Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta. Not sure it would be the wrong move either. Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter. He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas. He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas. Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10. About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right. I said it around the time of his no-hitter. That took some pants grapes. What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut. On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta). Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up. It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine. It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.” And that’s me quoting me! On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.” And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record! I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it. For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year. People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall. Yeah, and it won’t work out either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 last night, scoring two runs with his 12th home run, and three RBI. Could this be the start of something big? Who’s Conforto, you ask? Lol, you pleb–Don’t you know anything? He’s just an uber prospect for the New York Mets. *Sips cold brew coffee, adjust horn rimmed glasses, strokes beard* Sigh. You’ve probably never heard of him. Have I mentioned he’s the hipster’s favorite player? Do I really have to mention that? The man hit .365 with four homers, 11 doubles and 18 RBI in April, then completely fell of the planet. He was busy working on his documentary film/visual novel/app for dogs. Sitting in an abandoned warehouse turned secret speakeasy/corn hole arena/craft cider house/live-bluegrass music cafe, I sip my gluten-free organic cold brew coffee (cage-free beans, obv) and curl my finely waxed mustache, pondering what life would be like with a fantasy baseball championship. I put down my Gabriel García Márquez book (I only read South American novelists), let my hair free out of its man-bun, and realize that Michael Conforto could be the key to everything. All that magical realism is really paying off! Sure, he struggled mightily all year, and sure, Jay Bruce threatens to steal some of his playing time. But Bruce is also 2-for-31 (.065 BA) in the past two weeks, and Conforto’s got all the upside. If I were you, and I’m not, because I’m obviously way hipper than you, I’d grab Michael Conforto, who’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues, before he gets hot. In fact, this could only make you cooler because when he does finally break out, that means you picked him up before he was cool. And there’s nothing cooler than that!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Daniel Norris went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.81. Deserved better than a no decision, but he’s 23 years old, making $500,000, so who cares what he deserves? I deserve equal pay for cracking jokes about fantasy baseball for six months! *marching with a picket sign* Sign reads: BLOGGER = Better Living-wage Or Gainful Gifts, Earnings, Reimbursements *pull back to reveal I’m marching in my underwear with my dog humping my leg* Stop, Ted! I’m trying to make a point! So, Norris looked terrific, but he’s had a vexing season. Vexing, I tell ya! He was put in middle relief after a back problem that sidelined in the spring, then he returned and was almost immediately sidelined with an oblique problem. Why do we care? Well, I wrote a sleeper post about him last year, saying, “He’s a sleeper, because he’ll likely be drafted late since he appears to be a year away, and, sadly, he might not just appear to be a year away, but he might actually be a year away, though he might appear to be a year away and not be a year away. I’m the Grand Champion of putting “year away” in one sentence, by the way. Norris is a pure upside play. He could be a 4+ ERA guy that bounces between the rotation, the bullpen and the minors or a 2.75 ERA guy with truckloads of Ks.” And that’s me quoting me! I quote that, because I was exactly right (I couldn’t have been wrong since I hedged more than Sonic) and for 2017 I’m going to like Norris for the exact same reasons while being a year closer. Dot dot dot. To getting a living wage! I’m Norma Rae! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Grey post for my shenanigans. Hi all, I’m Razzball’s resident Troy McClure. You might remember me from such times as when I used to write more than just our DFS content. Yes I do, in fact, still write on here and yes I just, in fact, pimped some of our writings. *Slides on shades* deal with it and if you don’t like it, take it up with Grey who told me he had a bout of food poisoning. As I’ve reminded him more than once, just because Ted eats out of the trash can doesn’t mean he has to, too. I won’t mention what he said about Cougs’ cooking and it’s comparison there of with regards to said trash can. I don’t rat on my friends, I’m just that kind of guy. But now that we’ve been cordially reacquainted with the writer that is moi, let’s get on to Jonathan Villar. Went 3/5 and had a delicious slam (13) and legs (52). Was sexting with JFOH the other day about Villar since I owned him everywhere this year including my keeper and am looking to 2017 with him. Thankfully, Virtual Reality isn’t really available on smartphones just yet. Can only imagine what that eggplant emoji would do…anyhoo, the thoughts on Jonathan overflowed. On the one hand, the BABIP (.396) has to come down given his K rate (26.2%), but on the other, he does the right thing by taking plenty of walks (11.3%), hitting the ball on the ground (55.8% GB rate), and is 8th in the MLB in pitches per plate appearance. All and all he’ll be drafted too high in 2017, but still looks good for .270, 10 HRs, and 40 steals. Or as Grey likes to call him, the Delino DeShields that wasn’t. Ow, I just felt how cold that was and I was just on the delivery end of it! Anyways, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball…(<— yes, I did copy and paste it; don’t mess with the recipe, fool!).
Football has arrived! Our Rankings (rated highly and in the top-20 percentile of all experts the past two years) for Week 1 can be found here!Please, blog, may I have some more?
As we always do about this time! *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter* Damn, how long was I worming for? September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh. Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes. So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)? It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty. Aplenty, I tell ya! By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees. Yeah, I just made the English language better. High-five yourself for even knowing to read me. *Grey worms, alarm goes off* Damn, I need to get more coins. At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on rookie nookie, but if a guy isn’t playing every day, he’s as good as dirt in redraft leagues, and I don’t have a Soil category, do you? It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here: to get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2017. (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out! Not literally! Ouch.) Which bring us to Yoan Mocada. Red Sox manager, John Farrell, says Moncada’s promotion is eminent. They have a bobblehead giveaway planned, a kid’s jersey giveaway, a ‘Yoan yawn coverer’ which is really just a foam hand, a–*intern whispers in my ear* Seems I was misusing ‘promotion.’ I already gave you my Yoan Moncada fantasy. He’ll be up on Friday. He should be owned everywhere and will play 3rd base. No Gas Face there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA (if that’s even possible at this point) to 2.09. The Seattle museum, Experience Music Project is going to need to update their Hendricks section. EMP Tour guide, “In 1970, Hendricks said, ‘I’m going to take my guitar, grab Janis, impregnate Afeni Shakur, have my lawyer write a letter that says Ben and/or Jerry can never name an ice cream after me while simultaneously sucking and blowing this joint. Then thirty-six years later, I’m going to win the NL Cy Young if the BBWAA votes based on ERA.’ Now, let’s move on to our five floors of Nirvana memorabilia. There’s some interesting flannel stories I can’t wait to share.” No, of course, Kyle Hendricks isn’t this good. His fastball velocity is down to 87 MPH, he’s relying heavily on a changeup that isn’t that much slower and his BABIP is absurdly low. Not saying you drop him, but if Hendricks does win the Cy Young, in 2017, the same faith that befell Dallas Keuchel this year will happen to Hendricks too. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Tuesday, Razzballero! If you’re still checking in on the baseball side of things, it probably means that you’re still in contention in at least one of your fantasy leagues, so kudos to you for that. If you were able to win the race to the waiver wire and acquire this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (58.4% owned; +46.8% over the past week), you’re probably sitting pretty right now. Not too much has changed since I highlighted him in this very column last week, except that he’s gained catcher eligibility in more formats and he’s even more white hot now than he was just a short week ago. Since last Tuesday, Sanchez has 12 hits in 25 plate appearances including 6 homers and 9 RBI over that span. His weekly triple slash line is merely a ho-hum .545/.600/1.455 while his .909 ISO looks like something you’d find on an OPS leaderboard. He’s even tossed in a steal for good measure. His .385 batting average is currently being boosted by a .405 BABIP and his 50% HR/FB is likely to be cut in half (if not more) over the long-term, but Sanchez looks like a legit .280-.285 hitter with 25-30 homer power. Think Buster Posey with a slightly lower average but more power. If you managed to grab him, enjoy the ride (and hold on for dear life dynasty leaguers!).
Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week: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?
The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!
It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jason Heyward has really been a thorn in my fantasy baseball (and real baseball) side for too long. He keeps poking me with his thorns and I do not like it. It’s been an up-and-down ride with him for me the last couple seasons. Prior to 2015 he was a member of the Atlanta Braves and he had the look of a future 30/20 guy at worst. In 2012 he hit 27 homers with 21 steals at age 22! He looked like a power hitter, and he had a solid defensive game to boot. A future superstar. But there were signs he wasn’t all that (his minor league numbers showed little power) and they continued in subsequent seasons with the Braves, where he only stole bases and never hit more than 14 homers. The Cardinals thought they were getting a good deal for Shelby Miller (not as good as the Braves got for Miller sheesh) and Heyward produced a decent fantasy season with 13 homers and 23 steals and a .797 OPS.
So, being a Cubs fan and a (now former) St. Louis resident when he signed with the Cubs I was pretty excited. He was a bonus to the Cubs and it made Cardinal fans pissed; that’s a win-win for me. Now all he had to be was as good as he was on the Cardinals and it’d be a win-win-win. Even though the Cubs are doing really well Heyward has stunk. Like terribly as many of you are aware. In 75 games so far he has four homers and seven steals and a .089 ISO and an OPS killing .649. If he’s bringing steals then you could argue him as a fifth OF, but he’s not even doing that. At least Joe Maddon finally, this past week, put him down, er, moved him down in the order. I can’t believe it took that long…Please, blog, may I have some more?