Who is Chi Chi Gonzalez?

He’s a pitcher I only really knew because of his incredible name (and seeing it a few times on prospect lists)… I knew almost nothing about this guy.  So instead of doing any research or pounding the Fangraphs, I decided to go into this week’s Pitcher Profile blinded.  I’m going into it like walking into a crowded room, desperately yelling “Chi Chi?!  Chi Chi!??!?!”

And honestly, I wouldn’t have broken down his debut against the Red Sox on Saturday had it not been a no-hit bid into the 6th.  Debut bias alert!  “JB, you got suckered in…”  Darn tootin’!  But I was unable to watch the start live, so even though I figured there was some smoke and mirrors going on, you never really know until you sit down and watch a guy to see how he looked.  So alas, here’s how I saw Chi Chi’s Major League debut:

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Chris Young continues to shock the fantasy baseball world as he held the Yankees to just one run and four hits last night to grab his third win. He struck out two. After coming off a six inning shut out of Detroit last week, Young has now lowered his ratios to a 0.93 ERA and 0.63 WHIP. He has been very good in his three starts and pitching in relief for the Royals. This begs the question. What are the Royals giving their pitchers? And why isn’t Yordano Ventura getting any? The 21/7 K/BB ratio is nothing special and the .132 BABIP is impossible to sustain. In addition, his 4.70 xFIP is real bad and suggest this he can’t keep this charade going for much longer. He gets the Cardinals next week, and I’m not quite ready to recommend him outside AL-Only or deep leagues, but I’m watching him closely, and I think you should, too. Also, very few players were lede-worthy this week, which is why you get 200 words on a 35-year old journeyman. We know now that you don’t doubt the Royals, and if he continues to excel, Chris Young could pitch himself into a rotation spot even after Jason Vargas returns.

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

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The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Wow, what an amazing opening day. I thought I fell asleep in my DeLorean and went back to the juiced up era. And by juiced up I mean the players and/or ball. Am I the only one (I know I’m not) who thinks that blaming the players bad habits was just a smokescreen for the other culprits in the heist of our game? It was also the owners and their puppet Mr. Selig, the GM’s and the players association. Now don’t get me wrong, the players were dirty and deserve everything, they are getting but why not the rest of the guilty? Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, I got laundry to do. If you didn’t get a dong on opening day this year, then your team is terrible and you will lose. I kidd, I kidd. This feels like when I was growing up and if you were the last one to get garbage pail kids cards or acid washed jeans, then you were lame. This week there are no master standings since the season is only two days old, so just assume you are tied for first and sleep well til next week.

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Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Robert Downey Jr. and Phil Hughes have more in common than you might think. Both dealt with notoriously weak starts to their careers in The Big Apple. Hughes in pinstripes had four straight years of a 4+ ERA, and Downey on SNL. Both had to deal with brace-faced divas, Joe Girardi and Anthony Michael Hall. One was scouted by Gene Michael, the other Lorne Michaels. One wanted to impress Pettitte, one wanted to avoid petting Randy Quaid’s pet squirrel. One had to wait for A-Rod to finish frosting his hair before he could use the bathroom, one made frosting out of cocaine. But once they were out of New York, the world opened up to each. Yesterday, Hughes won his 16th game, going 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and lowering his ERA to 3.52. His K-rate is 8 and his walk rate is 0.7, as he set the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63. Think about that walk rate for a second. Okay, the second is up. He walked 16 guys in 209 2/3 IP. That’s as terrific as 186 Ks, which is what he had. His ERA doesn’t look amazing in today’s day and age where everyone has a sub-3 ERA, but Hughes was actually unlucky and had a 3.15 xFIP. Everything together has me excited about Hughes for 2015 fantasy baseball. I could see him being relegated to 2nd fiddle status with some other 3rd or 4th fantasy starters, but outperforming his draft spot. Circling back to AMH, any time a guy like Hughes strikes out as much as Anthony Michael Hall and walks less than Uncle Buck, color me excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

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I wonder if Jake Smolinski had a sister that put out in high school. I could’ve swore I hooked up with an Eva Smolinski after her friend Dawn rejected me. Were my Cavariccis cuffed a little too high for you, Dawn? My B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt too faded? I still hate you! Well, enough about me! *smacks self* Get a grip, man! Smolinski is hitting .408, and crushing pink cookies in a plastic bag since his call up, going 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday. The Rangers are like a prisoner with a life sentence (no offense to some of our readers; I believe you’re innocent!). Rangers have nothing but time on their hands to play their guys. Is Smolinski anything but a hot schmotato? God, no, but no one is this late in the year. I’d grab him if you need a hot bat, and who doesn’t? Dawn apparently! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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