I’m going to take you all the way back to February of 2015. Rachel Dolezal was still black, Bruce Jenner was still a man, Donald Trump was still a floppy-haired airbag — a hairbag, if you will, Coach Taylor wasn’t yet a killer, Jon Snow was still a keeper of the wall, “on fleek” was still gibberish, gas cost only “eating a lentil salad with a side order of milkshake,” the White Sox lineup was “stacked,” Christian Yelich was still asking people to take him to see an R-rated film, the North Korean government just released their one movie a year, the 1985 classic, Just One Of The Guys, the Cardinals were looking at emails Jeff Luhnow sent to the CEO of Home Depot about getting custom-order ladder shoes for Altuve and Anthony Rendon was still a first round draft pick. We didn’t seem naive then, but apparently we were. Or were we?! Nice reversal, Grey! Rendon’s value right now is nowhere near where it could be in a month’s time. Right now, he’s interchangeable with Omar Infante, aka Hispanic Baby Omar aka HBO. There’s nothing at all exciting about Rendon. Prior to his injury, he looked like the new Cano (not the new old Cano, which is awful). Rendon looked capable of 25 HRs, 15 steals and a great batting average. The injuries in March took some of the luster away, but he’s also not suddenly garbage, which is about what you could trade to get him right now, which is exactly what I would do. Trade for him before he comes out of his wigwam like Jenner, Dolezal, Trump — Well, Trump’s wigwam is still on his head, but you get the picture. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was in my IROC at a red light when a Camaro Z28 pulled alongside, revving the engine. I knew he wanted to race, so I pushed the button for my rear spoiler to emerge that reads, “Spoiler Alert: You Suck!” and spun my wheels until smoke enveloped both cars, then…I burned away from him! Turned out, the light was still red, I narrowly avoided hitting a few pedestrians and the Camaro Z28 was actually a cop. While the police officer was writing me a ticket, I got to thinking about how I’m always out in front of things. Whether it’s telling you to avoid Cano or draft Bryce, Donaldson or Arenado, it’s like I see the future. Sure, my Magic 8 Ball has a few blind spots, like the cop, red light, pedestrians diving out of the way and Gyorko, but I still beat him through the light. With this said, you need to get through the red light and get to Jon Lester first. Save conjecture and anecdotal evidence for the tales you tell your grandkiddies one day about your fantasy team, assuming you’re still talking about the imaginary team that got away in forty years. I know I will about Ryan Klesko’s 1-for-4 on the final day of the 2001 season that cost me everything. Everything! I mean, I already sent my bedroom wall measurements to ESPN for the championship pennant! So, what we know is Jon Lester used to pitch for the Red Sox, where Epstein was the GM. They are Peaches and Herb, and reunited does feel so good. Would Epstein go out and get damaged goods that he knew so well? Seems unlikely. Lester’s velocity is essentially the same this year as last, his K/9 is .2 different, which is nothing. His walk rate is up, and June has been his worst month for control (2.9 BB/9). From year to year, his walk rate went from an even 2 to (stutterer!) 2.3. Not a huge difference, but it’s there. Well, last year his May walk rate was 3.6 and ERA was 3.90, so he even had bad months last year, and his ERA last year was 2.46. It now sits at 4.25, and his BABIP is .344, which is unlucky. Yadda squared, what do all of these numbers mean?! It means Lester could have four months of a 2.50 ERA from here until September and it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’d absolutely go out and buy him. Now, if you’ll excuse me *rear spoiler emerges, tires spin, car darts out into traffic* Spoiler Alert: You Suck! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I loved when Junior Lake homered the other day and, as he rounded first base, he held his finger to his lips, shushing the Marlins dugout, as if he was some kind of maniacal librarian. The only disappointing thing from this whole encounter is no one wrote an article titled, “Junior Mince Words.” It’s that kinda of braggadocio, WWE-type attitude that makes Grey’s man muscles tingly. Baseball needs to shed its 1920s demeanor and get rowdy-bawdy. If rowdy-bawdy means acting a fool, what the eff, go for it! The game is losing fans and fans want crazy/stupid/cool. Even in the conservative Japan, baseball players flip their bats like they’re cutting up an imaginary origami crane. I say everyone needs to come up with their own home run trot and pitchers need to blow on their gun finger after a K. As for Junior Lake, I’m a big fan outside of the theatrics. He’s a 12-homer, 15-steal guy that should play most days until Soler returns. I’ve added him everywhere I could. After I added him, I shushed my hand on my mouse. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m taking questions after my Ted Talks on fantasy baseball. I adjust my headset mic, pull on my turtleneck. Going Steve Jobs today wasn’t the best of ideas. This turtleneck is itchy. “You, in the front row.” “First off, the stuff you said blew my mind. I never knew electromagnetism had anything to do with fantasy baseball. Your square root stuff seemed like it came from a supercomputer. But a supercomputer with a mustache. And older supercomputers fawning over it. Supercomputer Cougars, if you will. So, my question for you is who does Kyle Hendricks remind you of?” “Alex Wood. Next question, you.” The Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl stands up, “Do you know I’m a Cougar?” *shoots up in bed, dripping in sweat* Whoa, I just had the weirdest dream. Left Side of My Brain, “Or was that reality?!” AH!!! So, Hendricks pitched a gem the other day. His 2nd gem in a row, and I took a long hard look at him, then didn’t mention him the other day because I wanted to highlight him here. I agree with Dream Grey, he does look like Alex Wood. Only Alex Wood when he’s on point. Right now, Hendricks has a 7 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and a 3.77 xFIP. Wood throws a curve more, but their velocities are very close on the fastball, too. Both have 50%+ ground ball rates, which makes them prone to BABIP. Hendricks is not a potential ace, but he should be owned in far more leagues and looks like a solid fantasy #3 with #2 upside based on luck. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back to sleep and see the Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a closer look at veteran players such as David Ortiz, Matt Holliday, and Adrian Beltre to determine how much gas is left in their respective tanks and whether or not they’re still capable of being the same fantasy studs that we’ve come to know over the past several years. Players who, in terms of their MLB careers, are in the autumn of the year as the late, great Frank Sinatra might say. However, this column’s intent isn’t to focus solely on the old guard who would be ideal candidates to endorse a product such as this. Now that it’s just about two months (or almost one-third of the way) into the 2015 regular season, the sample size has become significant enough to be able to identify the players who have exhibited significant changes in skills or approach that could lead to sustainable changes in performance and production moving forward. That brings us to Mike Moustakas.Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely firstname.lastname@example.org. So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You in March, “Well, at least if I draft Carlos Gonzalez, he’ll either produce or be on the DL.” You now, “I wish he would get hurt already. Is he hurt? Could someone tell me what’s wrong with CarGo? Does CarGo even stand for Carlos Gonzalez anymore? Isn’t the other CarGo hurt too? I feel like a Russian mobster wondering what’s happened to my CarGo. If I find emaciated prostitutes inside my CarGo, there’s going to be hell to pay by my friend, Ukrainian Petrov. UP has let me down! Why am I muttering these things about CarGo while standing in the middle of Route 22 in a straitjacket? Is this a dream? Nightmare? Out of body experience? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” There’s a few reasons behind this CarGo buy. Yes, I’m going to try to convince you to buy the hated CarGo. 1) The weather was atrocious in Colorado in April. Hitters can’t get into rhythm when they’re being rained/snowed/sleeted out three times a week. I’d say I’d buy low on any Rockie hitter due to this. 2) CarGo’s always been good when healthy. 3) There’s no 3. 4) He’s only 29. 5) You could be a 17-homer, .275 hitter in Coors. Yes, you, who just this morning confused a dirty Q-tip with a Cheez Doodle. 6) His BABIP is very low for him. He’s not a sub-.200 hitter. 7) His walk rate is up from last year and his strikeout rate is down from his last big season in 2013. 8) 675-3oooooh 9) I think his speed is more or less gone. If we see 7 steals, I’d be shocked. Okay, this isn’t a positive, but it’s worth noting. 10) To buy him right now, it will cost you about the price of admission to see Milli sing Girl, You Know It’s True next to Vanilli’s grave. I’m not paying a lot, but people are talking about dropping CarGo, so the price is right, Drew Carey, and I’d move in. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.
1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The first week I told you to buy Devon Travis. The 2nd week I told you to buy Steven Souza. This might be the most improbable streak since Joe DiMaggio’s. I’m not talking about his 56-game hitting streak, either. I’m talking about his lesser known streak, but equally improbable 117-day streak of him calling Marilyn Monroe, having another man pick up, but still thinking she was being loyal. That streak might actually be even more remarkable than the hitting one. “Who was that? Cable guy? There’s no cable for another thirty years. Oh, a guy that drives a San Fran cable car? It’s research for a part? Gotcha.” That’s Joe D. ringing up Monroe. Dexter Fowler‘s criminally underowned. Let’s just go on this alone: Fowler, Soler, Rizzo, Bryant, Castro. For the whole year. That’s the Cubs lineup. If Fowler doesn’t back into 95 runs, it’s due to injury. Next up, he looks like Pookie from New Jack City, but he has surprising ten homer power. Actually, 12 homers is likely the low end. A couple of windy days in Chicago when it gets hot and he’s getting 15 homers. If Jim Belushi bats his eyelashes at the right Cubs scorer, Fowler may just get gifted an extra homer. Steals? Well, that’s the tricky thing. He has 25-steal speed, but it’s been a few years since he’s shown it. He had 4 steals already this year. Just doing rudimentary math and he gets to 24 steals on the year. That can go up to 30 or down to 19. Either way, 95/12/40/.265/20 is ownable and startable in every single league. Now, excuse me, I’m returning to writing my one man stage play of Joe D. and Marilyn dating in heaven called, “And The Cloud Went Crazy.” Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?