Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The break is over! How long was that?10 Days? It’s never a good day when there is no baseball. But we’re back, so let’s get into the picks. Marcus Stroman had a less than stellar start to his season. He will be looking to lower his 4.89 ERA in the second half of the season. After slightly tweaking his mechanics, his last two starts resembled the heroic Stroman of 2015. In his last two starts, he has thrown 14.2 innings where he has gave up only 3 runs on 8 hits, and issuing 6 K with only 1 BB. As the season wears on, Stroman has thrown harder. He started the year off throwing around 92 mph, and his his last two starts he has averaged over 94 mph. Not only is he throwing harder, he has also been utilising his slider. He increased his slider percentage to 38% in his last two starts, and has generated a 25% whiff percentage from it. Stroman has seen success when throwing less of a variety of pitches. He is unlikely to rack up 10+ K, but I can see him pitching 7 innings with 6 K. He should provide value at his price of $7,500. The only issue I have with Stro is that he might be hungover from his trip to Cabo during the break. And with that, I give you the rest of my picks for this Friday DFS slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

*nervous finger tap*  How many days without baseball?  So, I can close my fantasy baseball team browser window without missing anything?  Okay.  *throws computer out window*  What?  Was there another way to close my fantasy team page?  I hadn’t in so long I forgot.  What do you mean I can go outside without worrying about missing anything in baseball?  But there’s real people out there!  I’m staying right here, thank you very much!  So, we’re headed to the break, but Craig Kimbrel just has a tear, no break. He hit the DL with a medial meniscus tear in his knee.  Oddly enough, a remedial mend-iscus Band-Aid is not used to fix this.  I think you messed up modern medicine, but I’ll reserve judgment.  This will sideline Kimbrel for about four weeks.  In his place will be Koji Uehara.  Koji is famous for his food truck and 41-year-old junk pitches.  The newly-acquired Brad Ziegler, who should put a Z like Zorro on the mound after every strikeout, will back up Uehara, because Ziegler’s kinda bleh (1.40+ WHIP, 6-ish K/9) and Koji’s been in Boston a while.  Since Boston’s colors are red, they should call him Scarlett Uehara.  As for over in Arizona, I agree with Dan Pants in Saturday’s roundup.  The non-Yankee Clippard is the one to own.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Craig Biggio.  It’s a sloppy, imperfect comparison, but that’s who Alex Bregman looks like.  I watched three minutes of video of him.  So, that’s like saying there’s smoke emitting from every New York City manhole because underneath are old Filipino women making hot pretzels, who then transport them to the above ground vendors, because you found an old Filipino woman underneath one manhole cover making pretzels.  Luke, small is your sample size, said Yoda.  Now, if you buy into the Biggio comparison, which you should because Filipino women are making pretzels below New York City manholes, Biggio had three homers, six steals and hit .211 in his first 50 games.  Ya know, Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio.  Biggio was older then than (stutterer!) Bregman is now, if you were looking for an excuse.  Rookies sure are fun, right?  They mostly cause ulcers.  They.  Mostly.  Cause.  Ulcers.  TMCU, for short.  So, Bregman is crazy talented, he could be up soon, I would own him, but, for this year, I’d keep my expectations in Slovakia, or even Czech.  For further reading, Prospector Ralph has him number one on the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey met with the Mets’ front office and told them, “You ruined my shoulder!  I was the Dark Knight!  Now I’m 1960s Batman in hard-to-watch Technicolor unable to move my arms to do the Batusi!”  Matt Harvey asked Bartolo if this ever happened to him and he said, “Nah, I am 90% jelly and custard.  My nerves are coated in more sugar than a churro.”  Harvey needs shoulder surgery due to thoracic outlet syndrome.  Sandy Alderson said it’s inevitable.  Pitchers who have had this surgery take at least a year to recover and sometimes never regain past form.  It could not only be a season killer, it could be the end of Harvey as we know him.  He could opt to rehab his shoulder without surgery, but rehabbing it won’t magically make his pitching better than he’s been all year, which is atrocious.  If you don’t have DL room, I could see dropping him.  Fun fact!  You know who suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome?  The Lispasaurus.  Tiny arms, big body.  Other dinosaurs pickin’ on ’em because of their lisp — why’d every dinosaur have to have an S sound in its name?!  Total recipe for messed-up shoulders.  “I hate Thoracic Park!”  Spielberg can make a Thoracic Park movie where an injured pitcher tries to repair his relationship with his pre-teen son while genetically-modified dinosaurs chase after them.  “I know I wasn’t there for you when you were growing up or for your keeper league team in 2014 or for that velociraptor attack 15 minutes ago, but I’m here for you now.”  The boy looks up, “How did that velociraptor throw a Warthen slider?”  The father responds, “He’s learning!”  Seth Smith is working on the script.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wade Davis hit the DL with a forearm strain.  Brooks Pounders was called up in a corresponding move.  Brooks Pounders is also my favorite AVN starlet.  This sounds ominous for Davis, a forearm strain is not good for pitchers.  A precursor for Tommy John surgery, they say.  They also chew Copenhagen and call everyone kid.  The one bright spot in this dark, gloomy sky is the backdating of the DL stint.  Maybe, just maybe, Davis will return right after the All-Star break, when he’s eligible.  Yes, he could only miss seven games from now.  That skywriter is trailing smoke behind him, writing, “Hope Davis.”  But maybe he ran out of fuel and was gonna write, “Hope Davis Will You Marry Me?”  In Davis’s place, Joakim Soria or Kelvin Herrera will replace him.  Kelvin is much better, so why ‘You must be Joakim’ at all?  That hard-to-quantify, harder even to justify outside of your own front office, closer experience.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, Razzball Nation, you know it’s your favorite white boy, right?  I owe you this one.  I’ve been patiently waiting for Gregory Polanco to explode on.  You can pfft if you want but his ankles were rolled on.  It feels like Polanco has been hot for so long.  If you thinking he’s gonna fall off, you’re so wrong.  Take some Marte and Polanc and you mix them up in a pot, sprinkle a ‘little Hurdle not knowing who to bat where,’ and what you got?  You got the realest and illest batters, juggernauts of this fantasy shizz like it or not!  Seriously, I’ve been waiting all season to feature Polanco in a lede.  Yesterday, he rained some of his own fireworks on the 4th of who-lie (that’s how I pronounce it), knocking out two home runs (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homers), and you might remember from my preseason rankings, this little beaut, “Two quick things:  Yes, I’m aware that Polanco is ranked insanely high in my rankings vs. other people’s rankings.  And, yes, I’m going to own Polanco on every team.  Confession Alert!  I had Polanco in the top 20 overall prior to seeing where others ranked him and moved him down a round.  I could’ve moved him down six rounds and still had him higher than everyone.  Polanco feels like an Arenado situation from last year.  By that I mean, I will say something to another fantasy baseball ‘pert like, “Do you like Polanco?”  They’ll reply, “Yeah, I love him.” I’ll follow up with, “Then why do you have him ranked 110 overall?”  They’ll answer, “I don’t know.”  Then my head will explode.”  And that’s me mic dropping.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At some point soon, the Yankees have to say to themselves, “Are we this stupid of an organization?  We have a guy that is doing The Mashed Potato in the minors.  Look at this…”  Then a pile of balls that Aaron Judge hit are piled on the table, but instead of balls, they now look like mashed potatoes with stitches weaving throughout.  “No, we didn’t have Lyle’s mom from accountant make a very long string of maraschino cherry stems tied together with her mouth.  Those are baseballs with stitches that have been mashed by Judge.”  One younger exec picks at a piece of mashed potato-baseball.  “Stop picking at your food and eat it!”  The young exec puts a piece of gummy baseball into his mouth.  “I was kidding, you fool, it’s a baseball!  You don’t eat that!”  This has to happen soon.  Aaron Judge is not getting any younger.  Unlike me, I was 35 last year, and am 27 this year.  Right now, he’s 24 years old and crushing pink cookies in Triple-A.  The Yanks are nine games back and Tokyo drifting.  No one on their team is young.  Best move for them is to trade everyone or start benching guys to play Judge.  Oh, and why do we care?  Because Judge has Giancarlo-type power.  He could hit 15 homers in a month.  Fo’reallies.  I have him stashed in one 12-team league, and I’d stash him in any league where I needed power.  His time is nigh!  Which sounds like something a Nazi would say, but it just means near.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Houston Astros top first base prospect, future MLB All-Star slash hall of famer and savior of my fantasy team, A.J. Reed, has finally been called up after several weeks of waiting. The 23-year old phenom was currently slashing a very modest .266/.345/.509 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 59 games with AAA Fresno. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the fact that A.J. has hit safely in his past 8 games batting .372 with 14 hits, 3 homers, 3 doubles and 7 RBI in that stretch that makes me say, “aww yissss, thatswhatimtalkinabout!” You need more? What if I told you that A.J. Reed was one of the best hitters in the minors last year hitting .340/.432/.612 with 34 homers and 127 RBI between AA and AAA (135 games). Oh boy, now that is some POWER! All caps! Yessir, A.J.’s got a molly whopping home run stick and then some. Primed to hit the ding dongs! The one caveat, which is a French word for bad stuffs, is that A.J. has struggled mightily against lefties batting just .222 against them. This appears to be Houston’s primary reason for delaying his call-up, and as a result I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reed sit versus lefties in the early going. Regardlesss, irregahdless, irrecaveats, let’s recap: A.J. Reed is finally here, he should get the majority of the playing time at first base, he has immense power upside and you should add him everywhere he’s available. He’s going to save my fantasy team and trust me I wouldn’t have quoted Top Gun if I wasn’t completely serious. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?