It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out, “Give it to me, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2017. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2018. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?” (If you missed it, I interviewed B-Real last year on our podcast, though that might not have been as good as our Jose Canseco interview.) It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s the second-last day of the regular season, and I feel like I’m back at Opening Day, there’s such a smorgasbord of pitchers to roll around in (so to speak): Kluber (vs. the White Sox, $12,000), Scherzer (vs. the Pirates, $10,800), Kershaw at—important couple of letters, those—the Rockies, $9,600), Archer (vs. the Orioles, $9,300). They’re all so famous we need use only their last names. Of the 4 listed here, Kluber will bankrupt you, and I’m leery of Kershaw in Colorado, and also of Archer, given his last outing versus the Orioles, so how about for our very last Saturday <sob> [Sidebar: Thanks for reading, all these weeks! It’s been a slice. Feel free to come hang with me on Twitter and we’ll get through the cold, dark hell of the off-season together], we go old-school with ol’ Blue-Green Eyes and run out Max Scherzer at home versus the Pirates? Let’s look at some more options for our final Fan(Duel)-tasy together.
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My fantasy baseball advice is kinda like a banana. Three-quarters of it are sweet, sweet deliciousness, while the end bit is the devil’s asshole. We’ve had a strong season together, but since this is our final week of DFS, what better way to go out with a whimper than by recommending Clayton Richard! You point and I’ll laugh at the idiot (me). Actually, y’know what, this may not be such a noodle scratcher after all. Did you know Richard has created a ground ball rate of 70% or more four times this season? That’s more than Corey Kluber and Chris Sale combined! Anyways, Richard faces Rich Hill in a lefty-lefty free-for-all in LA tonight. He’s a cheap option ($7,400) on a night where either Justin Verlander or Luis Severino will cost you the blood of your first born son. Here’s who else I like on our final fine Wednesday together:
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I am a winner who’s probably gonna win again. Giancarlo, forgive me! Giancarlo, forgive me! So many swings I don’t understand. Sometimes I need to stream Tommy Milone. Mitch don’t kill my vibe! Mitch don’t kill my vibe! I can feel your energy while Judge hits homers two planets away. I got my drink, I got my music. I would share it, but today I’m yelling. Mitch don’t kill my vibe! Mitch don’t kill my vibe! (repeat 2x) Yesterday, Mitch Haniger (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 15th and 16th homers, and now has 4 homers in the last nine games. He even has a steal, and his run game got the whole world talkin’. King Kunta. Oops, wrong Kendrick Lamar song. If you need help this final week, grab this *itch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Olson went 1-for-2, 2 RBIs with his 18th homer, hitting .273, all in only 49 games, and seven homers in his last ten games. Dizzamn, who is he the American League’s Rhysus? I’d call him Olsonus, but that sounds stupid. We’re ridin’ the Ols-mobile? That’s better (not)! Like me after Taco Bell, he is Olplosive (much worse!). I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend! I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when! Well I’m stuck with Matt Olson and time keeps dragging on! While a train keeps a rollin’ like Olson to San Antone! Well when I was just a baby my mama told me Olson, Olson, OLSON! Always be a good boy don’t ever play with guns (flexes, showing gun show). Well I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, not OLSON! When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry because I don’t have OLSON! Whew, that was exhausting. So, obviously, if you need power, you should grab Olsonus, and ride the Ols-mobile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Who doesn’t love them some BOGO sales? Girls love them, hell even flamboyant fake baseball players like it. I prefer the pun value in them better than buying two pairs of shoes, only of which I need one. Which leads us to Javier Baez. I equate him to that sushi roll that you aren’t sure that you like and don’t exactly know what’s in it. Like a Ahi Tuna special, but in a baseball hat. Entering play (as of me writing this) he had 21 Homers and 9 steals. Not fantastic by any stretch of the SAGNOF variety, but I wanna see if there is more juice to squeeze out of the North Side orange. We are fully entrenched in the here and now of fantasy, but always need to be looking to next year. So with his uptick in speed over the past eight games (3 steals), making everyone aware of their surroundings in the SAGNOF world seemed like a good spot to write about Javy for the first time this year. Batting average is not what you want him to be a stalwart on your team, but the 21 taters with 12-15 stolen base potential with SS, 2B and 3B eligibility heading into next year, he is someone with name value that you may want to ask to your fantasy prom. Enough with the debate about Baez for now and later, let’s get to the Stealers and Savers for the week… Good luck down the stretch lads!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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If for some reason you are watching Mariners baseball excluding those who live in the area *can’t be happy trotting out Yovani Gallardo in the middle of a Wild Card Race*, you know the beauty of announcer Dave Sims calling “Boom Stick Baby” on Nelson Cruz HRs or “Giddy Up, Baby” on great plays. Well those are words we may hear often tomorrow night when the Seattle Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles with Wade Miley taking the mound. Mariners are a great stacking option, led by Nelson Cruz ($10,200) who is currently on a huge tear. He has hit 9 HRs over his last 15 games and has an OPS over 1.400. A match-up against a struggling Wade Miley is a juicy one, Miley has allowed 17 HRs to right handed batters and a .851 OPS/.366 wOBA. All Mariner righties should be a go tonight Danny Valencia ($8,400), Jean Segura ($9,000) and Mike Zunino ($6,000).
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I was craving sashimi last night, so I sauntered to my local sushi joint. When I walked through the door, I heard the familiar, “Irrashaimase maido,” from the chefs behind the counter. As I nodded my head down reverently, I realized there was a new member of the crew. I like to live dangerously, so I sat down at the bar in front of him. I usually ask the chef, “What’s good today?” but last night it was just, “Prepare what you think is best.” Like I said, I like to live dangerously. If I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, I would’ve knocked my chair backwards and banged my head on the floor from the show I was presented. It was all so un-Benihana-esque. The skill. The grace. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead after slicing and dicing the manta rays placed before him, I asked him one simple question. “Who are you?” He looked me in the eye and responded, “I am Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.” Tanaka was perfect for five innings Friday night. He ended up allowing two hits, one earned run, did not walk a batter, and struck out 14 in eight innings. 77-of-109 pitches were thrown for strikes. That’s how you earn a big tip! Now, keep in mind that Tampa Bay strikes out the fourth-most frequently against RHP and the huge night knocked down his ERA to 5.09 for the year. He did give up four, three, and five earned runs in his prior three starts and got pummeled in his two previous starts against TB. As Friday night showed, though, Tanaka does have the ability to absolutely dominate. When I eat raw fish, I know there’s always the risk that I could be eating some three-eyed monster from Fukushima. That’s how I feel about starting Tanaka. As I said before, I like to live dangerously.
Here’s what else I saw from Friday night’s action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s all fun and games when the lights go off and the special things in life glow under different color light. Laundry detergent, player names, and the puns that are associated with them… and believe it or not a good ole bottle of Hennessy. So now that we have concocted that cocktail and images in your head, let’s move onto the Fantasy Baseball portion of this relationship. That being Marcus Semien. I am going to be the first to admit that I really like the idea of this guy on my team after last season’s output, as he produced 27 HR’s and 10 steals. Not the elite of foot by any stretch of the SAGNOF imagination, but the 27 taters from a middle infield spot takes a lot of gleam off the cube. So why now? Well, his season was derailed by injury and he only still has 86 at-bats on the year. Ignore all the other facets, he is not going to hit for average and not going to score a ton of runs in the A’s lineup, but he has 7 steals in those 86 at-bats. (He only had 10 last year in 586 at bats, remember I just said that.) So he has gone from a once every 60 plate appearances per steal guy to one every 10. I am by far no mathematical genius, but that looks like a gigantic difference. Since he returned from the DL, he is hitting 30 points above his career average, which is only .230, but still, .265 is better then .230. The steals are what we want and that’s why we here. So with the expectations of him not slipping out of the lineup now that he is returned he could easily be a cheap source (8.6% owned in ESPN leagues). With the way that the middle infield spots turn over and the trade deadline around the bend stats at any chance are better then none.
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