Oh man!  So close to a Joel Youngblood sighting!  Melvin Upton was traded from the Padres to the Blue Jays, a team they are currently facing.  Is it me or does it seem like this year the teams are so cheap, they’re not even using their cell minutes.  If they’re playing against a team, then they’re trading with them.  That’s it.  Surprised the Indians haven’t been more active then.  Ya know, cause they could use smoke signals.  By the way, nothing you could ever say about Native Americans is more racist than a team being called Redskins or the Indians’ mascot.  So, go ahead, try!  Melvin Upton shook the B.J. name, but you can’t take the Upton out of the B.J.’s, Blue Jays, that is.  The trade of Upton takes him from a mediocre team to a solid offensive team, but moves him from the middle of the order to the lower third of the order and potentially even hurts his playing time if the Jays want to get Smoak into the lineup.  I’m gonna say all things being equal, it’s a push, which technically means all things are equal, so there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If only baseball were as easy as the surface stats tell us. Player A has great peripherals and a pretty ERA. Player B has numbers more hideous than the elephant man, lock him away in the dungeon and let us never speak of him again. It’s all too easy to look at the season long numbers on a player and simply throw him out the proverbial window…or literal window if they really screwed you in your league. But of course, you’re here because baseball isn’t that easy and you’re a straight masochist. With that, enter Anibal Sanchez. Come in close and get a whiff of that stat line…whew! You don’t put up a 6.60 ERA over nearly 90 innings without doing a lot wrong. But even the worst pitchers can put things together for a good stretch and Anibal is far and away not the worst pitcher in baseball so he has that going for him. Know what else he has going for him? He just came off of a 10 K, 2 BB performance against the Twins. I know, I know, they’re the Twins, but its more common for a nice little groove of good pitching than it is to have an ace-like outing and then completely fade the next go. I’m not stumping for Sanchez for anything outside of tourneys but at $4,800, he’ll sure make your dollar stretch for a Coors day. But enough about bad pitchers have good days, let’s talk about good players and good plays. Here’s my Sunday fun day hot taeks for this Sunday DK slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Naquin the Chef looks determined without being ruthless.  Something heroic in his manner.  There’s a courage about him.  Comes across so calm.  Acts like he has a dream.  Full of passion.  Well, you know why.  Knock homers out of the box all the time.  Pitches know his repertoire, big fly.  Yeah, straight up, Naquin mess your whole team up.  It’s for real though, ball connect with stick, ditto.  We could trade places, ball lifted run around the bases.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.”  I almost didn’t write the title of the Naquin the Chef song, Infatuated Redfaces, but then I was like, “There’s a team named Redskins and a mascot named Chief Wahoo, I think I’m all right.”  Yesterday, Tyler Naquin kept it going with the insane run he’s been on — 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  He now has six homers in the last ten games.  That’s six homers in July to go with his six homers in June.  As I said back in spring training when I saw Naquin play, he had a nice stroke against righties, but looked kinda gnarly vs. lefties.  Looks like a 17/17 player that needs to platoon.  Right now, his power’s way above that, but will likely come down to earth at some point.  Of course, I’d still own him now.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was watching the PCLInternational League All-Star game (Psyche! You thought it was going to be about the MLB All Stars; well it is, we’ll get there and Psych was an underrated great show) and took note of a few older All Stars.

1). Casey McGehee still plays!  And still spells his last name weird.  He was fantasy relevant for a short time in Milwaukee and this season in the PCL he’s got five homers and an OPS of .837  at AAA(and little chance of getting a call-up, but shout out to him anyway).

2). Jesus Montero was also around (hitting 11 homers with an .810 OPS in AAA).  Fun fact.  He’s got a brother named Jesus Montero.  Another fun fact, too many 1B in Toronto in front of him for now, but it is Edwin splitting time at DH and Justin Smoak.  So keep an ear to the ground (don’t do that, the ground is dirty) and maybe Jesus rises again (yep, should’ve seen that one coming).

3). The immortal Tuffy Gosewisch, familiar to Diamondback fans only (or at least he should be), who has a .952 OPS in the PCL and a career MLB OPS at .531.  It’s certainly true, the PCL is where you want to hit.

4). I’m not a fan of Billy Ripken.  Love the F Face baseball card.  Not a fan of his announcing nor his appearances on MLB Network.  More a fan of Al Leiter who’s pretty decent on MLB Network and the Marlins and Yankees games I’ve watched.  While we’re at it can we send Harold Reynolds back to ESPN?  Keep Byrnes, who I’m glad they toned down and Smoltz and Pedro (sometimes) with Amsinger and MLB network is good to go.  There were a lot of good prospects at the PCL-International All-Star game, but that isn’t my bag, so I’ll refer you here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As much as I hate projections, I’m going to give them to you anyway. Who cares what you actually want, right? Just let me throw some darts at some numbers and I’ll be right with you. Seriously, I’d love to try that one of these years. Next year I will be debuting my new dartboard projection system which is practically guaranteed to be no worse than any other expert. I think that’s actually how CBS and ESPN calculate their yearly projections. How bad could they be? Don’t answer that. Instead of stooping to such a level (at least yet) I have married weighted versions of my preseason projections with weighted year-to-date performances to determine rest-of-season projections. Usually I cater to the points league enthusiasts, but today I am flipping the script and going full roto. I realize that Kirk Lazarus warned us to never go full rotard, but I’m just feeling it today. If I go home empty handed, then I go home empty handed.

Here are my rest of season projections for four of the five major roto categories…

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Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

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*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?

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?

The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous.   The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history.  Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.”  Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna.  Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games.  For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June.  He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals.  So, yes, you should own him.  Fun fact!  Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd?  A premature ejacu-elation.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sixth inning of every home Clayton Kershaw start isn’t going to be the same.  No longer will Angelenos be filing in as if it’s the first, suddenly realizing that Kershaw is pitching, but now they will be stuck talking about everything but baseball for the entirety of the game and not simply 95% of it.  “Ma, can I keep score on the back of my headshot?”  “We’re not here to see the game, Timmy, we’re here to run into commercial directors.  This is where Stew’s mom got him that Tropicana commercial.  You want to pay my bills, don’t you?”  “Sorry, ma.”  Like the oral sex scene in The World According to Garp, it’s a devastating blow losing Kershaw for any amount of time.  He was diagnosed with a herniated disc, but won’t require surgery.  The Dodgers are hoping he’s back (poor choice of words) from the DL right after the All-Star Game.  I’d pray with you, but I’m using my hands to clap for not drafting a pitcher in the 1st round.  The Dodgers did pick up Bud Norris in a trade to fill in.  Won’t see any fall off there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?