So, where does Mookie Betts go in 2018? That’s what we all want to know, right? That and WHAT TIME IS IT?! Sorry, was listening to Steppin’ To The A.M. I was not listening to Time to Get Ill, however, because I don’t like the Beastie Boys, but it might be more appropriate with The Bettsie Boy, Mookie. Home run distance is a weird thing. Well, maybe not weird, but hard to trust. Yeah, that’s the ticket, said like that Jon Lovitz character. In hindsight, it’s obvious. Mookie had so many Just Enough home runs last year, of course, he’s not hitting as many this year, but I thought there would be enough mitigating factors to lessen Betts’ drop off. He’s young — power still peaking; he’s in a good park — Pesky/Wall; the lineup — oh, that lineup. Didn’t play out that way for power and average. His average is nearly fifty points off of last year, and his power will end likely down about five homers from last year. Not huge? Well, that is around a 15% drop — even after his big game yesterday of 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer. So, what does all this mean for next year? I think he’s going to be undervalued, and I expect a bounce back of sorts. Likely closer to a 27-homer guy than his 30+ last year, but there’s no way he hits near-.265 as he is right now. He’s hitting as many line drives as last year, hitting the ball harder, in general, and a .267 BABIP. He’s gotta be one of the unluckiest hitters this year. He’s basically hitting line drives up the middle, but a squirrel is knocking it down into a fielder’s glove. Maybe he’s not Mookie Best this year, but I’m not counting out Mookie Ballgame yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Eduardo Rodriguez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 4 BBs, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.19. He’s on a shortlist of starters I’m looking at as being a sleeper next year. Hate Fenway for risky pitchers, but love Ed-Rod like Tom Cruise.
Andrew Miller – Could return on Thursday from his patella tendinitis. Turns out Patella Tendinitis isn’t the sweet Indian doctor you met in the ER.
Bradley Zimmer – Underwent surgery on his hand and now has 6-8 fingers. Sorry! Read that wrong. 6-8 weeks of recovery.
Corey Kluber – 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.44. Klubot! Overheating! Need refreshment! Why doesn’t the new iPhone come with Kluber? Well, new Steve Jobs who’s not Steve Jobs? Tim Something, I’m asking you. I gotta say, Klubz is singlehandedly winning me some leagues. I know what you’re thinking, you thought I didn’t draft aces. I don’t; Kluber was going in the 50’s in drafts. I told every single one of you to draft him too.
Tommy Pham – 1-for-4, 4 runs, 2 RBIs as he returned to the lineup. His cornea is good to go, and he’s got an eye on 20/20. Pun points!
Paul DeJong – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer. This might be confirmation bias, but the Cards always seem to make something out of absolutely nothing. Who the hell is Paul DeJong?! I thought that was Colonel Mustard’s real name.
Jose Martinez – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, hitting .311. See 1/18th of an inch above, or 5 inches above if a girl is reading. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kazoo!
Jason Castro – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer. Rudy was ecstatic to see this, since he owns Castro. Yes, he’s the one-percent next to Castro’s ownership numbers. By the way, on top of my dominating Tout march to a championship, Rudy’s winning his Tout league and could sneak out a LABR win. Big year for Razzball, boys and five girls! Speaking of big year, everyone on the Twins homered yesterday: Brian Dozier – 3-for-4 and his 30th homer; Eduardo Escobar – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer; Jorge Polanco – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer; Eddie Rosario – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer and Kennys Vargas – 1-for-1, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer. Now I have to go soak my arthritis in salt water from typing this blurb.
Dillon Peters – 6 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.50. Endorphin Ralph is going to go over Peters in his next pitching profile. You can hardly wait. No, you!
Rhys Hoskins – 2-for-6, and two homers (15, 16), hitting .298. Rhysus is taking our sins, eating them in the form of a wafer, and pooping out magic. (I might be misremembering Bible psalms.)
Odubel Herrera – 3-for-8, 2 runs, hitting .291. He’s gotta have the quietest .290+ average going this year. Hey, ODB, 12 HRs and 7 SBs ain’t nothing to f**k wit.
Eric Thames – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 29th homer, hitting .239 (!). Whoa, he homered off a Pirate pitcher?! Not a Red?! Maybe he’s just prone to homer off pitchers near the Allegheny. Hmm.
Kyle Seager – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 24th homer, and, like, his 17th homer in the last five games. Well, I guess better late than never, but his owners are likely all onto fantasy football or fantasy basketball. Double link drop!
Ben Gamel – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer in the last four games. Hot schmotato alert!
Willie Calhoun – 1-for-4 as he hit 7th and played left field. Halp, one of Calhoun’s biggest fans, and I recorded the podcast a day late, and will be up today, but I forgot to ask him his thoughts on the Calhoun call-up (Cal-up? Call-houn? Will.I.Am Up? These are awful.). Everyone knows my thoughts on Calhoun, me love him long time.
Welington Castillo – Tests on his groin were negative. That’s what she said!
Dylan Bundy – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.03, vs. Joe Biagini – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 5.07. This matchup was billed as, “There’s not a chance I’m starting either of these guys.” Then the billing was later changed to, “Ugh, why didn’t I start them? Am I self-sabotaging? That’s what my mom would say.”
Zach Britton – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, and the blown save. There’s at least a 50% chance he’s injured again. I’m only half-joking. As the ladies say, my bottom half is the joke.
Sonny Gray – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.17. This season by Gray is a good reason to not write off young starters. He looked as good as dead last year, but Gray’s only 27 and, damn, I wish I were only 27. I want a painting of myself in my attic that ages for me!
Kevin Kiermaier – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer, hitting near-.190 with 2 homers in the last week. Maybe this is the giddy up he needs to get going again, but I’m jumping on a horse with no name if it’s hotter. Horse with no name is also close to the name of a brothel Benjamin Franklin used to go to. It’s a bit of trivia for you.
Julio Teheran – 7 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.57. I don’t fully trust well-worn narratives like “players do better in contract years” and “tanning salons are bad for you.” I do have some love for the narrative “start guys against teams that recently clinched,” like the Nats last night who Teheran faced.
Ozzie Albies – 3-for-5, 3 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .293, and in the two-hole. Albies! I told you, snitches! He’s been fire emoji for average in September (not much power or speed), and has a ten-game hitting streak.
Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homer. He’s actually been hot recently, but, to undercut that, J.D. Martinez also homered in this game, and he has 22 homers, just on Arizona (38 on the year), and he missed a month.
Jon Gray – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.95 vs. Taijuan Walker – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.32. This matchup is of two guys I don’t trust at home or on the road, but I should trust them on the road and at home. But Coors? Even with a humidor. Then, Chase? Where’s the humidor?
Clayton Kershaw – 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.12. If I were the Dodgers, I’d shut him down for three weeks and pray he’s better by the playoffs. I’m sorry, this is not vintage Kershaw. Yes, it’s a Quality Start, but it was against the Aints, whose third best hitter wasn’t even in the game, and that’s Madison Bumgarner.
Johnny Cueto – 3 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.58. Somewhere, Jason LaRue is having a good laugh.
Gio Gonzalez – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 2.68. Worst start of the year the day he triggered a $12 million vesting option. That’s like when you phone-in senior year of high school, starting the day after you’re accepted into college. “Mr. Albright, we can call your college and tell them what you did the last semester.” “Yeah, all right, teach,” bends over and farts.
Justin Verlander – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners (1 hit), 9 Ks, ERA at 3.58. Holy crap, I just had a Ms. Cleo-type vision of the future. The Astros are going to win the World Series, making a storybook, uh, story after the hurricane, and Verlander’s gonna be their Curt Schilling, only instead of blood, it’s gonna be Kate Upton’s lipstick.
Garrett Richards – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.38. Okay, okay, but he only threw 63 pitches. Is he a starter or a long man out of the pen?
Brandon Moss – 2-for-2, 4 RBIs and his 21st homer, and 3rd homer in three games. If you follow the path of moss on trees, you are heading due north into a hot schmotato.
Scott Alexander – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 4th save, ERA at 2.00. Here’s the quandary for vulture saves in KC, Brandon Maurer is awful; Alexander is a lefty. Alexander appears to be the smart choice; Maurer appears to be the “your momma is so dumb she pronounces the B in dumb” choice. Teams don’t always make the smart choice.
Kris Bryant – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 26th homer. Speaking of the devil, only fifty-two players with a full-season of at-bats have less RBIs than him. Jorge Polanco? Yup, he’s got more. Yuli Gurriel? You got the idea now!
Kyle Schwarber – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 26th homer, hitting .207. Great, now Joe Buck is going to get embarrassed being patted down going through security.
Jake Arrieta – Played catch on Tuesday. I hope whoever he played with, he asked them, “Wanna have a catch?” That’s always sweet to hear. Sounds like a father who wears black socks with flip-flops.