As I discussed recently with a good friend, I just missed my musical times growing up. I started getting into the rock of the early 90’s. Y’all can call it grunge, I’m cool with that. Don’t really care what you want to label it as but I enjoyed my Alice ‘n’ Chains and Soundgarden in my Middle School years. And just as high school began, the good music started to die. I got stuck with the fallout of all the Mouseketeers becoming music stars and invading my audio living space. Gone was ‘Burden In My Hand’ and in was ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’. It was a jolt, to say the least. I finished out my High School years going backwards musically, exploring all the bands that influenced the bands I loved growing up so I could avoid the complete and under dreck that was on the radio every day. Of course, that does not make one immune to it. Hell, even people who admit to hating Journey can probably sing a few bars. When Thong Song hit my ears, I thought it was a joke. I mean, it quotes Ricky Martin’s ‘La Vida Loca’. Who does that if they’re trying to be taken seriously? Sisqo I guess. And no, Sisqo, I won’t look up how to make the weird mark above the ‘o’. You’re just not worth it. But more to the point, ‘If Loving Kolten Is Wong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right’ has been used so I decided to bring upon you the pain of my late teen years to make a title. Sorry about that (ok not really), but I thought you’d like the song (ok, not really again). Of course, I bring to you this conversation about Kolten Wong because he hit 2 homers Thursday night to go along with a steal and now has 9 HRs and 17 steals on the year over 251 AB. Stretch that out to 500 AB and you have an 18 HR, 34 steal season at 2B. To put that in perspective, Daniel Murphy is on pace for 13 HRs and 17 steals in 656 at bats this year and is the 7th best 2B on the year, according to Yahoo. Like I told Nick on the podcast over the All-Star Break, I think Wong turns some teams around down the stretch run. Given that it’s his rookie year, I’m willing to look past the up and down that his been this year with Kolten and realize his .247 average is masking something that could be great in 2015 and beyond. That Wong, wa-Wong, Wong, Wong! In other news for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…
Javier Baez – Went 3/4 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs. Why wasn’t he the lead you ask? To quote Albright ‘I’ve talked about him enough. Besides, I don’t want your articles getting more hits than me and we know everyone will be searching for Javier after that monstrous game’. At least he was honest in his vanity. I shall now call him Dorian Grey.
Ian Desmond – Went 2/5 with a HR and 3 RBIs to go with 2 runs and a walk. He’s on pace for 25 HRs and 17 steals at short. Why is everyone calling it a down year. He’s only hitting .247. Oh, that’s awesome! Stay under .250, I want more value in 2015!
Shane Greene – Spun a beauty going 8 scoreless with 5 K for the 1-0 victory over the Tigers. All his peripherals suggest he’s pitching up to his ability to this point…which is kinda sad because his ability is that of a 7 K/9 with a 3+ BB/9. Fun fact, when I went to look him up I accidentally typed Shawn Greene and got confused as to why a Yankees prospect was 42 years old but then realized they typically trade for guys like Ichiro Suzuki to get younger and then it all made sense.
Chris Carter – Mr. K’arter double mint fresh with the bat, slapping 2 bombs while going 3/4 and has now been hitting .314 since the first of July with 11 HRs to go along with it. To test the waters, I went and checked what his highest average was in any month from 2013: .258 in September. Hrm…normally don’t bite on numbers like this but he’s 27 and many a masher before him took a long time to settle in so this could be a thing. If it’s not clear yet, all my teams are terrible and I’m scouting for 2015 and abusing your reading time doing it.
Bryce Harper – Fun fact! Bryce was my lead but then Kolten went double wong and he got bumped. Here’s a synopsis of what I said but if read from a telegram. Bryce Harper hit a hr (stop) he’s had a down year (stop) some have even called for him to get sent down to the minors (stop) but he’s young and has played hurt this year (stop) I think he’ll be a value in 2015 (stop)
Homer Bailey – Bailey’s year, by ERA: April 6.15, May 4.26, June 3.35, July 2.67, August 1.29. Remember that buy call from Grey back in May? After 7 shut out innings and 8 K on and your 5th straight mediocre start from Josh Beckett, I thought it was a good time to remind you. I’m like an iCal over here!
Caleb Joseph – Provided the only offense the Orioles needed, going 1/3 with a HR and by ‘only offense needed’ I meant the actual team. The rest of us who own Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, and Adam Jones are still waiting…and waiting…
Miguel Cabrera – Went 0/1 as he came in as a pinch-hitter late in the game. Obviously, you can never tell how things will tumble out but if the Tigers extend their AL Central Division lead again, they could give Miggy plenty of rest down the stretch for a playoff run which makes so much sense it might actually happen. That goes doubly true for your 2014 Zombino of the year, Victor Martinez. In H2H redraft leagues, this could be a threat to keep in mind. You have been apprised…what, Nick from Razzball Radio has his thing, I have mine.
J.A. Happ – The man who gave up a HR to the backup catcher of the backup catcher of the Orioles actually had a solid night, going 8 and striking out *gasp* 12. Now before you go all ‘J.A. stands for Jim-Dandy Arm’, realize the Orioles have the lowest team wOBA and the second highest K% in the major leagues over the last 30 days. Don’t know what wOBA is? Well clearly you haven’t been reading DraftKings content on here! I’ve been streaming against the Orioles since before it was cool because of all that Daily Fantasy jive. Now where’s my PBR?
Denard Span – 4/6…seriously, he did nothing else. That’s kind of the life of owning him. He’s rarely exciting but by the end of the year, he’ll have 100 runs and around 30 SB. Then you’ll draft him next year and get bored again. You’re probably the type that buys the same cereal over and over and complains that there’s never anything good to eat for breakfast. You sicken me a little bit, if we’re being honest.
Carlos Gonzalez – Finished the night 0/3 with a walk and a K. He’s been dinged up and off all year. Only one of those things was to be expected. But on the flip side, at least you didn’t draft Chris Davis.
Jenrry Mejia – Pitched a clean inning despite having calf problems. Why deal with the calf when you can get the milk for free, Mejia. What? Never the less, in case this issue persists, Jeurys Familia is in line for the blown saves if you’re stumping for some.
Roberto Hernandez – Was traded to the Dodgers on Thursday. What? It’s not a trade? If it works like a trade and exchanges players like a trade, it’s probably a trade people. Why not just extend the damn trade deadline until August 31st? What is this waivers business? You put guys on waivers in my league, you get what else is on waivers to replace them. Just in case, I’m gonna go pick up and waive Roberto Hernandez and see if I get 2 supplemental draft picks in 2015. Ooph, sorry for the tangent. Back to the real news: Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers isn’t news. Done!
Alex Rios – Cleared waivers so that he can be given to a team in yet another trade that’s not a trade. Can’t wait to see where he goes. Will he hit 2 more HRs on the year or 3 for the mystery team? The suspense!
Alex Gordon – Hit his 10th HR on the year and is well on his way to underwhelming anyone and everyone who drafted him in the top 100. This might get some flak but it needs to be said: boring guys who give you most of their value in the RBI/R/AVG department are guys I’m most likely to avoid on draft day because they don’t have as much control over them as they do HR/SB. Can we just treat him like an OF4 next year please? Then I can understand the love.
Melky Cabrera – Left the game early after getting hit in the elbow by a pitch. X-Rays were negative. No word yet on what they did to those x-rays to put them in such a foul mood. If Melky is out for an extended amount of time, Nolan Reimold probably gets a shot to play every day. And by ‘every day’ I mean ‘four games until he goes on the DL after injuring himself trying to find his car keys in his pocket’. They’d call it a strained oblique. It’s all the rave in sports medical circles.
Collin McHugh – Struck out 8 over 7 while giving up 1 ER and walking none. Due to injuries and a lack of wins, pretty sure no one is gonna believe in Collin next year but the xFIP is on point with his ERA and his K/9 is better than Max Scherzer’s this year. All that said, you’ll probably go and draft guys like Jered Weaver over him next year. But that’s none of my business.
Vinnie Pestano – My cousin Vinnie goes to the Angels in exchange for a signed silicone Pam Anderson boob and a book on how to alienate yourself from a young power-hitting catcher, signed by Mike Scioscia. I only mention all this to 1) talk about silicone and 2) the Angels bullpen got sexy in a hurry after struggling earlier this year. Officially a bit of a daunting team past the 4 and 2/3rds C.J. Wilson goes.
Wily Peralta – Went 6.2 IP, struck out 9 and gave up 1 ER en route to his major league-leading 14th win. To put the ‘wins are stupid’ argument into perspective, there are at least 40 starting pitchers with better ERAs than Peralta on the year, his K/9 of just over 6.5 doesn’t even register in the top 50 and you’ll still draft him over Collin McHugh next year.
Ryan Howard – One for four with a GS. Remember when I said ‘Chris Carter might be a late bloomer’? Ryan Howard’s breakout year came in 2006. Granted his was 58 HRs followed by three consecutive 40+ HR seasons. I could see Carter mirroring Howard’s 2011 line when he hit 33 and batting .253, though. Just not the 116 RBIs. That would require the Astros to be good offensively in 2015. And if you really wanted me to talk more about Ryan here, all you had is dead as he is dead. Marry another.
Edinson Volquez – ESPN player rater tells me he was second best player yesterday so I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention him: 7 innings, 7 K, 0 ER, 1 hit and 3 walks. There, he’s been mentioned. Moving on…
Dustin Ackley – After a 2/4, 4 RBI night with a HR, I think it’s safe to say my Dustin Ackley Sleeper post deserves a mention here. And by ‘sleeper’ I mean ‘I’m sleep doe’ cuz man, even with the average over .350 since July 1st, he’s still not in the top 20 for 2Bs. But what a nice ride it’s been for those who’ve streamed him.
Robinson Cano – HE HIT A HR! Congrats, you got your 1 HR per month early, Cano owners. Talk to you again in September!
Endy Chavez – Basically the Mariners offense last night as Kyle Seager hit one as well. If you were a Mariner and you didn’t hit a HR last night, you’re just gonna have to wait for the next solar eclipse during a leap year. Them’s the rules.
Giancarlo Stanton – Hit his 27th HR on the year and is on pace for his 3rd 30+ HR season of his career. He’s only 24. What have YOU been doing for us, Bryce? Clearly you need a stint in the minors!
Jon Lester – Tossed a complete game shutout against the Twinkies along with 8 Ks. The move to the O.Co looks to be doing wonders. BTW, am I the only one that looks at ‘O.Co’ and sees a weird ‘shock face’ emoji with a lazy eye? No, just me? Carrying on…
Stephen Vogt – Went 1/3 with a 2 run HR. He’s dramatically cooled off of late, entering the game on an 0/23 slump. But if it’s between Stephen or d’Arnaud having a better rest of the season, you can hand me my Chad now. I vote for Vogt.
Cole Hamels – Reportedly grabbed off waivers by the Cubs. You know what a young, up and coming club needs to do? Take on a huge salary for a 30 year old pitcher and exchange away all the young talent they’ve accumulated to do it. That was your ‘see if you can spot the sarcasm’ blurb of the day.
Masahiro Tanaka – Continued his rehab attempt to avoid TJS by playing long toss in the outfield from distances of 60 and 90 feet. Trevor Bauer scoffed. I’m still not believing the whole ‘let’s rehab our way out of Tommy John Surgery’ story but if someone in your league is, now would be a good time to try.
David Ortiz – Didn’t play on Thursday because of a ‘wet playing surface’. As a grown man, you know the wetter the surface, the better the play, Papi. I’m of course talking about slip and slides.