Well, baseball is back and the All Star break already feels like a distant memory, but it seems like there’s not really a lot going on in terms of the NL or AL-only waiver wire. With Jose Quintana, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, we’ve had one biggish-name and two possibly impactful crossover players head to the NL, so depending on how your waivers work that may have produced a flurry of activity. Beyond those names, though, I feel like the waiver wire has been even thinner than normal in both the NL and AL only world. Perhaps a moment of calm before the storm as more trades/promotions go down, and it can be awfully difficult to predict how much real-life trading action there will be — and how it should impact one’s approach on using waiver priority, FAAB dollars, or whatever other method your league NL or AL-only league might use to acquire crossover players. (By the way, I should mention that I’m writing this on Monday and will not have a chance to edit it before it gets published, so if crazy flurries of trades, injuries, and assorted moments of baseball wackiness occur on Tuesday, well, that’ll have to be addressed next week).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Called upon in the ninth inning to protect a one run lead Aroldis Chapman blew his third save of the season Friday night surrendering two hits and two walks and allowing two earned runs. After giving up an infield single to Mookie Betts to start the inning, Didi Gregorius mishandled a Dustin Pedroia single that could have been a double play ball to put two men on and the Yankees unraveled from there. The blown save was not entirely Chapman’s fault here as the Yankees defense botched two straight double play balls, and then a double steal really flustered Chapman leading  him to walk the next two batters including the game winning run. The loss highlights a Yankee bullpen that has been god awful lately with set up man Dellin Betances rocking an 8.68 ERA and 2.14 WHIP over the past month and Chapman sporting a 8.10 ERA in July with a .412 BAA. Talk about a bullpen in La La Land! Speaking of Award snubs and perfect segues, the fans have spoken, the emails have continued rolling in (seriously guys, get a life!) and the suspicious packages have arrived on my doorstep.  Back by popular demand I return to bring you the fourth annual 2017 mid-season fantasy all-star awards. *And the crowd goes wild!* I don’t want to pile on Chapman here with a Razzie award but he did walk in the winning run so I’m going to give an award to Andrew Benintendi for easiest game winning RBI ever. To be honest, I just really wanted to give Beni Baseball an award.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I must say, I’m not too excited about the waiver wire in either my NL-only or AL-only leagues this week. Not that I ever feel like there is a ton to choose from, but at least up until this point in the season I’ve felt like there are almost always one or two guys in each league that either got called up under the radar/got surprisingly shoved into a starting rotation/fell into a job due to injury/etc, that had at least a distant shot at mixed-league relevancy. This week, though, I’m not so sure.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, on the holiest of Hallmark-created holidays and celebrated most of all by Bill Hall, mothers from all different backgrounds came together to put up their feet, sip mimosas and talk about how “The Handmaid’s Tale” could totally happen now with Trump.  I’d contend that Hallmark should get a little credit for women’s rights.  Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Secretary’s Day, “Buy a card just because you love her” Day… Before this, it was, “Do you wanna make this pelt I skinned into a rug or a sweater for little Kevin?  What?  You’re tired from churning butter?  Okay, you can have the afternoon after you make beef and kidney pie.”  In honor of Mother’s Day, one of the great lovers of women (who are handcuffed to his bedpost), Aroldis Chapman was diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation, and will be sidelined for a month.  If Dellin Betances is available in your league, can I get into your league?  If there’s an entry fee, all the better.  You pay it, and we’ll split the cash prizes.  I even grabbed Tyler Clippard in one league just in case Betances gets all Cuddle Boy on us.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title reminds me of an old joke — stop me if you’ve heard it — a guy with a wooden eye walks into a bar and pours out his heart to the bartender, “My wife left me, she said I had a bad temper, and, with this disability — this wooden eye, I will never find another girl.”  The bartender puts down the glass he’s shining because that’s what bartenders do to talk and says, “I’m not going to lie to you, your wooden eye could be a problem.  You need to find a girl with problems of her own.  How about you try that girl by herself on the dance floor?  The one with the big ears.”  So the guy with the wooden eye downs his shot of whiskey, wipes his mouth with his sleeve and approaches the girl, “Do you wanna dance?”  She swoons, “Would I?”  “F*ck you, Dumbo!”  So, Alex Wood is in Coors tomorrow.  Um, yeah, no thank you, but this is about the bigger picture.  Well, not too big of a picture, because the Dodgers have about sixteen starters on the DL, so at some point Wood might not be in the rotation.  He is now, though, and he’s lovely.  He has a 11.5 K/9.  That would be the fifth best starter K-rate and better than his rotation mate, Kershaw.  Wood has a 2.49 xFIP, which would be third in the majors for starters, behind only Chris Sale and Pineda.  To touch on stats that actually matter, his ERA is 2.73, and he’s been unlucky!  You’d be hard-pressed to find one area where Wood is not excelling.  Am I grabbing him in all leagues?  Of course!  Wait, are you asking, ‘would I?’  F*ck you, Dumbo!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Much like in real baseball, in fantasy, timing can be everything. On Monday, Grey mentioned that he’d like to find a term for a guy who does what Tommy Pham did this past Sunday – that is, a guy who goes off on Sunday afternoon, driving up his Sunday night FAAB price. I need a slightly different way to describe this phenomenon in my deepest NL and AL-only leagues, as both have weekly waivers that get processed on Saturday night. I’ve been in one of the leagues for years now, and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know why the founding fathers of this league thought it was a good idea to run waivers on Saturday when everyone and their dog knows that Sunday evening is the proper time to be thinking about one’s FAAB budget (hell, I half expected my computer to auto-correct when I typed the phrase “waivers on Saturday.”) I can only assume it’s to put those of us who might be extra busy/drunk/etc. on Saturday at a disadvantage, and I’m afraid that this particular strategy works on occasion. The week in 2014 that Jacob DeGrom and Anthony DeSclafani were called up, it was hardly my fault that I wasn’t sober enough to rank DeGrom ahead of Disco in my waiver claim list! It haunts me to this day, as it’s a keeper league where I would still have DeGrom at a bargain-basement price… as opposed to the three weeks of bargain-basement pitching I received before I unceremoniously dropped DeSclafani.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Francisco Rodriguez was removed from the closer job, because he was being sued by a dumpster fire for trademark infringement.  A portion of the deposition transcript follows:

“Is it true that you were passing an alleyway behind a Subway sandwich shop in late-March when you remarked to your friend, Nicholas Castellanos, that you thought it would be cool to also be a dumpster fire?”

“Leading the witness.”

“I’ll rephrase.  What did you say to Nicholas Castellanos when you saw a dumpster fire?”

“I could be that.”

That dumpster fire?”

“Yes!  It was aglow like E.T.’s finger!  I am the Icarus of refuse!”  So, Francisco Rodriguez is out, and Justin Wilson is in as the Tigers’ closer.  I’d guess the Tigers will try to go back to K-Rod at some point, but I’d also think it won’t turn out any better, and Wilson will end up being a solid closer, maybe even a Donkeycorn.  I’d grab Wilson in all leagues.  Then, there’s the case of Mark Melancon, who was DL’d due to an injury near his forearm.  “But I just learned it’s not a Hard C!”  That’s a Giants fan.  This might be me overreacting, but an injury near a forearm for a closer sounds like trouble.  There’s been some disagreement about who will take over, and I grabbed Hunter Strickland and Derek Law where I could, but I’m also like Pookie for SAGNOF, fiending for saves.  *smacks veins*  Give me more setup men!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The fantasy gods have smiled upon Cody, my friends. Once feared that he would be sent back down with Joc Pederson’s return, Bellinger has been gifted another opportunity to prove he belongs in the MLB with Adrian Gonzalez miraculously hitting the DL (well, not so miraculous for A-Gone owners, I guess). And prove it he shall! Cody Bellinger continued to rake going  3-for-5 with two home runs (4) and 4 RBI last night. He’s hitting .400 with eight runs, four home runs, and nine RBI in the past week. Can Joc Pederson do dat? Nuh uh. Nah didn’t think so. Need more? He’s slashing .342/.390/.737 and the Dodgers are 6-2 with him in the line up. More? The Cranberries think that you have to, you have to, you have to add Bellinger. After batting .343 with five homers, 15 RBI and 7 steals in AAA this season it is clear Cody is more than ready to make some noise in the bigs. Whoa did you say seven steals! That’s right! We haven’t even seen him flash that speed yet, and when he does, fantasy glory can be ours. Grey has been telling you to BUY Bellinger for a few weeks now, and he’s still available in about 60% of ESPN leagues. He could be the Yasiel Puig-like player that’s not Yasiel Puig-like that the Dodgers and your fantasy team so desperately needs right now.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you look around Petco and see Padres fans on the edge of their seats, they’re A) Probably the visiting team’s fans. B) If they are Padres fans, they’re on the edge of their seats because they don’t want to wrinkle the back of their Izod shirt.  C) There’s no C.  They’re not anticipating Trevor Cahill, because they think Trevor Cahill is the ex-Navy guy who works in their office who they need to fire but are worried he’s going to beat the crap out of them.  When they hear Trevor Cahill is a Padres pitcher, their response is, “Ah, Padres, I miss Tony Gwynn.”  So, who is Trevor Cahill?  He ain’t Luis Severino, I’ll tell you that.  I don’t see the upside of Pineda, Paxton, McCullers, Urias or any other sexy AF young starter.  As commenter, Bigly Leagues pointed out, Trevor Cahill is:

7th in FIP (2.64)
6th in xFIP (2.83)
8th in K/9 (11.1)
18th in WAR (0.8)

What he didn’t point out is how Cahill is doing it.  That’s no critique of BL, it’s not his job to point it out, though I guess he could’ve and saved me the work.  C’mon, BL!  Cahill’s doing it with the league’s 2nd best curveball.  He’s not doing it with his 90 MPH fastball, that’s for sure.  He doesn’t even have the world’s best control (3.3 BB/9).  The rest of his pitches are mostly basic, which brings me to my problem.  If he doesn’t get the curve over, or it’s just not working for some reason, the house of cards is going to fall and Kevin Spacey is going to be talking into the camera about how terrible Cahill looks.  I’d own Cahill everywhere to see if he can continue, but I have less confidence in him in away games.  That giant safety net in Petco makes everyone a slightly better trapeze walker.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?