Felix Hernandez is the pitcher to pitcher when you’re facing more than one Brewer. *sips from frosty mug* Ah…. Almost as satisfying as a good porgasm, which is the ecstasy reached when you finally find a rest stop after you have to pee for about two hundred miles. Yesterday, F-Her threw eight shutout innings with 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.28. He’s not even close to how good he was his Cy Young year. He’s MUCH better (caps for emphasis, not so the guy who’s reading over your shoulder can see better). He has a career high strikeout rate, which is like, “Hey, this Filet Mignon can’t get any better– Oh, wait, I don’t have to pay for it either?” And it’s not because you cut out a chunk of your hair and put it on the plate. F-Her also has a career low walk rate and a career low xFIP, which tells us his ERA isn’t even fluky. He’ll probably be overshadowed by Yu Darvish or Max Scherzer in the offseason, but F-Her is finally coming into his own at the ripe young age of 27. In 2014, when people are going Kershaw and Darvish and Wainwright, there F-Her will be again coming at a discount because of some perceived weakness due to win potential. Bunch of Murray Chasses (Chassi?), every one of you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Justin Smoak – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer and his 4th homer in the last eight days, which is a week in Liverpool.
Alex Rodriguez – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his first homer after having Saturday off to get his head right. You know he’s under a lot of pressure and I wish people would respect his space. He could lose hundreds of millions of dollars and then have to make due with only hundreds of millions of dollars he made prior to this year. You don’t have these kinds of problems!
Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4 with his 3rd homer as a Yankee. He’s playing as well as he did in his 20’s. Oops, I mean, in the 20’s when he played under the name Moses Fleetwood Walker.
Mariano Rivera – 1 IP, 2 ER and his 5th blown save. Damn, he should’ve retired prior to this year… Yankee Fan Who Doesn’t Read Past The Ellipsis, “You’re so freakin’ stupid! Mo is the greatest closer of all-time! Trevor Hoffman bakes cookies 99% of the way there then calls Rivera to finish them! I hate you, Grey Albright! Now, excuse me, I have to prepare for my fake date with Suzyn Waldman.”
Justin Verlander – 7 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks after being accused of doping by ex-major leaguer, Jack Clark. Verlander responded that the only dope he knows is Jack Clark, then they slap-fought each other until Pujols’s mom broke them up.
Victor Martinez – 3-for-5 and his 10th homer, raising his average to .281. After starting the year like a house on fire (which is a bad thing as far as I’m concerned), he’s turned his whole season around and paying off people who had the patience who utilize the Ron Popeil School of Catcher Management and set it and forget it. BTW, Ron Popeil sets it and forgets it in a lot of aspects of his life. Ron Popeil Jr. was on The Talk the other day and said he cried in his crib for eleven years until he just stepped over the side.
Miguel Cabrera – 2-for-3 and his 4th homer in the last five games. Snooze! Wake me when he has 50 homers.
Roy Halladay – Threw a simulated game and reported feelin’ fine, but sang it like Jay Bennett.
Michael Wacha – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks on Saturday, but the Cardinals moved him to the bullpen, citing similar reasons to why Carlos Martinez was optioned back to Triple-A. “We can get decent starts from schmohawks like Westbrook and Joe Kelly, why would we start guys that are actually good? By the by, we made up the name Joe Kelly. He used to sell radial tires in Cooter, Missouri and didn’t want anyone Googling him.”
Matt Holliday – 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 steal and his 6th steal after hitting two homers (14 & 15) on Saturday. Due to counting stats and because he’s been able to raise his average to .290, he’s ranked favorably on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. He’s given about the same value as Torii Hunter, Hunter Pence and other guys that are solid if lacking that certain pizzazz — a word that looks Lil Wayne could’ve coined it. My sizzurp lacks pizzazz!
Matt Carpenter – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI. Kinda insane how many counting stats the Cardinals provide. This was Carpenter’s 57th RBI. NL teams aren’t supposed to provide that many leadoff RBIs. Only the Rangers have more leadoff RBIs in the major leagues with 60, and only one other NL team (Cubs) are in the top ten for leadoff RBIs at 49.
Allen Craig – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 87th RBI. Seriously, Juan Pierre would have 50 RBIs on the Cardinals. You’ve heard of The Big Red Machine? This is The Big Counting Stats Machine (or just a calculator).
Darwin Barney – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. After seeing this, I immediately went to look what Hitter-Tron thought of The Purple Evolutionist, but the Hitter-Tron was watching Transformers with the sound off so I left him alone.
Adam Jones – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 24th homer. You know what’s holding back his hype, right? No catchy nickname. Which brings me to Hotdam Jones!
Manny Machado – 2-for-5, 2 runs. Since the All-Star break, he has 3 homers and zero steals. T’is’nt the way to get me all jazzed up silly, but since I traded him for David Price months ago, I don’t mind if it gets me a discount on him next year. Sorry, Machado owners!
Howie Kendrick – Hit the DL because of his knee and the Angels hope he returns on August 21st when eligible. The Angels PR man also said that the Angels can make the playoffs if they win 47 of their last 46 games.
Grant Green – 2-for-3, 2 runs and four for (stutterer!) his last seven. While we wait for Kendrick to return from wounded knee, Green should get the playing time. Here’s a Clue, grab Mr. Green in the ballpark with a baseball bat.
Erick Aybar – 0-for-4 with a steal, his 2nd in as many games. Since the Angels are looking at next year already, this would be considered garbage time, and, since I own Aybar for steals, I’m all for him padding his stats. Pad your stats enough and I’ll start calling you Aybra.
Justin Masterson – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks, raising his ERA to 3.59. His Ks have been a thing of beauty this year, but he hasn’t been good against decent offenses. Here’s his ERAs against some of the better teams he’s faced — Orioles: 8.53 ERA, Red Sox: 7.36 ERA and Tigers: 7.23 ERA. Yesterday, he took on the Angels, the 4th best OPS team in the majors.
Nick Swisher – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. He probably needs to Just for Men his sideburns a little bit, but he’s not quite old enough for his power to be the dog’s breakfast, so I’d think there’s gotta be some more stats in his bat going into the final six weeks.
Brett Lawrie – 3-for-5, 1 RBI and 2 steals, as he hits over .400 this month. Here’s a sneak peek from next year from Fantasy Baseball ‘Pert from Fantasy Baseball (Insert Synonym for smart) dot com, “Lawrie’s a post-hype sleeper…dry info, boring text, bleh bleh bleh…I like him!”
Melky Cabrera – Won’t require surgery on his knee but will be out until September. If you’re waiting on Melky for your fantasy team, you got bigger fish to fry, pardner.
Sonny Gray – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks on Saturday in Toronto, which isn’t the easiest of matchups, but gets the Astros next, which isn’t the easiest of matchups, but is very close to it assuming Sonny won’t start any time soon against an Orange is the New Black softball team. BTW, everyone should watch OitNB. Not to sound sexist, but it might be the best show centered around all-female cast. No offense to Cagney and/or Lacey.
Josh Reddick – 1-for-3, 1 run, but whatevs he hit 17 homers between Friday and Saturday. He wasn’t able to touch up R.A. Dickey (7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks) on Sunday, but he might’ve been rattled when Dickey asked Reddick, “What’s the matter, sore?” Reddick has hit ten homers in one month before (last May), and if I were needy for power, I’d jangle my tin cup in front of Reddick.
Avisail Garcia – 1-for-4 with a steal. Prospect Scott loves Avisail and I can understand it. Garcia could help across all five categories and is worth adding as a fifth outfielder in all leagues. In other news, Breaking Bad started last night! Said like 70’s John Travolta, “I’m dying over here!”
Brian Dozier – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer. From Friday, my buy still holds. That also sounds like sappy lyrics from an 80’s song, only it would be spelled, ‘bye,’ as in…So, walk away, walk away! My bye still holds!
Oswaldo Arcia – 2-for-4 after hitting three homers in the last four games, hitting .262 on the year. Hasn’t been all that bad and, yes, I know it’s not a screaming endorsement when I say someone hasn’t been ‘all that bad.’ Could be a quick hot schmotato for a few days for pop. “Hey, pop’s my thing!” said Colabello.
Ian Kennedy – 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks in Cincy. I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! This is the kind of sonavabenching that doesn’t bother me that much, because I wasn’t close to starting him here. Those burn. For this start, I never would’ve started him here ever. None of this will come into play for his next start at home vs. the Mets. That’s a no-brainer. My specialty!
Logan Forsythe – 1-for-4, run and his 4th steal. He also had his 5th homer on Friday. With EverCab off to the Caribbean to do water sports, Forsythe’s manning the keystone for the Brown and Orange and has some decent middle infidel capability in deeper mixed leagues. For those who found us by Googling “water sports” + Brown infidels, I have no idea what you’re looking for, but welcome. We won’t judge you here.
Ryan Ludwick – Will be activated from the DL by the Reds. As I said about a week ago, I’m not stashing him anywhere. Here’s the thing — and there is a thing — he could come out and hit homers, or he could come out and go 0-for-27 and be platooned with Heisey or some other cockamamie Dusty-ism. I’d just rather grab someone like Arcia who is currently hitting. If Ludwick does start hitting, then, sure, I’m not an anti-Ludwickian; it’s really got nothing to do with him.
David Wright – Could miss the rest of the season. Hanley missed six weeks with a similar hamstring injury; Stanton missed about five weeks. It’s silly to bring Wright back mid-September, but no one has ever accused the Mets of not being silly, so maybe you get a week or two from him. I wouldn’t hold my breath, but that’s more because you need oxygen.
Wilmer Flores – 2-for-4, 3 runs and his first homer, which would be a record in ages 5-8 tee ball. Wright’s strained hammy is the yin to Flores’s playing every day on the yang. I’d absolutely grab Flores if I had room for an upside corner man flyer. I’m even considering dropping Arenado for him. No, I can’t believe I still own Arenado, either.
Juan Lagares – 2-for-5 and has hit in eight of the past ten games with a homer and three steals. It’s all about the Lagares, baby!
Jon Niese – 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks as he returned after almost two months. He unwrapped his face like The Mummy to a brand-new nose and the same old pitching.
Cody Ross – Dislocated his hip. I’d just say to my iPhone, “Siri, where’s my hip?” But I’m no doctor.
Matt Davidson – 1-for-3 as the Diamondbacks called him up. He will see regular at-bats now that Ross is probably gone for the year. Here’s what Prospect Scott said, “Davidson’s power is legit, as evidenced by the .208 ISO he posted at Double-A last year. The 21-year-old projects to hit 25+ homers annually, but an aggressive approach will likely keep the AVG down. Still, he looks like an above-average 3B, and he’s not too far off. Or as Grey would say, ‘I’m a big dummy.'” What? Why would I say that? The natural inclination to think about when you see a Diamondbacks 3rd base prospect come up with big-time power and a weak average is to compare him to Mark Reynolds. But why such a tendency? What does that say about you? Psychoanalysis for another day. Reynolds had speed, Davidson doesn’t. He’s more in the mold of Pedro Alvarez until he can prove he won’t hit .240 and strikeout 27%+ of the time. I like Davidson a lot in NL-Only leagues, and deep mixed ones for upside, but he needs to get hot first before adding him in most mixed leagues.
Aaron Hill – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 7th homer, and 2nd in as many games. Took a whole lot of tryin’ to get the power up for this Hill.
Lorenzo Cain – Hit the 15-day DL with a strained oblique. He suffered the injury reaching for a Whatchamacallit that was near whosiewhatsit. It was all very oblique.
Alex Gordon – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (13) and legs (8). I promise you I won’t get excited for Alex Gordon in any way next year. You have my word or my name isn’t Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario. Don’t abbreviate my title, I don’t like that.
Will Middlebrooks – 1-for-3 as he was called up instead of Bogaerts on Saturday. You’re Bogaerts’ing my buzz, Red Sox! Middlebrooks is worth a shot in mixed leagues if you’re struggling to make something work at your corner. He did show good pop in Triple-A after being sent down (10 homers in 45 games), but his average of .268 in the minors isn’t necessarily gonna translate to .300+. Don’t need Rosetta Stone to tell you that.
Stephen Drew – 2-for-4, run and still continuing his hot schmotato ways, hitting near-.400 in the last week with a 12-game hitting streak. Definitely would grab him while he’s swinging a hot bat. That’s what she said! What? Huh?
Jeff Locke – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks in Coors. That’s nice, I still don’t trust him for his next start. His ERA is at 2.43 right now. If it ends up below 3.00 on the year, I’ll shave my mustache and give it to Locks of Love.
Mike Minor – 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. the MIA Marlins. This start reminded me of Ocean’s Thirteen. It’s the Marlins, so Minor left his A game at home and schticked it up a bit and still got the win.
Jason Heyward – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting .247. We own Heyward on a few teams so I’d like to see a big finish, but I am partially torn like my Cal Ripken rookie card that I thought should be separated — Get away from here, Bob Bonner! I’m torn because I wouldn’t mind Heyward coming at a dirt cheap price next year either, because it’s probably the only way I’m owning him. Then again do I really want to own him even for cheap? Damn, torn again. Get away from Ripken, Jeff Schneider!
Evan Gattis – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI. He made it in Jim Bowden’s top ten rookie rankings for the year. Here’s a snippet of it, “With less than two months left in the 2013 season, we’re heading down the stretch for this season’s top rookies.” Hey, it’s not easy to type while riding a Segway.
Freddie Freeman – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer. Doesn’t he sound like a name you’d come across if you’re reading about Harriet Tubman?