Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta.  Not sure it would be the wrong move either.  Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter.  He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas.  He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas.  Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10.  About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right.  I said it around the time of his no-hitter.  That took some pants grapes.  What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut.  On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta).  Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up.  It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine.  It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.”  And that’s me quoting me!  On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.”  And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record!  I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it.  For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year.  People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall.  Yeah, and it won’t work out either.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had an idea to make the Olympics more watchable.  You know how you watch it now and you’re like, “Damn, he just ran the length of two football fields in 20 seconds?  I mean, it looked like he was going fast, but the guy next to him ran it in 21 seconds, so it’s hard to tell exactly how fast he was running.”  Enter my idea:  in every event, there should one normal person competing so we get a better idea of how great the Olympians are next to average schmos.  Tell me you wouldn’t watch the platform diving if between the North Korean and Chinese diver, I was there trying to get the nerve up to jump from three floors up, then plunging awkwardly into the water on my back.  Or running next to Usain Bolt, doing an 85-second 200 meter dash.  So, this brings me to Kris Bryant, who right now is making other major leaguers look like ‘normal people.’  Yesterday, he went 5-for-5, 4 runs, 5 RBIs with his 29th and 30th homers.  On our Player Rater, he’s in the top five for the season.  Member in the preseason when people were saying Bryant was going to strike out too much to draft in the 1st round?  Those people are enjoying themselves some Jose Abreu!  For 2017, it’s gonna be hard to rank Bryant much later than the top five, as he enters only his age-25 season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time for the Dodgers’ mailbag with your host, Grey Albright and I’m here with Dave Roberts.  First question up, Billy from Toluca Lake asks, “Why didn’t we sign Johnny Cueto?”  Dave Roberts runs full-speed towards 2nd and slides head-first…safe!  Well, that doesn’t exactly answer the question, but he is still quick.  Okay, next question, “Was there ever a chance of re-signing Greinke?”  Dave Roberts brushes dirt from his uniform and motions for the ump to call him safe, and he likely would’ve been safe if we were in a game and not just taking questions from Dodger fans.  Okay, next, “What exactly is Brandon Beachy doing as a Dodger?”  Dave Roberts takes off for third, what a speed demon, though we’re not sure what that has to do with the Dodgers losing pitchers one per hour.  Early yesterday, the Dodgers announced Hyun-Jin Ryu hit the DL with elbow tendinitis.  There’s no clear timetable for his return, but I’d guess sometime in the future.  Him returning in the past seems to be a long shot, at best.  Ryu didn’t look good after he returned from injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return until next season.  If you have no DL room, you should look on Redfin.  Might be time to get in a bigger place.  For now, I’d drop Ryu.  Next up for the Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw would be shut down indefinitely.  Ouch.  I hate to see the top guys in the game get shut down.  It hurts the game that we all love.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t own him, and am pumped about the teams that do have him, losing him.  Schadenfreude!  If he’s shut down now, I’d say the earliest he could possibly return is mid-August.  Filling in will be Julio Urias and his special brand of 5 IP, 3 ERA, blink-and-you-miss-it starts, which makes me wonder if he’s seen himself pitch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Craig Biggio.  It’s a sloppy, imperfect comparison, but that’s who Alex Bregman looks like.  I watched three minutes of video of him.  So, that’s like saying there’s smoke emitting from every New York City manhole because underneath are old Filipino women making hot pretzels, who then transport them to the above ground vendors, because you found an old Filipino woman underneath one manhole cover making pretzels.  Luke, small is your sample size, said Yoda.  Now, if you buy into the Biggio comparison, which you should because Filipino women are making pretzels below New York City manholes, Biggio had three homers, six steals and hit .211 in his first 50 games.  Ya know, Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio.  Biggio was older then than (stutterer!) Bregman is now, if you were looking for an excuse.  Rookies sure are fun, right?  They mostly cause ulcers.  They.  Mostly.  Cause.  Ulcers.  TMCU, for short.  So, Bregman is crazy talented, he could be up soon, I would own him, but, for this year, I’d keep my expectations in Slovakia, or even Czech.  For further reading, Prospector Ralph has him number one on the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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?

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?

On Saturday, our prayers were answered.  No, not the prayer about winning Powerball.  Or the prayer about sweatpants becoming the new formalwear.  Or the prayer about muttonchops being some magical aphrodisiac.  Or the prayer about your mom forgetting that time you accidentally sexted her.  Or that prayer about being as successful in real life as you are in fantasy.  No, not those.  The prayer about Yu Darvish returning and looking as dominant as ever.  On Saturday, he threw the fastest pitch of his major league career, throwing three pitches for more than 98 MPH.  The line of 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks was solid, but I imagine this will be the start of him reaffirming his place in the top 10 starter conversation.  Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department sang, “Yu, Yu got what I need…Yu say he just spends Yen…Yu say he just spends Yen…But baby Yuuuuuu,Yu got what I need!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the weeks go by, all of you will notice that these posts will be increasingly more influenced by your questions, and the players you the readers and commenters show interest in. In the same way, all that attended a New Kids On The Block concert in 1990, were dubbed honorary “Newest Kids”, you are all my Shitz Stiks, and will be such forevermore. So it is with great excitement and anticipation that I begin today’s post dedicated to the hottest swinging bat this side of Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Bregman. I know a player is generating a ton of buzz not only when I get questions about them, but when people start asking Grey questions about cats in AA. It’s almost as if you people dropped the A.J. Reed punch for Bregman lemonade and have no plans of letting up. (After all lemonade is a popular drink, and it still is.) When you’re putting up the sort of crooked numbers that Bregman has for Corpus Christi that will happen. So let’s get into this helium tank and see where it leads us.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

jungho

If you walk out that door, you’re going to miss a great comeback. Hunt Stevenson kicked ass. And even though he didn’t actually meet the goal of 15,000 cars So Yamamura was so impressed with Hunt’s efforts that he declared his team successful. Just another example of a great 1980’s movie. Modern technology be damned, the 80’s was awesome. Speaking of awesome, let’s talk about the third baseman you’re going to wish you stashed on your DL if you don’t own one of Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado or Josh Donaldson. I refer to them collectively as the “Big 3B”. And no, there is no “Big 3A”. There’s the “Big 3A-holes”. That would be Justin Upton.

Please, blog, may I have some more?