Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta. Not sure it would be the wrong move either. Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter. He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas. He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas. Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10. About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right. I said it around the time of his no-hitter. That took some pants grapes. What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut. On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta). Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up. It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine. It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.” And that’s me quoting me! On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.” And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record! I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it. For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year. People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall. Yeah, and it won’t work out either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3 and his 32nd homer, hitting .292. HR to the Rizzo!
Neftali Feliz – Won’t pitch again this season. Hey, whatever makes Feliz happy. C’mon, high five the crap out of me! C’mon! That was good! No? Okay.
John Jaso – 4-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs and his 7th homer as he hit for the cycle. That’s the first white person with dreads to hit for a cycle since white reggae artist, Snow, played Wack-a-Mole at a local carnival for a bicycle.
Jameson Taillon – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.38. Yup, he’ll be in the top 40 SPs in 2017 around where I put potential breakout guys every year. Hopefully he has only that in common with Taijuan Walker.
Alex Bregman – 1-for-4 as he returned from the DL and hit 2nd. It’s likely better for real baseball that Bregman came back than for fantasy. You know real baseball vs. fantasy, there’s just as much scratching of the groin, but it’s done in public.
George Springer – 1-for-5 and his 29th homer, hitting .262. Right now, I’m busy looking at end of the season recaps that will start next week, and I was checking out my Springer preseason projections: 104/31/89/.269/22. Not too off until you get to the steals, which went from glorious to just above Machado.
Evan Gattis – 2-for-4 and his 32nd homer, hitting .249. After being homeless prior to his time in the majors, Gattis has continued to make a living on jumping on garbage pitches.
James Paxton – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.79, and moves his record to 6-7 to end his year. It wasn’t all bad this year for Paxton. In fact (Grey’s got more!), there’s a lot of positive takeaways: 8.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 3.41 xFIP, bad luck that accounted for a lot of the offense against him, and a fastball velocity that averaged 97 MPH. The negatives, well, everything else. Biggest negative for me is he’s gonna be 28 years old and still hasn’t gotten through a full season.
Kyle Seager – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 30th homer, hitting .281. If Seager were a barometer that we used to measure offense, and he is because I’m saying he is, every year he hit 25 or 26 homers and around .260. This year those marks are way up, and Seager’s barometer is showing serious signs of global warming. Thanks a lot, Al Gore, for pointing this shizz out! Conspiracy Theory Alert! If Tipper Gore would’ve put out more, Al wouldn’t have had time for global warming and the earth would currently be experiencing unheard of cold spells. Tipper went cold, we went hot. Then again, Al wouldn’t have had time to invent the Internet either. Damn, O. Henry-like story!
Leonys Martin – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 22nd and 23rd steal, hitting .247. This isn’t based on science (like you, Al Gore!), but I get the feeling Leonys could be a late-bloomer and have his best year yet in 2017. He has 15 HRs, 23 SBs and this was his first year getting everyday starts vs. lefties. Another year of lefties under his belt and I could see a 20+ HRs, 30+ SBs-type year. Of course, I could forget I said this by tomorrow and, instead, think about all the TV I’m gonna watch in the offseason. I just got done with Happy Valley, one of the best shows I’ve seen this year if you haven’t watched it yet.
Francisco Liriano – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (1 BB), 10 Ks, ERA on the Jays at 2.92, after it was 5.46 on the Pirates. “Mama, I am no lo se on how to confuse further fantasy baseballers, Gris’ madre’s term.” “Franny, have you tried to pitch well in the toughest division after pitching awful in NL?” “That’s a bueno idea, Mama!” That’s Liriano talking with his mother.
Shelby Miller – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 6.15. After Shelby threw the rain-shortened complete game shutout, Diamondbacks’ GM Dave Stewart announced the team is replacing the sprinklers at Chase Field with high-powered hoses.
Jose Peraza – 3-for-5, 1 run and his 18th steal, hitting .330. Hamilton didn’t even have that bad of a year, but why do I think he still got Wally Pipp’d for next year by Peraza?
Anthony DeSclafani – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.28. “Hey, fingers, guess what? This is the last time you have to type DeSclafani this year.” My fingers are doing a Moonwalk.
Miguel Gonzalez – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.73. Would’ve made a nice streamer, so if you have a souped-up DeLorean, go to it!
Todd Frazier – 1-for-3 and his 40th homer, hitting .228. If only he could hit .250, he’d be so money Benjamin Franklin would be like, “Nah, homey, you can by on the hundy.”
Carlos Gomez – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer. My apologies if this affects your fantasy league, but I’m forming a prayer hexagon that Gomez hits 15 HRs in the last four games, so some poor sap still drafts him next year.
Rougned Odor – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 32nd homer. I see all you middle infidels with 20 homers, and I raise you 12 more homers!
Jonathan Villar – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, hitting .285. Meh, whatever, 19 homers. Yawn. *sees he also has 60 steals, puts handkerchief to forehead and faints*
Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, hitting .268. Most years I would’ve been happy if Hosmer reached 25 homers, but, since Dozier hit 25 homers one week in August, I’m less enthused.
Jarrod Dyson – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 29th steal. According to me, Dyson will steal 25-30 bases whether he has 120 ABs or 500 ABs.
Paulo Orlando – 2-for-3, hitting over .400 in the last week with one homer about eight games ago. Okay, not about, exactly eight games ago. Stop your quibbling, you quibbler! Yeah, the schmotato is strong with Orlando.
Max Kepler – 1-for-3 and his 6th steal. If I were being honest, I’d tell you about how I used to stuff my pants with socks. If I were being honest about Kepler, I’d say I thought I’d be more excited about him going into the offseason.
Seth Lugo – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, ending his season with a 2.67 ERA. Not bad, but I’m gonna take the over on his ERA for the 50+ IP the Mets throw him in the playoffs and the over for next year.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 32nd homer. If he hits a home run in the playoffs and I hear Joe Buck say something like, “This is exactly why the Mets traded for Bruce,” I’m going to remove the TV from my shower wall and flush it down my toilet.
Curtis Granderson – 4-for-4, 1 run, hitting .233. That season long average is not a completely accurate representation of Grandy. He hit .176 in August and .190 in May, but in the other months he hit near .250, and has been hitting for power recently (2 HRs in his last seven). This has been your Curtisy reminder.
Jeff Samardzija – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.81 vs. Tyler Chatwood – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.87. This was a matchup of a guy you want to start at home vs. a guy you want to start on the road, i.e., the moveable object vs. the Samardable obzija.
Mike Foltynewicz – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and the win, ERA at 4.31. I felt about as good streaming him as the hostess when he calls for a reservation and leaves his last name, but, alas, it worked.
Dansby Swanson – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 3rd steal. I was expecting to open his player page and see a hot hitter. Not so much. Still one big game is all I need at this point, and would consider picking him up.
Clay Buchholz – 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.78 vs. Bryan Mitchell – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 Walks, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.24. Stream-o-Nator said of these matchup, and I quote, “You gots to be kidding me?” Then after the game said of the results, “Just gotta tip your hat to these two pitchers. And by ‘tip your hat’ I mean ‘tip off my hat, open my head up and see if my wires are crossed.'”
Hunter Renfroe – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 4th homer in his last three starts. The Padres legit have no idea what to do. They’re currently like, “Do we trade him for Kyle Blanks? He was predictably bad, and this guy, Renfroe…What do we do?!” Obviously you should own Renfroe in your league.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Underwent an elbow debridement. I thought a debridement was some kind of sick ritual they do to female genitalia. Apparently, I am proven wrong.
Chase Utley – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer, hitting .254. In one league where I own Utley, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him. Then again, it’s a 12-team NL-Only league and I started Carlos Ruiz for 5 months.
Joc Pederson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, hitting .246. If he keeps jumping 35 points in average every year, he’s going to be on fleek next year. My manager says I have to say ‘on fleek’ more to sound hip. Not hundred that I’m supposed to explain it. Also, supposed to say hundred a lot with no article.
Sonny Gray – 1 IP, 0 ER as he was activated from the DL. Since I may not get another chance to blow my own horn, and I wouldn’t want to waste 18 months of stretching, my overrated guys coming into the year: Sano, Tulo, Sonny, Pollock and Schwarber. Tulo’s the only one even close to returning value, and even he is ranked around 200th overall on the Player Rater, a far, far cry from Yahoo and ESPN, who both in the preseason ranked him 60th overall. ESPN ranked Sano 33rd overall, he’s around 250th now. Sonny was 73rd and 65th on Yahoo and ESPN; he’s around 550th now; Schwarber was 57th, he’s around 1137th, and Pollock was ranked 15th and 16th by those two, he’s at 1153rd. There were a lot more guys I wanted to avoid: McCutchen, Gordon, Gomez, Keuchel, Reyes, Revere, F-Her, Greinke and Bautista. There’s some misses too. Okay, I need to save some stuff for the offseason.