I am a winner who’s probably gonna win again. Giancarlo, forgive me! Giancarlo, forgive me! So many swings I don’t understand. Sometimes I need to stream Tommy Milone. Mitch don’t kill my vibe! Mitch don’t kill my vibe! I can feel your energy while Judge hits homers two planets away. I got my drink, I got my music. I would share it, but today I’m yelling. Mitch don’t kill my vibe! Mitch don’t kill my vibe! (repeat 2x) Yesterday, Mitch Haniger (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 15th and 16th homers, and now has 4 homers in the last nine games. He even has a steal, and his run game got the whole world talkin’. King Kunta. Oops, wrong Kendrick Lamar song. If you need help this final week, grab this *itch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings and welcome to the last Two-Start Starters post of the year. With it being the last week of the season, make sure you take this list with the biggest grain of salt you can find. Just stay away from the bath salts. That will lead to entirely different issues in the coming weeks.
For the last week, obviously, our problem is that these rotations are written in pencil. As more and more teams clinch the playoffs and become locked into their spots, they will rest starters. Some teams, looking ahead to a potential one-game playoff (which is the dumbest thing baseball has ever decided to do, but that is a rant for another time), may even tweak their rotation to get a certain starter lined up for that crucial game. So, disclaimer over. Take this list as a starting point, but know that it could be very fluid throughout the week.
The first thing you may notice is that Chris Sale is scheduled to make two starts, but I did not include him in the rankings. That is because that second start is not a certainty by any means, and I would argue it is very unlikely. If the Red Sox have already clinched the division, there is little chance he starts or, if he does, that he pitches deep into the game. If the Red Sox might be destined for a Wild Card Playoff game, then they will likely want to keep Sale fresh to be able to start that game. Sale is obviously still worth starting for his one start, but don’t bank on getting two starts from him this week.
There are others who are probably in similar situations. I removed Dallas Keuchel, Jon Lester, Luis Severino, and Jake Arrieta because I would avoid them strictly for two start purposes. Obviously, those are still pitchers worth starting; they just are not reliable options if you absolutely need two starts. While I left them on the list, I would also avoid Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Carlos Martinez.
As for the Streamonator picks for this week, there are actually seven starters with positive money values who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Who loves irony? Did you just answer your mom? I said irony, not ironing. As the British will tell you, irony is not a well-pressed shirt. Though, now that I think about it, if I had a well-pressed shirt, and I said, “This thing is real irony,” I wouldn’t be wrong because I was saying it. Any hoo! The irony I speak of is Alex Gordon hitting the major leagues’ record 5,694th home run on the year, while there was less offense around the league last night than I could remember in some time. Granted, from around September 11th to 14th is a bit of a blur. A true highlight (building shizz up now!) was Kevin Gausman and his dismantling of the Sawx (really overselling) with the line 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.61. This year, like a case of lice, Gausman is a real head scratcher. Looking at his perfs (kids say this; think it’s short for perfumes), Gausman is having a garbage year. Velocity is there, so doubt it’s a hidden injury. The walks are way up, Ks are down, and the culprit appears to be his fastball. Went from a near-10 in pitch value on his speed ball to a negative. FS shouldn’t abbreviate fastball, it should be for “F**k’s sake.” The good news is this sounds like a mechanics problem, and might’ve been fixed already. Thanks, Pep Boys! His 1st half vs. 2nd half: 5.85 ERA vs. 3.44; 7.7 K/9 vs. 9.6 K/9; 4 BB/9 vs. 3.2. Yeah, sadly enough, it’s going to be hard to avoid him in 2018 again. Now, that’s real irony (no, it’s not). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re at all familiar with management theory, then you’re probably aware generally of the “Peter Principle”. The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here’s where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it’s concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today’s profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there’s more there. Or maybe I’m overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA, 7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he’s on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he’s been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday’s turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here’s what I saw.Please, blog, may I have some more?
To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s an old expression in Major League Baseball, “As the sun sets on one Weaver, another rises from its ashes.” I have to say it was rather prophetic to predict the spontaneous combustion of Jered Weaver’s career. Then again, it’s not like there weren’t clear signs that we had reached the end of the line with our most recent Weaver. I mean the man was throwing 67 MPH in his last few starts, or years, but whatever… That brings me to today’s subject, our new shiny Weaver, complete with new car scent! I’m of course alluding to Cardinals rookie phenom Luke Weaver. The 24 year old right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues last year to mixed results. He looked brilliant at times, and caught too much of the plate at others. The issues with Weaver are rarely related to his pitching however. He’s had an inability to stay healthy over the course of his career, never exceeding 120 innings pitched in a season. As for the player himself he has one of the more exciting upsides of any arm in the minors, mixing swinging strikes, with weak contact, and elite control. Since his most recent callup in late August, Weaver has posted back to back starts with 10 Ks and 1 walk, while limiting his opponents to a .224 batting average against. There’s nothing I love more than digging into the start of a player I’ve been touting for a year plus. It’s even better when that player’s twitter handle (@DreamWeava7) has a Boston accent! I’m in LOVE!! Previously Weaver has ranked 48th (pre-season), and 60th in my mid-season, which is lofty praise. As anyone who reads my prospect work will tell you, I discount pitching prospects pretty heavily for fantasy purposes. Enough of the small talk, here’s what I witnessed in Weaver’s Sunday start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe because I am not Prospector Ralph aka Endorphin Ralph aka The Prospector aka Prospect Jesus aka Peter, Paul and ‘I Know Prospects’ Mary Well aka The Pro-Spectulator aka I Am Still Not Beating Grey In Our League And Grey Beat Me To Waivers For Rhysus aka No, You’re Minor, I’m Major, But I Know Minors Just Not Like That aka Ralph Lifshitz, but this year’s September call-ups are kinda sad. Do I like Jack Flaherty? Sure, Flaherty is must SCTV! But he’s kinda more to do with matchups. Tyler Glasnow? Well, more on him in this afternoon’s Buy column. Willie Calhoun? Great, but where does he play? Harrison Bader and Franklin Barreto? Haven’t we gone down that road already? I would absolutely grab any September call-up if he was helping me in a redraft league, but the choice between Willie Calhoun platooning and, say, Howie Kendrick playing? Kendrick all day, and twice on Muesday, that magical day between Monday and Tuesday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time. Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?” Let’s look under the hood and see.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s player’s weekend, ya’ll! These next few days are about letting loose and having fun and not taking this serious game so seriously. Hey, I’m really good at that! There are nicknames on the back of the jerseys and wacky cleats and bats and socks! How fun! Sign me up! The cynical side of me wants to say huge cash grab suuure, but the fact that all the proceeds go to the player’s chosen charity is kind of cool I will admit. And really who wouldn’t want a Big Smooth jersey. It’s just fun, don’t overthink it! Speaking of fun, how about owning Rhys Hoskins? The rookie hit his ninth home run last night in the first inning to become the fastest player ever to get to nine homers in his first 16 big league games! Extrapolate that! Calculating…calculating…that’s a 90 homer season! And that’s math, people! Math don’t lie. He’s now homered in six straight games hitting .385 with 16 RBI in that stretch. ALL HE DOES IS HIT HOME RUNS. Will he hit a home run in every game going forward? Probably! I don’t know! Remarkably, Rhys’ still available in about 40% of leagues but that number should be even higher by the time I finish this dot, dot, dot…sandwich! Gotcha! After jacking 67 homers in two minor leagues seasons the power is coming as no surprise, but his .283/.406/.755 slash is certainly a big plus. Grey told you to BUY and if he’s still out there in your league you need to run, not walk, to pick him up because late season call ups like this can win your fantasy league. Sadly, Hoskins isn’t rocking a nickname on the back of his jersey this weekend, but if it were up to me it’d be “All Rhys.” See what I did there? If I said it should be “Better Than Judge” would that have been clearer? Because no one is more dominant than All Rhys right now, not even that other guy.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Take on your favorite contributors and other readers in the 2017 Fantasy Football Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Grey blames his dog Ted for an “employment challenged” person setting fire to his condominium complex and storage unit this weekend. My weekend was equally as exciting; I met up with a few friends for lunch. After swapping weekend tales, we start the fantasy baseball talk with Aaron Judge’s continued regression and Rhys Hoskins’ continued rise, and how they might be closer in fantasy value down the stretch and in 2018 than you might think. We also discuss Gio Gonzalez and Justin Smoak’s dominant seasons, before bringing Ralph Lifshitz on at the midway point to breakdown Chad Kuhl, Colin McHugh, Byron Buxton, and Josh Bell. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:Please, blog, may I have some more?