The 2013 Fantasy Baseball season is heading into its stretch run and the playoffs are right around the corner. My fair Razzballers, it seems like only yesterday we were complimenting Grey’s mustache and singing voice in exchange for roster autopsies, trade advice and grooming tips. We were all so young and naïve with big dreams for Ike Davis and Josh Rutledge back then. Now we are just bitter old men (and four ladies), wondering where it all went wrong and yelling at those kids to get off our lawn. If you’re still in the fantasy hunt *high five/chest bump/headbutt* it’s time to drop any dead weight still rotting on your roster. If you are out of it and still waiting for Josh Hamilton to carry your team, Sky would love to hear from you over on Fantasy Football Island. For the rest of us, we are either trying to hold onto first, grabbing some stats to gain on the leader or getting in position for the playoffs. There is no hope and loyalty left at this point in the season. It’s time to drop the duds and find the studs that may carry you to a fantasy championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it.
Availability: 83% Yahoo, 84% ESPN
Last Week: 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .364 AV
The Gist: Justin Smoak has never caught fire the way most scouts predicted. Mostly he just smolders. But for the last couple of weeks, Justin’s been, well, smokin’. *collective groan* His power has always been legit. He has 47 homers the last three seasons. The problem is with the making contact part of hitting. Smoak has never hit over .235.
The X-File: Smoak is hitting .414 this month.
Jam it or Cram it: If you are an Albert Pujols owner holding out hope for a return to glory, it’s time to blow out the candle. You may have a better chance of getting Pujols and Jack Clark together for a fun evening at Dave and Buster’s. Grab the immediate power and ride Smoak while he’s hot. JAM
Availability: 81% Yahoo, 70% ESPN
Last Week: 6 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, .360 AV
The Gist: At this point in the season, the waiver wire is filled with DL’d guys, Biogenesis cheats and Houston Astros. Only one is worth picking up. Since being called up from Triple-A, Grossman has hit .472 with 10 runs, three homers and four steals.
Key Stat: Grossman had 15 steals in 75 games at AAA Oklahoma City this season.
X-File: Grossman hit just .198 during a disappointing April /May stint with the big club.
Jam it or Cram it: Need to replace some of the SAGNOF! you lost when Everth Cabrera got himself suspended and Desmond Jennings got himself broke? The Grossman is not so disgusting. He’s playing every day, batting leadoff, has some pop and could snag you 10-12 stolen bases the rest of the way. JAM
Availability: 96% Yahoo, 98% ESPN
Last Week: 5 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, .462 AV
The Gist: Maxwell seems to love Kansas City. Who wouldn’t? Great BBQ, blues, and pretty fountains at the ballpark that fans can’t seem to stay out of. Since being acquired by the Royals from the Astros, Maxwell is hitting .471 with three homers and six RBI through his first seven games.
Key Stat: In eight minor league seasons, Maxwell hit over 10 homers and stole over 10 bases five times. He has 20/20 potential.
The X-File: Sure, the potential is there, but Maxwell’s problem is he has not been able to stay healthy. He’s missed time with a broken wrist, Tommy John surgery, a torn labrum and he choked on a sunflower seed which resulted in a sprained uvula.
Jam it or Cram it: With Lorenzo Cain placed on the DL Saturday, Maxwell will be playing and hot schmotatoing. JAM
Availability: 98% Yahoo, 96% ESPN
Last Week: 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .294 AV
The Gist: Murphy hit a homer in his second game with the Cubs, then hit two more on Wednesday. Who does this game think he is? Ron Cey? Penguins. Murphy was slashing 265/.338/.457 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 302 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa before the call up.
Key Stat: Murphy hit .216 with the Marlins last season.
Gooey Factoid: Murphy is the first Cubs player to hit three home runs in his first three games since Jim Marshall did it in August 1958. I read that on a Twisted Tea label. At five this morning.
X-File: Murphy has played on eight teams in eight seasons. He doesn’t play well with others.
Availability: 84% Yahoo, 82% ESPN
Last Week: 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB, .375 AV
The Gist: Yelich is young, raw, has power and speed. He’s hitting at the top of the order, has a 10-game hitting streak and could make some impact down the stretch. Since being called up, the rookie is slashing .318/.366/.439.
Key Stat: Yelich averaged 19 home runs and 31 stolen bases per 162 games in the minors.
X-File: Yelich only played 49 Double-A games and never played an inning at Triple-A before the Marlins said what the hell, we’re not going anywhere and gave him a shot.
Jam it or Cram it: In the minors, Yelich has hit as many as 15 home runs, driven in as many as 77 RBI, stolen as many as 32 bases, and batted as high as .329. Give us some of that! With his speed/power combo and the fact he’s hitting in front of Giancarlo Stanton, Yelich will definitely help your chances at fantasy bliss. JAM
Khris Davis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun’s replacement might be on Braun’s old diet plan. I dunno, but he’s hitting .385 with a homer and six runs scored over his last seven games. Worth a look in NL or deep leagues, but this isn’t THE Chris Davis. CRAM
Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox: Why isn’t this guy more widely owned? He’s available in about 90% of leagues and has made multiple appearances on our jammer/crammer list. Beckham hit .321 last week with a homer and six runs scored. One more time, JAM
Thanks for playing along Razzballer’s. The Goo is available for all your jammer crammer questions. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram, fantasy roster 411’s and other gooey shenanigans.