I asked my wife to help me think of a title using the name Xander Bogaerts and she said his name sounds like a character that Joey would play on Friends and I agree, that’s pretty apt.  Xander is one of my favorite Bogaerts, even if he spells it a bit differently than the others.  First there’s badass Humphrey; Casablanca owns, still holds up today, still is eminently quotable, and if you disagree you haven’t watched it (so go do so, right after you finish reading this post).

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Every year, there are surprises in fantasy baseball. Some players come out of nowhere and breakout or, in the case of Aaron Judge, absolutely dominate. Other players regress after a breakout season the year before. There are even the players who have long track records of mediocrity who, all of sudden, appear to have figured something out en route to becoming legitimate contributors both in fantasy and in, you know, real baseball. I like to call these players Justin Smoak-Logan Morrison-Yonder Alonso. The more popular terms among Razzballers for these players are Schmohawks and Hot Schmotatos.

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It’s Father’s Day weekend, y’all! Get out and watch some baseball with your dad! Or if yours is like mine, they don’t like baseball at all.  I bet my dad couldn’t name Mike Trout.  So for me, I have to go back one generation as it was my grandfathers who got me into baseball. One, a diehard Cubs fan.  The other, a diehard Royals fan (with a place in Tampa so I’ve seen way more (Devil) Ray games than I’d like to admit, though…I guess I just did, so just don’t tell anybody, okay?). They took me to games as a kid and I was lucky enough to get to take them both to games as an adult.

I love that I still get to talk baseball with my Royals grandfather (as the Cubs grandfather has passed) who was so pumped they won in 2015 and then the Cubs won last year; it’s really been a good last couple years for my family’s baseball teams.  So thank those people who got you into the game (especially if its your dad/grandad on Sunday), invite them to a game, be it the majors, minors, or even beer league softball, and celebrate!

Top OPS past 14 days (min 35 ABs as of this writing):

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Derek Fisher was called up by the Astros to replace the concussed Reddick.  First off, Derek needs to stop singing that jingle, “Trust the Astros Fisher, man.”  Tres annoying.  Saying tres instead of very is tres annoying, too. Fisher was hoping Reddick was some combination of reddish and haddock.  “Get that seaweed out of my face!”  That’s Nori Aoki.  Everyone in MLB is happy for Fisher except this guy.  If you thought Strickland-Harper was something… Sorry, for Derek Fisher, that was a layup.  As for fantasy, Fisher has power and speed, has had strikeout issues, but no worse than Bellinger.  He could be a difference maker if he plays 75%+ of the time.  One of the best guys in the minors this year.  Better on power than speed, inefficient as a runner.  Yes, PCL, but MLB is kinda PCL-like nowadays.  Might outproduce Brinson, though Fisher needs to stick in a job for that.  Yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his first home run, and I think Fisher is for reel, and not just on the casting couch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If Tyler Chatwood ($15,300) never had to step foot in Coors Field again, he would probably be contending for the Cy Young every year… ok he wouldn’t be, but thats how good he has been on the road since 2013. Only Clayton Kershaw ($25,200) has a better road ERA during that span. Chatwood has a 2.35 ERA this season so far on the road; now he gets the low hitting Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates ranked 25th or worse in each of the following hitting categories: Runs, HRs, avg, and OPS. So you can say he is set up nicely against that line up. Kershaw is also on the slate and has to go on the road against the defending American League champs. The Cleveland Indians offense has  been horrendous versus LHP (.236 AVG .691 OPS), making Kershaw an automatic play in cash games. There are some nice pitching options that won’t cost you an arm and leg, though, so let’s take a look at the picks…

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I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

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The Jewish Sphinx has a riddle that goes like this, “What does the old man scream while at the urinal?”  The answer, of course, is, “Peacock!”  The Jewish Sphinx is silly, but hella good with money!  “Why are you buying all those irrigation tools at Home Depot when you’ll eventually come across a mirage?”  Great point, Jewish Sphinx!  Or better known as Joshua Sphinxberg.  Any hoo!  This brings us (not really) to our featured Buy this week, a guy that needs no introduction, which is why I talked about Joshua Sphinxberg for 120 words — Brad Peacock!   I don’t love featuring starters as the lede Buy because they have one bad start and people are like, “Grey’s dumb, what else is new?”  Um, MasterChef, that’s also new.  Getting the obvious out of the way, I don’t know why Peacock’s parents didn’t name him Bird instead.  Now, his peripherals.  Zoinks, they are gorge:  13.5 K/9, 2.87 xFIP, 16% line drive rate, which would be the seventh lowest in the majors, and 27% soft contact, which would be the 2nd highest in the majors, just after Dallas Keuchel.  People are teeing off on Peacock like they just pressed their nose to the handle of a bat and spun in circles for five minutes.  Of course, Peacock’s one downside is his balls.  He is an old man!  No, he throws too many of them.  Peacock’s command could use one of those urinal flies on the catcher’s mitt.  Either way, I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues; he looks like he could be breaking out.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Ryon Healy (44.7% owned – increase of 18.3%) has hit 13 home runs in 57 games this season. In 72 games last year, Healy clubbed 13 home runs in 72 games. For those that are too lazy to use their desktop abacus, that comes out to 26 home runs in 129 games to begin Healy’s major league career. As John Hickey of The Mercury News wrote, “For the A’s, only two men have done better – the Bash Brothers. Mark McGwire hit 42 homers in his first 128 games and Jose Canseco hit 28 over the same number of games to start his Oakland career.” Yo Grey!!! Time to schedule another interview with Jose. The thing that immediately jumps out to me is the .331 BABIP. Regression, right? Well, he had a .352 BABIP last season. The projection systems have him slated for a .310-ish BABIP and .270-ish average for the remainder of the season. I’m not one to argue with the computers. It’s the same reason why I married Chinese. Just in case either take over the world, I’ve got some protection. As I continue to research Healy, the numbers look good. The contact rates are good (88.3% in the zone and 76.5% in general) and swinging strike rate is decent for a power hitter (10.9%). The chase rate of 34.2% is high (Top 30), but a far cry from the 47.1% by Corey Dickerson. Healy is mashing lefties (.408 average with five home runs), but what’s most impressive are the .346 average and 10 home runs at O.co Coliseum, which is an albatross for power. The cherry on top is that Healy plays everyday, which is sometimes worrisome with the ADD platoon nature of the A’s. TREASURE

Here are a few more players that caught my eye on the most added/dropped list for the week:

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Kinda ridiculous that Odubel Herrera is the first player to get two ledes this year, but this is because they both came on short schedule days and I’m the only one that likely knows this, so let’s just move on!  ODB’s hot like Mariah’s fire.  Mariah’s fire is the dragon breath she breathes right before her morning ritual of firing a staffer.  “Who sprinkled my slippers with gold dust?  It’s Tuesday!  Tuesday’s slippers get sprinkled with powdered sugar so the squirrels follow me like it’s a Disney movie!”  That’s Mariah TCOB.  Ooh, idea!  I’m gonna do the rest of this in acronyms.  ODB TCOB SAGNOF UB40–Ugh, I failed at that exercise.  Grey does not equal a 14-year-old girl texting.  I told you yesterday if you take nothing else from the roundup, take away that you should grab Odubel.  And that’s me reiterating me!  Seriously, he’s 8-for-13 over the last three games with two homers.  Grab him!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

Please, blog, may I have some more?