I wonder if Freddie Freeman has Fletch-like dreams where he pictures himself with a huge afro and his name is Freddie World B. Freeman. “He’s actually 6-5, with the afro, 6-9. Pretty good hands, loves to hit ones deep. His club is behind by three, and World B. Freeman drains a three-run homer! Wow, was that some kind of hit. You know this kid from the gritty streets of Orange County, California sure can play.” By the way, gritty in Orange County refers to a Sonic Drive-In that has a B grade from the Health Department. So, yesterday, Freeman put up those stats that I told you to pay a 2nd round price for — 4-for-5, 3 runs, and a double slam (1, 2) and legs (1), hitting .346 on the year. I was truly perplexed how low I saw some people ranking Freeman in the preseason. If anything, I think a stronger case could’ve been made to have Freeman ranked above Miggy, who was a consensus top 12 pick everywhere. Guess Freeman could use the name Mr. Under-ranked when he sneaks into country clubs to visit Dansby Swanson (1-for-5, 1st homer, hitting .179). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
PSYCHE! Before we get to the roundup, just wanted to announce that all Player Raters are now running with rest of the season stats, and all player pages now have injury news at the top of their pages. Click a player’s name, say Ian Desmond, and you’ll see it. I have faith in you! Anyway II, the roundup:
Julio Teheran – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.00 vs. Gerrit Cole 6 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 6.55 – This matchup was of one pitcher you expect to be worse than he always is, and one pitcher you expect to be better than he always is, and the pitcher who is always better was better, and the pitcher who’s always worse was just that. Sometimes, the dress is blue and gold and looks blue and gold.
Starling Marte – 4-f0r-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, a game-winner. He hit for the fake news cycle — three singles and a home run.
Collin McHugh – Shut down for six weeks with a posterior impingement of his elbow. WebMD defines a posterior impingement of an elbow as getting your elbow stuck in your rear. Gives a whole new meaning to elbow grease!
Dallas Keuchel – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.64. Got the tough-luck no decision though, because Luke Gregerson gave up six runs in a third of an inning, which had fantasy owners wishing they didn’t grab Gregerson just so they could imitate Darth Vader with, “Luke, you are my waiver fodder.” Being a nerd gets you in trouble, that’s rule one.
Lance McCullers – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.77. I’m crushing so hard on McCullers I’m buying a Trapper Keeper just to write “Grey McCullers” all over it to see what our married name would look like.
George Springer – 2-for-6, 2 runs and his 4th homer. Between him and Marwin Gonzalez ( 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and 3rd homer), the Astros have been able to buoy themselves with Bregman (0-for-5, hitting .167) and Altuve (2-for-5, 1st steal, hitting .200) struggling early. They’re getting Marwin pardons.
Danny Duffy – 7 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.08. Two starts, two sparkles. I’m about to apply a unicorn sticker to my computer where Duffy’s name is.
Mike Moustakas – 2-for-5 and his 3rd homer. Moistasskiss!
Salvador Perez – 1-for-5 and his 4th homer, which was his 4th HR in 4 games. He’ll cool off at some point, but I’ll give Perez this, he’s like the Doc Martens of catchers. Not always pretty, but they are durable.
Nate Karns – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 7.11. I prefer Kwik-E-Mart.
Chris Archer – 7 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.45. Archer tries to take from the rich teams and give back to his poor team, but he just returns with no decisions.
Marco Estrada – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.73 vs. Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.50. This game was billed as Ponch vs. Not Poached, but Ponch was the one who had his goose eggs broken.
Josh Donaldson – Hit his 2nd homer, but left the game with a problem with his calf that bothered him all spring. I ranked him lower than most, and I wasn’t about to draft him, but I should’ve ranked him even lower and wrote a schmohawk post for him. I blame no one but myself. Actually, I blame you, but pretend to blame myself. As I said all preseason, the Jays are not going to be good this year and Donaldson is about to come back to earth. He says he can return on Tuesday, but we’ll see.
Jesus Sucre – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer. Sweet Jesus!
Steven Souza – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .417. On one of my teams that is doing slightly, insanely, adverbly well so far, I’ve been playing the sweet tunes of Souza all season.
Corey Dickerson – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer, hitting .360. He was in Friday’s Buy, prior to that he was mentioned as a hot schmotato, and now he’s moving towards, “How do you not own him yet?” territory.
Ervin Santana – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.69. Apparently, someone’s in the business of teaching me a lesson for not ranking them. Lesson learned, class dismissed at University of California at Ervin.
Miguel Sano – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Could he help Buxton (0-for-4, hitting .077)? Because right now Buxton’s not swinging it, he’s winging it.
Jorge Polanco – 2-for-4 and his 1st homer, hitting .389. Hot schmotato alert!
Cam Bedrosian – 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER and the save on Saturday. The Sciosciapath said Bedrosian wouldn’t be limited to pitching the ninth and used in high leverage situations in the 7th and 8th. He added, “Your fantasy teams can suck it!” Then danced around flapping his arms. I own Andrew Bailey in one league for the occasional save.
Matt Shoemaker – 4 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 7.71. The Cobbler got eaten alive.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer. Not bad for the 9th round! Wait, that was last year, I don’t own him this year. Carry on.
Mitch Haniger – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, and 2nd in as many games. Mitch don’t kill my vibe! Not like, “Hey, Mitch, don’t kill my vibe,” but more like I’m talking to a third person and telling them that Mitch is good and keeps my vibe going. Perhaps I should say, Mitch does not kill my vibe.
Edwin Diaz – 2/3 IP, 3 ER to cap off a 7-run ninth loss. That was epic in the bad way. Like taking four hours to illegally download The Avengers, only to realize at the end you’ve downloaded a Ralph Fiennes/Uma Thurman movie.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners (3 BBs), 2 Ks, ERA at 2.25. Hisashi my dashi — slurp SLURP! If you can pull it off, I’d do an early season sell on Iwakuma with his six walks to four Ks thru two games.
Gary Sanchez – Hit the 10-day DL with a biceps strain. True story, I mumbled something about Gary Sanchez being out, and Cougs was like, “I didn’t know your agent got your script to Will Ferrell.” And I was like, “Men are from Mars yadda and all, but what are you talking about, woman?” Then she reminded me Gary Sanchez Productions is Will Ferrell’s company. Ah, Cougs, Ted and I had a good laugh over some fro-yo.
Aaron Judge – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .211. The pitch screamed out of the park, “…jury and executioner…” Was hard to make out the first part.
Kevin Gausman – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 5.40. In, like, your 4th professional season, you can’t be having blow ups like you’re a rookie.
Kyle Hendricks – 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. He gave up four runs three times last year, and his April ERA was 3.91 in 2016, so there might be some sweet ‘buying low’ action in a couple of weeks.
Robert Gsellman – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. As of right now, we hear all of Gsellman’s elbow tendons are still intact. I repeat, still intact.
Michael Conforto – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st home run. Took him a week to get a start and a homer. I say it takes him about three weeks to have the job full-time and about six weeks to be on all mixed league teams.
Adeiny Hechavarria – Hit the DL with a strained oblique. What’s more oblique, the Marlins called up a Riddle? J.T. Riddle, that is. Though, Miguel Rojas will become the everyday starter and is as questionable as Riddle, though more literally than figuratively.
Stephen Piscotty – Out after banging his knee, which happened the game he returned from being out for banging his head three times in one inning. Piscotty is quickly turning into the “Merely a flesh wound” guy.
Adam Duvall – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .348. I got the sense in the preseason no one wanted back in on Duvall, though he seems like a younger Trumbo, who is a younger Encarnacion. The Russian nesting dolls of power.
Kendall Graveman – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners (1 BB), 5 Ks, ERA at 2.08. I ignored Graveman so much coming out of the preseason, I didn’t even mention him in my roundup after his first start. If you haven’t noticed, I skip starters that don’t matter for fantasy, unless they did something of note (Guthrie), or starters are skipped if they’re so good they’re owned everywhere and had no value change (Kershaw). The ones that we should be focusing on are the starters that are unownable and getting better. With that said, Graveman should’ve been mentioned after his first start, and should be owned in all leagues. For whatever reason, Graveman went from being a weak contact, 5+ K/9 guy to one now throwing a 95-MPH sinker that can induce grounders and a 8+ K/9. I just gulped. He suddenly has Cy Young Keuchel-type possibility.
Joey Gallo – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 2nd homer. He’s going to get sent down or to the bench any day now for Beltre, which is criminal, like chewing gum in Taiwan. *someone on the streets of Taiwan opens their trench coat* “Psst, you want some Bubblicious?”
Charlie Blackmon – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer. Blackmon hit that homer off Maeda, and you know someone was watching this game back in Japan thoroughly confused why the announcer was calling the hitter Blackmon.
Zack Greinke – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. I’m sure JB will talk about Greinke on our next podcast, and I’m sure I will dismiss him with something like, “Yeah. Okay. Cool.” That sounds like a podcast I need to tune into if I were you!
Patrick Corbin – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.80. It would be my luck that I was all-in on this guy last year, and now this year he puts it together. I’m not picking him up in mixed leagues yet, but I am eyeing him like a cyclops with a monocle.
Chris Owings – 3-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (1) and a double legs (3, 4), hitting .360. Feels like the type of guy who you love in NL-Only leagues, but doesn’t stop you from looking at the newest shiny toy on waivers in mixed leagues.
Nicholas Castellanos – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer, hitting .263. Is this the worst name change since Kendry added an S? Did Castellanos’ mom yell at him this offseason that his great-grandfather, who he was named after, hated the name Nick? Did he get met by some Mexican women in an alley and they insisted he add ‘cholas’ to his name? I got questions, y’all!
Daniel Norris – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks. I like how the first suggestion in Google for this guy is “Daniel Norris van.” There should be a Daniel Norris VanGraphs. Could have Heatmaps about where in the van is the hottest during winter months, Plate Discipline about what he can’t eat because he doesn’t have a fully-functioning kitchen, and Spray Charts to show what the random stains around his van are. As for Norris’ start, his velocity was fine, but his command was shaky. I’d give him another start.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. Ed-Rod was hurt by homers from Iglesias and McCann, i.e. church and almost Arizona state.
Rick Porcello – 6 IP, 3 ER, 12 baserunners (11 hits), 8 Ks, ERA at 4.38. The funniest (not funny) is accusing Prospector Ralph of liking the Sawx, which is his favorite team, then asking him if he likes Porcello. He’ll be like, “I don’t like the Red Sox any better than any other team for fantasy, but Porcello is gonna be a mahnster. Go Sawx!”
Jackie Bradley Jr. – Headed for an MRI as he deals with a hyperextended knee. He says he can play through it, though he would like his right cleats about a quarter of an inch longer so he’s not walking like a penguin.
Hanley Ramirez – Out until at least Tuesday with the flu. The flu bug that’s going around the Red Sox clubhouse is like the chicken pox episode of The Brady Bunch. No one is safe! And Brock Holt is totally Alice.
Sandy Leon – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, hitting .438. Cousin Oliver!
Jake Arrieta – 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.08. All I’ll say is he was great until June last year too, throwing no-hitters and shizz.
Kyle Schwarber – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 2nd homer, hitting .231. I know it’s against the sports website law to say multiple negative things about the Cubs, and never second-guess Joe Maddon, but why is Schwarber batting leadoff? Are we living in a time now that historians will look back on as the era when guys who shouldn’t be hitting leadoff hit leadoff? Is Michael Lewis writing a book?
Domingo Santana – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer. Well, we know he can hit on Sundays. Got six more days to prove out.
Jeremy Hellickson – 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 2 Ks, but left Sunday’s game with a forearm cramp. No need to cue Eddie Vedder yet for a, “Jeremy’s broken….”
Jeanmar Gomez – 1 IP, 3 ER, though not even the sphinctory can help this FEMA. For a while last year, he was the best closer who sounded vaguely like a Swedish auteur. This year, he looks like what his name translates literally into, Levi’s in the ocean. You know when you get jeans wet? That’s how comfortable Jeanmar has looked in the closer role all year. I’d own Hector Neris in every league, and I’d even back him up with Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek. There’s no way Jeanmar gets another opportunity.
Trea Turner – Likely out a few days with a hamstring pull. Dusty said, “I don’t think he pulled it too badly.” Hopefully Dusty doctors better than he manages.
Jeremy Guthrie – 2/3 IP, 10 ER, the Saturday start that happened on his birthday. If you’re going to drop a ten-spot that quickly on your birthday, it should at least involve some exotic dancing.