I thought Jay Bruce was a lock for 30/100 not dirty undies. Thirty-hundo not dirty-undies! All year Bruce Stinksteen has been behind “Born to Run” Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier, who’s classically rocking out and Learning to Fly, and Devin “Is That Your Face Or Are You Wearing Wax Lips?” Mesoraco, who had a breakout season. And, here, Jay Bruce is less appetizing than sitting across from Bruce Jenner when it’s humid. Hard to know where the bottom is. Problem people find when speculating on stocks. Same problem with fantasy baseball. Yesterday, Bruce went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts while his team scored seven runs. He’s now hitting .218. But is that the bottom and he’ll turn things around in the final month? Or will he hit .150 in the final month and make you wish you owned some hot schmotato? The hell you say if I know. Depends a bit on your league, and I’ve been telling people to hold Bruce and wait for the turnaround, but if Steve Pearce or Adam Eaton or some other hot schmotato is on your waivers, I can understand moving on. Let Bruce loose, turnabout is fair play. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!
What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).
Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!
Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.
A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Cardinals traded for one of the most unreliable starters this year, Justin Masterson and his 5.51 ERA. Ouch. The Cardinals fell asleep and the Indians drew a shaft and balls on their forehead. People are snickering at you, Cardinals, because you have a shaft and balls on your head. Unless it’s a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa that is partially obscuring a tractor trailer so all we’re seeing is its giant wheels. Then, it’s a lovely scenic landscape, but you still got had. This saves the Brewers a lot of trouble because I heard they were going to trade for Masterson and then ‘accidentally’ leave him behind on their next road trip to St. Louis. No reason to obfuscate, my dear Milwaukee friends. Masterson gets a slight uptick in value just going to the NL, but he needs to prove he’s healthy and able to throw a Quality Start before I’d start him anywhere. So, he’s gone from a Waiver Wire guy, to an On My Bench Until He Shows Something guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Odrisamer Despaigne almost threw a no-hitter yesterday (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) in his Padres camo fatigues, which had Fidel completely uncertain how to react. “I love to wear camo too, but now he’s doing it for the American Baseball Organization and representing their military? I am torn like Natalie Imbruglia.” Luckily, Fidel had someone who burped too loud to assassinate to take his mind off things. Odrisamer Despaigne, or Otis Spunkmeyer as I always want to call him, now has a 1.31 ERA on the year (34 1/3 IP) and a laughable K-rate (4.46). Speaking of communists, that’s even laughable for Correia. Maybe the Mets couldn’t see Spunkmeyer’s pitches because the Padres were also using their trademark camo-painted baseball? Oh, wait, this is the Mets we’re yakking up. How silly of me. Spunkmeyer is definitely worth riding when in home starts, and even favorable road matchups while throwing well, but I wouldn’t trust him long-term. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Oakland A’s have been the team to beat in the first half of 2014. They own the best record the majors, their offense, which is comprised of a ragtag bunch of misfits from the other side of the tracks, ranks second among all teams in RBIs and total bases. They lead the league in ERA and WHIP, and they just upgraded their rotation with the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, all without the help of fat Jonah Hill. You don’t need Andy Serkis’ acting school to show you you’d be a real monkey to doubt these guys. They’ve been just as good from a fantasy perspective. Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Sonny Gray have carried over their success from 2013, and Jesse Chavez, Sean Doolittle and the two-headed catcher platoon of John Jaso and Derek Norris have all been first half surprises. So which A’s can you hitch a ride on for some second half fantasy glory? Jed Lowrie (2-for-4, RBI) can get real hot, real quick, and is currently on a seven game hitting streak, with multi-hit performances in six of those games. You might want to scoop him up before he explodes, or gets injured again. Similarly, Stephen Vogt (3-for-3, HR (4)) has been excellent since receiving everyday at bats and is slashing .435/.480/.652 over the past two weeks. He’s got an 11 game hitting streak (six multi-hit games in that span) and two homers in his past three days, and that catcher eligibility makes him extra valuable. P. Diddy says Vogt or die, so you should grab Stephen while he’s still just under 30% owned. We may be through a little over half of the fantasy season so far, but there’s still plenty of time to ride the Oaktown bandwagon to some fantasy glory, at least until they get to San Antonio. #keeptheAsinOakland!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night (*All-Star Edition*):Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.
All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Growing up one of my favorite films was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The movie has everything; boat chases; hot Austrian scholars turned Nazi’s, Sean Connery, Knights, the Holy Grail and one of the greatest scenes in movie history. If you haven’t seen it *spoiler alert*,(actually can you give a spoiler alert if a movie is 25 years old?) in one of the last scenes of the movie Indy has to go through a series of booby traps and make choices on how to conquer them based on his knowledge of Jesus. BT-dubs doesn’t booby traps seem like it could be Justin Verlander’s current issue? Maybe he’s trapped by the power of Kate Upton’s assets and spends most road trips locked in his hotel room getting to second base? Anyyyyy way where was I? Oh yeah the booby traps! After making his way through the obstacles Indy ends up in an old dusty room at the back of a cave guarded by one of a collection of Knights whose sole duty is to protect the Grail. In order for Indiana to get access to the Grail and save the day he must choose between bevies of gaudy cups and find the true Grail. At this moment the Knight urges him to choose wisely! If you haven’t seen it watch the clip here. Either way where I’m going with this is we are presented with a far less dramatic choice every day when playing daily fantasy games on DraftKings. There are several approaches and strategies and someone is lying if they tell you they approach each day’s games the same as the day before. Sometimes you’re better off investing in hitting, and other times you’re better off splashing the dollars on arms. No one approach holds true every day. For example for today’s early games the pitching options are limited to say the least and I couldn’t blame you for going cheap on pitching and spending on hitting. The night games are slightly better with Stephen Strasburg, Garrett Richards, and Shelby Miller all seeming like solid plays.
Speaking of choosing wisely, you can start your day of good choices off by playing DraftKings with us. In fact if you haven’t played DraftKings before you can play for free by signing up here. For all newbies and experienced players alike, I will post a link in the comments to play with me and some of the other Razzball writers in a league. Without further ado below are the Razzball picks for Saturday June 14th.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Felix Hernandez had the best game of the season for fantasy — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 15 Ks. F-Her was the best thing to hit the world since Natalie Portman decided it was a good idea to get naked for a short film. Granted, that short film was by Wes Anderson. In film school, it was always met with a mixture of amusement, bewilderment and excitement when any student filmmaker convinced an actress to take their clothes off for a student film. Invariably, they were a better salesman than auteur if they were able to pull it off. “So, your husband, hungry for approval, just left you for a ham sandwich and now you want to shed your clothes, which is a metaphor for the stripping of your soul. Don’t worry, it’s a locked set.” I’ve talked in the past about how if a pitcher has a difference of six between his K-rate and walk rate, then he’s usable in all leagues. F-Her has a difference of plus-8. That’s glorious. He has 106 Ks to 17 BBs. That’s insane. His ERA is at 2.39. He’s real and he’s magnificent. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hate on me all you want, but I’ve been a full-fledged, die-hard New York Yankees fan since birth. [Jay's Note: Could be worse... you could have been a Red Sox fan...] I may have been born and raised in the land of palm trees, bikinis and coked-out debutantes (Los Angeles), but my father, a Brooklynite, instilled in me his love for the men in pinstripes.
Being a Yankees fan has many ups, but when it has its downs, it makes you wanna bury your head in the sand. Most of these “downs” are related to the front office spending a gazillion bricks of gold bullion on aging vets (that is the form of currency Hiroki Kuroda used during his formidable years in the 1920s). No matter how many supplements and PEDs and anti-aging hormones these players use, they’ll eventually wither away and get hurt in the process. If only the Yankees had a pill that gave their players Benjamin Button disease. I can picture CC Sabathia as a fat three-year-old baby, probably licking the fluid coming out of his knees. How adorable, he got it all over his face! How many jars of Gerber’s mashed zucchini can you buy for $142 million?
Mark Teixeira had to leave Saturday’s game with renewed wrist “inflammation”. This is not something to be taken lightly. He had offseason surgery on the same wrist and had to miss three games earlier this week before returning Friday. The fact that could only make it through one-and-a-half games before getting hurt again says this problem is not going away. Wrist injuries can completely sap your power (see, Encarnacion, Edwin in April). He’s scheduled to see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. Don’t hold your breath.
After a promising start to the season in which he compiled a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, Michael Pineda has been nothing but a pain in the backside for fantasy owners — literally. He’s been dealing with back issues, similar to the one Clayton Kershaw had in spring training, and he had been on track to return within the next few weeks. But that is no more. After a setback in his rehab this weekend, Pineda will be shutdown indefinitely. It’s time for fantasy owners to cut bait, as it’s possible we won’t see him in the Bronx till August.
There may be some good news on the injury front in New York, however. Carlos Beltran‘s attempt to avoid surgery to his elbow seems to be going well. He’s been slowly swinging a bat — progressing from dry swings, to swinging from both sides of the plate, and he took batting practice on the field before Friday’s game. According to Beltran himself, he walked away from that session happier than a big city business man taking his lunch break at a Korean massage parlor. Evidently that was enough proof of good health for the Yankees to send him out on an extended spring training stint in Tampa. He is shooting for a June 10 return when the Yanks visit Seattle to take on the Mariners.
Now on to the rest of the league…Please, blog, may I have some more?