It is the time of year where we see daily grind injuries. Sore backs, back stiffness, back discomfort etc. A lot of injuries that just accumulate from playing six games a week in the summer heat. If you thought we’ve had a lot of injuries so far — I have a sneaking suspicion there are going to be more of these type of injuries. Not season ending — just break down injuries. If you have an opportunity to acquire a multi-position player like Brandon Drury, Danny Valencia, Chris Taylor or Taylor Motter you might make it through these injuries better than your opponents.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know what Tuesday’s are good for… SAGNOF. And remembering to put your recycling out. Funny enough, I am correlating the two this week. Co-mingling, if you may. This week, I wanna bring something old, something not so new, and he wears blue… pajamas. (Because p-jays make the man.) Let’s look at some old SAGNOF gold and the familiar name that is Eric Young Jr.. Hell, this is SAGNOF, it ain’t a beauty contest… it’s not even that B.S. 15-buck prize from Monopoly when you land on the community chest. Why I like E.Y. Jr. is multi-faceted; First, he is on a team where he doesn’t have to throw base-running as a caution to the wind. The Angels are second behind only the Reds’ legs in steals, and with an 80% success rate, they prolly won’t be choosing another tact to manufacture runs while Trout is mending his fin. He isn’t sexy, and he has a track record of being a good for a few games then falling off a plateau, but since receiving regular at-bats, it is in the same breath as Trout going down. He has an OBP of over .410, and if you think it’s kind of a fluke, check his minor league stats prior to call-up. His OPS was at .950 in 44 games at Triple A with 15 steals. The days of stealing 50-plus bases ala 2013 are long gone, but if you need to find a place for a steal here or there, check the Angels ownership and steals totals. Maybin, Simmons et al. So with that, let’ see what else is shaking in the 90-feet of thievery department. Chart added for flavor. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).
I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Something struck me the other day. Luckily, not a bus. No, it was a thought. Bus-sized thought! I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics. It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do. Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things. Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer. His hot takes on politics are fine. Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball? He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN. Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN. The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes. Any hoo! Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross. He’s why we’re here. Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks. Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.) His peripherals can go either way. His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down. Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%. The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate. Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.
Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.
While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.
But here’s the thing.
Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:
Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.
Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).
The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
This isn’t about what Amed Rosario can do when he’s promoted. I mean, that will be in here, but we’re getting to the point in the season where Super Twos are super-done with the minors. So, what the flying Mr. Met middle finger is a Super Two? I love baseball, but we need to move past the language that sounds like it needs to be explained by an attorney. I don’t know football, but do they have situations where players can’t play until a certain date due to salary arbitration and is that date different for every player? Of course not, football fans can barely figure out offsides — Grey’s dragging people! Novel concept: baseball says all rookies can come up on June 1st and that’s it! Nothing else! Lose Super Two! Super Two sounds like a toddler that is big for his or her size or a large turd, which may be one in the same depending on your POV. As for Amed Rosario, Prospector Ralph just gave you his Amed Rosario fantasy. To pull some quotes from there, “Crabs, haters, and countrymen…on a limb here…is the peculiar case of Amed Rosario.” What is he smoking? Hmm, maybe it was my pulling of quotes. In summation, he’s hitting .350 with five homers and 11 steals through 51 games in Triple-A, and he’s more than ready to play every day for the Mets, so promote him and stop being a super pooper too! Ouch. I need a nap after that one. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Astros exploded for 17 runs yesterday, and it was the second game in the last three where they scored at least 16 runs. Twins pitching, “Hold my beer…” Am I doing that right? The hero of the Astros’ offense, and a man that is widely known as George Jefferson Springer led the way with 4-for-4, 4 runs and his 12th homer and 13th homers, hitting .265. The only thing missing from George Springer‘s game is saving a baby that is stuck in a tree and/or figuring out a way to ensure future babies don’t get stuck in the same tree (and maybe some steals). Serious question, why is Springer hitting leadoff and Jose Altuve (1-for-4, 2 runs, hitting .319) in the two-hole? It’s not hurting the Astros, but it is hurting my fantasy teams’ RBI totals! Evan Gattis (4-for-6, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer) needs to hit cleanup? How about Alex Bregman (2-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer) hits cleanup, Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer) hits fifth, Gattis sixth and Yulieski Gurriel (1-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) hits eighth or lower? Is that the most obvious thing I’ve ever said in my life? Okay, after the time I said, “I’m not going up in any hot air balloon.” All right, also not as obvious as the time I said, “I’m lost,” after driving around for two hours pretending I knew where I was going. Fine, also after the time I said, “I can’t bench press 55 pounds.” After those things, this is the most obvious thing I’ve ever said. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The title is referring to 24. I never saw 24. Well, I’ve seen the number. I never saw the show. No interest really. Not my sorta thing. I do have a Kiefer Sutherland story though. I think I recapped it in my book, Who Is Grey Albright? Long story short, at my first job ever in Boston (and really only job ever where I collected a weekly paycheck), I was working in a film production office and someone called for the producer and I asked them who they were. “Tell him, it’s Kiefer,” and I was like, “Kiefer? Kiefer who?” “It’s Kiefer Sutherland, you jackass!” I wasn’t made for answering phones, apparently. Y’all gotta admit; you hear the name Kiefer out of context and it’s a bizarre name. Though, it wasn’t fully out of context, I suppose, since it was a film office. Any hoo! Whatever Trevor Bauer did prior to yesterday’s game, do it again! Was it the pre-game chucking of a softball three-quarters of hectare? Then do that! Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners with 14 Ks. Well, hello, there. Can you stay a while? Maybe I can make you a Cuba Libre and some Brazilian cheesy bread? His peripherals are gorge too — 11.5 K/9, 3 BB/9 and a 3.03 xFIP. Of course, his opponent, Sonny Gray went 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER, and thus illuminates the problem. Gray was solid too, a game ago, and now look at him. I’d grab Bauer for some Ks, but the risk is enormous. He doesn’t just happen to have a 6.00 ERA even after yesterday’s game. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday was a bad day to quit being young with A.J. Pollock and Carlos Gomez both hitting the DL. Together! In a non-gay way. But it would’ve been totally cool with me if it was in a gay way. Let’s start with Pollock since he is the less ethnically sensitive of the two. Pollock has a Grade 1 groin strain. When the strain happened, Pollock was reading Groin Strains for Dummies. Chapter 1: Don’t Move Your Leg In A Normal Manner. “Go to a trampoline, but don’t jump on it with your feet, fall on it sitting criss-cross apple sauce.” Pollock will likely be out for two to three weeks, and in his place the Russian Game of Thrones character, Gregor Blanco, and Reymond “You Can’t Not Think Of Daisy” Fuentes. Fuentes is the more interesting of two, since he should be on the stronger side of a platoon, and has speed. Outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues, I’m passing on both. As for CarGomez, he will miss four to six weeks. That’s too bad, he used to be good three years ago. Replacing him on the roster will be Jared Hoying, who looks like a Motter-fodder. Then, we have Carlos Carrasco, who is affectionately known as Cookie, and I am a Cookie Monster for him, so this one hurts me. In yesterday’s game, Carrasco had a huge lead, when he squandered that and left the game with a trainer. All you had to do with cruise to the W on the Ivictory Coast! Apparently, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles. He was diagnosed with left pectoral tightness, which doesn’t sound bad. Which, Part 2: The Return of the Which, will still likely mean a DL stint. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?