With three full months of baseball left to be played, a third horse may be emerging in the race for the first Razznasty dynasty league crown. R’azbahl Al Ghul has made solid win-now pickups and finds himself gaining some ground on the two frontrunners – Hannibal Montana and J-FOH. This month saw a group of about five or six teams ping-ponging around behind the leaders, but it’s been Ghul who has come out of June with sole possession of third place. Here is what else is happening around the league – including full standings, trades, and our league’s FAAB report…

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Cody Anderson took a perfect game into the 7th inning yesterday and ended up with a line of 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 2 Ks, and his ERA is at 0.57 thru two starts. The Indians staff just keeps getting sexier. Now their rotation is Cody, Corey, Danny, Trevor and Carlos. Sounds like a boy band, K-Nudo. Only Cody doesn’t strike out as many — he’s the sensitive one. Anderson has an interesting backstory. He’s from Idaho, and he signed with the Tribe out of a junior college for $250,000. Imagine that. One day, Anderson’s asking ma if they have to eat potatoes yet again for dinner and saying a lot of “Aw, geez,” then he signs for a quarter of a million dollars, which is more than the state economy of Idaho. Suddenly, he was able to purchase the state of Idaho and all its trout. (I have no idea if they have trout there, but Guy Fieri seems to stop at a Diner and/or Drive-In and/or Dive at least once a week in Idaho for trout.) “Aw, geez, ma, I have to pay to pave highways now? Money is evil!” As for fantasy, Anderson’s not quite as big city-ish. He has very few Ks thru two games, but he does throw hard-ish (93 MPH fastball) with a decent slider, and he also has decent control. His minor league numbers portend a mid-rotation guy at best and he’s not at his best yet, so there’s still room to grow, but I’d let him grow on someone else’s team in mixed leagues. If you wanna check the Stream-o-Nator on him, go for it, but outside of AL-Only leagues, I wouldn’t own him yet. Just as I wouldn’t eat trout from Idaho. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The ESPYS are coming soon, so I decided it might be time to nominate some relief pitchers for mid-season hardware and steal a little bit of ESPN’s ESPYS thunder (that’s just wrong on more than one level) in the process.  Anyway, I’ll soon be handing an award to one of the relief pitchers with a chance to regress in a bad way and I’m calling these awards the Jurrjy’s because Jair Jurrjens was a pitcher that was as up and down as I can recall a pitcher being.  He was (is, I could say, after all he still exists, somewhere) a BABIP dependent* pitcher because of a low strikeout rate.  For instance, here are his 2011 1st half/2nd half  ERA splits: 1.87 in 110.2 1st half innings vs 5.88 in a small sample of 41.1 second half innings.  While it might have been better to pick a reliever to name this after, I can’t think of anyone that fits the description better than Jair Jurrjens.  The only problem is, I’m not sure if the “winner” is the one whose ERA regresses the most or the one who maintains the mirage.  I guess that’s up to the Academy to decide.  So without further ado, your 2015 Jurrjy nominees in the “rising ERA” category are:  Steve Delabar, middle reliever, Toronto Blue Jays (1.42 ERA /4.05 FIP).  Bryan Shaw, middle reliever, Cleveland Indians (2.10 ERA /4.62 FIP).  Joakim Soria, closer, Detroit Tigers (2.73 ERA /5.09 FIP).  Brad Ziegler, closer, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.45 ERA /3.78 FIP), Darren O’Day, middle reliever, Baltimore Orioles (1.21 ERA /3.17 FIP), and JJ Hoover, middle reliever, Cincinnati Reds (1.31 ERA / 3.10 FIP).  (*This article basically claims that pitcher BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is 75% luck, 13% defense, and 12% pitcher’s skill).

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I’m here with Giancarlo Stanton in the hospital. No, I’m not here to direct Giancarlo to put the hospital gown on backwards. That was a happy accident. I’m also not here to try to convince new parents in the maternity ward to name their daughters, Giancarla or Ginacarlo or Ginacarla. The flowers everyone sent were beautiful, by the way. Every time he falls asleep I sprinkle flower petals on him like he’s Mena Suvari in American Beauty. Whoever sent the balloon, “Get Well Soon, My Fantasy Team Needs You,” you should be ashamed. Can you not think of anyone else? At least think of me! On the fo’serious for a full second, in 2013, when Showtime aired the inspiration for True Detective that was trying to solve the mystery on whether or not anyone in the Marlins front office knew anything about baseball, Giancarlo was out for a knee operation. Then last year, Mike Fiers did what many of us dream of, but only a few of us can visualize in its fullest, put a ball on Giancarlo’s face. Now, he’s out for four to six weeks with a broken hamate bone. I don’t doubt mi novio can hit 50 homers one year, but he kinda needs to stay on the field to do it. Hopefully, one of these years we see it. I have to go now, he’s waking and likes his Jell-O at room temperature, so I have to remove the cold Jell-o from my rectum and hope it’s warmed. Coming, Giancarlo! Literally! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Steven Matz is getting the call to the majors, a day after the Mets received this call, “Earth to Mets, your season is slipping away, and stop crashing back into me.” Though, it was kinda nervy of Earth to call collect. Earth added, “Sorry, I also invested in Madoff.” Thankfully for Mets fans, the Mets accepted the charges for Earth’s call, but declined Ian Desmond’s. If you are a fan of the Mets, I’d immediately write them a strongly-worded letter to not trade for Ian Desmond. I just gave you my Steven Matz fantasy. It was written on the backside of the napkin where you wrote your phone number. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except he’s added some more wonderful to his statz (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sorry, I’m using a keyboard sponsored by Marcus Semien and the keys are sticky.). Matz’s IP count is now up to 90 1/3 with a 2.19 ERA and 94 Ks. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s in the PCL, where they use helium balloons as baseballs. I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The election for the Sons of Sam Horn government would be an ever-evolving oligarchy. David Ortiz (1-for-3) would be the honorary Papi emeritus, Dustin Pedroia would be the Secretary of Sparky Anklebiters, Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs) would be a stunt double in case of an assassination attempt, Pablo Sandoval (2-for-4, 2 runs) would be the ambassador to the International House of Pancakes, Wade Miley (6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.88) would be in charge of the Armed Farces and the election for president would be a popularity contest between Brock Holt (4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .309) and Mookie Betts (3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) after Jackie Bradley Jr. was told to take a walk. For a half season last year, Holt hit .327 with three homers and six steals. So, he’s done this over an extended period of time before, and yesterday was the first day the Red Sox really have looked themselves all year, so I highly doubt Holt will fall much lower than the two hole in the lineup any time soon. If he’s available in your league, I’d definitely grab him. Brock Holt! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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To paraphrase Collective Soul, “Diamondbacks, your cup runneth over with outfielders. Don’t scream about! Don’t think aloud! Trade an outfielder now, baby! Just spit him out! Don’t worry about! Don’t speak of doubt! Turn your organization’s head and spit Trumbo out!” From Collective Soul’s website (that was surprisingly not a Geocities site or Myspace), they’re still touring. Coming to a church bingo hall near you! So, the Mariners acquired Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno for Welington Castillo, Dominic Leone, Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero. During one of the games I took in at spring training this year, I screamed at Guerrero, “Hey, number ninety-two,” because I had no idea who he was and the media guide only went up to ninety-one. Then I jawed at Guerrero for about ten minutes, giving him a little taste of some major league heckling. Now that I realize who he was, it turns out we were both Gabby. This doesn’t do anything major to anyone’s value. Diamondbacks were one of the best team offenses in this little thing we call reality, so if anything, Trumbo takes the smallest of hits. Park-wise, Mark can be Trumbomb or Trumboner anywhere, so I’m not concerned. The ones that get the biggest value boost here are David Peralta (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) and Castillo. Welington relocates his boeuf to the desert and becomes an everyday catcher with 15-homer power and a .270 average. Definitely grab him in NL-Only and two-catcher leagues. Peralta will have a chance to prove himself, but he’s more of a 14-homer, 8-steal guy, so nothing huge. This does stop the Diamondbacks from benching A.J. Pollock (2-for-4, 2 runs, 7th homer, and 2nd in as many games; grab him!), Ender Inciarte (0-for-5) and Yasmany Tomas (3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) when Jake Lamb returns. Or as Lamb would say, “Not baaaaah for either team.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Felix Hernandez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners with 8 Ks, but wasn’t the best pitcher in yesterday’s gaymey. Damn! I wrote the preceding sentence in drool hanging from my mouth while looking at Chris Archer‘s stats, and got to the very end before my drool failed me, sorta like Boxberger failed the Rays. This post will be one part fawning over Archer, two parts awe and three parts peyote. Speaking of peyote, why are there jam bands, but not jelly bands? I put on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Garfunkel’s old partner and fell asleep. When I woke, I started singing, “Chris, there is something you can do to make me smile again. I said I appreciate that and would you please explain the fifty ways you can fix my ratios. You just throw a backdoor curve, swerve! Make a new game plan, man! You don’t need to be coy, 12 Ks — oh, boy! Just get yourself free to pitch every fifth day! Hop on the Nats bus and explain it to Effin Strasburg! You don’t need to discuss much because you are so clutch! Just drop off the key and stay with me! There’s fifty ways I can leave my Cougar!” Yesterday, Archer’s line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.12. Fancy area code you got there! The crazy thing is his K-rate is 10.9, walk rate is 2.7 and xFIP is 2.59, which means he’s as good as he seems. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Everyone loves rookie nookie. Male upperclassmen scout the incoming class of freshmen girls like a hungry pride of lions stalking an oblivious herd of wildebeest and then pounce when the first opportunity presents itself. Fantasy baseball owners are the same way. They’re predators who stalk their prospect prey until call-ups are announced, and then the feeding frenzy on the waiver wire begins. This week’s prized target is Addison Russell (+66.4%), the new jewel of the Chicago Cubs minor league system ever since Kris Bryant was promoted just a couple of weeks ago. Due to the recent injury to Tommy La Stella and the early struggles of Arismendy Alcantara, Russell got the big league call and many a race to the waiver wire ensued. After all, young middle infielders with power and speed who possess ceilings as high and beautiful as the Sistine Chapel don’t come along every day. Those in redraft formats might want to take a cold shower though. Entering yesterday’s play (22 PA), Russell was sporting a .136/.136/.227 triple slash and had yet to draw a walk except for a dozen back to the dugout (54.5% K%) thus far. His plate discipline numbers make this approach look effective. Small sample size to be sure, but Steamer isn’t terribly optimistic as far as his ROS projections go: 35/9/38/10/.235 in 362 PA. Hang onto Russell for the upside if you have him, but don’t expect a fantasy superstar this season. Those who own him in dynasty leagues can party like it’s 1999. Or roughly 2025. You know what I mean. Here are a couple of this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball:

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