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Happy 4th of July weekend, my all-American Razzballers (and two foreign readers). It was in the greatest breakup letter ever penned that our Founding Fathers said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ‘Murica, f*** yeah!” John Hancock then signed with a big “Ef you very much”. Ben Franklin downed his thirteenth pint of ale (“one for each State”, he slurred) and Thomas Jefferson hurried home to “check on the help”. As we Razzballin’ scribes gather on this holiday weekend in the Razzball Lounge for some grillin’ and chillin’ and a little bottle rocket firin’ at the guys from YAHOO!, it’s important to remember that if it wasn’t for those wig wearing patriots we’d all be driving on the wrong side of the road and playing fantasy cricket! Don’t tread on me and don’t stare directly at Tehol’s red, white and blue thong. This week in the lounge we’re talking some deep league jams and crams. With the season half over, the player pool has gotten shallow in most RCL’s and that requires us to take some chances, play some matchups and maximize at-bats in order to move up in the standings. While our leaguemates are snoozing with a belly full of hot dogs and Miller High Life, let’s make like George Washington crossing the Delaware and kill the competition while they sleep. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

If you’re looking for some more deep league talk and jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio.

Jam or Cram: Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners.

2014 Stats: 235 AB, 32 R, 12 HR, 32 RBI, 0 SB, .220 AV.

Availability: 78% Yahoo, 78% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $2.

The Gist: I continue to play catcher roulette again this season and have already owned Yan Gomes, Alex Avila, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Derek Norris. If you lost Evan Gattis or Joe Mauer, it’s time to spin the wheel on the Mariners former third overall pick in Zunino. The Big Z has been going Hot Schmotato over the last month with 13 runs, 5 homers, 10 RBI and a wOBA north of .400. The power is legit, but the plate discipline is not.

Key Stats: Zunino’s K-rate is 33% and his BB% is just 4%. That’s Steve Balboni-esque.

Jam it or Cram it: The potential is there for big things from Big Z, but I think he’s still a few years away from top 5 catcher territory – and he will be a top 5 catcher. Also, the M’s have John Buck hanging around stealing the kids playing time. Stop that! Let the kid play and let’s see what he has before he turns into something like John Buck. In a two-catcher league it’s a must jam. If you’re playing catcher roulette like me give Z a spin. He could easily hit 7-10 homers and 20-25 RBI the rest of the way, but don’t expect much more than a .230 average. JAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Scott Van Slyke, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers.

2014 Stats112 AB, 20 R, 8 HR, 15 RBI, 2 SB, .268 AV.

Availability: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $1. I got you a dollar.

The Gist: Van Slyke is the Platoony Tune poster boy and rarely gets the start against right-handed pitching as the Dodgers continue to play outfield roulette with him, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and a soon to return Carl Crawford. Van Slyke has been hot lately (and not just because Adrian Gonzalez lit him on fire) with two homers and four RBI in his last three starts. The son of Andy is having his best season as a pro slashing .262/.415/.544 with a 176 wRC+ and deserves to be playing everyday.

Key Stats: Van Slyke’s triple slash line versus lefties in the minors is a video game-like .343/.422/.614.

Jam it or Cram it: Van Slyke just crushes lefties – .291 average, a 1.178 OPS and six of his eight homers have been off of southpaws. I like Scotty V’s matchup today in Colorado, but he’ll get six right-handers this week including Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Until the outfield shuffle gets done a-shufflin’, Van Slyke makes for just a Platoony Tune jam. If you have the room jam away, for everyone else it’s a CRAM. Unless he gets reunited with his papa in Seattle.

 

Jam or Cram: Eric Campbell, 1B/3B, New York Mets.

2014 Stats: 94 AB, 9 R, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, .340 AV.

Availability: 1% Yahoo, 0.2% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $0.

The Gist: Campbell was the big man on campus at Boston College a few years back where he hit around .330 with 40 doubles and 80 RBI in about 100 games. Since being drafted in the eighth round in the 2008 draft by the Mets, he’s never hit more than 10 home runs, but did bat .331 last season in Las Vegas. With David Wright nursing a bad shoulder the few last weeks, Soup started seven games in a row and had at least one hit in every game with a couple doubles, two RBI, two runs and a steal.

Key Stats: In seven minor league seasons, Campbell has hit .284 with 43 homers in 660 games.

Jam it or Cram it: With Wright returning, the playing time may be tough to come by. Manager Terry Collins said Campbell could see some action in the outfield, second base, shortstop and added, “If the Mr. Mets head fits we may see him on top of the dugout as well.” Not sure how that helps us in fantasy, but Campbell may get a little time at first base as Lucas Duda can’t hit lefties. The multi-position eligibility (in some leagues) is helpful for deep leaguers that want to maximize at-bats. However, if Wright is healthy, Campbell’s playing time will be limited. No soup for you. CRAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Zach Putnam, RP, Chicago White Sox.

2014 Stats: 32.2 IP, 3 W, 1 SV, 27 K, 2.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Availability: 93% Yahoo, 97% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $5.

The Gist: With today’s list of jams and cram I feel like a used car salesman or some sort of cheesy infomercial guy. Hit hard by the Closepocalypse, starving for SAGNOF? Why not try the all new closer in Chi-town, Zach Putnam? I feel so dirty. But, what are you going to do when you drafted Jason Grilli, Ernesto Frieri and Grant Balfour? Start drinking more? I’m desperate for saves! And a new liver.

Key Stats: 12 walks in 32 innings is not ideal, but the K’s are there.

Jam it or Cram it: With Ronald Belisario out at closer, Putnam gets the shot on the South Side. He’s not the typical fireballin’ closer we like and is around the plate a little too much, but he has been effective lately with a win and a save in his last three opportunities. If Putnam continues to convert chances he may have entered the SAGNOF circle of trust. JAM.

 

**Bonus Tracks**

Justin Ruggiano, OF, CHN: Ruge is 9/22 with a homer and seven RBI over his last six games and, more importantly, is not Junior Lake. It’s a Platoony Tune JAM. 

Adam Lind, 1B, TOR: With Edwin Encarnacian likely out for a while with a quad injury, it would make sense for Lind to pick up the slack. However, Lind has been battling a foot injury and he’s no E5. CRAM.

Logan Forsythe, 2B/DH, TB: In some leagues Forsythe can slot in at 2B, 3B, SS, OF. Love that. But, he plays for the Rays. Hate that. CRAM.

Oscar Taveras, OF, STL: Look what much hyped rookie is back. We jammed on Oscar before and he burned us hitting just .189 in 11 games. Still, he’s just too tempting to pass up. JAM.

Raul Ibanez, OF/DH, KC: Ibanez hit his first homer for the Royals last week then blew out the candles on his 75th birthday cake. CRAM.

 

 

Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend doing what we ‘Muricans love doing: Eating, drinking and blowing stuff up.  Stalk me on Twitter @TheGuruGS

From Around The Web

  1. Greyismyhero says:
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    Good stuff DA Guru!! I hear you on saves with Putnam, I picked up Petrick when news broke and he’s done nodda…I’m sucking. Next year I’m changing all my leagues to NSVH, I’m tired of this save crap. Peace out!!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Ha! I hear ya, man. While we are at can we get rid of kickers too? Sorry, wrong sport. Happy 4th! Cheers.

  2. Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:
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    Jay Bruce, Ruggiano, Steve Pearce, Yelich, Calhoun, Taveras, Alex Gordon… How you rank them?
    Trying to decide what to do with my OF… Currently got slumping Gordon and Bruce starting, Taveras in an NA slot (so gotta drop someone to activate him)… Rest are FAs…

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hiya, crazy old guy. Pearce has certainly been hot and wonder if the regression faeries are coming for a visit soon? Here’s how I see it ROS: Bruce, Calhoun, Gordon, Yelich, Pearce, Ruge, Oscar.

  3. Darcy says:
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    Yay! Xander just got a hit! Do you think the Sox will be patient and keep him around,Goo? Or is it all about Brock Holt now?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Another lady reader? I tip my turban to you and thanks for Razzballin’. X-Man will stick around, ya. But, no doubt he’s struggling at the plate and in the field. Think my man crush is over. We’re on a break.

      Brock Holt!

      • Darcy says:
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        @The Guru: Lady, forsooth? I’m not sure a lady would have giggled so at the idea of Jefferson heading home “to check on the help.” Shameless!

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Ha! Good ol’ Tommy J did LOVE the help.

  4. Fister asche says:
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    2 questions.

    In my non-keeper league Heaney, Chavez, and mchugh were dropped. Worth picking any up? Would be dropping one of my two catcher in Norris or Ramos.

    2nd question. In same league i was offered Chris Davis (orioles), springer, and Holliday for my Frazier and carlos gonzLez. I think I’m gonna reject it but wanted second opinion. Would crush my average and already doing pretty well with home runs with Pujols, Adam jones, Khris Davis, longoria also on my roster in addition to Frazier and cargo. Thanks in advance

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Davis has been a big disappointment and I’m a big Frazier fan. Hopefully CarGlass returns and stays healthy so I can see holding.

      I’d avoid those arms for now. Is Stroman available? He’s worth a look. Jessie Hahn is another. I’m high on.

  5. J-FOH says:
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    What up Sunday buddy?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Cheers, Mr. Foh. Just grillin’ and chillin’. No DraftKings 20-teamer today?

      • J-FOH says:
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        @The Guru: I didn’t wake up til 11, my time, and its hard to do with one eye open

  6. DiRo says:
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    Need some pitching help, I got Machado and Arenado. A guy is asking for Arenado for his J Zimmerman. What do you think?

    • Greyismyhero says:
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      @DiRo: Im no “Guru” but that sounds solid to me if you need pitching help.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      If you need the arm, do it up!

  7. Sheriff McRawDawg says:
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    What’s up Guru. Who do you like ROS – victorino or everth? Both were dropped in a 20-teamer.

    I’ve got Adam jones, Heyward and JD Martinez in OF and Segura at ss

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Ughh. Not sure when Vic will be back, he’s just starting running. E-Cab and a hamstring injury that can linger certainly isn’t good for the one good part of his game – speed. If I HAD to choose I’d do Vic, but me thinks it’s a lost season for both.

      • Sheriff McRawDawg says:
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        @The Guru: yeah it’s a toss up b/w sh*t and poop I figure. Just scraping for anything in a league that deep.

        Also – other league 10-team, 10-keeper, dropped Heaney for gausman.. What do you think long term?

        Thanks again!

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Remains to be seen. Gausman may get sent back down when Norris comes back, wait and see. He looked pretty good today vs.my Red Sox.

  8. Abdoozy says:
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    You JAMmed my boy Derek Norris a couple of weeks ago.

    Since then he’s played in all of 6 games, and been hit on the head with a bat a few times (perhaps not a coincidence).

    Please tell me you aren’t going to have this effect on Zunino, now that I dropped Norris for him.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Ha! Hard for a guru to foresee bat attacks. Let’s light a candle for Zunino and pray to the Carlton Fisk bobblehead that big Z stays healthy and hits us some bombs.

  9. J-FOH says:
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    They have been running the Walking Dead marathon all weekend, why do I need another reminder of how bad last season was?

  10. allen says:
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    Yo guru..thanks for the read.

    Quick one here…was just offerd dan murphy for joe smith in 12 team h2h..smith is my only closer…neil walker is my starting 2B right now…what u think?? Just punt saves and accept??

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I don’t think Murph is that much of an upgrade over Walker. I hate completely punting a category.

      • allen says:
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        @The Guru: true dat….i.e. joe smith 3 saves this week is winnng me that category

        Thanks for the quick input

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          No prob. Thanks for Razzballin’. Keep an eye out for another closer. You’ll need one when you get into the playoffs.

  11. fausto says:
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    I need a jam 3b to replace edwin……plouffe, mcghee, or cron/francisco platoon seem the best option. I’m thinking plouffe and and add cron @ util. Any other suggestions? I could possibly trade for seager. Thanks in advance.

    • fausto says:
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      @fausto: could jam Dominguez as well. Im trying to replace half of edwins stats avg. Doesnt matter need hr rbi.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Injuries have just killed me this year. Seager trade would be nice. But, I like the Cron/Plouffe idea. You may have a nice Platoony Tune going on with that.

        • fausto says:
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          @The Guru: the only way it hurts cron isnt 3b elig. But I have harrison for steals 3b elig. So I thinks that’s the play. Plouffe/cron

          • The Guru

            The Guru says:
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            I concur.

  12. da hunt Muncher says:
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    alex wood or alex cobb…who to keep round? any ideas?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      It’s Cobb. By a lot.

  13. Chris says:
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    Good stuff Guru, I picked up Putnam and I have Mcgee I may actually tie saves this week!

    What side do you like?

    Gomez-Taijuan Walker-Bud Norris
    for
    Andrus-Khris Davis-Eovaldi

    Plzz help me sit 3 I will most likely be facing 12 starts and street as a closer
    Archer vs Tor
    Cobb vs KC
    Kuechel @ Tex
    Lincecum vs Ari
    Porcello@ kc
    Ventura @ TB
    Walker vs Oak
    Worley@cin and @ stl
    Morton@cin and @stl
    Tomlin vs NYY
    Mcgee
    Putnam

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Elvis side, but I gotta thing for the King. Sit Kueckel, Porcello, Walker. Not a big fan of Worley or Morton either, but have to keep the 4 starts stats.

      • Chris says:
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        Thanks! Your the first one to say the elvis side. I think walker is the key seems like you may not be a big fan?

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          I prefer bats to arms just about every time. I’m more of a Kris Davis fan and Bud Norris is useless. Eovaldi is pretty good at home so it’s basically a 3 for 2 deal it seems. I think Walker will be good, but I don’t see anymore than 4 or 5 wins a 4.20ish ERA ROS.

          • Chris says:
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            You know I read everywhere that hitting trumps pitching but in my league for whatever reason whoever has the best pitching always wins. I may use the pitching strategy next yr. I’m in a 14 tm 5×5 head to head league.

  14. Beastman says:
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    Guru, thanks for reminding us that our forefathers fought for our right to freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and fantasy baseball.

    Which side ROS in a H2H league with OBP and limited streaming.

    Donaldson and Neil Walker
    Pedro Alvarez and Altuve

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      ‘Murica, f*** ya! Happy 4th, Beastman!

      Tough question as I’m a Donaldson fan, but Altuve can help in so many ways and Pedro does have some pop. Leaning Altuve, but it’s very close.

      • Beastman says:
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        @The Guru: Definitely a tough decision. Currently have Donaldson and Walker staring with Alvarez on the bench. Could trade Donaldson for Altuve and then bench or trade Walker. Only thing is that Donaldson is keepable for 1 more year, while Altuve isn’t. Just don’t know how much to believe in Altuve’s crazy season so far and if I’d be buying at his apex.

        Hmm, what would Ben Franklin do (aside from drinking, eating, and whoring)?

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          If you have Dongaldson again next year it’s cool to stick with who you have. Ol’ Ben would probably be bold!

  15. james says:
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    It looks like McCarthy is now a yankee. His advanced metrics says he was a good pitcher all season with terrible luck. does the move help him enough to make him ownable.

    I would be cutting either Beckett, Hughes or Despaigne

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’d take a flier on him. He’s been better than his stats suggest. Will be interesting to see how he does in the AL East, but I like him better than Despaigne.

  16. Greyismyhero says:
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    Why is it whenever I decide to bench a cold bat he wakes up? Am I the only one it happens too? Happened with me today with Bruce….happens all the time actually w me….crazy frustrating!!!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I hear ya. Gotta check the ‘tron. It loves Bruce this week.

  17. Chris says:
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    Is walker going to be a decent 2nd half starter and will gyorko comeback and have a decent 2nd half?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I don’t believe in either of them. Walker might show flashes and he has a lot of supporters I just don’t see any more than 4 or 5 wins and a 4.40ish ERA this year.

    • Peter Nincompoop says:
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      @Chris: I think he’s going to be pretty good for the rest of the season. He had a good showing in Houston following a rough 1st inning and followed that up with another strong performance against the White Sox earlier today. Both of those teams are offensively challenged, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. I think he’s a must-start right now as he makes his 1st turn through the league, but will probably just be a reliable homeschooler by mid-August. I hope he’s a stud though.

      Gyorko will come back. No he will not have a good 2nd half.

  18. SpecialFNK says:
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    16 team keeper league (keep 5), roto, 5×5, yahoo.

    give- Coco Crisp, Lucas Duda
    get- Pablo Sandoval, JJ Hardy

    MY TEAM
    CA- Rosario. 1B- Davis. 2B- Walker. 3B- Machado. SS- RTejada. IN- Cron.
    OF- Cruz. OF- Crisp. OF- Calhoun. OF- Saunders. UT- Duda.
    BN- Joyce, Dyson, Stubbs, KHernandez, Schierholtz, Pederson.
    DL- Cuddyer. DL- ECabrera. DL- Blanks. DL- Gyorko.
    SP- Bumgarner. SP- Kennedy. RP- Britton. RP- Oviedo.
    P- Boxberger. P- Santana. P- Ross.
    BN- Gausman, Nelson.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Stick with Coco. Machado is heating up and if you need a SS I’m seeing Asdrubal, Rollins and Peralta on the wire in some spots. Scooter? Jody Mercer in deeper leagues are guys I like.

  19. 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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    And….baseball wonders why it has a problem becoming popular to watch. They just elected the AL All-Star team to be manned by the oldest SS and most herpes ridden jock strap DJeter being escorted by the worst 2nd baseman this year in Cano.

    Reminds me of the cool dude in high school that had the beard and could buy beer for everyone in high school…10 years later he is still doing it and talking about how cool he was having the passing record one Friday night!

    • 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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      @2 Cups 1 Braun: And then wash that down with 2 morons that have been on waivers all season in Utley and Aramis Ramirez….stupid shit makes me hate baseball!

    • Peter Nincompoop says:
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      @2 Cups 1 Braun: Jeter doesn’t statistically deserve to be there, but he’s a HOF’er and the fans voted him in (I think that issue should be your main gripe, especially if home field advantage in the WS is on the line. I think MLB/fans voted in Cal Ripkin Jr. back in 2001 and he hit a HR. I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe you misspelled a letter when typing Cano and mistakenly replaced “C” with “S” when looking up his year-to-date stats. That’s Miguel Sano, a promising prospect with the Twins who hasn’t played, thus the crappy stats. Robinson Cano is the best 2B in the American League.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        I was hoping Steve Balboni would make it. The All-Star game has sucked for 30 years. Who cares who makes it.

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          @The Guru: sucks or not, it still should be done properly, with this year’s best players playing in it.

          • The Guru

            The Guru says:
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            This time it counts! What a joke.

  20. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Good write-up per uzhe…have some some MAJOR decisions to be made by tonight’s waiver deadline and wanted to bounce a couple off your turban.

    1. Leonys Martin, Adam Eaton or James Jones as a replacement for Rajai Davis (i.e., I’m sick of him playing one game and then taking two off).

    2. Transferred Gattis to my DL and need to pick up a short-term catcher. Wilson Ramos, Derrick Norris and Mike Zunino are all out there. How would you rank them in order of preference?

    3. I know your wrote about Zach Putnam being a “JAM”, but I just watched Jake Petricka shut down my M’s over two innings for the save. The dude was throwing chedder…consistent mid-90s fastball with movement and nice complementary off-speed stuff. He may be the guy to grab there. That being said, I think Gausman is going to get sent down when Bud Norris comes off the DL later this week. Drop him for Petricka?

    Thanks for the write-up and keep on, keeping on.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks, man.

      1. I want to believe in Martin, but I think Eaton is the play.

      2. This week I like me some Ramos. Subject to change.

      3. Sure.

      Cheers!

  21. Andrew says:
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    start Craig, Taveras, or perhaps 3 days of Cargo? 6×6 OPS

    no lefties on tap for the Cardinals

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Let’s go Craig against some meh SP and hope the Cards pick it up.

  22. Joe says:
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    Which SS would u rather have for the rest of the year… Dee Gordan, Jean Segura or Reyes

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hard to ignore what Dee has done in the first half. Might get more homers, RBI from Reyes. If Reyes stays healthy I want him. I still say Dee comes back to Earth a bit.

  23. paid for the house says:
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    Guru who you like better ROS: Lackey or Lincecum???

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      See them about the same, but probably leaning Timmy because he’s in the NL and the Red Sox suck. It would be great to see Lackey traded to an NL team.

  24. Joeg414 says:
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    Been offered Nathan for Blackman. I can gain points in Saves. I have Cargo coming back and Ozuna on the bench. Whata think?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Do it.

  25. PhillyYorker says:
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    Which two do you keep amongst: Strasburg, Carlos Gomez, Billy Hamilton, Corey Dickerson or Devin Mesacaro? (OBP/SLG league)

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Stras and hmmm…Hamilton!

  26. Mike says:
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    RYU or Verlander ROS??
    Thx

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Verlander has looked better lately, I’ll give him a slight edge.

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @The Guru: funny that you called out exactly how it went on tues

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Wasn’t impressed with either. Throw both of them in Tehol’s disgrace list. Ha!

  27. Mike says:
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    Please rank Mourneau,Cron,Laroche ROS??
    Thanks

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Laroche, slightly over Morneau. Then Cron.

  28. Joe says:
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    Gurú for the rest of the year manny Machado or mat carpenter? I have David wright but i just dont trust his health

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Matty C.

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