You know how they say think about baseball to make sex last longer? Okay, so I was thinking, to make the baseball season last longer do we think about baseball? Maybe we think about sex. This is a riddle for the Sphinx! I saw Chris Sale struck out his 300th batter of the season, and I got a pit in my stomach. I mean, I know the season’s quickly approaching its French end title, “Fin,” but it still bums me out like a mid-20’s Evan Gattis. Yesterday, Chris Sale went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.75. He became the first Red Sox player to record 300 Ks in a season since Pedro Martinez in 1999. And Pedro had his good luck charm, little person, Nelson de la Rosa! Well, I guess Sale does have Pedroia. You look at Sale’s peripherals and you kinda wanna drool — 12.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 2.62 xFIP, and averaging 94 MPH on his fastball. His K-rate is the third best for a starter since 1900. Okay, so maybe Kluber doesn’t win the Cy Young. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well.
Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now.
If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings and welcome back to everyone except salty commenter Fogimon. Just kidding. Love you, Fogimon. If you didn’t read Saturday’s post, I moved up north from South Florida just in time to avoid Hurricane Irma, avoiding the chaos of evacuating or staying and hunkering down for the storm. Can’t have much better luck than that, I guess.
Hopefully, you survived without me for a week as we head into the home stretch and fantasy playoffs. If you didn’t, then you are probably not reading this, I guess. So, welcome, survivors. Let’s all bring these leagues home.
We only have so much time left, so we have to continue to focus on the players who are contributing now. If that means dropping Miguel Cabrera (in non-keeper and non-dynasty formats) in order to pick up Matt Olson or a Nick Williams, so be it. Now is not the time for name value consideration. I usually preach patience in this space, but we only have a few weeks left here to close this out. Go, go, gadget Jose Reyes!
Expanded rosters make these last few weeks even more difficult, especially if you have players on teams like the Dodgers or Nationals who can afford to rest players like Daniel Murphy and Corey Seager. You want to make sure you have some additional positional flexibility where possible, which makes waiver wire additions such as Eduardo Escobar and Matt Olson that much more valuable. Not only are they producing right now, but they play a couple positions and give you some added flexibility.
I touch on Olson a bit in a blurb below, but Escobar is a guy who taking a look at because of his eligibility at both shortstop and third base. He won’t have too much value once Miguel Sano returns, but it sounds like Sano is progressing pretty slowly. With only a few weeks left in the season, we probably still have at least another week of Escobar playing time, if not more. There is no guarantee that he continues to play every day once Sano comes back, but it is equally possible that, if he keeps hitting, the Twins find a place for him in a lineup that could certainly use the help. For a guy with a 9.92 PR15 who is owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues, I would definitely be willing to take a chance.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Watching Luis Castillo is officially an ASMR trigger. *insert onomatopoeia of satisfied exhale, picks up invisible fork and knife, mimes cutting up satisfied exhale, eats exhale* Do you see how Castillo’s got me? I’m eating satisfied exhales. Can I write the 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper post right now for Luis Castillo? TFW you see Castillo: Insert Oprah’s o face around Gayle King. CASTILLO MAKING ME CRAZY! And not eating sugar for six days isn’t helping. This Whole30 Diet got me like: insert crazy-googly eyes. I got Biggie Smalls eyes right now. *smacks face* Be coherent, Grey! Sorry, about that. Yesterday, Luis Castillo went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.12. His surface perfs: 9.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.40 xFIP, averages 98 MPH, and now I’m lightheaded again. Okay, need to save something for his 2018 sleeper post. As for this year, this was his last start, unless you count Strat-o-Matic starts I’m making with him all winter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Ender Inciarte went 8-for-10 with two runs, 5 RBIs and two steals (18, 19), hitting .310. That’s a doubleheader that would’ve made Ernie Banks blush. And Ernie only blushed one time that we know of, the time Ernie confused Fergie Jenkins with Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas late one night at Harry Caray’s. “Yo, Ernie, what you talkin’ about with my humps, my lovely little lumps? And I don’t know what I’m going to do with the junk in my trunk, why do you keep asking? You holding a garage sale?” I don’t know why I enjoy the sweet stylings of Ender Inciarte so much. I kinda hate guys like Adam Eaton, and we should call Ender, “Cheap Eats with Some Indian Guy Named Khan,” because he is nothing more than a cheap Eaton. Maybe it’s because Ender always comes at a discounted rate to go with his “Yes, You Khan Cheap Eats” shizz. Though, he is a fantasy beast for supporting actual beasts. In other words, Ender is not making or breaking your team, but when you have guys that hit 40 HRs and .250, guys like Ender make all the difference as supplements. “Did someone say supplements?” What the hell are you doing here, Bonds? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher end of summer backyard bash, where we talk about our beloved top 100 hitters. I will be taking a one-week hiatus after this post as I pack up my apartment and drive 1,200 miles north from Fort Lauderdale, FL up to Pennsylvania. That’s right, the true King of the North is returning home to his roots. No more tank tops in January for me for a little while. After my one-week absence, though, I will be back to tell you how good Rhys Hoskins is. You may have heard of him by now. We focused on him last week, so we don’t have to go over him again, even though he has pretty much homered in every game since we talked about him. And for once, that isn’t even an exaggeration. Check out his game log:
Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rich Hill threw a perfect game yesterday — he pitched into the tenth inning and didn’t get a blister. Are we measuring perfect games for Rich Hill differently now? I thought that was his standard. How about this? Rich Hill threw a perfect game through nine innings if Logan Forsythe would’ve stayed down on a grounder to third, which leaves Forsythe with nothing but hindsight. The irony is thick like Nicki Minaj. Yesterday, Rich Hill went 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.32; his only blemish was a tenth-inning, lead-off, walk-off home run by Josh Harrison, oh, that spoil sport. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I really wish Rhys Hoskins pronounced his name “Riz” so that I could use a “Nobody Beats The Rhys” headline, but it is apparently pronounced “Reese.” Who do I talk to about making that change? Does anyone have the phone number for his parents or, better yet, his grandparents? This is important stuff here.
Anyway, added Rhys to our beloved 100 because chicks dig the long ball. While you probably haven’t had to search hard to find home runs in 2017, neither has anyone else, so it’s always good to have some more. Hoskins has big boy power, which he displayed in the minors the last few years (where he was stuck for way too long thanks to the Phillies). After hitting 38 home runs in 135 games in hitter-friendly confines in Double-A in 2016, he backed that up with 29 home runs in 115 games in Triple-A this season.
But his game isn’t all power. As a somewhat older prospect, Hoskins actually has a pretty nice approach at the plate. In Triple-A in 2017, he posted a 13.5 BB% against a 15.8 K% while slashing .284 / .385 / .581. Through his first two weeks in the show, his average is down, but everything else looks about the same. And a .154 BABIP helps explain the .237 average he woke up with on Monday morning.
So, the real bonus with Hoskins is that the power numbers come with some above-average peripherals. He might not hit .280+ the rest of the way in the bigs, but would it surprise anyone if he did? If you are in OBP or OPS leagues, even better, since he has shown that he is not afraid to take a walk. Plus, that power…Please, blog, may I have some more?
James Shields has given up a home run in 11 of 13 games this year. Outside of the first 2 games when he gave up 2 each, he’s given up at least 5 hits a game (he’s gone more than 6 once this year and that was 6.1). He’s walked someone in every single start. This is a more flavorful way of saying what you already know – Shields is terrible and won’t have his option year picked up in 2019 (that’s right, we’re going to have another year of James Shields to pick on). The other plus about this game is it’s in Texas and it’s going to be hot. Also, Shields’ splits this year are hilarious. When a left hander is in the box, he strikes them out 15.7% of the time and walks them 12% of the time (with a normal .313 BABIP), gets a ground ball 35.7% of the time and allows a home run on 23.6% of his fly balls. All of which is leads to an unfathomable 9.17 FIP and a 6.86 xFIP. Yes, loyal readers, James Shields has a FIP over 9 vs lefties. The worst FIP I can find vs lefties is Jose Lima’s 6.14, including an 8.29 in 2006 and Lima’s 8.29 was in only 7 innings. James Shields is having a legendarily bad season vs lefties (he’s actually relatively decent vs righties with 21.2% strikeouts and 8.2% walks for a 4.14 FIP and 4.73 xFIP). So given all of this information, here’s what I would do: play Texas Rangers lefties as much as physically possible, with Mazara and Gallo being the top ones, but all of them are good plays. As for the righties, they aren’t nearly as good as the lefties, first, because each Rangers righty you play is one less Rangers lefty to play if you’re going to have four Rangers, and second, a lot of the Rangers righties are expensive. That said, in a vacuum, the righties are still good plays as it’s hot, James Shields is on the mound and when he’s out of the game, the White Sox gas can of a bullpen will come in and suck. Beltre leads the righties since he hits righties pretty well over his career (113 wRC+) and has hit them well this year (.382 wOBA). Basically, play all the Rangers you can.
On to the picks once James Shields allows another home run to a lefty…
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Yesterday, Phillip Ervin went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd home run and 2nd in as many games. This blew my mind: there was no mention of Phillip Ervin on this site since 2014, when then-prospector Scott Evans said, “We’ll have a much better feel for (Ervin) after he’s had a chance to settle in at a full-season assignment, but on the surface, Ervin looks like a potential 20/20 outfielder who’ll also help in AVG and OBP. I hope Grey reads this in three years…IN HELL!” Damn, some animosity there. Now, the real puzzler maker, as they say in the Haus of Rubik, Prospector Ralph hasn’t spoken about Ervin once. So, I took it up with Endorphin Ralph on text, and he said, “He’s a 25-year-old, slugging fourth outfielder that’s Quad-A. RUSNEY IS BETTER!!!” So, Ervin’s a former 1st rounder, who might not be anything, due to weak contact he makes too often. In Triple-A, he did have 7 HRs and 23 SBs with a .256 average. He might just be a schmotato, that cools off and vanishes, but a speed/power combo plays in fantasy if he plays, which he is. Better than Rusney Castillo? WE SHALL SEE. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?