Just finished my first draft if you’re reading this as I type it, and other than one shirtless man in yellow sweatpants standing behind me in this internet cafe, I don’t think anyone’s reading this as I type it.  Unless, of course, there’s micronauts living inside my brain watching as my inner monologue is sending info to my fingers.  Gadzooks, I got micronauts in my brain!  I wonder if these micronauts made me draft Eric Thames.  I need to delve deeper into this subject.  Maybe I will in my pastel journal that is covered in Giancarlo’s picture from ESPN’s nude magazine.  So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an NL Only league that was hosted by Scott White of CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than Amanda Bynes.  This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat.  (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  Please be a commissioner, we need leagues, thank you, and Oxford comma.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One quick note, our War Room guy from last year has dropped out, so if you guys (maybe four girls) want a War Room this year, someone needs to step up to make it happen.  I will take ready, willing and abled-bodied people in the comments.  Oh, who are we kidding, no one here is able-bodied!  I’ll take anyone, just comment and I’ll contact you.  This is for the downloadable Excel War Room.  Any hoo!  With the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  You might say to yourself, “Self, everyone is totally fooled by my toupee and do I really need to draft starters this deep in my friendly 12-team mixed league?”  You don’t, except you will own guys from this post this year either from the draft or from waivers or your leaguemates will own them and beat you.  Last year, in the tier of pitchers I liked in the top 80 starters was Aaron Sanchez (pitcher, not chef), Rich Hill (pitcher, not sniglets) and Tanner Roark (pitcher, not Tattoo’s boss).  If you owned just them, you had a 2.74 ERA in 512 1/3 IP.  You really still think you need starters drafted early?  You throw in two earlier starters, say, Kluber and Gausman, and you have way too much pitching now.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t understand this.  The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship.  On the surface, it seems straightforward enough.  Making run for championship, want best players there.  Okay, I get that part.  The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?!  Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned.  Don’t ask.  The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships?  I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team.  I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!”  They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it!  So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys).  Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects.  Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers.  They’re not going to make much impact in ten days.  Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first.  Which they lost!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know how people write stuff on a grain of rice.  With that in mind, on Rich Hill‘s blister this is written, “Took a whole lot of tryin’ to get up that Hill — R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley.  I can’t believe I not only had room on this grain for an inspirational quote, but also room to attribute the quote to the wrong person and to also add in this meta comment about my inspirational quot–”  Damn, he wasn’t able to fit everything.  That’s the worst.  That’s like when you’re writing a birthday card to someone and you start writing a note only to get to the end and need to start writing super-tiny and curved to fit it in.  And that’s not the first time you’ve heard your curve is super-tiny.  Rich Hill was perfect on Saturday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 9 Ks — but, to be honest, Hill has been perfect for the last two years (though only 29 IP last year).  This year, 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP with a 10.4 K/9 and 1.74 ERA over the past two years.  So, ya know, your usual ace you get about 120 IP from.  For 2017, it’s going to be hard to rank him much below the top 25 with the caveat that you’re only getting him for three to four months.  Makes you wish rice grains were just a tad bigger to fit all of the superlatives on there for Rich Hill.  Know what I mea– Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

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Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  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?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time for the Dodgers’ mailbag with your host, Grey Albright and I’m here with Dave Roberts.  First question up, Billy from Toluca Lake asks, “Why didn’t we sign Johnny Cueto?”  Dave Roberts runs full-speed towards 2nd and slides head-first…safe!  Well, that doesn’t exactly answer the question, but he is still quick.  Okay, next question, “Was there ever a chance of re-signing Greinke?”  Dave Roberts brushes dirt from his uniform and motions for the ump to call him safe, and he likely would’ve been safe if we were in a game and not just taking questions from Dodger fans.  Okay, next, “What exactly is Brandon Beachy doing as a Dodger?”  Dave Roberts takes off for third, what a speed demon, though we’re not sure what that has to do with the Dodgers losing pitchers one per hour.  Early yesterday, the Dodgers announced Hyun-Jin Ryu hit the DL with elbow tendinitis.  There’s no clear timetable for his return, but I’d guess sometime in the future.  Him returning in the past seems to be a long shot, at best.  Ryu didn’t look good after he returned from injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return until next season.  If you have no DL room, you should look on Redfin.  Might be time to get in a bigger place.  For now, I’d drop Ryu.  Next up for the Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw would be shut down indefinitely.  Ouch.  I hate to see the top guys in the game get shut down.  It hurts the game that we all love.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t own him, and am pumped about the teams that do have him, losing him.  Schadenfreude!  If he’s shut down now, I’d say the earliest he could possibly return is mid-August.  Filling in will be Julio Urias and his special brand of 5 IP, 3 ERA, blink-and-you-miss-it starts, which makes me wonder if he’s seen himself pitch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?