The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous. The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history. Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.” Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna. Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games. For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June. He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals. So, yes, you should own him. Fun fact! Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd? A premature ejacu-elation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.” I think I need to have a talk with him. Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine. What? I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house. So, times are rough for Giancarlo. The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing. Holy sit! Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter. Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play. Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging. His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way. You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him. His ground balls are through the roof. Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms. All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls. His line drive rate is poor. He usually kills fastballs. So far, he’s a negative on them. That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast. He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef. Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders. That’s not real beef! What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs. Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky. Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie? I’m not sure. The health is an unknown question mark. Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy. I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past. If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem. For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did I just get something from nothing? Because Justin Upton is nothing, and I got something yesterday — 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2). Therefore, hence, Argo the movie, vis-a-vis, I got something from nothing. Take that all of you non-believers! And you said he would never come around to be worth that top 25 pick. I pfft on you. A big fat pfft. Come here, accept my pfft. I got one good game from him out of 57! Holy schnikeballs, I got only one good game from my 2nd rounder? Please, neighbor’s cat, don’t confuse me for a ball of yarn as I curl up in a ball and sob. Please, stop tapping me with your paw. I am not a ball of yarn. So, can Upton turn it around? I believe he can. At least moderately. Last year, he hit two homers and .196 in June and .162 in July. And you still drafted him this year, so apparently you don’t care about two-month slumps. In 2014, he had a month of .226 with 3 HRs and a month of .169 with 3 HRs. This year in April, he had a 38% strikeout percentage, 34% in May and 22% in June. He’s already seeing the ball better. If he finishes June with 6 homers and .259, then hit .343 in May, would you be shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be, because those were months he did last year when he also had two sub-.200 months. Upton gets awful for months; it’s what he does. He also gets hot for months. Unfortunately, the slump months came to start the season so it was more pronounced. Pronounced specifically as: Gäd, h? s?ks. And, remember, it takes the Uptons a while to adjust to new leagues. It took Melvin Upton three years and a first name change to adjust to the NL. Hopefully, this is the start of something so Justin doesn’t have to resort to being Melvin Upton Jr. Jr. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year. It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey. The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju. Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too? How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?” Does that fit in a locker? What about “brooding?” Does brooding fit in a locker? Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!). His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision. Also, check this: 1st time through the order facing Harvey: .241/.292/.373; second time: .301/.326/.518; third time: .509/.563/.764. What does that tell me? He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider. I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Chris Young went 2 2/3 IP, 5 ER as he allowed five solo home runs, which tied a franchise record, and was only the 7th starting pitcher to give up five home runs in less than three innings. He was then followed by Dillion Gee. Too bad Gee wasn’t followed by Aaron Laffey, then the box score would’ve read Chris Young, Gee, Laffey, which, as everyone knows, is an Asian giraffe, which is where these pitchers should be pitching: Asia. I didn’t know the Mets had an exchange program going with the Royals. Oh, and the Mets’ AARP affiliate was on the Yanks too with Carlos Beltran (2-for-4) hitting two homers. Member the days when the Mets got the Yanks’ also-rans — Willie Randolph, Orlando Hernandez, Rick Cerone? Now the Yanks are taking sloppy seconds. The Yankees are Ben Affleck and the Mets are Joey Lauren Adams and the Yanks are listening to the Mets in the bar in Chasing Amy. Watch out for the gear shift, Yankees! Also, in this game, Brian McCann (1-for-4) mick-can-can with his 4th homer, Brett Gardner (1-for-4) said, “Same,” and hit his 4th and Aaron Hicks (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) blasted his 2nd. With Ellsbury out for a few, I grabbed Hicks in one league, and this is now his 2nd homer in the past four games. As for Christall Young, he’ll likely be replaced in the rotation by Gee. Though, I vote for Gee with Laffey on his shoulders for the Asian giraffe. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’d like to dedicate this post to all the mothers out there, and to the most important mother in most of our lives, Manny Machado. The Oxford Dictionary defines mother, “something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale.” So, one can say that Manny Machado is the mother of all shortstops and 3rd basemen. Yesterday, on Machado’s Day, a true mother in the most arcane sense, he went 2-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (8, 9). He’s gaining shortstop eligibility for next year because Hardy hurt himself and the Orioles realized that necessity is the Machado of invention. So, next year, is there any way he’s not in the top three overall for all of fantasy? I guess if he gets hurt. Did I just jinx him? What a Machado f**ker! Whatever the case, there’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated. Sweet Manny, don’tcha know, I love ya (Dear Machado). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“‘I need a bouncy C. Not a bouncy castle!’ Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill. The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister. The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill. Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah. Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.” Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame. And…scene!” The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch. If only Manaea looks that good. High-five!” So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday. He’s looked downright fantastic thus far. Upleft fantastic too. He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds. He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns. I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios. He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy. His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily. Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues. Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang. My bullpen is so polluted! I can’t even have a save with that bullpen. It’s so polluted!” After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers. Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee. Great, maybe they can make a camel. Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA. Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while. This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets. Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors. Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet. Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday. He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning. Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out. *intern whispers in my ear* Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay. For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, that sucked. It was extra sucky too because I had high hopes for Carlos Rodon‘s start vs. the lifeless Angels. Like eating Chinese food by yourself and accidentally getting two fortune cookies, then you open them and they both say the same thing, “The highlight of your night will be getting two fortune cookies with the same fortune.” Like going to the car wash and they give you a deal due to an impending rainstorm. Only it never rains, false alarm. But you did forget to put up your window. Like your parents reconcile their differences, just to yell at you. Rodon, it’s one thing to disappoint, but to raise expectations first? Oh man, you are one evil doode with a heart as cold as Clint Hurdle who has a serious attraction to Freese. Yesterday, Rodon went 1/3 IP, 5 ER with one strikeout. On the bright side, he upped his K-rate. “Don’t mock bright sides or I will burn you.” That’s the vengeful sun. Rodon had ten straight quality starts, and, unless he’s hurt, we should just treat this as an aberration. A sick, twisted aberration. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been a rough season for starting pitching in the early going. If you splurged on Clayton Kershaw or pulled the trigger on Noah Syndergaard in your draft, you’re probably sitting pretty on the pitching side at the moment. However, fantasy mainstays Zack Greinke, Chris Archer, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, and Justin Verlander have combined for zero wins, a 7.30 ERA, and a 1.79 WHIP thus far in 2016. Those ratios are as painful to look at as this video is. Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but still pretty awful. Caught somewhere in the middle of all of this madness is Los Angeles Angels ace Garrett Richards. He’s generally not considered to be a #1 or #2 SP in fantasy circles, but a decent #3. Good, but not great K-rate. Middle of the road ratios. Won’t kill you anywhere but probably won’t be a huge asset either. A fallback option. Is this perception of Richards accurate? What can be expected from him this season?
Let’s take a look at a few things that stand out regarding Richards:Please, blog, may I have some more?