Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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The fantasy baseball roster you could make out of the current disabled list would easily be in first place in many rotisserie leagues. If you left your draft with all of these players healthy you would probably be pretty confident of your trophy chances. Granted, if you left your draft with these players I’d question the skills of your league mates.

Fun story, I once joined a friend’s new fantasy baseball league and one of the members had never done fantasy sports before. He drafted every offensive position in order starting with catcher in round 1. This was my actual reaction when I realized what was going on in about the 3rd or 4th round… Needless to say his pitching was a disaster.

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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We’ve reached the one month mark and as expected, there are plenty of early surprises. Eric Thames is the #1 player according to the Razzball Player Rater, Ryan Zimmerman is #3 and Ervin Santana is the #1 overall pitcher. Quietly sitting at #5 is Mike Trout. Trout’s line is outstanding with 18/7/18/5/.365 yet all of the talk is about Thames, Bryce Harper and a few others. At the end of the day, this is why taking Trout with the first overall pick is a no-brainer. We all know this. There’s nothing like safety and upside in the first round which is why I have Paul Goldschmidt on a bunch of teams this season. Au Schizz is as safe as anybody but Trout yet he was consistently falling in drafts to the middle or late part of the first round. I preach on the hockey side of things that you can’t win your league with your first two picks but you can certainly lose it. “Safety first” is even more important in baseball where it is easier to find hot schmotatos to fill out the bottom of your roster. Obviously we are long past draft season at this point but if you can trade some guys off hot starts for some consistency, I’d generally advise doing it. Let’s take a look at everything that was posted on Razzball over the last week:

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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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Sign says, ‘Don’t stay away, fools,’ cause Cody Bellinger rules!  No?  Okay, go to sleep.  “Go to sleep” is my new favorite thing I say that my Cougar can’t stand.  She’s like, “Why are you excited?”  Rather than saying, “I’m excited because Cody Bellinger was called up,” I say, “Go to sleep.”  Is that bad?  I feel like her reaction is like the step before divorce.  “Baby, we’re good, go to sleep.”  “It’s 4 o’clock on a Tuesday.”  “Yeah, go to sleep.”  And then we’re divorced.  You know who isn’t divorced?  Cody Bellinger!  Okay, I’m talking crazy, but I’m excited, you get it.   In 18 games of Triple-A, he was hitting .343 with five homers and seven steals.  I will now cackle maniacally.  Who is this guy, Justice Eric Ruth Thames but with speed?  I can’t even.  *puts handkerchief to forehead, and faints*  Oh, thank you for catching me in my dream state, Giancarlo.  This is funny (not funny), Bellinger had three homers last year in Triple-A.  Guess how many games?  Oh, three.  Three games!  I wanna project him over five months for 17 HRs, 20 SBs, and .280, but feel like that is too conservative, that’s how crazy I am for him.  Yes, you should absolutely grab him.  Where will he play when Pederson returns from the DL?  Not sure, but worth grabbing him now to see how the Dodgers handle it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Man is baseball great and unexpected. We’ve got Bronson Arroyo throwing Quality Starts and getting wins versus the defending champs.. IN 2017!! Eric Thames loaded on Kimchi and Korean BBQ hits every pitch out of the ball park. One of the best pitchers in the game, Madison Bumgarner, is out for a while cuz he fell off his dirt bike. You never really know what to expect in this game. Only thing we know is that we have games every night and a chance to play the greatest game of all…Fantasy Baseball. We have a solid slate for Tuesday night, but one pitcher that really stands out to me is Micahael Wacha ($13,600) of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been pitching well this year, 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA. He has been striking people out at a pretty good rate as he has 17 Ks in his 18 innings of work this season, and he has a great matchup vs. the depleted Toronto Blue Jays. They currently rank 25th or worse in Runs Scored, HRs and Avg. Already down Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki due to DL stints, they are now traveling to a National League park and wont have the luxury of the DH. To add insult to injury, the Blue Jays ranked 5th in the MLB in Strikeouts, so a big strikeout potential is in the cards for Wacha.

Clayton Kershaw is also taking the mound tonight, I don’t need to tell you to pick him. He is an automatic start in DFS as long as you are willing to pay the price. He is priced at $27,600, squaring of against the San Fransisco Giants. A slugfest is expected in Coors in a matchup between Joe Ross and German Marquez. As always there will be a high own percentage in this game but it might be smart to fade Kershaw and get some bats from this game. Some solid pitching options are available on the slate tonight. Lets take a look at the picks.

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What if we’re all living inside a Boston masshole’s dream?  This is Inception, and we all fell asleep sometime after Tom Brady was drafted, but before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl.  Then, due to some plantains you ate before you went to sleep, the Red Sox grabbed David Ortiz from Minnesota for nothing, and you got a kidney stone and were peeing blood but it all came out on Curt Schilling’s sock, and the Red Sox won the World Series, and then, because you fell asleep to The Apprentice, Trump became president, and now Andrew Benintendi goes 5-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .347.  This has to be possible, doesn’t it?  What if our world is like Herman’s Head, but we’re inside Prospector Ralph’s head?  Is Somalia in a famine because Prospector Ralph is too worried about Rick Porcello and forgot to eat?  Eat, Ralph!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?