Tout Daily: Wheelering and Dealering

It’s the third week of the second period of Tout Daily with a close battle for the next three Golden Tickets. Here are some of the picks in tonight’s DFS lineups.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw – Dude’s mom passed away on Saturday and he chose to stay with the team to make this start. He’s pitching for her against a team that has the second-lowest wOBA vs LHP this season

Hitter: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Batting .441 with five home runs, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored during this 13-game hitting streak, owns a .378 wOBA vs LHP and stands in the box against a tomato can like Kyle Muller? As Mona Lisa Saperstein says, “Money, please!”

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Kevin Gausman – It’s feast or famine with Kevin Gausman, but mostly feast. He’s had 2 outings this season where he had 1.1 and -7.1 FPPG. On the other hand, he’s had great performances of 20+ FPPG in 7 outings this season. He’s topped 30+ FPPG 3 times and the last time he faces the Yankees, he had 40.0 FP. I like him at home tonight against the Yankees at a salary of $10,700.

Hitter: Jarred Kelenic – Jarred Kelenic is averaging 8.7 FPPG and his salary of $4,700 makes him a decent option tonight at the Boston Red Sox. He’s batting cleanup tonight and facing left-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta, who is sporting a 6.23 ERA going into tonight’s contest.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Zack Wheeler – THE FUNGO has Wheeler right behind Kershaw, If I can only find a cheap shortstop to use them both.

Hitter: Matt McLain – Only a donkey would use a guy in his second MLB game, even if he’s 2K, batting second in Coors Field. Call me Eeyore.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara)

Pitcher: Jordan Montgomery – Looking for one cost effective starter and the Brewers are abysmal against lefties. Team wRC+ of 70 v. southpaws this season.

Hitter: Lars Nootbaar – The Cardinals offense seems to have fixed whatever was broken earlier in the season and Noot has been at the center of it. He’s leading off, cost effective and slashing .380/.475/.520 over the last two weeks. Oh and he gets to face Wade Miley tonight.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Zack Wheeler – Wheeler should get well against the team with the second-highest K% in baseball, in a good pitcher’s park.

Hitter: Josh Naylor – Riding a little hot hand here, against a pitcher with the second-most homers allowed this season, most of them against lefties.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of May 15

Last week it was Bryce Miller; this week it’s Eury Perez. See what the Touts are willing to pay for another top pitching prospect, with a bit of Christopher Morel sprinkled in.

If you want to see the standings, rosters and all the other moves, click on the league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
JDiaz, Oak Jeff Erickson 55
NAllen, Oak Andy Andres 53
TLarnach, Min Jason Collette 42
MMoniak, LAA Larry Schechter 35
YChirinos, TB Jason Collette 22
CCowser, Bal Andy Andres 4
NEaton, KC Andy Andres 4
PReyes, Bos Eric Samulski 3
CEPerez, Oak Eric Samulski 2
JBarria, LAA Joe Sheehan 0
XCurry, Cle Doug Dennis 0
TFreeman, Cle Joe Sheehan 0

National League

Player Team Bid
PBurdick, Mia Peter Kreutzer 33
BWisely, SF Phil Hertz 31
ROdor, SD Steve Gardner 27
AKnizner, StL Brian Walton 26
AHouser, Mil Tristan H. Cockcroft 18
CStratton, StL Brian Walton 6
CBrogdon, Phi Phil Hertz 6
TBarnhart, ChC Phil Hertz 4
DMoreta, Pit Phil Hertz 4
JShuster, Atl Rick Graham 1

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
CMorel, ChC Alex Chamberlain 180
DFletcher, Ari Scott Engel 54
CSchmitt, SF Scott Engel 48
LOrtiz, Pit Scott Swanay 48
MMoniak, LAA Scott Pianowski 44
BMiller, LAD Nick Pollack 32
MLorenzen, Det Kev Mahserejian 22
MWacha, SD Brent Hershey 22
DPeterson, NYM Brent Hershey 21
CSilseth, LAA Alex Chamberlain 20
GSoto, Phi Brent Hershey 17
TanScott, Mia Justin Mason 17
HBrazoban, Mia Kev Mahserejian 15
AIbanez, Det Scott Chu 14
SDominguez, Phi Scott Swanay 13
WPeralta, NYY Scott Engel 11
PSmith, Ari Kev Mahserejian 11
FFermin, KC CJ Kaltenbach 9
RGrossman, Tex CJ Kaltenbach 7
JOviedo, Pit Justin Mason 7
PDeJong, StL Justin Mason 5
JDiaz, Oak Jeff Zimmerman 1
CStratton, StL Scott Pianowski 1
KKiermaier, Tor Jeff Zimmerman 0

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
EPerez, Mia Shelly Verougstraete 310
CMorel, ChC Seth Trachtman 188
CKimbrel, Phi Ryan Bloomfield 105
DFloro, Mia Adam Ronis 69
DFletcher, Ari Shelly Verougstraete 47
NPratto, KC Anthony Aniano 45
TTaylor, Mil Dr, Roto 36
LTaveras, Tex Anthony Aniano 35
LOrtiz, Pit Rudy Gamble 27
GCanning, LAA Dr, Roto 26
HHarvey, Was D.J. Short 25
MWacha, SD Ryan Bloomfield 25
BBelt, Tor D.J. Short 25
JPCrawford, Sea Rudy Gamble 24
MCastro, Ari Ray Murphy 22
CSchmitt, SF Dr, Roto 22
RGrossman, Tex Ray Murphy 18
DPeterson, NYM Ray Murphy 18
CSilseth, LAA Seth Trachtman 12
MMcLain, Cin Tim McLeod 8
PBattenfield, Cle Mike Gianella 4
KFarmer, Min Shelly Verougstraete 1
MThaiss, LAA Shelly Verougstraete 0
GSoto, Phi Scott White 0
JBauers, NYY Adam Ronis 0
ERosario, Atl Adam Ronis 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
EPerez, Mia Paul Sporer 344
CMorel, ChC Frank Ammirante 126
FAlvarez, NYM Michael Govier 52
DDunning, Tex Lauren Auerbach 51
MClevinger, CWS Ryan Hallam 39
AKirilloff, Min Joe Gallina 31
BKeller, KC Joe Gallina 31
CSchmitt, SF Joe Gallina 29
BGarrett, Mia Lauren Auerbach 26
YChirinos, TB Ariel Cohen 24
WMerrifield, Tor Michael Govier 24
WSmith, Tex Frank Stampfl 22
MGarcia, KC Greg Jewett 18
LThomas, Was Lauren Auerbach 17
PWisdom, ChC Michael Govier 14
DFletcher, Ari Sky Dombroske 14
NPivetta, Bos Frank Ammirante 13
NPratto, KC Michael Govier 11
KMuller, Oak Michael Govier 5
BBielak, Hou Greg Jewett 3
CSilseth, LAA Frank Ammirante 2
ZGreinke, KC Clay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
CMorel, ChC Matt Trussell 327
EPerez, Mia John Laghezza 261
DDunning, Tex Carlos Marcano 124
JFrance, Hou Sara Sanchez 36
TWalls, TB Matt Trussell 27
MLorenzen, Det Carlos Marcano 24
CSchmitt, SF Sara Sanchez 23
MStraw, Cle Jennifer Piacenti 21
JBleday, Oak Jennifer Piacenti 16
JRogers, Det Jennifer Piacenti 13
DFloro, Mia Dylan White 11
CEstevez, LAA Chris Clegg 8
CKimbrel, Phi Dylan White 6
LOrtiz, Pit Chris Clegg 5
PCorbin, Was Jeff Boggis 2
MMoore, LAA Chris Clegg 1
WMyers, Cin Chris Clegg 1

Tout Daily: Eeny Heaney miny moe

It’s the second week of the second period of Tout Daily. Here are some of the picks the Touts will trust in tonight’s contest.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani – There are 3 things certain in life: Death, Taxes, and Shohei Ohtani when he’s pitching. He’s 4-0 on the season with a 2.54 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and 59 Ks. At a salary of $11,600, he’s the highest starting pitcher by far in our contest, but I am willing to pay up this week for his high ceiling at home against Houston. It should be a great pitcher’s duel tonight against Framber Valdez.

Hitter: LaMonte Wade Jr. – He is facing Patrick Corbin tonight who is boasting a 6.30 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. More Gatorwade tonight please.

Steve Gardner (USA TODAY Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Clarke Schmidt – Ohtani is the class of tonight’s starting pitchers, so I’ll go against the grain and save money with a $6K Schmidt against the Swingin’ (and Missin’) A’s.

Hitter: Gleyber Torres – Dare to go with Aaron Judge in his first game off the IL? It’s at home vs. Oakland. I’m guessing his presence makes a difference, but Torres provides the pop.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Andrew Heaney – Seattle ranks dead-last in wOBA (.272) and wRC+ (74) against southpaws and they are fanning at a 27.7-percent clip. Securing the win could be tough, but we should get enough strikeouts to help make up for it.

Hitter: Anthony Rizzo – Solid price for Rizzo. His .358 wOBA should give him the upper hand against a tomato can like Drew Rucinski and once the Yankees chase him from the game, Rizzo gets that weak Oakland bullpen.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Andew Heaney – I found ample bats to support Ohtani, so it was Logan Webb vs. Heaney. My gut says Webb, but THE FUNGO says Heaney. What’s THE FUNGO, you ask? It’s my version of Derek Carty’s THE BAT, but it’s not as robust and snaps easily under pressure.

Hitter: Austin Slater – Hitting leadoff against Patrick Corbin for $2700? Yes, please.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman)

Pitcher: Brandon Pfaadt – Sure, maybe he isn’t an instant impact starter, and yes, his MLB debut didn’t go as planned. But a pitcher with his talent level coming in as the cheapest arm on the slate against the Marlins? I can’t turn that down.

Hitter: Aaron Judge – The savings from going with the cheapest starter on the board have to go somewhere. Tons of respect for Drew Rucinski fighting his way back to the majors at age 34 after four strong seasons in Korea, but the Yankees are tougher opponents than the Hanwha Eagles, so I want as many as I can fit in tonight.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of May 8

It’s Miller Time! Seattle’s Bryce Miller may go down as the single most heavily contested free agent this season. See what the Touts paid for Miller and everybody else in this week’s report. if you want to see the standings, rosters and all the other moves, click on the league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
BMiller, Sea Patrick Davitt 482
JBleday, Oak Doug Dennis 113
FFermin, KC Andy Andres 53
JFrance, Hou Andy Andres 42
KMiddleton, CWS Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 39
BBielak, Hou Jason Collette 24
NPearson, Tor Joe Sheehan 15
CPoche, TB Larry Schechter 14
CAnderson, TB Andy Andres 12
AHicks, NYY Rob Leibowitz 7
JHernandez, Tex Joe Sheehan 5
BDalbec, Bos Jason Collette 5
DHensley, Hou Rob Leibowitz 4
AFaedo, Det Eric Samulski 3
CFrazier, CWS Mike Podhorzer 2
HAlberto, CWS Andy Andres 2
CWallach, LAA Joe Sheehan 2
JStaumont, KC Eric Samulski 0
JCordero, NYY Doug Dennis 0

National League

Player Team Bid
SMatz, StL Derek Carty 152
DFletcher, Ari Phil Hertz 47
BShewmake, Atl Peter Kreutzer 23
KPillar, Atl Brian Walton 22
OMiller, Mil Ian Kahn 15
JMantiply, Ari Peter Kreutzer 13
VGonzalez, LAD Peter Kreutzer 13
PCorbin, Was Erik Halterman 12
JYepez, StL Wilderman/Prior 10
MTonkin, Atl Grey Albright 8
AKnizner, StL Wilderman/Prior 8
BSullivan, SD Grey Albright 3
JAlu, Was Rick Graham 1

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
BMiller, Sea Jeff Zimmerman 408
MKing, NYY Justin Mason 87
TTaylor, Mil Brent Hershey 78
MLeiter, ChC Kev Mahserejian 48
MGarcia, KC Justin Mason 37
NPratto, KC Alex Chamberlain 34
FAlvarez, NYM Zach Steinhorn 33
MMargot, TB Scott Chu 32
YChirinos, TB Brent Hershey 32
RUrias, Bal Scott Engel 28
JFrance, Hou Justin Mason 27
MLiberatore, StL Kev Mahserejian 20
AFrazier, Bal Scott Engel 18
ZJackson, Oak Scott Engel 18
ZMcKinstry, Det Nick Pollack 16
EValdez, Bos Jeff Zimmerman 16
CTaylor, LAD Scott Swanay 15
CSeabold, Col Scott Chu 12
MGonzales, Sea Nick Pollack 12
RHill, Pit Nick Pollack 10
ERivera, Ari Kev Mahserejian 9
MBrash, Sea Garion Thorne 8
JRogers, Det Kev Mahserejian 3

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid ASantander, Bal Mike Gianella 315 BMiller, Sea Tim McLeod 293 ETovar, Col Adam Ronis 88 MKing, NYY Adam Ronis 88 JFrance, Hou Ray Murphy 66 JBleday, Oak Dr, Roto 36 EValdez, Bos Dr, Roto 36 MLeiter, ChC Rudy Gamble 27 DDunning, Tex Dr, Roto 26 MVierling, Det Anthony Perri 23 LGarcia, Was D.J. Short 20 LWeaver, Cin Ryan Bloomfield 18 IHamilton, NYY Ray Murphy 16 MGarcia, KC Ray Murphy 16 CBethancourt, TB Adam Ronis 12 GSheets, CWS Ryan Bloomfield 12 HBrazoban, Mia Anthony Aniano 8 CWong, Bos Shelly Verougstraete 7 RHill, Pit Rudy Gamble 3 ZJackson, Oak Scott White 3 CCowser, Bal Scott White 1 BBaker, Bal Shelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
BMiller, Sea Joe Gallina 302
MMervis, ChC Frank Stampfl 83
ETovar, Col Frank Ammirante 74
HBader, NYY Ryan Hallam 57
JFrance, Hou Ryan Hallam 53
CSchmidt, NYY Frank Ammirante 43
MOzuna, Atl Michael Govier 32
CWong, Bos Joe Gallina 27
MKing, NYY Greg Jewett 27
AFrazier, Bal Geoff Pontes 23
MBoyd, Det Frank Stampfl 16
EHaase, Det Sky Dombroske 12
LOrtiz, Pit Michael Govier 11
GPerdomo, Ari Michael Govier 11
LGarcia, Was Sky Dombroske 8
YCano, Bal Paul Sporer 8
ARendon, LAA Ryan Hallam 7
CEncStrand, Cin Joe Gallina 7
EValdez, Bos Sky Dombroske 7
LTaveras, Tex Paul Sporer 5
PCorbin, Was Sky Dombroske 4
ZNeto, LAA Lauren Auerbach 3
MKepler, Min Ariel Cohen 3
JPaxton, Bos Lauren Auerbach 1
PBattenfield, Cle Clay Link 0
MLorenzen, Det Clay Link 0
RHill, Pit Clay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
BMiller, Sea John Laghezza 262
BOber, Min Matt Trussell 57
SLugo, SD Carlos Marcano 41
KMarte, Ari Dylan White 41
ElDiaz, Col Carlos Marcano 35
IParedes, TB Carlos Marcano 31
MBoyd, Det Carlos Marcano 25
NPratto, KC John Laghezza 8
KFreeland, Col Jeff Boggis 2
EDuran, Tex Matt Trussell 1

Tout Table: That was a mistake

It’s time to roll out of the hot-button topics. Here is this week’s question.

What do you perceive as the primary mistake made during trade negotiations?

Matt Williams (The Game Day, @MattWi77iams): Failing to construct a trade with the needs of your trade partner in mind is the biggest mistake made in negotiations. Just because you have a spare player does not mean that they will benefit the other team. People make trades to benefit their own team, so it is always important to build a trade backwards. Be sure to identify how you can benefit the other team first, then there is no reason to “convince” them. Meaning, offer a trade that will benefit the other team, do not “tell” them why it works. If your trade strategy seems shady or unbalanced/unfair no one will want to trade with you.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): That the other side cares about my opinion about what their team needs. I should explain why I am looking to acquire a player but I should explain what I’m offering based off why I am moving that player and not why I believe the other party needs that player. Let the other party connect the dots or recognize the value of the player. In the business world, we call that selling futures, not features.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Do your best to make it a win-win and I will do the same. That’s it. That’s all. Not every negotiation will end in a deal, but it is tough to make a trade with someone knowledgeable and just get what you want without giving up “something” you’d rather keep.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): Trying to fleece the other owner. The old “2 mediocre players for the star player” is the traditional “I’m going to take advantage of you offer”. Don’t do it. Not only will a seasoned competitor be insulted, if you end up finding an inexperienced manager that takes it, but the others in your league will also be very weary of you going forward.

Chris Clegg (Pitcher List, @RotoClegg): There are several mistakes I see people make when trading. The first is when people send blind offers trying to acquire your best player for two fringe-average players. That makes me not want to trade with you in the future when someone does that often. The other flaw I see is when someone tried to convince the trade partner why you should trade a player. Telling your opponent their player isn’t good, but you want them makes zero sense. And people don’t need to be told how to play the game.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): (1) Getting too hung up on “winning” the trade and (2) failing to see things from the other owner’s point of view. It’s cliche to say that both parties should be striving for a win-win outcome, but if either side feels buyer’s remorse immediately after the deal, that will make it much more difficult to work with that owner again on future trades.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Not showing one is willing to do their share of the work. “Looking for a shortstop. Make me an offer.” “Looking to move hitting for pitching. Make me on offer.” NO! I WILL NOT make you an offer. Tell me you’re willing to talk and I’ll get in touch.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Two things most often kill a trade before it even starts in my local leagues: 1) Failing to even look at the trade counterpart’s roster, to see whether the trade even makes sense for that team. A trade is supposed to improve both teams! 2) Immediately dismissing consolidation (3-for-1, 2-for-1) trades, from the perspective of the team taking on the extra bodies. I get it, so many of us assume the consolidating team is either ignoring the effects of those replacements on our rosters, or is trying to “steal” the best player in the deal, and our instinct is a “no“ snap judgment (and sometimes that’s the right reaction!). But sometimes these offers give trade talks a start — pick one of the names and see where you can take talks — and, sometimes, taking on extra bodies does make sense. And the latter of these two missteps has certainly been on the rise lately, at least from what I’ve seen.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): First and foremost to me is not taking into account what the other team might need. Sure, you might have strength at a certain position but maybe the team you are trying to trade with is already good at that position too. The second part that always bothers me I call the “used car salesman pitch” as someone tells you why the players they trading away are great and why the players they are trying to get from you suck. Why are you so interested in them then? Always turns me off in trade negotiations in the present and the future with that person.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Oh, I have more. Beginning negotiations by telling me certain players are off limits, then asking for my best player. Yeah, right.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Trying to “win” the trade. You should be making a trade to try and improve your team, not have everyone on social media say that you “won” the trade. The only winning that matters is winning the league.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Entering negotiations from your own team’s perspective, as opposed to how your offer improves your competitor’s team. Rather than “I need more power, so I’m interested in Pete Alonso”, offer your player(s) that plug a position hole or improve a weak category. It now becomes “Looks like you could use more steals as you can gain an easy 4 points in the category. I could offer you Esteury Ruiz…”

Brian Entrekin (Fantasy Pros, BaseballHQ, @bdentrek): The idea that you have to win the trade and more so really win the trade. A trade should benefit both sides depending on team needs. When negotiations begin, you can tell if this will be a fair trade or not, and when it is not, it makes future trades that much harder.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): Trades have to be mutually beneficial and as a lot of people have said above the biggest mistake is trying to “win” the trade rather than offer a mutually beneficial deal that will lead to other mutually beneficial deals. I think another big problem is trading from a point of desperation rather than strength. There is only so much that one or two guys can do for you, trading for a closer when you are dead last in saves and can only get 1-4 points for an elite closer isn’t as useful as trading to potentially go from 10th to 3rd in a category you may already have more strength in.

Scott Engel (The Game Day, @ScottETheKing): Focusing too heavily or exclusively on your own needs. Consider what would move the needle to get the deal done if you were on the other side of it.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): Targeting players who have gotten off to slow starts but have long track records, such as Nolan Arenado. Your leaguemate is unlikely to trade the player to you at a discount, so it’s almost a waste of time to even make an attempt.

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): Trading with Fred Zinkie.

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): Kidding! Seriously, for me, it’s not wanting to end up on the wrong side of the trade that leads every podcast for two weeks. We play these leagues in a fishbowl, and sometimes a Fish Bowl, and it’s hard to not be risk-averse.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire, @FredZinkieMLB): My ears were burning!!! I think that the biggest mistake during trade negotiations is being easily offended. Sure, sometimes the other owner is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Just laugh if off. But often the offensive offers come from an extreme difference of opinions. When you find an offer insulting, try to figure out which player(s) are causing the insult, and remove them from the trade talks. You might still find a deal.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): And another thing… In traditional keeper leagues, those with a rapid turnover of the player pool as opposed to traditional dynasty leagues with limited player pool turnover, either go for it, or gear up for next season. Playing both sides of the fence means you did neither very well. You’re probably not going to win this season, and other teams have a superior keeper foundation for next year.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): Lots of good stuff in here already, but I think the biggest mistake people in trade negotiations is not reaching out personally either via email or text to start the conversation. If you try to start the conversation with an initial offer, it’s going to end the conversation more often than not. Share what you’re thinking and see what they’re thinking.

Shelly Verougstraete (NBC Sports EDGE Baseball, @ShellyV_643): I’ll echo what everyone has said so far. Don’t try to “win” every trade. Take a look at the opposing managers roster and standings before sending an offer. Sometimes there isn’t a fit.

Matt Trussell (Razzball, @MattTruss): Sending a very lopsided trade “just to get the conversation started” is a quick way to get the negotiation stopped before it even starts. I try to always make my initial offer something both sides need. Also, look over the other person’s roster and even the standings to see what they need before sending a trade. If I’m leading the league in Saves…I probably don’t need another closer.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy): Nothing drives me crazier than when someone offers you a deal that doesn’t help you in the least bit. Everyone is so hellbent on “winning” the trade that they don’t take the time to look at your roster and study what you need. If you aren’t offering the opposition something of value where you are both happy with the trade, then what are you doing? I know some people believe an offer is just the first step of a negotiation and some people just make a ton of offers hoping someone will make a mistake and accept, but that never gets a deal done, especially with me. If you aren’t offering something of legitimate value AND need to your opponent, then you’re probably the reason a deal won’t get done.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, @jeffwzimmerman): While everyone else is right, the absolute worst outcome for a trade is that once a trade agreed upon by both sides, one party reaches out to everyone else in the league that they are wanting to trade player X and can anyone beat the deal. Some of my fellow Touts do this all the time and just refuse to waste my time working out trades with them for this very reason. Show a little respect to your fellow league mates. If you want everyone to know player X is available, state it before wasting someone else’s time.

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): Making an offer only from the perspective of your team and your needs. Enticing offers playing to trade partners’ weaknesses improve chances the trade goes through and your wasting less of everyone’s time.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): Viewing a trade as an opportunity to try to rip someone off, rather than an opportunity for both sides to get what they want. In every home league, there is at least one manager whose standard operating procedure is open negotiations with a lopsided offer, and I don’t respond to those proposals out of principle.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): I think the hardest part can be figuring out how much of a salesman to be, especially when dealing with trade partners you’re unfamiliar with. Your trade partner will rightly be suspicious of any attempt to sell the deal that’s too forceful. (If you really like this guy so much, why are you dealing him?) But at the same time, as the person proposing the trade, you’re by definition more into the idea initially than your potential partner is, so you’re going to have to do at least a bit of convincing in most cases.

Kev Mahserejian (Fox Sports, @RotoSurgeon): I am all for low-balling but there is such thing as *too* low. Atrocious offers lead to atrocious counters where both parties end up seeing the other as unserious. Also, you’re not going to pull a fast one on a trade partner in 2023 when every injury and demotion is a Google/Twitter search away.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I promise, this is the last one from me, but since it just happened, this doubles as being therapeutic. A lot of trade discussions are facilitated via trust and respect between the team managers. One of the fastest ways to get on my grumpy side is offer me a player in a deal, and after I respectfully decline, you drop him for a free agent nowhere near the quality of the player you proposed in the deal. Please don’t misinterpret; trying to deal someone you will drop is smart but be fair in your return request.

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): Trying to trade players at positions that are very deep in your league. For example, with many standard leagues moving to 3 starting OF, that position suddenly becomes really hard to trade from. The replacement level is very high, and most teams probably feel really good about their outfield. It will be extremely difficult to get what you might feel is fair value simply because most managers can easily talk themselves out of acquiring an OF. On the same sort of line, in deeper formats it’s often really pricey to acquire starting pitching because no one ever “safe” with respect to their rotation. No one will want to give up a starter, and if they do entertain it, you need to be ready to pay full freight. In these situations, you may need to accept that the market values and actual/projected values aren’t the same.

Greg Jewett (The Athletic, @gjewett9): I am sure this gets discussed, but our site’s discord constantly features who wins this trade, without team context, where a team can move up in the standings, and solely focused on the vacuum of the deal on winning it. This does not win many leagues. With so many games left this season, address a need if one exists, make offers which help your roster, but do not include a note on why it helps the other team. Or simply reach out and see if your potential trade partner would be willing to negotiate and make a trade which benefits both sides. Flags fly forever in fantasy leagues, but no one cares if you “win” a trade in May.

Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): I often get the sense that the person who offers me a trade doesn’t even look at my roster aside from the player they want to acquire. They know who they want, and they know which player or two they want to trade, and it stops there. If they want to trade a first baseman, yet my corner and UT spots are already filled with first basemen, they still make offer because it helps them – not me. Before sending offers out, analyze the other person’s roster and determine something that actually makes sense for both teams.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): One of the biggest mistakes is many don’t look at what the other team needs. When that happens, it’s insulting and immediately is a turn off. It takes work to put forth a successful trade. If I have an excess of steals and want to make a trade, I immediately look at the teams low in steals and see if there’s a fit for what I need.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): One common mistake people make when negotiating trades is over-valuing your own players. Of course, people have their own agendas in mind and elevate the hype surrounding whomever they are looking to trade away. IN order to be a good trading partner, you need to be more objective about what you are offering and look at it from the other person’s perspective. There is nothing wrong with trying to be a good salesman and inflate the value of what you are offering. But you have to assume your trading partner may disagree with you and then you will need to demonstrate some flexibility and self-awareness.

Dylan White (Baseball America, @the__arrival): I’m sure it’s been said – but the owner proposing the trade not considering the needs of the owner receiving the trade. The ideal trade is a win-win…which typically means that both teams either fill a need and/or deal from surplus.

Joe Gallina (Fantasy Alarm, @joegallina): Trade offers featuring quantity over quality. There have been many mentions about trades being offered that are one-sided and don’t take the other team’s needs into account but what can be really infuriating is getting an obviously bad trade offer, consisting of multiple players that won’t help my team.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Leading with need of the trading partner. I look at what my team needs and try to match where I have a surplus in players or stat categories and then look at matching these criteria with potential trading partners. If I receive a trade offer from an opposing manager, in the event that I decline the trade offer, I always add comments in the trade rejection area. I always first thank the person for the trade offer and then I explain why I declined the trade. I think this is important to do so that the other league manager can use this in potential future trades. Plus, they may use this information to send a counteroffer. This reduces the time wasted in trade offers that I would never have approved in the first place.

Tout Daily: Clean Slate

Congratulations to Brian Entrekin, Steve Gardner and Derek Carty for finishing as Top-3 in Period 1. We’re all tied for first heading into Period 2, Week 1. Here are some of the Touts hope get them off to a strong start, with Tanner Bibee a popular choice.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi – In his last 5 starts, Kikuchi is 4-0, sporting an ERA at 3.00 and and WHIP of 1.11. He struck out 8 in his last outing. He’s a decent price with a salary of $8,300. He’s avarage closed to 20 fantasy points per outing.

Hitter: Fernando Tatis Jr. – Fernando Tatis Jr. is getting back in the major league groove with 3 hits last night. He’s upped his batting average to .304.

Joe Gallina (Fantasy Alarm, @joegallina)

Pitcher: Tanner Bibee – Bibee seems like a nice value play against a Yankees lineup that’s missing Aaron Judge and has scored 3 runs or less in 15 of their last 21 games.

Hitter: Hunter Renfroe – Renfroe has a .360/.393/.600 triple-slash against lefty pitchers like Steven Matz this season.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Tanner Bibee – Here’s another vote for Bibee today, going cheap on pitchers today against weak foes

Hitter: Alvarez/ Tucker – Double dipping on Astro sluggers at home vs Giants DeScalfani

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman)

Pitcher: Tanner Bibee – This isn’t the Aaron Judge/Giancarlo Stanton Yankees; it’s a Yankees squad that’s batting Willie Calhoun in the middle third of the order. Heavy attention on Bibee may make Mason Miller, Hayden Wesneski or Bryce Miller the better option for those looking for a cheap young arm, but the best plan may be to use two of the three and load up on bats.

Hitter: Anthony Santander – Santander owns a solid 117 wRC+ in his last 13 games after slumping to a 37 wRC+ in his first 12. More importantly, I’ll take every Orioles righty and switch-hitter I can get my hands on against Ryan Yarbrough, proud owner of a single-digit strikeout rate and an ERA that begins with a 6.

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ)

Pitcher: Bryce Miller – I’ll take the debut of Miller for 4K and pair him with Gerrit Cole.

Hitter: Jorge Polanco – Good wind in Chicago tonight, Kopech has been shaky.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Gerrit Cole – Revertng to when I used to be good at this. Nail the piching, figure out the bats.

Hitter: Alex Call – A $2700 leadoff hitter at home helps with the salary crunch after dropping $21.5K on pitching

Steve Gardner (USA TODAY Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Zac Gallen – He and Gerrit Cole have been the best pitchers this season — and he’s cheaper than Cole tonight.

Hitter: Christian Yelich – Leading off for the Brewers in Colorado. Stack starts here.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of May 1

May begins with some healthy bids on Guardians pitching.

Click on the league header to see the standings, rosters and all the transactions for all the Tout leagues.

American League

Player Team Bid
NPratto, KC Eric Samulski 158
BOber, Min Larry Schechter 138
TTrammell, Sea Larry Schechter 67
JBauers, NYY Mike Podhorzer 46
EValdez, Bos Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 39
CKluber, Bos Larry Schechter 32
KStowers, Bal Andy Andres 31
JOrtiz, Bal Doug Dennis 21
YChirinos, TB Andy Andres 21
DDunning, Tex Jeff Erickson 17
GWilliams, Cle Patrick Davitt 14
CSilseth, LAA Jason Collette 12
AHaseley, CWS Joe Sheehan 10
LVarland, Min Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 9
DHamilton, Bos Jason Collette 8
RMcKenna, Bal Doug Dennis 6
AIbanez, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0

National League

Player Team Bid
HRamos, Cin Todd Zola 113
MBrosseau, Mil Rick Graham 79
MAndujar, Pit Wilderman/Prior 68
ERivera, Ari Rick Graham 57
BDoyle, Col Erik Halterman 42
MBusch, LAD Rick Graham 41
MFulmer, ChC Rick Graham 38
NVelazquez, ChC Peter Kreutzer 33
MThompson, Was Steve Gardner 15
LSims, Cin Ian Kahn 12
JEstrada, ChC Erik Halterman 6
GCabrera, StL Brian Walton 6
HBrazoban, Mia Grey Albright 2
THenry, Ari Tristan H. Cockcroft 1
EduEscobar, NYM Derek Carty 0
AlYoung, Cin Peter Kreutzer 0
CFerguson, LAD Phil Hertz 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
TBibee, Cle Doug Anderson 357
NSenzel, Cin Scott Pianowski 105
VVelasquez, Pit Scott Pianowski 77
TWells, Bal Brent Hershey 68
DDunning, Tex Bret Sayre 68
EDuran, Tex Doug Anderson 57
NCruz, SD Scott Engel 32
JAdam, TB Bret Sayre 32
DKremer, Bal Justin Mason 17
LVarland, Min Jeff Zimmerman 13
RNoda, Oak Scott Engel 12
RJeffers, Min Kev Mahserejian 11
CJulks, Hou Alex Chamberlain 11
SHilliard, Atl Brent Hershey 8
JCandelario, Was Jeff Zimmerman 6
HRamos, Cin Scott Chu 6
MVierling, Det Kev Mahserejian 5
YCano, Bal Scott Chu 2

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
PSmith, Ari Anthony Aniano 45
LVarland, Min Seth Trachtman 45
JrgLopez, Min D.J. Short 40
ACall, Was Rudy Gamble 32
VVelasquez, Pit AJ Mass 25
YChirinos, TB Adam Ronis 22
SManaea, SF Mike Gianella 17
JHeyward, LAD Shelly Verougstraete 13
JSears, Oak Ryan Bloomfield 10
MThompson, Was Dr, Roto 8
MMervis, ChC Scott White 6
YCano, Bal Shelly Verougstraete 6
JSanchez, Mia Dr, Roto 6
BKeller, KC Adam Ronis 6
CEncStrand, Cin Scott White 4
STaylor, KC Tim McLeod 4
VRobles, Was Dr, Roto 3
NMartinez, SD Dr, Roto 2
MLiberatore, StL Rudy Gamble 1

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
GStone, LAD Clay Link 292
TBibee, Cle Greg Jewett 236
BRooker, Oak Clay Link 44
RGrichuk, Col Ariel Cohen 35
CEstevez, LAA Ariel Cohen 25
VVelasquez, Pit Frank Stampfl 17
LVarland, Min Michael Govier 16
EDuran, Tex Ryan Hallam 12
JSanchez, Mia Ryan Hallam 11
NSenzel, Cin Greg Jewett 9
YChirinos, TB Greg Jewett 9
JSuwinski, Pit Lauren Auerbach 9
KFreeland, Col Ryan Hallam 4
JBae, Pit Lauren Auerbach 4

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
TBibee, Cle Brian Entrekin 221
LAllen, Cle Brian Entrekin 121
JGallo, Min Carlos Marcano 90
JBurger, CWS Carlos Marcano 90
LVarland, Min Carlos Marcano 75
WMerrifield, Tor Sara Sanchez 46
CJoe, Pit Chris Towers 37
YKikuchi, Tor Sara Sanchez 35
TWells, Bal Carlos Marcano 31
MDubon, Hou Jennifer Piacenti 23
YCano, Bal Jennifer Piacenti 23
YGomes, ChC Carlos Marcano 21
DRobertson, NYM Dylan White 11
CKluber, Bos Andy Behrens 5
BSabol, SF Brian Entrekin 4

Tout Table: Entering the Circle Trust

After a week where we discussed some disappointing players, let’s flip the script and focus on players off to productive starts.

Whose unexpectedly fast start are you most optimistic will continue?

Eric Samulski (Rotoballer, @SamskiNYC): Josh Lowe, and I’m so pissed that I don’t have enough shares. I loved the tools last year but was hesitant to jump back in because of “the Rays” and how they tend to platoon hitters or send them down. Yet, this is a different Josh Lowe. He’s cut his strikeout rate in half by being far more aggressive in the zone. His zone contact is way up, as is his pull rate and fly ball rate. It’s clear that he’s not being overly patient but is hunting his pitch early in counts, and it’s working. Given his plus raw tools, I think this new approach means his breakout is legit.

Carlos Marcano (Triple Play Fantasy, @camarcano): Jack Suwinski. He will strike out tons, like, a lot. But he will also knock the socks out of almost every ball he hits so will hit a ton of homers, too. And he is stealing bases! I touted him a lot in the draft season, but I didn’t get enough shares and I’m now regretting it. Like, a lot.

Matt Williams (The Game Day, @MattWi77iams): Perhaps not entirely unexpected, but Josh Lowe. The Rays outfielder was on the radar for a while and gathered a ton of helium upon his initial promotion to the big leagues. However, his post-hype resurgence has all of the makings of a true breakout with power and speed.

Rick Graham (Pitcher List, @IAmRickGraham): James Outman. He may not have been one of the Dodgers most hyped prospects in recent history, but all he’s done is hit at every minor league level and has continued to do so at the MLB level early on. The raw power, plus speed and plate discipline should keep him in lineups even if we see his average dip.

Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ, @C_Blessing): Luis Arraez. I put a six hit (2-8 Scouting Scale) on him as a prospect. I probably undervalued his spray approach. Through 20 games, he has a .444 BA and a .506 OBP. With BA dropping cumulatively to a modern day low last year, what if this dude flirts with .400 the entire season. Without the shift and the way he’s able to serve the ball, this could actually happen.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Nico Hoerner. Perhaps the stolen base pace won’t hold, and the batting average will fall back below .300, but everything else checks out. He’s essentially a better version of Steven Kwan but isn’t regarded as highly. I spoke with Sara Sanchez about this on my podcast a few months ago – Hoerner’s lower projected stats are due to poor play because of injury in the minors, lost time and a lost COVID year. If he had a regular minors career, he’d be touted more. The lost years make him undervalued, and this fast start is mostly for real, with some standard regression.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports, @djshort): Can we give Nolan Gorman some love? Maybe the strikeouts will always be there, but he’s been more selective so far this season and the contact rate is up sharply. He’s hitting the ball very hard as well — 91st percentile or better in average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, and barrel percentage — so his xBA (.313) was actually equal to his actual batting average at the start of the week.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Jorge Mateo. He’s just been a different hitter so far this year, especially compared to last (2023/2022): Ave EV (I know, I know, but…) +3.5, 90.3/86.8; Max EV +1.1, 112.4/111.3; wOBA +.154, .435/.281; xwOBA +0.96, .368/.272; xwOBACON +..059, .407/.348; HH% +10.5, 43.2/32.7. I could go on for hours, and by now you’re probably worried I might, so to the cappers: K% -10.9%, 16.7/27.6; bb% +3.2% 8.3/5.1. He’s also changed his approach to emphasize putting the ball on the ground to the left side, by what looks like deliberately topping the ball (GB% up to 57% from 39%, and pulling it (46% from 35%), and then just beating everything out with 99th percentile speed. Worth noting that his Barrel%, Barrels/PD and Solid% are all also up substantially. Anyway, to results: He stole 25 bases last year while OBPing .267; how many might he nab if he keeps the OBP anywhere near its current .414? Or even splitting the diff at a .340 OBP? He has 3 HR and 8 bags in 60 PA, so pro-rate to 600 PA and, well, you do the math! Honourable mention to Matt Chapman, who is hitting a ton to right-centre with authority.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): If we’re talking about buying high there’s only one guy I know who always looks like he just left a dispensary, and that’s Cody Bellinger. He’s cut his strikeouts, driving the ball better and looks like he’s found his car, after watching Dude Where’s My Car on repeat for three years straight.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): James Outman for me. Plenty of RBI opportunities with the Dodgers and he’s cashing in. He won’t maintain an 1.100 OPS for long but were talking about a guy who was a reserve round pick in NL LABR and a $1 selection in NL Tout. His BABIP is .372, but it was in that range at every level of the minors since A-ball. At 25 years old, Outman seemed old for a prospect but is delivering. And I think he will continue.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): The supposed playing time crunch was supposed to hinder Nolan Gorman’s value. So was the fact that he was merely average last year in his first St Louis experience. Yet there’s a reason he was so highly touted as a prospect, and I don’t think he comes out of the middle of that lineup all season. His Savant page looks like a teenager desperately in need of some Clearasil. He’s cut his strikeout rate. He’s bumped up his walk rate. He’s not chasing outside the zone. He’s demonstrating repeatable skills that he hinted at his entire minor league career. Sit back and enjoy the show.

Scott Engel (The Game Day, @ScottETheKing): Johan Oviedo. I think Oscar Marin is doing what seems to be a fine job as a pitching coach so far, he is even getting better results out of Vince Velasquez. .

Dr. Roto (, @DrRoto): I’m all in on Nico Hoerner. He’s currently hitting .355 with a .400 OBP which is impossible to sustain but I expect he’ll finish the year hitting above .300 with 25+ steals and double-digit HR. Not bad for a guy drafted in Rounds 14-15.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, @jeffwzimmerman): Look through those who are breaking out, I don’t see anyone I really believe in. Anyone can have a hot month. The one player who sticks out is J.D. Davis who has always hit for power but was and hopefully will continue to get regular at bats.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Josh Lowe. I missed him on draft day but I have done my best to make up for it with aggressive FAAB bids. A former 1st round pick who is hitting .333 with a .375 OBP and a wRC+ of 188. He’s showing power and speed with 4 HRs and 4 SBs. What I am confident about is the low K% combined with his ability to get on base bodes well for sustained success. Too many bad gave up on him last season after his difficult promotion to the big leagues. That was obviously a mistake.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I don’t really think this way. Certainly, players are going to have good and bad months, but I’m not going to chase that. I’m typically looking at the players underperforming their projections, not overperforming them. The minute I think the projection should change, more often than not, the player regresses. The only place that is not the case in April (for me) is when playing time or role drastically changes. So maybe Jose Alvarado or maybe anticipating with Aroldis Chapman? If I need saves?

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Cody Bellinger. He looks healthy for the first time in years and is hitting the ball with authority again. He’s also not striking out nearly as much as he did in Los Angeles. He won’t match what he did in 2019 but he’s easily going to finish within the Top 100 overall. I hate agreeing with Albright, though.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Nolan Gorman has done everything you want to see from a breakout performer. He has cut his strikeout rate, driven by the lowest SwStk% of his career, all the while upping his walk rate and pushing it back into double digits for just the third time in his professional career. He has hit a ton of line drives, sporting an insane 31.4% mark, though that has also resulted in the lowest FB% of his career. He has also increased his maxEV already compared to last year and his Barrel% ranks tied for 18th among qualified hitters.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): James Outman probably isn’t gonna maintain that .700-plus slugging percentage over the long haul, but he was a terror last season, both in the high minors and in his MLB cameo. It isn’t hard to imagine a .290/.370/.570 season with 30 bombs and double-digit steals. Not bad for a waiver scoop or late reserve pick.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): The Yandy Man can! All these years holding our breath waiting for him to find a positive launch angle look like they have finally paid off. He has always been able to hit the ball very hard, but not very high. His 95.8 MPH avg exit velocity this season is 4th-best in the league and he is top ten in hard hit percentage and all that comes with a 12.6-degree launch angle. He is currently in the top 20th percentile in every StatCast ranking (save speed) and top 10th percentile in half of those. All this coming from a guy that was still going way too late in drafts and auctions for his upside that appears to be here.

Frank Stampfl (SportsGrid, RotoExperts, @Roto_Frank): Nico Hoerner received some love during draft season but I don’t think anybody saw this coming. I love the combination of how much contact he makes, hitting line drives, the speed and leading off for a potentially underrated Cubs lineup. I’m still skeptical of the power but it wouldn’t if he competes for the NL batting title this season with 30+ steals and 100 runs scored.

Sky Dombroske (Fantistics Insider Baseball, @SkyDombroske): Wander Franco. With his contact ability and typical line-drive heavy approach, hitting .300 isn’t all that much of a surprise. The launch angle and exit velo increases are happening a bit earlier than I thought, but no reason to doubt them that I can see. The added SB attempts are a nice bonus too. He looks the part of an MVP candidate.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): Lots of names here I definitely agree with who I am excited about and drafted in a bunch of leagues (Nico Hoerner, Wander Franco, Yandy Diaz) but I’ll add another player I’m really mad I didn’t invest in, Jarred Kelenic. It was not that long ago he was a top prospect and the flaws in his swing that were holding him back his first two seasons seems to be fixed. There were already some good signs in those years (a 64th percentile barrel rate in 2021, a 114 max exit velocity in 2022) but it would be fair if people were skeptical of the 2023 breakout. These numbers are fire: max exit velo 86th percentile, average exit velo 88th percentile, barrel rate 90th percentile, and a hard-hit rate at the 97th percentile. All he’s done so far is .342/.395/.726 slash line with 11 R, 14 RBI and 7HR in a great surrounding lineup context.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): This is my opportunity to wax poetic and sing the praises of Jarred Kelenic. I have been a huge fan of his ever since he was drafted by the Mets. I was crestfallen when he was traded to Seattle because I just felt he was destined for stardom. It took longer than expected, but it appears that Kelenic has figured things out and is living up to the lofty expectations that were placed upon him. He has demonstrated great power along with plate discipline and speed. I see no reason why he can’t finish with an elite season and a Top 10 finish in the AL MVP voting. He is a star on the rise and the opportunity to buy low on him has passed.

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): Rolling charts, which I still think aren’t utilized enough, show us that Adolis Garcia is consistently laying off outside pitches and avoiding whiffs better than he ever has before. His 15-game rates are better than he’s shown at any point in recent years, and I’d be willing to bet that a lot of managers think they’d be selling high on Garcia right now. This is a player who was a top-five outfielder in 2022, and with an improved approach, he can make a run at another top-five finish.

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): Max Muncy, who looks more and more like a guy who just came back too soon last year. The fantasy numbers are all supported by fundamentals — barrel rate, hard-hit rate, expected stats — and he’s walking 20% of the time.

Dylan White (Baseball America, @the__arrival): I think before the season “we” were worried about how the seasons of Shane McClanahan and Spencer Strider ended. Their dream seasons portended future dream seasons except…maybe they started to break down at the end?? Well, to me, those questions seem to be answered. The two starters are studs and should have been drafted that way (by me).

Greg Jewett (The Athletic, @gjewett9): Breaking from their arbitration depression approach, the Twins have deployed Jhoan Duran as their primary save share, dare I label him, their closer through the first month of the season. He’s answered the call, converting five of six save chances while recording seven games-finished of his 10 appearances with a 13:3 K:BB (29.4 K-BB percentage) and 19.3 swinging strike rate. For hitters, Randy Arozarena fell to me in a Main Event draft, and with some trepidation, I took him over a pitcher, but he may be on the precipice of a career year. Breaking from a plan can be nerve-wracking, but so far, taking him has been far from a mistake.

Zach Steinhorn (Steinhorn’s Universe on Substack, @zachsteinhorn): Brandon Lowe is looking like a draft-day steal. His injury-marred 2022 campaign resulted in many fantasy managers overlooking him this spring but he has so far recaptured his 2021 form, providing elite-level power production at the second-base position. Staying healthy has been his biggest obstacle but the injury history could be a good thing if you’re thinking about acquiring him in a trade as the asking price will likely be reasonable.

Michael Govier (FTN Fantasy, @mjgovier): Joey Gallo will continue his consistent ways this year. I have NEVER been a Joey Gallo guy. I lucked into him for my Main Event draft with my second to last pick. From there after some poking around I realized that he was much more comfortable up in Minnesota. The mental aspect of this game is the most difficult part for us to know because it’s so private even for players in such a public eye. Plus that right field at Target Field is an excellent match for his skills. Add in the shift going bye-bye and you have a player on a rock-solid team who will hit 30 home runs this year and hit over .220. This is not a fluke. He has always had power and his 1B eligibility is a nice added touch. If you need power and someone in your league is ready to bail on his solid start (7 dongs this month which includes an IL stint), I advise bringing him aboard.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): Of the names not yet mentioned, Justin Steele deserves a shoutout. As a late bloomer who didn’t enter an MLB rotation until age 26 and who doesn’t pop in any one area, he was something of an afterthought in draft season, but his underlying numbers since the start of last season are promising. His 9.6 BB% is a tad high, but it should work fine alongside an above-average K% (24.7) and GB% (51.9%). Those marks make Steele look like a slightly better Patrick Sandoval (22.8 K%, 9.6 BB%, 48.1 GB% since 2022).