This marks my 100th post here at the Razzball baseball blog and I must say how thankful I am that I have a home at a blog where I can provide below average fantasy baseball analysis while referencing Jules Verne, Scientology, Jon Snuh and ayahuasca all in the same post. It’s been a wild couple a years and I outlasted many a writer I didn’t think I’d outlast. Remember when the Guru disappeared in a van? Remember Razzball TV on the Radio? And what ever happened to Kenyon!? That guy was hilarious. I remember when Grey first found me. I was trying to get my Harry Potter erotica/fan fiction off the ground and writing signs for homeless people to make a quick buck. “Why Lie I Need A Beer,” ever see that one? Yep, that’s a Dan Pants original. Grey said he could use my talents to express undying love for shortstops named Xander and tell people they shouldn’t own two catchers. The rest is history, folks. Special thanks to Grey, Rudy, and Jay. Not Tehol though–[expletive deleted] that guy. But enough about me, you’re here for the sub-par fantasy advice. The New York Mets (lol, Joakim Noah!) called up rookie Brandon Nimmo last Sunday and after going 0-for-4 in his debut, he’s hit safely in his past five games. He’s led off for NY the past two games and responded in a big way last night going 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run (a 440 foot shot). Curtis Granderson remains hobbled and with Michael Conforto “working things out” in the minors Brandon has been given an opportunity to shine at the top of the order. He slashed .328/.409/.508 with five homers and five steals in 63 games AAA this year. If you are looking for an outfielder in NL-Only and deeper mixed leagues you might consider finding Nimmo on your waiver wire.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Houston Astros top first base prospect, future MLB All-Star slash hall of famer and savior of my fantasy team, A.J. Reed, has finally been called up after several weeks of waiting. The 23-year old phenom was currently slashing a very modest .266/.345/.509 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 59 games with AAA Fresno. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the fact that A.J. has hit safely in his past 8 games batting .372 with 14 hits, 3 homers, 3 doubles and 7 RBI in that stretch that makes me say, “aww yissss, thatswhatimtalkinabout!” You need more? What if I told you that A.J. Reed was one of the best hitters in the minors last year hitting .340/.432/.612 with 34 homers and 127 RBI between AA and AAA (135 games). Oh boy, now that is some POWER! All caps! Yessir, A.J.’s got a molly whopping home run stick and then some. Primed to hit the ding dongs! The one caveat, which is a French word for bad stuffs, is that A.J. has struggled mightily against lefties batting just .222 against them. This appears to be Houston’s primary reason for delaying his call-up, and as a result I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reed sit versus lefties in the early going. Regardlesss, irregahdless, irrecaveats, let’s recap: A.J. Reed is finally here, he should get the majority of the playing time at first base, he has immense power upside and you should add him everywhere he’s available. He’s going to save my fantasy team and trust me I wouldn’t have quoted Top Gun if I wasn’t completely serious. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like only yesterday J.D. Martinez injured himself, and it was yesterday if you were roofied.  In his place, Steven Moya is filling in admirably.  Yesterday, he went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball two times.  Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Moya’s homers!  My dear guests!  I am Mr. Albright, your host.  Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball!  Smiles, everyone, smiles!  No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps.  Moya now has three homers in his last three games, and if baseball is a game of inches, Moya’s got a lot of ’em.  79 inches to be exact.  Not saying he’s John Holmes, he’s six-seven and looks like an easy 35-homer hitter.  I watched him hit a ball the other way and he was like, “Yeah, okay, I guess I’ll hit this one out.”  He looks like the kind of guy that could twelve homers in a month.  If you’re power-starved, or just bored and wanna pick up a new player, I’d grab Moya.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…

owierazz

Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay’s Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.

First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a self-confessed/afflicted Mariners fan. I have been since the days of The Kid, Bones and ‘The Martinez Brothers’. I remember Mike Blowers catching fire in the second half of 1995 as Seattle surged to take over the AL West pennant from a team led by a guy with a fish for a last name. Fast forward 19 years – make sure you don’t wear out your VCR doing that, it’ll take a while – and the Mariners are still chasing an Angels team that’s led by a guy with a fish for a last name, only now there is no Blowers, we traded for or signed at least 5 DHs in the off-season and get shut down by pitchers like Brett Oberholtzer, who sounds more like an item at IKEA than a major league ball player. All this to say, as a man who plays over at DraftKings, I know what to do with the pain of having this kind of struggle from my home team – take advantage of it. There’s a reason Brandon Maurer is only $5,500 over on the good ‘ole DK. No, I’m not suggesting you play Maurer. You think I’d start with this depressing open and then tell you to roll him out there? His ERA is 6.99. ERA not predictive enough for you? How about an xFIP of 5.09? Or a K/9 of 4.76? Seriously, trade for Danny Worth at this stage, M’s, and let him run out there in Maurer’s stead please. But until they do, consider any and all Angels in play. Consider this your fall-back stack for the day which probably will be overplayed in GPP but should bring reasonable value. No Mariners fan is safe tomorrow, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits. And just in case you think I’m cray cray bae, HitterTron has got my back on this…and now it’s covered in oil discharge…if you’ll excuse me for a moment I’ll go clean up and finish off the rest of calling out these DK values. Oh and if you’re wondering where J-FOH is today, he called in sick with his own oily discharge going on. Feel free to Tweet at him random forms of sickness and hashtag it with #JFOHsIllness to make him feel better. No really, he loves ridicule. Promise!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Senior year of high school, I cheated on my final exam in religion class. Never got caught. Three others involved in the cheating scandal were each brought to justice — they failed the test, failed the class, and had to retake the course the following semester. Did I feel guilty about my actions? F*#k no I didn’t. I aced the test, and got a B+ in the class. It was the best grade I ever earned in religion. My parents were thrilled! Ever since then I’ve held a sort of admiration for those who cheat and get away with it, and even for some who didn’t get away with it. I respect he who is ballsy enough to cruise down life’s low road, while the rest of the chumps fight traffic on the high road. I’m halfway kidding, of course, but there are moments when the opportunity to cheat presents itself, and you’d be crazy to pass it up. Take, for instance, just a couple weeks ago, when Jeff Samardzija didn’t immediately cease pitching while his throwing hand bled onto the baseball, perhaps doctoring the ball. Well done, Jeff. And as for this Clay Buchholz situation, the evidence against him isn’t quite definitive, and it seems extremely doubtful that any real fallout is to come. More power to the guy if he was indeed doctoring the ball — the umps didn’t notice, and neither did the Blue Jays. He goes twice next week, by the way.

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?

The Cardinals said Edward Mujica ‘could be tried as closer.’ That’s obviously after everyone else has been tried and found guilty of sucking. Matheny said, “I’d rather kill a possum in front of La Russa, than have a lead in the 9th inning with the crap we have.” Okay, that was me reading between the lines. He actually said, “See what happens next time we get there. Right now, Mujica’s making good pitches and getting the big outs when we need them.” He never referred to Mujica as the closer. Maybe because he was afraid of spooking him. How do you scare the beejesus out of a Cardinals reliever? Call them closer. *rim shot, triangle, kazoo* I don’t think Mujica is the de facto closer, but I don’t know what de facto means. Is that Spanish? Hernando De Facto was the first to cross the Mississippi, right? Yesterday, Boggs came into the 9th inning, but it was a 4-run lead and when he got into trouble the Cards started warming up Mujica. The writing is on the wall, and it says, “Mujica is next.” I’d grab Mujica and continue to hold Boggs (on my bench). It may just turn out that Edward is The Last of the Mujica’s in the Cards’ pen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I begin with this:

Foul Ball Chug

The scene above is from Wednesday’s Mariners v. Astros game, and I realize that the clip has made the rounds by now. Still, I’m compelled to bring it up because it is truly wonderful. From the leaning grab, to the triumphant hoist and subsequent chug, this man wins the week. It always seems like the most brilliant moments happen at crappy games in empty stadiums, and this is no exception. What a hero.

Oh yeah, two-starters… Week three’s look-ahead is below. 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?