Did you hear about the Native American who wouldn’t leave the bathroom?  He said home was where the TP was.  Hey, this Drunk Uncle Jokebook isn’t that bad!  August has been miserable for Jose Ramirez with a .200 average, zero homers and two steals until last night.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.  Thankfully, the eggs he broke last night were the goose eggs representing his power numbers as he went 2-for-3 with his 19th and 20th homer, and his 14th steal.  Babies babble on, they lookin’ for excuses.  Not here to make excuses for Jo-Ram, but this was his first terrible month in two years.  Even Rhysus rested one day a week.  His righty/lefty splits are both at .298, which is odd since he’s hitting .300.  Did he go 0-for-1 against someone who spit the ball at him?  *intern whispers in my ear*  I see, the .298 righty/lefty splits were before last night.  You learn something gnu every day.  Spelling will be tomorrow!  Assuming Jo-Ram rebounds for his standard month in September, it’s going to be hard to be too down on him in the non-sexual way.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Rich Hill threw a perfect game yesterday — he pitched into the tenth inning and didn’t get a blister.  Are we measuring perfect games for Rich Hill differently now?  I thought that was his standard.  How about this?  Rich Hill threw a perfect game through nine innings if Logan Forsythe would’ve stayed down on a grounder to third, which leaves Forsythe with nothing but hindsight.  The irony is thick like Nicki Minaj.  Yesterday, Rich Hill went 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.32; his only blemish was a tenth-inning, lead-off, walk-off home run by Josh Harrison, oh, that spoil sport.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I have Michael Jackson’s autograph from his three distinct artistic periods — Jackson 5, breakout solo artist, fondler — and while they are priceless, I’m going to put them by this open window–NOOOOO!!!  Torenado!!!  I been pouring out some liquor for the fact that Arenado’s homers are gone, gone, gone.  And trying to help fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) if their Correa is gone.  And since Arenado starting to bubble like a tub full of Calgon.  Guess it’s only right that I should help you with how much Nolan Arenado hits are gone.  Sorry, that song was on my iTunes, and felt appropriate.  If my baby boo bae, Giancarlo, wasn’t metaphorically already all over my bedsheets, Arenado would be right there.  Yesterday, he went 5-for-6, 4 runs, 7 RBIs with three homers (19, 20, 21), and the summer is here in Coors.  Yippee, you mothertruckers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Way back in April the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Commonwealth of Independent States, sent the notorious “Player To Be Named Later” to the Baltimore Orioles for Parker Bridwell. At the time Bridwell was an unheard of 25 year old righthander with less than 20 innings above AA. The move flew under the radar to most of the baseball world with the exception of the Bridwell family, and an eccentric dyslexic real estate agent named Shelly with a passion for anything bird related. See no one at the time, could have foreseen this unheralded pro in his 7th season in the minors helping a major league ball club. Fast forward 3 months, and here we sit about to breakdown Bridwell’s 6th major league start of 2017 against the contending Tampa Bay Rays. What a world!

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I really wanted to start this post with a quote, something like “it’s always darkest before the dawn”, or something like that. I figured that was a great way to offer hope and encouragement regarding the “second half” of the season. Let’s face it, with this whole “seamingly” out of nowhere spike in offense the last two seasons, there’s one inevitable conclusion. Pitching sucks!!! I mean we’ve been holding onto any shred of decency available. Look at Jason Vargas! Why am I ranking Jason Vargas? Does he have some sort of magnificent secret about these new Hi-C joints MLB is calling balls? Why the hell is he so much better than Justin Verlander? I have too many questions! I’m supposed to have answers! Here’s the truth, as if I’ve been lying to you before. There’s maybe 20 matchup proof starters in all of baseball, and then the rest of them you have to be careful with to varying degrees. Now, that’s not necessarily true for points formats, or deeper leagues with quality starts. Or even those with a greater emphasis on counting stats over ratios. But in our RCL formats, or any 5×5 roto with innings or starts limits, you must choose wisely. Around every corner lurks a roofie to your ratios. Just because Jordan Montgomery has been good more often than not, that doesn’t mean I’m up to a level of confidence that I’d start him in Colorado. Nah mean?  Nod along.  If you’re having trouble knowing which starts to avoid, check out Rudy’s Stream-O-Nator. It’s the perfect objective voice on those tough decisions you won’t get in your own head, or from your friends. That is, if you have friends with voices in your head and all. Anyway, be careful out there, and good luck in the second half.

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So, this legit blew my mind.  As you know, I’m busy getting my top 100 for the 2nd half ready for next week, and I was looking at our Player Rater.  So, Domingo Santana?  He’s top 50 on the season!  No, not for outfielders.  For all players!  Seriously!  For all hitters and pitchers.  Digest that for a second.  What are you swallowing?  I was speaking metaphorically.  What does this mean?  Invest in players with home games in domestic swill parks.  Rename PNC Park to Iron City Park and I want me some Jordy Mercer!  Busch Stadium is the exception that proves the rule, whatever that means.  This also means fantasy value is about filling out five categories.  All your Miggys and Edwins are purdy, but you get a guy that hits 15 homers and steals bases, and you’re getting value.  Yesterday, Domingo went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th steal, as he hits .288 with 14 homers on the year.  That’s how you get fantasy value.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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How many of you remember the watershed 1993 film Dazed and Confused? In this coming of age saga, a young righty, with the flowing locks of Sampson himself, embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. It is in that film where we first meet Mike Clevinger. I could go on a lengthy diatribe about the film with the Indians righty supplanted as the protagonist, but I already did that a year and a half ago when I first introduced you to Mr. Clevinger. It’s like I’m watching my kids grow up right before my eyes. Either way Clevinger is long haired and goofy just like Mitch from Dazed and Confused. Not to toot my own horn, but to totally toot my own horn, I called this developing breakout a year ago. The Indians acquired the former 2011 4th rounder from the Angels back in 2014 for pen arm Vinny Pestano. Since then it’s been a classic Cleveland starter story, as the organization focused on bringing Clevinger along first as a pen arm, and now as a starter. With a 14.1% SwStr, and a 28.5% K%, there’s some signs that Clevinger, in a season of disappointing starters, could be a diamond in the rough. Let’s look under the hood, and then go pitch by pitch through his Sunday start vs. the division rival Detroit Tigers.

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Well, technically it’s still June, but July starts tomorrow and Christmas in June doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.  I’ll be honest, I’ve straight up dropped Gerrit Cole ($8,900) in my RCLs.  He’s been more like reindeer excrement than coal this season, and nobody likes that in their stocking.  The RCLs are a very specific type of animal though where it’s not worth holding a pitcher that isn’t pitching like an ace.  While Cole has been far from ace-like, I can still get behind him when the match-up is right.  The San Francisco Giants are in full-on “give up on the season” mode.  This can be evidenced by such moves as installing Sam Dyson as closer.  The Giants are DFL in team OPS and when you break it down even further, they are last by a long shot against RHP.  Cole checks all the boxes tonight, he’s at home, a Vegas favorite (-120) and is facing a weak opponent.  The only thing better would be a strikeout prone opponent, but that’s just getting greedy for the asking price.  You don’t want to get too greedy on Christmas, that’s how you end up with a lump of coal.

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Julio Urias is this week’s gut-punch injury of the week. The 20-year-old uber-prospect is about to miss a year and a half (at least) after undergoing anterior capsule surgery in his throwing shoulder. Urias has had some bad luck throughout his life. As a kid in Mexico, Urias underwent three surgeries on his eye to remove a non-cancerous mass. In 2015 he had cosmetic surgery to repair the drooping eyelid caused by this mass. Hopefully Urias will come back strong from this current surgery, but there is cause for concern any time there is a major surgery on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder. I’d recommend dropping him even in dynasty leagues as his successful return is not a given. As for his replacement you can trade one J-U for another: Jose Urena (17.7%.) Over his last 4 starts Urena has 3 quality starts and 16 K’s in 23 IP. He’s allowed 23 base runners which isn’t phenomenal, but Urena’s throwing shoulder is in one piece so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

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Technical difficulties forced us to re-record the final 45 minutes of the podcast, and Grey came out extra punchy for the second take. One second he is threatening to strangle me, and the next he is professing his love for me. Speaking of love, Grey also reveals that he was actually trying to get a job the first time he accidently hit on Cougs at the Chiropractor’s office (he still struggles to get her to read his scripts). On the fantasy baseball side, we cover a lot of ground, starting with Starling Marte, Carlos Rodon, Franklin Barreto, and Blake Snell, before moving on to some players on the rise, including Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini, Mike Montgomery, and Travis Shaw. Finally, I congratulate MattTruss for absolutely dominating the Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest last week, and look forward to attempt to take him down in tonight’s contest. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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