Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball.  It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance.  Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers.  By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives.  It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’  Um, okay, but there’s an I in there.  Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.”  One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird?  Any hoo!  So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing.   In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks.  Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.”  Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year.  For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why.  He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet).  He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change.  A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year.  In keepers, I’d be very interested.  For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time we address the elephant in the room.  Not you, Sandoval.  I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks.  The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away.  Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew.  While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher.  None are Steven Wright though.  Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.”  I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!).  If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points.  So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Shin-Soo Choo hit the DL again.  Yeah, surprise, surprise.  Never would’ve seen that coming, unless you’ve followed Choo’s career for the last three seconds.  In other news, Joey Gallo was called up.  Here’s my transactions yesterday:  Team Albright dropped Tyler Goeddel for Mikie Mahtook.  Twenty-nine minutes later: Team Albright dropped Mikie Mahtook for Delino DeShields.  Two hours later: Team Albright dropped Delino DeShields for Matt Holliday because someone else grabbed Joey Gallo already, and Team Albright didn’t feel like adding Junichi Tazawa for the sixth time.  Gallo has e-meants power.  His power is so e-meants I can’t even spell immense correctly, except there.  He had 8 HRs in 24 games this year in Triple-A and six homers in about a month last year in the majors.  This offseason I said, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Joey Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter.  In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate.  That’s absurd.  That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask.  Fun fact!  Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties.  So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance of him hitting above .200?  Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Good news, prematurely balding men and five lady readers, Gallo’s tamed his Ks by a lot this year in Triple-A.  He’s cut them to 22.6%, and was hitting .265.  If he can hit .265 with the Rangers, he’ll be more valuable than Prince Fielder this year because Gallo has 40-homer power.  I tried to pick him up in every league, and I suggest you do the same.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When it comes to rookies we all known the top 100 prospects, and the guys outside the rankings with all the helium, but more often than not it’s the unheralded prospects that can make all the difference in deeper leagues and dynasty’s. Ask the 2014 Charlie Blackmon owner, the 2015 Delino Deshields owner, or the guy that picked up Travis Shaw down the stretch. They’ll tell you that when everyone else was blinded by minor leagues stats, or top 100 hyperboles, they took a shot on a guy who had something more important than hype; playing time. When it comes down to it, no matter the format, or scoring system everything starts and ends with playing time opportunity. So, with that said, for the next two posts I’m going to take a look at players that have a chance of breaking camp with their clubs, and reaping the benefits of that most important thing. Today we focus on the hitters and Wednesday we’ll move onto the pitchers. These won’t be your heralded guys like A.J. Reed or Jose Peraza, but those less sexy “rooks” that toe the line of JAG, and sleeper. Behold, Dr. Lifshitz’s Sleeper Rookies for 2016 Fantasy Baseball!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tampa Bay’s farm system isn’t the best on the block for shallow league players, but there are a bunch of interesting fantasy pieces here to sift through if you play in a deeper dynasty format. The biggest news from the 2015 season was the explosion of left hander Blake Snell. He earned all kinds of accolades with his performance and now he’s set up to join the rotation in 2016. The Rays have good pitching depth again this year, and they’ll get Alex Cobb back at some point as well. Outfielder Steven Souza was a trendy sleeper prospect in 2015, but injury and strikeouts limited his value in his rookie year. He could be a decent buy low in dynasty leagues since the power and speed that made him interesting in the first place are still there.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.

I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude.  It’s an epitaph.  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique?  Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it?  What will we do without a Hanley injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27).  He now has five homers in the last three days.  Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye.  He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife.  It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers.  His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis.  I will call him Piss Davis.  Maybe I won’t call him that to his face.  Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues.  Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sure there’s roto leagues wrapping up, some final H2H matchups, but the Pitcher Profile isn’t going to help too many owners scout for the remaining 6 days of this season.  We are doing a little more looking ahead!  Progressive scouting is my term for this edition – makes me feel all front-office-y!

So I decided to find another off-the-map “prospect” to break down – Rays maybe long-term long-relief/maybe full-time starter next year, Matt Andriese.  I know what you’re thinking…  Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  But what really intrigued me was his AAA numbers this year.  In 12 starts (13 app.), 3-3 with a 2.35 ERA and 69 K in 65 innings.  He did have a 1.15 WHIP, but then in the deeper numbers it’s even more intriguing – 9.55:1.38 K:BB and all with a .344 BABIP, giving him – wait for it – a 1.94 FIP.  Whoa!  Given it’s a pretty small sample, but he’s been decent in 62.2 innings in the Majors as well.  I don’t really remember seeing any of those innings this year in the Majors (and I don’t think I saw him the few Durham Bulls games I’ve been to this year), so I decided to break down his spot start yesterday to see if there’s some deep league sleeper appeal for 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day I made the best purchase of my life (okay, of the last week).  I bought a thermometer that has a laser beam on it.  You shoot the laser on the object and it tells you its exact temperature.  It’s meant–Actually, I don’t know what it’s meant for.  I bought it because our oven seems to be about 100 degrees off.  Though, I got it five days ago and I haven’t used it for the oven once, but have measured the temperature of about twelve hundred other things.  The coldest drinking water I’ve had was 49 degrees at this pizzeria around the corner from my house.  Oh, yeah, I’ve been taking this out with me.  I’ll go up to people on the street, shoot their temperature and be like, “You have a fever, you might want to take an aspirin.”  I like to put on my flip flops when they’re between 68 to 71 degrees.  Any colder and it stiffens my toes, any warmer and it raises my body temperature a full .4 degrees.  I know this because I have a thermometer with a frickin laser on it!  So, how does this relate to fantasy baseball?  I was watching Justin Bour slug his 23rd homer yesterday, his 2nd of two homers in the game, and I shot his temperature.  A blistering 109 degrees!  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Yes, you should own him.  In fact (Grey’s gonna say more!), you should’ve owned him for the last few months.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort.  This sends an interesting message.  I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort.  Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing.  Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season.  Also, what does this say about Ausmus?  That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort?  Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort?  How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort.  I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do.  What?  You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place?  Please!”  Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night.  Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year.  This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?