Hello, Razzball Readers and six reader-ettes (Grey says it’s five, but now my wife will read (or says she will), so let’s up that number to six, shall we?). The name is Phil, and I’m here to provide some OPS league analysis. I’m from St Louis, but I’m no Cardinals Fan; so the Browns Logo it is.  I’m also not as funny as some of the writers on this site, but I’ll try to work in some humor; we’ll have a few beers, a few laughs, stop at In-and-Out burger, you know, the usual.

I’m going to be breaking down players and numbers for OPS leagues, which are the best of leagues. For those not in the know, that’s On Base % (so walks count!) + Slugging Percentage. Chicks dig the long ball, as Greg Maddux(?!?!) said back in the 90’s, and OPS leagues love those guys. However, as we enter deflated numbers for power hitters, we need to look at guys who help at OPS, which isn’t as easy to find as “batting average” hitters.

The biggest part of OPS to know is that batting average DOESN’T MATTER. Remember that, right it down, take a picture, I don’t give an ef, as it’s the most important part when comparing rankings from Experts. In recent history sluggers like Adam Dunn (the OPS League Gold Standard for many years), Mark Reynolds, Brandon Moss, Cris Carter, Mark Trumbo; all can/did barely hit over .240 but they hit bombs and had a nice OPS.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The season is winding down, and honestly, there isn’t much that can be said to help improve your playoff chances at this point. Largely, the last few days of the season come down to grabbing the appropriate streamer options. This post will go up on Saturday, so this may not look wise, but guys like Wei-Yen Chen are typically smart plays. Anyone going up against a lineup that is being “rested,” such as the Yankees following their clenching of the Wild Card, is a smart gamble.

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Thomas Pham is a 27-year old rookie who has made the most of his first month in the big leagues. Big Magoo wrote about him on Tuesday, saying “Enjoy the fling while it lasts, but be wary of a long-term commitment.” And I completely agree! I don’t think that Pham will be a viable option in shallow mixed leagues next year.

thomas-pham-mlb-st.-louis-cardinals-milwaukee-brewers-590x900

Can he do it? Yes, he pham! Remember those great Jorge Cantu chants? Jorge can’t hit a home run! Yes, he Cantu!

My initial reaction was: could this be a Charlie Blackmon scenario? Blackmon’s first full season came at the age of 27, when he batted .288/.335/.440 with 19 bombs. But, Blackmon had already had plenty of major league action to that point, and his skillset was generally superior to Pham’s. So, I slapped myself and recognized that Pham is a perfect playoff schmotato and nothing more. Given that information, Pham has absolutely crushed over the past two weeks, posting a 1.350 OPS with 4 homers and 12 RBI. At this point in the year, you need to grab onto these hot streaks. And, Pham’s hot streak is molten right now.

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In the spirit of the playoffs, I’m going to run through one widely available player at each position who might be able to help you in your OPS stretch run. Let’s get started.

Catcher: Grey gave you J.P. Arencibia and Francisco Cervelli as buys yesterday. But, if those guys are taken and you are hurting at catcher, take a look at Florida’s J.T. Realmuto. Over the past two weeks, Realmuto has gone 13-for-34 with 3 home runs and a 1.084 OPS.  He’s been one of the hottest hitting catchers going of late and he is owned in about 15% of ESPN leagues. I also considered Detroit’s James McCann for this one. Over the past week, McCann trails only Buster Posey, Kyle Schwarber, and Salvadaor Perez in OPS, posting a .853. But, playing time is a bit more of a concern with McCann, so Realmuto is the pick.

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The King has returned to Middle Earth, to rule over the hobbits and elves and the other woodland friends. His name is Bryce Harper, and he will dole out fiery OPS vengeance upon any foolish enough to oppose him. Yes, friends, Harper, our long-time OPS champion, has enacted his fury this past week, going 10-for-23 with 5 homers and 6 RBI. His OPS for this period was a gorgeous 1.753. If Harper doesn’t win the NL MVP award, something is very wrong with the BBWAA. Harper has the 2nd highest OPS all-time for a 22-year old, behind only Teddy Ballgame. Almost more impressively, if the season ended today, Harper’s OPS would be the highest since Barry Bonds’ in 2004 (Bonds had an absolutely inhuman 1.422 OPS).

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Kyle Seager has been on a bit of a tear. Seager’s OPS over the past week is a very handy 1.372. He is going to close out 2015 with stats almost identical to his previous couple of seasons, 20+ homers, 70+ RBI, and a .260/.330/.430. Not bad, but not all that special, either. Seager is one of those guys that you draft for safety but recognize immediately that it wasn’t a “sexy” pick. In my 10-team AL-only league, I had my eye on Kyle but he was plucked right before me in round 5, so I grabbed Manny Machado. If we’re talking “sex” and “baseball”, we’re talking Machado … or Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham. Now that we’ve established that Kyle Seager isn’t as beautiful as Manny Machado, how does Kyle’s younger brother Corey Seager compare?

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Tehol was enjoying Shark Week while Miguel Sano was bashing mammoth home runs a while back. Appropriately, he gave the Dominican-born Sano the fantastic nickname, “Great White.” I’ve got to say, I have been inspired by this since, and I’m determined to make it stick. I will dedicate my life to getting this nickname uttered by a nationally televised broadcast team. Okay, nicknames aside now, let’s talk about Mr. Sano. Aaron Gleeman, a Rotoworld Senior Editor and Minnesotan, has been posting an onslaught of wonderful OPS statporn related to Sano. Here’s a sampling…

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Looking over the past few weeks’ worth of OPS numbers, I saw a lot of names that I expected to see up on top. Nelson Cruz, sure. Anthony Rizzo, duh. Chris Davis, yawn, but sure. Andrew McCutchen, okay. These guys are either superstars or mega-power meatheads (I’m looking at you Cruz and Davis). The next name on the list? David Peralta. What? Peralta, who is quickly rising in ownership in most formats (up to nearly 50% in ESPN now) has been crushing the ball to the tune of a 1.190 OPS over the past two weeks. During that time, he has gone 20-for-42 with 2 homers and 13 RBI. Even better, over this last week, Peralta is number two in all the land in OPS, at 1.819. Yeesh. Who is this guy? Here’s some quick Peralta backstory, if you’re interested. Skip a paragraph down if you aren’t.

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Good gravy, let’s talk about two recent power surges. Duda Where’s My Car and He’s on the Mark, Teixeira. Lucas Duda and the Teixecutioner have been absolutely bananas over the past week.

Duda has hammered 6 long balls in the past week (9 in the past two weeks) with a 1.708 OPS. That’s good for the second best OPS over the past week in baseball, behind only the aforementioned switch-hitting Mark Teixeira. Earlier in the year, Duda was annihilating baseballs. He had a phenomenal April and May but slumped terribly through June and first half of July. Towards the end of July and now into August, Duda has flipped back to the early season guy that Mets fans were drooling over. With the surge, Duda has nearly doubled his HR count (21) and could be a threat for 30. For OPS leagues, obviously he’s been stud-worthy recently, but be careful if you’re trying to deal for him at your league’s trade deadline. This is a guy who can get cold just as quick as he got hot. With how high the price tag must be on him right now, I’d stay clear. If you’re an owner, I would see what I could get back for him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 
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