Not even a back injury can keep Clayton Kershaw from the top spot in my points leagues rankings. I thought about going with “He’ll Be Back” as my title considering his current DL designation, but I’m not really sure of the extent of his injury. However, Clayton Kershaw can probably get you more points while on the disabled list than several other pitchers whom are not. That’s actually a true statement considering multiple pitchers have turned in negative performances. Edinson Volquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Dan Straily and James Shields are among those that have recently subtracted points from their teams’ totals. Plus, then I would have had to fill this post with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator references.

Last week I promised I’d focus on pitchers in the following week. Today is next week. It almost feels like time travel. Weird. Since I am a man of my word, here you go. Like last week, today’s pitcher rankings are based 70 percent on year-to-date performance, 30 percent on rest of season projections and 10 percent on experimental formulas.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

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On Saturday, Michael Conforto was demoted to the minors.  Ouch.  Not only did he fall far from preseason expectations, but he seemed to be breaking out in April.  Coming out of April, he had 4 HRs and a .365 average.  In May and June, he hit .169 and .119 and, finally, the Mets threw in the towel just as Conforto’s head was bouncing on the canvas.  Shame, isn’t it?  Not a shame, a product of not being able to hit.  I’m sure he’ll be back at some point, but you can drop him in all but the deepest dynasty leagues.  In his place came, Brandon Nimmo.  Okay, let’s get them out of the way up front.  The Mets are finding Nimmo in a sea of prospects.  The Mets aren’t finding Drury because he’s on a different team.  Is Nimmo the Mets’ outfield fixar?  That’s a clown fish question, bro.  Nimmo’s minor league numbers look dynamite, but that’s because he was playing in the PCL, which is like playing on the moon with an aluminum bat.  He had five homers, five steals and a .331 average.  That seems to be his profile more or let’s be generous, maybe 10/15/.280.  Sounds downright Lagaresque.  Outside of deep mixed leagues and NL-Only, I’d ignore for now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve never had the privilege of posting Sunday, so forgive as I couldn’t resist the Mega Monster Truck lead in.  With truck names like Demon Seed, Ball Buster and Dutch Oven how can you not get fired up for Sunday!  Now that we’re fired up, let’s talk about the Monster Arms that are on the schedule for today.  Clayton Kershaw, $14,200 at Pittsburgh, Johnny Cueto, $13,600 vs Philadelphia, Jose Fernandez $13,100 vs Chicago, Chris Sale, $12,400 vs Toronto, and Justin Verlander, $10,700 vs Cleveland.  Aces are wild today, so who do we roll with in order to cash in?  Honestly you can’t go wrong with any of the top 3, but I’m leaning towards Cueto & JFer, as I think most people will roster Kershaw and I love the match-ups at home.  JFer has been straight nasty in his last 8 games, going 6-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 78 K’s in just 54 innings.  Yeah, he’s back folks and he’s facing a slumping Cubbies lineup that’s dropped 5 of their last 6 games. Now that all the Aces have been dealt, who can we roster so we can go all in?

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? 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 27th to wet your DK whistle.  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.

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Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone.  Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in.  Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that.  “Smyly, is that you?  Why do you keep calling me?”  That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone.  “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.”  Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone!  So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles.  Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson:  Passive Aggressive Starter.  Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch.  Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks.  On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2.  Those are ace numbers.  Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row.  His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers.  But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest.  He just doesn’t throw hard enough.  I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Tommy Joseph continued his early success last night going 2-for-4, with two home runs, and four RBI. I felt it was appropriate to go with the biblical headline because for those in desperate need of a corner infielder, Joseph has been heaven sent. The big game Friday brought his season stats to a .323/.333/.677 triple slash with seven home runs and 12 RBI in just 21 games (65 at bats). All this coming on the heels of Manager Pete Mackanin naming Tommy Boy the starter Friday afternoon over Ryan “I’m Not Sure How Old You Are Anymore, But I Would Have Guessed Older” Howard. Joseph has really turned on the jets in the past week hitting .438 with six runs, 4 homers, and 7 RBI. This isn’t coming completely out of nowhere either. After an abysmal 2015, Tommy was slashing .347/.370/.611 in 100 ABs at AAA this year. The advanced stats are a bit wonky for Joseph at the moment (.333 BABIP, 26.1 K%, .354 ISO), but don’t necessarily suggest Joseph is playing over his head. Regardless, TJ has carved out a nice spot for himself batting clean up for the Phils and I could see his success continuing. Grey told you to BUY, Joseph is available everywhere and is definitely worth grabbing in all leagues where you need a corner infielder with some pop.

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

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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?

Yesterday, Shin-Soo Choo hit the DL again.  Yeah, surprise, surprise.  Never would’ve seen that coming, unless you’ve followed Choo’s career for the last three seconds.  In other news, Joey Gallo was called up.  Here’s my transactions yesterday:  Team Albright dropped Tyler Goeddel for Mikie Mahtook.  Twenty-nine minutes later: Team Albright dropped Mikie Mahtook for Delino DeShields.  Two hours later: Team Albright dropped Delino DeShields for Matt Holliday because someone else grabbed Joey Gallo already, and Team Albright didn’t feel like adding Junichi Tazawa for the sixth time.  Gallo has e-meants power.  His power is so e-meants I can’t even spell immense correctly, except there.  He had 8 HRs in 24 games this year in Triple-A and six homers in about a month last year in the majors.  This offseason I said, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Joey Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter.  In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate.  That’s absurd.  That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask.  Fun fact!  Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties.  So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance of him hitting above .200?  Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Good news, prematurely balding men and five lady readers, Gallo’s tamed his Ks by a lot this year in Triple-A.  He’s cut them to 22.6%, and was hitting .265.  If he can hit .265 with the Rangers, he’ll be more valuable than Prince Fielder this year because Gallo has 40-homer power.  I tried to pick him up in every league, and I suggest you do the same.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t let the title fool you, I am by no means a Styx fan. I actually had to look up who sang this song when I decided to use it. Does anyone even say “look up” any more or has the term been officially replaced with “google”. Speaking of Google, whatever happened to the “I’m feeling lucky” button. I wonder how many times Clint Eastwood clicked that thing? I wonder if he sued Google to have the button removed. I have questions that need answers. In the meantime, let’s talk points leagues. For weeks I’ve been promising to focus on pitchers in one of these posts and today’s the lucky day. Do you feel lucky?

Please, blog, may I have some more?