It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Here’s some things we know about Hector Olivera. A) The Braves say he could arrive with the team on Tuesday. B) The Braves are throwing him into the fire like they’re you at a backyard fire getting rid of all pictures of yourself from high school so no one can ever do a #tbt to you. The Braves president of baseball operations said Olivera will do a few days in the Gulf Coast League, then start moving him through the system. That’s fast, since he only has a week of Triple-A games under his belt. C) There’s no C. D) B was really long so there’s no D either. E) Olivera may not need much minor league time. He’s not exactly a rookie, he’s 30 years old. F) That’s a Latin 30; he may really be 44 years old. G) Money. H) oly smokes. I) am Grey. J) This preseason, I said this about Olivera, “After watching Olivera hit, he looks like Hanley Ramirez. Out on a limb like the Tootsie Roll owl, Olivera could hit 12-15 homers, steal 6-9 bases and hit .275-ish. There’s obviously a huge amount of risk, upside, downside and unknown here. He reminds of another import from this offseason. Call him The Cuban Kang.” K) And that’s me quoting me! L) MNOP Q) Would I own him? R) you serious? Of course. S) CarGo. T)he time to grab him is now. U) I’m talking to. V) Great TV show! W) Great movie! X) Great black militant! Y) Cause. Z) Fin. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Greetings! It’s crunch time, boys and girls! Are you one of the good people frantically following the trade talks, hoping to find that closer or rookie call up to complete your championship squad? Or are you one of those mud pirates, who has stopped paying attention all together, ruining things for everyone else? I suppose you’re more than likely not reading this if that’s the case, but just in case you are, let me be speak for your leaguemates, and say ef you! In head-to-head leagues, it’s even more despicable, giving undeserving teams huge victories and besmirching the playoff standings. Stick to DFS, for this is a game of Kings, and why I usually insist on playing in high money leagues, where frauds are beheaded like a deserter of the Nights Watch. Kudos to you if you’re still around, fighting for your lives in the greatest game ever invented. You, my goodmen, are warriors and the Elder Gods will write poetry in you honor.

I am Tehol Beddict, and this is, Disgrace/Delight! Take heed!

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With the first half of the MLB season in the books, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick mid-season evaluation of the players who have been profiled in this series over the last two and a half months. Of course, that entails reminding you of all of the many mistakes that I’ve made this season. Hmmm… maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. Oh well, too late now. As the great Frank Drebin once said, “Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.” It’s accountability time. As we look back on the bears/bulls of the first half, we’ll examine what went right, what went wrong, and what’s yet to be determined.

Just as a quick reminder, the players who are labeled “bulls” are the ones who I’m bullish, or optimistic, about going forward, while the “bears” are the players who I’m bearish on and expect regression moving forward. Let’s take a look at the monthly breakdowns of this season’s bears and bulls (post date can be found next to each player’s name):

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Steven Matz is getting the call to the majors, a day after the Mets received this call, “Earth to Mets, your season is slipping away, and stop crashing back into me.” Though, it was kinda nervy of Earth to call collect. Earth added, “Sorry, I also invested in Madoff.” Thankfully for Mets fans, the Mets accepted the charges for Earth’s call, but declined Ian Desmond’s. If you are a fan of the Mets, I’d immediately write them a strongly-worded letter to not trade for Ian Desmond. I just gave you my Steven Matz fantasy. It was written on the backside of the napkin where you wrote your phone number. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except he’s added some more wonderful to his statz (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sorry, I’m using a keyboard sponsored by Marcus Semien and the keys are sticky.). Matz’s IP count is now up to 90 1/3 with a 2.19 ERA and 94 Ks. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s in the PCL, where they use helium balloons as baseballs. I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Adrian Beltre was diagnosed with a dislocated left thumb. The doctor said it could be anywhere, his glove compartment, upstairs by the hamper, in the basement by the weights we bought you in high school that you never used. Beltre will miss two to three weeks. So… the Rangers called up Joey Gallo! *searching Gallo on Google, coming across Orson Welles commercial outtakes* Damn, that Orson guy was a genius. Orson Bean too. You cannot go wrong with the name Orson! Could Gallo be Orson-like? I think he can, but, like the dentist tells you, there’s some caveats. Here’s what I said this offseason, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly last year in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter. In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate. That’s absurd. That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask. Fun fact! Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties. So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance here of him hitting above .200? Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts. Right now, he’d probably hit .150 in the majors. Jot noking, Spooner. Luckily, for the sake of all that is holy, I don’t think he’s going to break camp with the club and will have time to fix his swing tendencies. His power is completely for real, and I think he could hit 30 homers in the major leagues right now. Like the bowling alley that doesn’t cater to dwarfs, no small feat there. He’s only going to be 21 years old, so 30 homers from a guy that young is crazy.” And that’s me quoting me! So, did Gallo fix his swing tendencies this year in the minors? No, not really. His strikeout rate in the minors so far is 33.6%, which is awful for Double-A, and the Rangers have specified that Gallo is merely a two to three week call-up while Beltre gets right. I’d grab Gallo for power in any league, but not at the expense of anyone that worthwhile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at three of the most exciting young players that Major League Baseball has to offer: Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, and Chris Archer. This week, we’re gonna switch gears and take a look at 35-year-old veteran Matt Holliday. It’s kind of like going car shopping and checking out the flashy, new sports cars in the front of the dealership on the way to the used pick-up truck lot in the back. But remember when Holliday was that gorgeous new Ferrari in the front window?

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