Almost every year, the battle between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the AL East is one of the intriguing storylines of the season. The two are age-old rivals and when they’re both postseason contenders – as they are this season – they manage to push each other to go that much further to outdo their rival.
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This season, the Boston Red Sox stand head and shoulders above almost every single other MLB team with 41 wins from 60 games. But, very close in pursuit are the New York Yankees with their 38 wins from 56 games. Not even the hailed reigning champions, the Houston Astros can come close to the Red Sox at this stage of the season.
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As the war wages on between the Red Sox and the Yankees for divisional and league dominance, the stars of the teams are stepping up in a big way to provide for their fantasy baseball owners.
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Boston stars leading the hitting

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j.d. martinez
Source: Red Sox, via
Twitter
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Sitting high atop the hitting rankings having played 48 games is Mookie Betts. With a .359 average, he eclipses the .344 of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and the .342 Cincinnati Reds’ Scooter Gannett. While at this stage, Betts had played around ten games fewer than Kemp and Gannett, and his 17 home runs – only two behind the leaders – means that he’s hitting big at an incredible rate.
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But Boston’s arsenal doesn’t stop with Betts as J.D. Martinez also ranks in the top 20 for batting average at the 60-game mark. With 57 games under his belt, Martinez has tallied a .315 average and joint-leads the league with 19 home runs at this stage in the season.
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Elite-level batting is a huge reason behind Boston’s surge to the top of the standings this season, and it doesn’t look to go quiet anytime soon. In fact, the Red Sox are so confident in their set up that they even designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment during his dry spell.
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New York’s superb team to take the division

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judge
Source: Yahoo Sports MLB, via
Twitter
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Coming into the season, the New York Yankees were favoured to take the AL East and even challenge Houston for a place in the World Series. The Yankees boast a roster that is filled with high-quality players all over the park, which is why they’re favoured at -130 to Boston’s -105 in the MLB odds on bet365 to claim the division before the regular season is up.
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The Yankees have performed well in pretty much all areas of play, with a few surprise packages suddenly rising to prominence. One such example of this is fantasy baseball hero Luis Severino. The right-handed pitcher has clocked in nine wins to just one loss from 13 starts while rocking a 2.20 ERA by the 56-game point of the season.
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It’s come to the point where some are labelling this team as the best in the MLB right now – despite sitting behind the Red Sox and the praise that the Astros have received. They have a complete team that’s full of great players who are performing very well, to the joy of fantasy baseball owners, as well as a bullpen that some deem to be too good.
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There’s still a long way to go in this MLB season, with all eyes on who will come out on top in this war for the AL East. Will the Red Sox hold firm and keep ahead, or will the Yankees surge and usurp their bitter rivals?

Fantasy sports is a phenomenal business that has grown into a billion-dollar industry. One of the reasons behind the popularity of fantasy sports is the fact that fans feel like they have a real stake in the performance of their players and teams. Sports lovers like to see themselves as strategists, as they create a fantasy football, basketball, baseball, or hockey team. They can trade players, adjust their team, and execute their best course of action. Fantasy players pay an entry fee ranging from $50-$100, leading to an average of $465 per player, annually. With their money on the line, players have an even bigger desire to win, which extends beyond watching an actual gameplay. This also adds to the huge money prizes that reach up to $2 billion.
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Fantasy sports have changed the sports experience. Leagues and networks note increased viewership and fans are given the opportunity to get more involved in their favourite sport.
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Take a look at the infographic created by the Betting Sites team and discover more about this rising industry.
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growth of fantasy sports

 

barkley
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The most controversial decision of night one of the NFL Draft was Cleveland’s selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield at number one overall. But the second pick in the draft could have been just as controversial, as the New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley at number two. Given the team’s current situation, should the Giants have drafted a quarterback instead of opting for the ultra-talented Barkley?
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Giants Quarterback Woes
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New York Giants fans have not had to worry about who their quarterback would be in the future for a very long time. That is because the team grabbed Eli Manning in a trade with the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers early in their draft class. Since then, Manning has been the starter for all but a handful of games for the team. But his struggles in recent seasons had our mock draft leaning toward the Giants taking a quarterback second overall.
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Manning threw for less than 3,500 yards last season despite throwing the ball 571 times, the fifth highest number of attempts in a season during his career. He has thrown 13 or more interceptions in every season of his career since 2009, and the Giants looked impotent offensively with him out there last year. Of course, not all of this was his fault, but it is clear that Eli may be past his prime as a quarterback in the NFL.
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That is what made the second overall pick the perfect opportunity to take a quarterback. The Giants could have given themselves a future at the position to improve for years to come. And while Saquon Barkley has the support of some former Giants, he will need to be great to justify being picked second.
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More Important Issues
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There is no doubt that the Giants were one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL last season. They finished 26th in the NFL in rushing yardage, with less than 1,600 yards as a team for the campaign. Bringing in Saquon Barkley is an attempt to fix that, but it does nothing to solve the root of the Giants’ issues: their offensive line.
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In the 2017 season, the Giants scored six rushing touchdowns total. That anemic mark was the result of the offensive line of the Giants failing to get a push at the line of scrimmage. And while Saquon Barkley is a good player, he will not be able to block for himself. While some are choosing to be critical of Barkley for the wrong reasons, it is a fact that he will need help to get enough space to be effective.
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Moreover, the Giants drafted Barkley thanks in large part to his receiving abilities. There is nothing wrong with wanting a running back who can catch the ball, but the Giants already have a loaded receiving corps. Drafting a running back who averaged less than 20 carries per game in two of his three seasons at Penn State when you need a Zeke Elliott type of bell cow in the back field is a decision worth questioning.
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Chance To Repeat History
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In the NFL, there is the saying that it is a quarterback league. And with the Giants at preseason odds of 50/1 to win Super Bowl LIII according to the bookmarker Betway as of May 2, the second overall pick would have been a great chance to let history repeat itself for the Giants by drafting a quarterback. Doing so would have let the young player learn from Manning, the same way Manning had the chance to learn from veteran quarterback Kurt Warner.
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This would have been especially prudent in an NFL landscape where even the slightest injury to a quarterback can damage their hopes of winning a title. Right in the Giants’ division, the Philadelphia Eagles will be set for years to come thanks to their decision to draft Carson Wentz. If Barkley is anything short of a great player, the Giants will regret not making a similar decision.
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There is, of course, a great chance that Saquon Barkley becomes a talented and useful player for the Giants for years to come. But in a quarterback league, failure to solidify yourself at the quarterback position for as long as possible can be disastrous. For the Giants, only time will tell if they made the right decision.
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IMAGE CREDITS – Flickr

Jose Ramirez
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 AL Only fantasy baseball third baseman rankings.
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1. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
2. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
3. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
4. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
5. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
6. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
7. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
8. Nicholas Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
9. Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
10. Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox
11. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
12. Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox
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Daniel Murphy Nationals
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 NL Only fantasy baseball second baseman rankings.
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1. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
2. DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
3. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
5. Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
5. Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs
6. Ozhaino Albies, Atlanta Braves
7. Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
9. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
10.  Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins
11. Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals
12. Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds
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Jose Altuve swing
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 AL Only fantasy baseball second baseman rankings.
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1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
2. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
3. Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
4. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
5. Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles
6. Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners
7. Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers
8. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
9. Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels
10. Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
11. Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox
12. Marwin Gonzalez, Houston Astros
13. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
14. Yangervis Solarte, Toronto Blue Jays
15. Tim Beckham, Baltimore Orioles
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Paul Goldschmidt gray jersey
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 NL Only fantasy baseball first baseman rankings.
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1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
3. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
5. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Wil Myers, San Diego Padres
7. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
8. Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres
9. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
10. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
11. Carlos Santana, Philadelphia Phillies
12. Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies
13. Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates
14. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
15. Justin Bour, Miami Marlins
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Edwin Encarnacion Indians
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 AL Only fantasy baseball first baseman rankings.
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1. Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians
2. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
4. Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays
5. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
6. Matt Olson, Oakland A’s
7. Greg Bird, New York Yankees
8. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
9. Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
10. Marwin Gonzalez, Houston Astros
11. Trey Mancin, Baltimore Orioles
12. Logan Morrison, Minnesota Twins
13. Yonder Alonso, Cleveland Indians
14. C.J. Cron, Tampa Bay Rays
15. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
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Kenley Jansen save
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball closer rankings.
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1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
3. Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
4. Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays
5. Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals
6. Kenneth Giles, Houston Astros
7. Felipe Rivero, Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Brad Hand, San Diego Padres
9. Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers
10. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians
11. Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners
12. Brandon Morrow, Chicago Cubs
13. Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants
14. Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies
15. Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
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Kershaw
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings.
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1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
3. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
4. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
5. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
6. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
7. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
9. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
10. Luis Severino. New York Yankees
11. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
12. Yu Darivsh, Chicago Cubs
13. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
14. Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
15. Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs
16. Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals
17. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
18. Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
19. David Price, Boston Red Sox
20. Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
21. Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
22. Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks
23. James Paxton, Seattle Mariners
24. Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
25. Jake Arrieta, Free Agent
26. Rich Hill, Los Angeles Dodgers
27. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
28. Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers
29. Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
30. Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
31. Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants
32. Lance McCullers, Houston Astros
33. Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
34. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
35. Zack Godley, Arizona Diamondbacks
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