[brid autoplay=”true” video=”270190″ player=”10951″ title=”Fantasy Baseball Mailbag Week 15″]

With Aaron Nola, I should likely talk about Zydeco, but he reminds me of Paul Simon’s quote about Graceland.  Vampire Weekend was criticized for copying his signature style, which is absurd since he copied it from African artists, and Simon copped to that.  He said, “In a way, we were on the same pursuit, but I don’t think you’re lifting from me, and anyway, you’re welcome to it, because everybody’s lifting all the time. That’s the way music grows and is shaped.”  Without every great pitcher to come before, would there be Aaron Nola?  I know what I know, and I lost Nola this year.  Like I lost Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber previous years.  I long for them when the diamond’s on the sole of their shoes.  Every year, I have guys I’m targeting as my ace whose preseason prices aren’t out of control yet.  Well, Nola went from fringe Grey-ownership this year as possibly my ace to not going to be able to own him until he falters one year down the road.  That sucks, and not sucks as in good, but sucks as in bad.  Yesterday, Nola went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 10 Ks, to lower his ERA to Marla Gibbs’ address 2.27.  When he’s on other people’s teams next year and I say I would never draft him because his price is too high, remember, I see losing love is like a window in your heart.   Everybody sees you’re blown apart, everybody feels the wind blow.  In Nola, in Nola.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Vince Velasquez – Expects to return on Wednesday with a 3 IP, 6 ER or a 9 IP, 0 ER, 14 Ks game.  Nothing else is possible.

Maikel Franco – 2-for-6, 2 runs and his 11th homer, hitting near-.500 in the last week since he was moved to the eight hole.  Hot schmotato alert, fo’ sho, but, woof, on the eight hole.   Seems like the best spot for Kingery, but what do I know, I’m just a righteous as hellfire fantasy baseball blogger with a sweet eh-eff mustache.

Nick Williams – 3-for-8, 1 RBI, as he hits third, and hitting over .300 in the last week.  Podcaster Ralph and I talk about Williams on today’s show.  Not on the Today Show, but I hear Hoda is a fan.  By the way, nine out of ten men agree, Hoda Kotb sounds like a character in Star Wars.

Victor Arano – 1/3 IP, 0 ER and his 3rd save, ERA at 2.51.  Gabe Kapler is the Oprah of bullpen managers.  You get a save!  You get a save!  You get a save!  You get a save!  You get a save!  Everybody gets a save!  Guess since Arano has three saves in six days it’s time to pick him up too.  Thankfully, most of the Phils’ relievers are good, because I own, like, four of them.  Yo, throw Edubray some of that sweet savetang.

Zack Wheeler – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.42 vs. Zach Eflin – 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.15.  This was a battle of, “Zack’s with an H!”  “No, it’s with a K!”  “H!”  “K!”  The H’s eventually lost by runs, but you can’t argue with anything related to Dear Zachary.  Damn, that documentary is sad!  Eflin is ownable everywhere, which I’ve been saying more or less for the last month.  Nate Orf course, there could be some hiccups.

Todd Frazier – Hit the DL with a ribcage strain.  Billy Butler once strained himself getting into a cage made of ribs.  Don’t cry for Wilmer Flores, he’ll do it himself, and he should see more playing time.  Yesterday, Wilmer (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) won the first game with game-winner, his 8th homer, and had the only two hits in the nightcap.

Asdrubal Cabrera – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer.  As he trotted around the bases, he carried with him a For Rent sign.

J.T. Realmuto – Out on paternity leave.  Jerry Tomato will be in the maternity ward just picking babies off the vine.

Cameron Maybin – 2-for-3 and his 4th and 5th steal.  I’ve been subtly side-eyeing Maybin all year with a monocle to see if he can go on one of those patented “15 steals in two weeks then to the DL” runs.

Starlin Castro – 2-for-5 and his 7th homer.  He’s turned it on of late with four homers in the last two weeks.  Someone must’ve called him Starlin Catsup!

Brian Anderson – 2-for-5 and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in the last four games.  Someone must’ve called him Brian Catsup!  Okay, will stop now.

Jesus Aguilar – 1-for-4, and his 23rd homer, hitting .305.  He’s easily in the top 100 for the 2nd half that I’ll post next week.  Look at the Player Rater for how high Aguilar is.  Jesus is turning water into fantasy value!

John Hicks – 1-for-3, but didn’t start for the third time in the last week.  Wonder if the Tigers know you don’t need to rest a player who has catcher eligibility who is not the catcher.

Niko Goodrum – 2-for-6, 1 run, 3 RBIs, hitting near-.375 in the last week.  Hot schmotato alert!

Chris Archer – 3 1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.41, as he was activated from the DL, and threw his last rehab start in the majors.  Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Can I expense a happy ending massage if I’m unable to date because I’m working long hours?”

Wilson Ramos – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 13th homer, hitting .291.  That’s All-Star Wilson Ramos!  Eat a D, Blake Snell!

Daniel Robertson – 3-for-6, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .268, as he hit third.  I’m pretty sure Kevin Cash had a reason he hit Robertson third yesterday, but I Googled “Robertson reason,” and all I found was the reason Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si Robertson voted for Trump, and stopped Googling.

Scott Schebler -4-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .283, and he was caught stealing, which you may think is whatever, but I love that’s he’s trying everything to help my fantasy team.  Now that I think about it, that’s exactly what the Reds are.  Crap team, due to their pitching, but there’s fantasy value in their lineup!

Joey Votto – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, hitting .292.  Votto choked up on the bat yesterday for his homer like he was Joe Morgan.  Wait, Morgan was famous for the chicken wing.  Guess I’ve confused choking/the chicken.

Anthony DeSclafani – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.43.  He does this in Cleveland, but where was this when I streamed him his last time out vs. the White Sox?  All I can do is laugh (through my tears).

Jason Kipnis – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .220.  I like to call Kipnis, Post And Soon To Be Pre-Asdrubal.

Yonder Alonso – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 13th homer, hitting .255.  Every time he has a big game I look at his player profile and there’s always multiple games between each hot game.  Hard to schmotato like that.

Danny Duffy – 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.89.  Was a good night to be an awful starter having a miserable year, huh?  No reason to answer, I know what’s going on.  *eyes dart to the corner of the ceiling*  Why do I keep expecting to see Toni Collette up there?  The movie Hereditary damaged me.

Jose Berrios – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.41.  Jose’s been Berrios, Berrios good to me.  Haha, now I take a nap.  *five seconds later claps hands*  I’m back, snitches!

Aroldis Chapman – Appears fine from his knee scare this weekend.  Fun fact!  I have a knee scar, which happened during the semi-finals in the New Jersey State Checkers Championships when I had to take down Tommy Vitaly.

Gary Sanchez – Taking batting practice today and will be activated right after the All-Star Break.  I squeezed him into my top 100 of the 2nd half that’s coming out next week.  Coming out as in being posted, not announcing its sexual orientation.

Brett Gardner – 4-for-7, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in the last four games, hitting over .400 in the last five games.  I know this because I just randomly picked him up in my RCL five days ago, and a batty call turned into a full blown love affair with the Gardner and now I’m in a thorny situation that has me sitting Marcell Ozuna when all my outfielders are playing.

Giancarlo Stanton – 4-for-9, 3 runs and his 22nd homer, hitting .272.  He homered on the top half of the doubleheader, but, in my eyes, I only see a dong from him on the bottom half.

Mark Trumbo – 2-for-7, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer.  Watch him hit 20 homers in the 2nd half and be a 35-homer guy once again going into next year, and, then in March, you’re gonna draft him, and he’ll do nothing, and by end of April, you’ll drop him, and by June, he’ll be homering again, and he’ll hit 20 homers next second half, and, for crissakes, why did I have to get the Magic Eight Ball with the extra-wide screen?

Tim Beckham – 2-for-7, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .214.  Whoa, member this guy?  I think I actually liked him this preseason, but then he missed six weeks and the world moved on without him like he was Brooks in Shawshank Redemption.  The Orioles went from Brooks Robinson to Brooks in Shawshank Redemption.

Yasiel Puig – Hit the DL for prolly ever, but maybe two weeks, but maybe four weeks, but maybe–It’s oblique!  No one ever knows!

Clayton Kershaw – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.61.  Not this time, Padres, not this time.  Which is what Kershaw said yesterday and what I say when surrounded by monks staring at a clock that is incorrect.

Wil Myers – 2-for-4 and his 7th homer, and his 5th homer in the last three days, and 17th homer in the last fourteen hours.  He went from scooting around on his butt like he’s a dog who can’t get a turd loose to straight fire.

Stephen Piscotty – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, and 3rd homer in the last three games.  Grab him right now!  I don’t know how long it will last but there will be time for questions later.  And not the question, “Should I pick up Piscotty?”  I just answered that question!

Frankie Montas – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3,35.  When I clicked on his name to look at his player page, a window popped up that said, “You’ve been here after every one of his starts and it hasn’t gotten better.”

Gerrit Cole – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.57.  What I said for Nola about never owning a guy again?  Same goes for Cole after this year’s breakout, but I didn’t even get to like him his last year I could’ve owned him, because for the last HUNDRED YEARS I’VE OWNED HIM HE WAS TERRIBLE!

Yu Darvish – Played catch yesterday.  Sounds heartwarming.  I hope someone nearby was playing some light jazz.

Kyle Hendricks – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.93 vs. Andrew Suarez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.75.  This would’ve made a nice stream of Suarez.  If the stream was big enough, you could’ve even called it the Suarez Canal.  Hendricks, mean’s while, looked solid in San Fran, even without a backing band of J. Baez.

Gregory Polanco – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and a slam (13) and legs (4).  This was his 2nd homer in the past four games, and in the past week he’s been hitting .200.  Stupid end of the sentence!  Okay, so it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns, but maybe this is the start of something again for Polanco.

Corey Dickerson – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting .309, hitting leadoff, hitting near-.500 in the last week, so schmotato, yes, but where’d this young brother’s power go?  He has six homers on the year.  Is he sleeping in a humidor?  Tell me true.

Matt Wieters – 1-for-4 as he was activated from the DL.  When he left the DL, it was a tearful goodbye and Wieters vowed to return to the DL soon.

Bryce Harper – 1-for-4 and his 22nd homer, hitting .218.  After the game, he went into the cage with Adam Dunn to work on getting more 1-for-5’s with a walk.  You know what must be fun to watch?  A major league baseball player go into the cage and take pitches.

Juan Soto – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, hitting .301.  Sexy Dr. Pepper is like, “Yo, who Acuña?  I am Sexy Dr. Pepper, Acuña sounds like a flavor of Shasta!”  Then ripped a burp.

Christian Vazquez – Hit the DL for eight weeks after fracturing his pinkie.  He’s also going need to be replaced in the role of Thumby Shelby in the off-Broadway show, Pinky Blinders.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners (3 BBs), 5 Ks, ERA at 3.62.  The Stream-o-Nator liked this start and loves his next one, so you do you while trying not to go blind.

Steve Pearce – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer.  He’s been hitting cleanup at DH.  In related news, is Hanley still alive?  Imagine that “Hanley’s the worst meth dealer ever” story was totally wrong and completely blackballed him from baseball.  Yo, I’d be pissed if I were him.  Arrest me or clear my name!  Attica!  Attica!  Attica!

J.D. Martinez – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 28th homer.  If I owned Just Dong, I’d kidnap him for 90 minutes during the Home Run Derby.  Here’s your cover story, “Hello, I am Kevin Spacey and I am pissed off I was replaced in that kidnapping movie so I grabbed Just Dong in an unwanted manner and will return him once the 21st Century Home Run Derby is over.  Bye-bye.”