So, I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m just gonna throw out the reason why right off the bat: I’m selfish and lazy. That’s what mid-August baseball talk is all about!

As part of my rebuilding efforts in the REL – well, I should say, my main anchor in my rebuilding efforts – I got Alex Reyes to hopefully be my staff stopper. I mean, have you SEEN the Brewers rotation?! Yikes. With some control issues and a pretty bad ERA in AAA, I wasn’t too surprised to see a fantastic arm like Reyes get the call-up anyway as a bullpener. This had been speculated upon all season – the Cards did this with their major prospects in Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez – so we’re not getting a big shock. And with Reyes called up at the same time as Luke Weaver, it appears they might piggyback each other for the foreseeable future. But Reyes clearly, CLEARLY looks like a dominant starter that’s about ready. After seeing his debut inning last Thursday night where he hit 101 twice, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an encore. Here’s how Reyes looked in his 2nd-4th career MLB innings Saturday afternoon at Wrigley:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Francisco Liriano went 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks with zero walks.  Insert the madman cackle of Francisco Liriano’s owners who owned him up until last night when he had a 5.11 ERA.  He had 13 Ks without a walk!  This came from a guy who had a 5.7 BB/9 coming into the game.  That’s not bad.  No, no.  You think that’s bad?  You should swipe right on Tinder the next time you come across a thesaurus if bad’s all you got.  That’s effin’ egregious.  That’s the 1980’s Lower East Side before Donald Trump fixed the entire New York City as narrated by Jon Voight.  That’s the worst walk rate since Todd Van Poppel’s walk rate of 6.87 in 1994.   Since 1980, there’s only been walk rates of 5.7 or worse four other times.  In 36 years!  Jesus, 36 years?  I’m getting old.  This start came against the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the major leagues.  So, nice start, but I wouldn’t go near him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey met with the Mets’ front office and told them, “You ruined my shoulder!  I was the Dark Knight!  Now I’m 1960s Batman in hard-to-watch Technicolor unable to move my arms to do the Batusi!”  Matt Harvey asked Bartolo if this ever happened to him and he said, “Nah, I am 90% jelly and custard.  My nerves are coated in more sugar than a churro.”  Harvey needs shoulder surgery due to thoracic outlet syndrome.  Sandy Alderson said it’s inevitable.  Pitchers who have had this surgery take at least a year to recover and sometimes never regain past form.  It could not only be a season killer, it could be the end of Harvey as we know him.  He could opt to rehab his shoulder without surgery, but rehabbing it won’t magically make his pitching better than he’s been all year, which is atrocious.  If you don’t have DL room, I could see dropping him.  Fun fact!  You know who suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome?  The Lispasaurus.  Tiny arms, big body.  Other dinosaurs pickin’ on ’em because of their lisp — why’d every dinosaur have to have an S sound in its name?!  Total recipe for messed-up shoulders.  “I hate Thoracic Park!”  Spielberg can make a Thoracic Park movie where an injured pitcher tries to repair his relationship with his pre-teen son while genetically-modified dinosaurs chase after them.  “I know I wasn’t there for you when you were growing up or for your keeper league team in 2014 or for that velociraptor attack 15 minutes ago, but I’m here for you now.”  The boy looks up, “How did that velociraptor throw a Warthen slider?”  The father responds, “He’s learning!”  Seth Smith is working on the script.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With Tyler Glasnow being called up, let’s go over what we know so far about him.  1) In Triple-A, he had 113 Ks in only 96 IP.  2) He had a 1.78 ERA.  3) There’s no C, since we’re not even lettering these facts.  D) And now we are lettering them, great!  E) Glasnow enters to bagpipes and wears a kilt on the mound.  F) This.  I didn’t get him in one single league!  G) Money.  H) His command in Triple-A was wonky as all get-out — 4.9 BB/9. I) could see some major blowups if he loses command of the strike zone.  J) abba the Hut failed with the Cookie Diet.  K) Glasnow likely won’t pitch an entire season.  L) M, N, O P Q) How many innings? Arrgh) Likely close to 50 IP S)o that’s still into September.  T) for two!  U) The letter U looks like Jon Niese looking down.  V) What a great show!  Remake it, again!  W) Should officially change its name to Dubya. X) Marks that one spot where the two lines intersect or the entire area of the X?  Y) Cause.  Z) Yes, I’d grab Glasnow in all leagues.  Prospector Ralph even ranked Glasnow number two for all the 2nd half fantasy baseball prospects, so you know shizz is real.  AA) My name is Grey Albright– Oh, we’re done with the lettering.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, Razzball Nation, you know it’s your favorite white boy, right?  I owe you this one.  I’ve been patiently waiting for Gregory Polanco to explode on.  You can pfft if you want but his ankles were rolled on.  It feels like Polanco has been hot for so long.  If you thinking he’s gonna fall off, you’re so wrong.  Take some Marte and Polanc and you mix them up in a pot, sprinkle a ‘little Hurdle not knowing who to bat where,’ and what you got?  You got the realest and illest batters, juggernauts of this fantasy shizz like it or not!  Seriously, I’ve been waiting all season to feature Polanco in a lede.  Yesterday, he rained some of his own fireworks on the 4th of who-lie (that’s how I pronounce it), knocking out two home runs (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homers), and you might remember from my preseason rankings, this little beaut, “Two quick things:  Yes, I’m aware that Polanco is ranked insanely high in my rankings vs. other people’s rankings.  And, yes, I’m going to own Polanco on every team.  Confession Alert!  I had Polanco in the top 20 overall prior to seeing where others ranked him and moved him down a round.  I could’ve moved him down six rounds and still had him higher than everyone.  Polanco feels like an Arenado situation from last year.  By that I mean, I will say something to another fantasy baseball ‘pert like, “Do you like Polanco?”  They’ll reply, “Yeah, I love him.” I’ll follow up with, “Then why do you have him ranked 110 overall?”  They’ll answer, “I don’t know.”  Then my head will explode.”  And that’s me mic dropping.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time we address the elephant in the room.  Not you, Sandoval.  I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks.  The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away.  Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew.  While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher.  None are Steven Wright though.  Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.”  I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!).  If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points.  So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now that the closest baseball stadium to me is in Anaheim I’m watching more Angels games.  Truthfully I’m watching more MLB network, and then Cubs games, and then Angels games.  It’s still more than just the Mike Trout highlights I would normally but in any event I’ve seen some of this guy, Jefry Marte.  Jefry Marte?  Who is that?  And why can’t he spell Jeffrey right?

Well this Jefry is seeing time in left field for the Angels, who really stink out there to the tune of an MLB worst .550 OPS (thanks Yahoo!, as that tidbit is on his player page).  That is pathetic.  So they’re running Marte out there, who is normally a corner infielder.  Only 24 years old from the Dominican Republic, which is on the island of Hispaniola (which is such a fun word to say, especially if you throw a lisp in there), Marte has been around in his short career.  He originally started with Mets at age 17, played in the Futures game at the 2011 All-Star Game, was traded to the A’s for the not aptly named Collin Cowgill (he’s not a cow at 5’9, 190), and then was released by Oakland after the 2014 season.  Signed by Detroit two weeks later, he wound up being designated for assignment so the Tigers could sign Justin Upton (I can’t imagine that Detroit could foresee that Marte would be almost as good so far in 2016 as Upton) and traded to the Angels.

Marte did play in the majors in Detroit last year, hitting four homers in 80 at-bats; this season in limited action he’s hit four homers in 42 at-bats and has an OPS of 1.078; which is good.  His 4.5% BB and 29.5% K are not.  Those numbers last season on the Tigers were 8.9% BB and 24.4% K.  So he looks like a hacker.  A power hitting hacker in the same lineup as Mike Trout?  Are you sure I’m not really talking about Albert Pujols?  No, I’m not.  Not even I can recommend Albert anymore.  Just think, the Angels get him for how many more years?  Five more?  And full no-trade protection? Ha!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jonathan Papelbon hit the DL and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.  Though, I’m using the archaic definition of nicer.  An adjective which was once described a jerk off who went to Nice, France and hurled insults.  Example, A nicer man would stand on the curb as Gerard Depardieu passed on his bicycle, screaming, “You are the fattest frog I’ve ever seen and I once force fed a frog to make frog foie gras.”  Filling in for Papelbon will be Shawn Kelley and Felipe Rivero.  Rivero is a lefty, so his best hope for saves is a 9th inning that is lefty heavy like my Facebook feed from my Bernie Sanders-supporting friends.  Of course, Dusty said he wouldn’t commit to any one replacement because Dusty’s gonna Dusty.  He cited other possible candidates to close like Blake Treinen and Sammy Solis.  I wonder if Dusty knows that’s not the slugger he once managed in Chicago.  “Sammy Solis, you came up short with McGwire, but I need you to close out this game.  By the way, go easier on the skin whitening.”  That’s Dusty while juggling the toothpick in his mouth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?