Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not often we look to Arizona for help in the pitching department. I mean, we’ve lovingly referred to Chase Field as Coors in the desert, Coors Lite (cuz when you make a reference, it’s gotta be about beer even when it’s bad, amirite?), Rocky Mountain High at Sea Level…hrm, that last one I’ve never heard but maybe it’ll become a thing now? Whatevs, the point is, it’s a bit of a risk taking on an arm from these games because the field plays so well for hitters. Make no mistake here, there’s nothing safe about starting Robbie Ray here. His skillset doesn’t truly inspire confidence and that’s evident by his recent run. Overall, he’s a situational pitcher and that’s what has put me on him today. Prior to yesterday’s 8 run outburst, the Cardinals offense had been abhorrent of late, putting up a measly 86 wRC+ in August while K’ing 22.3% of the time. What makes Ray even more intriguing is that the Cardinals numbers vs lefties on the year are identically bad vs southpaws overall, sitting at 88 and 22.8%, respectively. You’re not looking to Ray to score you more than 30 but at his $6,300 price tag, a healthy 20 to 25 point range isn’t going to hurt you at all. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s my desert hot takes for this Monday DK slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m channeling some inner-Albright this week. Seat of your pants son! Speaking of Grey, I used the photo he took of me giving him the Larry Bird for my new avatar since it made sense to me that I should use Grey’s photo on his site. In other news, I shook up my top-100 this week as we get to the third leg of the 400-meter stretch run relay. If you’re not in the top-60, then you can be cut at any time. If you are hot, ascending, or the type of player who can go on a monster power or speed run, then I want you. Obviously, I couldn’t get everyone here, for this isn’t the Top-120, but you may notice the name brands in the bottom of the list. They are there because it’s difficult to cut some of them, but if you must, then you must.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Fiers threw the first Astros no-hitter by a single pitcher in over 20 years last night and the very first no-no in Minute Maid Park to make his way into the Houston record books, alongside Houston greats such as Beyonce, Dennis Quaid….uh, Rory Gilmore…did I say, Beyonce already? Anyway, even more impressive, the 30-year old Fiers did it against one of the leagues top offenses in the LA Dodgers. You probably wouldn’t have started Michael Fiers unless you owned @#$%ing Michael Fiers! Fiers walked just three batters and struck out 10 in what was also his first career complete game. It took Mike 134 pitches to get through this one, but his stuff seemed to get better as he got deeper into the game. It was his first win with his new team. After struggling in relief in his first appearance with Houston, Fiers settled nicely into a starting role that he will be unlikely to relinquish after last night’s dominating performance. He’s allowed just one earned run in three starts with Houston, with a 19/6 K/BB rate. Fiers struggles with control at times but when he’s on the strikeouts numbers are nice and he can be a very useful fantasy starter. He’s available in over half of leagues and gets the Yankees next week, I’d grab him if he’s out there, he could be a helpful guy to own as the Astros make their run for a pennant.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Marcell Ozuna went 0-for-4 yesterday after being recalled on Saturday.  OZUNA glad to be back in Miami.  OZUNA miss friends, weather and vomiting unicorn statue in center field.  OZUNA promise to hit more powerful home runs.  OZUNA fix holes in swing.  If need be, OZUNA use cricket bat with flat barrel.  OZUNA not sure it called barrel.   OZUNA would call paddle.  OZUNA hit well in minors, .317 with five home runs in 33 games.  OZUNA thought gone longer than 33 games.  OZUNA mind like Plato’s cave.  OZUNA get confused about linear time.  OZUNA think Matrix is documentary.  OZUNA take red pill.  OZUNA was offered two red pills as his “eye-opener to alternate reality” was “out of blue pills.”  OZUNA see pitch in slow motion in 360 degrees.  OZUNA say whoa.  OZUNA thank you for your time.  So, Ozuna’s back and worth a pick up.  No, I have no idea what he’s capable of in the final six weeks, other than maybe some power.  It’s an upside flyer that’s worth taking in every league.  Like blue pill?  Yes, OZUNA.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks back, I was on vacation and the Big Magoo covered the creeper. He did one hell of a job by making good calls and changing up the format. This week, I’m feeling inspired by the Big Magoo and will follow in his form. I should literally follow in his form because we are similar in height, but not in weight. I’m always looking at schedules every week to help assist with my creeper, but this week I’m taking it a step further. I’m going all in on home parks. This is my mixed bag of who to grab throughout the week because you should be shuffling players in and out as long as you don’t have restrictions on moves…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Red Sox season is like the guy that knocks over the Jenga structure with the first block pulled, then manages to somehow knock every single block off the table, even the ones on the very bottom. Koji Uehara hit the DL with a fractured wrist, and is done for the season, as originally speculated here after reading between the lines at other sites. I also read between the lines that aliens constructed Tikal in Guatemala. And I thought Tikal was constructed by Method Man. Also, I have a bone to pick with read, why is the past tense still spelled read? Siri can’t even figure that shizz out to speak. You messed up, English language! Any the hoo! With Uehara out, this opens a hole for Jean Machi or Junichi Tazawa to walk through. Tazawa is Asian, though I’m not sure that’s a requirement, Machi is ugly. Again, may not matter. Either way, I’d go Machi first since Sawx manager, John Farrell, indicated that Machi would fill-in as the closer, adding, “And Sandoval is still fat.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I still can’t believe I chose this schlub to be the creeper of the week. What am I thinking? OR maybe, what am I smoking *takes another hit* to conclude that this disappointment can be a creeper? Tehol even started wavering on Domonic Brown this year, and I am here to tell you to go against all your instincts and own him… for the week… or maybe more. Actually, Tehol still has a shrine at home dedicated to the man and has some delight for him again. Really, what kind of contributor would I be if I didn’t talk about Tehol when speaking about Brown? To take it a step further, let me quote the FML (Fantasy Master Lothario) who said this past Friday “As someone who benefited greatly from Brown’s 23-homer 1st half in 2013, let me be the first person to point out that Brown is capable of great things”. This may sound more like a buy than a creep, but when it comes to Brown, lets take it one step at a time. I’ll call him Baby Steps Brown for nowTime to insert my gratuitous What About Bob? clip.

Please, blog, may I have some more?