Johnny Cueto has been a controversial player in Major League Baseball for quite some time. There was that ugly Jason LaRue incident during a Cardinals/Reds on-field brawl in 2010 in which Cueto repeatedly kicked LaRue in the head and ultimately forced the former catcher to retire prematurely. Of course, there’s also the issue of his extremely unorthodox windup that has been compared by some to that of former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant, the legality of which has been questioned in recent years. However, one thing that hasn’t been questionable is Cueto’s results this year. In his first season with the Giants after signing a six-year, $130 million deal last offseason, Cueto has been one of the best pitchers in baseball during the first few months of 2016. His 11 wins are more than any pitcher in MLB outside of Chris Sale and Jake Arrieta. His 2.42 ERA is the 8th lowest among qualified starting pitchers. His 1.79 BB/9 rate is the 11th lowest in baseball. He’s giving up fewer home runs (0.31 HR/9) than any other starter. The question is: can Cueto maintain this impressive production?

Let’s take a look at Cueto’s profile to determine what can be expected from him during the remainder of the 2016 season. Here are a few observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals.  This is something I don’t usually do.  Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten.  But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh?  He’s listed at six-six and 230.  He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing.  Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.”  With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast.  (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me.  If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything?  It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right?  I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.)  Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year.  If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH.  He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it.  A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors.  With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda.  Or does it?!  Snap, reversed on that.  No, Giolito has control too.  97 MPH with command?  I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna.  Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve.  In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way.  Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos.  He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday.  To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP.  Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys.  Hashtag truth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matt Shoemaker, $9,900, AKA The Cobbler, came out of no where and put up some Ace like numbers in the second half of 2014. He went 9-2, striking out 62 batters in 72 innings, all while posting a nice and tidy 1.87 ERA. I was one of the lucky ones that scooped him up and I road that train all the way to multiple Title Towns. In 2015 he was one Grey’s preseason favorites and then he did his best Francisco Liriano impression, but seemingly nose dived 5 times harder. It was tough to watch as he still held a special place in my heart, just like Kris Medlen of 2012, Kendrys Morales and Dallas Keuchel circa 2015. Unfortunately, the long ball absolutely crippled The Cobbler last year, as he coughed up 24 HR’s in just 134 innings of work. In May of 2015, I said my farewells to The Cobbler and bid him adieu. This year started out no different than 2015, as he had a terrible April posting a 9.15 ERA while giving up 6 HR in just 20 innings. With those type of numbers I figured he was going to get sent down to the minors, but the Angels pitching staff was so bad that they actually needed someone to eat up innings. Then halfway through May something magical happened. I can’t explain it as there haven’t been any injury reports, but I do have a theory. Late one May night, amid the thick Anaheim fog, the Disney Pixie’s awoke from their two year slumber and visited The Cobbler, just like they did in 2014. They sprinkled him with some special Pixie Dust shizz and then he went out and pitched an absolute gem against a tough Baltimore offense going 7.1 innings with 12 K’s and 0 ER. The mysterious missing magic was back in his next start vs Houston going 8.1 innings with 11 K’s and 0 ER. He’s returned to the circle of trust as he’s been solid over his last 7 starts, striking out 62 in just 51.2 innings while posting a 2.11 ERA vs some strong AL opponents. I don’t know how long the magic dust is going to last this time, but he’s limiting the long ball and I like him tonight at home. He’s facing a tough offensive Houston Astros team tonight, but they’re also the number 3 in strikeouts vs RHP.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This Frankencatcher Report was a tough one to write. It began as a piece hailing the return of Evan Gattis and mentioning Blake Swihart as a potential roll-of-the-dice pickup. The Red Sox called Swihart up to get a look in left field when Brock Holt hit the disabled list with what appears to be a pretty serious concussion, as he has now been on the DL for about a month.

But then Swihart ran into a wall.

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I know, I know.  You’re saying to yourself, ‘how can the guy with a 6.49 ERA not be free?’  It’s true, there’s nothing glowing about Adam Morgan‘s season long stat line.  His HR/FB rate is 2.05.  Yes, teams are averaging 2 HRs per game off him.  He also has a pedestrian K rate sitting at 7.69.  So when does the Morgan Freeman narrative kick in to tell me all the good things you want to hear?  Well, there may just not be one.  I’m leading with Morgan because methinks he’s a good to great tourney play for today and there’s more upside than he’s being given credit for at $5,500.  Admittedly, the Twins team has heated up a bit of late but their season stat line still shows an exploitable offense against left handed pitching.  Against southpaws on the year, the Twinkies hold a 24.5% K rate which is good for fourth worst in the MLB.  Follow that up with a lowly 86 wRC+ and there’s reason to believe Morgan can return on value down here in the sub-6K territory.  Of course, do realize this is tourney only and John Doe could easily gain the upper hand.  Not the Morgan quote you were wanting?  Well then enjoy.  But it’s time to get busy livin’, or else we’re gettin’ busy dying.  Here’s my he’s right you know hot taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday June 27th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Albert Almora, Jr. went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI Friday night and the rookie outfielder has now hit safely in his past three games and is slashing .429/.455/.619 since his call up June 7. Oh, hello there, AAJ. Have we met? This isn’t just any prospect we’re talking about here. This is a Cubs prospect. Alert the media! Oh wait, that’s us? Grey covered him a week or so ago, and I’ve been telling you to pick him up as well. Grey said, “Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain.” Sound advice as always, boss. I will summarize in case you no read good. Almora had 3 homers and 10 steals in 55 games at AAA and he likely won’t play every day, so expectations can be tempered. I added him everywhere I needed runs and average, but I also drafted Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Upton, so I’m not so sure you should be listening to me anymore. Regardless, he’s definitely a player to keep your eye on, especially if you have a third eye, and the other two are busy trying to watch the NBA Finals and the most-hyped episode of Game of Thrones ever simultaneously. If you’re a sucker for the rookies like me, Almora has looked good so far at the plate and bats in a stacked Chicago line up and could certainly be worth an add for his upside alone.

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

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Bases haven’t been nearly full at all in Michael Fulmer‘s starts this past month!

After a rocky beginning to his Major League career, Fulmer has been absolutely on fire the past month, vaulting from “meh, another big prospect called up too early, schwatev” to “this guy is ROY!”  As in, Roy Campanella!  Wait, I don’t think he was a pitcher…

Featuring a huge fastball and an awesome beard, it’s getting tougher and tougher to not jump on board the Fulmer train on his incredible scoreless streak and 5 Ws in a row.  I usually write the intro before breaking down the start, but I worked a little out-of-sequence today.  Spoiler alert!  I’m so on board.  I’m trading in my “Mustache Rides – $0.25” shirt with Grey on it to “Beard Rides – $0.50” with Fulmer.  So without any more ado or facial hair-play, here’s how Fulmer looked yesterday in a dominating start against the Yanks:

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He’s not just good for making shoes! Matt Shoemaker has been making batters look silly. His swinging strike % is at an all-time high of 13.6%, well above the league average of 10%. This could be because he has be getting batters to chase his pitches out of the strike zone 33% of time, where they only are making contact 51% of the time. Now, in stroll the Indians, who have a strikeout rate of 21.3%. He’s found more velocity, reaching nearly 93 with his fastball and 84 with his slider, which have been helping out his splitter. His last outing at Yankee Stadium was spoiled by his bullpen, resulting in 4 earned runs. The good news is he hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 4 starts and has struck out 37! A season ERA of 5.40 doesn’t look very good, but the 2.37 ERA in his last 4 starts looks more similar to his 3.16 ERA at home in his career, where he gets the start today. Shoemaker throws his splitter over 30% of the time, which sits a top of the league, and is generating 22% swings and misses. In addition, his it’s also creating nearly 50% ground balls. Shoemaker is also producing 15.6% pop-ups, good for 10th highest among qualified pitchers. Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana have each seen him 6 times and have only combined for one hit. No other player on the team has faced him more than that. The Indians inexperience against Shoemaker and his increased velocity may help him maintain his newfound strikeout rate. He has averaged 25.6 points in his last 5 starts. For the price of $7,600, I’ll even take 20 points! There’s a lot to like here with Matty K’maker, but let’s get on to the rest of my superb Saturday selections.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday June 13th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Leave it up to me on a day where there’s more than enough good arms out there to make you cringe about a pitching selection. Yes, it’s true. I’m honestly suggesting CC Sabathia on this fine Sunday. You might ask yourself, ‘how did Sky find a way to make this hard on a slate featuring Arrieta, Jo-Fer, and Nola?’. And you might ask yourself, ‘why would you suggest a guy just a few fake internet ducats off from The Dark Knight, Cole, and Gausman?’. You might also ask yourself, ‘why do I feel like Sky is setting me up for a Talking Heads reference in a piece where he references Black Sabbath?’. Cuz it’s the same as it ever was, friends. Really, I’m not suggesting huge upside here nor am I suggesting CC is the best play on the board. So what am I suggesting? Well, for starters the Orioles have been low key bad against lefties so far this year, sitting 25th in wRC+ against southpaws for the year. That in and of itself gives a decent backdrop for me to be intrigued. When you also factor in CC’s pitch selection change this year to make up for the lack of giddyup in his FB – swapping mostly over to the cutter – it makes his gains so far this year not seem too much like a mirage. So in tourneys, look to have yourself some CC shares and pair him with your pick of this pitching litter on a day where he’ll go microscopically owned. But enough about this, let’s talk about that. Here’s my Electric Funeral hot taeks for this Sunday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday June 6th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?