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Jorge Soler arrived in the majors earlier this week like a gift from the fantasy baseball gods. Last night he went 3-for-3 with two more home runs and three more runs batted in. The 22-year-old from Cuba has come to the plate 12 times and already has seven hits, three homers, six RBIs, and a walk. Those are video game numbers and could carry a fantasy team through September. It hasn’t come out of nowhere either. Soler was always regarded as a good prospect even in the loaded Cubs system. Injuries and some makeup questions put a damper on his value earlier this year, but he quieted all that noise by raking for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are absolutely stacked with hitting and even if one or two of their prospects don’t reach their ceiling, they will still have more than enough firepower in that lineup. The scary part is that their players are all still so young. It’s a great time to be a Cubs fan, and a great day to be a Soler owner in fantasy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too bonkers in September so we can all still draft him on our teams for 2015. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball…

Arismendy Alcantara – 1-for-4 with his 6th homer. Another 22-year-old on the Cubs who can hit? Shocker. Alcantara can steal some bags too. In just under 200 PAs he has seven steals and swiped 25+ in each of his last two minor league seasons.

Edinson Volquez – 7.2 IP, ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. Volquez had a no-no going and Stream-o-Nator nailed this start. If you haven’t heard yet, Rudy added two more exciting new tools called the Pitcher Planner and Hitter Planner. Check them out.

Billy Hamilton – 1-for-3, 1 run and 2 steals (52,53). That’s four steals in his last three games, but he’s still trailing Dee Gordon for the MLB lead. Raise your hand if you thought that would be the case. I see you Rudy.

Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. DeGrom got deWin against my Phillies with a little help from Grady Sizemore. Thanks to his recent injury, an innings limit may no longer be in play for the rookie since 180 innings will most likely take him to the end of the season.

Jenrry Mejia – 1 IP, 3 Ks and his 20th save. I didn’t pick up Mejia when he was in the Mets’ rotation earlier this season. At that time, I couldn’t fully trust anybody that spelled Henry with a J and two Rs, but I’m trusting Mejia for saves the rest of the way.

Chris Davis – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 24th homer (grand slam). Crush has some real easy power for a player who has been so difficult to own. He now has seven home runs in August and I wouldn’t put it past him to do the same thing in September.

Trevor May – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 strikeouts. He may have given up eight earned runs, but he tried to show you he cares with his eight strikeouts. Awwww.

Jose Bautista – 1-for-3 and his 27th homer. Joey Bats could get as hot as anybody down the stretch especially now that E5 is back hitting behind him. I’d take the over on 32 dingers if I was a betting man like Grey. (Go Mariners)

Masahiro Tanaka – Shut down with general arm soreness. Not to be confused with Lieutenant Acute Pancreatitis.

Michael Choice – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. Choice definitely has some pop in his bat and he’s only 24. The Rangers need something to get excited about, and Choice could be the guy that gets their Boomsticks pointed in the right direction this September.

Rougned Odor – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. A quick glance at his stats and the .247 doesn’t seem too appealing, but when you realize he’s only 20 years old and holding his own in the majors you have to give him props for what he’s done this year.

Ryan Rua – Recalled by the Rangers. Rua hit 32 homers in the minors last season and had 18 jacks across two levels this year. I wouldn’t sweat him though, especially since you may not even find him in the database. Apparently Jeff from the Wiggles is responsible for adding new players to the ESPN universe. Wake up, Jeff!

Craig Kimbrel – 1 IP and his 40th save. Kimbrel now sports a 14.5 K/9 on the season. He is exactly the type of dominant closer that I will never own on any of my fantasy teams because I can’t bring myself to take a reliever early. Yup, it’s just me and my man LaTroy Hawkins keeping it real over here.

Jason Heyward – 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI and a walk. Every morning Heyward tries to write his name on the lineup card batting fifth and every afternoon Fredi comes into the clubhouse and changes it to leadoff. Meanwhile Andrelton Simmons tries to contact his home planet with a Speak ‘n’ Spell.

Mookie Betts – 2-for-5 with a grand slam. I picked you up for some steals Mookie. You really need to start paying attention to my fantasy team’s needs. Selfish.

Chris Archer – 4 IP, 8 ER, 12 baserunners, 3 Ks. If Archer is going to give up eight earned runs, the least he could do is get some strikeouts like our friend Trevor. Clearly Archer missed the mark on this one. I’ll see myself out.

Miguel Cabrera – 0-for-5 with a strikeout. Miggy is now hitting .301 on the season. By Monday he could be hitting under .300. He’s obviously injured, and it’s pretty amazing to think that a player could be having a “bad” year hitting .300. It’s also a testament to the importance of a hitter’s lower half, since Cabrera’s power has been pretty much non-existent since the All-Star Break.

Justin Verlander – 7 IP, ER, 11 baserunners, 8 Ks. Miggy isn’t hitting homers and Verlander going seven strong innings is a pleasant surprise. What a crazy mixed up world we live in.

Hanley Ramirez – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. Don’t get too excited by the stat line, as he also apparently hurt himself again. In other news, the sun rose in the east. The Dodgers reportedly purchased enough bubble wrap to make a “Hanley suit” in hopes that he can survive the regular season.

Buster Posey – 5-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs. The Giants took it to the Brewers and Posey is now hitting .500 over his past ten games with five homers and 13 runs batted in. Hunter Pence joined the party going 3-for-4 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs, but left said party early after he was shunned for eating his pizza with a fork.

Coco Crisp – 0-for-2 and left the game early with a strained neck. The neck injury has been bothering Crisp all season long. This could open up some more opportunities for Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry if you’re looking for some late-season SAGNOF.

Felix Hernandez – 7 IP, 5 ER, 11 baserunners, 1 K. I usually go to bed here on the East Coast knowing I will wake up to a nice clean start from King Felix. Today I woke up with a tarantula crawling on my face. Not cool.

Wilson Ramos – 2-for-4 with 2 homers (8,9). The hand injury is now further in the rear-view mirror and Ramos is getting his power stroke back. A big September could definitely be in the works for the Nationals’ backstop.

Bryce Harper – 3-for-4 with a homer (8). #BUST

  1. Hans says:
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    Next week is the first week of playoffs. Points league with no bench and no roster moves except dl moves. Who would you rather have?
    Santana PHI
    Hughes @BALT, LAA
    Paxton OAK, TEX

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Santana, Hughes

  2. Hans says:
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    Also, who would you rather have for the next two weeks with the same setup as above question:
    SS
    Rollins, Peralta, Santana

    Utility
    Marte, Vargas, Jay, Ozuna

    • Hans says:
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      @Hans: You can also throw Aybar in the SS mix.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Rollins, Marte

  3. Greys #1 Fan says:
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    Great post, and awesome that you write on Saturdays. Keep up the good work Mr. Schmidt

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Pinch-hitting today

  4. Jubu_Needs_A_Refill says:
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    Which 3 guys on this list would you keep going into next season (already keeping Abreu, McCutchen, Ellsbury) :
    Arenado, B. Hamilton, Posey, Josh Harrison, Jorge Soler

    • The Thumb says:
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      @Jubu_Needs_A_Refill: arenado, Hamilton, and Posey.

      I’m assuming you have until the offseason to set this list. If Soler goes all Puig June 2013 on us then you have to keep him but remember how Polanco/Alcantara were really hot for about a week before coming back down to earth? You could be dropping Jorge by mid-September if you’re still trying to win

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Agree with Thumb, but I’d take Soler over Posey since you already have two corners.

  5. Maxi says:
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    Good write up, actually dropped Alcantara for Soler, so I’m hoping that Soler continues to outpace him.

    Was the one-liner on Hanley injuring himself again tongue-in-cheek or real? I got Hardy as my backup SS right now, and was considering dropping him for next week, but Hanley makes me far too nervous with the playoffs starting in 2 weeks. Is it worth keeping Hardy for the stretch run?

    My other players I could consider dropping are Schafer, Vargas, Wong or Gyorko. Who should get the hook when I my bullpen ace, Dr. Doolittle, comes off the DL?

    12 team, daily h2h league with OBP and SLG, no AVG, thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks, I think you’ll be fine with that Soler move.

      haha it was real that he hurt himself. He slipped rounding first base and they said he “felt something in his quad”. Your typical Hanley injury. Nothing to be too stressed about though I don’t think.

      You could lose Schafer if you don’t need the steals. I wouldn’t sweat Hardy either if you have Hanley as your primary SS. Seems like the type of player you could scoop back up if you need him.

      • Maxi says:
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        @Mike: Appreciate it, soler looks legit. My potential OF keepers next year are Cespedes, Avisail, Corey Dickerson, Soler…could you rank them for 2015?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime. Nice keepers. For 2015 I’d say Cespedes, Dickerson/Soler, Avisail

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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            @Mike: that’s funny, when joke about guy being injured is taken as not knowing whether it’s only joke or not. sort of inverse boy crying wolf.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              haha yup

  6. Paul says:
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    Hey Mike – need runs desperately. Kole v shark or Vargas v Tillman?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Tough one. Tron likes Vargas and I’m inclined to agree.

  7. Robert says:
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    I have a 1st rnd bye and I am trying to set my roster before it is locked on Monday. I want to pick up Peavy for his match ups after this week. Is Peavy a better option for weeks two and three than Cashner,Kennedy or Ventura(tough schedule?)?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I would actually stick with Ventura there. His back was barking at him, but it sounds like he’ll be good to go for his next starts and I like him more than Peavy for that week.

      • Robert says:
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        @Mike: do you think Cashner and Kennedy are good options?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yes, I’d go with the three you have over Peavy.

          • Robert says:
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            @Mike: thanks

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              no problem

  8. JAL says:
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    Mike, over on innings and trying to really make em count in a tight race. Am I sitting Kennedy v. LAD today? Based on his recent results, his recent results against them and Grienke I gotta sit him, no? I’m split.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      If you’re really tight on innings, sure.

  9. Nice job, Mike.

    If Pearce is going to be out a while, I’ll need a replacement. Who do you like between Arcia, Ozuma, Eaton for Pearce’s spot?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I’d go with Ozuna. Tough break on Pearce. He was hot.

  10. Colonel Angus says:
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    Playing against the first place team right now in week 1 of the playoffs. We play in a categories league and I have the edge on him in WHIP and ERA right now. Should I risk starting Shark against a potent Angels team that got after him the first time they played or let him have the night off?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      SON isn’t gaga at $8.3. If you don’t need the other stats you may want to sit to protect a slim lead.

  11. JW says:
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    Pearce or Arismendy ROS?

    Gotta drop one of: Stroman, Degrom, Odorizzi, Kazmir, Keuchel

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Arismendy

      Stroman

  12. Dan Pants

    Dan Pants says:
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    Great stuff, mike. Thanks for covering for me, you da man!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Dan, anytime!

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @Dan Pants: most bosses frown on showing up at work when you take a day off. it implies you were able and probably should’ve done the work (HA!)

  13. Frank White says:
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    Wutup Mike… Who you like for tomorrows stream?? It’s slim pickings..
    Chase Anderson vs De La Rosa @(ARI)
    Travis Wood vs Lackey @(STL)
    Kevin Correia vs Stults @(SD)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d go with Anderson

      • Frank White says:
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        thanks bud

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime

  14. dem ribbies says:
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    Hey Mike,

    Thanks in advance for the tips and advice.

    Who do you drop to activate Ryu? Cashner or Minor

    Who do you drop to activate Rusney? Blackmon or Kennys

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem

      I’d lose Minor and Blackmon

  15. Landru says:
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    Been offered Miggy for JoFer, Votto and Soler. Thoughts?

    12-team pts league, 6 keepers.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I would take Miggy.

      • Landru says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime

  16. Lemmingness says:
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    In a weekly points league, who out of Chris Carter, Josh Hamilton, and Calhoun would you drop for Soler? In case I can’t get Soler, drop any of the three for eaton? Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Wouldn’t drop any of them for Eaton, but I’d lose Hambone for Soler, sure.

  17. Spyre says:
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    Who do you like most in a dynasty league?

    Matt Harvey, Yu Darvish, Julio Teheran

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Harvey

      • Spyre says:
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        @Mike: thanks. That’s who I like most too. Harvey’s owner is all in for this year, so i’m trying to come up with a trade

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          nice. good luck!

  18. dem ribbies says:
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    uno mas por favor.

    Adam Eaton or Charlie Blackmon ros?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Blackmon there

  19. de nachos says:
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    Hey Mike, I’m going to the Iron Pigs tonight. I think I’m more excited to see Mickey Morandini than Maikel Franco.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hahaha awesome

      • de nachos says:
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        @Mike: in my top 5 for names Harry said. Number 1: Dickie Thon

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Good one. I was always a fan of his “Juan Samuel”

          • de nachos says:
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            @Mike: excellent one. I used to love hearing Whitey blow a gasket during Juan Samuel at bats when he would swing at balls that bounced three feet in front of the plate.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              haha yup

              • de nachos says:
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                @Mike: “and another error on Skip ‘Memory Lane’ Clayton”

  20. dem ribbies says:
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    Gyro or Fajita for lunch?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Gyro

    • dem ribbies says:
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      @dem ribbies: Gryo $8 Fajita $11, 1 team $15 budget, keep 1. ; )

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Haha

  21. Juan Lucky Pierre says:
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    Mikey? Do we know for sure if F-Her is healthy or is it safe to assume he is experiencing his annual September bed-shitting? I am in the playoffs next week and matches up against Lester on the road. I might have to sit him in favor of a 2-start guy. (H2H-mixed-12-team-pts format)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think he’s healthy this year and I would start him.

  22. Wait till next year! says:
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    In a VERY DEEP NL ONLY league with high inflation, 10 keepers, and a 40 man roster with cheap minors on hold … what is the order that you would rank these players considering thier 2015 salary in this 260 11 team auction format.

    McCutchen 35
    Yelich 13
    Wada 6
    Wood 13(atl)
    Melancon 13
    T Ross 11
    Taveras 8
    Dickerson 6
    Wong 15
    Freeman 25

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hmmm…

      Cutch
      Freeman
      Yelich
      Dickerson/Taveras
      Ross
      Wong
      Wood
      Wada
      Melancon

      • Wait till next year! says:
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        Thx so you would keep a $35 MCutch
        Over a $13 yelich then. ? 5×5

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yes. I love Yelich but that is a good price for a top 5er like Cutch

  23. 740 says:
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    Wats good Mike, 10team roto 5×5 Alcantara or Aybar?

    Thank u!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d go with Aybar in redraft

  24. Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:
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    Drop Myers or Calhoun for Soler?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Redraft? I could get behind that. I’d lose Myers.

      • Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:
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        @Mike: yup. What about Calhoun for either Dustin Ackley or Justin Tuner (like their position eligibility)..

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I’d stick with Calhoun, but if you really need the eligibility, Ackley.

  25. really tight race says:
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    hudson nelson(one start or two??hmmm) or young next week 5×5

    do need w and K’s

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d check SON, but off the top of my head Hudson seems like the play

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