It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world. An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved. Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?! Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder. This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off. “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Move over Billy Hamilton – there’s a new king of SAGNOF in town! Well, maybe not, but Cesar Hernandez (+49%) has been on some kind of roll in recent weeks. Over the last 30 days, the 25-year-old Hernandez has stolen more bases (10) than any MLB player outside of Hamilton, and his .376 batting average ranks 3rd in MLB over that time frame. Sure, his .471 BABIP over the last month is wildly unsustainable for any player, but his MLB-leading 35.5% LD% and 5 bunt hits over that stretch suggest that a BABIP in the .340 range is a reasonable expectation over the remainder of the season, even when factoring in some inevitable regression across the board. His 11.4% BB% and 15.8% K% this season are both well above league average, and his 6.8% Swstr% is sandwiched right in between Dee Gordon and Brett Gardner on the season. Not too shabby.
Worried about playing time moving forward? Chase Utley is still hurt and produced a .179/.257/.275 triple slash line prior to hitting the DL, and Ben Revere is likely to be on the move in the coming weeks. Freddy Galvis? Cody Asche? Darin Ruf? Domonic Brown? Not exactly formidable roadblocks. Philly is likely to be essentially Maikel Franco surrounded by a beer-league softball roster following this season’s trade deadline. Playing time doesn’t appear to be an issue here. Interested in a player who could potentially give you 18-20 steals and a .280 average ROS? Hail Cesar!
Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hope everyone had a pleasant, footloose, but not finger-freeing July 4th weekend. I did. In the tradition of our forefathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, I had an iced cold latte, three whole frankfurters and flew a kite with a key on the string. Also, since this year our country passed the right to gay marriage, I ate those frankfurters in the gayest way possible. *Graphic description of how I ate the hot dogs deleted* Also, on this wonderful holiday where we pretend to be the greatest country in the world, I’m reminded of an ally from the 1700’s when we first got this ship afloat. That country was Germany and their concept of schadenfreude, the enjoyment derived from others’ misery. I’m sorry if you lost Miguel Cabrera for six weeks. Really, I am. *bursting with the schadenfreude giggles* The Tigers say he could return around late-August, which is a bummer. *barely containing myself* Hopefully, he can return and give you a solid four homers and .300 average the rest of the way. Thank God, this schadenfreude concept has no karmic retribution attached to it. *reading that Strasburg is also hurt* NOOOOOOO!!! Can’t I have one nice thing?! Ugh. I’m sorry I laughed at your loss of Miggy, can I have Stressbird back? Please! I can’t, can I? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, the Cubs scored seventeen runs, so enough jibber-jabbering, let’s get to it! Starting this whole she bangs, she bangs, Oliver’s got bangs in the 2nd inning, Addison Russell (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer as he continues to hit ninth. Joe Maddoning says he’s hitting Addison ninth to take pressure off him. McNulty would call that bunk. (By the by, tell me this doesn’t look like McNulty.) Isn’t there pressure just being in the major leagues? Did Addison not see how the Cubs pushed aside Javier Baez and Arismendy from year to year? Bunk! Chris Coghlan (2-for-3, 3 runs, hitting .251) needs to hit fifth? David Ross (1-for-5, 1 run) in any lineup should be hitting ninth. There’s absolutely no reason Russell should be that low. Move him up! Then Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs in his first major leagues start, and became only the third Cub in their history to have four hits in his first major league start. The other two were two guys you never heard of, which makes this record depressing. Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau! Oh, and there’s no pressure on Schwarber as he hits sixth? Okay, I’ll let it go. I pray to the deity of your choice that Schwarber gets four hits in every game until Sunday, Miguel Montero stays injured and Epstein says, “Okay, Schwarber schways. He schways! Stays, sorry, it’s hard to say anything normal after Schwarber.” Then (Yes, it keeps going!) Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .396. Put the microwave on defrost and stick in Ted Williams’s head! Never to be outdone (or overdue, as the case might be), Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Finally (I’m exhausted!), Kris Bryant (2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer) as he grand salami’d in the ninth. You at a 2016 fantasy draft, “I need a Bryant.” *Smash* As a pie gets thrown in your face. Five over-the-internet dollars to be paid out in fake installments, if you get that reference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
What an eventful SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) week it was. Shawn Tolleson, who was originally a high priority SAGNOF Special recommendation two weeks ago, now looks to be in a position to steal some saves from Neftali Feliz or possibly take the job outright. Feliz is in serious trouble and it will probably be either Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela that takes over if Feliz is in fact removed. Right now the word is that Rangers manager Jeff Bannister is going to use whoever he fancies on any particular day to close out games and that leaves the door open for just about anyone, including Feliz. I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Tolleson is capable of running away with the closer role so he’s my heavy favorite. If I’m wrong, call me bad names, but try to make it funny at least.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hear you out there. Wait, something’s not quite right…I see a grainy pic so we’re kinda ok…but where’s the mustache…*squints*…OMG YOU’RE NOT GREY WHAT IS THIS INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. Look, Grey had a thang, ok? He paged me and asked for coverage. Yes, I’m being literal, he paged me. He’s a bit old school, there’s nothing wrong with that. I showed him my iPhone 6s and how it could translate to Kirundi and make a mean cheese omelette but he said he’d rather ping me with ‘5318008‘. Honestly, I’m totally fine with that but he calls every time afterwards asking me to flip it upside down. Every. Time. Either way, I said I’d cover and here I am, covering the coverage and that leads us to Drew Hutchison. First off, if you own him…ticker shock! Those Houston guys are really good at coming from behind. That’s what she said! Over six innings, Drew gave up two runs while allowing 6 base runners (only one walk), striking out nine. Nine is a nice number when you’re talking about Ks but not as nice as 10. Ten is how many Astros Chris Heston fanned on Tuesday as he threw a complete game two hitter. Heston is close to a 7 K/9 kind of guy, probably a little under. On the one hand, I love Drew so this start has me piqued. On the other hand, the Astros are second in the majors in K rate at 24.6%. On the third hand which is actually Grey’s hand as he takes the pager from me and flips it upside down, Drew looks like a good get for deeper leagues where you can wait on his high K potential, but this shouldn’t move the needle for standard or the RCL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Logan Morrison performed some late night heroics yesterday as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI including a walk off home run off Dan Otero in the 11th inning to beat the A’s. LoMo now has three home runs and is batting .364 in the past week, and yes, of course he’s trending on twitter. Trending hard. His twitter feed is blowing up like a Michael Bay film and after struggling in April he’s really come alive in May. Logan’s hit four of his five dingers in May, and is slashing .385/.448/1.000 (compared to .197/.238/.250 in April) with a 1.448 OPS. Yes, more please! Small sample sizes sure are fun! Based on his career norms his .238 BABIP is certainly low, but so is the 11.9 K%, however, the 37.1 hard hit percentage looks real nice. You know I can make the stats tell you whatever I want, but the fact is LoMo is a hot little potato right now. He’s hit safely in every game he’s played this month except one, and he’s homered in four of them. Grey told you to BUY this week and he’s available in most leagues. When asked about his heroic walk off homer, Logan admitted he didn’t do it for the fame, the fortune, or even for the stats, he did it for the followers. So have a @CupOfLoMo with last night’s hero, and pick him up if you need some power at the corner.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jake Lamb hit the DL with a stress reaction in his foot. Now the Diamondbacks’ defense will go from Lamb to the slaughter with Yasmany Tomas taking over. Yasmany makes Sandoval look like a gazelle. Yasmany has the agility of an extra-wide trailer. Yasmany looks like the genie in Aladdin, which means the D-Backs’s 3rd base shituation was Lamb-or-Genie, which is also a northern Italian farmer’s lamb that he hung a car medallion around its neck and rides around to swap meets. I’d look at Yasmany in all leagues (yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 1 run with only one error!), because he does have power to spare — think 27-homer power — and he could surprise people with some regular playing time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?