Steven Matz is likely done for the year after hurting his shoulder again.  I’m not even joking.  I kinda wish I were.  NY Post writer, Joel Sherman’s headline, “How Terry Collins broke Matz news to Mets in stirring meeting.”  Unless everyone had coffee, creamers and were stirring, Joel, buddy, you’re overselling.  Quick aside, sportswriters assume their audience is a bunch of illiterate 8th graders.  *makes farting noise with hand under armpit*  That’s what I think of that.  Any hoo!  If I could toot my own horn, I’d never leave my house, but I told you Matz wasn’t going to start.  If I were a Mets fan, I’d be particularly worried about the Mets going deep into the playoffs, because, unlike Joel Sherman, I’d like to point out this will be more innings on Gsellman and Lugo’s arms.  Ya know, the same thing that got Matz, Harvey and deGrom in trouble this year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

2015 was a golden year for rookies. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, Lance McCullers, Roberto Osuna, and many other youngsters made a huge impact for their respective teams during their first run through the big leagues. This season’s rookie crop hasn’t been quite as impressive as that historically productive group, but it’s been a pretty strong one as well. Corey Seager (technically in his rookie season), Trevor Story, Trea Turner, David Dahl, Jon Gray, and Michael Fulmer are some of the players who have been outstanding in their first full MLB seasons. Perhaps the brightest prospect of them all, however, especially on the pitching side, is 20-year-old Dodgers phenom Julio Urias. He’s considered by many to be the best pitching prospect in baseball over the past several years, and it’s not difficult to see why. With plus velocity (his fourseam fastball can reach 96 mph at times) and a varied arsenal (fastball/slider/curve/change) that can generate swings and misses with regularity, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of if Urias will be successful, but when. Considering he was still a teenager for the bulk of his rookie season, it’s reasonable to question whether or not Urias is ready to contribute down the stretch for fantasy owners this season. What can be expected from him over the next month or so?

Let’s take a look at his profile to determine how the rookie has been performing during his first run in MLB. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole has an injured arm, possibly elbow spurs.  I love this scenario:  a pitcher throws like garbage for weeks then the team announces he’s hurt.  Love, love, love.  This is my favorite.  Five innings, five runs, but it’s likely nothing, just a bad start.  Cut to five weeks later of terrible starts.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got a torn tendon/elbow spur/missing forearm due to lost baggage.  Oops!  We should’ve sent him to a doctor six starts ago.  Our bad!”  Here’s what I said after his last start, “I don’t know what’s going on with Cole, but I’d guess injury or dead arm.”  And that’s me quoting me!  How is it that I can guess there’s a problem but a major league team can’t figure shizz out?  That should never be possible.  I couldn’t even pass Bio 101, and a MLB team has a staff of doctors.  Seriously, how does this happen?  I want answers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Napoli hit his 27th homer yesterday.  He now has five straight games with a home run.  On the year, he is top 30 for fantasy value on our Player Rater.  Dude is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back.  (Why am I not writing rap lyrics?)  Uh-oh, Napoli’s so hot, he’s bringing out my rap alter ego, B-Fire.  Napoli is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back!  Yo, he’s not whack like some homeboy going to a strip club with a quarter stack!  In fact!  Grey’s got more indoors, then you got outdoors, and technically there’s more room outdoors for you to have more but nope, my room’s got floors!  *dance, prance, romance off your pants*  My action lines got asterisks, smooth.  Your action lines got an asterisk with an excuse down below why you can’t move.  *said while bowing sushi chef-style*  Napoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stashed Orlando Arcia in a few of my deepest leagues back in March.  What a waste.  Well, 59 games left — guess that’s something.  If he Lindors.  No idea why he hadn’t been called up until now.  Milwaukee’s 3rd base position has been bratwurst casings all year and Jonathan Villar plays shortstop like the guy who hacks the meat to fill those casings.  Were the Brewers afraid Arcia would’ve been too confused by the fact Will Smith was white?  Did they need to first move Jeffress due to language stipulations?  “Wait until we trade Jeffress — he might hurt his tongue saying the R’s in Orlando Arcia’s name.  Remember Higuera hit the DL when he yelled Robin Yount.”  If the Brewers didn’t drag their heels worse than the kielbasa in the sausage race after he bet five-large on the chorizo, I would’ve had Arcia months ago!  *takes deep breath*  Okay, I’m good.  So, what can we expect from Arcia?  A little pop and solid speed — think Jean Segura or Villar over the course of the final two months.  Yes, I’d grab him if I were hurting at shortstop.  Speaking of hurting at shortstop (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!), Trevor Story hit the DL with a torn UCL in his thumb, and will be out for the season.  Colorado already has DL forms with SS written in.  Just have to cross out Tulo for Story.  Save that piece of paper for rolling!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

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Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I just couldn’t help it, it was staring me right in the face. As I was going through the options for tonight’s slate and eliminating the ones that I have zero shot at rostering (Adam Wainwright, Archie Bradley) I kept looking at Duffey and Duffy as options and the double dose of Duff alliteration potential was too much to pass up. Danny Duffy and Tyler Duffey are more than just a grammar enthusiast’s amusement though, they are both legitimate options and probably the two I will be rostering as my starting pitchers, at least in GPPs. Danny has been stellar and I don’t believe anyone will need much convincing to get him in there against the Angels. The only hesitation I have here is that the Angels are not striking out this year. They are the same level the Royals were on last year, striking out 100 times less than the next nearest team. While that’s not an automatic “Avoid”, it’s something to think about. Tyler doesn’t give me much pause, mostly due to the opponent. The Braves are always a target, as their .652 team OPS is worst in the league by 30 points. Sure, Tyler has been inconsistent, but the promise has flashed here and there. The Braves are most likely using Gordon Beckham at DH, need I go on? I expect both pitchers to be contrarian plays tonight, you’re not running them out in cash games, but when looking to differentiate in a sea of GPP lineups, these are nice options. Plus, the pair only costs you $14,000. That’s basically one Clayton Kershaw! Let’s take a look at a few non-Duff options for tonight’s DraftKings slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 1st to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?