Someone had his white Vans on! Daniel Ponce de Leon had another strong start Friday night pitching 6.1 innings allowing just three base runners (1 hit, 2 BB) and one run while striking out six for his first win of 2020. He had a no-hitter going through the first six innings until an Orlando Garcia home run, the only hit he surrendered, ruined his bid. Damn Daniel, 2016 called–they want their meme back. I touched on PDL (can I call him PDL? sounds like a bad light beer) last week and concluded he was too risky to touch, but his 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 28/6 K/BB in September tell me something has definitely clicked. Considering he was rocking a 7+ ERA at the start of the month that gives you a sense of the strides he’s made in just a few short weeks. Perhaps he discovered the dot, dot, dot…fountain of youth? I’m sorry! I had to. Regardless the win was his first as a starting pitcher in 20 tries–that’s right 20! And yes, that is the record, albeit a fairly depressing record to hold. Maybe its these Brewers’ hitters, who he’s struck out 15 times this month to pad his 12.6 k/9 in 20 IP in September, or maybe it was finally getting the run support he needed (Cards scored zero runs for him in half his starts this year). More likely he started consistently locating his elevating fastball which allowed him to mix in breaking balls and keep opposing hitters off balance. Whatever it has been, his 4.96 ERA and 1.32 WHIP don’t tell the full story here. I’m going to choose to believe his 31.5 K% and .221 BABIP are more indicators of the pitcher DPdL is and he’s a player I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this postseason even if he’s just pitching in a middle relief role. So grab your white Vans and make sure they’re cleaner than the “WAP” radio edit because I’m telling you Daniel Ponce de Leon could be a a 2021 sleeper to watch!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rookie Alec Bohm continued his explosive September Friday night going two for three with a run and an RBI in game one and one for three with a run and his first career steal in the second game. Oh my, did he just steal a base! *swoons* Alec’s underwhelming power to start his career has made it hard on hilarious jokesters like myself who just want to pun all day and improv all night. No bombs for Bohm? What about a nice lip balm? Does that work? Fret not, Bohm-dot-com has picked it up lately with two Bohm-bombs in the past week. So maybe Alec is more of an opposite field contact guy than a  ding dong dinger guy? Or maybe it’s his first year in the league and once he adjusts he’ll be a monster and yes I’m absolutely going to draft him everywhere in 2021? Melikes the latter one most. His manager thinks he’s a future 40 home run hitter and Gabe Kapler seems to know exactly what’s up. *hard cough* But forget about the power for a sec, Alec has multi-hit games in nine of his last 20 starts, and has hit safely in all but two games this month. He’s slashing .359/.400/.551 with three Bohm bombs and 14 RBI in September and that’s no joke! I almost wrote this lede about another scrubby Red Sox prospect, but I didn’t (you’re welcome!) because I noticed Bohm was a BUY and was still criminally under owned at less than 35%! What gives? He should have been scooped up in August. Bohm could be the dot, dot, dot…spark your team needs to dot, dot, dot…explode in your final week of fantasy. I’m sorry, I have t,–and you have to pick up Bohm and win your final week. This kid’s gonna be a star–ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mariners’ outfielder slash infielder slash superhero Dylan Moore continued his onslaught on the MLB Friday night hitting his seventh home run and stealing his 10th base of the year. The 28 year old is now slashing .282/.362/.563 in just 28 games played and is looking like a bonafide fantasy darling. A slam & legs, you say? In Seattle, the slam & legs is served up mid-air at Pike’s Market and must be caught before consuming. Chase it down with piping hot latte from Seattle’s Own (but not ‘Seattle’s Own’) Starbucks, because what goes better with fresh fish besides espresso? Dylan’s got three homers and four steals in the past week! He’s also reached base safely in every game he’s played since the start of September. The steals are why I added him but the homers are why I’m now obsessed with him. Mmmoore. This no-simp September thing is going to be tough. He’s over 50% owned at the time I’m writing this and that number’s going to probably double over the weekend, but I figured you deserved a Dylan Moore lede regardless of ownership percentage and also I couldn’t get that Britney Spears song out of my head. In more important slash concerning news you should know, an anonymous San Francisco Giants’ player (probably not Pablo, definitely not Yaz) tested positive for the COVID Friday which I assume means all Giants games are cancelled for the next 5-7 days so here’s your heads up to find some warm bodies to replace your Giants and Padres this weekend ASAP as possible.  As for Moore, if you still read the late season Razzball posts you know I covered Kyle Lewis in my final post of 2019, so there are some gems to be uncovered in my lazy, late-September musings. Sometimes looking to 2021 is the best plan of action, especially when you know that each post could be your last as there is always risk of the entire Razzball staff contracting COVID and the blog getting shut down for the final two weeks. There’s nothing we could do to prevent, there’s only one straw in the office and the plastic ones are bad for the planet. Anyway! TL;DR Pick up Moore if he’s out there and drop all your Giants except Baby Yaz!

Here’s what else I saw Friday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After blowing the game in epic fashion Thursday night and then blowing another game same-day, hours later even epicly-er the Philadelphia Phillies have finally said enough is enough. Their relievers are rocking a icy 8.07 ERA, with an even more inflated 10.93 ERA in the ninth inning. Wow. That’s like Red Sox-relievers-bad. So who did they reach out to? Who else but the awful reliever experts, the Boston Red Sox, and Philly acquired Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree Friday night in hopes of bring some stability to the late inning relief. In return they send RHPs Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta to Boston. Pivetta, a sabremetrics darling, will likely slot into the starting rotation immediately despite his ugly 15.88 ERA, 1.94 WHIP. He’s given up 10 runs in just three games this year so he should fit right in with this pitching staff. Still, dude strikes out everyone. A 10.32 K/9 in 2018 shows flashes of what could be a valuable starter some day. I have streamed him many times in the past and he’s burned me even more times, and I look forward to this happening again real soon. Connor Seabold (2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 58/11 K/BB in the minors), could also likely find his way into the rotation at some point this year, given the lack of competition at the big league level. Back to Phillies, Workman should immediately take over as closer and could see a boost as he’s better than his 4.07 ERA and 1.80 suggest and has converted all four of his save chances this year. The Phillies are a considerably better team so the save opportunities should be more frequent. Workman is likely already rostered in most fantasy leagues, even though he probably shouldn’t be. However, his successor in Boston, Matt Barnes, is still unowned in most leagues, and that is likely to change quick. If you’re as desperate for saves as I am for positive feedback Barnes and his 5.59 ERA are the obvious choice for save chances for Boston going forward. He notched his first save of the year Friday night allowing just one hit. Pick him up if you really need the saves or you just hate yourself.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jesse Winker had his open eye locked on the baseball Friday night as he extended his hot streak going 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI. It was the 26 year old outfielder’s first multi-homer game in ever. Winky’s now slashing an insane .365/.484/.712 with five jacks, eight RBI and a steal for good measure. But I’m not finished yet! Wink’s been hotter than Cardi B’s “WAP” video, batting .688 in the past five days and hitting all five of his homers in that stretch. To be fair, his .424 BABIP and .346 ISO aren’t exactly sustainable numbers, even by a Trout-Mookie frankenbaby (although that does sound adorable)–regardless, Jesse is a hot little potato right now. This is not completely out of nowhere either, as he flashed some pop with Cinnci last season, batting .269 with 16 bombs in 113 games. Are you intrigued yet? Because Jesse is still available in just about half of fantasy leagues! Where do I sign, you ask? And has this pen been sanitized? Well, unfortunately, like everything in 2020, Winker isn’t exactly a no thinker (err, brainer) of a pick up just yet. The Reds announced Friday that a PTBNL has tested positive for COVID-19 and Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed. That’s all the information available to me at the moment, but I assume if this turns into a Marlins/Cardinals situation, then adding Reds players right now (no matter how hot) is probably not pro stratz, bro. Whatever happens, I’ll always remember that five day stretch where Jesse Winker was the hottest man in baseball, and I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “wow he didn’t make a ‘Winker? I hardly know her!’ joke this whole time. But you’d be wrong. I actually did. It just wasn’t funny! Lol. Jokes aside, let’s hope the Reds can get back to playing baseball ASAP as possible.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We got a week in the books, folks, and I didn’t think I’d being doing another post this year after the unthinkable, unspeakable, most-obvious-thing-to-happen happened when a good quarter of the Florida Marlins team tested positive for coronavirus. Most would think when a worst case scenario like this occurs, the season would be halted, or at the very least restructured. (After watching some NBA last night, the bubble certainly appears to have been the way to go). But no. It’s just the Marlins, right? Who cares. I wonder to myself, “Self, would the reaction have been the same had 15 Yankees tested positive.” But they didn’t, it’s just the Marlins. The “worst” team in baseball. Besides this was a one off thing, right, what are the odds another team gets it? *Fast forward three days* Oh, three teams have it now, you say? Welp. And Commissioner slash idiot Rob Manfred claims he could shut down the season Monday if the “players aren’t more careful.” L-O-L. Careful like sending hundreds of players and workers back into situations where they not only have to travel, but its often impossible to maintain social distancing? So now we have six teams not even playing, teams that actually “matter”, and its an absolute mess not just for players and fans, but anyone trying to field a daily fantasy line up. Phew. OK, sorry for the tangent but this could very well be my final post of 2020, so I’m going to write about what I want, and I want to write about Taijuan Walker’s best start and first win in almost four years! After missing the majority of the past two seasons due to Tommy John, Taijuan Walker returned “home” to start in Seattle for the first time since 2016 Friday night. Walker looked dominant pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and striking out eight A’s. Tai consistently threw strikes and used his fastball effectively, topping out at 95 mph. Sweet sassy molassy! His Jordan cleats were hitting different, too. It’s always the shoes! The cutter was cutting, his breaking ball had good movement but it was really the way he commanded that fastball that made the difference. After a rough first start in Houston last week, it was an excellent rebound for Walker to get him and the M’s back on track. Rotoworld called a Walker add quote “risky” today, but as I ranted above, this season is all about risk, so why not take a risk on Taijuan Walker!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aaaand we’re back! In case you’re concerned, I’m writing this in complete isolation from any human contact, and yes, I’m wearing my mask. It has a sweet Joker smile and scares old people. 2020 has been real rough my over-the-internet friends, from George Floyd to murder hornets to tiktok becoming so popular its been bad news city, but nothing has rocked our worlds harder than you know what. I’m speaking of course, of the Red Sox heartless trade of my flame and my muse Mookie Betts. Ugh. How could this year get any worse? To boot, my hopes of Betts getting the COVID, missing 2020, and re-signing with Boston look to be all but dashed as he’s signed a lifetime contract with the Dodgers worth more than all the money me and everyone I know will ever make in their lifetimes. But fret not, wunderkind GM Chaim Bloom has replaced him with Kevin Pillar. You know, the former Blue Jay? Yeah, that guy. Welp. Give me the rona now God and end this. But wait–keep that mask on! Pillar flashed some serious leather in right field Friday night and went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI! Maybe this won’t be so bad! At least Boston won’t have to pay a 41 year-old outfielder 30 million dollars in 2031? Or will we all be d-e-d dead by then anyway? Did I mention the Sawx added utlity infielder Jose Peraza too? He went 4-for-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and 2 RBI Friday and Grey told you to BUY. Jose leads the league in batting average, folks! Peraza struggled last year but he’s just two years removed from batting .288 with 23 steals in 2018! Pillar and Peraza could be the bright spots we (I) so desperately need right now. They could do some real damage in a stacked, albeit Mookie-less, Boston line up. Who needs Betts when you got Kevin Pillar and Jose Peraza?! (Sigh, I do. I do. I really do. Come back to me, Mook!)

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And another one! That’s right, to the dozen(s) of you out there still reading this, Kyle Lewis did it again Friday night going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and his sixth home run. Lewis now has six dingers through his first 10 games as a pro, making him just the fourth player (Aristides Aquino, Trevor Story and Dino Restelli are the other three) to accomplish this. He’s now slashing .325/.349/.850 on the year with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI. He’s got three doubles to go with his six jacks, and yeah, that will help your fantasy team, people! Ignore the fact that he’s struck out in 40% of his at bats, and ignore the dreadful Double-A stats, dude’s got a .525 ISO! The 20.6% swinging strike rate, or the 58.3% contact rate in the minors? Ignore that too! If you want a reason not to BUY Kyle Lewis I suggest checking out Son’s awesome post where he really breaks down some of the advanced stats we saw from Lewis at AA. But like I said, I’m going to ignore all that and focus on the fact that he is hitting all the beisbols right now and he’s hitting them over the fence. He will have plenty of time this offseason to come back down to Earth to be the below-average Mariners prospect he is clearly destined to be, but right now Kyle is hotter than a JLo striptease set to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” And trust me that’s about as hot as it gets. I’d add Lewis everywhere on every team for the final week and pray he can fight off the regression fairies another 7 days and keep hitting home runs into the cheap seats. He was a BUY and he’s the most exciting player to come out of a week of Seattle baseball since Domingo Santana in the first week of 2019. Start with a bang, end with a bang, and play like absolute garbage in between. You do you, Seattle! In the meantime, I’m going to pick up Kyle Lewis.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner hit his first career home run Friday night going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. He started off the Chicago onslaught with a 2-run shot in the first inning and added a 2-run single in the fifth! He was a BUY and here’s what Grey had to say about him, “Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value.” And that’s me quoting Grey! If that’s not a high endorsement, I don’t know what kind of waiver adds you’re looking for in mid-September but Nico might be your best bet. Does he make you Hoerner, baby? Woah, sick reference, bro, how old even are you? Nico is slashing .350/.435/.600 through his first 20 at-bats with a home run and 8 RBI, he’s also still available in most leagues, which is important since I don’t know how many of you are even left reading this at this point in the year. Just my mom and my stalker, most likely (hi mom, hi Gordon!). My stalker Gordon’s wondering why I had to stop playing WoW Classic for 4 hours to do other fantasy things. I’ll be right back, Gordon, I swear, please don’t send my family death threats again! Nico could be worth an add for any team in need of some runs and average, especially if the Cubs plan on scoring 17 every game from here on out.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Edman continued his hot hitting Friday night going 2-for-4 with his sixth and seventh home runs and 3 RBI. Have a day, rook! He’s now batting .344 with 8 runs, 2 home runs, 4 RBI and two steals in the past week. *Pro tip* that will help your fantasy team! Tommy Boy struggled a bit to adjust after his initial call up but he hit .308 in August and seems to be have locked down the starting third baseman job in St. Louis. The Cardinals sit atop the NL Central with a 2.5 game lead and Edman could be a big reason why. Of the Cards starters, only Kolten Wong is hitting for a higher average and that could be the craziest sentence I’ve written all season. Did I mention that one of Edman’s shots pegged a Pittsburgh fan right in the groin? Lol! Take that you smug, yinzer! So pleased with yourselves regarding all this Antonio Brown drama. Smh. A home run ball right in the crotch should take you down a few pegs. So, are you convinced yet? Edman steals bases, he hits dingers, he’s eligible at multiple positions, he hits for average and he even knows how to stick it to Steelers nation. Did I mention he has a three game series at Coors starting on Tuesday? Yes, please! I’d add Edman everywhere I needed some speed with some pop and he could be a good addition to any team who’s in need of a solid bat for the rest of the season.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?