The Phillies seem determined to burn some serious pitching rubber. It’s September and they’re still rolling Aaron Nola ($8,400) out like these games actually mean something. I know players have their own self-pride, but this is like a hotel bible – it’s nice, but no one really cares. While the Phillies are busy playing Russian Roulette with Nola and a potential injury though, you should be Russian to get him in your lineup tonight. If you ignore Nola’s 20 earned runs across his last five starts and focus on the Nats ranking dead last in hits, third last in RBI’s and that whopping .204 AVG over the last week, suddenly, this match up looks kinda okie-dokie. Here’s the rest of my Thursday picks:
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Yesterday, Lucas Giolito went 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as he was called up to take Reynaldo’s rotation spot. The shine, as they say at the complaint desk for a shoeshine man, has come off Giolito. I was all ready to mock Keith Law. I was going to look at what Law said in 2012 vs. now, but I overestimated Law. This past winter he said Giolito could be a #1 starter. I can’t imagine what he said in 2012. Likely that he’s the best starter in the draft. He wouldn’t have been alone with that. Most loved Giolito at the time. Also, as that last sentence sounds, he was the most loved Giolito, with Sammy “The Bull” Giolito a distant 2nd. Lucas’s value has rebounded a bit this year vs. last year. In Endorphin Ralph’s top 100 prospects in the 2nd half, Giolito was ranked 82nd. As a fantasy baseball prospect list vs. a real baseball one, that’s a solid ranking — or is that a solid Ralphing? For this year, I’d avoid outside of the best matchups. Rookie pitchers bring more heartache than your high school sweetheart friending you on Facebook. “Ugh, she’s happy? Such BS!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs. Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando. I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…” Ya know what? I’m just gonna leave this here…
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
You have to love Biz’s way with words. Can only be described as slow and methodical. Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve. What’s he a dwarf? You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall? He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains. Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph. He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues. This little guy is big-time. Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Now the baseball Gods have gone too far. Carlos Correa was my AL MVP pick for this year, my biggest keeper in my main league and one of my few reasons for joy so far this fantasy season. 6-8 weeks is his time table and since it is a torn ligament and not a broken bone he probably won’t have that super-human Freddie Freeman healing time frame. August 29th is the earliest we might see Correa take the field again in real life, but he’ll be playing SS and hitting HRs every night in my dreams. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 2-team league. In which case, what the hell is wrong with you? Fill In: I grabbed Jose Reyes (18.3%) because I’ve lost control of my life. Since the beginning of July, Reyes has a .405 AVG with 3 HR but only 1 SB. If he’s figured something out he might find eventually himself hitting higher than 7th in the Mets lineup. More likely though, I’ll be cycling short stops in an out until August 29th.
Matt Grace picked up his 2nd save in as many games on Saturday for the Nationals, and Ben Zobrist’s wife started to work on a song titled, “Saving Grace,” and requested Ben’s trade to Washington. Then, first thing on Sunday, the Nats traded for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, and Saving Grace became a B-side for “Halleberrylujah, A Catwoman Licks Herself (Rated PG).” When asked if the trade makes his team better, the Nats’ GM said, “That’s right,” and, “I’m Mike Rizzo.” Picture this: Dusty and Rizzo looking at a book called, “Baseball Strategy.” Rizzo looks at Dusty, and Dusty says, “I got the baseball part,” and Rizzo nods his head. Finally, Rizzo chimes in, “I don’t know the 2nd word and I don’t think it’s worth investigating.” Dusty agrees, and that’s the Nationals. So, who will close between Madson and Doolittle? Your guess = my guess. I’d want to say Madson, but it could be either, both or neither as they trade for David Robertson or someone else. By the time the calendar turns to August, the Nationals might have five closers from teams not in the pennant chase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
One of the things I love most about baseball, but particularly covering prospects, is when a guy I totally missed on pops up, and exceeds expectations. Sure, I could become obsessed with my own reputation, and shoot down any suggestion that I missed on a player. But what fun is that? So, when it comes to Nick Pivetta, I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see this coming. Hell, I wrote up 15+ Phillies prospects, and name dropped another 7-8, and didn’t even mention Pivetta. Fangraphs covered 33 Phillies prospects, and Pivetta ranked in at 27! All this to say, that the “out of nowhere” label is somewhat appropriate when it comes to the Phil’s righthander. After an outstanding outing vs the Red Sox at home a few weeks ago, the strikeouts, and numbers in general seem to be trending in the right direction. So why not check him out, and see if we in fact have a breakout bubbling. Before we begin, big shouts to Oaktown Steve, who’s been hyping up Pivetta in the comments the past few weeks like a Sabermetrics Flavor Flav. Only he turned in his giant clock (read that fast), for an abacus, which I’ve heard can get a bit bulky when worn as a necklace. Anyway, let’s get into Pivetta’s last start vs the Cardinals at home, the second time he’s faced the Redbirds in four starts. He’s going today in Arizona, so maybe we’ll see if he’s worth rolling out… Actually no rookie pitcher with a heavy fly-ball approach should be started in Arizona, but that’s just common sense. On to the profile!
Happy Father’s Day to all but five of our readers. I am not a father, but I have a dog I ignore most of the time, then play catch with after my wife tells me to, so, technically, I am a father too. For Father’s Day, I went to see the Tupac movie, and to misquote him, “Back for a check, all respect to those who broke their neck to keep this movie in check, cause oh they made some mistakes with this movie majorly, damn, why does Jada keep paging me?” I should’ve taken Cougs to see Wonder Woman, but I was afraid it would empower her. One last note on Pop’s Day, MLB has pink bats for Mother’s Day, so they should have penis-shaped bats for Father’s Day. Yesterday, Jimmy Nelson looked like he should be getting dogged by Jada Pinkett for keeping it too real — 9 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.39. His peripherals are right there to match — 9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.52 xFIP with the velocity to back it up, and, if you throw out April, his ERA would be near 2.50 with an xFIP to match. The major change — excuse me, not change — the curve is his major key. Hat tip to Lance and his Jimmy Nelson fantasy. The crux of that is you should own Nelson and stop cruxifying him, and the crux of this is I don’t know how to spell crucify. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
If Tyler Chatwood ($15,300) never had to step foot in Coors Field again, he would probably be contending for the Cy Young every year… ok he wouldn’t be, but thats how good he has been on the road since 2013. Only Clayton Kershaw ($25,200) has a better road ERA during that span. Chatwood has a 2.35 ERA this season so far on the road; now he gets the low hitting Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates ranked 25th or worse in each of the following hitting categories: Runs, HRs, avg, and OPS. So you can say he is set up nicely against that line up. Kershaw is also on the slate and has to go on the road against the defending American League champs. The Cleveland Indians offense has been horrendous versus LHP (.236 AVG .691 OPS), making Kershaw an automatic play in cash games. There are some nice pitching options that won’t cost you an arm and leg, though, so let’s take a look at the picks…
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Scooter Gennett had the game of his life yesterday. Well, isn’t he Vespecial? You say to me, “Unkie Grey, can I sit on your lap metaphorically and you tell me why Scooter hit so many homers?” Sure, Nephew, it’s simple. A story of my Scooter in two tweets:
I am the first person in the history of fantasy baseball to bench two hitters for games with at least three home runs in the same season. *opens oven, sticks head in oven, opens The Bell Jar to read* Ugh, could someone check on the pilot light? You might be asking yourself why I had Scooter on my bench, while you coyly bat your eyelashes. I’ll explain, you coquettish bastard! He was hitless the entire previous week! WHAT THE EFF?! Any hoo! Scooter had a big game, and will now be invited to all the same parties as Mark Whiten, but Scooter is not much more than a hot schmotato. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Sometimes, baseball can be that game we all fell in love with *covers mouth so you can’t hear number* years ago. Whether it’s Paul O’Neil hitting a triple with an error to score a home run for a child in the hospital or that minor leaguer who crashed through a fence to make a catch or Bryce Harper tossing a foul ball to an actual clown to silence his questions or Reggie Jackson thinking about someone other than himself for a moment after Thurman Munson’s plane crashed or Lou Gehrig’s speech or Kirk Gibson’s fist pump or Saturday. It would’ve been Yordano Ventura’s 26th birthday. Obviously Edinson Volquez was very close to him when they were both on Royals. According to Volquez, they shared everything, even constantly having to tell people, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.” Edinson posted a pic of Ventura on his Instagram page Saturday morning, then went out and pitched the game of his life that afternoon, a no hitter — 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.79. For one day, Edinson was able to say, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto. I’m better.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: