It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours. He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Brett Lawrie – 2-for-4, 11th HR. When I say everything is going right for the B-Jays right now, I mean it. Brett Lawrie has a seven game hitting streak with 3 homers and 8 RBI in that span. Everything’s falling into place for the Blue Birds, and Brett’s new sleeve tattoo will commemorate the whole thing.
Jason Hammel – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, 8 K. Marlins slugger/heartthrob Giancarlo Stanton was 0-for-6 with 4 Ks. Yeesh. How good has Jason Hammel been? He’s rocking a 2.53 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with a 8.04 K/9. Amazingly, he is still not 100% owned in ESPN leagues. I assume those league’s he’s unowned in are AL-Only. This means the Cubs have two starting pitchers with sub-2.6 ERAs but remain in last place. Javier Baez can’t get here soon enough.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-6, HR (12), 4 RBI. Hector Rondon blew the save (1.0 IP, 3 ER), but Anthony was able to save this one with the game winning home run in the 13th inning. A to the Rizzo is slugging 1.000 over the past week with four home runs, and he’s currently the only player in the Cubs line up who’s still on speaking terms with Jeff Samardzija.
Nathan Eovaldi – 7.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Captain EO’s second straight start where he’s gone 7+ innings, and his fourth quality start in a row. Nate the Great is somehow still unowned in about 35% of ESPN leagues, but outside of a rough start in SF in mid-May he’s been stellar. The dude throws 100, what are you waiting for!
Rubby De La Rosa – 5.2 IP, 9 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. What’s the rub on Rubby? After dominating Tampa Bay last week (7.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 8 K), De La Rosa took on a tough Tigers offense last night which offered him and fantasy baseballers a bit of a reality check. Still, he’s striking batters out and there is some upside here, but Rubby’s problem is he lacks a really effective third pitch. Grey told you to BUY if you hate yourself and are desperate for strikeouts. I’d avoid his start next week vs. Baltimore, but I’ll be watching him closely. And that’s not just because I’m treasurer of his fan cub.
Drew Smyly – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 4 K and his third win. Just when I think I’m done with him…Can the Emoticon make the leap to baby tiger Emoji? Find out next week as he takes on the White Sox, and I’d probably pick him up if he’s out there.
Kyle Lohse – 5.0 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 1 K. Ouch. With seven wins on the year, Kyle was due for a visit from the Regression Fairies but he’s been hiding out from them in the old Milwaukee cheese cellar living off warm Pabst and blocks of cheddar. It smells pretty rank in there, Kyle.
Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-5, HR (7). I feel like I haven’t mentioned Cutch yet this year, but seven homer is pretty, pretttaay, prettttaaaaay good, Larry! The P-Rats scored 15 runs on 16 hits but I still can’t figure out how. Russell Martin had 3 hits and 4 RBI as Kyle Lohse owners probably fell asleep in their bath tubs last night with a bottle of whiskey, sobbing, drowning their sorrows and possibly themselves. #theregoesmyratios
Jordy Mercer – 2-for-5, 2 runs, HR (3), 3 RBI. Grey told you to BUY him, which further proves my theory that Grey may be a voodoo king. It’s Papa Legba! I saw Grey talking to a shady looking man in a top hat with a cane and skull mask in St. Louis Cemetery last weekend. Although at the time I was fulfilling my Dennis Hopper a la “Easy Rider” fantasy and a lot of LSD was involved, so most of what I saw that weekend is in question. It’s like you can’t even do psychedelic drugs in a graveyard these days without bumping into your boss. Sheesh. What were you doing in New Orleans anyway, Grey? Beignets? Yum!
Khris Davis – 1-for-2, 2 RBI, SB. And guess what, kids! He can steal, too! Khrazy!
Erik Bedard – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. And the D-Rays manage to end their 10 game losing streak. Those Mariners really are hopeless against lefties. I’m almost tempted to stream Joe Saunders against them next week. In fact, I just might!
Cole Hamels – 7.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 BB, 0 ER, 7 K. Probably Cole’s best start of the season, and he’s slowly but surely lowered his ERA to 3.49. I know the Reds are really bad right now, but this was Hamels sixth straight 7+ inning start and he’s got a 45/14 K/BB ratio in that stretch. He gets the Padres next week, so yay!
Johnny Cueto – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 5 K. OK, so he’s not Clayton Kershaw. Johnny still be good. See what I did there? The Phillies scored 7 runs off 11 hits with Domonic Brown going 1-for-4 with 3 RBI, but you probably dropped him already.
Manny Machado – 2-for-4, HR (4). Machado Man! Oh yeah! Manny found out Jennifer Lawrence loves Slim Jims and he’s been in ongoing discussions ever since to head up their new marketing campaign–which is basically their old marketing campaign, just with Randy Savage’s “Machos” changed to “Machados.” Oh yeah!
Chris Davis – 2-for-5, HR (9). Chris the Dish is batting just over .200 with 3 homers in the past two weeks, slugging just .426. Khris the Dish is batting over .400, slugging over .850 with 5 homers over the past two weeks. Who would you rather own? Is Khris the real Dish? I am so conflicted.
Sean Doolittle – 1.0 IP, 3 K, 8th SV. In addition to talking to animals, Doolittle can also pitch a perfect ninth inning and strike out the side. Hey Sean, go tell that monkey you pitched a “Kimbrel!”
Chase Whitley – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 K and his first win. Probably his best start of the year, and the first start he’s lasted over five innings. Not sure if it was just the Royals being terrible though. His start next week is in Seattle and I might give him a look if I needed a streamer, certainly worth an add in AL-Only leagues.
Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 9 hits, 4 ER, 3 BB, 8 K and his sixth win. Y Yu mad? Yu got the win so just chill. They can’t all be one-hitters. His opponent, Trevor Bauer (6.1 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) pitched pretty well as well. After a four run second inning, Trevor settled in nicely and didn’t allow a hit for the rest of his outing. Bauer’s got a 35/11 K/BB ratio is still under 20% owned. He’s not Darvish but he gets the lowly Royals next week and he’s a lot cheaper.
Lonnie Chisenhall – 1-for-3, 3-run HR (4) Lonnie’s batting .326 with two homers and 15 RBI in the past two weeks. Chisenhall arrived in my lineup the day Nolan Arenado hit the DL, and the dude has been a blessing. I don’t even miss Nolan anymore, just ignore that memorial I set up for him in my bedroom.
Rougned Odor – 1-for-3, HR (2), 2 RBI. Rougned is batting .359 with a .381 OBP in the past two weeks. Nothing outstanding but he certianly doesn’t stink like his name suggests. He’s been every bit the funny-named infielder we all hoped Jurickson Profar would be.
Dee Gordon – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI, SB (36). I’m still waiting for that average to drop out. I don’t mind waiting, take as long as you need.
Hanley Ramirez – 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB. For me, stolen bases usually signify that some effort is involved. If HanRam is trying he could be worth buying. He is due for a hot stretch.
Eddie Butler – 5.1 IP, 10 hits, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. The Butler did it! Or I guess he didn’t do it in this case. I even sat Hyun Jin Ryu (6.0 IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 7 K, 7th win) in this one, so there’s no way I was starting Butler. I have an irrational fear of Coors Field. Grey told you to BUY for some possible rookie upside, but failed to mention two of my favorite white Eddies, Vedder and Izzard. Butler’s start next week versus Atlanta is still in Coors but definitely more agreeable. I’d watch closely but avoid.
Matt Cain – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 BB, 2 ER, 3 K. His only blip in his return from the DL was a 2-run HR to Daniel Murphy. Even though he always seems to be coming off the DL, Cain could be another decent trade candidate for your fantasy team, buy low while you Cain!
Sergio Romo – 1.0 IP, 19th SV. If you told me in the preseason that Romo would be one of the most clutch performers in the league I would have told you the Cowboys suck.
Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 7 K, and his sixth win and fourth in a row. Teheran it up!
Brandon McCarthy – 6.1 IP, 9 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K and his eighth loss. His 5.13 ERA and 1.34 WHIP might scare off some, but not I. For I, am a total whore for the Ks and Big Mac’s 72/14 K/BB ratio makes me smile. He’s prone to some blow ups and has little to no run support in Arizona but he gets the Astros next week and is much better than his ratios might have you believe.
Didi Gregorius – 1-for-2, HR (2). His second homer in as many games. I seem to remember him going all bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S!) when he was called up last year too, and he ended up cooling off quickly. Still, if history repeats itself, he just may catch fire over the next two weeks before ultimately regressing to his mediocre self.
Jason Heyward – 3-for-4, HR (6). A ten game hitting streak, three homers and batting over .300 the past two weeks. There was a time that I loved Heyward like a brother. More accurately, I loved him like a Giancarlo Stanton or a Mike Trout, which is saying a lot. Whatever he did to lose my affection is in the past. Jay Hey’s got as much upside as anyone in this league, and he could be worth buying if you can find an owner who doesn’t realize how good he’s been lately.
Tommy La Stella – 2-for-4. Like La STELLA, I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers, or free agent pick ups, for fantasy help. Grey told you to BUY him if you need a boost in batting average and not much else!
Tanner Roark – 8.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 11 K. Roark. Roaaark. Rooooooaark! Ohhhh! He’s got the eye of the tiger…! If you asked Katy Perry, she’d tell you this was Tanner’s third straight game pitching 7+ innings or more, and he hasn’t given up more than 3 ER in a start since May 3rd. He’s not going to strikeout 11 again any time soon, but he’s worth a look next week in San Francisco. Thanks for the tip, Katy, you sure know a lot about Tanner Roark!
Anthony Rendon – 1-for-3, 2-run HR (9). Left the game after taking a ground ball off the thumb. Which is a bummer because he needed it to hitchhike home. Luckily, Kevin Fransden who will likely see at bats if Rendon is expected to miss any time, gave him a ride home, but that has less to do with him being a nice teammate, and more to do with the fact that he drives a taxi part time on the weekends.
Danny Santana – 1-for-5, 2-run HR. As long as he’s leading off for the Twins he’s worth a look if you need a middle infielder. He won’t fill the stat sheet, but he’s managed 3 SBs in his past seven games and his multiple position eligibility makes him a decent add.
Phil Hughes – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, 7 K. Well, we knew he was due for some regression, but he still managed to offer some value with the seven strikeouts. Hughes has walked just eight batters all season versus striking out 63. Yes, please and thank you! He will get the fearsome Blue Jays next week in Toronto but Phil should still be owned in all leagues at this point.
Kole Calhoun – 2-for-4, HR (4), 3 RBI. Razzball’s favorite dinosaur, the Buysellatops, really likes Calhoun rest of season. And although I’m still not 100% sure I’m using it right, I have to agree with the thunder lizard. Kole received some massive hype early in the season before hitting the DL and is now just 10% owned in ESPN leagues. He’s hitting .292 in the past week with a home run and if he stays leading off the Angels line up he boasts a nice power-speed combo that could really help your fantasy team, especially batting in front of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. Pick him up!
Adam Dunn – 3-for-5, 2-run HR (10), 3 RBI. The home run was the 450th of his career. Even more amazing, the Big Donkey had 3 hits! Well done you big ox. Dunn crushes baseballs like the Mountain crushes skulls (spoilers!). Adam is a Mountain in his own way, I guess. As is his custom, after the game Dunn went out to celebrate number 450 post game at In & Out Burger by ordering the first ever 20 by 20 (Donkey likes his burger animal style, naturally).
George Springer – 1-for-4, HR (11). It’s going yard. I’m yelling Springeeeeer! You better move, you better dance. He might strike out, you won’t remembeeeer! It’s those home runs, you won’t forget! Woooah! [Cue Pitbull and Keisha].
Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K and his seventh win. That’s Dallas’ sixth straight quality start, and it lowered his ERA to 2.50 to go along with a 1.03 WHIP and 70/17 K/BB ratio in 82.2 IP. Keuchel’s hotter than San Antonio’s AT&T Arena during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. If its too hot for the Heat you know he’s probably pretty hot. The ‘Stros have themselves a legitimate ace. Meanwhile, Chad Qualls grabbed his fourth save (7) in the past seven days, and Springer and Jon Singleton are looking like young homer-hitting fantasy freaks. Scorecard sales at Minute Maid Park have gone up 400% over the past month! The Houston Astros have a baseball team again, ya’ll!
Questions? Problems? Complaints? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!