Hehe, I’m such a jerk.  I finally dedicate a lede to Jason Vargas and it’s to point out how bad he was last night — 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.06.  Well, look at it this way.  If he wasn’t good for so long, him being bad wouldn’t matter.  For unstints, my friend texted me yesterday, “R. Kelly’s being accused of holding girls against their will in his cult.”  I texted back, “That’s one cult where you really don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid.”  It was the least surprising news yesterday.  2nd least surprising is the Vargas regression.  What happens with regression, stays in Vargas.  He’s not done regressing either, if his peripherals hold.  He has a 6.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 4.87 xFIP, i.e.,  A lost Vargas is not just a Wynn, but one of those sure-cuts, sure-cuts.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Called upon in the ninth inning to protect a one run lead Aroldis Chapman blew his third save of the season Friday night surrendering two hits and two walks and allowing two earned runs. After giving up an infield single to Mookie Betts to start the inning, Didi Gregorius mishandled a Dustin Pedroia single that could have been a double play ball to put two men on and the Yankees unraveled from there. The blown save was not entirely Chapman’s fault here as the Yankees defense botched two straight double play balls, and then a double steal really flustered Chapman leading  him to walk the next two batters including the game winning run. The loss highlights a Yankee bullpen that has been god awful lately with set up man Dellin Betances rocking an 8.68 ERA and 2.14 WHIP over the past month and Chapman sporting a 8.10 ERA in July with a .412 BAA. Talk about a bullpen in La La Land! Speaking of Award snubs and perfect segues, the fans have spoken, the emails have continued rolling in (seriously guys, get a life!) and the suspicious packages have arrived on my doorstep.  Back by popular demand I return to bring you the fourth annual 2017 mid-season fantasy all-star awards. *And the crowd goes wild!* I don’t want to pile on Chapman here with a Razzie award but he did walk in the winning run so I’m going to give an award to Andrew Benintendi for easiest game winning RBI ever. To be honest, I just really wanted to give Beni Baseball an award.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I need to come clean about something.  It’s embarrassing, and I hope once I tell you you don’t judge me. This is a bit of a trust fall for me.  Okay, the truth is, whenever a player breaks out, I start singing Breakout by Swing Out Sister.  I put down the convertible top on my canary yellow Sebring, flipping down my sunglasses, adjusting my spandex shorts, because they ride up all the time, and Tommy Pham, fist pump, BREAKOUT!

In Triple-A, Pham had 10 homers and 20 steals in 2014, but, like some many young hitters with the Cardinals (really, only hitters; pitchers they have no problem promoting and playing), they’ll play someone like The Federalist and never give a prospect hitter an opportunity.  Now that Pham’s about to turn 30 (in nine months), the Cards have finally given him playing time.  There’s nothing here long-term, but he does have power, speed and, finally, the playing time, so, Swing Out Sister and BREAKOUT!  And, y’all who think I don’t keep it real, Tupac would date Swing Out Sister, then send her a letter from prison, breaking it off, only to realize halfway through the letter, he shouldn’t break it off, he should BREAKOUT!

Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Legit, this is longest July 4th weekend of all time.  In 1776 on July 4th, Ben Franklin grabbed six ladies, and was like, “This will be better than Flag Day.  We will call this Flagellation Day.  Now twerk with a firework!”  That lasted for three days until Ben yelled out an Astros’ hitter last name and called for a volunteer fire department to put out his redness.  Any hoo!  Ian Desmond hit the DL with “I wanna rest for a few extra days before the break.”  It’s an epidemic that is going around the majors right now.  This especially sucks for those that had him in their weekly lineups because you’re getting ziplock.  But, for the rest of us, we got Raimel Tapia (3-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer).  Fun fact!  He has a brother who drinks too much and can’t control his lasciviousness.  His name is Felasleepon Tapia.  Raimel gets a huge boost in value with Desmond’s DL stint.  He’s a grab for every league, especially if you need SAGNOF.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Yankees called up Clint Frazier on Saturday.  The Yankees are like you at a concert after your first bathroom break.  “I had sixteen beers and I really gotta whizz.”  *goes to the bathroom, then sips your seventeen beer*  “Damn, I just took a whizz, and now I have to go again.”  The childproof seal has been broken.  The Yankees waited about five years too long to promote some of their rookies, and now they’re taking a whizz every third day.  (I’m mixing metaphors, aren’t I?)  I wonder if the Yankees are aggressively promoting rookies now because of how well Judge is doing.  It’s confirmation bias, or some Psych 1010 term.  In the minors, Frazier went 12 HRs, 9 SBs and .257 in 73 games.  His strikeouts weren’t terrible, and that line looks like it could hold in the majors, i.e, 20/15/.250 in 162 games.  That’s if he has playing time the rest of the year, which is, of course, no guarantee with Holliday, Hicks, Gardner, Ellsbury, though if they were candy, they’d all be brittle.  I’d grab Frazier in all leagues to see what he can do.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’ve hung with me on previous Saturdays, you’ll know that in real life (where I’m Victoria in a hat rather than Victoria on a hat), I live in Canada. And so on this first day of July, I’d like to take the opportunity to say happy birthday to my adopted homeland! Because today is Canada Day, which is like your Independence Day, only with more beavers and people saying “sorry”.

The magic number of the day is 150. That’s how old Canada’s turning today. It’s how many “Canada Day Sale!” emails have arrived in my inbox in the last 10 minutes. It’s how many degrees below 0 it is here, every single day of the year. It’s how many Altuves you need to stand on so you can pat a moose on the antlers. It’s the thread count of my plaid sheets. And it’s how many strikeouts Chris Sale is going to record against the Toronto Blue Jays on our nation’s birthday. (Some of these things may not be true.) Historically, the Jays who have faced him have hit a collective .184. Josh Donaldson has the best shot, having gone 5-for-18 with two home runs against Sale in the past, but offset that against his .150 (magic number!) average in the last week, and I think this match-up is pretty safe. So for my FanDuel slate today, I’m happily paying $11,600 for El Condor, even in Canadian dollars, and I’ll live with sticking the rest of my lineup together with maple syrup and poutine gravy. No, really — you’ll see what I mean.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Taylor and Keon Broxton are pizza delivery men.  And–Yes, two of them delivering one pizza.  Okay, and you answer the door naked.”  Jim Bowden squints, considering it.  “Can I be riding a Segway?”  “Sure, sure.”  “And you’re saying it’s not erotic?”  “Not traditionally.”  That was a pitch for a Showtime After Dark movie called The Bowden Fluffers.  Before they’re through, they will also pitch it to Skinemax, Spike and NatGeo TV.  Sadly, no one will bite on the Fluffers, pardon the phrasing.  They will say they want to work with Michael Taylor and Keon Broxton again in the future, and rightfully so.  Brucely, I was shocked they were both under 50% owned in ESPN leagues.  I’d usually go on to say something snide here about ESPN leagues, but I get the feeling that we’re thisclose to every fantasy site closing its doors and opening its own video chatroom.  Who would’ve guessed twenty years in the future all journalism professors would be Max Headroom?  Any hoo!  I’m off-off topic.  Taylor has 11 HRs and nine SBs and hitting around .275, and Broxton has 13 HRs and 14 SBs and hitting around .250.  If these numbers don’t immediately grab you like an angry sock puppet that needs its coffee, then you don’t know fantasy value.  On our Player Rater, Broxton is the 24th best outfielder and Taylor the 46th best, i.e., they should be owned in 100% of leagues.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Uh-oh, the double lede!  This is more spectacular than the double rainbow.  WHOA, DOUBLE LEDE!  Alex Cobb threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (2 Hits), 4 Ks, ERA at 3.73, but his brother from another mother and father, Alex Colome blew the game, going 1 IP, 2 ER, and now has given up seven earned — sevearned? — in his last three appearances.  Alex Cobb carried a no-hitter into the 7th and was so good yesterday that Robert Wuhl is writing the screenplay to Cobb 2:  More Corn.  However, do the Rays play Blondie “Call Me” when Colome comes in?  If so, stop!  If not, give it a try because we need to shake things up.  I grabbed Danny Farquhar before the game even ended.  Lord Farq could get a few saves if Colome remains dreck.  …Cause somebody once told me that Farquhar is an ‘own me,’ and I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed!  Colome was looking kind of dumb with a crooked number on the board and an L shape hanging on his scorecard.  Well, the years start coming– Okay, I will stop now.  In the end, Tommy Hunter got the save after the blown save, so he could also be in the mix if Colome needs a little rest.  In one league, I grabbed Farquhar; in one league, I grabbed Hunter for ye ol’ hedge.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Astros corner infielder Yulieski Gurriel continues to mash going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, his second home run and two RBI. Opposing pitchers be like, why you all up in my Gurriel, Yuli? When you’re on fire and everyone knows you’re flame. The Gurriel is hot, where da burgers and dogs at? Dude is  hitting .436 (17-for-39) over the past two weeks with 7 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI. Sure he hit just .260 with 3 homers and 15 RBI in 36 games last year with Houston, but he ALSO hit .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba in 2016 which are the better stats that I will cherry-pick for the purposes of this blurb. I’m just saying it’s not like this success is coming out of nowhere. He’s a good Gurriel and he knows it, and he’s batting 6th in a stacked Houston lineup. If we take a look at some of the advanced metrics (NERD!), the .371 BABIP may unsustainable, but fantasy is about riding streaks and Yuli Gurriel is a hot little potato right now. Grey told you to BUY and he’s available in about 75% of leagues. Pick him up you only Yuli once! Whoa, now that’s two Drake references in the same lede. That’s how you know it’s going to be a good day!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe.  I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe.  Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers.  Any hoo!  Why am I seeing these great prison movies?  Because they are about breakouts.  Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes.  Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout.  For a baseball breakout:  James Paxton.  Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39.  His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively.  That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find.  Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited.  In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now.  Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana.  Someone get these guys blow dryers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?