Lots of little piddly injuries this week that don’t seem to be of much consequence. Self-proclaimed MVP candidate Yoenis Cespedes missed a few games with hamstring soreness, but seems ready to return. Stephen Strasburg must have had a great time on his July 20th birthday, because here we are nine months later and he is missing a start to be with his wife as they have their second child. Lil’ DP, Dustin Pedroia, has missed a few games after getting taken out by a Manny Machado slide that would make Ty Cobb proud until Cobb looked at a picture of Machado. And Justin Upton injured his forearm hustling into second base trying to outrun all the lofty hype and expectations we’ve heaped on him for a decade now.

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Amir Garrett, or as he’s commonly referred to as, Muslim Mrs. Garrett, took Natalie, Jo, Blair, Tootie and that little white kid, who no one remembers, to school last night.  Muslim Mrs. Garrett was like, “Listen, child, I’m your boss while you’re in this park and I’m going to rule over you with sweet motherly affection, but an iron fist like you get from a male Gulag prisoner.”  Yesterday, he straight dazzled — 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.83.  MMG is so out of nowhere I feel like we need to start at the beginning.  He was born– Okay, flash forward Lost-style and they’re off the island and Garrett is a former basketball player, so his age isn’t as old as it seems for his development level.  I think because of that he could also sneak up on people.  His control gets wonky at times, and he doesn’t read as a strikeout pitcher, but there he was doing just that last night.  He could surprise some people, but A) Reds and their ballpark. B) Rookie.  C) There’s no C.  To take this back to 80’s sitcoms, there could be some Boners along the way through Growing Pains, but I’d grab him if you feel like Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, or can just handle the risk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The man who used to eat donuts before and in between games, will now try to fill up the scoreboard with them. If you aren’t familiar with Kevin Gausman‘s love for donuts, he had a ritual throughout college and even early on in his pro career in which he would eat donuts before each start. He even took it as far as eating 3 powdered donuts in between innings. What a great story it would have been if the ump checked the ball for banned substance and it was just a little Hostess Powdered Sugar. Well hopefully he can use the powdered sugar tonight for some extra grip on the ball as he takes on the Cincinnati Reds. Gausman and the Orioles are a decent favorites at -165, so he should be in line for a win. He is coming off his best start of the season at Toronto (6IP, 1ER, 3Ks) and a trip to the national league could add to those sweet strikeout numbers. As for the rest of the slate, some good stacking opportunities are available. Lets take a look at the picks.

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The Braves opened up their new park in style last night and Ender Inciarte began the charge going 2-for-4 with his third home run and two RBI. It’s a new year and new park and with that comes and new line of over-the-top ballpark food. Come for the cannolis, craft beer and 5 lb pork chop sandwich, stay for the Braves win. Speaking of winners, this was Ender’s Game and we were all just alien Buggers living in this crazy war-torn universe, preparing for the next Invasion against the Fleet. Just ignore that the book/movie is subliminally telling you to hate the gays and eat at Chic-fil-a. Inciarte must be a “Third.” Ender has the privilege of being the first player in SunTrust park history to collect a hit, score a run, and hit a home run. That’s right, folks, Inciarte is officially the greatest hitter in SunTrust Park history. In addition, he’s now homered in back-to-back games after hitting two bombs on Wednesday and Ender has been known to get hot quick. In 131 games last year, Ender hit .291 with 3 homers and 16 stolen bases. He’s already matched his 2016 homer total! That’s gotta be a good sign, right!? He’s available in about 40% of ESPN leagues, and if he’s still out there I’d grab him while the Braves are still undefeated at home. This might not last long. Come on Atlanta, let’s give him the chop!

Here what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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One-time Mariner Tom Paciorek was the face of the organization for the better part of the last 40 years.  Ken Griffey Jr. once said of Paciorek, “For many years, Seattle fans came up to me and asked if I was a very tan Paciorek, because Paciorek left such an indelible mark.”  Edgar Martinez once said of Tom Paciorek, “You can’t think of the Mariners without thinking of Tom Paciorek.  He’s so gutsy, you’d think he got those guts from a local abattoir that provides Wilson with its top-notch tennis racquets.”  Randy Johnson has said, “I got the idea for my mullet from Tom Paciorek’s back hair.”  All of this flattery heaped on Paciorek, and he said, “You guys need to check out Mitch Haniger!  Now amscray before I dazzle you with a bon mot.”  Wow.  The modesty on that Paciorek.  In Triple-A last year, Haniger had 20 HRs, 8 SBs and a .341 average.  His BABIP was a bit high, but he likely won’t drain your batting average below, say, .250.  He already has 3 HRs and one steal, and is 26 years old, so his time is now.  Plus, the Mariners are playing him, and batting him in a good place in the order.  There’s little reason why you shouldn’t at least give him a shot on all fantasy teams.  After all, he has the Tom Paciorek Seal of Approval (ToPa SeaApp, trademark pending).  Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Let the overreaction to Spring Training numbers begin! Gregory Polanco went 3-for-3 with 2 stolen bases in his debut — 115 SB prediction for Polanco! Jason Castro went 2-for-2 with a HR in his first game — 60 HR for Castro! Shelby Miller allowed 2 runs, 3 hits over 2 innings — that is actually pretty on-brand for Shelby Miller. Do not trust Shelby Miller! Health is really what you’re looking for in Spring Training and these guys are failing that test so far…

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I’m convinced Grey doesn’t sleep during the offseason as he compiles his rankings for the 2017 season. He’s about halfway there, which makes Bon Jovi proud, but halfway will eventually become full-way as more of his rankings are being churned out as we speak. Being the selfish writer that I am, more rankings means more of Grey’s thoughts to sift through, and more opportunity to unearth a valuable point of view that may be falling through the cracks.

For this first installment of ‘Under the Greydar’, a cloumn executed perfectly in the past by writers like Big Magoo, we turn to the law services of Joc & Cron, LLP for some advice on targets for the coming season. On top of charging me upwards of $500 per hour merely for conversation, they fittingly advised us to take a deeper look at Joc Pederson and C.J. Cron.

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Yesterday, I went over the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball, and, today, you guessed it (if you didn’t read the title and just fell here from outer space), it’s the top 20 1st baseman for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Something weird happened last year — okay, a lot weird happened last year, but I’m going to focus on fantasy baseball.  Middle infield got deep and 1st base got shallow.  I have some theories why this happened.  First theory, a lot of kids who are playing now grew up watching Bret Boone and Alex Rodriguez and their frosted hair and, like a moth to a flame, or peroxide to a hairstyle, kids became middle infielders.  Second theory, it happened just cuz.  So, I don’t have a lot of theories on it, per se, but offense is deep this year, but not 1st basemen.  My projections are included, and here’s all of our fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers.  You can’t.  Try it.  See?  This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball.  Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory.  No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era.  Only one guy is even close to 50 homers.  Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately.  It’s the trickle down theory.  If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it.  When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down.  Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough.  This is also what’s happened in the majors.  Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s.  Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals.  It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress.  Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I blame Jonathan Villar, Dusty, Francisco Lindor and Rougned Odor, in no particular order.  Those players and Dusty are the reason why I owned Trea Turner and dropped him.  I mean, no one would be crazy enough to put Turner in at Utility when he was first called up.  Wasn’t gonna play him at outfield.  He’s a middle infielder, and I had no room.  *puts thumbtacks on desk, takes particular care to make sure the sharp ends are facing up, slams head onto desk*  If I owned him, Turner would solve so many of my problems.  He’d even fix my irregular bowels!  This weekend Turner had three homers (11), three steals (27) and is hitting .355 in only 60 games.  Trea magnifique!  I haven’t seen this kind of emergence since…Damn, I don’t know how long.  Maybe last year with Carlos Correa?  Ouch, that comparison means Turner could disappoint in 2017?  Don’t hate the player, hate the knowledge that the player possesses that makes him say things that are unlikable, which I guess could be lumped in with ‘hating the player,’ making it okay to hate the player.  About a month ago, I thought Turner was going to be drafted around top 100 in 2017, but that was prior to the power showing up.  With each homer, he’s moved up about a round, and now he’s breathing down the 2nd round for 2017.  Depends if you think you ain’t seen nothing yet with Baseman Turner Overdrive.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?