Hopefully everyone else had an excellent Fourth of July! Depending on your local weather, perhaps you spent it lounging in a hammock, lounging in a pool or lounging on the couch. The important part is I hoped you all had a lazy holiday.

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: After spending the day indulging on steaks and burgers, clearly the cows decided to strike back, putting a curse on Cabrera’s calf. The slugger suffered a left calf strain — grade 3 to be precise — and the Tigers have already placed him on the 15-day disabled list. Count on him missing approximately six weeks, and for now the team appears ready to roll with Alex Avila as their primary first baseman. Expect to see Avila gaining 1B eligibility soon, but his lack of power makes him a pretty “meh” option at the corner. For fellow Cabrera owners scrambling for a replacement with some pop, I already snapped up Jon Singleton in one of my leagues, though the recently activated Michael Morse could work too.

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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:

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The title comes from Rudyard Gamble’s novel about a young Astros prospect named Carlos Correa that is saved by a non-Portuguese man named Jeff. Jeff Luhnow is his full name, and he’s the only straight man named Jeff in the northern hemisphere. A point that Rudyard only alludes to in the 4th chapter, when he says, “As he read the Doppler radar outputs that track the ball in three dimensions, Jeff chewed corn from the cob, careful to not disturb his mustache that still had the fragrance of a dame.” The adventure novel is full of twists and turns. Correa is signed as a 17-year-old in 2012 and hits, then is called up to Single-A and hits, then is called up to High-A and hits, then is called up to Double-A–Now that I think about it, it’s pretty straightforward. Not too many twists. Correa hits everywhere he goes. According to the novel, Correa even succeeds when he comes upon a fellmonger on the Appalachian plain. Rudyard’s adventure novel first appeared in serialisation form in SABReader’s Digest underneath the horoscope. A fact that once disturbed Rudyard, but when his horoscope read, “The two-plus months of waiting are over, Correa’s being called up,” even he took pause. Any the hoo! I already went over my Carlos Correa fantasy about two weeks ago. I told everyone to grab him then, so the same holds true now. If you don’t think you have room, think of the trouble Jeff, Rudyard and Correa went through to make this possible. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Preston Tucker is up and the no longer LAstros have shown the confidence to not only start him, but bat him third a few times already this year, so I decided to break down this guy and see if he can keep sticking himself in that luscious three hole.  When looking at Tucker’s mechanics, I noticed something that relates to a perennial fantasy enigma, so if you stick around, you’ll get more than you bargained for in this post…

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Last week I recommended Shawn Tolleson, a player that seemed on the cusp of closerdom.  The closer’s role is now his and even though they have a player in Keone Kela that is being groomed for the role (thanks for the tip, Smokey!), it is my belief that Tolleson will stay the closer until he loses the job by blowing saves, but that could be said of just about any closer.  This week it’s time to turn our attention to the happenings in Seattle, where Fernando Rodney has an ERA of 6.23 so far this year.  I’ve previously recommended Danny Farquhar but he’s been almost as bad as Rodney. Both of them sport BABIPs of about .350 so it’s been some bad luck in addition to bad pitching.  Your answer:  Carson Smith.  Some of you have caught on already because his RCL ownership is up to 39% but it should probably be near 100%.  His ERA is 0.90 but his FIP and xFIP are 2.40 and 2.36 because his BABIP (.182) and LOB% (95.6%) are unsustainable.  So now you know where all of Rodney and Farquhar’s luck went.  The sustainable part is the solid 23:5 K:BB in 20 innings.  That’s closer material.  He could, in theory, be named the closer any day now, but unfortunately Rodney has been given a long leash so it’s not likely to happen until after the next blown save or two.

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I get props at my mention ’cause I vex y’all. So Wada Wada want! He’s so funny with the 88 MPH gas that he flaunt! Where’d you get your information from, huh? You think that Tsuyoshi can front a fantasy rotation when revelation comes? You can’t front a fantasy rotation on that! Sweeter than that Jason Hammel guy with Ready Whip topping? Goin’ from streamer to streamer kickin’ it wall to wall! Well, I’ll be calling out you people who draft a number one starter! It’s wack when you’re jacked, someone take Strasburg from me, he can’t throw no harder! As you can bet I think I’m losing my league this time. This time I’m losing my league. So, Tsuyoshi Wada looked terrific yesterday in his first start of the year, if just not fully stretched out — 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks. He was solid last year (7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 IP). The Ks from yesterday likely won’t be the norm, but he should be solid for most mixed leagues once he gets stretched out, which should be by next game. I’d definitely grab him, and you can’t front on that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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Greetings! Let us not dally and get straight to the point. Not since Dennis Quaid’s pathetic attempt at portraying the legendary Doc Holiday have I ever witnessed a more disgraceful performance. My good men (and good women), this fraud has pulled the wool over our eyes for far too long. His supporters make me want to upchuck my kale smoothies while I wither to my knees, my body quivering with disgust. His 1.60 WHIP (before last night’s bed shizzing) makes me long for Marco Estrada. His 4.88 ERA makes me lust after Chase Whitley. Seriously, RuPaul has higher testicular fortitude. I’d much rather be tied to a razor blade studded lawn chair, naked, with my mouth duck taped and forced to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop, one AND two, in a cage with starved hyenas along with 50 rattlesnakes than watch Strasburg pitch. Now he’s injured, and if my animal instincts are proven correct, a DL stint is on the horizon. Don’t be shocked if it’s a season ender, which may be a good thing in the long run, like having your family’s rabid dog drowned after blood-lusting after a river otter when you didn’t have the heart to gun it down yourself. [Jay’s Note: Wait, what?] Say one thing for Stephen Strasburg, he’s a disappointment. It’s over.

I am Tehol Beddict, and this is Disgrace/Delight! Take heed!

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It’s been a busy week for SAGNOF (Steals/Saves Ain’t Got No Face) as we’ve seen the demotion of one closer (Miguel Castro), the injury of another (Adam Ottavino) and we’ve had some demotions and call-ups of base stealing prospects. Firstly, I just want to brag a little bit because I told you to pick up Jake Marisnick.  Okay, so I called him Jake Marsinick at first, but hey, let’s not be picky here.  The fact is, I first recommended Jake Marsinick, or whatever his name is, three weeks ago here.  That was back when he had one home run and two stolen bases.  Since then, he’s basically gone one to destroy MLB pitching.  Well anyway, hopefully this will help make up for any calls I’ve gotten wrong over the past few weeks… (and truthfully, I would consider Marisnick a good sell high right now, maybe you can get Brandon Moss in return if you need power).

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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