I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re about two weeks from September call-ups, or as we call it in my house, “One more month and Cougs gets back the Fantasy Master Lothario,” or as they call it in Prospector Ralph’s house, “Let’s make another baby,” or as they call it in any Cubs fan’s house, “Start drinking heavily now so the heartbreak of October is a blurry haze.”  By the way, whatever team faces the Cubs in the World Series should pay Steve Bartman to throw out a first pitch of one of the games.  Bartman, “I won’t do it.”  “We’ll give you $50,000.”  “Do you want me to throw out the first pitch while riding on the back of a goat?”  So, that brings us to who will be the top September call-up, or at least for hype, Yoan Moncada.  About a week ago, Moncada injured his ankle, but he’s likely to be fine in a week.  In about 12 days, every fantasy baseball site will be telling you to grab Moncada, so it depends on how quick you need to react in your league on when you grab him, but I would in most leagues.  “Why, Unkie Grey, what does Moncada do?  Can he help me talk to girls?”  Yes!  If those girls live in Boston, have red hair and are named Francine.  Would you be interested if I told you Moncada went 13/44 in only 97 games with a .300 average?  How about if I told you he’s going to play in one of the best offensive parks with one of the best hitting teams?  What if I said he’d move your car on street cleaning day?  He will do all of that (minus the moving of the car, but it’s good if you get out of the house once in a while).  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m just gonna throw out the reason why right off the bat: I’m selfish and lazy. That’s what mid-August baseball talk is all about!

As part of my rebuilding efforts in the REL – well, I should say, my main anchor in my rebuilding efforts – I got Alex Reyes to hopefully be my staff stopper. I mean, have you SEEN the Brewers rotation?! Yikes. With some control issues and a pretty bad ERA in AAA, I wasn’t too surprised to see a fantastic arm like Reyes get the call-up anyway as a bullpener. This had been speculated upon all season – the Cards did this with their major prospects in Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez – so we’re not getting a big shock. And with Reyes called up at the same time as Luke Weaver, it appears they might piggyback each other for the foreseeable future. But Reyes clearly, CLEARLY looks like a dominant starter that’s about ready. After seeing his debut inning last Thursday night where he hit 101 twice, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an encore. Here’s how Reyes looked in his 2nd-4th career MLB innings Saturday afternoon at Wrigley:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been riding the clutch for the last six years and it seems the damage has been done. Now the clutch is slipping and there might be damage to the flywheel. Some people just don’t realize that it’s much cheaper to replace brake pads than it is to replace your clutch. Especially when your clutch was a first round draft pick.

Since 2011 Andrew McCutchen has been a top ten outfielder in points leagues. From 2012-2015 he was in the top five, scoring 499, 490, 471 and 465 points respectively. The wear and tear on the clutch can be seen in his decline in point production. This season he is on pace for a meager 298 points. Wait, that must be a typo right? Wrong! With 195 points so far McCutchen finds himself right between Yasmany Tomas (197) and Brad Miller (189), both of whom have had about 50 less plate appearances. This means they have both technically been more valuable with better points per plate appearance ratios. Essentially Andrew McCutchen has been useless in 2016. Perhaps even detrimental to your team considering the wasted early round pick. He has had just two weeks in which he scored more than 20 points and is averaging just 11 points per week. Jose Altuve scores 11 points per game! Okay, so that’s not an accurate statement, but has done so several times this season. So have many other hitters. Heck, a grand slam is 9 points with one swting! At this point there’s not really anything you can with McCutchen except put him on your bench. Given his history I would buy low on him, but it would have to be a legit buy low offer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After producing disappointing results over the first four months of the 2016 season, it was pretty clear that the Los Angeles Angels would be sellers prior to this year’s trading deadline. The problem was that, outside of Mike Trout, there didn’t appear to be too many desirable players to sell off to contending teams. Jered Weaver and Huston Street have been absolutely terrible. Garrett Richards and C.J. Cron are currently injured. Perhaps Kole Calhoun could be moved for something of value, though it’s unlikely that any serious contenders would view him as a significant upgrade for their teams. Getting another team to take on even a fraction of Albert Pujols’ massive contract would be an effort in futility. Outside of Trout, the Angels have basically been the Bad News Bears of Major League Baseball. However, there has been one bright spot for the Halos recently. This week’s most added fantasy player, 25-year-old starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs (37.4% owned; +28.4% over the past week), looks to be a potential building block for the Angels going forward. Since returning from Tommy John surgery earlier this summer, Skaggs has looked like a different pitcher from the one that he was pre-injury. The velocity on his fourseam fastball has spiked to a career high 93.46 mph, and his curveball looks as good as ever. He’s followed up seven dynamite rehab starts in triple A (12.53 K/9, 1.67 ERA) with two scoreless outings (0 ER and 13 Ks in 12.1 IP) following his big league promotion just over a week ago. The big southpaw has always kept the ball on the ground (46.4% career GB%), and he’s only allowed 2 homers in 51.2 combined innings across all levels this season. If you’re looking for an upside arm down the stretch, take a flier on Skaggs.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shawn Kelley notched his second save in as many days Friday night, recording the final out, allowing just one hit for his sixth save of the season. Is your fantasy team in dire need of saves? Are you tired of owning the entire Braves bullpen? Well, it seems your prayers may have been answered. Manager Dusty Baker has yet to commit to Kelley, but Baker usually doesn’t commit to anything unless it’s ruining some young player’s career in the long term. Unlike Atlanta, the Nationals bullpen will likely see a good share of save chances and with Jonathan Papelbon struggling, it appears Shawn Kelley is the add here. Oh Papelbon, how the mighty have fallen, right? I remember when he wasn’t just the most obnoxious pitcher in all of baseball, he was also a very good closer! Shawn Kelley has the potential to be a very good closer as well. He holds a 3.05 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP, with a 60/7 K/BB rate. Did I mention he can get you saves? Did I mention he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Geez, all this stuff I forgot to mention, my memory is really shot lately. There’s still a chance Washington trades for a closer, but I’d pick up Shawn Kelley everywhere I needed saves as he looks to be the top option in the Nats pen at the moment, Grey told you to BUY and he won’t be available for very long.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Junior 2

When you have to tell people your favorite team’s ace is a 31-year-old rookie, you kinda make a face like Arnold Schwarzenegger right there…  It’s as uncomfortable as a dude getting pregnant!  But for a rebuilding team, I guess nothing is inconceivable after all!

As an unabashed Brewers homer, and owner of the REL Brewers where I have to own a certain amount from my parent team, I’ve been a big follower of the Brew Crew beat, and there’s been buzz for Junior Guerra ever since we picked him up.  I even brought him up on the Pod when he was promoted, much to Grey cackle-ment.  I of course never saw anything like this coming though…  I knew he had a fastball and a great splitter, but that splitter hasn’t been just “great”.  It’s been the best splitter in baseball.  His other stuff is pretty good, but he hit 98 MPH in his last start against the Pirates, and if he can throw gas like that, it’s going to make him a dynamic guy ROS.  So I decided to double up on my Sunday afternoon baseball watching by breaking down Guerra’s start against the Cubs, while watching my Brewers like I would’ve anyway.  Two birds one stone!  Sue me!  Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Good Saturday to you all, I hope it has been a lucrative week and I can help you keep it rolling through the weekend. Typically, I like to write about either the best pitcher of the day or a the best pitching value of the day in my intro paragraph. Today, though, I feel like it’s warranted to use it as a sort of PSA. The trade deadline is a mere eight days away and the rumors are starting to swirl. It’s silly season but none the less, it would be wise to keep an ear to the grindstone. Just last night it was being reported that Chris Sale might be on the trade block and that the Rangers were discussing trading for the White Sox ace. While I don’t see it happening today, it’s none the less something to ponder. When you’re making a lineup call and deciding between Max Scherzer or Chris Sale and Sale has the potential to get pulled early if a trade is in the works, or worse yet, get scratched minutes before first pitch, it’s something to consider. It would be an unfortunate loss of salary to leave $12,300 on the table and for that reason I’d pass on Sale. That, and Max Scherzer gets to face the Padres. Let’s look at some more picks for tonight’s DraftKings 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 July 25th 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?