A reporter, ducked behind chairs, yells at Aaron Sanchez at his no-hitter, post-game press conference. All we hear is the reporter’s disembodied voice, “Isn’t it true your four-seam spin rate went from 2,300 rpm to 2,565 rpm overnight?” Some reporters move out of the way for the reporter, who is crouched behind the chairs. One reporter recognizes him, asking, “Trevor Bauer, is that you?” What are the Astros feeding their pitchers? Pine tar and they’re being told to eat with their hands. Aaron Sanchez (6 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.76) had a 6.07 ERA before this game! I get it, it was the Mariners, but this is crazy. Sanchez wasn’t usable at all in Toronto. The Astros’ coaching vs. cheating argument: Sanchez did kibosh his sinker, which was by far his worst pitch. Could it have been that easy? How could the Jays not figure this out? I could’ve figured this out! I guess Sanchez’s worth the flier. If he’s fixed, he’s too valuable to ignore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Kyle Seager – 2-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting near-.370 in the last week with two homers, and a hit in every game, except one. Or as Mother Seager says, “We babied Corey, and now he can’t overcome adversity.” They should’ve never gave him a trophy for “Best Son.”
Cole Hamels – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.84, as he was activated from the IL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Is David past tense of Dave?”
Jason Heyward – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 17th homer, and 2nd homer in three games, was hitting leadoff. Only have Heyward on one team; it’s a Cutline team. It’s a Best Ball format, means there’s no lineup adjustments, it runs itself — the 1984 of fantasy leagues. I just made it past the 2nd cutoff in the playoffs, and, honestly, I have no idea what I have to do to win money.
Trent Grisham – 3-for-4 and his 1st homer, as he hit leadoff. Classic Counsell to not start him every game, but also to think he’s worth leading off. Brewers are about to make it more complicated to vote Yelich (2-for-4 and his 37th homer) for the MVP because they’re going to finish below .500, if they don’t get their shizz togther.
Edwin Diaz – Mickey Callaway said the Mets have to be open-minded about who their closer is. Damn, quick hook if this is the beginning of the end of Diaz. Lugo only has a near-12 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 with a 2.68 ERA and Edwin has given up a home run in every appearance since April. Mickey Callaway is so dumb, he should start every sentence with, “Duh, George,” like Lenny from Looney Tunes’ Of Mice and Men.
Michael Conforto – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 22nd homer, hitting .256. Points out how crazy power is this year that Conforto’s been yawnstipating, but not really bad, in the big picture.
Jeff McNeil – 2-for-4, 4 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .336. I know following who leads each league in categories is not really a fantasy thing, but McNeil is about to run away with the NL batting title.
Robinson Cano – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI, but left with a strained hamstring. Elias Sports Bureau said Cano is the first person to strain their hamstring while walking.
Noah Syndergaard – 7 IP, 1 ER 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.96. This is the 1st time his ERA has been below 4.00 since the 1st inning of the season. His peripherals are still saying he’s pitching less effectively than last year.
Stephen Strasburg – 4 2/3 IP, 9 ER, ERA at 3.72. Strasburg didn’t have his best stuff, which is about as big an understatement as saying Cooking for Dahmies: Jeffrey Dahmer’s Cookbook wasn’t a hit with vegetarians. Also, if he just changes his name to Strosburg, he’ll get an additional 1,000 RPM spin on his curve and throw a no-hitter.
Eduardo Escobar – 0-for-4 and his 23rd and 24th homer on Saturday. If I were that type of person, I’d go back to my preseason rankings and point out the people in the comments saying Escobar shouldn’t be ranked in the top 100. You’re lucky I’m your humble servant named the Fantasy Master Lothario.
Ketel Marte – 3-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (24) and legs (6), hitting .319. He won’t be (I don’t think), but there’s a case to be made he’s a top 20 guy next year. Zoinks!
Trevor Bauer – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.85. He said he was struggling with an injury for the last few months, which might explain why he only threw 107 pitches in less than 5 innings, instead of his requisite 120. I can’t speak for him, but his peripherals aren’t saying an injury, they’re saying last year was a fluke.
Sonny Gray – 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.25. Gray pitching dramatically better than Bauer is so 2019.
Shane Greene – 1 IP, 3 ER and the blown save on Saturday. That’s one way to lower your Sunday FAAB price, by losing the Braves’ closer job before bids are even announced. Okay, maybe things aren’t that dire for Greene, but Chris Martin is becoming a must-own (again).
Ronald Acuña Jr. – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 27th homer. Tildaddy says to get him another beer!
Maikel Franco – Optioned to the minors. Not that you asked, but what would I have done with Maikel if I were the Phils? Trade him for literally anything last week. Not saying he’d fetch much, but you know how much he’s going to get now? Maybe could fetch you Nadir Bupkis.
Drew Smyly – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 7.01. Smyly just doesn’t feel like the right emoticon. More like an emoticon that is standing on the train tracks, just waiting, numb. Streamonator is positive on Smyly’s next one, but I’m not.
Corey Dickerson – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, as he hit leadoff. Mean’s while, Scott Kingery (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) hit eighth as he played 3rd. Wait until Kapler hears you don’t have to bat a guy 8th just because he’s replacing Maikel.
Eloy Jimenez – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .235. “It says, ‘No dumping,’ but I’m sick of carrying around this potato sack filled with Eloy–Wait a sec! He just moved! I think he’s alive.”
Griffin Canning – Hit the IL with elbow inflammation. Usually I’d be saying this means he’s done until 2021, but this could just be the Angels limiting his IP, and finding the most horrifying way to do it. It’s like this: Dodgers, “This pitcher has a sore neck and, uh…a blister.” Communicating it is a fake injury. Here’s the Angels, “His elbow is broken.” Whoa! Guys! Seriously? Angels, “Uh…no?”
Andrelton Simmons – Hit the IL with an ankle sprain. I will say one thing, if Andrelton is any indication of an alien invading Earth, we just have to wait until they sprain their ankle or wrist.
Kole Calhoun – 1-for-3 and his 25th homer. Now that Dustin May aka The Pigment Dodger is up, the Dodgers have two gingers to the Angels one (Calhoun). So, once again the Dodgers are a better organization.
Shane Bieber – 9 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.31. With the thought in mind that there’s only about 12 starters worth owning in fantasy, where’s Bieber ranked? 7? 9? 11? Don’t say an even number, you commie!
Jason Kipnis – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Hot schmotato alert!
Chris Sale – 3 2/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 4.68. After Sale left the game, Alex Cora whispered to the bat boy, “Go into the clubhouse and hide all of the scissors.”
David Price – 2 2/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 4.36. Speaking on behalf of fantasy owners of Red Sox pitchers, do the Red Sox and Yankees have to face each other? It would feel more special if they didn’t until the playoffs.
Christian Vazquez – 1-for-3 and his 17th homer, hitting .285. He could conceivably double his career home run output across four years in one season. Conceivably is actually silly. He definitely will, barring an injury.
Gio Urshela – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .314, as he hit cleanup. Any other team gets hit by this many injuries and has Gio Urshela batting cleanup they’re what, a 60-win team? The Yankees are starting Cameron Maybin like it’s five years ago and he’s hitting .312!
Edwin Encarnacion – Hit the IL with a fractured wrist. In only what I can call a courageous move — it’s really the word for it — Edwin’s parrot tried to grab a bat and fill in for him, but he only weighs eight pounds. I’m guessing Edwin’s out for at least six weeks, which means he’s droppable in most redrafts. This could be good news for Mike Tauchman’s playing time.
Aaron Hicks – Hit the IL with a flexor strain. Yo, are the Yanks on a three-month cycle for injuries? Well, it might be cycle related. This is good news for Mike Ford’s playing time, but bad news for Mike Ford because now he’s being asked to do something. I razz, I razz; he could be okay in that rinky-dink stadium — he had 23 HRs and hit .303 in 79 Triple-A games.
Michael Pineda – Hit the IL with a triceps strain. Wow, that came out of nowhere. He was pitching so well. Maybe a triceps strain is good for him. Can we get a doctor’s opinion on this? *intern whispers in my ear* Hearing now they likely did get a doctor’s opinion. Fair enough, nerds!
Devin Smeltzer – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.28. Smeltzer is a high-command, meh strikeouts guy. Think like a poor man’s Nola. I will call him, Treme. By the way, a commenter brought this to my attention (sorry, forget who it was):
— Razzball (@Razzball) July 7, 2019
Nelson Cruz – 0-for-3 and three homers on Saturday (30), hitting .292. Cruz is ridiculous. RidiCruzlous? Hmm, maybe not. He’s basically, “I will hit 35-40 homers every year, whether it’s in 140 games or 40 games.”
Brian Anderson – 2-for-3 and his 17th homer, 4th homer this week. Could see his hot schmotato cooling down to a lukewarm simmer, but he still appears to be more schmotato than schmo.
Isan Diaz – Called up by the Marlins and I grabbed him everywhere. Go ahead; I’ll wait. You done? Okay, Diaz had 26 HRs and hit .305 in Triple-A this year, while chucking in a handful of steals. The Prospectonator isn’t a huge fan of his, but that does tend to dig its heels in during preseason and doesn’t know about approach changes — Diaz cut his Ks this year. My only concern is Don Mattingly will do something dumb like play Berti/Castro over him. Leave Berti/Castro to the dank memes from Russian bots.
Bo Bichette – 2-for-5, and his 2nd homer, hitting .406, and has hit in every game since his call-up. Starting my Boba Chette fan fiction graphic novel where he arrives from a far away planet to save my MI slot from Jurickson Profar.
Nolan Arenado – 2-for-4 and his 23rd and 24th homer, hitting .305. Can’t believe I found this last will and testament of my great Aunt Gertrude and she left me all six of her Dairy Queen locations. Before acquiring my windfall, I’m going to haphazardly leave it by this open window–NOOOO!!! Torenado!
Donovan Solano – 2-for-4 and his 3rd and 4th. As if you needed more reason to believe this was not the season of the pitch, Donovan does this.
Mike Fiers – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.46. Here’s his last three months of ERAs: 2.87, 2.30, 2.14. Hopefully if there was a Fiers Sale in your league, you went for the Fiers side.
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-5 as he was activated from the IL. I’m not running out to add him in shallower leagues. He’s done nothing all year and I don’t even know if the Cardinals will play him every day.
Marcell Ozuna – 0-for-3, 1 run, as he was activated from the IL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “I understand Human Resources has a job to do, but, if someone has a problem with me picking up my veal cutlet sandwich and singing Veal Diamond, why don’t they say it to me?”
Danny Santana – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer in, like, 12 games. Guys and five girl readers, if Dannys Antana isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer, they should close Cooperstown down. Sorry if you live there; it’s done. Move now.
Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 16th homer, hitting .284. In a sea of 30-homer hitters, hitting below 20 homers feels like flotsam. (Or is it jetsam? Do we really need two words for shizz thrown overboard?) But Hosmer’s having a nice bounce back season when counting stats are included.
Chris Paddack – 4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.19 vs. Kenta Maeda – 2 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.37. During the postgame press conference I had with my fantasy team, this matchup was billed as, “A bad week to quit sniffing glue.”
Max Muncy – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer, hitting .265. If only someone told you to draft him. Wait, someone did. Me. *dons crown* King stay king!
A.J. Pollock – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. How many Pollocks does it take to homer? One Pollock to hit the ball over the fence, and 23 million to move the stadium counterclockwise so he rounds the bases.