Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Hurricane Irma Shelter. My apologies for taking last week off, but it seems like I got out of South Florida just in time. I am now safely in the Pocono Mountains, where hurricanes dare not stray. Blizzards, on the other hand…

Hopefully, you all survived a week without me, especially as rosters expanded and probable pitcher lists were thrown further into confusion. This is the time of the year where it really gets dicey. We are all either in the home stretch or are in the playoffs in H2H leagues, while daily lineups and probable pitchers are more unpredictable than ever. Aces and top hitters for teams with guaranteed roster spots are getting extra rest now that each team has roughly 115 players available for each game. It’s not just Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts making our lives difficult anymore. Now, it’s all managers.

These two-start starters lists, regardless of where you look each week, are never going to be 100% accurate. Too much can change throughout the week and even over the weekend. These are just projections based on recent history and how the schedules line up. This week, multiply that by about a gajillion. If expanding rosters (and bullpens) weren’t enough to throw things off, Hurricane Irma and her friends are making sure to take care of the rest.

This week more than ever, you will need to double and triple check these starters on Sunday night and Monday morning. Some are all but guaranteed to change between now and then. Now, for the value picks from Streamonator this week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s player’s weekend, ya’ll! These next few days are about letting loose and having fun and not taking this serious game so seriously. Hey, I’m really good at that! There are nicknames on the back of the jerseys and wacky cleats and bats and socks! How fun! Sign me up! The cynical side of me wants to say huge cash grab suuure, but the fact that all the proceeds go to the player’s chosen charity is kind of cool I will admit. And really who wouldn’t want a Big Smooth jersey. It’s just fun, don’t overthink it! Speaking of fun, how about owning Rhys Hoskins? The rookie hit his ninth home run last night in the first inning to become the fastest player ever to get to nine homers in his first 16 big league games! Extrapolate that! Calculating…calculating…that’s a 90 homer season! And that’s math, people! Math don’t lie. He’s now homered in six straight games hitting .385 with 16 RBI in that stretch. ALL HE DOES IS HIT HOME RUNS. Will he hit a home run in every game going forward? Probably! I don’t know! Remarkably, Rhys’ still available in about 40% of leagues but that number should be even higher by the time I finish this dot, dot, dot…sandwich! Gotcha! After jacking 67 homers in two minor leagues seasons the power is coming as no surprise, but his .283/.406/.755 slash is certainly a big plus. Grey told you to BUY and if he’s still out there in your league you need to run, not walk, to pick him up because late season call ups like this can win your fantasy league. Sadly, Hoskins isn’t rocking a nickname on the back of his jersey this weekend, but if it were up to me it’d be “All Rhys.” See what I did there? If I said it should be “Better Than Judge” would that have been clearer? Because no one is more dominant than All Rhys right now, not even that other guy.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the last issue of Ambulance Chasers for the MLB! I’ll be switching over to the NFL starting next week on Razzball Football. I’ll be trading in my DL-60’s and DL-10’s for PUP’s, Q’s, O’s and D’s. Lots and lots of big ol’ D’s. If you have still have fantasy baseball injury questions you can find me on Twitter and ask me: here.

Nine starting pitchers got bit by the injury bug this week, most of them Dodgers. I feel like there’s been a Dodger in every issue of Ambulance Chasers this year.  Since there are so many starting pitchers on the DL I’ll be giving you three fill in options at the bottom of this article rather than struggling to find nine viable starters on your waivers. What? You want me to recommend Clayton Richard? Let me have my pride!

Click here to join my RCL Fantasy Football league on Fantrax!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week’s slate of two-start starters was pretty light, so it is nice to see our list back to being robust for Week 20. A week after not having any two-start starters with a positive dollar value who were owned in less than 75% of RCLS according to Streamonator, we now have three. Streamonator likes two of the starters and like likes another one. Enough stalling and fluff, here are your three beloveds for this week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Phils’ manager, Pete Macktheknife, said, “Everybody wants to see (Rhy Hoskins‘) bat but Tommy Joseph has done well enough where there’s enough games left for him to show even more improvement.  It’s hard. You don’t want to put Tommy Joseph on the bench so maybe (having Hoskins play outfield) is a way to do it.”  Hey, quick question, anyone got a participation trophy for Joseph?  Sounds like he could really use one!  “I accept this participation trophy on behalf of all the players who are at positions where the club has a better prospect in the minors, but is too cheap to promote them.  Especially to my runner-up, Shin-Soo, way to keep down Willie Calhoun!”  A bunch of prospblockers, the lot of you!  Don’t even get me started on the absolute craziness that you risk putting your top prospect in left field just to keep playing Tommy Joseph.  Hoskins should be okay out there, but there’s a ton more risk with injuries in left field than standing on 1st.  I grabbed Hoskins in all leagues.  He was top 30 for Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and might be the last big name to come up that can make a difference.   For this year, I’d say Hoskins = Mark Reynolds with way fewer Ks.  Long term, well, I won’t say Votto, but his OBP is insane for a kid.  Scouts call players kids, did I sound like a scout?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On the podcast coming later today, I felt a reverb.  Luckily, I do everything while standing in a doorway because who has time to run to a doorway in the event of a earthquake?  This reverb wasn’t God practicing his spinning of tectonic plates.  Oh no.  This reverb wasn’t Dr. Dre messing with Technics either.  No siree, Bob.  This was the Padres trading Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill to the Royals for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and Esteury Ruiz.  Damn, San Diego, save some of the trading deadline hype for other people.  Okay, I’m laying it on too thick.  This trade is okay for both teams.  Royals appear to have playoff aspirations, and get bullpen depth that they should never use in Maurer and Cahill, who has some of the most extreme splits I’ve ever seen.  In Petco:  0.72 ERA; elsewhere:  5.75 ERA.  Goodbye, my old friend!  Of course, this means Brad Hand officially officially becomes the closer.  Wouldn’t totally shock me to see Hand dealt — to who?  Phil Ivey? — and Maton become the closer, but that’s more for NL-Only.  Matt Strahm is an interesting name for NL-Only leagues for next year.  As of now, he’s out after knee surgery, and he’s from the crazy Ks and crazy walks variety show, Krazy BBs.  By the way, I believe Esteury Ruiz is Rio Ruiz with a badly thought out new name in the Witness Protection Program.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The list of two-start starters for Week 16 is pretty ugly. Not only did it take some time to materialize as teams figured out their rotations following the All-Star break, but once the dust settled and we had a good idea of who would be starting when many of the names we were left with were not all that appealing. Sure, the high-end options like Kershaw (for now), Strasburg, and Greinke were there, but the meat and bones of the list were lacking.

Just ignore Clayton Kershaw. At this point in the season, I am convinced that Dave Roberts reads this post every week and then trolls us all by changing his rotation on Sunday night. He is at the top of the list as of this writing, but that could easily change in the next few seconds. The Dodgers have a dozen or so possible starting pitchers, and Roberts shuffles or adjusts his rotation pretty frequently.

One name to take a look at this week is the soft-tossing Brent Suter. While he does not exactly light up the radar gun, he has been very effective in his recent stint as a starter for the Brewers. In his last two starts, he shut out the Orioles over six innings while striking out eight and then allowed just two earned runs over 6 ? innings against the Yankees while striking out five before the break.

Throughout his career in the minors, Suter has been consistently solid-yet-unremarkable. In other words, he has never really been great but hasn’t been bad, either. He has a 3.44 ERA across six seasons in the minor leagues while throwing to a 3.12 ERA during his time in the show. His 2.96/2.78/8.23/2.63 (see chart below) is also solid.

Streamonator does not like him as much as I do. The ‘nator has Suter up around its 20th best option or so (with a negative value), while I have him at the top of the Standards category below, which puts him around 15th or so. He is, however, only owned in 1% of all RCLs, so he should be available to everyone reading this except the one person who is in the league with that one guy or gal who already picked him up.

If you are in need of an arm in the short term, especially in a two-start week, you can do worse. You can do better, too, but I like Suter as a guy who can offer some solid short term numbers. Other guys Streamonator likes for the upcoming week who are owned in less than 50% of RCLs: Matt Moore, Zack Wheeler, and Rafael Montero.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week, another Clayton Kershaw start pushed to Monday. At least this week they moved the start before I wrote and submitted this article. If they move it again Saturday morning, then I will be convinced that Dave Roberts is just doing this to troll me every week. As of now, he is your top two-start starter for Week 12. He might even deserve his own tier.

For Week 12, there aren’t a ton of attractive options after our first two tiers. In previous weeks, we have had middle-of-the-road arms with some good peripherals or some recent success that were available in the majority of leagues. This week, though, I’m not crazy about any of the starters on this list that are going to be available in most leagues. Just look at the numbers in the chart below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Something funky is going on in Denver. At the 2016 all-star break, Charlie Blackmon was a 30 year old OF sporting a career line of .292/.342/.446, good for a 99 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .327/.375/.612 hitter, which has been good for a 140 wRC+. At the 2016 all-star break, Carlos Gonzalez was a 30 year old OF sporting a .297/.355/.541 line as a member of the Rockies, good for a 125 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .252/.310/.403 “hitter”, which has been “good” for a 70 wRC+.

At some point during those 5 days right around the 2016 All-Star break, Charlie Blackmon tapped into some dark magic and cast a voodoo spell on Carlos Gonzalez, draining all of Cargo’s talent and keeping it for himself. Blackmon went from being an average-ish centerfielder with decent on-base skills to a legitimately good centerfielder who can hit for average and power. Poor Cargo went from a good power-hitting corner outfielder to a broken shell of a man who has been a liability since the 2016 All Star Break. Even Neifi Perez, the walking embodiment of an all-glove no-bat shortstop, managed to cobble together a .282/.313/.411 triple-slash line as a Rockie, and Cargo can’t even beat that right now! Poor Carlos Gonzalez. Meanwhile, Charlie Blackmon has become a legitimately great DFS hitting centerfielder who bats leadoff for a team playing half their games in Coors Field – mmmmm…tasty. As for how he’s done it, if my theory is correct (and this is a real, scientific theory), that means that Charlie Blackmon is a real life Shang Tsung, and I really don’t want to offend someone who can drain my soul, so please Mr. Blackmon, if you’re reading this, you’re my favorite player and your beard is awesome, although it’s not as good as this one, I still cannot lie.

On to the picks once Shang Tsung steals my soul…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6, 5 runs, 10 RBIs and his first three homers of the year.  *gulps*  Sonavabench!  That is worst sonavabench I’ve had in my life and I thought my worst sonavabench was when I benched Conforto on Saturday for his double slam and legs.  Five homers on my bench in two days.  I feel a little uneasy from this sonavbenching.  Is woozy a side effect of sonavabench?  I feel legit woozy.  I need to sit down.  *vomits*  I feel worse.  “Hello, I need a paramedic.  The problem?  I BENCHED RENDON FOR THE TOP OFFENSIVE GAME OF THE SEASON!  Yes, I have insurance.  No, it’s not an HMO.”  *turns on oven, sticks head in oven, reads The Bell Jar lit by the pilot light*  This book is so boring, at what point does Plath mention Rendon and bite the big one?  So, yeah, I’m an idiot for benching Rendon, but what can do, as my Polish neighbor used to say.  On the bright side, he appears out of his early season slump.  That’s a consolation prize like coming in second on The Bachelor and all you get is herpes.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?