Who could forget our first visit over to Finnegan’s?! Grabbin’ a pint, singin’ some odes, and getting so sloshed we’re coming back for mo’!

As we saw in his first career start last year, Brandon Finnegan looked kinda blah to me. And after an early-season near no-hit bid against the Cubs, Finnegan’s effectiveness was a range from blah-to-awful. His walk rate was terrible especially next to an equally atrocious K-rate, and Finnegan could not be further off my radar. But suddenly some Ks started popping up with equally sudden success, which beat writers reported could be contributed to learning a change-up from Dan Straily. After heavily using what I’m assuming was a different change-up grip at the start of the season through his first 4 starts (close to 25% of the time), Finnegan then barely threw it 10% of the time over his next 21 starts . As I mentioned in that pitcher profile from last year, his change-up looked pretty below average and I’m guessing he more-or-less scrapped it from his main arsenal. But over his last 4 starts, he’s got an insane 35:8 K:BB in 25.0 IP with a 2.16 ERA. I obviously haven’t watched too much Finnegan, but I have added him in several of my leagues due to glowing reports on this new change-up (and of course, recent result), so I decided to profile him to see how it’s really looking. Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon against the Bucs:

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When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Ohhhhh baby! Here we go with another scintillating Sunday of daily fantasy suggestions. Can you feel the excitement? Can you? Anyone? Okay, well here’s the thing….I’m going off the grid a bit and filling the intro with a couple of bats instead of the usual arm. Riveting, right? See sometimes, even if it’s an unconventional, a good play is a good play and that’s precisely where Dee Gordon and Robinson Cano enter the fray. When it comes to batter versus pitcher stats, you’re either in one camp or the other. Love them or hate them……There is no middle ground. I consider BvP every day before I build my lineups. It’s part of the game. If you’ve ever played baseball, no matter the level, there are certain pitchers that you just know you’re going rake against. Call it confidence or just random luck – your choice, but BvP is a thing and I love it. As far as Gordon is concerned…..the numbers look delicious. He’s 12-for-36 (.333) with a home run, 4 RBI, .500 SLG% and 4 stolen bases vs Ryan Vogelsong. Later on today we have Matt Garza taking the hill for the Brewers as they visit Cano and the Mariners. Over 32 career at-bats, Cano has recorded 12 hits for a .375 average, launched two home runs and produced a healthy 1.068 OPS against the Milwaukee right-hander. He’s also reached base at a .412 clip, so it’s safe to say Robbie has Garza’s number. If we’re being honest here, Garza’s had trouble with lefties this season. He’s yielding a .302 BAA, .378 wOBA and allowing a 42% Hard Contact rate to left-handers. Just to make the non-believers happy, let’s take a look at some advanced stats Cano has put up against righties this year: .272 ISO, 156 wRC+, .371 OBP and a 20.4% HR/FB ratio. I’m overheating just thinking about Cano’s at-bats today. Quick, somebody bring me an ice-cold O’Doul’s before I melt. Anyway, here’s a look at my favorite plays for Sunday’s action:

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Yesterday, Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment.  Outfielders in the tier of guys in the preseason I told you not to draft:  Pence, Kemp, Gomez, Schwarber, Hanley, Corey Dickerson, Ellsbury, Brantley, Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez.  I’ll take a 7-for-10.  You believed still in the preseason about Carlos Gomez, didn’t you?  *touches finger to nose but not for a sobriety test*  I’m more surprised by the people shocked by Gomez’s fall from grace.  *makes crazy, rolly finger motion by ear*  Anyone who saw him in his prime knew he was gonna find a steep cliff.  Even when he broke out, the underlying stats told you something had to change or he wasn’t going to have continued success.  *sticks finger in nose, smiles*  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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:

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My initial thought regarding the NL Central was that it was the best division in all of baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals won 100 games last year, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs won 98 and 97 games respectively. To put that into perspective, since 1969, there have only been 47 teams to reach the 100 win mark. The division almost had three in the same season! Wilt would chuckle, but wouldn’t be impressed. Anyways, most of the great philosophical enlightenments come from cartoons. This one being particularly relevant. Put another way, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds are the cellar dwellers, both failing to win 70 wins last year. I guess the division is a microcosm of mankind. You got the “haves” and the “have-nots.” With two punching bags in the division, which elevates the win totals of the other teams, the NL Central cannot be considered the best division in baseball. That distinction probably goes to the AL East, but we are not here to talk about that. We are here to discuss the position battles in the NL Central. So without further adieu Pepe Le Pew….

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If I told you this post ends our position 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, would you believe me?  What if I told you it while holding your mom’s hand while calling you son, would you believe it more or less?  Man, you got issues!  So, yes, this is the end of our positional rankings, but I’ll be along tomorrow with a top 100 and then a top 500.  That’s right, 500!  Like a baller!  There’s also our Steamer projections for all hitters and pitchers.  All of the fantasy baseball auction values are also up for over 1500 players.  There’s a ton of different formats located there too, like the 5×5 OBP rankings, 6×6 OBP rankings, 6×6 Holds and a ton more.  All of my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted in this post.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Today is 7/11! Be sure to go to your local 7-Eleven for the famous thirst quenching Slurpee. Remember to buy an extra one for your enjoyment while watching baseball all day. Take the kiddos with you and you’ll be the coolest dad around. You can tell what my childhood memories consist of. Now that we got that important news out of the way, its time to focus on DraftKings. Over the past three games, the Phillies have faced Kershaw, Greinke, and Bumgarner. Over those three games, they’ve managed to crank out 2 runs. Today, they face Ryan Vogelsong. He’s not the caliber of pitcher as those three, but you have to think the Phillies are deflated today, and are already planning their All-Star break vacation. It’s not out of the question to stack those Giants’ hitters as high as you can as they scored double digits last night. Phillies’ starting pitcher Buchanan has a 0-5 record on the season with a near 9 ERA. But, I don’t know if I’m putting my eggs all in one basket. If I’m playing a big money ‘Guaranteed’ entry, this will definitely be my plan. Click on and check out my other picks for today.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?