Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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True story, I told Cougs that I had the hots for Maria Conchita Alonso, and she was like, “You know the woman who walks her Yorkie off leash in the neighborhood that Ted always tries to hump?”  I answered in the affirmative.  I hate people who have their dogs off leash.  It’s like people who bring their dog into the supermarket.  I love dogs, but I don’t need Arfer Woofruff licking my bottle of Kombucha.  Any hoo!  As you likely figured, the woman with her Yorkie off leash is Maria Conchita Alonso, and she’s no longer hot because she can’t follow the rules!  So, guys and five girl readers, Yonder Alonso has nine homers.  Quite the change from a guy who used to be Hither Alonso.  Okay, Imma let Fangraphs Database finish about launch angle and exit velocity, but Yonder Alonso is the greatest 1st baseman waiver wire pick up right now.  Yonder Alonso had two homers on Saturday and added his ninth on Sunday, and I’d grab him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday (but really every time he pitches), Chris Sale went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA down to 0.91, and yet another no decision.  Elias Sports Bureau said, “Chris Sale had his 4th start in last five seasons on Thursday with 8 IP, 10+ Ks, 0 ER without getting win; no one else has more than one.  Also, there’s 16 different vending machines in our company to choose from, but only one has M&M’s and Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie for 50 Cent that elicits Snickers with the wrappers.”  God, what a bunch of nerds!  Not like us fantasy baseball cool kids!  I wanna tent the Elias Sports Bureau office, fart in there and leave.  Seriously, that’s what I want.  I need a wish genie, up in here!  Up in here!  So, Chris Sale is flippin’ awesome once again, and nothing can stop him except a rock vs. his scissors.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If only Adam Jones had gotten injured that headline would’ve been perfect. Well, it looks like we are in the thick of baseball injury season! When I went to put this week’s article together, I had 20 players listed that I needed to check out. Luckily, some guys like Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe and Gregory Polanco were back in their team’s line-ups by the time came for me to check out their current status. Other guys like Jarrett Parker, Mallex Smith and James Kaprielan aren’t really fantasy relevant enough to worry about. But if you are in a deep or AL/NL-only league, feel free to ask me about anyone you want in the comments. Also, many of my fill in recommendations are for deeper leagues, so if you want to know who to pick up in shallower leagues, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments as well! 

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Now that I’ve got your attention – I want to point out that it is indeed true that Noah Syndergaard is way worse than Scott Feldman. Now I hear everyone asking – in what stat or skill could Thor be worse than Scott Feldman? Well, the singular skill of preventing steals. Thor just happens to be the absolute worst at it in the game. Yes, worse than Jon Lester, who refuses to throw to first because it crushes his soul. In 333.2 innings, Thor has allowed a eye-opening 86% of runners to steal successfully (worst in the majors amongst pitchers who have thrown at least 300 innings since 2013). However, it’s not just the rate at which players steal on him, it’s also the volume – he allows a stolen base once every 5.3 innings. For someone who doesn’t allow that many base runners, that’s a staggering number – and it’s by far the worst in the majors – the next 3 worst are Tyson Ross, the aforementioned Scott Feldman, and Jimmy Nelson, who allow a stolen base once per 6.6, 6.7 and 6.9 innings, respectively. Looking at it another way, 21% of the runners who get on 1st base and aren’t blocked, steal – and like the other statistics mentioned, that is by far the worst in MLB. While this wart has done nothing to stop Thor’s dominance, ignoring it in DFS could hinder your dominance. Don’t be afraid to target basestealers against Thor – yes, they have to actually get on base, which is not easy, but if they do, that 3-point single suddenly becomes a 9-point single and stolen base. Also, Scott Feldman is pretty bad in his own right at this (13.7% of unblocked runners steal, only 4th worst.)

Picks are coming right after this stolen base vs Thor…

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In order to mark the glorious return of baseball, I thought it only appropriate to pay homage to one of the greatest movies of our generation: Bloodsport. If you are one of the people that agrees with the 33% score on Rotten Tomatoes, then I’m going to have to fight you. Disclaimer: I’ve watched the movie hundreds of times, so that pretty much means I have a black belt in all the martial arts disciplines and will no doubt kick your ass. How could you not like a movie with lines like this or or scene with this? C’mon man!!!

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As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

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When Jonathan Lucroy vetoed the trade to the Indians this past weekend, I thought we were going to find out Lucroy was Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy.  Other teams were going to try and convert him into one of their players, but he was always going to continue to play for the other team.  Then, at some point, he was going to describe oral sex in insane, graphic detail, using balls, bats, and a gear shift, and other teams were just going to give up trying to get him to play for their team.  Then it turned out the Brewers were not going to be “Holden” him forever, you can “Banky” on it.  Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress were Chinese finger-cuffed to each other and sent to the Rangers for Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.  By the way, Luis/Lewis is the Spanish version of tomato-tomahto.  I wonder what the Brewers finally said to Lucroy.  “We love you, but, dude, if you really love this organization, you’ll get the eff out of here.  Go!”  Then cried in the rain all super-weepy like Ben Affleck.  So, Lucroy gets a small boost in value from the lineup, but the stadium change is nearly a push.  As for Jeremy Jeffress, who is Jason Lee in this scenario, will work set up for Sam Dyson, who will keep the job.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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