The first half is in the books.  You suffered through the HR Derby and stomached the ASG.  Congratulations, you’ve weathered the first “half” storm.  We have about 65-70 games left, depending on the team, and you now have a good look at your team.  Or do you?  Plenty of players have outperformed expectations and a seemingly equivalent contingent of guys have been duds.  I’m not gonna bore you with a long intro here.  Let’s look at guys who should have increased value rest of season.  Buy em or don’t sell em, but use it to your advantage.

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I swear that box score turning blue to alert people there’s something historic going on is the mother of all jinxes. Not to mention, all the people talking about the perfect game. Member when that was a jinx? Since we’re currently living in the Age of Opinion (which is not the Scorsese movie, though if it gets the green-light, Gary Oldman could play the lead), everyone talks about the perfect game while it’s going on. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitbook, PinkedIn. In my day, we never mentioned a perfect game on Friendster! And on my General Gist band page on Myspace? Nary a whisper! Well, Jake Arrieta still pitched outstanding yesterday — 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.05 — even if the bid for a perfect game came up short. Like Altuve short. Like Kershaw looks at Arrieta’s perfect game bid and giggles. Still, this is about where Arrieta’s been and where he can go. What I said the other day still remains true — his swings and misses are going up, his control is getting better and he’s using his cutter more — a pitch he can dominant with. I’d still look at him in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Injuries?  You want injuries?  Well, good sir (ma’am, Donkey from Shrek, Borg or whatever), you’ve come to the right place. 2014 is no stranger to the maimed, sick and downtrodden.  If the 2014 baseball season were a movie, it would be a combination of Outbreak, Hostel, Saving Private Ryan and The Fan (man, that sh*t was terrible). The All-Star break is just a few weeks away, so here are some players hitting the DL or coming off of it that you need to be keeping an eye on…

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The Colorado Rockies have not had an easy go of it this season.  After beginning the year in tremendous fashion, injuries have contributed to a pretty steady drop in the standings.  Once 22-14, the Rockies have fallen one game below .500, to 34-35. Pitching is always to blame when it comes to the blemishes of the Blake Street Bombers, and this year has been no exception, with the team placing last in the majors with a 4.61 ERA.  However, mounting injuries have put an even bigger dent into the psyche of the good spirited people of Denver. First, Nolan Arenado hit the DL.  Then it was Michael Cuddyer (twice) and Carlos Gonzalez.  Pitcher Jordan Lyles, who had been their best starter to date, broke his non-pitching hand on a freak play.  Wilin Rosario even had a stint on the sidelines with a stomach bug.  Presumably, he’s been using that as his excuse for his poor hitting all season long.  The only player who hasn’t been hurt is human house-of-straw, Justin Morneau.  Go figure.

Good news for the Rockies, and for fantasy owners, is that Arenado (finger) could be back by the All-Star break, or perhaps even sooner if he can progress quickly through rehab games. While any possible cancer scare is nothing to dismiss, the fact that CarGo’s injury was “only” a benign foreign mass — and not a torn ligament — was the best possible news his owners could hear.  His original five-week timetable would have him back around the All-Star break.

Now all the Rockies need to do is get superz-sized sheets of bubble wrap for Troy Tulowitzki.

Here are some other injury notes that caught my eye this week…

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Before I start, I want to try another experiment for this series. I feel as though I am biased in writing articles on players I choose. I probably go through five or ten players before I find the one I want to write up. So what I want you, my loving audience, to do, is give me player suggestions for the upcoming week. Just leave a comment below with a player or multiple players. I will try to pick one of the more popular responses. There are only four rules:

  1. The player can’t be any I have done in the past (although I am breaking my own rule this week).
  2. The player can’t be out for the rest of the season, because I know some of you would look for any loop hole and suggest Jarrod Parker, Avisail Garica, or any other Tommy John candidate.
  3. No speculation articles on minor leaguers.
  4. Don’t pick obscure players; I won’t be writing on Chone Figgins or Kevin Quackenbush (I bet he got picked on in school).

If you just want me to keep doing my thing my way, that’s cool too. Alright, here is the post:

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Wil Myers was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his hand. Experts are saying, “Guess you shouldn’t have drafted him!” Those are experts in schadenfreude. Other experts are saying he should’ve been wearing iron gloves called járngreipr. But those experts are in Norse mythology. Then there’s experts that say when he was injured he should’ve been going for a Chocolate Silk Pie Blizzard, but those are experts in Dairy Queen. Are there any experts on injuries that weighed in?! Oh, here’s one that says he’ll have his cast removed in about 6 weeks and could return in August. Ugh. I think I need a Blizzard. In shallower leagues where DL spots are already filled, I could see dropping him. In one 15-team league, I’m holding him, but Taijuan Walker is about to come off the DL, so I have room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Earlier this week, I played guarantee fairy by marking guys likely to rebound or drop-off based on their BABIP differentials (actual vs. expected). Justin Morneau was a red flag because his expected BABIP is 34+ points lower than his actual BABIP, however this is the case for other Rockies, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki even more-so. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are just behind Morneau as well. What I’m saying is that it’s a generalizable (Colorado) effect, and isn’t too much of a concern in Morneau’s case. The lineup stack probably exacerbates the effect as well.

On the other hand, while Prince Fielder is likely to rebound based on expected BABIP, the ground ball increase and hitting into the defensive shift is really hurting him, meaning I think his issues will somewhat sustain all year.

For this post (using this same matrix), let’s look at some MLB catchers and corner infielders to replace Matt Wieters and Brandon Belt long-term, and who should rebound at least from an expected BABIP perspective (<10% ownership on ESPN as of 5/12). Here is how I have them ranked:

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Every time I hear Nate Eovaldis name I think about the delicious Italian staple the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I also think of Rachel Ray and her sick obsession for the stuff. Seriously, that woman puts it in everything. But thank goodness this isn’t about her and I’ve probably already turned some of you off and you’re heading back over to Grey’s with all the other cool kids….Hi De Nacho Favre! Speaking of De Nacho, in the FCL I was commenting how I’m glad I drove a Honda but I’ll never do it again. It was boring, like listening to Air Supply for the rest of your life. I like power at my feet, I haven’t owned a car that wasn’t a V8 in years. Now why am I telling you this nonsense and how does it relate to EVOO? Dude is not boring! He’s damn exciting to watch, makes playing all this worth it. He went undrafted all over the place back in March but has been one of the best adds all season. The returns on him has given his owners a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.58 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, a realistic LOB rate, a high ground ball rate and low line drive rate. He also throws really friggin’ hard with an average velocity of 95.7 on his four seam and 96.1 on his 2 seam fastballs. I also dropped him in one league a couple of weeks back. I’ll be honest, I thought he was good but I’ve been waiting for the regression fairies to show up. They’re late to the party. I see him as this year’s Patrick Corbin, a great start but will die a slow death after the All Star break. The only saving grace is the velocity. He throws hard and that is always a plus. In case some of you have forgot, he was the centerpiece of the Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers deal. The Marlin’s know their talent. Ok, enough back story blah blah blah. He gets the Giants today at the their nice cushy ballpark. The Giants are the 11th worst team in MLB for K rate and have a couple of their bats banged up. Brandon Belt is on the DL, Pablo Sandoval is hurt and Hunter Pence has been stuck at the light switch all season. Nothing really scary there. We could say Michael Morse is playing and hitting but I say he’s playing and looking ready to hit the DL. I have May 23rd on my Morse injury pool. *crosses fingers* Bottom line is he’s my favorite pitcher of the day and anytime Matt Cain takes the hill the Giants lose. Stream-o-Nator likes Cain better and has Eovaldi 6th on the day. I say Stream has been partying too much with Hitter-Tron. I’m playing him in DraftKings contests today and if you did too then let’s take a moment to hold hands over the internet.

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This past weekend was full of knockout entertainment. There was some great baseball, NBA and Stanley Cup playoff action, a crying competition between NFL draftees and Mother’s everywhere and a UFC main event that actually exceeded expectations. I don’t condone fighting. In fact, I encourage it when it’s done legally and televised. If you feel the same make sure you see the Matt Brown v. Erick Silva battle that rightfully went viral this weekend. It’s on Fox Sports 1 or 2 or 47 on replay, whichever you have. It’s probably available on a website or two as well.

If you managed to watch 74 hours of sports television this weekend you had an impossible (man’s game) winning streak. And you should keep the streak going. So, on this very mundane Tuesday, you should spice it up with some money-grabbing Draftkings action. And when you do the Draftkings (what Mom calls it) kick some ass. Today’s formula is brought to you by cheap pitchers (aka Natural Light) and Cabrera MMA (Melky, Migs, Asdrubal). There’s nothing better than a spicy sausage with cheap beer so make sure you click this hot link so you can get your first Draftkings contest for free.

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As I do every week, I’ll be covering all the bumps and bruises in the would of fantasy baseball.  It’d be nice if some of these guys could get their acts together, but hey, then I’d be out of a job.

There were a few notable injuries in the baseball world over the past week, mostly on the hitting side of the spectrum, and I’ll be focusing on those, as well as some other players who just can’t stay away from the trainer’s room in my latest edition of Ambulance Chasers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?