The King has returned to Middle Earth, to rule over the hobbits and elves and the other woodland friends. His name is Bryce Harper, and he will dole out fiery OPS vengeance upon any foolish enough to oppose him. Yes, friends, Harper, our long-time OPS champion, has enacted his fury this past week, going 10-for-23 with 5 homers and 6 RBI. His OPS for this period was a gorgeous 1.753. If Harper doesn’t win the NL MVP award, something is very wrong with the BBWAA. Harper has the 2nd highest OPS all-time for a 22-year old, behind only Teddy Ballgame. Almost more impressively, if the season ended today, Harper’s OPS would be the highest since Barry Bonds’ in 2004 (Bonds had an absolutely inhuman 1.422 OPS).

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It’s time once again to check in with our dynasty league…the Razznasty. J-FOH has put some distance between first and second place this month and now sits on a seven point lead heading into the home stretch. Hippos has held strong in the third spot, and – hey wait a minute! That’s Kid A kissing 110! Kid put up top five numbers in all but one hitting category in August, while at the same time posting the second-most strikeouts on the pitching side. Just when it looked like the Hippos might be getting comfortable in their pond, Kid put together an August run that has got to be making Truss sweat just a little. Our league’s trade deadline has come and gone, so at this point we’ve got to dance with the girls we brought or press our luck on the wire. Spoiler alert – it’s basically been picked clean at this point. Like…it’s kinda fugly. Here are the updated standings, recent trades and FAAB acquisitions for the month of August…

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A few weeks back, I was on vacation and the Big Magoo covered the creeper. He did one hell of a job by making good calls and changing up the format. This week, I’m feeling inspired by the Big Magoo and will follow in his form. I should literally follow in his form because we are similar in height, but not in weight. I’m always looking at schedules every week to help assist with my creeper, but this week I’m taking it a step further. I’m going all in on home parks. This is my mixed bag of who to grab throughout the week because you should be shuffling players in and out as long as you don’t have restrictions on moves…

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Looking over the past few weeks’ worth of OPS numbers, I saw a lot of names that I expected to see up on top. Nelson Cruz, sure. Anthony Rizzo, duh. Chris Davis, yawn, but sure. Andrew McCutchen, okay. These guys are either superstars or mega-power meatheads (I’m looking at you Cruz and Davis). The next name on the list? David Peralta. What? Peralta, who is quickly rising in ownership in most formats (up to nearly 50% in ESPN now) has been crushing the ball to the tune of a 1.190 OPS over the past two weeks. During that time, he has gone 20-for-42 with 2 homers and 13 RBI. Even better, over this last week, Peralta is number two in all the land in OPS, at 1.819. Yeesh. Who is this guy? Here’s some quick Peralta backstory, if you’re interested. Skip a paragraph down if you aren’t.

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I still can’t believe I chose this schlub to be the creeper of the week. What am I thinking? OR maybe, what am I smoking *takes another hit* to conclude that this disappointment can be a creeper? Tehol even started wavering on Domonic Brown this year, and I am here to tell you to go against all your instincts and own him… for the week… or maybe more. Actually, Tehol still has a shrine at home dedicated to the man and has some delight for him again. Really, what kind of contributor would I be if I didn’t talk about Tehol when speaking about Brown? To take it a step further, let me quote the FML (Fantasy Master Lothario) who said this past Friday “As someone who benefited greatly from Brown’s 23-homer 1st half in 2013, let me be the first person to point out that Brown is capable of great things”. This may sound more like a buy than a creep, but when it comes to Brown, lets take it one step at a time. I’ll call him Baby Steps Brown for nowTime to insert my gratuitous What About Bob? clip.

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Good gravy, let’s talk about two recent power surges. Duda Where’s My Car and He’s on the Mark, Teixeira. Lucas Duda and the Teixecutioner have been absolutely bananas over the past week.

Duda has hammered 6 long balls in the past week (9 in the past two weeks) with a 1.708 OPS. That’s good for the second best OPS over the past week in baseball, behind only the aforementioned switch-hitting Mark Teixeira. Earlier in the year, Duda was annihilating baseballs. He had a phenomenal April and May but slumped terribly through June and first half of July. Towards the end of July and now into August, Duda has flipped back to the early season guy that Mets fans were drooling over. With the surge, Duda has nearly doubled his HR count (21) and could be a threat for 30. For OPS leagues, obviously he’s been stud-worthy recently, but be careful if you’re trying to deal for him at your league’s trade deadline. This is a guy who can get cold just as quick as he got hot. With how high the price tag must be on him right now, I’d stay clear. If you’re an owner, I would see what I could get back for him.

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I have returned from my much needed and financially reasonable vacation. I went to San Diego for five days and four nights with the family, and enjoyed almost every damn second of it. I learned one thing while I was away, and that’s the closer I got to Mexico, the browner I got. Seriously, I need to go by Juan Lleno de Odio until I kick this tan. I’m going to cut to the chase today, as I have lots to go over and little time for small talk… unless you want to chat it up in the comments about whatever is on your mind, I don’t mind that. Oh wait, before I move on to the good stuff, I would like to self-celebrate today. Today is my 100th post for Razzball baseball. As some of you may know, I started on the football side when Sky took a chance on me. After I went to Oregon and passed the Sky test/initiation, Grey hit me up and invited me to come over to the baseball side. Then came my first Razzball baseball post and the rest is history. Thanks you two for allowing me to be a part of this.

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After blowing his fifth save Thursday night, giving up three walks and two runs in the ninth, John Axford has now blown four save chances in his past five appearances. Colorado Rockies Manager Walt Weiss said Friday that John Axford would be removed from the closer role. But from the looks of the quote, it sounds like Axford could potentially gain the job back, especially if the replacement candidates don’t prove to be worthy. Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle and Justin Miller are the three possibly unworthy candidates, and names you should consider adding if you are searching for saves. Rafael Betancourt would seem like the obvious choice if not for his 4.88 ERA. He does have that much sought after closer-experience, though. Kahnle, on the other hand, is rocking a much nicer 2.96 ERA, and a 1.80 ERA for the month of July and seems like a more suitable candidate. Justin Miller has the best numbers of the bunch (0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP in just 10 IP), but also holds the least experience. The situation will certainly be worth monitoring over the next few days, but one thing is for sure, you probably won’t really be happy owning any one of these guys. However, if you need saves I’d add Betancourt, Kahle and Miller in that order until we see how this shakes out.

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

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I’ve been sitting on a title like that for months!

I still can’t believe Grey shat on The Fifth Element a few months ago on the Podcast, then followed it up with he hadn’t seen it…  Well ya know what?!  War and Peace is an awful book!

Patrick Corbin was an absolute G for me in 2013, as I streamed him in several leagues for a Padres start and decided to never look back.  Although looking at his game log again, that certainly seemed like a no-brainer!  He came out of absolutely nowhere and was shrugged off, but turned out to be a top-10 pitcher for most of the season.  Then he really fell off in his final 7 starts before tearing up his elbow in 2014’s Spring Training.

Now back in the rotation, the consensus seems to be pretty low on Corbin doing much this year, treating him like he’s a meat popsicle.  Maybe my 2013 love for Corbin has biased me, but I was excited to bring him in the ranks over a month before his debut.  So with middling numbers thus far despite good velocity, I decided to break down his third start off the DL to see how he’s looking pitch-by-pitch:

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I sat down Friday night and started watching Shark Tank for the first time. Wow, have I been missing out on a beautiful reality show. No B.S., I have been binge watching it all weekend. I know, I know, Grey has been pimping this reality masterpiece for years. Grey, you were right and I won’t doubt your reality lotharioness ever again. This show got me thinking about how I choose my creeper and how in some ways that I am the shark. I’m looking at numbers and schedules every week to buy the creeper. Based on the arguments in my head, I choose my player to invest in. Pretty easy. Now, what would you guys… and girls think of this new concept I thought of yesterday while chatting with Grey? Each week next season, instead of one contributor picking a creeper, we have several contributors each make one sell for a creeper? Take all those sells and combine them into one post and you peeps can decide what creeper you believe in. Just a thought.

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