Well, the All-Star break happened and now here I sit.  Only three games of data to expunge my sort of genius onto the masses… that’s like the Gettysburg Address stopping at “four score and seven”. So with limited research, I gotta get creative with words.  Like, have you checked out Fantasy Soccer, yeah… it’s that oddly shaped ball at the top of this page.  Don’t play? Well you should.  So onto the number seven with bacon.  Also known as the KC stealer.  Over the past 15 games that oddly enough dates back when we were still celebrating fireworks and stuff, Whit Merrifield leads the majors in steals with 7.  Big deal, 7 whole steals!  Well, the steals bandwagon has lost some steam this year with Billy not doing consistent Billy things and Trea doing game-ready stuff at Chuck E. Cheese’s, but strangely enough he still needs an adult with him.  Curse you baby-faced guys!  Whit isn’t just a dead stick as he has revitalized the Royals line-up, as they have an unbelievable record since his insertion into the leadoff spot.  It’s not George Springer-type good, but for SAGNOF, we take what we can get.  Currently owned in half of the ESPN leagues, which means that he is owned in every RCL league (basically), so kudos for all of us that are paying attention.  But on the happenstance that he isn’t owned, go grab him, do it gently though, he pees when he gets nervous.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The fastest answer to the title is that no, you can not just fix what Trea Turner was giving you and the lack thereof for the next few weeks.  Dude was a man among spatulas.  Twenty two steals in the month of June alone was more then four teams in the entire majors.  For fantasy, he was the only person over 20 in the last 30 games, only person in double digits in the last 15, and now he will get you zero for the next, presumably, six weeks…  So where do you turn?  The answer is: I wish I knew, because the waiver wire is not going to give you that type of production.  Trade?  Sure, if you have the assets, or you can just plain ignore the stat.  Interestingly enough is that if he is gone from the league, it kind of evens the playing field for steals across the board.  Billy hasn’t been Billy in some time, Dee is probably the most prestigious thief left right now is universally owned, and the waiver wire is littered with 2-3 steal guys every 10-game types.  I am not saying that losing Trea Turner is a good thing… it is an excellent thing for everyone that doesn’t own him.  If you are the sad owner of him, replacing Turner is not the biggest need.  In reality, you just need to maintain the fort ion the steals department.  That’s where me and this column come in.  SAGNOF to your wildest content.  The waivers are now your oyster at the SS, OF, or wherever you had TT employed.  Moves a plenty should be made and don’t be afraid to play match-ups versus catchers or pitchers or both.  Luckily for you, I have supplied one after the bump.  Happy post-Independence day.  Cheers!

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Y’all better be ready.  (Gotta love some fantasy baseball puns that involve some Cypress Hill.)  Well, even if you didn’t like it, I did.  So there’s that.  So A.A. Ron Hicks hit the DL with an oblique injury… but I have to ask: Why is it so oblique if we actually know what it is?  If anything, it’s an un-oblique injury because we know what the injury is.  Regardless, and I am dropping the “ir” because it is not a word, though it should be.  Jacoby Ellsbury has returned like a stallion on a white stallion. Unfortunately for fantasy, Jacoby hasn’t been such since dunkaroos were still a cool snack.  As a Yankee rooter, Hicks’ injury hurts because he is versatile and Ellsbury is just a DL nightmare.  The rewards that you reaped from the waiver wire add of Hicks aren’t lost though, because it is a substitute by substitute principle.  It’s like walking through the store and finding a 20 dollar bill.  Only to realize that a month later it was your money to begin with.  So reinvest that sorta found money to the waiver wire and keep digging.  The expectations for Ellsbury should remain limited, but are boosted by where he bats in the Yankee lineup.  Though in his SAGNOF defense, he did have 8 steals in just 149 plate appearances, so he does have some value as it relates to steals and such.  And with the scuppering Yankees in a fall from fantasy grace, minus Judge, he could ease out some OF 4-5 value.  Stay glued to that chair, more goodies after the jump on swipes, thievery and save-dom.

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Experiments are fun.  When I was a youth, we used to play a game called killer UNO.  Basically, the gist of the game was don’t get caught with the most cards. Similar to regular ole UNO, but this is where the killer part came in.  The loser had to drink a concoction of any four things mixed together from the kitchen.  So while you are trying to think of actually how gross that is and the possibilities, let’s look at the strange thing about four things soon to be in Milwaukee…  (Including prized prospect Lewis Brinson or soon to be lack there of.)  The way he is playing and the imminent return of Ryan Braun from the DL spells one thing: Minor leagues.  He is being outplayed by Keon and even twice on Sunday. Subtle Domingo joke folks.  So with Braun coming back, the regular a bats are not going to be there.  Brinson definitely has the goods, it just isn’t his time.  He came up with some SAGNOF promise and basically gave us, to date, 3-for-21, .143 batting average, and one whole counting stat.  A steal for all the kids at home screaming it.  Cut bait and go in another direction.  I get that he has sexy name appeal and can juggle, but in redraft leagues, move elsewhere and see what’s what in a month or two with the Brewers roster and pennant push.  In September, he could be a sneaky Dave Roberts type of late game entry with some steal capability.  So I bid you fair the well Sir Lewis of Brinson of the Colorado Silver Sox clan.  Carry on SAGNOF surfers, let’s see what else is hopping on the good foot to do the bad thing in the thievery department.  As always I like to include a chart of some sort, makes it all pretty like…

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You know what Tuesday’s are good for… SAGNOF.  And remembering to put your recycling out.  Funny enough, I am correlating the two this week.  Co-mingling, if you may.  This week, I wanna bring something old, something not so new, and he wears blue… pajamas.  (Because p-jays make the man.)  Let’s look at some old SAGNOF gold and the familiar name that is Eric Young Jr..  Hell, this is SAGNOF, it ain’t a beauty contest… it’s not even that B.S. 15-buck prize from Monopoly when you land on the community chest.  Why I like E.Y. Jr. is multi-faceted; First, he is on a team where he doesn’t have to throw base-running as a caution to the wind.  The Angels are second behind only the Reds’ legs in steals, and with an 80% success rate, they prolly won’t be choosing another tact to manufacture runs while Trout is mending his fin.  He isn’t sexy, and he has a track record of being a good for a few games then falling off a plateau, but since receiving regular at-bats, it is in the same breath as Trout going down.  He has an OBP of over .410, and if you think it’s kind of a fluke, check his minor league stats prior to call-up.  His OPS was at .950 in 44 games at Triple A with 15 steals.  The days of stealing 50-plus bases ala 2013 are long gone, but if you need to find a place for a steal here or there, check the Angels ownership and steals totals.  Maybin, Simmons et al.  So with that, let’ see what else is shaking in the 90-feet of thievery department.  Chart added for flavor.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

While he hasn’t ever been the end all, be all fantasy shortstop, Elvis Andrus is putting it together this year.  He has gone from a Ron Popiel special at SS to a must own, and by own I mean a trade for candidate.  Because I am not sure people really realize how well he is comparatively to some of the leagues elite shortstops with bigger names and bigger draft day price tags.  Across the five counting stats that matter for most leagues, and RCL’s are no different. this is where he ranks among qualified two-and-a-halvers. He sits 5th in batting average (.305), 5th in Homers (7), 5th in runs (34), 3rd in RBI (32) and since this is the SAGNOF post, 2nd in steals with 14.  It is interesting to compare yesterday and this year.  He has more steals at this point in the season than Segura did, and in case you were wondering all counting stats across the board are in King Creole’s favor, but at a 80 pick reduction in price from draft day.  Value plays are what makes the fantasy champ.  If Andrus, through one third of the season, can steal 14, score 34, and knock in 32 for a Rangers team that has yet to really hit their stride offensively…  Why is he not a trade target for someone who may know (that is now you) to someone who thinks that Andrus is like watching paint dry and boring?  His name to me in trade talks would be the most exciting, unless you were really paying attention to things.   Hell, look at what Zack Cozart is doing, and that is not even a joke. So enjoy this week’s tidbits and fantasy snares that may help you on the waivers or taking advantage of some situations this week. Cheers!

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The stolen base market is put into two categories: Billy Hamilton and basically everyone else.  Capitalizing on the “everyone else” is the problem.  The dreaded ebb and flow theory of SAGNOF is a beer served at room temperature.  Yeah, at its core, it is still a beer, and yes some beer is served at room temperature.  I know there will be some beer snobs that chime in and say “blah, blah this about micro brews and room temperature”.  My response is nothing, you are on ignore.  Come hang with me and you will see dudes that know how, like to, and will drink.  Ask Prospector Ralph, he knows we can bang.  Anyways, grabbing a SAGNOF guy on the waivers is a tumultuous beast.  Trying to say that he will steal or he will get on base to actually attempt to steal the base…  It’s a crap shoot outside of stolen base wizard Billy H.  Even when looking at the usually candidates from the preseason and their potential for stolen bases, they are down.  The stolen base as a whole is almost as dead as being in Buffalo Bill’s well.  We all drafted Trea Turner for his 50-plus SB potential.  To date, he has 11, and is on pace for 44.  Charlie Blackmon has gone from 43, to 17 last year, to 4 this year.  He has basically turned into a RBI machine and it shows by him being the MLB leader in the category.  And don’t get me started on Jean Segura or Jonathan Villar… go trade for Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton or anyone else in the top-5 and quell all your stolen base woes.  Trying to make up on the category but nickle and dime’n is the worst ideas since screen doors on a submarine. In case you think I am pushing pork pies and you don’t wanna listen, here is a fancy chart for catchers to abuse for streaming, and some more SAGNOF tidbits.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

While it isn’t an exact science, picking on a pitcher for stolen base success is not always an awful strategy.  So after the jump, there is a year-to-date chart that shows the propensity for pitcher’s to give up the free base.  Like I said, it is never an exact anything, because there are some elite names on this list, and because they are usually good pitchers, their respective OBP against isn’t the shining star of stats to chase.  But in theory, chasing dudes for thievery in a non-thievery world is bad folly.  Because getting on base is the most important thing next to waking up and reading what Ge has to say.  Us bottom feeders who swim the waters in the afternoon gotta be creative and basically be the monkey on the grind box to get your attention.  So for those of you with ADHD, welcome back.  And here is some weekly insight into the world of steals and saves.  Cause you may be a dime piece but saves and steals don’t need a face…

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When I say uptick, I mean that with the slightest bit of tick that any tick can offer.  But any positive in a stat that was headed for the extinct list like that Rhino on Tinder is a fantastic thing.  Through the first month of the season, there were 28,022 plate appearances across all games in MLB, accounting for 399 stolen bases.  This number is better than it was last year, but way off the pace it was in 2015, 2014, and 2012.  So for all the hub bub that I created with the stat being a dying entity, and one that really has fallen by the wayside of chasing, there may be a pulse.  Albeit a slight one.  Steals still don’t have a face, but for stat purposes and chasing, there may be a nose.  Maybe half an ear and maybe some dimples.  Welcome to the Terrorome of speed and saves.  As I drop some stupid goodness and general domineering debauchery that only Smokey and Razzball can deliver… Get comfy, it’s late Tuesday let’s get crazy, but home before the street lights come on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Last week we covered the other “S” in the “AGNOF”, that being the steals part of the whole acronym.  This week it’s saves… sorta.  And to be fair, I will touch on some steals guys this week too.  But for today, we take a gander at the Saves portion, but for better and more finite terminology, we are going to look at some of the changing needed cuffs that before the year were must owns and have basically faded away from their usefulness so far to date.  Now, being a setup relief pitcher is basically like a coupon that eventually expires.  The amount of useful relief pitchers from day one to game 162 is small, like the count on both hands kinda small.  It is an ever fluxing market where injuries, poor form, and situational involvement change from one game to the next.  I wish it weren’t so, but it is.  Everyone has a crush on the roster the draft at the beginning of the year, but soon enough a girl from another school moves in and is more prominent or endowed than the previous love fest.  That is baseball, and the last 1-2 relieve spots on your team should always be changing, just to maximize the roster spot value. So here are some of the more popular names that have fallen by the way side of rosterability or some guys that may have increasing market value.  Get your hands up, so we can slap some cuffs on ya…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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