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…

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Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Matt Adams was acquired by the Braves for Juan Yepez, who was always a little too excitable for the Braves — Yepez!  See?  Not a good look.  It was a tearful exit from the Cardinals’ clubhouse for Adams.  His emotions hit a crescendo when he realized he couldn’t carry out all the food he had accumulated in the clubhouse refrigerator.  Through tears, “Why didn’t I learn to balance soda on my head like I was Jamaican?”  Hey, mon, they have grape soda in Atlanta.  Adams will be the 1st baseman in Atlanta until Freeman returns, while conceding to Loney on occasion, assuming Adams doesn’t try to eat him, “I thought his jersey read Baloney!  I’m a terrible person!”  Adams gets a boost in value, but mostly just for NL-Only and very deep leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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Jeurys Familia has been diagnosed with a clogged artery in his right shoulder.  Do the Met doctors have Waze?  Try the Van Wyck Artery.  You know what’s happening here, right?  This is Metsferatu, the evil spirit who haunts Mets pitching.  Metsferatu was not happy about the Taillon news, only he sidelines pitchers!  Metsferatu looks at back cover of the Post and Daily News, plotting his next move, “What if I give Gsellman a third testicle?  Or two horns that pop out of his forehead so people can call him Gazelleman?  Maybe I go hitter and turn Neil Walker into a zombie.  Will anyone notice?  I mean, I had them replace a guy with Valley Fever with a guy named dude-a and no one said a damn thing.”  So, Jeurys Familia could be out a while, or not at all.  Still early to say, but I would absolutely grab Addison Reed.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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“The top prospect of 2013 is Byron Buxton.  Anyone that says anything different– What’s that, you like Jurickson Profar?  Damn, he’s good too!  Okay, Profar, Buxton and maybe Travis d’Arnaud– What?  Reid Brignac?  Oh, man, you got me!  Wanna play Dominion?  No, I didn’t hide any Victory cards under my couch cushion again!”  That’s Keith Law talking to his buddies over a Coq au vin.  One name they didn’t mention back in 2013 was Tim Beckham, because he was more of a 2009 prospect stud.  That was the same year, Keith Law said, “Matt Wieters will be as good as Yogi Berra, and when I get out of my Prius and shut off this Dizzee Rascal, I will tell you why.  Talking and driving is very dangerous, especially since I’m wearing Crocs.”  Tim Beckham had it all, and the Rays produced all those can’t miss prospects.  Unfortunately, they became ‘can miss’ and Beckham faded to obscurity.  Here we are in 2017 (*checks calendar*  Yup!), and Beckham is only 27 years old and breaking out a little bit.  Yesterday, he went 2-for-4, 4 RBIs with two homers (5, 6) as he hits .278.  He still strikes out too much (33%), and he has more ‘okay’ power and speed, than blazing speed or huge pop, but, for an MI, I think you do worse.  Orlando Arcia, for unstints.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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My stacking target this week is Kyle Kendrick.  Kendrick is a career 4.63 ERA pitcher with a batting average against north of .290 and 1.24 hr/9.  Kendrick has a whopping K/9 rate of 4.93.  And he’s going in the hitter haven of Fenway Park against the still waiting to break out Birds.  So look real hard at your Adam Jones and  Manny Machado and even Jonathan Schoop.  Take an extra look at Trey Mancini.  Is he starting?  If he is, swing him in.   Take more looks at the roster and see if Seth Smith and Hyun Soo Kim are playing.  Either way, definitely get in on Chris Davis.  I’ll take the under that Kendrick does not strike him out and that means 4+ wacks with contact for Davis.  Davis has hit a home run about once every 16 at bats.  But it’s every 10 AB’s when he makes contact.  Takin the over on Homers here.  Now on with my other picks…

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What if we’re all living inside a Boston masshole’s dream?  This is Inception, and we all fell asleep sometime after Tom Brady was drafted, but before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl.  Then, due to some plantains you ate before you went to sleep, the Red Sox grabbed David Ortiz from Minnesota for nothing, and you got a kidney stone and were peeing blood but it all came out on Curt Schilling’s sock, and the Red Sox won the World Series, and then, because you fell asleep to The Apprentice, Trump became president, and now Andrew Benintendi goes 5-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .347.  This has to be possible, doesn’t it?  What if our world is like Herman’s Head, but we’re inside Prospector Ralph’s head?  Is Somalia in a famine because Prospector Ralph is too worried about Rick Porcello and forgot to eat?  Eat, Ralph!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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In the 1700’s, magic meant going into an oven with raw meat and coming out wearing a hamburger as a hat.  That magic awed people, even though they had seen an oven and a hamburger before.  We’ve seen Thames before, and we’ve seen home runs before, but Eric Thames still feels like magic.  He is a modern day beef illusionist.  I will call him, David Copperfood.  Yesterday, Eric Thames went 3-for-4, 3 runs with his 7th homer, and 15th homer in the last four games, as he hits .405.  We go over Thames on the podcast that’s coming later today, but, damn, I wish I owned him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?