If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The home stretch is upon is us! Head-to-head leagues are juggling for playoff positioning, roto leagues are battled for 0.5 points in WHIP every single day and the rebuild is on for others. Oh, those are just my leagues. As we close in on the final eight weeks of the season an injury at this point — or a stud pitcher or slugger coming back — can tip the scales in many a fantasy leagues.

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Who was actually good…

Last time, I used ADP data and player values to determine Kyle Lohse was the most under-drafted player of the last five years. Turns out, there are some assumptions in the calculation that could be tweaked, and the result could be a totally different most under-drafted player. Go figure! The methodology was to take the difference between a player’s preseason ADP and his end-of-season rank to determine  “undervalued-ness”. This time we’re still going to take the difference, but it’ll be between the square root of his ADP and the square root of his EOS rank.

Why the square rooting? The reason is to give more weight to better players, which square rooting accomplishes.

For reference, here’s the list from last time (that won one lucky man a Razzball T-Shirt):

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The Cubs have recalled super catching prospect Kyle Schwarber to split catching duties while Miguel Montero is out for the next six weeks. Kyle was 3-for-4 with a run scored Friday night. We know the Cubs have a crazy amount of young talent on their roster, but Schwarber could be the final piece. I’ve seen enough baseball movies to know the hot-shot catching phenom usually comes in half way through the season to unite a bunch of ragtag misfits and lead them to victory, even though the owner wants to move them to Albuquerque. Schwarber is likely no exception. In a brief call up in June to serve as DH, Kyle slashed .364/.391/.591 with a homer and 6 RBI in 22 at bats (6 games). Extrapolate that! Let’s see…6 over 22 is equal to, carry the 1, cross-multiply, take the cosine and divide by zero…87 home runs! Whoa! Even I underestimated Schwarber’s ceiling, I guess! Or perhaps my math is off? Regardless, Schwarber is an immediate add in all leagues. In the minors, between AA and AAA he combined to hit .323/.430/.591 with 16 homers and 49 RBI. Prospector Mike ranked Kyle 7th on his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and Grey told you to BUY. Seventh is in the top 10 you guys. That’s right, more math. I’m just saying there is some serious upside here and Kyle Schwarber could be the biggest and smartest pick up you make all season. Now bring on the catcher questions!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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You can think whatever you want about Juan Uribe. I don’t care what anyone thinks, he is one of the most unique players in baseball. A classic character from yesteryear. He has to be a latin 50. Have you seen a pic of him? His player page said 36… looks more like 56. But I ain’t hatin’. Have you seen how this pimp rolls? He works that cardigan harder than no other! To elevate his pimptatude even more is his love of slapping bones, which from what I hear is his clubhouse racket. Ryu looks locked in, kinda like the way he pitches. He must of been pissed when they traded Uribe since I heard they are boys. Enough about what a badass Uribe is off the field, I like him this week and below I’ll go over why. He’s a one of a kind playa’! Before moving on, I couldn’t believe how many songs have “one” in the title. It’s kinda cray. One of my favorites is a cover of a popular band redone by another popular artist and he kills it. And before you think anything, I don’t like the band he covered. I just wanted to put that out there. One more cut from the man with one in the title. Okay, I’m done. I will go back to the misery of having lost Springer and Miggy in the ‘perts league. I’ve been doing heavy doses of the blues, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. I miss you guys! *wipes tear* Grey dodged a bullet there.

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Cody Anderson took a perfect game into the 7th inning yesterday and ended up with a line of 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 2 Ks, and his ERA is at 0.57 thru two starts. The Indians staff just keeps getting sexier. Now their rotation is Cody, Corey, Danny, Trevor and Carlos. Sounds like a boy band, K-Nudo. Only Cody doesn’t strike out as many — he’s the sensitive one. Anderson has an interesting backstory. He’s from Idaho, and he signed with the Tribe out of a junior college for $250,000. Imagine that. One day, Anderson’s asking ma if they have to eat potatoes yet again for dinner and saying a lot of “Aw, geez,” then he signs for a quarter of a million dollars, which is more than the state economy of Idaho. Suddenly, he was able to purchase the state of Idaho and all its trout. (I have no idea if they have trout there, but Guy Fieri seems to stop at a Diner and/or Drive-In and/or Dive at least once a week in Idaho for trout.) “Aw, geez, ma, I have to pay to pave highways now? Money is evil!” As for fantasy, Anderson’s not quite as big city-ish. He has very few Ks thru two games, but he does throw hard-ish (93 MPH fastball) with a decent slider, and he also has decent control. His minor league numbers portend a mid-rotation guy at best and he’s not at his best yet, so there’s still room to grow, but I’d let him grow on someone else’s team in mixed leagues. If you wanna check the Stream-o-Nator on him, go for it, but outside of AL-Only leagues, I wouldn’t own him yet. Just as I wouldn’t eat trout from Idaho. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I love me a hot schmotato almost as much as I love me a hot Latina. [Jay’s Note: I prefer the angry Latina.] Yes, it is true, I love Latin women more than fantasy baseball, except this week, when I love me some Eddie Rosario. He’s been a warming hitter looking primed to have a break out sooner than later, and I’m betting my money on this week. I know he has nothing to do with Rosario Dawson but I’ll take any chance to look at her pics and this beautiful gif (I couldn’t put that in the article for fear Jay would of removed it). It’s crazy to think she started her career in Kids and how much of a game changer that flick was. Will Eddie R be a game changer for you this week? I like the chances for that to occur and if you keep reading I will do my best to convince you why I like him, but before I do that, one more Rosario Dawson clip for the road… okay maybe not, the Alexander clip is very NSFW, but you can look it up on your own.

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Steven Matz is getting the call to the majors, a day after the Mets received this call, “Earth to Mets, your season is slipping away, and stop crashing back into me.” Though, it was kinda nervy of Earth to call collect. Earth added, “Sorry, I also invested in Madoff.” Thankfully for Mets fans, the Mets accepted the charges for Earth’s call, but declined Ian Desmond’s. If you are a fan of the Mets, I’d immediately write them a strongly-worded letter to not trade for Ian Desmond. I just gave you my Steven Matz fantasy. It was written on the backside of the napkin where you wrote your phone number. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except he’s added some more wonderful to his statz (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sorry, I’m using a keyboard sponsored by Marcus Semien and the keys are sticky.). Matz’s IP count is now up to 90 1/3 with a 2.19 ERA and 94 Ks. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s in the PCL, where they use helium balloons as baseballs. I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Donaldson pulling a Jeter? Shades of Armando Galarraga on a play at first in a perfect game? John Gibbons looking like he’s sucking on a lemon but really he just happened to glimpse Brett Cecil? The eighth was thick with humidity. The tension was buzzing from a few bugs that made their way inside the domed stadium as Marco Estrada went for a perfect game. Unfortunately, Donaldson diving into the stands to make the first out in the 8th, when the announcers said he was “pulling a Jeter,” didn’t stop the infield hit on the very next batter when Logan Forsythe just barely beat it out to first. To misquote that previous sentence, it would be the first time a pulling Jeter had to beat it out. Marco ended the game with 8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks and 10 Ks. He’s now allowed three hits in his previous two starts (over 15 2/3 IP). Estrada’s main peccadillo — or ponchadillo, as might be the case with Estrada — is he allows a shizzton of homers and he pitches his home games in Toronto. He’s recently looked untouchable, and I’d stay with the theme and not touch him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What is not to love about Marlon Byrd? He is one of twenty-one hitters who have 49 homeruns over the past two seasons, and is on pace this year to hit over 20 bombs again. He has been on the DL since June 2nd and just came off this past Friday. I understand the batting average is something to be concerned with, but even if that’s your issue, he is still a donkey (the flying donkey to be exact), and donkeys are useful… and they are really darn useful in fantasy baseball. You rent them like a lady-friend on a trip to Vegas, and if they bring you some winnings, you keep them around a few days to give you a place to rest your hand. Now, like our friends in Vegas, you never keep them around any longer than your trip. Byrd could be a creep-to-own, so be prepared to hold if he comes out of the gate hot. But enough about Byrd, I’ll cover him below. It’s Fathers Day today, and being that my dad introduced me to the Yardbirds, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add some title-related links into the fold, as I know you enjoy it and I think it irks Jay.

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