Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“But I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do).  No, I can’t Jo-Fer that, (Jo can do).  Oh, I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do), I can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, but Jo can do!”  I can do this all day.  Seriously.  That yin vs. yang, angel vs. devil, Ho-Hos vs. Yodels constant battle wrecks havoc on me.  Jose Fernandez showed why he’s one of my favorite pitchers yesterday.  I mean, goddamn, he made that pitch famous, he made that pitch famous!  His line:  6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks.  So, what’s the problem?  What is the yang, devil, Yodel?  That he will be shut down barely into September.  If the Marlins stay in the pennant race, Jo-Fer may even be shut down earlier to give him a chance to pitch in October.  I love him, but if you can get anything close to equal in value for him, I could see trading him in redraft leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey met with the Mets’ front office and told them, “You ruined my shoulder!  I was the Dark Knight!  Now I’m 1960s Batman in hard-to-watch Technicolor unable to move my arms to do the Batusi!”  Matt Harvey asked Bartolo if this ever happened to him and he said, “Nah, I am 90% jelly and custard.  My nerves are coated in more sugar than a churro.”  Harvey needs shoulder surgery due to thoracic outlet syndrome.  Sandy Alderson said it’s inevitable.  Pitchers who have had this surgery take at least a year to recover and sometimes never regain past form.  It could not only be a season killer, it could be the end of Harvey as we know him.  He could opt to rehab his shoulder without surgery, but rehabbing it won’t magically make his pitching better than he’s been all year, which is atrocious.  If you don’t have DL room, I could see dropping him.  Fun fact!  You know who suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome?  The Lispasaurus.  Tiny arms, big body.  Other dinosaurs pickin’ on ’em because of their lisp — why’d every dinosaur have to have an S sound in its name?!  Total recipe for messed-up shoulders.  “I hate Thoracic Park!”  Spielberg can make a Thoracic Park movie where an injured pitcher tries to repair his relationship with his pre-teen son while genetically-modified dinosaurs chase after them.  “I know I wasn’t there for you when you were growing up or for your keeper league team in 2014 or for that velociraptor attack 15 minutes ago, but I’m here for you now.”  The boy looks up, “How did that velociraptor throw a Warthen slider?”  The father responds, “He’s learning!”  Seth Smith is working on the script.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Michael Conforto was demoted to the minors.  Ouch.  Not only did he fall far from preseason expectations, but he seemed to be breaking out in April.  Coming out of April, he had 4 HRs and a .365 average.  In May and June, he hit .169 and .119 and, finally, the Mets threw in the towel just as Conforto’s head was bouncing on the canvas.  Shame, isn’t it?  Not a shame, a product of not being able to hit.  I’m sure he’ll be back at some point, but you can drop him in all but the deepest dynasty leagues.  In his place came, Brandon Nimmo.  Okay, let’s get them out of the way up front.  The Mets are finding Nimmo in a sea of prospects.  The Mets aren’t finding Drury because he’s on a different team.  Is Nimmo the Mets’ outfield fixar?  That’s a clown fish question, bro.  Nimmo’s minor league numbers look dynamite, but that’s because he was playing in the PCL, which is like playing on the moon with an aluminum bat.  He had five homers, five steals and a .331 average.  That seems to be his profile more or let’s be generous, maybe 10/15/.280.  Sounds downright Lagaresque.  Outside of deep mixed leagues and NL-Only, I’d ignore for now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time we address the elephant in the room.  Not you, Sandoval.  I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks.  The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away.  Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew.  While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher.  None are Steven Wright though.  Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.”  I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!).  If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points.  So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now that the closest baseball stadium to me is in Anaheim I’m watching more Angels games.  Truthfully I’m watching more MLB network, and then Cubs games, and then Angels games.  It’s still more than just the Mike Trout highlights I would normally but in any event I’ve seen some of this guy, Jefry Marte.  Jefry Marte?  Who is that?  And why can’t he spell Jeffrey right?

Well this Jefry is seeing time in left field for the Angels, who really stink out there to the tune of an MLB worst .550 OPS (thanks Yahoo!, as that tidbit is on his player page).  That is pathetic.  So they’re running Marte out there, who is normally a corner infielder.  Only 24 years old from the Dominican Republic, which is on the island of Hispaniola (which is such a fun word to say, especially if you throw a lisp in there), Marte has been around in his short career.  He originally started with Mets at age 17, played in the Futures game at the 2011 All-Star Game, was traded to the A’s for the not aptly named Collin Cowgill (he’s not a cow at 5’9, 190), and then was released by Oakland after the 2014 season.  Signed by Detroit two weeks later, he wound up being designated for assignment so the Tigers could sign Justin Upton (I can’t imagine that Detroit could foresee that Marte would be almost as good so far in 2016 as Upton) and traded to the Angels.

Marte did play in the majors in Detroit last year, hitting four homers in 80 at-bats; this season in limited action he’s hit four homers in 42 at-bats and has an OPS of 1.078; which is good.  His 4.5% BB and 29.5% K are not.  Those numbers last season on the Tigers were 8.9% BB and 24.4% K.  So he looks like a hacker.  A power hitting hacker in the same lineup as Mike Trout?  Are you sure I’m not really talking about Albert Pujols?  No, I’m not.  Not even I can recommend Albert anymore.  Just think, the Angels get him for how many more years?  Five more?  And full no-trade protection? Ha!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jonathan Papelbon hit the DL and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.  Though, I’m using the archaic definition of nicer.  An adjective which was once described a jerk off who went to Nice, France and hurled insults.  Example, A nicer man would stand on the curb as Gerard Depardieu passed on his bicycle, screaming, “You are the fattest frog I’ve ever seen and I once force fed a frog to make frog foie gras.”  Filling in for Papelbon will be Shawn Kelley and Felipe Rivero.  Rivero is a lefty, so his best hope for saves is a 9th inning that is lefty heavy like my Facebook feed from my Bernie Sanders-supporting friends.  Of course, Dusty said he wouldn’t commit to any one replacement because Dusty’s gonna Dusty.  He cited other possible candidates to close like Blake Treinen and Sammy Solis.  I wonder if Dusty knows that’s not the slugger he once managed in Chicago.  “Sammy Solis, you came up short with McGwire, but I need you to close out this game.  By the way, go easier on the skin whitening.”  That’s Dusty while juggling the toothpick in his mouth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And, with the first pick of the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies take… Someone that was born in 1998.  I have a bottle of ketchup older than that.  In fact, I think I have an entire shelf of condiments older.  Mickey Moniak or Grey’s Worcestershire sauce?   What?  That doesn’t ever go bad and it’s used for one thing.  I think I dated a girl in 1998 who wanted a Bloody Mary.  What else am I going to do with it?!  Lea & Perrins conspired to add it in the recipe of the Bloody Mary so everyone would have to buy it.  But you done messed up, Lea & Perrins, because there’s no use-by date!  Seinfeld pulls me aside like Bania, “You have fifteen minutes of Worcestershire sauce material, maybe you diversify?  What’s the deal with soy sauce?  If it’s soy, shouldn’t it be white?”  Wanna feel really old, look at Mickey Moniak.  He makes Christian Yelich look like a blue-hair.  I’m sure Prospector Ralph will be along on Sunday to talk about the MLB Draft in total, but the Phils grabbed Mickey Moniak, an eighteen-year-old lefty who has a line-drive stroke.  Said to have a high floor, which means low upside.  Hey, he actually might be just like Christian Yelich, two brothers from nearly this millennial.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did I just get something from nothing?  Because Justin Upton is nothing, and I got something yesterday — 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2).  Therefore, hence, Argo the movie, vis-a-vis, I got something from nothing.  Take that all of you non-believers!  And you said he would never come around to be worth that top 25 pick.  I pfft on you.  A big fat pfft.  Come here, accept my pfft.  I got one good game from him out of 57!  Holy schnikeballs, I got only one good game from my 2nd rounder?  Please, neighbor’s cat, don’t confuse me for a ball of yarn as I curl up in a ball and sob.  Please, stop tapping me with your paw.  I am not a ball of yarn.  So, can Upton turn it around?  I believe he can.  At least moderately.  Last year, he hit two homers and .196 in June and .162 in July.  And you still drafted him this year, so apparently you don’t care about two-month slumps.  In 2014, he had a month of .226 with 3 HRs and a month of .169 with 3 HRs.  This year in April, he had a 38% strikeout percentage, 34% in May and 22% in June.  He’s already seeing the ball better.  If he finishes June with 6 homers and .259, then hit .343 in May, would you be shocked?  Well, you shouldn’t be, because those were months he did last year when he also had two sub-.200 months.  Upton gets awful for months; it’s what he does.  He also gets hot for months.  Unfortunately, the slump months came to start the season so it was more pronounced.  Pronounced specifically as:  Gäd, h? s?ks.  And, remember, it takes the Uptons a while to adjust to new leagues.  It took Melvin Upton three years and a first name change to adjust to the NL.  Hopefully, this is the start of something so Justin doesn’t have to resort to being Melvin Upton Jr. Jr.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?