Yesterday, Jacob deGrom threw a complete game with 1 ER, 9 baserunners (4 BBs), 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.33. Oh, his peripherals are beautiful. Velocity is fine, even up a tad up, and that’s not the new radar gun positioning talking. For what it’s worth, a radar gun can’t talk. His Ks are way up. Walks are up too, but not quite to the point where it justifies his four-plus ERA. His xFIP is even below where it was last year. So, what explains his mediocre ERA besides the general answer of: Mets gonna Mets? He’s not throwing his cutter or change nearly as much and is almost entirely relying on a slider and four-seam fastball. The change and cutter were never ‘big’ pitches for him, but mixing them in may have kept hitters honest like Abe Lincoln and iced tea. His slider this year is barely a positive pitch for him. Last year, it was a top 20 slider in the majors, right next to Sabathia, and that guy loves sliders! As with most things Mets pitchers-related, it’s a conundrum wrapped inside a forklift of fortune cookies that is wrapped inside a turkey. It’s called a turforkum. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels like forever ago that Michael Pineda was busted for having pine tar on his neck in a start against the Red Sox. Now, over three years later, Pineda takes on the Red Sox at home and is a strong play on FanDuel. First things first: the Red Sox lineup hasn’t been as good as you might expect. They are 16th in the league in wOBA against right-handers at .321, so they’re pretty much league average. And while the start is at Yankee Stadium, Pineda has actually been much better at home this year with a 2.31 ERA. I’m hoping that the matchup scares off others, because it’s actually pretty favorable despite looking scary so this would make Pineda a great contrarian play. Pineda has had himself a fine season, posting a 9.32 K/9 and 2.09 BB/9 and avoiding the poor results he’s had over the last two seasons as his ERA is down to 3.76. At $8,200, he is cheaper than any other elite option at pitcher so “stick” him in your lineups to get some production.
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Ty Blach threw his first career complete game shutout Friday night surrendering seven hits and striking out four enroute to his fourth win of the year. If he were Jewish you could say yesterday was his Blach Sabbath. *crickets* It was Ty’s fifth straight quality start and his fourth straight win. He even walked three times and scored two runs to help his own cause. He’s been an excellent replacement for Madison Bumgarner so far and the best part is he’s terrified of motocross. Sure it was the Phillies last night and anyone can shut out the Phillies, but he’s gone at least seven innings in his past five starts including some tougher lineups such as the Cubs, Dodgers and Reds. Over the past two weeks, Blach has a 1.90 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 23.2 innings pitched. The strikeout numbers won’t impress but those ratios certainly put him in the streaming conversation. By the way, if you’re looking for good convo topics at your next dinner party, fantasy pitcher streaming is always a solid choice. Blach’s .250 BABIP and 4.64 xFIP could suggest some regression is coming but he’s certainly worth an add while he’s on a roll. Ty has a tough test in Milwaukee next week but he’s available in about 75% of leagues and worth a look if you’re in need of a solid streaming option before he fades to Blach.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We have our first big call-up of the major league season!!! “Yoo-hoo!” You want chocolate milk, Cody Bellinger? “I was drawing attention to myself, since I was called up first.” Oh, yeah, but you feel like you were always here. “Oh, well, that’s nice of you to say–” Shut up, Cody Bellinger! Bradley Zimmer, now this is a call-up! “I’ll be up soon!” Shut up, Amed Rosario! This is about Bradley Zimmer. Zimmer is a guy who is a speed-first, power-second, average-third guy. Actually, on base percentage second in leagues that count that sorta thing. In Triple-A, he had five homers, nine steals and a 30% strikeout rate. He looks like Keon Broxton who should be platooned out of the lineup against lefties. I will call him, Right-on Broxton. I grabbed him in all leagues where he was available, you don’t want to miss out on the first big call-up. “Seriously, are you just ignoring me?” Bellinger, you’re getting on my last nerve! For 2017, I’d give Zimmer a line around 45/10/40/.235/20. That could be the best call-up of the year. “Seriously?!” Shut it down, CB! Oh, and I’m aware that Zimmer went 0-for-3 with 3 Ks out of the nine hole, but Bellinger looked lost thru a whole two starts too when he was first called up. “Keep my name out of your mouth!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you look around Petco and see Padres fans on the edge of their seats, they’re A) Probably the visiting team’s fans. B) If they are Padres fans, they’re on the edge of their seats because they don’t want to wrinkle the back of their Izod shirt. C) There’s no C. They’re not anticipating Trevor Cahill, because they think Trevor Cahill is the ex-Navy guy who works in their office who they need to fire but are worried he’s going to beat the crap out of them. When they hear Trevor Cahill is a Padres pitcher, their response is, “Ah, Padres, I miss Tony Gwynn.” So, who is Trevor Cahill? He ain’t Luis Severino, I’ll tell you that. I don’t see the upside of Pineda, Paxton, McCullers, Urias or any other sexy AF young starter. As commenter, Bigly Leagues pointed out, Trevor Cahill is:
7th in FIP (2.64)
6th in xFIP (2.83)
8th in K/9 (11.1)
18th in WAR (0.8)
What he didn’t point out is how Cahill is doing it. That’s no critique of BL, it’s not his job to point it out, though I guess he could’ve and saved me the work. C’mon, BL! Cahill’s doing it with the league’s 2nd best curveball. He’s not doing it with his 90 MPH fastball, that’s for sure. He doesn’t even have the world’s best control (3.3 BB/9). The rest of his pitches are mostly basic, which brings me to my problem. If he doesn’t get the curve over, or it’s just not working for some reason, the house of cards is going to fall and Kevin Spacey is going to be talking into the camera about how terrible Cahill looks. I’d own Cahill everywhere to see if he can continue, but I have less confidence in him in away games. That giant safety net in Petco makes everyone a slightly better trapeze walker. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers. In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful. I mean, you ain’t got no alibi. U-G-L-Y. Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave. “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.” “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!” That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila! Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption). His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse. His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it. At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks. At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Josh Harrison hit two homers (3, 4), raising his average to .313 and hitting near-.350 in the last week. He’s hitting like two-thousand against lefties, so the Hitter-Tron was all over him yesterday, like it’s all over grease spots with its dipstick. Hitter-Tron is a horny robot! You think the Hitter-Tron will ever meet up with the lonely AF Stream-o-Nator? They seem like a match made in heaven like popcorn and chicken, Kim and Kanye or Oprah and Gayle. On a larger, more general note, on our Hitter-Tron (and Stream-o-Nator) we have the ownership numbers for our RCL leagues (12-team mixed), and Harrison is owned in 89% of leagues, so, this brings me to my long-drawn-out question, how in Jane Goodall’s understated-sexiness is Harrison only owned in 25% of ESPN leagues? Honestly, seriously, awkward sentence introly, I don’t think ESPN updates their ownership numbers on the reg (not short for Reginald). Guys and five gals, this is exposing some large widespread conspiracy. Maybe we should check in with Gregory in ESPN’s “Fantasy Ownership” Department. Gregory, what do you think? “Mike Trout just fell to 99.3% owned.” All righty then. If Harrison is unowned in your league, you should fix that, if for no other reason, so we can see if Gregory updates the numbers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe. I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe. Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers. Any hoo! Why am I seeing these great prison movies? Because they are about breakouts. Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes. Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout. For a baseball breakout: James Paxton. Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39. His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively. That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find. Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited. In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now. Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana. Someone get these guys blow dryers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It took us a few weeks, but we have arrived at the finale. We can finally wrap up the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft recaps. It feels like just yesterday I was getting started on what was likely to be a 60,000-word article on all 23 rounds of this mock draft before Grey slapped me and told me to put down the bourbon and split this into multiple posts. Below, I’ll be posting the results of rounds 19-23, my thoughts on said results, and the final team for every owner.
In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:
This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).
Links to previous recaps:
Now, let’s get rounds 19-23 out of the way so that we can get to the good stuff!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let me take you through the thought process of a writer like myself.
I constantly have thoughts relating to the game of baseball passing through my head. I’m sure many other baseball fanatics can relate. Ideas that have an added layer of intrigue tend to find there way onto my iPhone’s Notes app, to be revisited in a triage-like manner at points later in the day. What I’ve learned is that you can’t force these ideas.
So last Tuesday Grey and I joined a 12-team roto mock draft with the CBS Sports crew and I soon realized two things…Please, blog, may I have some more?