Erasmo Ramirez was masterful Friday night in what was one of his best starts of the season going eight strong innings against the we-don’t-lose Windians, allowing just three hits, one earned run and striking out a season high 10 batters. Erasmowing down hitters? ErasMo Innings, Mo Strikeouts? ErasMost definitely more comfortable in Seattle than in Tampa? Ugh, I know. Headlines are hard you guys, I ran out of steam about three weeks ago and I’m sorry but that’s the best I’m going to do. However you headline it, after being wang-jangled around the Rays pitching staff, from starting rotation to bullpen and back again, Ramirez has settled nicely into the starting pitching job he deserves since being acquired by his old team, the Seattle Mariners, in July. He holds a respectable 3.79 ERA in 10 starts with the M’s since, but it’s the 52/13 K/BB ratio that really raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. If we remove a hiccup he encountered with a rough start in Houston, Erasmo has three quality starts in September with a 22/4 K/BB ratio. Yes, more please! He gets to finish his season strong with a favorable start next week in Oakland, and outside of the obligatory Matt Olson home run, I could see him pitching a successful outing there. At about 10% owned, Ramirez is a streaming option readily available in most fantasy leagues if you’re looking for an easy win to push you over the edge. And if you’ve been out of contention for weeks and are still reading this, first, Ramirez could be a decent late-late round sleeper to consider for 2018, and second, thanks for sticking with us and not jumping ship to fantasy football coverage (which you can check out here). You guys are the true Razzball MVPs. Except of course for the writing staff, obviously, they the real MVPs, especially me.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Can you name the top five in the AL for batting average? I’m talking those qualified. The person who said Erik Kratz for being 1-for-1 on the year is unqualified to answer. By the way, if you’ve taken too many quaaludes to answer, does that mean you’re unquaaludified? I pose this question to you while sprawled on a tiger-skin carpet like Burt Reynolds in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan. “Loni, feed me grapes, would you doll face?” Totally making current references right now. The top 5: Altuve, Avisail Garcia, Hosmer, Reddick and Jose Ramirez. Yo, batting average leaders nowadays are weird. There’s only ten guys in the league over .300, and two of them are Joe Mauer and Lorenzo Cain. Yesterday, Avisail went 5-for-5, 2 runs, 7 RBIs and his 17th homer, as he hits .333. Let me be the first to tell you, he has not really broken out like your teenaged face. He’s hitting 52% ground balls, a .397 BABIP (!), not even top 70 for Hard Contact percentage, a high HR/FB% for him and still only has 17 homers. There’s very little to point to that he’s breaking out, and not just getting crazy lucky. Now watch him win the batting title and go full Terry Pendleton. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Hey, guys and five non-guys, Dylan Bundy has awoken my nethers. But can I “stay awoken” as the kids say? The kids don’t say that, do they? Please, I’m woke AF! Though, I am confused why kids go around abbreviating Abercrombie and Fitch. When I was a kid, we spelled out Abercrombie and Fitch and had summer songs about girls that wore Abercrombie and Fitch. LFO was AF! Yesterday, Dylan Bundy went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.94. An Orioles starter with an ERA under 4! It’s an early Rhystmas miracle! Drop the balloons from the ceiling, Party City! So, looking under the hood, in a non-sexual way, leaves me a little yawnstipated on Bundy. His K/9 is 7.9, BB/9 is 2.6 and a 4.73 xFIP. His velocity’s down this year, but he pitched in relief some last year, so maybe not the best gauge. For 2018, I see nothing here to be excited about, but maybe he puts together a great September, and makes like Fonzie’s horse and says nay to the negativity. I’d continue to ignore him in shallower mixed leagues or use the Stream-o-Nator. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
We go over Adam Jones later on the podcast. Kidding, no one gives two effs about Adam Jones. I mean, I’m sure he’s a pleasant enough guy. I don’t mean no one gives two effs like a person from Boston before they all became magically woke this past weekend. I’d let Adam Jones date my daughter, if I had a daughter. Shoot, he can date my mom if he wants; I got one of those. I just want Adam Jones in my family! *snaps fingers* They’re creepy and they’re kooky, all together ooky; The Adam Jones Family. Nah, it isn’t about him on why no one gives two effs about him, it’s because of how boring he is for fantasy. Not bad boring, just boring boring. Don’t put words in my mouth. Shut up, Random Italicized Voice. Yesterday, he went 4-for-4, 3 runs and his 23rd and 24th homers, hitting .281, and had zero hits the game before, and will likely have zero hits today because he needs to level out yesterday’s wonderful with a strong helping of boring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The injury bug bit HARD this week. Every player on this list is a player whose absence will have huge fantasy implications. The playoffs are right around the corner and the smartest owners will be able to manage their injuries and still come out on top. Use my advice to help take you there. With another six outfielders on the disabled list I’m going to make my outfield recommendations at the bottom of this article.
As always, leave a comment below if you have any league-specific injury questions…
Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs. Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando. I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…” Ya know what? I’m just gonna leave this here…
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
You have to love Biz’s way with words. Can only be described as slow and methodical. Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve. What’s he a dwarf? You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall? He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains. Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph. He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues. This little guy is big-time. Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I was craving sashimi last night, so I sauntered to my local sushi joint. When I walked through the door, I heard the familiar, “Irrashaimase maido,” from the chefs behind the counter. As I nodded my head down reverently, I realized there was a new member of the crew. I like to live dangerously, so I sat down at the bar in front of him. I usually ask the chef, “What’s good today?” but last night it was just, “Prepare what you think is best.” Like I said, I like to live dangerously. If I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, I would’ve knocked my chair backwards and banged my head on the floor from the show I was presented. It was all so un-Benihana-esque. The skill. The grace. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead after slicing and dicing the manta rays placed before him, I asked him one simple question. “Who are you?” He looked me in the eye and responded, “I am Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.” Tanaka was perfect for five innings Friday night. He ended up allowing two hits, one earned run, did not walk a batter, and struck out 14 in eight innings. 77-of-109 pitches were thrown for strikes. That’s how you earn a big tip! Now, keep in mind that Tampa Bay strikes out the fourth-most frequently against RHP and the huge night knocked down his ERA to 5.09 for the year. He did give up four, three, and five earned runs in his prior three starts and got pummeled in his two previous starts against TB. As Friday night showed, though, Tanaka does have the ability to absolutely dominate. When I eat raw fish, I know there’s always the risk that I could be eating some three-eyed monster from Fukushima. That’s how I feel about starting Tanaka. As I said before, I like to live dangerously.
Here’s what else I saw from Friday night’s action:
If your approach in RCL leagues is anything like mine, then you’re carrying maybe 2-3 starters, and filling in the cracks with well researched streamers. Part of my process, as I’m sure it is with many of you, is to check the streamonator for the highest value available probables. Then I dive deeper into the matchup stats, and follow that up with a glance at the starters recent track record. One of the more common suggestions over the past few weeks has been Mets starter Rafael Montero. Best described as a AAAA starter, he’s long been the shuttle guy, and spot starter, whenever an elbow pops in the Mets rotation. With injuries a plenty in Flushing, there’s been abundant opportunity for Montero to stick for the better part of the next month, and beyond. Let’s take a deep dive into Montero’s Sunday start vs. the Oakland Athletics, and see if he might be an arm to keep in mind, as we stream our way to the promised land.
Way back in April the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Commonwealth of Independent States, sent the notorious “Player To Be Named Later” to the Baltimore Orioles for Parker Bridwell. At the time Bridwell was an unheard of 25 year old righthander with less than 20 innings above AA. The move flew under the radar to most of the baseball world with the exception of the Bridwell family, and an eccentric dyslexic real estate agent named Shelly with a passion for anything bird related. See no one at the time, could have foreseen this unheralded pro in his 7th season in the minors helping a major league ball club. Fast forward 3 months, and here we sit about to breakdown Bridwell’s 6th major league start of 2017 against the contending Tampa Bay Rays. What a world!
Matt Grace picked up his 2nd save in as many games on Saturday for the Nationals, and Ben Zobrist’s wife started to work on a song titled, “Saving Grace,” and requested Ben’s trade to Washington. Then, first thing on Sunday, the Nats traded for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, and Saving Grace became a B-side for “Halleberrylujah, A Catwoman Licks Herself (Rated PG).” When asked if the trade makes his team better, the Nats’ GM said, “That’s right,” and, “I’m Mike Rizzo.” Picture this: Dusty and Rizzo looking at a book called, “Baseball Strategy.” Rizzo looks at Dusty, and Dusty says, “I got the baseball part,” and Rizzo nods his head. Finally, Rizzo chimes in, “I don’t know the 2nd word and I don’t think it’s worth investigating.” Dusty agrees, and that’s the Nationals. So, who will close between Madson and Doolittle? Your guess = my guess. I’d want to say Madson, but it could be either, both or neither as they trade for David Robertson or someone else. By the time the calendar turns to August, the Nationals might have five closers from teams not in the pennant chase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: