Tout Table: Trading Advice

The MLB trading deadline is fact approaching, as is the deadline in many fantasy leagues. As such, this week we asked the Touts a favor.

Please share a solid piece of advice with respect to negotiating a fantasy baseball deal.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): Don’t try to put one over on the other manager; it will be remembered. Recognize the needs of the other side, whether in redraft or dynasty. Doing that shows that you really took the time to investigate rather than simply look out for yourself. Building rapport with other managers can pay off in a big way down the road — they might come to you faster than other managers who they don’t get along with as well — so just try to be kind.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): Be transparent and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Whenever I approach someone about a trade, I do the research ahead of time and (hopefully) try to explain how it benefits BOTH of us, usually with respect to categories. Going that extra mile ahead of time typically leads to a quicker, pain-free experience. It also helps build trust and a rapport for future trades.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I admit this might be old-school, but conversing personally (email, DM, text, whatever) instead of just blasting off trade offer after trade offer without ever asking what the other team might be looking for or is seeking goes miles for me. There’s nuance in how we each view players; it’s what makes these games tick in my opinion, so I don’t understand the offer-only requests in that light. I’m much more likely to reject and not counter-offer anything if an offer comes at me “cold.”

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): There’s politics involved in every deal. Don’t ask directly for what you want; instead make the player you’re looking for seem more like a throw in at the end.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Let the entire League Know when Your marketing a Premier player

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): People don’t like trading with me so take my advice with a grain of salt. It is better to not trade than it is to make a bad trade. Especially in keeper leagues, so many people want to sell “what if” stats for presently happening stats. For instance, Jarren Duran, who might or might not turn out to be an excellent player, is not worth an already excellent player – even if that guy is over-30. This is not to say you should fear making a bad deal. It happens. Things sometimes don’t work out as you expected. What you should avoid is dealing 1 of something today for less than 1 of something tomorrow.

Rick Wolf (Fantasy Alarm, @RickWolf1): Ahhh…the art of the deal. It is about people and helping each other’s teams. I always look for appropriate trade partners based on the standings. If I have too much speed, I look for someone who could make the most points in stolen bases. People who care more about winning the “deal” for their twitter polls than winning the league are BAD trade partners. People who make one-sided offers to hope that you are not smart enough are BAD trade partners. The most important thing about being a great trade partner is playing by the rules. Someone sends an offer, you cannot just pick apart why it is not a good deal and ask them to make another offer. You MUST counteroffer. That is how trades freaking works! After the deal is set in principle, always relook at the drops that will need to be made and offer to swap those too. It is simply good form.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): It does no good to win a category by 25 home runs or 30 SB’s or 90 K’s, so if you’re trying to trade away excess, and the best deal you can find means maybe you lose a little value (i.e., trade a $15 player and only get a $12 player in return, do it anyway

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): Your first offer doesn’t necessarily need to be your absolute best offer, but please — please — don’t lead with junk. Have at least a bit of respect for other managers. If we’re starting from a ridiculous position, I’m probably not going to pursue the deal at all. Also, as Rick mentioned, the ultimate point is to win the league, not to win a specific trade. It’s OK to accept a small hit in terms of trade value if the potential category payoff is significant.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Focus on the needs of your own team and do not worry about someone else “winning” the trade. Approach any potential trade partner with courtesy and expect that he/she will disagree with your evaluation of the players you are proposing. Engage in a conversation and be flexible when possible, but do not compromise your own needs and evaluation just because someone else disagrees with you. Do not trade for the sake of trading. Sometimes the best trades are the ones we do not make. In other words, do not act impulsively or reactionary to anything.

Tim McLeod (, @RunTMcP361 ): Take the time to find a good fit that benefits both parties.

Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): Just … drop the sales pitch. People don’t need you to walk them through the deal, pointing out all the wonderful ways it benefits them, as if you’re trying to do them some kind of favor. Presume they’re paying attention. Presume they know what a player is worth to them. Your attempts to push your offer on them most likely come off as either condescending or silly and never ever help your cause. It doesn’t mean you can’t talk a deal through with someone (which can be helpful) or even point out very recent changes to a player’s status (he just picked up third base eligibility, he’s back from the IL now, etc.), but leave the player evaluations to the other person.

Jake Ciely (The Athletic, @allinkid): It doesn’t need to be that difficult, yet managers run into trouble because they skip these important factors. 1) Yes, of course start with your need, but… 2) Scour the rosters for potential options, and now reverse rolls. See what your targeting team needs as well. There is no point offering your 3B depth if the other roster has a 3B at MI and UTIL, plus a solid option on the bench… 3) TALK it out! EIther contact the manager first, explain what you’re looking for, etc., or when you send the proposal, give the reasons you’re sending it and why you think it would benefit the other team. This might sound like you’re trying to “talk them into the deal,” but it opens the door for the manager to say, “I was looking for X instead,” or, “I don’t want to trade Y, but I’ll consider Z.” Communication is the key!

Lou Blasi (Fantistics, @LouBlasi): So many great pieces of trade advice here. I have four concepts to emphasis … 1) The goal is NOT to win the trade (let alone rob your trade pertner). The goal is to make your roster better! You can lose the trade in a vacuum but if the deal makes your roster better, make it! Don’t be afraid of an overpay with your suprlus … 2) Never just say no. Unless the offer is so unreasonable that you don’t see a path of productive discussion, always counter and open a dialogue … 3) Take both paths, shop your assets around to the league in general, because you shouldn’t anticipate that Owner A doesn’t need your guy. Let him or her decide, Then also target specific owners and rosters that match with what you want to trade and trade for. Some owners don’t take the time to do that and you can show them a deal they should make … 4) Never look back. You’ll live longer. Make a good deal with a good process at the time. That’s all you can do. Don’t waste time regretting anything. Focus on your current roster and you needs … Oh, and Championships are forever. Win now if you can. No one knows where we will be in 5 years, there are always new super prospects and young players coming along. If you are close, go for it!

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): Spend significant time finding out who the opposing GM likes and or wants off of your team and when making proposals center on those players and always remember trades are supposed to help both teams not just yours.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): Following up on what Jim just said, you will do better with the old school approach – Calll the other owner and talk baseball and players and you will often find a deal that you wouldn’t see with emails

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): This may seem like obvious advice, but it seems to be something most fantasy managers ignore. Offer a trade that benefits your trade partner. Often times a trade is sent with the sole purpose of getting a player the sender needs with no regard to what the receiving team could benefit from. If you send a fair offer than works for both sides, you are a leg up on anyone else and are more likely to receive a counteroffer.

Michael Florio (NFL Network, @MichaelFFlorio): It sounds simple, but think about deals that fits both teams. Too often fantasy players find a team that has what they need, but don’t think about what the other team needs. Take the time to find what position you can trade and then look for a trade partner that has a need there

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Those who ask for a large number of trades make a large number of trades. The players that make the most number of trades do so because they are good at it. By the law of transitivity, those who ask for a large number of trades are good at trading. Want to get better at trading? Work hard at making many offers to many people for many months of the year. Those who trade a lot are perceived as players who fairly negotiate and offer reasonable trades (since they do so many). So the more you trade, the more you CAN trade. People will be MORE willing to trade with you.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Everyone wants to feel like they are controlling the deal, often by being coy about offers, trying to force you to make the first offer so they can counter, etc. They want control? Give it to them. Frame an offer using choices. Offer a cboice of players (can be one from Column A, one from Column B, etc.). Maybe even have one set of choices for Player X and another set for Player Y. They not only choose which player they deal, but also the return. They’re in control, right? Not really, because you’re only proposing combinations for which you are OK. The kicker is often, your dance partner will opt for a combination you feel is lesser quality. If you only offered specific players, it could be accepted and you never even learned they would take what you feel is a lesser offer.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): I think the top thing to do is to identify your need. The next piece of the puzzle, really 1B to your 1A need, is to investigate the need of your trading partner. We often forget that a deal only gets done if both parties obtain something they desire. If someone has Tatis/Semien, why are you offering them Brandon Crawford in a deal? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes as well.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Be respectful of the other owner. Customize the discussion and your offer and be willing to agree to move on if needed. It is never smart to burn bridges. Never.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): When you get an offer, reply. Even if it’s as simple as, “I’m busy right now, can’t take a look,” it’s important to engage with your competition. There might not be a greater way to harm your future ability to improve your team than to be an inattentive/inactive manager. Interact!

MIke Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Ask yourself a simple question: “Would I take this deal if it were offered to me?” If the answer is no, why bother offering it? This doesn’t mean all your “good” offers will be accepted, but if you’re starting out from a place that’s below what you think market value is, you are probably wasting everyone’s time.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): While you should look at the team you are offering a trade to and offer them something you think they need or will help them, don’t tell them what they need. Nothing puts another owner off more than someone telling them what they need or how they should be evaluating their own team. Tell them you’ve been looking at thier squad and ask them if they are looking for speed, or if they’re looking for power, whatever. Steer them towards what you want to do rather than telling them what they should do.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): I wrote about this on my RT Sports article last week, and basis and advice was be persistent. I made trade offers to 5 different team owners till I found the one that was the best trading partner. I was trading Trout and Turner and looking for good value in return. Look at you lead standings, see what other need and what you have that can help them, and what they have they can trade you!

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): When negotiating a tradr in fantasy baseball your goal should be to fill a need, to add numbers in a catefory you are lacking but can make up ground. Don’t get caught up in “winning” the trade as long as you feel it helps imprrove your team in the standings

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Respect is most important. Also try to give your trading partner some control over the deal. If you’re ambivalent about a couple of players, give the other manager the choice between or among the players

Paul Sporer (Fangraphs, ESPN Fantasy Sports, @Sporer): Pay attention to what your leaguemate actually needs. It’s so insulting to receive an offer that has players I truly cannot use because my leaguemate is simply focused on getting the guy(s) they want from me. And never express interest in a player and just say “I like so-and-so, make me an offer.” I’m not doing the work for a player YOU want from ME!

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): Echoing Sporer, look at the standings and the roster for the team you’re trying to trade with. If your potential trade partner is struggling with hitting, don’t offer a pitcher for their best hitter, it’s a dead end and you shouldn’t waste the time. You absolutely can trade with someone in that situation, but reach out with a message and see if they’re willing take two bats for one. Echoing Behrens, make a competitive offer up top. The low-ball start in hopes of getting a “great” deal for yourself isn’t going to work, and burning other people in the league with a bad trade can have long-term consequences anyway.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I find this hard to answer. I read all of the above and think, well, yes, of course, but I have had trade offers scoffed at this year and have had owners offer me 10 cents on the dollar deals, so it has been a bit of a rough 2021 on the trade front. I think the key to the entire thing is to be talking to your league mates constantly and find out what they think, who they like, what they think they need (instead of what you think they need), and then the things you learned in May allow you to make a trade in July. (Ian Kahn is a master at this; I am not).

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Understand your roster needs, identify a potential trade parter or two who match-up and make a strong offer. It’s alright losing a trade on paper if it addresses a clear need affecting a climb in the standings or preventing someone from catching your team in a category. Everyone addresses how to improve in the standings, but do not overlook fending off those trying to chase you for precious points in categories as well.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Look at your trade partner’s team! Don’t offer Pete Alonso to a team that needs power if it already has Freddie Freeman, Manny Machado, and Nelson Cruz filling the 1B, CI, and Util slots! Sure, Alonso is an attractive acquisition, but not if another trade or major roster move needs to be made just to fit him into the starting lineup.

Michael Rathburn (Rotowire, @FantasyRath): The goal of a trade should not be that you need to screw over the other owner. Successful trades are when both teams come out better for it. Know the value of a player in the league format before making a trade or casting judgment on a player.

Craig MIsh (FNTSY Radio, @CraigMish): Be sure to identify the standings prior to making an offer. I think that goes without saying. i get trade offers regularly but sometimes the dynamic of not looking at what the other owner specifically needs is lost. In addition if I am out of it, don’t ask me to help your team win. Ask me to finish higher in the standings.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): Golden rule variant – Offer trades unto others that you would want offered unto you.

Eric Cross (Fantrax, @EricCross04): There are two key pieces to making a trade in my eyes. First, try to have a dialogue about the trade. And if you don’t know the person, most every platform has some sort of messenger feature or a way to send notes with your offer. Secondly, the trade needs to benefit both teams, not just yours. That part often gets forgotten.

Jon Hegglund (Baseball Prospectus, @JonHegglund): A lot of great advice, above, and to these good points I would add that even the deals you don’t make matter: it’s important to keep up a rapport with potential trade partners, so even something as simple as acknowledging that a proposal might make sense for them but doesn’t quite work for you is much better than dismissing a low-ball offer outright. The rhetoric you use matters, and projecting a sense of openness and willingness to listen–even to lopsided offers–can pay off down the line.

Tom Kessenich (NFBC, @TomKessenich): Always operate in good faith. Never try to low ball someone or get away with an offer you would immediately reject. Look at the team you’re dealing with and see what they need. Find their strength and see if matches your weaknesses. Make a deal that works for the both of you. There’s no reason you have to be the “winner” of the trade. If you make a deal that benefits both teams that is one that is ultimately successful.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Respect and communication are the keys to any negotiation. It’s also not a bad idea to try this old thing we used to do as teenagers called ‘picking up the phone and calling’. The likelihood of success is much higher with a call than over email or chat.

Andrea Lamont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): The best advice I have is to negotiate with the right team. Once you figure out what your team needs, figure out what you have to market and then look for a team that needs what you have to offer. Offering another team a bunch of categories or positions they do not need could make them less likely to trade with you in the future. Other teams like to feel like you at least considered their situation and not just your own.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): As someone who rarely makes a trade, I’m probably not the best one to ask but…I’d go with the Ian Kahn approach. Spark up a conversation with the other manager. See where her/his head is at, what they are looking for, etc. Sure…it takes work but in the end it helps both teams.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Most of the previous responses have covered the most obvious piece of advice — make sure the offer is something that should be of interest to the other manager. So, I’ll offer a different tip — give the other manager as much control over the trade as possible. Whenever you can, let them choose who they are sending you or who they are getting. Put players in groups (when possible) and let them choose the offer they like the best within the groups. For example, you could say to another manager, “I’ll give you can two of Players A, B, C or D for Player X”.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): To paraphrase something Ron Shandler offered in response to a similar question a year or two ago: assume that your trading partner doesn’t give a damn what’s in it for you – if they don’t see (without your “help”) how your offer makes their team better, your offer has no chance of being accepted. Do your homework – if you assume that by merely broadcasting your needs on the league message board that people will take the time to figure out how they can trade you the high K/9, low WHIP starting pitcher or middle infielder with speed that you seek, you’re likely to be disappointed. Figure out what you have to give up (nobody’s going to trade you their All-Stars for the guys you’re considering cutting), then go over other teams’ rosters to identify the owner(s) who might be a good match. Make a solid offer, talk things through if the other owner’s open to the idea, and don’t hold a grudge if the negotiations ultimately don’t work out – there will likely be other opportunities down the road.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Do your research and have an idea as to what the other manager might be looking for before making an offer. Even if an initial leaguewide e-mail wasn’t sent out making this clear, if I’m leading the league in homers while struggling in pitching and get offered Joey Gallo for Max Scherzer, it’s a big turnoff and I’d be hesitant to trade with that manager going forward. As others have mentioned, communication is very important. Always send a note to go along with your offer or better yet, I like to have an e-mail or even phone conversation before sending out an official offer. It will make any future trade negotiations run smoother.

Ian Kahn (The Athletic, @IanKahn4): Trading can be immensely fun. Especially in Dynasty Leagues. There is a danger though. If you decide to start your rebuild, there is a moment where you might just want to MAKE MOVES. That’s when you have to stop, take a breath, and make sure that you are still getting VALUE. Don’t get caught in the inertia of it all. Work competing teams against each other. Make sure you get the value. Have fun!! Good luck.

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @Scott_Pianowski): The first thing is to be reasonable in negotiations, viewing your trading partner as somebody you’re going to make several trades with in the future. As for objectives, seek to make trades that help you in the categories, not necessarily a deal that you win statically. It’s all about solving the puzzle.

Tout Wars FAB Report: July 25

Is this week the calm before the storm? This time next week, the FAB run will have encompassed the cross-league trades. Here’s hoping there is some action.

Meanwhile, here are this week’s winning bids. As always, you can see standings, rosters and all the moves for each league by clicking on the league header. Thanks to our sponsor for the public link.

American League

BRooker, MinMike Podhorzer 54
DLynch, KCDoug Dennis 41
FCordero, BosMike Gianella 34
BShaw, CleHoward Bender 33
ADiaz, HouLarry Schechter 26
JMayfield, LAARyan Bloomfield 19
NGordon, MinMike Podhorzer 8
CQuantrill, CleRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 7
WAstudillo, MinMike Podhorzer 6
RMcGuire, TorJason Collette 5
DanJohnson, CleRyan Bloomfield 3
DCoulombe, MinRyan Bloomfield 2
LRengifo, LAAMike Gianella 0
JRuiz, CWSDoug Dennis 0
CCulberson, TexDoug Dennis 0

National League

RHill, NYMPeter Kreutzer 243
TBarrera, WasTodd Zola 17
BGarrett, MiaPeter Kreutzer 12
JSoria, AriGrey Albright 12
MagSierra, MiaLenny Melnick  12
IDiaz, MiaGrey Albright 11
CJoe, ColPeter Kreutzer 8
LBrinson, MiaLenny Melnick  7
CKieboom, WasGrey Albright 6
BMcKinney, LADScott Wilderman 1
CStratton, PitScott Wilderman 0
MPerez, PitFred Zinkie 0

Mixed Salary Cap

BMarsh, LAAZach Steinhorn 127
LPatino, TBDerek VanRiper 77
DLynch, KCCJ Kaltenbach 42
PSmith, AriBrent Hershey 32
LWade, SFIan Kahn 31
DBednar, PitMichael Rathburn 19
YDiaz, TBIan Kahn 18
ROdor, NYYScott Swanay 17
JBrubaker, PitBrent Hershey 16
GSheets, CWSMichael Rathburn 11
AAquino, CinJeff Zimmerman 8
KFarmer, CinMichael Rathburn 8
GAllen, NYYScott Engel 4
PFairbanks, TBIan Kahn 4
TEstrada, SFJeff Zimmerman 3
WAstudillo, MinMichael Rathburn 3
ABender, MiaBrent Hershey 3

Mixed Draft

DLynch, KCGreg Ambrosius 211
MManning, DetCharlie Wiegert 88
JSoler, KCGreg Ambrosius 51
TToussaint, AtlPerry Van Hook 47
CQuantrill, CleTim McLeod 21
TGlasnow, TBScott White 17
RTellez, MilTim McLeod 17
EFlorial, NYYPerry Van Hook 11
TAlexander, DetPerry Van Hook 3
NLopez, KCPerry Van Hook 3
DHudson, WasShelly Verougstraete 3
NSenzel, CinAdam Ronis 3
LTorrens, SeaAdam Ronis 3
JProfar, SDTom Kessenich 1
CTerry, TexScott White 0
VCaratini, SDScott White 0
HCastro, DetShelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

THouck, BosLou Blasi 251
MPineda, MinLou Blasi 99
TToussaint, AtlGreg Jewett 54
JGray, LADPaul Sporer 31
DLynch, KCNick Pollack 21
CBiggio, TorFrank Stampfl 13
BKeller, KCFrank Stampfl 12
TomMurphy, SeaLou Blasi 7
CHernandez, CleFrank Stampfl 7
MRojas, MiaNick Pollack 5
TLarnach, MinNick Pollack 3
GSoto, DetAriel Cohen 3
LWade, SFAndrea LaMont 2
SVogt, AtlAndrea LaMont 1
THatch, TorAndrea LaMont 1
LPatino, TBClay Link 1
TGlasnow, TBAriel Cohen 1
YDiaz, TBAndrea LaMont 0
CQuantrill, CleAndrea LaMont 0
DBednar, PitClay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

DVarsho, AriAlex Fast 70
PDeJong, StLRay Flowers 38
DPrice, LADRon Shandler 37
THouck, BosRon Shandler 37
AChafin, ChCJennifer Piacenti 32
PFairbanks, TBRay Flowers 14
ELauer, MilAl Melchior 6
RTorreyes, PhiJake Ciely 5
ZDavies, ChCJim Bowden 2
JBurger, CWSAl Melchior 2
JHarrison, WasBrian Entrekin 2
TTaylor, MilBrian Entrekin 2

Tout Daily: More Weather Woes

Will the Touts take the chance Mother Nature cooperates on a night three more Golden Tickets are on the line? Rain in Buffalo, Detroit and Atlanta could dampen scores.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Yu Darvish – Yu Darvish is coming off the IL and will make his first start for the 2nd half of the season at Atlanta. It’s been raining here all day and more rain is scheduled for this evening, so please check the weather before deciding on any players for San Diego or Atlanta.

Hitter: Juan Soto – There has been no hotter player than Juan Soto since the all star break. He’s starting to deliver more like the 1st round draft pick many league managers drafted in 2021 fantasy baseball league drafts.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: German Marquez – Marquez is 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP over his last five starts and he gets a favorable matchup against a Mariners team that ranks last in the majors in both AVG and OPS.

Hitter: Nelson Cruz – Cruz sports a 1.028 OPS versus lefties this season and has enjoyed great success against Dallas Keuchel throughout his career (.327/.406/.673 slash line with six homers in 55 at-bats).

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Wade Miley – Was good last few outing and opposed by Mets rookie Stock, Reds ready for revenge after last night’s debacle!

Hitter: Francisco Mejia – How about a $2800 catcher All he does is hit, and with Zunino out, he’ll get a chance!

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Luis Garcia – Sure is pricey, but good strikeout totals and this Cleveland offense is hot trash. No-hitter alert? If it can happen to any team, it’s Cleveland!

Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr – Happy to pay up for one of the top hitters in the game, especially when he’s facing one of the worst pitchers in Garrett Richards. Even Zola probably hates Richards!

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Tarik Skubal – Like his matchup tonight

Hitter: Juan Soto – Another vote for the red hot Washington outfielder.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Wade Miley – Wanted to pay for a dominant ace, but there aren’t any so will finesse with Miley and hope the bats come through big.

Hitter: Mitch Garver – Pretty much a free square at 3.6K batting second with platoon bump

Tout Wars FAB Report: July 18

With only three days of games played since the last FAB run, things were quiet this week. Things should pick up as the trade deadline approaches.

If you want to see the standings, rosters and all the moves, just click on the league heading and you’ll be magically taken to the respective OnRoto commissioner sites.

American League

BMarsh, LAAJeff Erickson 215
CGittens, NYYMike Podhorzer 69
DLeyba, BalHoward Bender 43
THouck, BosMike Podhorzer 43
CSulser, BalMike Gianella 27
YGrandal, CWSChris Liss 13
GAllen, NYYRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 10
TDuffey, MinPatrick Davitt 8
SRomo, OakPatrick Davitt 6
BPhillips, TBJason Collette 3
BOber, MinRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 3
TAmburgey, NYYRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
MWisler, TBChris Liss 1
JHicks, TexDoug Dennis 0

National League

DBednar, PitPhil Hertz 42
TBlankenhorn, NYMPeter Kreutzer 13
JGray, LADGrey Albright 12
DPomeranz, SDBrian Walton 11
RTorreyes, PhiSteve Gardner 8
JHolloway, MiaPeter Kreutzer 7
BBrigman, MiaGrey Albright 6
AYoung, AriBrian Walton 3
SHilliard, ColTristan H. Cockcroft 1
KFreeland, ColTristan H. Cockcroft 0
WSuero, WasDerek Carty 0
JarGarcia, SFFred Zinkie 0
RBrothers, ChCFred Zinkie 0

Mixed Salary Cap

MKopech, CWSScott Swanay 65
BZimmer, CleIan Kahn 44
THouck, BosMichael Rathburn 29
JGray, LADMichael Rathburn 24
TToussaint, AtlMichael Rathburn 13
CMcCormick, HouScott Engel 4
MWacha, TBMichael Rathburn 4
RUrias, BalScott Engel 3
DVarsho, AriJeff Zimmerman 3
JRogers, DetMichael Rathburn 3
PEspino, WasDerek VanRiper 0

Mixed Draft

JPeterson, MilTom Kessenich 75
DPrice, LADAdam Ronis 34
COwings, ColTim McCullough 31
JGray, LADTim McLeod 27
BMarsh, LAAScott White 27
DDunning, TexSeth Trachtman 25
JNogowski, PitTim McLeod 24
WDifo, PitPerry Van Hook 23
CArroyo, BosPerry Van Hook 17
THouck, BosRay Murphy 16
DHill, DetPerry Van Hook 11
LWade, SFAdam Ronis 8
VGutierrez, CinPerry Van Hook 6
CSmith, AriShelly Verougstraete 5
DVarsho, AriAdam Ronis 4
RMcGuire, TorSeth Trachtman 1

Head to Head

BMarsh, LAAFrank Stampfl 27
JWendle, TBClay Link 17
PSewald, SeaClay Link 15
ZDavies, ChCFrank Stampfl 13
LArraez, MinNick Pollack 8
CSmith, AriAriel Cohen 8
AMills, ChCNick Pollack 8
JPederson, AtlPaul Sporer 4
PFairbanks, TBPaul Sporer 2
JFleming, TBAndrea LaMont 1
RoPerez, CleAndrea LaMont 0
DVarsho, AriClay Link 0
CCasali, SFPaul Sporer 0
CArroyo, BosClay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

ZGallen, AriAlex Fast 300
RTapia, ColAndy Behrens 112
NPivetta, BosJennifer Piacenti 21
BMarsh, LAADoug Anderson 17
TMcKenzie, CleRon Shandler 17
HDozier, KCRon Shandler 15
OMercado, CleAl Melchior 12
JSuarez, LAAAl Melchior 12
PSewald, SeaAl Melchior 12
CGreen, NYYDoug Anderson 2

Tout Table: Second Half Boons

The post break schedule is about to commence so we asked the Touts:

Which players, currently on the IL, will make the biggest fantasy difference when they return after the break?

Ian Kahn (The Athletic, @IanKahn4): I think it is Eloy Jimenez. The injury seemed so devastating at the time, that he was dropped in many formats. He was easily available as recently as this past weekend in many leagues. Others who are coming back like Trout, and in an odd way Chris Sale will bring huge value down the stretch. The issue with Trout, is that most teams were counting on him this season for a full year. Sale, is unique, because he cost so little, that it might be a huge boon to teams in many leagues. But Eloy might still be out there, so he’s the call.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): Maybe it’s a cop out, but feel like it has to be either Noah Syndergaard or Carlos Carrasco. I imagine it will take them a bit before they’re going a consistent 5 IP but, once they are, I don’t imagine there will be much of an innings restriction for either of them. It’s a contract year for Thor, so I think he especially would like to showcase what he has. Mets certainly need the pitching depth at the moment, too.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Putting aside Mike Trout (how can it *not* be Mike Trout?) I think Cookie Carrasco could be a difference maker. I see Sale getting going, and just read that Eloy is coming back this month, but to me, Carrasco is in the best situation to make some hay.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): Mike Trout is the easy call here, but Eloy Jiménez is available in a surprising amount of leagues, mostly because a lot of people wrote him off for the season after his pectoral injury. But he has a chance to be a huge difference-maker in leagues.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I can see the argument for Mondesi, but he has to be healthy to be an SB difference maker and I wouldn’t bet on that, so it has to be Trout for me. Pitcher: I’d gladly take Sale or Bieber, whoever arrives first. (I think it’ll be Bieber.)

Jock Thompson (Baseball HQ, @JOCKatHQ): Mike Trout

Tim McLeod (, @RunTMcP361 ): Adalberto Mondesi. It’s still possible to see 20-to-30 thefts in the second half and that could prove to be a difference maker and shake up the standings very quickly down the stretch.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): I’m also going Eloy Jimenez I think he has a monster Fantasy August and Sept in terms of AVG, HR and RBI.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Carrasco and Sale will have as much Impact as any trade any team makes Trout and Jimenez are no Brainers

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Mike Trout … because he’s … Mike Trout. There are no other correct answers here. Although Tim McLeod is correct in that Mondesi is a big difference maker. Particularly in leagues with a cluster of teams & stolen bases, Mondesi could most rapidly affect standings.

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ): Maybe my Red Sox homerism showing, but I’ll take Chris Sale over the field. Caveating that TJS rehab is on track until it isn’t… but Sale hasn’t had any setbacks to date, has hit 95 mph from the mound at Fenway, and is on track to be back by mid-late August. If that leaves ~7-8 starts of “vintage” Sale, that could well be a deciding factor in a bunch of leagues.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner): The biggest individual difference-makers over the second half will be in the scarcest categories, saves and steals. With no impact closers waiting to return, a guy who can swipe 20+ bases is going to make a huge difference in Roto leagues. Mondesi hasn’t had a chance to make an impact yet this season, but we all saw what he did last September when he was running wild AND hitting for power.

Andrea LaMont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): If Shane Bieber can’t get back on the mound in the next couple weeks, the Indians stand zero chance of making the playoffs. For Fantasy, he is probably just as important but I might get out of last place in LABR if any one of Gallen, Carrasco, Kershaw or Strasburg became healthy

Eric Cross (Fantrax, @EricCross04): Mike Trout and Adalberto Mondesi will be popular choices here, but I’m going to go with Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Jimenez just started a rehab assignment and has said he feels “200%”. A rested and rejuvenated Eloy could be a major offensive beast for the last two months of the season in three or four categories.

Michael Rathburn (Rotowire, @FantasyRath): Chris Sale on the pitching side. Will allow Sox to go with a 6 man rotation and keep everyone fresh during the stretch run. Also Eloy Jimenez/Luis Robert coming back will make the White Sox the World Series favorites.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Can I go with the homer theme and say Nick Anderson? Rays bullpen has been shaky most of the season late in games, so the job could be his as soon as he shows his arm is healthy. I don’t expect that until August, but saves are saves late in the year in single league formats.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): Assuming he is fully healthy and can make four or five stats for the Metropolitans, I say Noah Syndergaard. The Mets should still be in position to win the NL EAst and it will get him ready for the playoffs.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): Assuming health, Chris Sale but not for the obvious reason. He will obviously provide needed pitching help for many fantasy teams, but in new keeper leagues, he could be an incredibly attractive protection for 2022. In most leagues, he was probably drafted at a huge discount.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Noting Mike Trout and Adalberto Mondesi probably do not reside on waivers in most leagues, looking at Eloy Jiménez reporting to Triple-A for a rehab assignment. He’s way ahead of schedule and his ability to produce runs along with a clear path to the middle of the lineup on a very good White Sox leads to him being a fantasy difference maker.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Trout, Sale — blah blah blah woof woof woof. What about Adalberto Mondesi? He’s shown he can HIT the ground RUNNING the day he comes off the IL and if you’re at the bottom of a tightly bunched group of teams in steals, Mondesi can capture multiple points while chipping in elsewhere. It’s definitely worth checking out where the team with Mondesi is in steals as there is a good chance they may be so far down in the category you can propose a symbiotic exchange.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Leaving aside Trout, surprised no one has mentioned Strasburg. When he’s healthy, he’s been very, very good.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): I’ll join the Eloy Jiménez chorus, largely because he’s out there in plenty of leagues and is way ahead of schedule. One thing that gives me mild concern that I haven’t seen mentioned yet is the White Sox comfortable lead in the division that may only grow larger by time Jiménez is back. Assuming the White Sox run away with the Central, they’ll need him healthy in October more than they will in August. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take it easy on him when he first returns, and that precious volume is what we care about in fantasy leagues.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Mike Trout

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): Looks like most are rolling with Mike Trout here, but I’ll go with Eloy Jimenez who appears to be way ahead of schedule in his recovery time following surgery for a ruptured pectoral muscle. It went from out for the season to maybe back in late August to now late-July/early August. He’ll likely dominate in the power categories upon his return because I drafted him originally, cut him for a FAAB rebate and now won’t have enough bid money to get him back now that he’s returning earlier than expected. Yeah, the fantasy gods have it in for me. I know.

Joe Pisapia (Fantasy Black Book, @JoePisapia17): With pitchers dropping like flies, a healthy Carlos Carrasco would be a boon for any fantasy rotation. Carrasco regained his form in last year’s shortened season and his high K/9 rate and win equity on a strong Mets club give him #2 starter potential in fantasy down the stretch.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): If Raul Mondesi Jr. comes back stealing bases, he could move a manager up from near the bottom to the top. The impact would be felt the most in contests with an overall component. A whole group of teams would be moving up with everyone else heading down.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): It’s Eloy Jimenez for me. The big factor here is the jolt he can provide fantasy lineups struggling offensively. Not to mention, he is widely available in FAAB – at least in the NFBC OC (currently 34% rostered) and will see some massive bids this weekend. The guy I can’t get behind is Mondesi. Oblique injuries are no joke and this may well be a lost season for him. Discount next year? And are you in?

Jen Piacenti (Fantasy Alarm, @jenpiacenti): I pray that it’s Eloy as I spent $23 in my salary cap draft on him the very night he got injured and I’ve been holding…. Trout is an obvious choice here, too, but let’s not forget Alex Bregman who will likely return to batting in the heart of the order with the most Runs and RBI in the league (** not a homer. ** facts only)

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): If healthy, the player who can make the biggest impact is Adalberto Mondesi in my opinion. He has the ability to win the stolen base category for a team not even competitive in it currently. Mondesi looked terrific in Spring Training and while healthy so far this season, and we all know what he can do in only a month.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): It’s unfortunate that you could create a true all-star team of currently IL’d players. There are too many potential massive impact players expected to return at some point, between Mike Trout, Adalberto Mondesi, a plethora of pitchers like Carlos Carrasco, Shane Bieber, and now Clayton Kershaw.

Jon Hegglund (Baseball Prospectus, @JonHegglund): Mike Trout is the easy answer, and I see a lot of Eloy mentions as well. Personally, I’m most invested in the return–actually, the season debut–of Carlos Carrasco, as he was a pretty big target of mine before he went down in spring training. If he can come back for the final two months, he could be an difference-maker for the Mets in real baseball and plenty of fantasy teams in the fake sport that we play.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): I think the easy answers are Mike Trout and Shane Bieber as preseason first round picks. It just seems weird that we have next to no updates on Bieber. Not sure why but I’m feeling quite optimistic about Chris Sale. Maybe I’m just buying too much into all of the positive reports but if his velocity is truly mid-90’s again, we could have a near ace on our hands for the final two months of the season.

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): Chris Sale, we’ve seen the lack of a 2020 minor league season really affect the MLB readiness of pitching prospects. Getting a pitcher the quality of Sale the last 2 months will be bigger difference maker than one of the many stud hitters returning.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): If we are talking about biggest impact, I think it’s has to be Mondesi. No one could affect a category like he could in stolen bases.

Dr. Roto (FullTime Fantasy, @DrRoto): Chris Sale seems like a no brainer. I also like Carlos Carrasco too. If they are out there in your NFBC leagues grab them ASAP.

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): For me the only answer here is Mike Trout. A lot of the other names (Mondesi, Carrasco, Thor, Eloy) might all have a big impact, but each is either on a bad luck streak of injuries, coming back sooner than expected, or a pitcher. I’d be glad to have any of them, but each is in his own way a lottery ticket. Trout has a habit of missing time, too, but when he gets back on the field the best player in the game will be ready to go.

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): Trout is the obvious guy, but Chris Sale, Eloy Jimenez, Shane Bieber and hopefully Clayton Kershaw if the Dodgers are just exaggerating his injury to buy him some extra off time with the ASB coming up.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Trout is the player everyone will turn to but don’t underestimate Eloy Jimenez returning in August. He has to power to add a quick 10-15 home runs in that short span

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): I get the Trout pick, but even if he is Mike Trout, it won’t get the Angels to the playoffs! My homer Pick is Jack Flaherty, because his 8 wins after he returns might be enough for the Cardinals to top the Brewers for the NL Central crown!

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): Charlie’s fantasy is the Birds edge the Brew Crew for the title. I like it!

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): It’s hard to ignore Chris Sale as we’re all excited to see what he can do with a healthy arm – we haven’t seen Sale in his prime since the 2018 season when he was a one of the best starters in the league. The Red Sox are electing to stretch him out to at least five frames before he returns and he’ll like make a huge impact on the ever-thinning SP landscape.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): The two hitters that should have the biggest impact once they return is Corey Seager and Alex Bregman. Their teams are stacked with talent so they should rack up plenty of runs and RBI when they return. Bryon Buxton was lights out at the beginning of the season but I just wish he could stay on the field.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): The Eloy Jimenez rehab news is life-affirming. I’m weeping tears of the purest joy as I type this blurb.

Scott Wilderman (OnRoto, @): As much as I love Charlie… as an attendee of the very first Milwaukee Brewer game ever (my Dad pulled me and my brother out of elementary school to see them get crushed), I have to make a counter prediction that Flaherty’s 5 wins after the break are not going to be enough for the Cards. Kershaw will have the most impact in the NL, Schwarber if you discount Kershaw’s current status as gamesmanship. In the AL, it’s Trout/Sale/Bieber.

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): Aside from Trout, it’s easily Chris Sale and Luis Severino. Both still project is top 10 MLB pitchers, and while projections don’t account for injuries well and may be a bit aggressive here, nobody on the IL has more high-end upside than these two.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Mike Trout, Shane Bieber and Clayton Kershaw seem like obvious choices to me, but I’ll choose to take a head-to-head approach to this: I think Eloy Jimenez and Chris Sale, respectively, will be quite impactful playoff (think final six weeks) contributors, at least relative to what people might be expecting from them.

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek): Mike Trout is an easy one, but I will go Eloy Jimenez to be slightly different. Eloy gives you massive 4 category production you won’t find on the wire. If you are looking for steals he isn’t your guy. I think getting 2 months or so of Eloy will give the biggest fantasy push.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): While Mike Trout, Eloy Jimenez and Shane Bieber seem obvious, Carlos Carrasco is my pick. Innings concerns for some pitchers are about to occur and Carrasco will be fresh. He pitched well last season and has one of the better home parks.

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): I’ll add another vote to the Chris Sale tally. There are a lot of great players coming off the IL soon after the break, but my first thought was a player who hasn’t been able to contribute yet this season due to injury, and the lack of impact pitching available on the waiver, paired with the difficulty of trading for pitching, makes Sale uniquely valuable. Even if we’re only expecting him to be 75-80 percent of his usual self in his first two months back from Tommy John surgery, he’s still a potential Top 15-20 SP the rest of the way on a contending team, providing ample run support and a better than expected bullpen to protect his leads.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Chris Sale. I drafted him during the final rounds of my drafts and used him on the IL slot with hopes of getting either Sale or Noah Syndergaard returning from the IL after the all star break. Syndergaard won’t be returning this season, but Sale’s rehab had been going nicely to date. Sale may start a rehab assignment this week and be in the Red Sox starting rotation soon. He may be a difference maker in fantasy leagues this season.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I’ll hedge and break my response into 2 parts. If we’re talking about players who have played already this season, I’ll go the Captain Obvious route with Trout on the hitting side (Mondesi and Robert are distant runner-ups; Ketel Marte also a consideration if he’s healthy and gets traded to a contender) and Shane Bieber on the pitching side (Flaherty and Strasburg are distant runner-ups). If we’re talking about players who haven’t yet played in a regular season game, Eloy Jimenez is the clear pick on the hitting side, while I think you can throw a bunch of names in a hat and pick one on the pitching side (Sale, Carrasco, Syndergaard, Severino).

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Trout, Eloy and Mondesi (from a single category standpoint) are all great picks, but for the sake of variety, I’ll throw out a new name. Anthony Rendon is often overlooked in fantasy circles so I’m not too surprised that he has yet to be mentioned here. Rendon hasn’t had much luck in the health department this season, having already made multiple IL trips, and his current stat line is rather underwhelming. But let’s not forget that he was a consensus top-40 pick in drafts this spring and boasts an extensive track record of elite-level production. AVG tends to be the most underrated 5×5 category and Rendon is a career .287 hitter who has batted over .300 in three of the last four seasons, so he could be especially valuable in that area. He’s expected back right after the break, so let’s just hope for an injury-free second half.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): While for tout-team personal reasons, I hoping Bregman has a strong late-July return, I have to focus on players projected to come back sooner, than later. Carlos Carrasco has battled a hamstring injury all season long, but clearly showed last year there is nothing wrong with his ability to pitch after coming back from far more serious ailment and he could be back within two, two and a half weeks. In terms of pure value, if Mondesi has the green light, he’ll be more of a difference maker in the late-season standings. If Sale does indeed start a rehab assignment this week, then I’d be inclined to get on the bandwagon there too. Of all of them, though, Trout is the safest best, even if he doesn’t run anymore. Jimenez’s aggressive/swing and miss style will continue to make him a volatile, streak player.

Tout Daily: deTouts going for deGolden Tickets with deGrom

After a one week hiatus from posting picks (last one, pinky swear), the Touts are back at it with the second week of the fourth period. Please note, we’ll be running next week’s contest on Friday night, July 16.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Jacob deGrom – No fooling around, I need points to get back in contention , so taking the best there is!

Hitter: Mookie Betts – When I finished putting everyone on, I had $5200 and that was a Betts salary. Must be a sign!

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Jacob deGrom – Price was not nearly as bad as I expected.

Hitter: Joey Gallo – He’s hot and I like the match-up/

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Taking the discount at $8,500 and rolling the dice on Castillo tonight. He’s hit or miss so far this season.

Hitter: Joey Gallo – Averaging 8.8 DraftKings fantasy points per game and relatively cheap at $4,700.

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek)

Pitcher: Merrill Kelly – Everyone will use Jacob deGrom, as they should. Most will be on Luis Castillo and that is not a horrible idea either. I’ll tout a lower rostered tournament play in Merrill Kelly. Kelly has put up 20+ DK points in three straight starts. He brings a nice 20.5% K-BB, while allowing 1 run or less in 2 of 3 starts. He faces the Road Rockies tonight who are striking out 30.6% of the time versus RHP in the last month while only hitting .183. Not many will play Kelly so enjoy the leverage on the field.

Hitter: Joey Gallo – There are not many hotter hitters in baseball than Joseph Gallo. He is hitting .370 over his last eight games with eight home runs and a 1.744 OPS. Gallo is barreling the ball 56.3% of the time with a hard-hit rate of 75% as well. He gets a matchup versus Urena tonight that most power hitters druel over.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Has settled down after a rough start to the season, pitching to a 2.13 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in six outings since the beginning of June, and the $8,500 price is quite attractive.

Hitter: Austin Hays – Boasts a .358/.386/.612 slash line versus lefties this year and gets to face Steven Matz tonight. Oh, and he’s only $3,000 on Draftkings.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Jameson Taillon – I wish I could count on Dane Dunning to pitch at least five — but I can’t, so I won’t. I like the Kelly call above, his tag-team partner for me will be Jameson Taillon. Seattle is generous with the strikeouts, so less hope their feeling magnanimous this evening.

Hitter: Bryce Harper – Good hitting weather on the North Side. Maybe this is the night Harper hits one out with some traffic. Hey, a guy can dream.

Tout Wars FAB Report: July 4

There wasn’t much fireworks in these week Tout Wars FAB runs. The winning bids are below.

Next week’s bidding with transpire on Wednesday, July 14. I’ll do my best to post reports in a timely manner.

If you want to see the standings, rosters and all the moves for the Tout leagues, the link to the respective OnRoto sites is accessible by clicking on the league header.

American League

GSheets, CWSMike Gianella 130
CTerry, TexPatrick Davitt 59
JBurger, CWSMike Gianella 52
OMercado, CleHoward Bender 38
MFoltynewicz, TexRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 13
GCelestino, MinRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 13
ACimber, TorDoug Dennis 8
TLocastro, NYYJason Collette 6
JJung, TexDoug Dennis 2
AWynns, BalJason Collette 1
AHedges, CleHoward Bender 1
WPeralta, DetMike Gianella 0
NCortes, NYYDoug Dennis 0
RUrias, BalLarry Schechter 0
DLeyba, BalLarry Schechter 0

National League

OArcia, AtlPhil Hertz 113
JPanik, MiaGrey Albright 62
PWisdom, ChCGrey Albright 62
HHembree, CinTodd Zola 37
DLeone, SFPeter Kreutzer 4
NHeath, AriGrey Albright 3
TEstrada, SFTodd Zola 3
JBrebbia, SFTristan H. Cockcroft 1
RBleier, MiaPhil Hertz 0
ALopez, CinDerek Carty 0

Mixed Salary Cap

RSuarez, PhiJeff Zimmerman 74
CSulser, BalAlex Chamberlain 46
RWeathers, SDIan Kahn 44
AMills, ChCIan Kahn 33
VVelasquez, PhiScott Swanay 28
JCMejia, CleMichael Rathburn 27
DSantana, BosBret Sayre 24
EWhite, TexBret Sayre 24
BGoodwin, CWSIan Kahn 23
JSuarez, LAABret Sayre 21
YHernandez, WasDerek VanRiper 11
HHembree, CinScott Engel 7
RMcGuire, TorBrent Hershey 6
OArcia, AtlBrent Hershey 4
MLiberatore, StLCJ Kaltenbach 2
MMoore, PhiCJ Kaltenbach 2
CKuhl, PitScott Engel 1
JUrena, DetCJ Kaltenbach 1

Mixed Draft

SBarlow, KCSeth Trachtman 95
RWeathers, SDTim McLeod 72
SStrasburg, WasScott White 57
TMegill, NYMD.J. Short 55
RSuarez, PhiTim McLeod 51
CSulser, BalTim McLeod 41
GSheets, CWSScott White 27
JSuarez, LAAPerry Van Hook 23
JPeterson, MilPerry Van Hook 17
JBurger, CWSScott White 17
HHembree, CinAdam Ronis 12
JLowrie, OakD.J. Short 10
BZimmer, CleSeth Trachtman 10
ASenzatela, ColD.J. Short 5
DDunning, TexPerry Van Hook 4
JFeyereisen, TBD.J. Short 3
ACabrera, AriPerry Van Hook 0
JBerti, MiaShelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

RWeathers, SDAriel Cohen 44
JSanchez, MiaRyan Hallam 36
BBradley, ClePaul Sporer 28
KAllard, TexAriel Cohen 24
JPeterson, MilRalph Lifshitz 12
TMegill, NYMNick Pollack 9
JSuarez, LAAAndrea LaMont 8
LTorrens, SeaPaul Sporer 4
JRogers, DetRyan Hallam 4
GCooper, MiaNick Pollack 3
MPerez, BosAndrea LaMont 3
LUrias, MilGreg Jewett 2
RRodriguez, PitGreg Jewett 1
ELauer, MilClay Link 0
JCisnero, DetClay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

GSheets, CWSJake Ciely 115
WAdames, MilAndy Behrens 77
LMcCullers, HouAndy Behrens 77
JPeterson, MilBrian Entrekin 34
BBradley, CleAl Melchior 27
KAllard, TexAl Melchior 23
AAdams, SDAlex Fast 20
DSmyly, AtlDoug Anderson 13
CSmith, AriRon Shandler 5
RSuarez, PhiJeff Boggis 0

Tout Table: Final Top-10 Hitters

The Touts were asked to game into their crystal ball and answer:

Who (can be multiple) of the following current Top-10 fantasy batters has the best chance to end the season in the Top-10 and who will likely incur the greatest fall? The choices are Vlad Guerero Jr., Shohei Ohtani (consider as a hitter only), Whit Merrifield, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien and Cedric Mullins.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): Guerrero top 10 and Merrifield greatest fall.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Agree on Vlad; I think Semien takes a dive.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Agree on Vladito; second part–who gets hurt? That’s who falls. I hate myself for even thinking it, but that makes me guess Ohtani (and I hope I am wrong).

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Maybe I’m losing my grip, but I’ll throw the first curve and say I don’t see Merrifield going anywhere and will go out a limb and say he finishes ahead of Guerrero (with an injury to either taking it off the board). I see no reason why Merrifield won’t keep running. With limited bags, Vlad needs to maintain the otherwordly average, which will be tough. That said, both finish Top-10.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Vlad up Ohtani Hits, Pitches , Steals, Plays Field..Hard to imagine in todays day he doesnt go IL more than Once!!!! Trad him NOW

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): It’s obvious, but Vlad top-10, Mullins most likely to fall off (most out of nowhere). But now that I see Andy Behrens agrees, do the opposite.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): As much as I hate to agree with Liss on fantasy matters, I do think Mullins is at risk of the greatest fall. Pretty much every trait he’s demonstrating this season is either new or greatly enhanced relative to any prior year. We also have solid reasons for his improvement, of course, and—for selfish reasons—I don’t want him to backslide. But we shouldn’t be shocked if he can’t approach his current pace in the second-half. Also, Lenny is a monster for suggesting that Ohtani is a must-trade. I’m outraged. Trembling. We can’t have it. My whole retirement plan involves Ohtani winning this MVP—t must happen. He’s not actually doing anything we didn’t know he was capable of, and it’s not like he’s been unusually lucky. I’m fully in on Ohtani as a top-10 rest-of-season fantasy play.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CTowersCBS): I think Vlad, Merrifield, and Bichette have the best chance to remain in the top 10, and I can’t imagine that’s a hot take. Guerrero seems all but assured to be there given the leap he has made, and Merrifield and Bichette’s all-around games make them decent bets to be in that range. Especially Bichette, who benefits from an absurd amount of counting stats at the top of that lineup. Semien and Mullins figure to cool down quite a bit, and Ohtani’s biggest concern is injuries. It’s not just that he’s had Tommy John surgery as much as it is that he’s got twice as many opportunities as any other player to get hurt. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a top-10 player.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Bo Bichette sticking in the top 10, simply because he owns the most sustainable combination of power and speed. The home runs are real, so it’s just a question of whether he’ll continue stealing bases at his current pace. He has the speed to do it and he hasn’t even been caught yet, so there’s no reason for him to stop. Cedric Mullins is likely to incur the greatest fall from the top 10 as he’s clearly the biggest surprise out of this group and he’s outperformed anything he’s ever done historically in the minors. He has also significantly outperformed his xWOBA, so there’s a clear mountain of good fortune he has enjoyed so far that isn’t likely to last.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): I think both Vlad and Bo have a great show of sticking in the top-10. Whit Merrifield seems fairly safe as well due to the way his compiles stats. My biggest concern to fall would be Shohei Ohtani, who I believe to be far and away the current American League MVP. At least as a hitter only as stated in the question. Injury history combined with the fact that he has more avenues to get injured in the future that others hitters simply do not.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I’ll join the chorus singing Vlad Jr’s praises as the most likely to stay in the Top 10. I’ll say Ohtani the Hitter is the most likely to drop out of the Top 10 because he has several risk factors that the other candidates don’t have (AS HR contest could mess up his swing + he could suffer an injury as a Pitcher that would render him unable to swing a bat).

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): I don’t think this is a hot take, but the Blue Jays hitters have the best chance of remaining in the top 10 both because of their skills and their team context. Mullins is the riskiest on merit and because of the lineup around him – if he merely hits .265 the rest of the way, his counting stats could turn into dust. Merrifield has a similar issue with the Royals, but he’s also more stable of a player, so his risk of falling is also lower.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): My vote is for Bo Bichette. I assume that the context is roto. There are a few things that I look for. 1) Should be a “many paths to value” player. 3) Should be one of the highest projected players for overall value. 3) Underlying skills should be stable, and not unlucky. Of the bunch, Bichette and Semien are the two players which are “many paths to value.” Both have a presence in 4 or even 5 roto categories. Second, highest projected values are Vlad and Bichette. Finally, looking at Bichette’s skills – they look strong other than walk rate. Power, contact have improved, and BABIP seems luck neutral for him. To me, he has the highest floor of the group in question – which is what you would want to bet on to project him as a potential top-10 hitter.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I think Ariel hit the nail on the head — it’s Bichette, because of the value he brings with his speed. He’s in the top-10 without having overachieved at the plate so far, which makes him a good bet to keep it up. Also, hitting second in the TOR lineup is an easy path to massive R+RBI totals. On the low end, I have to agree with the masses and choose Mullins. His name sticks out like a sore thumb on this list.

Greg Ambrosius (NFBC, @GregAmbrosius): Bo Bichette will end the season in the Top 10 and will be a Top 6 pick in fantasy drafts next year. He has everything fantasy owners are looking for. Mullins has the greatest chance to fall, but you sure have to love what he’s done so far.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I’m going all Blue Jays here. Vladito will easily continue his Top-10 pace. Bo also is going to finish in the top-10 as he brings everything to the table, especially in the run category. As for the faller, it will either be Semien. In has returned to hitter he was in April, but without the steals. Springer has also returned so his time in the leadoff spot could be numbered.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): It might seem somewhat counterintuitive because he doesn’t run, but Vlad’s average is elite and will keep him in the top 10 even though he falls short in one category. As much as I’ve reaped the benefit from Mullins in some leagues I don’t think he will keep up this level of production and will slip in the second half.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): In: Bichette, VladJr, Ohtani. Out: Merrifield (will this crazy SB pace continue?), Semien (a bit over his BA skis), and Mullins (love the player, believe in the non-switch-hitting thing, but have to think pitchers will adjust).

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): The toughest guess is which one will not get injured! If none do I think Vlad Jr. will have the best finish of the group. At the other end, it’s hard to think Cedric Mullins can continue what he’s done!

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): Merrifield has the best chance to stay in the top 10 since he gets value in so many ways. Ohtani and Bichette’s injury history are reasons they could fall out

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Best chance: Vlad. Everything about his 2021 surge is explained by stable reasons: In better shape, more loft, tremendous bat speed (via EV), everything works. The obvious choice to plummet is Cedric The Entertainer. .220 wOBA v LHP as a RHH in 2020, then in 2021 he jumps to .386 by batting lefty? It’s a great story but also the most outlandish of all the stories here. As an aside, I can see Merrifield losing value if he gets traded to a contender that doesn’t run as much as KC, i.e. anywhere but TAM and SD.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Best Chance is Vlad Guerrero. This is what we have all waited for since his minor league career. We can’t jump off the ship now. The greatest fall is Marcus Semien. He’s having a monster season but his 40 home run pace is just not sustainable especially with a elevated .324 BABIP. (He has a career BABIP of .296)

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Guerrero, Ohtani and Bichette getting knocked out of the top 10 would be have to be injury driven. Even as they begin to fall off current pace, those year-end numbers should end up among the top 10. The easy answer for the other part of this question is Mullins. I do think he’ll fall out of the top 10 but stick around in the top 20 and will be one of the cover boys of 2022 draft guides who discuss late-round breakouts: “Who is This Year’s Ced Mullins?”

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I never answered the falling out part of the question. Excluding last season (and I don’t know whi finished top-10), from 2015-2019, only five of the 50 top-10 hitters batted below .280. Even given the different environment, a rough way of looking at this is which hitters are most likely to drop below .280. Semien to me is the most likely so he gets my vote as most likely to end up outside of the top-20. Next is Mullins, though I don’t see his average falling that much. Jeff E. alluded to the main reason — runs and RBI. Mullins will need to maintain a silly HR and SB pace, along with a .300 average (which I think is the likeliest of all).