Grey Albright drops a bomb to start the podcast. A Twitter bomb to be exact. Head over to Razzball’s Twitter page to see if you notice a difference. I then use that as an opportunity to pepper Grey with questions about what he is really up to out in Hollywood. We eventually shift focus back to fantasy baseball, and talk about the ramifications of Freddie Freeman’s injury, along with the impending return of Steven Matz and David Price. The meat of the podcast is all about general trade strategies and specific trade targets. We discuss strategies based on where you are in the standings, such as “buying high” on recent breakouts rather than trading your best player for four mediocre ones. We also dig into the merits of specific targets, including Danny Salazar, Justin Verlander, Rich Hill, Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios, and many more. Finally, I congratulate the winner of last week’s Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest, MuneForNothing (who I believe is VictoriaB), and look forward to JOINING THIS WEEK’S CONTEST. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jose Berrios went 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, bringing his two-game ERA to 0.59.  Hi ho the Berrios, snitches!  Here’s what I said previously on Jose Berrios (because this is instructive, and not out of laziness), “In Triple-A, Berrios threw 75 2/3 IP and had a 2.62 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 and a 1.7 BB/9.  That’s Sizzlean that you leave on top of your camel’s head as you gallop through the Sahara heat.  You don’t usually see that kind of sample size — that’s what she said! — in Triple-A.  You know why?  Most major league teams promote guys who are as good as Berrios.  Most teams also don’t tie a player’s paycheck to a string then drag said check right in front of the player’s feet, just out of their reach.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Here’s the kicker.  That was from two years ago!  I’ve loved this guy for a long time — that’s not what she said!  His first two games I’d describe as ‘a little difficult’ to pretty easy.  His next start at Baltimore will be the true test.  If you’re in a competitive league, you need to own him now before he goes out and throws a gem in Balty-more (they call it that, right?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday was a bad day to quit being young with A.J. Pollock and Carlos Gomez both hitting the DL.  Together!  In a non-gay way.  But it would’ve been totally cool with me if it was in a gay way.  Let’s start with Pollock since he is the less ethnically sensitive of the two.  Pollock has a Grade 1 groin strain.  When the strain happened, Pollock was reading Groin Strains for Dummies.  Chapter 1:  Don’t Move Your Leg In A Normal Manner.  “Go to a trampoline, but don’t jump on it with your feet, fall on it sitting criss-cross apple sauce.”  Pollock will likely be out for two to three weeks, and in his place the Russian Game of Thrones character, Gregor Blanco, and Reymond “You Can’t Not Think Of Daisy” Fuentes.  Fuentes is the more interesting of two, since he should be on the stronger side of a platoon, and has speed.  Outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues, I’m passing on both.  As for CarGomez, he will miss four to six weeks.  That’s too bad, he used to be good three years ago.  Replacing him on the roster will be Jared Hoying, who looks like a Motter-fodder.  Then, we have Carlos Carrasco, who is affectionately known as Cookie, and I am a Cookie Monster for him, so this one hurts me.  In yesterday’s game, Carrasco had a huge lead, when he squandered that and left the game with a trainer.  All you had to do with cruise to the W on the Ivictory Coast!  Apparently, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  He was diagnosed with left pectoral tightness, which doesn’t sound bad.  Which, Part 2:  The Return of the Which, will still likely mean a DL stint.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the last four seasons Jose Quintana has averaged 461 points per season, finishing as a top 30 (or better) starting pitcher in each of those seasons. Over that same span of seasons he has pitched at least 200 innings, and while he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, averaging just 7.73 punch outs per nine, he has also averaged a very respectable 3.34 earned run average. Quintana might not be a stud, but he has certainly proven to be consistently good. And consistently good is great in points leagues.

Considered by many to be a top trade candidate this season, Quintana stands to get a nice boost in value if he ends up playing for a contender (aka not for the White Sox). Put all of this together and I own him nearly all of my leagues. Take a look at what he’s done this season and you can imagine I’m not very pleased with the results thus far. In his first four starts this year he has averaged just under five points start. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale have averaged nearly that many points per inning! Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the truth. You’ve got to be kidding me. Quintana better wake up soon or I’m going to have give Comfort Inn my business.

Here’s what else I’ve seen thus far in points leagues…

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So here’s something ridiculous – I think the Oakland A’s are my least favorite team.  Scratch that, F THE CARDS!  Even if they do have the best fans in baseball…  A’s are my least favorite AL team.  And it’s nothing to do with particular players, trying to be “hipster” and not liking Monyeball (It’s a cool movie!  Love the music.), or residual ire due to the Warriors.  Ugh, NBA with only 2 or 3 competing teams every year – BORING!  It just seems like every year, their offense is lacking, yet they pound on pitchers when you least expect it.  Cough, James Paxton, cough.  It’s so annoying!  It all started when I owned CC Sabathia on some dynos back when he started with the Yankees, and it felt like every April or May the A’s would tag him for 7 or 8 runs every game.  Plus, ya know, I didn’t buy into Josh Donaldson and Khris Davis decided to be a consistent power hitter in a shittier park, but we’ll end this absolutely ludicrous rant here.

Due to the above, I don’t watch a ton of A’s, so I have yet to see Andrew Triggs pitch.  His scouting report is unimpressive: his fastball actually lost velocity to be a sub-90 MPH pitch, he gets groundballs which usually means Ks should be low, is 28 and a converted closer, and it just all feels like smoke and Black Mirrors.  He’s a robot!  But maybe that perception is a reaction to my A’s bias, especially since he went into yesterday with three straight scoreless start wins.  Well, he did allow 2 unearned runs in one of em and 1 in another – yet another reason I think it’s Black Mirrors.  So I decided to watch his start Sunday afternoon to finally get the book out on the guy, and here’s how he looked against the Mariners:

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Wait, what? The Mariners got Jean Segura AND Mitch Haniger for the continually underachieving Tai Walker? The same Haniger who’s third in offensive WAR in the AL (through Friday), first in the AL in runs scored with 16, leading the AL in times on base, fourth in the clubhouse in jersey-chaser takedowns, and first in my heart for being part of the heist that was the Taijuan Walker trade. Coming off a year where he masta-donged 25 and 94 with a .321 BA in AA/AAA last year, the D-Bags felt the urge to dump another diamond in the rough, a la Max Scherzer. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that trade all those year ago. I couldn’t believe at the time and couldn’t believe they weren’t making a bigger deal about it.

I may be going too far as I’m a Walker fan, but Haniger clearly has All-star capabilities and hitting in this loaded lineup is going to keep him relevant all season long. Much unlike myself, it’s really easy to be a fan of this dude.

Here’s what else intrigued me this past week… Take heed!

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Amir Garrett, or as he’s commonly referred to as, Muslim Mrs. Garrett, took Natalie, Jo, Blair, Tootie and that little white kid, who no one remembers, to school last night.  Muslim Mrs. Garrett was like, “Listen, child, I’m your boss while you’re in this park and I’m going to rule over you with sweet motherly affection, but an iron fist like you get from a male Gulag prisoner.”  Yesterday, he straight dazzled — 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.83.  MMG is so out of nowhere I feel like we need to start at the beginning.  He was born– Okay, flash forward Lost-style and they’re off the island and Garrett is a former basketball player, so his age isn’t as old as it seems for his development level.  I think because of that he could also sneak up on people.  His control gets wonky at times, and he doesn’t read as a strikeout pitcher, but there he was doing just that last night.  He could surprise some people, but A) Reds and their ballpark. B) Rookie.  C) There’s no C.  To take this back to 80’s sitcoms, there could be some Boners along the way through Growing Pains, but I’d grab him if you feel like Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, or can just handle the risk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?