At the time of this writing, there’s a tentative trade in place, one that would send Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a few prospects, including the heavy hitting 1B/3B, Mike Olt. Olt has long been a trade candidate — he’s an MLB-ready third baseman, but he’s thoroughly blocked by Adrian Beltre — and I’m surprised he wasn’t moved last season when his value was higher. Still, he’s a good fit for the Cubs and he’s been hitting quite well over the past month at Triple-A. The deal seems to make sense for both clubs, but this sort of tentative trade is never a sure-thing, as Cubs fans can attest. There’s a decent chance that this one will be off the table by the time this post runs. And if that’s the case, then Garza is scheduled for two starts next week. He’s listed below along with all the others going twice.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.

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The night was humid in San Diego. Some fans in the front row brought their own Chardonnay, a mix of floral and fruity notes, which could’ve also described the crowd’s apparel. Tommy Bahama as far as the eye could see. One Padre fan stood up, three glasses of wine in, screaming to let Templeton play. Most of the fans that night were there for a picnic that was billed as ‘the best picnic mom’s ever packed.’ One thing these picnickers never expected was to become a part of history. Whispers amongst the Padre fans began in the 1st inning. “It was going to be a long night.” Not because of Tim Lincecum, who began his quest to throw the 700th-something no-hitter in the last ten years. Tonight would drag for these Padre fans because the picnic brie was forgotten at home. Tonight these Padre fans groaned in the first inning because when Lincecum took the mound they thought the game was being preempted for a k.d. lang concert. So, Lincecum wasn’t economical in his 148-pitch no-hitter, walking 4 guys and K’ing 13. He’s the first pitcher to throw more pitches in a no-hitter than he weighs. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Lincecum doesn’t look bad in his peripherals this year. His K-rate and walk rate are pretty close to the numbers he put up when he had a 2.74 ERA in 2011. He didn’t make the top 100 for the 2nd half that is coming tomorrow, but I considered it for a long time (about 25 seconds). The unknown right now is whether or not the 148 pitches is going to tire his arm. Obviously, he’ll have the All-Star break to rest and I wouldn’t be against giving Lincecum a chance on my fantasy team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Ike Davis could return next weekend. In other words, he’s moved one step closer to the plate in Metco. It only took him three months. He reminds me of myself in Little League. I was a solid .300, top of the order-type. People would marvel at how I would never strikeout. More Placido Polanco than Joey Votto, if those guys weren’t in Little League themselves at the time. Then I got beaned and I lost my nerve. Started standing five feet off the plate, not even able to reach the inside corner, and would bail out of the batter’s box as the pitcher wound up. That led me on a journey of self-discovery through girls, drugs, the falling baseball card market, fro-yo and hip-hop. So, I’m glad to see Ike has figured things out and won’t be joining the already overcrowded fantasy baseball blog market. Since there’s no mention of Ike being a scared little girl (with respect to our four girl readers), I have no idea why he didn’t just move closer to the plate three months ago. But he has now. There’s a chance he’s just as bad on recall, but I’d absolutely take a flyer on Davis if I had room in any league. A .255 hitter that could hit 20 homers (which he did last year in the 2nd half) in 3 months doesn’t grow on trees (except in remote parts of Indonesia). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The afternoon started with Matt Harvey. He pitched a stellar 7 innings with 13 Ks, but Terry Collins sent him out there in the 8th after throwing 110 pitches, which lead to two singles and a walk, three runners that the bullpen let in. After the game, Collins said, “I felt bad for Duda (who blew a chance for a Harvey no-hitter by not covering first base on Heyward’s infield single). I couldn’t let Duda make the only Metsake of the game. I was going to keep pitching Harvey until he screwed up. He’d have started the nightcap, if necessary.” Fortch, it wasn’t necessary, as the nightcap brought on Zack Wheeler‘s debut with a line of 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 7 Ks. To summarize, it was shaky as all get-out at first. He looked like he couldn’t hit the broadside of Precious. Then he either calmed, or realized something — if he could locate, no one could hit him. He can easily be as good as Harvey, but I’m guessing it won’t be until next year. Last night was the best you could’ve hoped for. To summarize that summary, he was shaky, then solid. To summarize the summary’s summary, Zack good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Domonic Brown went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and yet another homer, his 17th. Can we just bask in the Brown glow? Or Basque, if you’re Spanish. A run like this only happens once in a blue moon. Or Blue Moon, if you like orange wedges with your beer. Brown is in the zone, then the zone called and said Brown doesn’t need to pay his room service bill. It’s on the house! (The zone just doesn’t do that sorta thing usually.) Everyone wants a piece of Brown. The League of Extraordinary Italian-Americans called and claimed True Romance was right and Domonic is Italian. The Mexican American hip hop duo, A Lighter Shade of Brown, is going to a tanning salon in anticipation of changing their name. Charlie Manuel said he’s known all along what Brown was capable of, but no one understands a word he says. From my mouth to your deity of choice, please let him stay hot until October. That is all I ask. That and to win the lottery. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Those of you who read my prospect content know that I’m a big fan of Michael Wacha, that I’ve been touting him as a fantasy-relevant prospect since before he was drafted last June. Now that may sound like I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but I’m really not — I tout a lot of prospects, and plenty of them performed poorly upon first arrival in the bigs, making me look quite dumb. I’m looking at you, Kevin Gausman. See, stuff, pedigree, velocity… each of those variables is superseded by command at the big league level. Not many people would grade Wacha’s pure stuff on par with Gausman’s, but Gausman has struggled spotting the fastball and it’s gotten him in trouble early in his MLB career. Wacha, instead, is the one attracting all the hype, disappearing from waivers with haste. Not to discount his repertoire — he has two plus pitches and a good third one with plus potential — but his early success is mostly to do with the fact he hit his spots. Well… and also that he faced the Royals. All rookie pitchers should be so lucky to debut versus KC. Wacha goes twice this week.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

FantasyRazzballFantasy Razzball is the game where the goal is to manage the worst fantasy baseball team possible. You hope to find terrible players who don’t get sent to the minors. As in the RCL, a team’s points are multiplied by the League Competitive Index. The LCI is based on the total points of the top 8 teams per league. The overall standings can be found below. Points are credited as follows:

Hitters (AB = +2, H = -3, R = -4, HR = -6, RBI = -4, K = +2)

Pitchers (IP = -1, HR = +4, L = +8, K = -1, ER = +1.5, H+BB = +1).

You can find links to the six Fantasy Razzball leagues (along with the 64 RCLs) here.

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Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Chris Johnson and Justin Upton made a nice Diamondcomeback last night. To welcome them back, everyone in attendance received a visiting team home run ball. Upton and Johnson went a combined 7-for-9, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with two homers as they both came a triple short of the cycle. Their trade to Atlanta for infielder Martin Prado and four prospects was a trade that Kevin Towers said was done because his team needed a facelift. That facelift looks about as good as Bruce Jenner’s, and right now Justin Upton is Ray J having sex with Kris, Kourtney, Khloe and Kim while making some wack-ass rap video about it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?