Common misconception, the A’s know what they’re doing. As of Thursday night, they didn’t even know who was pitching on Saturday. Billy Beane told me confidentially, “I’ve been winging it for fifteen years. I just have a sex tape of Michael Lewis with a contestant from Flavor of Love, so it was write Moneyball or him and Deelishis would be all over the internet.” A lot of sites are listing A.J. Griffin as Saturday’s starter, but I have it on good authority that that (stutterer!) is incorrect. A’s have Straily looking like a lesser-known Muppet Straggly, Alfredo Jettuccine has been getting creamed, Milone is in Sacramento saying to himself, “What have I done to deserve being sent to the Sacra-Ghetto?” and the whole staff needs a Colon cleanse. So, who’s left? My almost-name-sharer and all-around Bubb Rubb-extraordinaire, Sonny Gray. He has nearly a strikeout an inning in Triple-A and a 2.74 FIP. (Yes, I only use FIP when an ERA doesn’t back up my case as tidily. Leave me alone!) I don’t love a start in Toronto, but if he stays in the rotation, the A’s are about to get a great schedule at home. Even if it’s not Saturday, Gray should be up shortly, and no that’s not a height crack, but Gray is tiny. I will call him Mini Me even though he’s taller than me. What? My photo is actual size. So, grab Gray now, because mother says you should buy Gray Gardens– I mean, Gray’s starting. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Do you remember those Will Smith albums? Yikes – hard to believe he actually does serious movies. As in, “seriously?” Like Seven Pounds. ”Oh I want to donate my heart to some chick with a heart problem that somehow got affected by my texting and driving accident. So why don’t I hop into a bathtub with an extremely toxic jellyfish – that’ll make my heart just fine for a transplant, right?” Seriously this got greenlit! Oh – spoiler alert! Wait, isn’t that supposed to be before you say what happened? Work on your timing!
Well the Fresh Prince of Milwaukee (wait strike that, you can’t call another Brewer “Prince”…) Wily Peralta burst onto the scene last year with huge power stuff, then Sky went out and wrote a sleeper piece on the big guy before the season started, and it looked like Sky would be the butt of our jokes early this season. And my, besides writing on Bartolo Colon, tough to get more butt. Ok I kid – as a Brewers fan I can tell you Peralta is just an overall big dude – he’s not sporting a David Wells gut.Please, blog, may I have some more?
By now you’ve probably seen Giancarlo Stanton in ESPN’s magazine completely naked. Coincidentally, I looked at the pictures completely naked. Did I say looked? I meant took with a telephoto lens. In all seriousness, I know ESPN loves to copy other people’s successes, but if they’re going to blatantly try to do an equivalent of SI’s swimsuit issue, can they at least do a bikini issue or a thong issue or a Brazilian wax issue? Does the majority of their audience have any interest in seeing guys naked, showing their muscles? If I did, I’d subscribe to Men’s Fitness or Playgirl. I mean, for serious, who do they think is buying their magazine? Wait, a bigger question, who even buys magazines? Any the hoo! So far Giancarlo hasn’t been the hot butter slicing through a fat man’s veins that we’ve come to expect. He had a near-pulling a Kotchman hamstring injury where he went from fundamental crawling to fundamental running to fundamental running away from me as he exited the shower. It was all very tedious, but he’s healthy now and simply slumping. If he can get over the hump with my help, there’s very few players that could have the type of 2nd half Giancarlo is capable of. You can count on one hand the guys capable of a 25+ homer 2nd half. Giancarlo would be the player sitting on my thumb. At this point, a down season seems impossible to avoid, but 30 homers overall wouldn’t surprise me. That means 22 more. 35 homers would surprise me, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. I’d absolutely buy him, and I hear you can get him cheap. What? I’ve been inquiring. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Rodriguez may be a slob like one of us, but I’ve repeatedly told you to pick up Carlos Quentin this season, so I’ve already thrown my dignity out the proverbial window (defenestration, yo!). Instead of trying to trade for third base help, I’m saving my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain! Or something like that. His baby’s got sauce, but I’m not going to hold it against him. Instead I’m going to cross my fingers that he is productive for the last couple months of the season. If you’re concerned about his injuries, lifestyle choices, or age, I’d like to point to David Ortiz as an example of an oldie, but goodie. A-Rod doesn’t have elite production left in him, ahem, but he can still reach a .270/.350/.450 line. All I’m saying is that it’s a chance worth taking. Who knows, maybe if he finishes the season strong, owning him will be vogue. Anyway, here are some other guys who have my attention in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I originally titled this post “SuperNova Destroys Baltimore,” but I was worried it would cause mass panic in the Crab Cake Capital, and those guys already have it rough enough with Hamsterdam running wild. For now, I’ll settle for simply pissing PETA off. Planet destroying exploding stars aside, Ivan Nova‘s star was shining extra bright Friday night as he dominated Baltimore pitching a complete game, giving up just three hits, two runs and striking out 11 Orioles. Ivan “I Vill Crush You” Nova’s only blemish in this game was a second inning home run to Matt Wieters. It looked like Nova would be stuck with the no-decision but new best friend and obvious father figure Vernon Wells hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to get New York their fifth win in a row. It was Ivan’s first career shutout and he now has a 2.95 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 22/4 K/BB ratio in his three starts since returning to the majors. You gotta like that! Ivan gets the Royals next time out and he could be worth streaming in most formats, because they aren’t any good. Super Nova is a star worthy of a look, at least until he explodes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s start with an SAT question as old as this world that we call Planet Earth, assuming the SATs were around thousands of years ago when man was staying warm by humping a Buysellatops until they were feeling bi and sore. Which number doesn’t belong: A) 21.4% B) 21.7% C) There’s no C. D) 5.7%. If you answered C, I hope your folks are rich so you can get into an accredited college. Just think, after you graduate you can put Harvard on your resume just like everyone else new to the workforce. If you answered A because it’s the only even number, you’re overthinking; odds and evens is something you can forget after elementary school unless you plan on working the roulette table. If you answered B, because it’s the only B, at least you can get your pants on in the morning. They are on backwards though. If you answered D, you’re right. Those are Matt Kemp‘s last three years of homers per fly ball. 5.7% is silly bad. Last year that would’ve put him in the company of Alexei Ramirez and Michael Young. If there was no offseason shoulder surgery for Matt Kemp, that number alone would mean Kemp is a huge buy low. Of course, there was the surgery and his home run distance is down. He’s not driving the ball as far as he has in previous years. So, as I said in this week’s fantasy baseball podcast, I’m buying Kemp for the first time in about two years. I’m only buying him because his value is so low. I’m not buying him for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, 5th round talent. I’d want a discount, but I’d still buy. Look at a guy like Justin Upton last year. He was nursing an injury, then hit 9 homers in the last six weeks of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kemp do something similar. He could easily regain some strength as the season progresses and hit 17-20 homers in the final two months with 15 steals. He’s still a risky play because of the injuries, but for the right price, I’m buying. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter, and it was the first time a player who looked identical to Christian Bale has thrown the last two no-hitters in the major leagues. Johnny Vander Meer’s family is currently drawing bat ears on old photos of Johnny to try and contest that record. Nolan Ryan was the last non-Balehead to throw the majors back-to-back no-hitters in 1974 and ’75, but the coincidences don’t end there! Back then the only live action Batman was Adam West, and Nolan was pitching as far West as you can go in California and Joe West called Ryan’s fifth no-hitter and Kanye West wasn’t born yet but Jesus was and that’s who Kanye thinks he is. It’s a small word after all, which is played at Disneyland and that’s in Anaheim where Nolan played. My brain is bugging out! Bailey seems like he’s a one-game-a-year pitcher, but he’s been terrific all year. He’s in the top ten for FIP and has the 4th best K-rate in that group. That’s not a 2nd or third fantasy starter; that’s an ace, over-the-internet friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In mythology, Hector was the Trojan prince and the greatest warrior in the Trojan war. So step aside Brad Pitt, while you were fighting the undead in World War Z, Hector Santiago was in warrior mode last night as he dominated the Royals, pitching 8.0 innings, surrendering just 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 ER and striking out five for his third win. Hector could be seen rallying his team in the dugout, “Troy is mother to all of us. Fight for her!” An unorthodox approach for sure, but it worked as the ChiSox managed to score nine runs of support for Santiago. The eight innings was his longest outing of the year, and it was certainly his best, the only blip being the solo home run to Eric Hosmer in the sixth inning. Even if it was only the Royals, Hector seems to have figured things out. Since taking over for the injured Jake Peavy, Sanitago has given up just 5 ER in 19.2 IP, with 2 wins and a 19/7 K/BB ratio. Not bad for the Prince of Troy. Hector is owned in just over 30% of RCL leagues and gets the Cleveland Indians next Friday. If you’re feeling brave like a Trojan warrior I’d start him, but he’s worth the add either way. As long as Peavy is sidelined, Prince Hector should see plenty of opportunities to succeed going forward, and he will fight for your fantasy team.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Mariners don’t play no mess. That’s their motto, and not the oft-cited mottoes, “F-Her and pray for rain,” or “Put the fences on wheels, so we can move them in when we’re at-bat and out when the other team is,” or “If we trade Chris Tillman and Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, we’ll have more seats empty to fill the stadium with recliners.” With the “don’t play no mess” motto in full-mode, they brought up Mike Zunino. A catcher bat like Zunino only comes once in a lifetime (the lifetime is that of a guinea pig that is being cared for by a 12-year-old, so the lifespan is about 18 months. Remember, because age is rounded down to the last birthday, on average guinea pigs live a half year beyond their final birthday. They live as zombies. Zombie guinea pigs are all around us. Now, I’m scared.) Sure, the last once in a lifetime catcher bat after Buster Posey and Matt Wieters also played for the Mariners. You remember, it was the Jesus who couldn’t catch or hit but could walk on water with the best of them. So, after turning to Jesus twice (Montero, Sucre), the Mariners are now turning to Rookie Zuninookie. BTW, Sucre is sugar, and Zunino sounds like Mexican artificial sweetener. You might remember Mike Zunino from such Scott, our prospect writer, sentences as, “.360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A,” “The third overall pick this past June has been simply incredible since signing,” and my favorite, “His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues, but most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino,” which came when he ranked him 44th in the top 50 fantasy baseball prospects. Not to get all Chinese Calendary on you, but 2013 isn’t going to the Year of the Incoming Catcher. Zunino’s chances of making a huge impact seem slim to anorexic. The path to fantasy value for a catcher isn’t a Sunday drive down the Henry Hudson for Will Smith in the movie, Hancock. If Zunino blows away my projections, he gets 15 homers and a .260 average. More likely, he gets 7-10 homers and a .240 average. You can probably do better. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Moore had the line of 5 IP, 8 ER, 13 baserunners, 6 Ks. But he only allowed one walk! What? Like putting frosting on a doodie cupcake? Like eating only cupcakes for three weeks, then pooping into a cupcake pan? Do you eat the cupcake ingredients separate, then let them mix in your stomach? Does it matter? Either way, Moore was crap. If you thought he was a sub-2 ERA pitcher, you were lying to yourself. Remember, it’s okay to lie to others, dangerous when you lie to yourself. Moore’s xFIP is egregious, which meant he had some regressing to do. His walks are out of control — literally. His walks right now are Jonathan Sanchez bad. Yes, that made me shudder too. If you build a pitching staff house with a bunch of Jonathan Sanchezes, it’ll be shuttered. Hopefully, Moore’s next game vs. the Royals will stall further regression and he can cut his walks (and not just when he gets rocked). If Moore can’t get it together vs. the Royals, he’ll have a tough Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers stretch to get through that might need a lengthy benching, i.e. less Moore is more or less Moore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?