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To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…

Scouting Report: It’s been 16 months since Garrett Richards the former Angels ace(?) consistently pitched. An elbow injury that should have required Tommy John ended his 2016, and Richards opted for a new Biometric procedure. He was reported to have been throwing pain free in the spring, but still saw his season all but end following a biceps injury back in April. Today we take a look at Richards return, as he makes his second start of the season and first in 5 months. But really he’s 16 months removed from healthy, and there’s a lot of questions surrounding his choice not to not go under the knife. The pitcher we’ll watch today is not the same guy who left us back in May of 2016. Richards has ditched his changeup, and replaced it with fastball usage particularly on his high spin rate four-seamer. He features two fastballs, first a four-seam fastball with mid-high 90’s velocity, and a low to mid 90’s sinker. He relies heavily on the two pitches throwing his four-seamer 54% of the time while featuring the sinker 13.4% of the time. Meaning 67% of his usage is on fastballs, take that Larry Rothschild! His slider is used 26.8% of the time, and features higher velocity than normal, sitting low 90’s to high 80’s. The slider generates a fair amount of groundballs, and gets a lot of swings and misses with a 17% SwStr. He rounds out his arsenal with a flyball generating curveball, that also gets swinging strikes in the mid-teens. He tends to use the curveball to lefties, and working mostly fastball-slider to righthanded batters. Previously he had relied heavily on his changeup versus lefties.

Quick Note: Richards is only expected to throw about 50 pitches so instead of going through pitch by pitch for each at bat I’ll provide general summaries of each frame.

Garrett Richards vs The Oakland Athletics September 5th, 2017 @ Oakland Alameda County Coliseum

First Inning

The first could not have gone better, as Richards only needed five pitches to get out of the inning. Velocity was in the high 90s, touching 97 on a couple of pitches. He also generated three groundball outs. Great inning but lets see what Richards can do with his breaking stuff.

Second Inning

Richards began to mix in the slider in the first at bat of the second frame versus noted fastball slugger Khris Davis, a player known for his struggles against breaking balls. Below you can see Richards freezing Khrush on a 90 MPH slider in the second inning that rung up Davis.

The pitch has nice 12 to 6 movement, and he does a good job to not overthrow it despite how hard it is. You can see Richards ringing up Matt Olson below on the pitch for his second consecutive strikeout to start the second.

He featured a few against Jed Lowrie with absolutely devastating movement. A second 1-2-3 inning to start the game, as Richards stuff looks as crisp as ever.

Third Inning

Opened the inning by continuing where he left off, getting weak ground ball contact from catcher Bruce Maxwell. He followed that up with a walk to Matt Chapman on 7 pitches, 5 of which were fastballs. Though it should be noted he got squeezed on a 2-2 slider that 100% was a strike, before walking Chapman on the next pitch. A hard single up the middle on the second pitch of the at bat to Boog Powell put runners on the corners with one out. A groundball to third led to Matt Chapman caught in a pickle as the Angels get the lead runner with two outs. The inning ended on another weak groundball this time off the bat of Matt Joyce.

Fourth Inning

After opening the inning on consecutive hard hits by Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis, the A’s are starting to jump on the fastball.

After going down 2-0 to Matt Olson, Richards battles back to get even the count with consecutive 97 MPH fastballs before pulling the string on the lefty with a nasty curveball.

After giving up a hard hit ball to left on a slider to Chad Pinder, a ball that was misplayed by Justin Upton, Richards day is done. Things really started to unravel this inning.

3.1 IP, 4 Hits, 1 Walk, 1 Run, 3 Ks, 50 Pitches, 32 Strikes, 7 Swinging Strikes, 50 Game Score

Summary: This is a tough one to come to any conclusions on. Going back to my analogy I had a great deal of excitement about Richards, particularly after he opened the game with three very strong innings. However the 4th showed why Richards might not be worth trusting down the stretch. It’s unlikely he’s going to go deep enough into games to give you wins, his K totals won’t pile up enough to matter. Based on the A’s ability to hit both his slider and fastball the second time through the order doesn’t bode well either. I’d have to see Richards get to at least 90 pitches before feeling comfortable enough to roll him out there for the rest of the season.

Razzball Baseball

Updated Top 100 SP

(rankings for ROS based on 12-team Roto)

RANK SP, TEAM
1 Corey Kluber, CLE 
2 Chris Sale, BOS
3 Robbie Ray, ARI
4 Luis Severino, NYY 
5 Clayton Kershaw, LAD
6 Zack Greinke, ARI
7 Max Scherzer, WAS 
8 Jake Arrieta, CHC
9 Justin Verlander, HOU 
10 Stephen Strasburg, WAS
11 Carlos Carrasco, CLE
12 Carlos Martinez, STL
13 Lance McCullers, HOU
14 Rich Hill, LAD  
15 Jacob deGrom, NYM
16 Sonny Gray, NYY
17 Masahiro Tanaka, NYY  
18 Gio Gonzalez, WAS
19 Chase Anderson, MIL
20 Zack Godley, ARI 
21 Trevor Bauer, CLE
22 Gerrit Cole, PIT  
23 Marcus Stroman, TOR
24 Madison Bumgarner, SF
25 Alex Wood, LAD 
26 Yu Darvish, LAD
27 Luke Weaver, STL 
28 Patrick Corbin, ARI
29 J.A. Happ, TOR
30 Lance Lynn, STL
31 Kyle Hendricks, CHC 
32 Ervin Santana, MIN 
33  Aaron Nola, PHI  
34 Charlie Morton, HOU
35 Jose Quintana, CHC
36 Drew Pomeranz, BOS 
37 Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD
38 Chris Archer, TB
39 Alex Cobb, TB  
40 Jon Gray, COL
41 Tanner Roark, WAS 
42 Dinelson Lamet, SD 
43 Kevin Gausman, BAL
44 Jose Berrios, MIN
45 Mike Clevinger, CLE 
46 Brad Peacock, HOU  
47 Chad Kuhl, PIT  
48 Michael Wacha, STL  
49 Dylan Bundy, BAL  
50 Julio Teheran, ATL 
51 Kenta Maeda, LAD
52 Jake Junis, KC 
53 Zach Davies, MIL  
54 Dallas Keuchel, HOU
55 Collin McHugh, HOU   
56 Cole Hamels, TEX
57 Rick Porcello, BOS 
58 Jeff Samardzija, SF
59 R.A. Dickey, ATL  
60 Jhoulys Chacin, SD  
61 Andrew Cashner, TEX
62 German Marquez, COL
63 Taijuan Walker, ARI
64 Blake Snell, TB   
65  Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS  
66 Brandon Woodruff, MIL
67 Jon Lester, CHC
68 Johnny Cueto, SF   
69 Mike Leake, STL 
70 Jameson Taillon, PIT
71 Michael Fulmer, DET 
72 Jake Odorizzi, TB 
73 Ariel Miranda, SEA 
74 Adam Conley, MIA 
75 Kyle Gibson, MIN
76 Mike Foltynewicz, ATL 
77 Ben Lively, PHI
78 John Lackey, CHC 
79 Jose Urena, MIA
80 Lucas Giolito, CWS
81 Dan Straily, MIA
82 Trevor Williams, PIT
83 Garrett Richards, LAA
84 Sean Newcomb, ATL 
85  Parker Bridwell, LAA 
86 Tyler Mahle, CIN 
87 Doug Fister, BOS 
88 Kyle Freeland, COL  
89 Rafael Montero, NYM 
90 CC Sabathia, NYY
91 Matt Moore, SF
92 Marco Estrada, TOR
93 Robert Stephenson, CIN   
94 Sean Manaea, OAK 
95 Ty Blach, SF 
96 Seth Lugo, NYM
97 Bartolo Colon, MIN
98 Reynaldo Lopez, CWS 
99 Sal Romano, CIN
100 Kendall Graveman, OAK 
  • Only one note this week, and it’s really just words of encouragement. At this point in the season play the matchups, ignore the names, plan your starters and adds. Do what you can to maximize innings, but most of all target the areas where you need help. Sometimes it’s ratios, and really at that point you just need to fight the urge to start anyone that isn’t 100% safe.

Follow me on Twitter @ProspectJesus, and check out my weekly Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST

 

   
  1. BillyBeaneIsNotMyLover says:
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    I was offered Blackmon for Kershaw and Buxton in a 6X6 dynasty league. QS and OPS are extra categories.

    What do you think about this trade?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BillyBeaneIsNotMyLover: I think it depends on your team. I wouldn’t do the deal, but I have some hope that Buxton can still be a really good fantasy player.

      • BillyBeaneIsNotMyLover says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I have been really good at streaming pitchers, thank to you mostly, but also due to a somewhat shallow league. I have had a much harder time with hitting that pitching. I also have a ton of picks in next years draft.

        I felt ok with it and it seems like you weren’t totally against it so maybe it was ok.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @BillyBeaneIsNotMyLover: Yeah if that’s your situation then it might make some sense. I think Blackmon for Kershaw is fair, but in a shallower league I can see why Buxton is needed. You can find guys like him in the draft or on waivers.

  2. Stumanji! says:
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    Glasnow got the call for a Wednesday start @Mil. Does he fit in anywhere here? His MLB numbers look ugly but apparently he changed his delivery in AAA and has been lights out since then.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Stumanji!: Yes he’s been throwing from the stretch entirely and has seemed to get his mechanics in order. Been utilizing a new grip on the changeup too. We’ve touched on him a couple of times here and on the Prospect Pod. I just don’t entirely trust him outside of good at home. If you’re not worried about ratios I say give him a roll.

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Robbie Ray + Sev!!! Love it all around, and completely agree . . . Ray in particular. That K/9 is insane. Best K/9 starter in the league? Or is that still Sale or someone like that?

  4. Stumanji! says:
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    @Ralph Lifshitz: I need Ks and low WHIP in my H2H playoffs. I’m too far behind in ERA and QS but neck and neck in Ks and WHIP. With that in mind, you think the best move would be to grab a two-start week from CC, Estrada, Odorizzi, Peters, or Manaea? The alternatuve is 1 start from Clevinger or Glasnow but think 2 starts from anybody above will give more Ks.

    Planning to drop either Wacha (1 start Sat @CHC) or Britton (hate to drop a good closer but I might need Wacha’s Ks, and I’m up by 4 Saves and Britton is my 6th best closer). I only have 2 moves left for the week so have to choose wisely!

    Sorry, that turned into a long post.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Stumanji!: Odorizzi on its face but I like Peters matchups the most. I don’t fully trust Peters, or his K per at all.

  5. Another Dan says:
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    Ralph,

    Excellent stuff Man. Thanks for all your efforts.

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Thanks Dan! How’s it going?

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Good Ralph thanks,

        Left an ‘essay from across the pond’ on your third baseman prospect post. Won’t repeat it all here.

        Best wishes,

        Dan

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Another Dan: Cool I’ll hop on that now. Monday’s after 8 PM EST I belong to my wife. Hahahaha she needs to schedule her time during baseball season.

  6. RICE says:
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    Hey Ralph!

    Starting Ray @SF, Tanaka vs. BAL, Clevinger vs. Det and Luke Weaver vs. CIN this week.

    For my last rotation spot I have Woodruff (vs. PIT & @MIA) plugged in as of now. He’s pitched well so far and I like the matchups.

    I may be crazy thinking of starting him over my other options:

    Alex Wood @ WAS (hasn’t pitched well lately and don’t like the matchup)
    Jose Berrios vs. TOR (like the matchup but he seems tired as of late)
    Carlos Martinez @ CHC

    Am I crazy???

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @RICE: Yes you’re crazy but hind sight is 20/20

  7. Funny Name says:
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    Weird, I almost went on saturday. Based on your recommendation I will not be attempting to go one of these next couple weekends. Drinking and masturbating sounds good to me.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Funny Name: Really? Haha, I’m going off what it was in 1988-1990. It’s might be better but I haven’t heard much good. It’s a weird place.

  8. Shivdaddy says:
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    Does this move gausmen down? h2h playoffs. Gausmen, wacha, or Lucas Giolito. Who to start!?! Please help.

    Kevin Gausman is dealing with a blister issue on his right index finger but will make his scheduled start Wednesday in Toronto.
    Gausman is unconcerned, saying he deals with blisters often and that his bullpen session Sunday went off without a hitch. It’s good to hear that he’s confident, but it’s worth noting that the righty allowed five runs over just three innings in his last outing. His inconsistency and the blister problem makes him a risky fantasy proposition Wednesday.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Shivdaddy: It could for sure there’s always such a mess with these blisters. Looks like he starting tomorrow as planned though.

  9. Miketron says:
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    Your anicdote reminds me of all those billboards for Clyde Peeling’s Reptileland in PA. Fuck that guy, it’s such a disappointment for child me. Anyways what do you think of Marty Perez as an end of year flyer?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: Yeah there’s gotta be one everywhere.

      I dont know what to make of Perez, he’s 7-0 over his last 7 starts, the ERA is great, he’s above 50% on GB but I don’t trust him. I’d have to watch one of his starts.

  10. Pete says:
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    Prediction on what Faria might do his first start back? Need QS in playoff matchup.. have held him on my DL but leaning towards dropping. Not sure how high his pitch count will go.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Pete: I’d drop, he’s got a rehab this Friday and who know what he gives you in his last 2 turns.

  11. Packers says:
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    Hi Ralph,

    Are these rankings on how you see SP’s currently or moving forward (ros)?

    For a dynasty 12 team roto I have F. Martes but J. Flarety (SL) just hit waivers. Who do you like better for 2018? Are they both holds?

    Thank you.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: Moving forward end of season, obviously I can’t eliminate recency bias.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: Flaherty

  12. Brett Myrick says:
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    Ralph, I’m in H2H playoffs… and things are looking scary with my pitching. I’ve got Alex Wood ($2.5 SON start), McCullers ($4.5), not to mention Darvish and Lester (gulp). Do I start Wood and McCullers?

    In their place I’d probably start Boyd ($6.9 vs. CWS) and Morton ($6.3 vs. HOU)… what say you, the man who loves Wood more than most?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Brett Myrick: I’d roll with McCullers and Morton. Wood doesn’t look right… sad face

  13. Swfcdan says:
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    From your prospect post as you didn’t get around to it in the comments:

    The King of the North! You are our Prospector King of the North now and should be addressed by us in each of your posts. If not they will be subjected to death by hanging. Well on 2nd thoughts maybe not…love your work though.

    Where would you rank these strugglers in your prospect ranks, if you kept ranking players until they exceeded their eligability: D FIsher, F Baretto, F Martes. I’ve been underwhelmed by all 3, and trying to decide when is the point to move on from them in keepers and onto the next hottest sexy prospect. They make up 3 of my 10 prospects in my 12 teamer, I can’t see starting the clock on either of them for next year so it will only be 2019 they become relevant on my team.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Swfcdan: Sorry I’m pretty much out of commish from Sunday at 4 PM until Tuesday afternoon after writing my Sunday post and this guy. My bad, I know I’m not always right on the comments this year.

      I rank them Fisher, Martes, Barreto. I’d hold on Fisher, have an internal battle over what to do with Martes, and drop Barreto.

  14. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    16 team league roto dynasty with max 7 man minors spots. OPS, hits, total bases, steals % added for hitters, K/9, K/BB, holds, QS, net saves added for pitchers
    C zunino
    1B r-zimm (yep it’s come to benching miggy outright, one of the few places where i’m mad at myself for trusting the raters over freemand with miggy in the draft, yuck)
    2B jose ram (3B/LF)
    SS semien
    3B longo (man back in may or earlier somebody tried trading me longo for his mostsuckass, wow, stupid me)
    CI hanram
    MI solarte party (2B/SS/3B)
    LF mancini (1B)
    CF kiermaier
    RF mookie (at 11th overall, still happy bout that one)
    OF jd mart (loved this draft discount from injury too)
    OF brocktune (LF/RF)
    util (2) a-jax (CF/LF/RF), mini donkey (1B)
    BN miggy
    DL d.travis (5 DL spots)
    NA (2) mcmahon/c.stewart (LF DET, fairly high ranked by ralph)
    SP (5 starting slots, 1750 max innings) cueto (OVER stanton, yuck, needed a #1 SP at the time), morton, hamels, peacock, lamet, a.wood, stephenson (streamer)
    RP (6 max slots) neris, kimbrel, yates, knebel, baez, rivero (did well drafting 5/6 of this)
    DL mccarthy, rodon the monster

    somebody got bored with bader again (i had him earlier), use how much FAAB out of 100 on him over i suppose a-jax (i’m winning the league fairly easily here)
    minors list:
    fisher (awful end to season, will probably have to call up hopefully not this year again)
    meadows CF
    a.reyes
    i.diaz MI MIL (was high ranked by ralph in march, lower now, he’s a candidate to be dropped for prospect draft next year)
    k.lewis LF
    z.collins C
    fedde

  15. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    16 team league roto dynasty with max 7 man minors spots. OPS, hits, total bases, steals % added for hitters, K/9, K/BB, holds, QS, net saves added for pitchers
    C zunino
    1B r-zimm (yep it’s come to benching miggy outright, one of the few places where i’m mad at myself for trusting the raters over freemand with miggy in the draft, yuck)
    2B jose ram (3B/LF)
    SS semien
    3B longo (man back in may or earlier somebody tried trading me longo for his mostsuckass, wow, stupid me)
    CI hanram
    MI solarte party (2B/SS/3B)
    LF mancini (1B)
    CF kiermaier
    RF mookie (at 11th overall, still happy bout that one)
    OF jd mart (loved this draft discount from injury too)
    OF brocktune (LF/RF)
    util (2) a-jax (CF/LF/RF), mini donkey (1B)
    BN miggy
    DL d.travis (5 DL spots)
    NA (2) mcmahon/c.stewart (LF DET, fairly high ranked by ralph)
    SP (5 starting slots, 1750 max innings) cueto (OVER stanton, yuck, needed a #1 SP at the time), morton, hamels, peacock, lamet, a.wood, stephenson (streamer)
    RP (6 max slots) neris, kimbrel, yates, knebel, baez, rivero (did well drafting 5/6 of this)
    DL mccarthy, rodon the monster

    somebody got bored with bader again (i had him earlier), use how much FAAB out of 100 on him over i suppose a-jax (i’m winning the league fairly easily here)
    minors list:
    fisher (awful end to season, will probably have to call up hopefully not this year again)
    meadows CF
    a.reyes
    i.diaz MI MIL ( a candidate to be dropped for prospect draft next year)
    k.lewis LF
    z.collins C
    fedde

      • I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: sorry, forgot to explain, the minor list cannot be added from FA to midseason. you could trade to it, or send down a guy you already called up. fisher i’ve called up and sent down thus far this year. we keep up to full active roster and up to full 7 man list. it’s why a-jax would be the drop. my prospect list in general (not counting a.reyes, who i knowingly drafted in the 2nd prospect draft round after injury) not doing well. fedde i’m fine with, guys fail all the time when first up, fisher too on that one. his K rate was still great the whole time up. at least they stopped that jerking him around to bullpen idea right off.

  16. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    bader’s moved down in lineup, him or rosario in OPS?

  17. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    12 team OBP, hits, and total bases today only. gotta bench 2:
    doctor castellanos @ kluber -16.7 (but he’s been hot for a while now)
    story @ walker 2.4 (hot for a few days, but all against good pitchers)
    odor vs marco gonz (who’s awful) 18.7, but hasn’t been good with the knee thing.

  18. Dubjay says:
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    Hey Ralph,
    So im in my H2H keeper league playoffs. Trying to decide how to play this next week or two pitcher wise.
    Starting tonight I have Gibson vs SD, Ed Rod vs OAK and Cole @MLW. I have taken the decision to sit Richards vs HOU. Hope that is the right move.
    Now trying to decide on the rest of the week/next week.
    1.Drop Gibson for C.Anderson who clears waivers tomorrow. Unfortunately since they moved him up a couple of days, I wouldn’t get anything from him for this week. But would be a 2 start option for next week.
    2.Drop Gibson for Lamet. Would have him for his start at MIN tomorrow but not sure that Id start him there. Would you start him? Would have him for 2 starts next week.
    3.Drop Gibson for a backup bat (T.Anderson, J.Polanco or E.Escobar)
    4.Hold Gibson for his sunday start and hope that Lamet/Anderson are still available Sunday(doubtful)

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