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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Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers.  In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful.  I mean, you ain’t got no alibi.  U-G-L-Y.  Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave.  “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.”  “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!”  That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila!  Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption).  His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse.  His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it.  At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks.  At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mat Latos has been on six different teams since 2015, DFA’d three times and some how is still pitching in the big leagues. He’s actually been pitching pretty well in his couple starts this season, carrying a 3.27 ERA and has only allowed 1 HR in his 11 innings.  However, a trip to Yankee stadium on Tuesday night should change those numbers in a hurry. New York Yankees currently rank first in runs scored and HRs hit in the American league. Meanwhile, Latos FIP is 5.48, so his 3.27 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story; he is due for one of those outings where he gives up a couple long balls and 6-7 runs. Bats like Aaron Judge ($7,600), Didi Gregorius ($7,200), Jacoby Ellsbury ($7,500) and Starlin Castro ($7,200) could prove to be a nice stack for the night.

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Yesterday, Josh Harrison hit two homers (3, 4), raising his average to .313 and hitting near-.350 in the last week.  He’s hitting like two-thousand against lefties, so the Hitter-Tron was all over him yesterday, like it’s all over grease spots with its dipstick.  Hitter-Tron is a horny robot!  You think the Hitter-Tron will ever meet up with the lonely AF Stream-o-Nator?  They seem like a match made in heaven like popcorn and chicken, Kim and Kanye or Oprah and Gayle.  On a larger, more general note, on our Hitter-Tron (and Stream-o-Nator) we have the ownership numbers for our RCL leagues (12-team mixed), and Harrison is owned in 89% of leagues, so, this brings me to my long-drawn-out question, how in Jane Goodall’s understated-sexiness is Harrison only owned in 25% of ESPN leagues?  Honestly, seriously, awkward sentence introly, I don’t think ESPN updates their ownership numbers on the reg (not short for Reginald).  Guys and five gals, this is exposing some large widespread conspiracy.  Maybe we should check in with Gregory in ESPN’s “Fantasy Ownership” Department.  Gregory, what do you think? “Mike Trout just fell to 99.3% owned.”  All righty then.  If Harrison is unowned in your league, you should fix that, if for no other reason, so we can see if Gregory updates the numbers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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Such a weird week of Jodie Foster references at Razzball, and we’re only to Wednesday.  What will be tomorrow?  Joe Panik Room?  Okay, raise your hand if you saw Starling Marte being suspended for Nandrolone.  The one person raising his or her hand is the person supplying Marte with Nandrolone.  Take ’em away, boys!  I just made my 2nd imaginary arrest.  My first was when I imagined arresting Ben Carson for driving with his eyes closed.  This is like Pollock 2016 all over again, except instead of breaking his elbow; Marte broke our trust.  As punishment, Starling Marte should get an 80-game suspension or a “We were all rooting for you” Tyra GIF tattooed on his back.  I think Gregory Popolanco turned him in, with help from Freese.  Adam Frazier will get a regular job in the outfield since the Pirates said Austin Meadows isn’t ready yet.  Bee oh oh.  Boo.  I grabbed Meadows in all mixed leagues for the sheer excitement, but within about an hour I realized Meadows is unlikely coming up until at least June and dropped him.  As for Marte, you can likely lose him in most redraft leagues, and, for some of us, we’re having a “Don’t have Marte” party!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Okay, hooligans and hooligals!  I did my best to ward off Rudy from recommending the title, “I’m Keano For Severino.”  Or his 2nd recommended title, “Poop Breath < Severino.”  I think Rudy’s been drinking.  So, as they say when they remove tassels from cow udders in Tennessee, “Playtime’s over, let’s get down to business!”  Yesterday, Luis Severino threw 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks to lower his ERA to 4.50.  Maybe not so much better than poop breath?  I keed!  Much better.  Between the lines, where the game is played as I sound vaguely like George Will, Severino looks dominant.  Fastball: 97 MPH, ground balls around 45%, xFIP at 1.95.  Okay, I just put tassels on my udders, because those numbers are gorgeous.  There’s not much fun to be had in his division and park, but his stuff should play anywhere.  I’d absolutely look to add him in all leagues; he’s dramatically better than poop breath!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If I didn’t wear cowboy boots to the community pool.  If I didn’t ooze machismo like I’m Fonzie and John Wayne’s baby which they had during the intermission of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  If I weren’t such a gee-dee man’s man — exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark — I’d el oh el right now like a 13-year-old girl.  Perfect through six and two-thirds (final line: 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners (0 BBs), 11 Ks, ERA at 3.97) from a guy that has caused more ulcers than your wife’s best friend’s bright idea to videotape your wife’s bachelorette party.  She cheated on you, doode, and he was hung like Carlos Lee.  Michael Pineda, why do you cause such ulcers, I ask like I’m at Ellis Island in 1931.  I also have the scurvy, as I continue for no apparent reason.  Okay, seriously, I don’t know what to make of Michael Pineda.  He has the stuff, as George Carlin once said, to be a 2.50 ERA pitcher with 220 Ks.  He could also have a 5.50 ERA and be sent down by July.  If someone tells you they know which one he’ll be, they’re lying.  Would I own him?  Sure.  Would I always enjoy it?  C’mon, man, pay attention!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?