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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As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks. It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, guys and four girl readers. Clay Buchholz didn’t make the top 100, but with a game like yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks — he could be better than some guys that are on there. I’ll go over this in detail tomorrow, but in only two and a half months, anything can happen. Even something good with Buchholz because there is upside, right? Check. Downside? Check? Waitress? Check please. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

PSYCH! Before we get into the post, I just wanted to say our TV on the Radio host, Nick, wants to cover some live fantasy football drafts in the following cities: Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincy and Detroit. We’re currently airing our show on cable in 22 million homes in the New York area, so if you want to make an ass of yourself on a bigger scale than you can imagine, now’s your chance! Leave your email address in the comments or over at our TV/Radio side of things, and Nick will hit you back. Anyway II, the roundup:

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The Oakland A’s have been the team to beat in the first half of 2014. They own the best record the majors, their offense, which is comprised of a ragtag bunch of misfits from the other side of the tracks, ranks second among all teams in RBIs and total bases. They lead the league in ERA and WHIP, and they just upgraded their rotation with the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, all without the help of fat Jonah Hill. You don’t need Andy Serkis’ acting school to show you you’d be a real monkey to doubt these guys. They’ve been just as good from a fantasy perspective. Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Sonny Gray have carried over their success from 2013, and Jesse Chavez, Sean Doolittle and the two-headed catcher platoon of John Jaso and Derek Norris have all been first half surprises. So which A’s can you hitch a ride on for some second half fantasy glory? Jed Lowrie (2-for-4, RBI) can get real hot, real quick, and is currently on a seven game hitting streak, with multi-hit performances in six of those games. You might want to scoop him up before he explodes, or gets injured again. Similarly, Stephen Vogt (3-for-3, HR (4)) has been excellent since receiving everyday at bats and is slashing .435/.480/.652 over the past two weeks.  He’s got an 11 game hitting streak (six multi-hit games in that span) and two homers in his past three days, and that catcher eligibility makes him extra valuable. P. Diddy says Vogt or die, so you should grab Stephen while he’s still just under 30% owned. We may be through a little over half of the fantasy season so far, but there’s still plenty of time to ride the Oaktown bandwagon to some fantasy glory, at least until they get to San Antonio. #keeptheAsinOakland!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night (*All-Star Edition*):

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Going back to one of my old favorites, that I didn’t like for awhile, then did like, then loved, then hated, then should’ve loved but hated, then was nonplussed about, then Googled nonplussed to make sure I used it right, then took a nap, then clapped my hands, shot up out of bed and kissed my ‘Donna Martin graduates’ screenshot, scrubbed my undercarriage with my Q-Bert loofah and sat down to write about why you should sell Anibal Sanchez. Anibal’s K-rate is in the dumper. Big enough sample size to be concerned — that’s not what she said! Huh? His velocity is off. More concern. That dirty Sanchez! He hasn’t been great, but he’s been much worse when you throw out favorable luck. His xFIP is at 3.91, and he looks similar to the pitcher he was in 2010 when he had a 7 K/9 and a 3.55 ERA. Only he was in Florida then and against NL teams. I could see Anibal’s ERA continuing to rise and I don’t see much relief for his lack of Ks (currently a 6.9 K/9). 6.9 K/9? Who are you, Chase Anderson? Who the hell is Chase Anderson? I wouldn’t sell Anibal for tickets to see PM Dawn, but I would explore options. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Manny Machado‘s epitaph: He always found more success throwing a bat at a ball. Better than Salvador Perez’s: Together again! Machado wasn’t just struggling, he was like that friend of yours that not only is having a rotten time at a party, but also sucks the prettiest girls in the room into his sad funk of despair and before long, the girls are like, “I don’t want to go out and get drunk and party and potentially hook up with you. Your friend Manny Machado is too depressed.” The buzz kill friend. Yesterday, Machado went 5-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 8th homer, and fourth homer in his last seven games (skipping the suspension games). About time he listened to your advice, did a body shot off the tummy of the girl that wants to be a physical therapist and cheered up! I don’t own Machado anywhere this year, due to the knee issue coming into the season, but he just turned 22 years old (almost literally; his birthday was Sunday) and I’ll be all over Machado again next year. Of course, if you can acquire him in a trade this year, by all means, which sounds like it was said by Malcolm X’s less militant brother, Bobby X. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Felix Hernandez was scratched from his Wednesday start with an oblique strain. Guys and four girl readers, you can’t be too precious with your guys. That whole credo “dance with the one who brought you” is real cavalier. You’re a real gentleman as you lounge about in sweat pants while your woman cooks you dinner. It’s honorable. Remind me to submit you to the Reader’s Digest Five Humans That Make A Difference contest. It’s also silly for fantasy baseball. Save your loyalty for your kids when they ask you, “Daddy, do you like me more than your automobile?” Or, “Daddy, how come you were hugging the mail lady for ten minutes with your hands on her butt?” Forget your loyalty for your starting pitchers (or hitters). Felix could throw this weekend to see if he can start again this year. If you’re strapped for space, I’d absolutely look elsewhere. What’s the worst thing that happens? You miss two starts from him? His last starts weren’t even great. You could find better starts off of waivers. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hello, Nick Castellanos, see you soon, maybe, yeah, no, okay. Great to meet you, Gerrit Cole, eventually. What do you know it’s, Mike Zunino, maybe at some point in the near future. What’s up, Billy Hamilton, hey, aren’t you supposed to be fast? What’s taking you so long? Is that Oscar Taveras…Oh, it’s Willy Taveras eating nachos out of a dwarf’s sombrero. What about that number one prospect guy that the Royals traded so they could be a .500 team? What’s his name again? Something Byers. Or is it Jon Cryer? HBO Signature Loves Playing Radio Flyer? Wil Myers! That’s it. Let’s compare him first to a guy that he’s nothing like, shall we? Cool, thanks for indulging. What a mensch, you are! Jurickson Profar was called up and has played about as well as expected. Is there any league where you can’t do without him? Sure, maybe in a deep AL-Only league where you lost Kinsler or were starting Marwin Gonzalez. In most mixed leagues, Profar has been good but replaceable. At some point in the near future, Profar’s going to use the world to wipe his butt. He’s not going to wash his hands and then run them down our country’s shirt with his profound badassery. That day probably isn’t that far off. Right now, he’s good, I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse for mixed leagues. Compare him to Jean Segura if you like. Segura was nice when he came up last year, this year he’s dining with Jay-Z while shushing Blue Ivy. Now, like I said, Wil Myers isn’t a Profar comparison when it comes to their stats, but everything else I said there could apply. Myers is holding his own in Triple-A so far this year (10 HRs, .276) and could be called up in about three weeks. Now would be the time I’d stash him in all leagues. The moment he’s called up it will be like The Day the Earth Stood Still only Hitter-Tron will be saving all the ladies. I’d cautiously expect him to see 80% of starts after being called up, and numbers around 30/14/35/.280/4. That’s probably a tad optimistic, but what fun is there in dour? Those numbers could also be had in three months from, say, Alfonso Soriano. ‘What fun is there in dour’ then you drop Soriano? Sorry, Random Italicized Voice, we’re not seeing a Trout this year and I’m just being honest. What are you, Abe Lincoln? Lie to me! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Carl Crawford hurt his hammy on Saturday, which opened the door for the Dodgers to make memories. Every Dodger fan is on their portable mobile cellular device texting someone their excitement. Of course, their excitement is about how well Fast & Furious is doing at the box office or how it only took them twenty minutes from downtown to the beach. The 10 was a breeze! But amongst the Angeleno texts I intercepted, there was one about how the Dodgers called up the latest Cuban raftee, Yasiel Puig. You can imagine how excited Dodger fans will be once they realize how good he is and that they’ll be able to see him even if they leave the game by the 7th inning. There will be a chance for Puig to show his tools like Siamese Twins in an adult theater. In Triple-A, he hit 8 homers, stole 13 bases and hit .313 in only 40 games. If he does that in the next 40 games for the Dodgers, he will be the number one call-up for fantasy and there will be no way the Dodgers can send him down. The big question for me is what happens when Crawford and Kemp return. I think there’s a good chance Puig hits a few homers, steals a couple of bases in the next few weeks, then gets sent right back down. Obviously, you have to take a flyer on him in all leagues to see if he sticks. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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They say baseball is a game of inches. When ‘they’ say that, ‘they’ are wearing a plaid jacket and flood pants. They also have adult acne. But if baseball really is a game of inches, the Tigers are packing heat in their lineup like John Holmes. So, for all other teams’ fans, I ask you gently, Tigers, please don’t have good pitching too. I mean, besides Verlander and Scherzer and Fister and Anibal, because that would just be unfair. Yesterday, it appeared they had that with Rick Porcello. He went eight innings with zero earned runs, four baserunners and 11 Ks. After his eleventh K, the sound system played, “Rick’s a Jolly Porcello.” That is the best game I can remember from Porcello, by far, and I use all of his game logs as toilet paper, so I’d remember. I mean, what else am I doing in the john? Answering comments? Well, maybe. Just keep that in mind when you’re asking me who I’d drop. Porcello’s xFIP looks solid and his walks have always been stellar. The one flaw in his game I didn’t like was his ability to K people. So far this year, his K-rate is up and way up after yesterday. If you’re struggling to find a starter, I could see adding Porcello, but there’s risk because he does tend to have huge blow ups. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?