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?

To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True or false:  A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.”  C) There’s no C.  D) All the above.  E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher.  If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E?  Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?!  So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks.  Dayum.  Hello, wounds, here’s your salt.  In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign.  Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games).  That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The changing parabola that is the saves game is taking over the first “S” in this weeks post.  Steaks are boring, throw rocks at them.  The “saver stitch” has changed in several different destinations, and the funny thing is, I just wrote about closing situations two-and-half-days ago.  Strange days indeed, my friends.  The closer in the Desert, the Beantown, and now, the City of Angels, is possibly up for grabs.  Check the bottom for the first two, as I would like to concentrate on Huston Street.  He pulled up lame on Sunday and with the All-Star break here, we will anxiously await his massive 5.7 K/9 rate.  The rumor mill was already circling for Street to be a trade candidate in a few weeks, now the possible injury puts a dent in the already dented can.  The adds for the Angels are a yuck Joe Smith, who if possible, has been equally as bad as Street.  My speculative pick if Street is more injured than it appears is Deolis Guerra for a bit, before seeing what Cam Bedrosian has.  Baby Bedrock was a tout of mine a few months back and stumbled.  Guess what?  He is back, but no one cares because the Angels are bad and not anything or anyone watches except the cast of Angels in the Outfield.  So those looking for a speculative add for the boring non-three days of fantasy, check the stacks of Angels and be ahead of the curve, instead of having trouble with it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals.  This is something I don’t usually do.  Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten.  But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh?  He’s listed at six-six and 230.  He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing.  Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.”  With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast.  (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me.  If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything?  It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right?  I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.)  Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year.  If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH.  He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it.  A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors.  With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda.  Or does it?!  Snap, reversed on that.  No, Giolito has control too.  97 MPH with command?  I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna.  Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve.  In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way.  Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos.  He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday.  To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP.  Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys.  Hashtag truth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to say Shelby Miller looks sensational, but then I Googled sensational to see its definition, even though I know it already. (Al Gore did originally invent the internet as a tool of procrastination.) So, the Oxford Dictionary defines sensational as: causing great public interest and excitement, example “a sensational murder trial.” Wow, even the Oxford Dictionary is trying to get in on the tabloid journalism of our day. Hey, Oxford, why not, “Kim Kardashian’s booty was sensational when she broke the internet that Al Gore had created and now needed to fix.” That gives me a great idea, a mash up of the Urban and Oxford Dictionary! Definition of a flake: A crazy or eccentric person. “Yo, that flake is three crumbs short of a Peek Frean.” Any the hoo! Shelby Miller did look sensational, murdering bats like The Riddler. Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.33. Is he this good? Oh, c’mon. But how bad is he? His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.7 and xFIP is 3.79. His BABIP is .203, LOB% is 88.8% and his ground ball rate is 50.4%. Essentially, Miller’s a 3.25-3.60 ERA pitcher with decent, but not great Ks, solid but not terrific control, and one great pitch that he’s figured out how to use, the cutter. He could easily have a month-long spasm of a 5.00 ERA just as easily as he’s done six weeks of a 1.33 ERA. Would I sell him high? Yes, indeed. Or as the Urban-Oxford Dictionary would say, “Does a corgi crap under the Queen’s bed and she calls it a soon-to-be truffle?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?