Andrew Heaney has an eye on a prize and that prize is a 2020 sleeper article. “Grey usually puts sleepers out starting in December, and I know Oscar Mercado, Zac Gallen and, ugh, Delino DeShields are going to be vying for a spot on that list. Listen, all you can do is say your prayers, eat your kale and hope Grey picks your name.” Delino added, “Usually one good game is all it takes.” Oh, shut up, Delino! Yesterday, Andrew Heaney gave us a how’s your father without the small talk of asking how one’s father actually was — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (zero walks), 14 Ks, ERA at 4.31. He now hasn’t allowed more than three runs dating back to June (small bit of cherrypicking since he has gone less than 5 IP in some of those starts, but injuries and yadda). Heaney perfs (kids call them that) are solid if teetering on ‘just okay’ — 10.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 4.33 FIP. A solid September could vault him into a top 40 starter conversation for 2020, but the lack of health and propensity for homers makes me think he’s going to fall short of that bar. For right now, he’s an obvious own. “But no sleeper, right?” Shut up, Delino! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike Trout – 2-for-9, 2 RBIs and his 42nd homer. His OBP is only .440 down from .460 last year with a walk rate of 18% down from 20%. His steals are also down to 10–I’m just effin’ around trying to make it seem like he’s not having a great year. Screw you, Mike Trout, and your gloriousness!
Luis Rengifo – 1-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. Fun fact! Puerto Ricans will often approach Rengifo and say, “You’re not mashed plantains, your entire existence is a lie.”
Nick Solak – 2-for-8 and his 1st homer, as he was called up by the Rangers for the IL’d Nomar Mazara. Solak sounds like an Eastern European slur or a drunk Telly Salavas, which might be the same thing. He used to steal bases in the minors, and was once compared to Scott Kingery on this site. This year’s minor league numbers (27 HRs, 5 SBs) look like more power than Kingery, but: juiced balls.
Carlos Correa – Sounds headed to the IL. Correa’s got the back of a stunt double from a Life Alert commercial. “Do I have to keep falling from the 5th stair for the shot?” That’s a Life Alert stunt double.
Aaron Sanchez – 2 1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 5.89, and hitting the IL with general dismalness. Blue Jays, “Ha-ha, you got Jokey Smurf’d!” Obviously, you can tear up Sanchez is ‘fixed on the Astros narratives’ and shares of him.
Jose Altuve – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer. Elias Sports Bureau said Altuve broke the 2019 record for number of steps taken on a home run trot. He’s also tied 22 times for 2nd place.
Victor Reyes – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st homer, as he was leading off. He’s a light-power, decent-speed, decent-average guy, i.e., yawnstipating.
Spencer Turnbull – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.10. And the ‘Charles Barkley pronouncing Turnbull’ rears his head again. By the way (awesome segue!), Son is currently rolling out his 2019 fantasy basketball rankings. Peep that B-ball shizz!
Steven Matz – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.18 vs. Shane Bieber – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.26. Started both of these guys across multiple leagues and since there was also three unearned runs, I feel like this might’ve been the universe trying to make it up to me for previous mollywhoppings. Well, universe, if that’s your real name, I appreciate the apology but I want more.
Jason Kipnis – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .255. Pretty amazing season Kipnis is having. Every time he homers I do as I do for most hitters, I look at their player page to see their last week or so, and every time I look at Kipnis’s page, it shows he’s hitting .150 over the last week, yet somehow he’s hitting .255. As Shruggy the Emoji would say, *shrugs*
Dallas Keuchel – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.14. I hate Keuchel, but I streamed him yesterday because: Marlins and Streamonator. Then cut him before the game was over, because I’m heartless!
Freddie Freeman – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer. There’s been at least one MLB player with a mult-homer game in 36 straight games. The record was 20 days as recently as three years ago. Somewhere, Tim Kurkjian is making dolphin noises.
Jon Berti – 1-for-4 and his 4th homer. Ya know what would be a super popular sleeper pick for 2020 that no one will listen to? Jon Berti! If he’s hitting leadoff with ten-homer power and thirty-steal speed, well, you know we’re headed to a place of no return with the Bert Man.
Sonny Gray – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.92. Gonna be wild when I’m back in on Sonny next year and he has a 4.75 ERA. Absolutely wild.
Freddy Galvis – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 21st homer, and 2nd in as many games. Not 100% sure why he’s even playing but hot schmotato alert!
Cal Quantrill – 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.32. Not an easy matchup — Aquino! — but SoCal did some hippie-dippy things with the ball and looked far more impressive than I thought he would. Granted, I was watching mostly for Aquino (!), but still. Streamonator hates his next start, but I could see it if you’re desperate.
Jairo Diaz – Rockies said he will see save opportunities. Being a save vulture who was birthed by a save whore, I grabbed him. Also, you have a better brain than me if you can read his name and not start singing, “I Need A Jairo,” a’la Bonnie Tyler.
Nolan Arenado – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer. I printed out Goo Goo Dolls’ Black Balloon lyrics to sing to my Cougar because it makes her hot and bothered, but first let me place them on this open window–NOOOO!!! Torenado!
Nick Ahmed – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer, and his 6th homer in the last ten games. Holy fuc–*coughs* I need WebAhmed!
Will Smith – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and hitting third is one of the best lineups in baseball. I’m only partially embarrassed to admit that in a 12-team, one-catcher league I own two catchers (Smith and Nola).
Chris Taylor – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 9th homer as he returned from the IL. Taylor H.A.M.! Nothing says 2019 like returning from the IL to hit a home run. Don’t think there’s a ton to Taylor unless he’s hitting, but he looks he might’ve returned hot.
Bo Bichette – 2-for-4 and his 6th and 7th homer, hitting .341. About, oh, I don’t know, three weeks ago when he was called up, I projected him for seven homers. Obviously I meant for August.
Derek Fisher – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer, and four homers in August. Ha, that sounds sad. But I do own Fisher in one AL-Only league where I’m competing for the title. *blows on knuckles, wipes knuckles on shirt* Damn, why was there ketchup on my knuckles?
Matt Olson – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 26th homer. I get occasional questions about dropping Olson. He missed a month of the season and has 26 homers. I get it; everyone hits homers, but c’mon.
Homer Bailey – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.06. Gutsy start from Bailey vs. the Yankees, because Brett Gardner screams about the strike zone after every pitch. Gardner’s got a pronounced jawline that Joe Buck would notice from all his barking.
Aaron Judge – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer. Sure, not a full season, but look back at what Olson’s done in “not a full season.”
Harrison Bader – 1-for-1, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 3 BBs, as he was recalled. Specifically, he was recalled by me who once thought he was going to be great, only to later realize he might be the opposite of great.
Chris Archer – Left yesterday’s start with shoulder soreness. He’s sitting on a 5.19 ERA. Say it was bothering you all year and take an extra month to clear your head of Searage.
Dylan Bundy – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 5.03 (lower ERA than Archer, by the by). I nearly streamed Bundy yesterday, because the Streamonator loved it, but, unlike the Orioles, I have standards and no Means.
Nicholas Castellanos – 3-for-5 and his 17th homer. The Greek God of Hard Contact has more than half homers on the Cubs in just over two weeks as he had in 100 games with the Tigers. He chants Baba when winding up and then the pitch comes – ganoosh!
Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 24th and 25th homer. HR to the double Izzo! (Double HR to the Izzo? HR Izzo down with the dubstep? Maybe this doesn’t matter.)
Austin Slater – and his 4th homer, hitting near-.500 in the last week. That’s so cool, I will call him A.C. Slater! And now you just threw your computer across the room. I picked him up in NL-Only league, but he’s a deep league flier still.
Kevin Pillar – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer, and has been even hotter than A.C. Slater (irony!). Pillar’s hitting near-.500 in the last week with three homers. This schmotato is for slightly shallower leagues than Slater.
Nelson Cruz – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 33rd homer. A’la Ray Parker Jr., “Lemme tell ya something, bustin’ wrist tendons makes me feel good.”
Jorge Polanco – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games, hitting .296. Picking it up now in the 2nd half, but he’s hitting about sixty points lower in the 2nd half and with not quite as much power. Of course, now that he’s hot again all that can change. He’s going to be a tough one to peg in next year’s rankings. My guess is he will still be underrated because he doesn’t do anything extremely well.
Jose Abreu – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 28th homer, and 2nd homer in the last two games, and four homers in the last week. Also, he has 94 RBIs, which is weird because the White Sox have only scored 100 runs all year.
Tim Anderson – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. “I think as long as there’s no plastic straws in his pockets we can dump him into the ocean–Wait! Tim Anderson moved! He’s alive!” (Not totally fair because he has been hitting for average, but no power in the 2nd half.)
Aaron Nola – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.51. Nola’s last 12 starts: 2.13 ERA, 90 Ks, BAA .193, and top 4 ERA in that span.
Hunter Strickland – Went for x-rays after a weight-lifting bar fell on his nose, but is fine. No word yet if the bar was friends with the door Strickland punched last year.
Domingo Santana – Hit the IL with elbow inflammation. And the long nightmare of owning Domindog in the 2nd half has come to an end. Nice knowing you, but not really. See ya next year, because I never learn my lesson!
Jake Fraley – Called up to replace Sunday Santana. Fraley had 19 HRs and 22 SBs and a .298 average in the minors this year to which I say, O Fraley? I’ve been burned many times in the past thinking: Of course a team will give a guy they just called up at-bats, why wouldn’t they? Only for them to not give Mr. So-and-so at-bats. I tried to grab Fraley in one deeper mixed league, but he was gone already and didn’t bother with him in one shallower mixed league. For what it’s Werth, the Prospectonator gives him solid projections.
Kyle Seager – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 17th homer, and 47th homer in the last week. This is the hottest a Seager’s been since Bob was writing Shakedown during a cocaine fever dream.
Tom Murphy – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, and his 6th homer in the last four games. Seriously, that’s not one of my goofy exaggerations. I hope Murphy sees “how the Rockies treat rookies” with each swing of the bat.
Matt Magill – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 2nd save. So, Bass is no longer the Mariners’ closer and it’s Magill? Mariners don’t have a bullpen; they have peg-legged host dressed like Captain Ahab and a nautical-themed restaurant.