We’ve reached it folks, the All-Star break. Though not really the halfway point of the season, it’s a good time to assess our teams and start thinking about how to make the final push for championship glory. Use this in tandem with Grey’s list of top-100 for the second half. I’m writing this assuming Grey is writing his. While Grey is quite the dependable guy, I don’t fully trust that mustache. Shhh. Wait, is it staring at me? Quick, hide! Does it see me? I think it hears us. I’m getting the ef out of here bro. You go left, I’ll go right. If I don’t ever see you again, let Grey know that Braun has a great line of shavers and trimmers, as stated here.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The night was humid in San Diego. Some fans in the front row brought their own Chardonnay, a mix of floral and fruity notes, which could’ve also described the crowd’s apparel. Tommy Bahama as far as the eye could see. One Padre fan stood up, three glasses of wine in, screaming to let Templeton play. Most of the fans that night were there for a picnic that was billed as ‘the best picnic mom’s ever packed.’ One thing these picnickers never expected was to become a part of history. Whispers amongst the Padre fans began in the 1st inning. “It was going to be a long night.” Not because of Tim Lincecum, who began his quest to throw the 700th-something no-hitter in the last ten years. Tonight would drag for these Padre fans because the picnic brie was forgotten at home. Tonight these Padre fans groaned in the first inning because when Lincecum took the mound they thought the game was being preempted for a k.d. lang concert. So, Lincecum wasn’t economical in his 148-pitch no-hitter, walking 4 guys and K’ing 13. He’s the first pitcher to throw more pitches in a no-hitter than he weighs. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Lincecum doesn’t look bad in his peripherals this year. His K-rate and walk rate are pretty close to the numbers he put up when he had a 2.74 ERA in 2011. He didn’t make the top 100 for the 2nd half that is coming tomorrow, but I considered it for a long time (about 25 seconds). The unknown right now is whether or not the 148 pitches is going to tire his arm. Obviously, he’ll have the All-Star break to rest and I wouldn’t be against giving Lincecum a chance on my fantasy team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Two-start hoarders, welcome back. First things first: I’m vacationing in Mexico with what, by now, is a potentially-fatal sunburn. Not to worry, though, because the cervezas at this joint are unlimited, and I’m feelin’ no pain. Zero. I just arrived here yesterday, and I’ll be here through next Friday. That means my esteemed Razzball colleagues will be filling in for me in the comments for my next few posts. In any case, we’ve got a deep list of two-start options, and plenty of good streamers this week. The usual tiered rankings are below.
NOTE: I looked ahead at the two-start landscape a few days earlier than usual this week, so this group of probable pitchers is especially subject to change. Apologies in advanced for anything I may have missed. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter, and it was the first time a player who looked identical to Christian Bale has thrown the last two no-hitters in the major leagues. Johnny Vander Meer’s family is currently drawing bat ears on old photos of Johnny to try and contest that record. Nolan Ryan was the last non-Balehead to throw the majors back-to-back no-hitters in 1974 and ’75, but the coincidences don’t end there! Back then the only live action Batman was Adam West, and Nolan was pitching as far West as you can go in California and Joe West called Ryan’s fifth no-hitter and Kanye West wasn’t born yet but Jesus was and that’s who Kanye thinks he is. It’s a small word after all, which is played at Disneyland and that’s in Anaheim where Nolan played. My brain is bugging out! Bailey seems like he’s a one-game-a-year pitcher, but he’s been terrific all year. He’s in the top ten for FIP and has the 4th best K-rate in that group. That’s not a 2nd or third fantasy starter; that’s an ace, over-the-internet friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’ve run into another one of those weeks when it’s probably best to avoid two-start streaming. It’s not as despicable as we’ve gotten this season, but there are really only four or five realistically streamable options in week 14. Meanwhile, there are roughly 1,000 two-start turds for the week ahead. If you’re lucky enough to get your greedy hands on one of the few gems, good for you. But if you’re late to the party, don’t bother. Steer clear of this mess and roll with your core arms.
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You wanted to sell R.A. Dickey, but no one was buying. Seeing last year as a fluke. Said he couldn’t do it again. Said you had too much fruit in your tapioca for even drafting him. They told you go fly a kite with Dickey, but not around children or it would be weird. Then Dickey throws a two-hit shutout yesterday with 6 Ks and you showed them that the only good thing that ever came out of being a naysayer is horse whispering. Or did you? Do you know anything more about Dickey than you did two days ago? He says he’s been dealing with cold weather and a sore back and he’s blaming the WBC. Excuses are like Alcides Escobar, everyone has one and they all smell. Did Dickey’s back suddenly clear up? Because he gave up six earned in his last start. Was the weather in his last start cold and Dickey shrunk up? This shutout was against the Rays, who are now 10 for their last 99 against him. They see Dickey and immediately go limp. Finally, your Dickey looks to be pointing in the right direction, but I wouldn’t start writing his name on your underpants just yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Mariners don’t play no mess. That’s their motto, and not the oft-cited mottoes, “F-Her and pray for rain,” or “Put the fences on wheels, so we can move them in when we’re at-bat and out when the other team is,” or “If we trade Chris Tillman and Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, we’ll have more seats empty to fill the stadium with recliners.” With the “don’t play no mess” motto in full-mode, they brought up Mike Zunino. A catcher bat like Zunino only comes once in a lifetime (the lifetime is that of a guinea pig that is being cared for by a 12-year-old, so the lifespan is about 18 months. Remember, because age is rounded down to the last birthday, on average guinea pigs live a half year beyond their final birthday. They live as zombies. Zombie guinea pigs are all around us. Now, I’m scared.) Sure, the last once in a lifetime catcher bat after Buster Posey and Matt Wieters also played for the Mariners. You remember, it was the Jesus who couldn’t catch or hit but could walk on water with the best of them. So, after turning to Jesus twice (Montero, Sucre), the Mariners are now turning to Rookie Zuninookie. BTW, Sucre is sugar, and Zunino sounds like Mexican artificial sweetener. You might remember Mike Zunino from such Scott, our prospect writer, sentences as, “.360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A,” “The third overall pick this past June has been simply incredible since signing,” and my favorite, “His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues, but most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino,” which came when he ranked him 44th in the top 50 fantasy baseball prospects. Not to get all Chinese Calendary on you, but 2013 isn’t going to the Year of the Incoming Catcher. Zunino’s chances of making a huge impact seem slim to anorexic. The path to fantasy value for a catcher isn’t a Sunday drive down the Henry Hudson for Will Smith in the movie, Hancock. If Zunino blows away my projections, he gets 15 homers and a .260 average. More likely, he gets 7-10 homers and a .240 average. You can probably do better. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A quick word before we begin with the two-start jibber-jabber: I’m out of town this weekend visiting my brother in Cincinnati. He runs a golf course out there, so I plan to take full advantage of free golf privileges. And while on the links, I like to wash away the pain of double-bogeys with cold ones. I also like to celebrate pars with cold ones. This, of course, is simply a roundabout way of saying that I’m way too drunk to reply to your comments today. Not to worry, though. Our own J.B. Gilpin was kind enough to fill in for me. Thanks, J.B.! Now for the two-starters.Please, blog, may I have some more?