here.

National League

It was busy in the National League, with 19 players acquired, though since his trade is not yet official, prospective Marcus Stroman owners will have to wait a week.

At the top of the league standings, Phil Hertz of BaseballHQ opened up his pocketbook, spending $194 on Will Smith – the highest price paid across the five leagues this week. The new Dodgers catcher (not the current Giants closer) was previously owned, but dropped when sent down earlier in the season. Phil won’t get Smith’s six RBIs from Saturday, but there should be more from where that came.

Hertz also spent $57 for Miami reliever Jarlin Garcia. It is unclear if he or Jose Quijada, Nick Anderson or someone else will pick up the closing duties for the Fish with Sergio Romo traded, but Garcia did get the ninth on Sunday (in a non-save situation). Quijada went to Grey Albright for the substantially lower price of $12. (Anderson was already rostered.)

At $64, former Reds-now new Braves outfielder Adam Duvall was snapped up by Albright, as well. With Nick Markakis out, at-bats should be available, and on a better team, who knows what Duvall might do?

Review all 7/28 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

An even 20 free agents were added to Mixed Auction rosters this week.

Leading the way at $112 is the Dodgers’ new backstop, Will Smith. His new team assignment is with Eric Karabell of ESPN, who came into Sunday with $843 FAAB compared to the owner with the next-most at just $343. To observe that Karabell holds the hammer the rest of the way is putting it mildly.

Chris Martin, who seems to be the leader of the closer committee for the Rangers currently (unless/until he is traded), joined the roster of Brent Hershey of BaseballHQ for $37. Also at $37, Baltimore’s Asher Wojciechowski was acquired by Ron Shander.

Shandler also added Kolten Wong, for $27. The Cardinals second sacker has improved his OBP recently, reflecting with his entire club’s upward production.

Review all 7/28 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

This time around, the busiest league was Mixed Draft, with 23 free agents finding new homes.

The top dollar player was Will Smith at $102. I wonder if new owner Tim McLeod was bidding in Canadian dollars…

Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ snapped up Astros hurler Jose Urquidy for $78. The rookie looked good against the Cardinals this weekend, with upper-90’s heat, a good changeup as well as a slider. However, with no idea what Houston plans to do in the trade market this week, Urquidy may or may not continue to get starts.

Old hand Jason Kipnis joined the roster of Charlie Wiegert for $71. The 32-year old second sacker for the Tribe has two homers, 10 RBI and a .386 OBP over the last three weeks. It was capped off by a Saturday grand slam.

Rotoman, aka Peter Kreutzer, picked up presumed new Marlins closer Nick Anderson for $58, the same price Adam Ronis paid for Wojciechowski.

Review all 7/28 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head (by Todd Zola)

Pitching was the focus of the Head to Head combatants with Fangraphs Paul Sporer submitting the high bid, $54 on the surging Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez has added a couple ticks to his four seamer, averaging 97 mph while also throwing his curve and slider more. Further, he’s spinning both secondaries more, increasing their effectiveness.

The next highest bid came courtesy of Alex Chamberlain from Rotographs, dropping $45 on Asher Wojciechowski. The Baltimore righty is exhibiting a new level, fanning 37 to just eight walks in 30 frames.

Rotowire’s Ian Kahn decided $41 was the right bid to see if Nick Anderson takes over as the Miami Marlins closer.

The top bid on the hitting side belongs to A.J. Mass from ESPN with a $50 expenditure on the Dodger’s new backstop Will Smith. The club has announced Smith will be the regular receiver and he celebrated with his fourth homer of the season on Sunday. Mass also grabbed Reds infielder Josh VanMeter for $50.

The next highest hitter bid came from Dan Strafford, taking a $25 chance Yasmany Tomas will be extended a long look by Arizona.

The other double-digit bids were placed by Sporer, adding catcher Pedro Severino and starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, both for $11. Like Lopez, DeSclafani has recently added a couple ticks to his heater.

Review all 7/28 Head to Head bids here.


A link to the Draft and Hold standings is now in the Tout Data section of the right sidebar at Click the Draft and Hold link and you’ll be taken to the standings for the league (and a lot more about it) at

And take a moment to congratulate Mike Sheets, who has a formidable lead over Matt Modica and Ariel Cohen. Sorry for the delay fellas.

Tout Daily Picks: Last Call

It’s the first week of the fifth and final period for the Touts to earn a Golden Ticket into the Tout Daily Championship Tournament. The scores start fresh, the three highest cumulative totals over the next four Tuesdays are awarded the final trio of entries. Here’s who some of the Touts are hoping get them off to a strong start.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Chris Archer – In past seasons would pay up for pitching but the change in the run-scoring landscape shifts the value to bats so going cheap and hoping to land on the right hitters.

Hitter: Yasmani Grandal – Running three mini-stacks (Indians, Padres, Brewers). I can afford paying up at catcher and of those three teams, Grandal works best betting third vs. Tanner Roark

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Chris Sale – Chris Sale is finally pitching like the Chris Sale that we drafted in the 2nd round of 2019 fantasy baseball league drafts. Sale is coming off a 12 K outing and even if he does not beat the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, his other stats will likely pay high enough dividends to justify his $11,000 salary.

Hitter: Cristian Yelich/Mike Trout – Both Christian Yelich ($5,900) and Mike Trout ($5,800) have carried my team over the past few weeks to earn me a golden ticket . If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Rolling with Yelich and Trout again for this period.

Derek VanRiper (Rotowire, @DerekVanRiper)

Pitcher: Merrill Kelly – There are plenty of aces to choose from tonight, so my hope is that Kelly can quietly deliver a 20-point start at home against a woeful Orioles offense at an affordable mid-tier price ($7,300) at a low ownership rate.

Hitter: Twins Stack (GPP) – I want to load up Twins bats against Domingo German in tournaments (and in this contest, where I’m trying to make up a lot of overall points in the final period), given his home-run issues and the Twins’ ability to hit them in bunches.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB)

Pitcher: Stephen Straburg – Stras is worth paying up for against a struggling Rockies team on the road.

Hitter: Josh Reddick – Reddick is a cheap play in the outfield with a fairly safe floor. Always like getting to be in the middle of a stacked lineup for cheap

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty)

Pitcher: Madison Bumgarner – Everyone will be on Chris Sale, who’s great, but Bumgarner is 2k cheaper on DraftKings and nearly as good. His talent level has diminished since his glory days, but too much has been made about his decline at this point. He still has a long leash, gets a pitchers’ umpire, gets easily the best pitching weather of the slate — 60 degrees on a night where everywhere else is mid-70s or hotter — and faces a watered-down Cubs offense that takes a massive park hit.

Hitter: Jose Abreu – Abreu will go overlooked because he faces a great pitcher in Caleb Smith, but he’s way too cheap for his talent level. Plus, Smith gets a very negative context shift, moving from the NL to the AL and from the game’s top pitchers’ park into a strong hitters’ park. Add in the platoon advantage, and Abreu for $3,900 is a terrific value the same as he was last night against Trevor Richards when he posted 25+ points.

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, July 21

Following is our newest weekly report, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

Who needs big trades? 21 free agents joined AL Tout rosters this Sunday night.

$328 was the high bid across all leagues, the amount Mike Gianella paid for some pitcher named Corey Kluber. Interestingly, the second-highest offer was just $69. The Klubot is progressing toward a mid-August return and Gianella wisely made a stash move now. (Kluber’s original owner cashed him out for a FAAB rebate earlier.)

Howard Bender spent $108 on two free agents, Houston’s Rogelio Armenteros ($66) and Ryan Cordell of the White Sox ($42). Armenteros fanned six over five innings in his first starting opportunity this past week and looks to be in the rotation going forward. Outfielder Cordell has a hit in six of his last seven games, but just one RBI and one run scored.

Doug Dennis acquired pitcher Jalen Beeks of the Rays for $69. The 26-year old lefty continues to deliver strong stats from his long relief role, including 56 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings.

Review all 7/21 AL bids here.

National League

16 players were acquired this week as everyone is waiting for the trade market to open up.

While many thought Nick Williams would receive the at-bats vacated by injured Jay Bruce, the Phils have instead called on Adam Haseley instead. Obliques can be tricky and Haseley has seemed to show enough in his first week (two home runs and five RBI) to continue to play until Bruce is ready. Tristan H. Cockcroft bid an aggressive $101 to roster Haseley.

At $52, league leader Phil Hertz of BaseballHq grabbed third base prospect Zach Green of the Giants. With Evan Longoria out with a foot injury, Green, who has 23 home runs this season in Triple-A, should see time over the known quantity, Kung-Fu Panda.

For $25, Grey Albright snagged another Giant, Connor Menez. The 24-year old lefty seems to be part of a youth movement with Derek Holland (DFA) and Drew Pomeranz (bullpen) pushed aside and allowed two runs in five innings against the Mets in his Sunday debut.  

The Angels’ loss is the Marlins’ gain as outfielder Cesar Puello was acquired for cash considerations after being bumped off the Halos’ roster by the return of Justin Upton. The 28-year old Puello seems to be poised to get a long look in the revolving door Miami outfield. Derek Carty had the winning $22 offer.

Review all 7/21 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

18 free agents found new homes this week in Tout Mixed Auction.

It is Shark Week, as Jeff Samardzija joined the roster of Zach Steinhorn for $52. This month, the veteran Giants right-hander had three straight quality starts before giving up four runs in five innings against the Mets on Saturday.

Long a prospect, Colorado outfielder Raimel Tapia was acquired by Ray Flowers for $39. The now-25-year old came out of the break with every-day playing time and logged a six-game hitting streak that included nine hits, five runs scored and a steal.  

$33 was the winning offer for Jose Urquidy of Houston, now on Al Melchior’s roster. After two so-so starts to open his MLB career, the 24-year old right-hander dominated the Rangers on Saturday, allowing just one run on two hits with nine punchouts over seven innings.

Review all 7/21 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

14 players were added in Mixed Draft this week, a fairly quiet level of action.

League-leader Rudy Gamble spent $64 to acquire Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman. The rookie has shown surprising power while filling in for injured Matt Carpenter. Though the latter is expected back soon, Edman has shown enough to steal some playing time away from Kolten Wong at second and become a super-utility player for the Cardinals.

Tim MacLeod was busy, spending $184 on four players, including Giants Tyler Beede at $68 and Mike Yastrzemski at $52. The latter is showing no signs of slowing down in his rookie campaign, with three home runs and 10 RBI since the break. Beede has made three strong starts this month, most recently throwing eight shutout innings on three hits and a walk against the Mets on Friday.

Review all 7/21 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

16 players were acquired via free agent bidding this Sunday in the Head-to-Head league.

RotoLady, aka Andrea Lamont, spent $252 on a pair of outfielders with Cardinals connections. Slugger Tyler O’Neill ($177) is playing every day for the Redbirds with Marcell Ozuna out and may have earned regular time even afterward. Former Cardinal Oscar Mercado ($77) has been a bright spot for the Tribe since his call up in mid-May. His primary claim to fame is steals, but the center fielder muscled up for three long balls and eight RBI this past week.

Urquidy went to Jake Ciely for $51.

Reliever Hunter Wood of the Rays joined the roster of Dan Strafford for $50. The 25-year old righty has a strong 2.08 ERA and 1.115 WHIP this season and 21 strikeouts in 26 innings, but no save opportunities.

Outfielder Danny Santana has arisen from the scrap heap in Texas, hitting .317 with a .567 SLG in 2019. The 28-year old has been on fire since the All-Star Game with four homers, seven driven in and a .433 average. Santana now rocks the roster of AJ Mass for $40.

Review all 7/21 Head to Head bids here.

Tout Daily Picks: Falling for Flaherty

It’s the final week of Period 4 with three more Golden Tickets up for grabs. Here’s some of the picks the Touts are counting on to get into the Championship Tournament.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Walker Buehler – Buehler looks to improve on his 8 wins this season and his 1 k per IP ratio.

Hitter: Edwin Encarnacion – Encarnacion owns similar pitchers like Stanek.Over the past two seasons he is slugging .495 in his last 220 PA’s against right-handers with high strikeout rates.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Jack Flaherty – Last two starts have gone well — and he’s done better at home.

Hitter: Juan Soto – He’s been red hot and facing Wojciechowski

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – Woodruff is only $8,700 yet strikes out 28.8% of the batters he faces and goes against an Atlanta team that averages almost 9 Ks per game. Earlier this season Woodruff went 8 IP with 6 Ks versus the Braves.

Hitter: Alex Bregman – Bregman faces lefty Andrew Heaney of the Angels tonight and on the season Bregman is hitting .278 with 8 home runs in 90 at bats versus lefties. All with a reasonable $4,500 price tag.

Derek VanRiper (Rotowire, @DerekVanRiper)

Pitcher: Jack Flaherty – Homers have been a big issue for Flaherty this season, and they’re a huge part of why he “deserves” a high-4.00s ERA through 18 starts. While the Pirates temper strikeouts (20.2% as a team, 27th in MLB), the conditions in St. Louis are relatively mild for mid-July, and I’m expecting him to get deep into his start and offer up 5-6 strikeouts over 6+ IP at a very affordable price.

Hitter: Paul Goldschmidt – Pirates starter Dario Agrazal hasn’t missed many bats in his very limited time with the Pirates (three starts), and his ascent through the minors was fueled by very good control the ability (at lower levels) to keep the ball in the park. I can’t quite figure out why Goldschmidt’s power has fallen off so much in 2019, but he’s priced down on a night where there is a 14.5 o/u at Coors, which might actually keep his ownership rate somewhat reasonable in this excellent matchup.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Zach Plesac – Going with the two cheapest pitchers for which I have a modicum of trust (Flaherty the other).

Hitter: Brandon Crawford – Call it chasing stats after the DH yesterday but 3.7K in Coors against cruddy RHP is a free square

Michael Florio (NFL Network, @MichaelFFlorio)

Pitcher: Jack Flaherty – I keep going back to the Flaherty well in hopes of the big turnaround game. The good news for today is he has been much better at home this season. Plus, the Pirates lineup isn’t the scariest. It is not a great pitching slate, so I am going for cheaper upside.

Hitter: Nolan Arenado – He is expensive, but he is facing a weak lefty at home! Sign me up.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Walker Buehler – Buehler is too cheap at $10.2, even with facing the Phillies on the road. I’ll sweat the high ownership elsewhere.

Hitter: Matt Adams – There are so many bad pitchers tonight that I wish to stack against, but for this contest I’m using my Nats stack – listing Adams here because he’s the least obvious of the five.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Jack Flaherty – Has seemingly turned that corner we hoped to see him turn about two and a half months ago, but better late than never, right? I like him to best the Buccos tonight.

Hitter: Nolan Arenado – Pretty much anyone on the Rockies tonight against a tomato can like Pomeranz. After being embarrassed by the Giants in a double-header Monday, Arenado should be good for 8 home runs and 28 RBI by the end of the 5th inning.

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, July 14

Welcome to our second report of the week, from Sunday, following our Wednesday night bidding. We summarize the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

11 free agents joined new American League rosters this Sunday.

Leading the way at $57 is Royals outfielder Bubba Starling, acquired by Jeff Erickson of RotoWire. To say that the former no. 5 overall draft pick from way back in 2011 is a post-hype player is an understatement. Yet, the 26-year old has finally made his MLB debut and could see time in center field with KC.

The other mildly expensive acquisition is Nick Solak, formerly of Tampa Bay, who went to Doug Dennis of BaseballHQ for $41. The second baseman was dealt to the Rangers this week, and though he is initially assigned to Triple-A, he may not be down for long. This is Solak’s second trade in two years as the Yankees dealt him to the Rays during spring training 2018.

No other AL free agent went for more than $4 this week.

Review all 7/14 AL bids here.

National League

Bidding was quiet in the National League, with just six players added.

With 2 ½ weeks remaining until the July 31 trade deadline and a need for saves, I picked up two prospective closers, Kyle Crick of Pittsburgh and Mark Melancon of San Francisco, for $2 each. The latter probably has a better chance of getting the ninth inning job due to a combination of the desirability of incumbent Will Smith and his own bloated contract, though neither have appeal unless they close.

Justin Mason made a savvy addition of Arizona starter Luke Weaver, also for $2. The former Cardinals right-hander has been out since late May with elbow problems that did not require surgery. Mason noticed that Phil Hertz dropped Weaver mid-week in return for $30 FAAB and swooped in.

Everyone else was either a $1 or $0 acquisition.

Review all 7/14 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

10 free agents found new homes this Sunday in Mixed Auction.

The top dollar acquisition is Tampa’s Mike Brosseau, for $51 of Eric Karabell of ESPN’s money. The third baseman’s two home runs on Saturday drew a lot of attention, but in his 11 games with the Rays to date, the 25-year old is hitting .382 with eight RBI.

At $38, old standard Daniel Hudson of the Blue Jays was acquired by Scott Swanay. The right-hander picked up a save on Sunday, but more importantly, closer Ken Giles appears to be prime trade bait, and if so, Hudson’s value could increase substantially.

Al Melchior picked up starting pitcher Jose Suarez of the Angels for $33. The 21-year old lefty (Suarez, not Melchior!), is averaging less than five innings over his six big-league starts and has a 5.40 ERA, but also has fanned 30 in 28 1/3 innings – and his team is not a contender.

Review all 7/14 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

Just seven free agents were added in Mixed Draft this week.

Leading the way in spending was Adam Ronis, who won the bidding for new Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon for $87. The 27-year old righty has been very effective in long relief and spot starts and is getting his chance to supplant disappointing Michael Wacha among St. Louis’ starting five.

A pair of once-shiny starting pitchers were picked up for $22 each. Vince Velasquez of Philly went to Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ and Jeff Samardzija was acquired by Anthony Perri. “Shark” may have some interesting upside over the final two months. Though teammate Madison Bumgarner is getting more trade interest, he could be joined on the block.

Rudy Gamble did not have to take much of a … risk on Daniel Norris, at just $18. The Tigers lefty’s last good season was 2016, but Rudy must be banking on a second-half turnaround from the 26-year old.  

Review all 7/14 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

10 free agents fetched winning bids this week in Head to Head.

Second-place owner Ian Kahn was busy, with the top spend across all five leagues with his $142 acquisition of some outfielder from the Yankees named Giancarlo Stanton. His rehab from a PCL strain in his knee is going slowly, with the latest word that the prior early August target return may not be made.

Kahn also added Nate Lowe of Tampa Bay for $38. The first sacker has been red-hot, with three long balls and seven RBI while batting .462 in his three post-break games. Kahn doesn’t get those stats, though.

In between is the $51 RotoLady (aka Andrea LaMont) paid for Ponce de Leon.

Review all 7/14 Head to Head bids here.