It’s only appropriate that on Kentucky Derby weekend Minnesota rookie outfielder and hotshot phenom mega-prospect slash heartthrob Alex Kirilloff had a little home run derby of his own Friday night going 2-for-4 with his first two career home runs and four runs batted in. That deserves a second Mint Julep! Don’t mind if I do. Derby Day is all about waking up at 6AM and wearing your fanciest hat, only to wait around all day to watch a two-minute race that only a handful of people really understand. White people in the South dressing fancy and day-drinking?? Hmm, is this a racist thing? Are we sure it’s not a racist thing? Okay then if Gronk’s doing it, I’m picking Essential Quality to win big, mostly because that’s the only horse I know. But speaking of Essential Quality, let’s discuss Alex Kirilloff in case some of the hype faded after he went an uninspiring 3-for-26 with six strikeouts to start his major league career. “These things take time,” is a way you’d never hear a horse race described but could be true for a player like Alex. If you grabbed him last week when Grey told you to BUY or last November when you read his Alex Kiriloff fantasy, your patience is finally being rewarded. Here’s what Grey said about AK last week, “Alex Kirilloff could be Alex Verdugo from the moment he’s called up until the end of the season. Today, it’s all Alex talk. ‘Alexa, who’s more all Alex than other Alexes?'” That’s me quoting Grey, talking to a robot! And Alex Verdugo–wow, whata comp! I say that lovingly AND sarcastically, but the truth is the guys got pop and should hit for decent average. Think a 25-30 homer .275 average-type with a few steals thrown in to make you extra squee. If those look like numbers your team could utilize you’re not alone, and you’re in luck, Kirilloff is still available in over 60% of fantasy leagues and probably shouldn’t be. I’m going to toast my third mint julep at 8AM to the Twinkies, tip my fanciest sweat-stained baseball cap to Alex, and I’d add him everywhere I could. All bets are Kirilloff!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Tyler O’Neill – 3-for-4, 2 runs, HR (5), SB (2). Tyler the Run Creator. Ain’t too many bros hotter than Tyler O’Neil right now. Dude is hitting .360 with 4 jacks and 2 steals in the past week! That’s seven days, folks. Grey told you to BUY and he’s been on fire since returning from the IL, and I know you love small sample sizes. He was almost your lede but I couldn’t think of a useable horse pun for Tyler. Regardless, O’Neil looks like a thoroughbred (horse word!) and needs to be owned everywhere right now.
JT Brubaker – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 7 K. JT knows it’s gonna be MAY and is an early front runner for my favorite streamer of 2021. The 2.63 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 30/5 K/BB make me think he’s maybe more than a streamer but then I see that Pittsburgh offense in action and I’m like, “Oh…right.”
Pablo Lopez – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Speaking of offensive inaction, Pablo draws deGrom comparisons in that his team cannot seem to score when he’s on the mound. He is winless despite his 2.34 ERA and the Fish have only scored once this season in six of his starts. Marlins baseball, ya’ll! Get Hooked!
Jon Lester – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, K. His fastball speed was down from last year but it was just his first start back and he faired better than I thought he would. Still, if I wanted another 0ld man on my team I’d pick up Yadiel.
Yadiel Hernandez – 3-for-4, SB (1). The Nats journeyman has some eye-popping stats slashing .400/.445/.560 so far this season, but before you drop your Juan Sotos for him, the steal was unusual for the 33-year-old. Still, he’s batting .600 in the past week and is doing his best Juan Soto impression minus all the power, speed, and skills that make Soto the greatest. Absolutely glowing recommendation, I know.
Yimi Garcia – 0.0 IP, ER, BS. Gave up a home run in the 10th to blow the game. How big is Garcia’s leash and will Bass get the next save chance? Yimi a break!
Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 12 K. Cole makes my job easy with how good he is. 1.43 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 62/3 K/BB. Yup. That will help your fantasy team. Pick him up if he’s available. The hardest part about writing about Cole is remembering not to add a second “t” to his name.
Aaron Judge – 2-for-4, 2 HR (7), 5 RBI. Two dingers including a Grand Slam. Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, and Rougned Odor also homered and the Yankees scored 10 runs on 15 hits. Well, we all knew the last place Yankees was not a thing that was going to last. Nothing like a homestand with the Tigers to get your team back on track.
Lance McCullers, Jr. – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. Lowered his ERA more than an entire run last night and I’m about three years late on the McCullers bandwagon but now seems like a good time to break out while the rest of the league thinks your entire team is a bunch of cheaters. You got nothing to lose!
Alex Bregman – 2-for-5, HR (4). Baaanging on a trash caaan! I know deep cut, Doug Funnie! The Astros had fifteen hits in this one with four-hit games from Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa, but Bregman gets the blurb because I like it when the balls go over the fences. Who needs trash cans when you got talent like this!
Marcus Stroman – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, BB, 8 K. Was pulled with a tight hamstring but should be able to make his next start. Other than that–SCORE SOME RUNS, Mets! Jeez, this team [expletive deleted]! I don’t even root for them and I’m frustrated.
Chase Anderson – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1st win. I hear you. And I see you. And I’m going to take a hard pass on your next start.
Sam Coonrod – 1.0 IP, BB, K, SV (1). Got the save with Neris pitching back-to-back days. At least we know who to add when Neris ultimately pitches his way out of the gig.
Jake Arrieta – 3.1 IP, 7 hits, 7 ER, BB, 2 K, L. I’m so glad I streamed Brubaker over you.
Joey Votto – 3-for-4, HR (5). Eugenio Suarez and Nick Senzel also homered. JoVo’s 300th home run as a Red and he’s having his best season in years. His .241/.308/.463 slash is pedestrian but his next level stats are…umm, next level? Is it because Canada won’t let him go home and Reds brass told him he has to hit home runs in order to see his family? Are we in Gilead!?
Kris Bryant – 2-for-3, HR (7), 2 RBI. THE POWER OF KRIS COMPELS ME! THE POWER OF KRIS COMPELS ME!
Tejay Antone – 0.1 IP, SV (1). My closer sense is tingling and it’s telling me to stop watching Marvel movies all Friday night to replace the Falcon and Winter Soldier WandaVision sized hole in my heart. Is Tejay the new closer? Everyone wants Sims to be the guy, but Sims walked three of the batters he faced last night. The Reds used three pitchers in the ninth Friday night, and Antone looks a whole lot better than Fulmer and Sims right now. He’s an instant add if he gets the next save chance.
Freddy Peralta – 6.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, BB, 7 K, 3rd win. Freddy is an absolute nightmare for opposing batters had I known Milwaukee was going to use him properly I would have drafted him. He didn’t give up a hit until the 5th when he surrendered a homer to AJ Pollock. The 45/14 K/BB ratio makes me want to write an Olivia Rodrigo-type ballad about him and when did the Brewers get such a filthy pitching staff?
Edwin Uceta – 2.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, BB, 2 K. He’s a Dodgers pitching prospect which means he’ll probably be a star in two years. How did the Dodgers go from 7-8 capable starters on opening day to having to pitch a bullpen game. Still not as scary as Jansen pitching in a close game. Here’s what one fan thought.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. – 1-for-2, HR. Hey, JBJ! Just mentioning you cause I love you. And I miss you. And you remind me of when we had Mookie.
Josh Hader – 1.0 IP, 3 K, SV (7). Don’t be a Hader. Unless you want to strike out 53% of all the batters you face, then by all means be a hader.
J.D. Martinez – 3-for-4, 2 HR (9), 4 RBI. That’s two ding dongs for Jumbo Dong Martinez as he leads the league with nine jacks! He’s also got a 1.175 OPS, which is totally normal. Mmhm. The Red Sawx are 17-10, you guys! Go back to April 2nd Dan and tell him it’s going to be OK. Gary Sanchez denies slumping and admits he’s just bad. Jayson Tatum’s 60 is the second coming of Larry. The Patriots drafted a QB named McCorkle! Everything’s coming up Milhouse!
Xander Bogaerts – 1-for-4, HR (4). Awesome X! He went back-2-back with JD like that Drake song I can’t remember the name of. Rafael Devers also hit his seventh homer and the Red Sox are good at beisbol again.
Nathan Eovaldi – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 4th win. So the Sawx are the best team in the world again which means I can be super annoying again and tell you Chaim Bloom is a genius and oh wait Franchy Cordero is still really bad. Welp. You can’t get everything right. Jarren Duran time, perhaps?
Jose Ramirez – 2-for-4, HR (7). JoRam has a nice eight-game hitting streak with three jacks in the past week. Maybe Lindor wasn’t the heart of this team after all. It was Jose all along!
Shane Bieber – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, BB, 11 K, 3rd win. ERA at 2.76 ERA with a 68/14 K/BB ratio. Meh. Statistically, Biebs worst start of the season tbqhwy (<– great acronym that makes me feel smart). Must be the new dreads. It’s not cultural appropriation cuz he’s friends with Usher. Duh. Also, Shane should be even better next time out–which is a scary thought. Scarier than Justin Bieber in cornrows.
Tim Anderson – 2-for-5, run, RBI, 2 SB (2). Oh dear all-powerful Lord Xenu, I wish I had just one more steal this week in my H2H league and I’d be a happy man. My tonal scale would be off the charts! It is done! Wait, just like that? If I owned Tim Anderson I’d have two more steals this week, wouldn’t I? Umm, Xenu, can I change my wish?
Michael Pineda – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Gave up a solo homer to Carlos Santana but that was all the Royals could muster. Was also pulled early after getting hit with a comebacker but appeared to be fine. Pineda and his 2.30 ERA get a tasty matchup with the Rangers next week. Yes please and thank you.
John Means – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, BB, 9 K. John Means Business! John held the A’s to just one run until he came out for the 7th and immediately surrendered a home run. OK, six innings are the cap. Noted. Still. My guy is undefeated! And not saying I told you so but, he looks as dominant as his 0.84 WHIP suggests. If he can stop giving up long balls we’re looking at a real breakout Ace in Camden Yards. Mike Mussina vibes, all! Shudder.
Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3-0. You don’t know anything about Mike Fiers unless you stream Mike [expletive deleted] Fiers! Looked solid in his return from a hip injury. He could stick in the rotation and any A’s starter is a decent streaming option. Fear the G-Beard!
Cedric Mullins – 1-for-4, HR (4), 2 RBI. Ced is hitting .345 with 3 homers in the past week. If he stole bases I’d be totally infatuated with him, but for now, I’m just fatuated.
Cesar Valdez – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, SV (6). I ain’t ever seen a SAGNOF that SAGNOF’d so hard as Cesar! Hail him!
Sean Murphy – 2-for-4, HR (4). Three dingers in the past week. What has your catcher done for you lately?
Madison Bumgarner – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 6 K, 3rd win. If this was a seven-inning game, could we call this a quality start?
Yu Darvish – 6.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 3rd win. Fridays I’m in love with Yu! After getting roughed up on opening day, Darvish has strung together five straight quality starts and the San Diego Darvish has been every bit the Ace we expected him to be. He takes his 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 43/10 K/BB ratio into a juicy start with Pittsburgh next week. Yu got this!
Logan Webb – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, BB, 4 K. I don’t trust you but he’s now got back-to-back quality starts. If you can escape your start at Coors next week unscathed I’ll be a believer.
Mark Melancon – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (9). That’s more saves than most of my fantasy teams. This is not a joke, this is my life. *audible sigh*
Buster Posey – 2-for-4, HR (6). Buster’s slashing .361/.418/.705 and having one of his best seasons ever. Wow, that year off really helped! Maybe Posey, Stroman, Kopech, and Castillo are on to something here.
Andrew Heaney – 3.1 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Gave up homers to lead off the first and second inning. Yep, that’ll do it. I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it again because I have nothing else to write here, I like Heaney a lot, I just prefer him on other peoples’ teams.
Shohei Ohtani – 1-for-4, HR (8). Actor Simu Liu has confirmed he used Shohei’s at-bats for his inspiration for his character Shang Chi in Marvel’s upcoming film. No! Not because he’s Asian. Don’t be racist. It’s because Ohtani is basically a superhero.
Dylan Moore – 2-for-3, HR (2), SB (5). Gimme Moore of that! The slam & legs in C-Attle is served up wrapped in seaweed with raw (that’s right, uncooked!) fish, and the spiciest guacamole you’ll ever taste. At least I think it was guacamole. Ew! Is there even avocado in this?
Sam Haggerty – 0-for-4, run, SB (4). He was a BUY if you’ve got a need for speed. If you’re as desperate for steals as I am for positive feedback he’s worth a look, but probably only until Jarred Kelenic arrives.
Ozzie Albies – 1-for-4, HR (5). Can you poke your BFF Ronnie for me and tell him I’m losing this week and he needs to go off and be the best player on the planet again real quick. Just for like, a couple of days. Thanks!
Bo Bichette – 2-for-5, HR (7). OK. Wow. Umm. Where do I begin? Teoscar Hernandez was 2-for-5 with a jack in his return from COVID list. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. and Randal Grichuk also homered. George Springer stole a base! Lourdes had three hits including that homer I mentioned like 50 characters ago. Some guy named Espinal had two hits! Vlady didn’t even have to do anything and the Jays scored 13. This offense is gonna be scary, you guys. Oh and the catcher…
Robbie Ray – 6.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Wait so even Robbie Ray had a great game? Against a “tough” Braves team, too, that seems like they forget how to play baseball every five days. Zero walks though! For the second game in a row? NO WALKS!? My dog just howled! I’ve upset him. Calm down, Mookie, I’ll take you out right after I finish this post. We haven’t seen stuff like that out of Ray in three years. Here come the Florida B-Jays!
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!