Matt Shoemaker, $9,900, AKA The Cobbler, came out of no where and put up some Ace like numbers in the second half of 2014. He went 9-2, striking out 62 batters in 72 innings, all while posting a nice and tidy 1.87 ERA. I was one of the lucky ones that scooped him up and I road that train all the way to multiple Title Towns. In 2015 he was one Grey’s preseason favorites and then he did his best Francisco Liriano impression, but seemingly nose dived 5 times harder. It was tough to watch as he still held a special place in my heart, just like Kris Medlen of 2012, Kendrys Morales and Dallas Keuchel circa 2015. Unfortunately, the long ball absolutely crippled The Cobbler last year, as he coughed up 24 HR’s in just 134 innings of work. In May of 2015, I said my farewells to The Cobbler and bid him adieu. This year started out no different than 2015, as he had a terrible April posting a 9.15 ERA while giving up 6 HR in just 20 innings. With those type of numbers I figured he was going to get sent down to the minors, but the Angels pitching staff was so bad that they actually needed someone to eat up innings. Then halfway through May something magical happened. I can’t explain it as there haven’t been any injury reports, but I do have a theory. Late one May night, amid the thick Anaheim fog, the Disney Pixie’s awoke from their two year slumber and visited The Cobbler, just like they did in 2014. They sprinkled him with some special Pixie Dust shizz and then he went out and pitched an absolute gem against a tough Baltimore offense going 7.1 innings with 12 K’s and 0 ER. The mysterious missing magic was back in his next start vs Houston going 8.1 innings with 11 K’s and 0 ER. He’s returned to the circle of trust as he’s been solid over his last 7 starts, striking out 62 in just 51.2 innings while posting a 2.11 ERA vs some strong AL opponents. I don’t know how long the magic dust is going to last this time, but he’s limiting the long ball and I like him tonight at home. He’s facing a tough offensive Houston Astros team tonight, but they’re also the number 3 in strikeouts vs RHP.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Evidently, Corey Kluber made some sort of promise to the city of Cleveland too, and not just to Kl-Uber Drew Carey home any time he sees him drunk-wandering in downtown Cleveland.  Yesterday, Kluber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA at 3.59.  So, I’m going to get completely unscientific, then scientific, then mix the two, Grey says sounding like Don Herbert. (If you knew who Don Herbert was, you are old and a nerd.)  Unscientifically, Kluber will have an ERA around 3.60 this year.  He’ll throw a gem, get the ERA down to 3.40, then throw a stinker and the ERA will rise.  It will go on like this all year, because that’s what he’s done so far.  Then he will figure out if he drops his arm angle a little, due to the earth being flat, it will add more spin and he’ll have an ERA under zero in September.  Again, that was unscientific.  Scientifically, his peripherals looks as good as any previous year.  His velocity is a notch off previous seasons, but his 9 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and 3.27 xFIP are excellent.  So, he should be better than he has been, and could end up with a 3.20 ERA with 250 Ks.  Now, to mix the two methods, Kluber will match his 3.27 xFIP, and on off days, picket Phil Collins’ house with Carl Everett, with a sign reading, “The Book of Genesis Doesn’t Have Liner Notes.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time we address the elephant in the room.  Not you, Sandoval.  I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks.  The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away.  Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew.  While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher.  None are Steven Wright though.  Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.”  I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!).  If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points.  So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A good salesman can sell ice to an eskimo. Notice I did not say honest salesman. I also said salesman instead of salesperson. Hopefully that did not offend my one female reader. After all, she does make up ten percent of my followers. Sorry token girl reader. Back to the guy that’s going to sell you a mattress when all you came into the store for was a pillow. For years, used car salesmen have been considered the prototypical charlatan. I’m not sure if charlatan is the right word, but I really want to use it, so it’s been crowbarred into today’s post.

What in Grey’s name does this have to do with fantasy baseball? One word. Trades. When making a trade in fantasy baseball, what we are really doing is selling one or more players in return for other player(s). Your opportunity to make a favorable trade relies upon your ability to sell your players for more than they are worth, or buy your opponents players for less than they’re worth. And if you can do both, perhaps you should open a used car lot. Razzcars! They sound fast.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And, with the first pick of the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies take… Someone that was born in 1998.  I have a bottle of ketchup older than that.  In fact, I think I have an entire shelf of condiments older.  Mickey Moniak or Grey’s Worcestershire sauce?   What?  That doesn’t ever go bad and it’s used for one thing.  I think I dated a girl in 1998 who wanted a Bloody Mary.  What else am I going to do with it?!  Lea & Perrins conspired to add it in the recipe of the Bloody Mary so everyone would have to buy it.  But you done messed up, Lea & Perrins, because there’s no use-by date!  Seinfeld pulls me aside like Bania, “You have fifteen minutes of Worcestershire sauce material, maybe you diversify?  What’s the deal with soy sauce?  If it’s soy, shouldn’t it be white?”  Wanna feel really old, look at Mickey Moniak.  He makes Christian Yelich look like a blue-hair.  I’m sure Prospector Ralph will be along on Sunday to talk about the MLB Draft in total, but the Phils grabbed Mickey Moniak, an eighteen-year-old lefty who has a line-drive stroke.  Said to have a high floor, which means low upside.  Hey, he actually might be just like Christian Yelich, two brothers from nearly this millennial.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Ree,” opens the front door, walks down the driveway, says hello to my Polish neighbor, Stash, walks to the DQ, gets a Blizzard, eats said Blizzard, walks home, opens the door, says “Dick,” hits the head, not like that, comes back feeling a Blizzard lighter, does some Netflix and chill, shuts it off, says, “You,” brushes teeth, gets into bed, moves arm over Cougs, hears about her splitting headache, rolls over and says, “Lus.”  That’s right, in honor of Mookie Betts, I just did the most ridiculous ridiculous call ever.  You earned that shizz, you madman!  I’d count the ways I love this man, but like a savant Blackjack dealer I can only count up to 21.  After his three-homer game yesterday, Betts (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, 10th, 11th, 12th homers) now has those twelve homers to go with eight steals, a .283 average and is on pace for 115 runs and 85 RBIs.  Don’t make me do another ridiculous ridiculous call, cause if you want me to, I will.  Oh, and with what he’s doing, it’s not even inconceivable that he keeps up this pace.  His BABIP (.290) is actually below his career average (he’s getting unlucky!), his fly ball percentage is down (he could be hitting more homers!) and he hasn’t been caught stealing once (so steal more!).  You are witnessing the emergence of a perennial first rounder.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re about 50 games into the season now meaning things are starting to take shape.  I’m a firm believer that we should #killthewin but I can’t help but be impressed that Chris SaleJake Arrieta and Stephen Strasburg all have 9 wins already.  Arguably more impressive, Arrieta, Strasburg and Josh Tomlin all haven’t lost yet.  Tomlin is 7-0 with a WHIP under 1.  The K’s aren’t great but there’s a ton of value with how he’s pitching right now.  His ERA is sitting at 3.35 but it’s not a fluke.  Here’s what was posted throughout Week 8:

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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?

Owning Max Scherzer last night was like watching the Showtime classic, Emmanuelle, the erotic thriller starring Emmanuel Lewis as Webster Schlong and Alex Karras as George Papadopepuss.  Through 6 IP, Scherzer had 13 Ks and was only 77 pitches.  On the Tigers broadcast, Jimmy Leyland said, “(Scherzer) looks spent.”  Who’s a better judge of that than his ex-manager?  If only the Nationals had Jose Valverde to come in.  But then Scherzer went out in the 7th and had a 1-2-3 inning with two Ks and it was if Shannon Tweed had appeared next to Emmanuel Lewis and this erotic thriller became more elaborate, convoluted and spectacular!  Then Scherzer came out in the 8th and struck out three more guys to put his total at 18 Ks.  Then, came the ninth.  Now, no guy has a shorter hook than Emmanuel Lewis, but no manager has a longer hook than Dusty.  Scherzer could’ve been on pitch 175 and he would’ve been out there to finish it, and finish the Tigers he did.  Final line:  9 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 20 Ks.  He is still giving up homers though…. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matthew Wisler threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.24.  Or if you like portmanteaus and/or vomit — Matthrew up a gem.  By the by, after anyone says their name is Matthew, do you always want to say, “Gesundheit?”  “Name for the cup?”  “Matthew.”  “Wow, it’s allergy season, huh?”  That’s me as a barista, a job I never had.  I’ve actually held one real job in my entire life.  I’m like Mark Cuban without the money.  Since I own Wisler in more leagues than I care to admit, I watched the whole game.  Prolly first time I watched one of my pitchers while listening to the opposing broadcast, but you cannot beat the Mets announcers for a broadcast booth or for stories about insane cocaine intake in the 80s.  Wisler was dancing a 94 MPH fastball just at the knees, spinning a backdoor curve that had Neil Walker look more like Neil Statue.  Duda?  Go take a doodie, it’d be more productive than facing Wisler!  Asdrubal?  Well, he actually hit the ball hard.  Quite a few Mets did.  It was like, “Matthew!  Damn, I think I caught something,” and the Braves would look up with a ball in their glove.  So, Wisler’s performance last night was a gorgeous line, but I wouldn’t go near him outside of the deepest of leagues.  In shallower leagues, Matthew?  God bless you for last night, but I don’t need those tissues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?