Oakland promoted Franklin Barreto this weekend, and a friend of mine who I only see when he’s mowing my lawn said, “You got to go to The Mission if you really want a Barreto.” Recalling my 1600 Yelp reviews of every Chipotle in Los Angeles county, I exclaimed, “No way, Jose!” But he replied, “Mr. Grey, my name is Julio.” Then we laughed, and, even though he laughed with jajajajaja and I laughed with hahahaha, we found a common ground. As for fantasy, Prospector Ralph said, “Barreto offers hard contact, some speed. Gets caught a lot, and who knows how much the A’s send him. He’s exciting though. Upside guy with a low floor this season. Now can I go back to bitching about Tanaka?” There ya go! Right from the prospect whore’s mouth! I tried to get Barreto in all of my leagues, but, alas, he was gone. Yesterday, he went 2-for-5, 1 run, after homering in his first game on Saturday. He’s worth a flyer in all leagues in case he sticks with Semien. Ew. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our Commissioner Manfred presses his intercom, “Please escort in the Guatemalan baseball stitchers.” Manfred’s secretary brings six men dressed in blanket ponchos and straw hats. Their leader steps forward, “Mr. Manfred, the Capri Suns you have us using to juice the balls is not working.” Their leader pulls out a baseball that is dripping with Ecto Cooler. Manfred turns in his seat, silhouetted with the setting sun. He lights a Virginia Slim 120 and pulls, coughing slightly. “I no longer want the balls juiced. Now….I want you and your friends to go to Dodger Stadium and blow.” “Mr. Manfred, we are not sex workers!” “Not blow like that! Put your lips together and blow.” “Like Bogey and Bacall?” “Yes! Now go!” …And this was how Dodger Stadium became a launching pad. Yesterday, Corey Seager (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) hit three homers (10, 11, 12), Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 7th homer and Cody Launchangler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) did it again, hitting his 22nd. Granted, someone needs to put Cody Launchangler in carbonite for Cooperstown — we can’t risk something happening to him playing baseball! — but this Seager guy is pretty good too, huh? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It is the time of year where we see daily grind injuries. Sore backs, back stiffness, back discomfort etc. A lot of injuries that just accumulate from playing six games a week in the summer heat. If you thought we’ve had a lot of injuries so far — I have a sneaking suspicion there are going to be more of these type of injuries. Not season ending — just break down injuries. If you have an opportunity to acquire a multi-position player like Brandon Drury, Danny Valencia, Chris Taylor or Taylor Motter you might make it through these injuries better than your opponents.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s Peacock week here at Razzball, and I for one, have been trying my damnedest to use some of the lessons taught to me by my mentor, the sometimes debonair, but mostly creepy, world-renowned pickup artist Mystery. You might remember this sexual predator from MTV at some point in the last 10 years. MTV, ruining everything since 1981! You might not recall this, particularly if you’ve never been under the spell of a man dressed as the lead singer of Jamiroquai, but Mystery has long preached the word of “Peacocking”. I can’t be sure, but I’m almost certain that this is the act of pretending you’re Brad Peacock to pickup women. I mean how could this not work have you seen “The P-Cock” in all his glory? Gorgeous just like a horse is, to say the least. The 29 year old Peacock has spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors, mostly as a shuttle arm, between AAA and the majors. In 2017 however, the righty has been a bit of a revelation for the Astros, first in the bullpen, and now in the rotation. Grey wrote him up on Friday, and he’s been one of the more interesting streams over the last few weeks. If only due to that heavenly 15 K/9 over his first three starts. So let’s dig into Peacock and see what he’s doing on the mound, when not going into liquor store rages.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m at my computer checking baseball news about six months a year. Give or take about five hours here and there. On Saturday, it was one of those times I was away from my computer, due to a family wedding in Cape May. Closer change, prospect call-up. Happens when you’re away from the computer, that’s it. Call it a wrap. With Prospector Ralph in the league, there’s no chance for me. Around 6 PM, I got the dreaded text. “Lewis Brinson was called up.” Too bad I didn’t see it until about 7 PM. Had a lavender-flavored champagne in one hand, a lobster claw in the other hand, my mom was like, “You have butter dripping down your chin,” my grandfather was complaining Bruno Mars doesn’t have good choruses in his songs, and there was the text, sitting there on a locked iPhone screen. Done. Sigh. Well, if you got him, or can still get Brinson, you should. Jonathan Villar hit the DL, and, brucely, he wasn’t playing well and Keon Broxton (1-for-4 and his 7th homer yesterday) moves to a platoon role. Unless Brinson totally flames out, he’s up, and playing for good in center. In Triple-A, he had six homers and seven steals in 45 games, which is what I’d expect from him in the majors. Your basic 25/25/.280 guy. Yesterday, he hit leadoff went 0-for-2 with two walks and stole his first base. Yes, he should be owned everywhere, and could be the Trea Turner-type call-up of the year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Something struck me the other day. Luckily, not a bus. No, it was a thought. Bus-sized thought! I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics. It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do. Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things. Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer. His hot takes on politics are fine. Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball? He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN. Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN. The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes. Any hoo! Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross. He’s why we’re here. Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks. Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.) His peripherals can go either way. His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down. Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%. The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate. Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So let’s just get this whole curse thing out of the way. Seems like every starter I’ve profiled since taking over this here gig has hit the DL, with lone exception being Luis Severino. Some how he’s escaped my DL wrath, which means he made a deal with the devil, or knows strong voodoo. Poor Charlie Morton, Vince Velasquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nate Karns, y’all never had a chance without Severino’s voodoo. Yeah, seriously, the “Ralph Curse” is that real! Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, my condolences to the owners of this week’s victim Dinelson Lamet. Let’s pray for a shared secret between he and Luis from the BX. Because DANG, he looks good. He feels like one of those prospects that’s never bad, but falls through the cracks on some lists (mine), while being higher on others (other people not named me). He’s two strong starts, and 10 innings into his major league career, and he’s scheduled to go twice this week. So he’s firmly on the fantasy baseball radar. Enough with the bollocks, let’s dig into the bangers and mash, see what we have here, and determine if he’s someone to hold in the right formats.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ty Blach threw his first career complete game shutout Friday night surrendering seven hits and striking out four enroute to his fourth win of the year. If he were Jewish you could say yesterday was his Blach Sabbath. *crickets* It was Ty’s fifth straight quality start and his fourth straight win. He even walked three times and scored two runs to help his own cause. He’s been an excellent replacement for Madison Bumgarner so far and the best part is he’s terrified of motocross. Sure it was the Phillies last night and anyone can shut out the Phillies, but he’s gone at least seven innings in his past five starts including some tougher lineups such as the Cubs, Dodgers and Reds. Over the past two weeks, Blach has a 1.90 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 23.2 innings pitched. The strikeout numbers won’t impress but those ratios certainly put him in the streaming conversation. By the way, if you’re looking for good convo topics at your next dinner party, fantasy pitcher streaming is always a solid choice. Blach’s .250 BABIP and 4.64 xFIP could suggest some regression is coming but he’s certainly worth an add while he’s on a roll. Ty has a tough test in Milwaukee next week but he’s available in about 75% of leagues and worth a look if you’re in need of a solid streaming option before he fades to Blach.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bronson Arroyo, in his last full season, was a pitch-to-contact innings eater who didn’t walk a lot of guys and had a below average GB rate. Although he wasn’t good by any stretch, the combination of not walking guys, combined with below average K-rates and GB-rates meant that he could still have a role as a back-end starter and innings eater. Except that was 2013 and pre Tommy John surgery. While it’s a great story that he’s back in the bigs now, he now doesn’t do anything well. His walk rate and his GB rate have taken a huge hit, so now you’ve got a guy who walks batters, doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, and has a truly atrocious GB rate (31.6%). Pitch to contact guys who don’t get ground balls and still manage to walk guys don’t belong in the major leagues. But we’re not the GM of the Cincinnati Reds, we’re DFS players, so as long as the Reds keep trotting him out, I’m going to keep recommending the guys facing him that day. I’m fairly certain anyone reading this is smart enough to know that Matt Kemp ($3,800) is nearly the same hitter he was when he put up 8.3 fWAR in 2011. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true, Matt Kemp has a 160 wRC+ this year and had a 168 wRC+ in 2011 (his wOBA is actually higher this year, .416 to .413). He cut his walk rate from 8.9% to 5.5%, he’s dropped his K rate from 23.1% to 21% (while the league has increased its K rate). But, you might say, he’s got a .398 BABIP this year, that has to be the main driver from the Matt Kemp we knew and loved from his Dodger days and I’d say, you’d be wrong. Shockingly, his BABIP in 2011 was .380. He’s swinging at more pitches in the zone and less out of the zone this year (that’s a good thing) and making more contact on those pitches in the zone. When Kemp was with the Padres, he employed the Padres approach of swing at everything that is remotely close to the plate, and if it’s not, still swing at it. It’s a unique style of hitting that only works for a very select few, and like most of the Padres, he wasn’t good at it. Now, he’s back to the approach he had as a Dodger. He likely won’t continue to put up a .345/.381/.608 line with a .398 BABIP, but he’s a hitter with a solid approach that, while not leading to a lot of walks, is still leading to good counts and then he’s punishing the ball like he did in the year Ryan Braun won MVP. I would expect Kemp to actually start walking more as pitchers start to respect him again and throw more balls out of the zone, and if they don’t, they might just find that Matt Kemp may once again be one of the top hitters in baseball. Kemp is plenty good enough to take advantage of the Reds’ masochistic desire to give the ball to Bronson Arroyo every 5 days.
On to the picks once Matt Kemp takes advantage of the Reds masochistic desire…
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Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…Please, blog, may I have some more?