Holy smokes! If you’re a prospect hound, this has been a great year. The Twins got in on the action by promoting top prospect Byron Buxton while the Indians are expected to call up Francisco Lindor today as well. Buxton ranked #1 overall on my offseason Top 50 Prospects list and of course topped the Twins Top 10 list. Lindor ranked #17 overall and first on the Indians Top 10. Both have been floating around the top five in the prospect power rankings, so hopefully they are names that you’ve had tucked away in your reserves. Let’s celebrate with a post on what they both bring to the table for 2015 fantasy baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was in my IROC at a red light when a Camaro Z28 pulled alongside, revving the engine. I knew he wanted to race, so I pushed the button for my rear spoiler to emerge that reads, “Spoiler Alert: You Suck!” and spun my wheels until smoke enveloped both cars, then…I burned away from him! Turned out, the light was still red, I narrowly avoided hitting a few pedestrians and the Camaro Z28 was actually a cop. While the police officer was writing me a ticket, I got to thinking about how I’m always out in front of things. Whether it’s telling you to avoid Cano or draft Bryce, Donaldson or Arenado, it’s like I see the future. Sure, my Magic 8 Ball has a few blind spots, like the cop, red light, pedestrians diving out of the way and Gyorko, but I still beat him through the light. With this said, you need to get through the red light and get to Jon Lester first. Save conjecture and anecdotal evidence for the tales you tell your grandkiddies one day about your fantasy team, assuming you’re still talking about the imaginary team that got away in forty years. I know I will about Ryan Klesko’s 1-for-4 on the final day of the 2001 season that cost me everything. Everything! I mean, I already sent my bedroom wall measurements to ESPN for the championship pennant! So, what we know is Jon Lester used to pitch for the Red Sox, where Epstein was the GM. They are Peaches and Herb, and reunited does feel so good. Would Epstein go out and get damaged goods that he knew so well? Seems unlikely. Lester’s velocity is essentially the same this year as last, his K/9 is .2 different, which is nothing. His walk rate is up, and June has been his worst month for control (2.9 BB/9). From year to year, his walk rate went from an even 2 to (stutterer!) 2.3. Not a huge difference, but it’s there. Well, last year his May walk rate was 3.6 and ERA was 3.90, so he even had bad months last year, and his ERA last year was 2.46. It now sits at 4.25, and his BABIP is .344, which is unlucky. Yadda squared, what do all of these numbers mean?! It means Lester could have four months of a 2.50 ERA from here until September and it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’d absolutely go out and buy him. Now, if you’ll excuse me *rear spoiler emerges, tires spin, car darts out into traffic* Spoiler Alert: You Suck! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hope you don’t think I’m doing a BTO theme today with that title. I’m not Homer. When it comes to Canadian rock they are not my cup of tea, I’m a Guess Who fan. You know, the band where the “B” in BTO came from. The band loved in Almost Famous by Lester Bangs (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Seriously, Live at the Paramount is one of my favorite live albums. From Pain Train to Sour Suite, the album hits it on lots of levels for me. Speaking of sour/sweet, I made a trade for Howie Kendrick this week by giving up Jason Grilli. Sweet! Now Howie’s got uncertain knee issue… Sour! Which leads me to my creeper pick, Justin Turner, and the opportunities that Mattingly can’t ignore. His usage patterns leave me very sour while the production of these “part-time players” is sweet! He said he doesn’t want to run Turner into the ground, unlike his bullpen, which Donny feels a need to regularly run into the ground. Yimi was such a beautiful creature of K/9. So please, take his usage with a bit of caution this week as I tell you to own him and get him in your line-up. But be careful of the sour/sweet.Please, blog, may I have some more?
All right, you ragtag bunch of misfits! You hate me, and I hate you even more. But without my beloved ringers, you’re all I’ve got. So I want you to remember some inspiring words that someone else might have told you over the course of your lives, and go out there and win!
Has a greater speech ever been uttered to fire up a bunch of ball players? It’s pure honesty at it’s finest. Group hate as a tool of motivation, then followed with some Zen-ish words or whatever kind of “Phil Jackson blah-blah-blah to get your head right” words. Hey, look, a basketball reference Gilpin! If we can remove ourself from the moment and transport ourselves to that happy place, then we can trick ourselves. Thank you Montgomery Burns for this gem and this great song. If this doesn’t work for you, then just think of boobs and how many you get to see if you’re successful. That’s in life, not fantasy baseball. In fantasy baseball, you get the adoration of random men over the internet. Wait, what? Ummmm… I officially just made this weird. Hey, look, there’s a creeper below me and a top-100 for you to chew on below that. *Runs away from computer.*Please, blog, may I have some more?
Felix Hernandez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners with 8 Ks, but wasn’t the best pitcher in yesterday’s gaymey. Damn! I wrote the preceding sentence in drool hanging from my mouth while looking at Chris Archer‘s stats, and got to the very end before my drool failed me, sorta like Boxberger failed the Rays. This post will be one part fawning over Archer, two parts awe and three parts peyote. Speaking of peyote, why are there jam bands, but not jelly bands? I put on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Garfunkel’s old partner and fell asleep. When I woke, I started singing, “Chris, there is something you can do to make me smile again. I said I appreciate that and would you please explain the fifty ways you can fix my ratios. You just throw a backdoor curve, swerve! Make a new game plan, man! You don’t need to be coy, 12 Ks — oh, boy! Just get yourself free to pitch every fifth day! Hop on the Nats bus and explain it to Effin Strasburg! You don’t need to discuss much because you are so clutch! Just drop off the key and stay with me! There’s fifty ways I can leave my Cougar!” Yesterday, Archer’s line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.12. Fancy area code you got there! The crazy thing is his K-rate is 10.9, walk rate is 2.7 and xFIP is 2.59, which means he’s as good as he seems. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve been alluding (Allusion Michael!) to how and when to panic in terms of your team the past few weeks in my little corner here on Saturday. But the time is now. Memorial weekend is the unofficial “official” period for me (I chose both, because I’m not sure either made sense, and I double down on not making sense), personally, to start acting out my general manager fantasies. Ooo baby, you know I love Andrew McCutchen as a buy-low. So while for the first month (and partly the second month of the season) I begged, pleaded, and cordially requested that you not do anything drastic to your rosters… I am now giving you permission to go buck wild. Yes, that’s correct, I have given you permission to be a deer. Makes a lot of sense. Hopefully you know what you need, so don’t be afraid to go and get it. If it was only that easy with dating. So as we take time this weekend, between relaxing and burning meat, to honor all the men and women, active, retired, and tragically lost while defending their county, in all the armed services, we should also take a moment today to get me some dates. And also to be a deer. And then trade for Andrew McCutchen. This is the weirdest to do list I’ve ever seen…
Follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week four AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yunel Escobar (+31.3%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The 32-year-old middle infielder who hasn’t reached double digits in home runs since 2011 and has never stolen more than 6 bases in a single season. The same player who hasn’t produced a batting average above .258 since the 2011 season. Yup, that Yunel Escobar. So, what exactly is going on here? Is he a late bloomer? Early zombino? Well, through 35 games and 150 plate appearances, Escobar has launched 2 homers and is 0-for-1 in steal attempts. His BB-rate is down (6.7% in ’15; 8.9% career) and his K-rate is up (12.7% in ’15; 11.3% career). On the plus side, his 23 runs scored and .326 average are among the NL leaders. However, that average is being fueled by an unsustainably high .364 BABIP (.302 career), and while his current 21.7% LD% would represent a new career high, his 17.5% FB% would easily represent the lowest mark of his career and all but ensure another single digit HR campaign. Unless your league includes douchebaggery as a category, ride the hot streak then cut bait at the first sign of trouble. Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
What an eventful SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) week it was. Shawn Tolleson, who was originally a high priority SAGNOF Special recommendation two weeks ago, now looks to be in a position to steal some saves from Neftali Feliz or possibly take the job outright. Feliz is in serious trouble and it will probably be either Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela that takes over if Feliz is in fact removed. Right now the word is that Rangers manager Jeff Bannister is going to use whoever he fancies on any particular day to close out games and that leaves the door open for just about anyone, including Feliz. I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Tolleson is capable of running away with the closer role so he’s my heavy favorite. If I’m wrong, call me bad names, but try to make it funny at least.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“This is a smart decision by the Nationals franchise to not let Stephen Strasburg pitch in the playoffs,” said every sports reporter two years ago. Let’s try another one, Google, just give me the search results from 2010 when Strasburg was first promoted. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm that the world has not seen since Sidd Finch.” Strasburg, Virginia even considered renaming itself Stephen Strasburg. I’m not joking. The hype was real, prematurely balding man. In the past seven months of baseball: Sonny Gray or Strasburg? Is it close? Who’s been better, Strasburg or Lance Lynn? Can I now ingest that laced-Halloween candy that I got from the sketchy guy that I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Yesterday, Strasburg left the game after three innings and two earned runs, saying he has irritation under his shoulder blade. The Nats say it’s an alignment issue that could be corrected by a chiropractor. He’ll be looked at by Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men. Probably from his stupid inverted W. Why not just call it an M?! No idea how long Strasburg will be out, but obviously this isn’t great news. But, Part II: If Ifs And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, I’d Be A Diabetic Squirrel, it’s better Strasburg not pitch injured and keep getting rocked. But, Part III: But Lives, I’d grab Tanner Roark in case he’s moved into the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?