Rick Porcello was masterful Friday night, turning in one of the best, most efficient, pitching performances we’ll see all season, holding the New York Yankees to just one hit (a home run) and striking out nine for a complete game win. His only hiccups were a HBP to begin the game and a solo home run to rookie 3rd baseman Miguel Andujar, after which Porcello proceeded to retire the next 21 straight batters with ease. More like Siiiiick Rick, brah *shock emoji* Or Quick Rick? IMHO (the “H” stands for handsome) this was the best start we’ve seen from a Boston pitcher all season, and that’s saying something for a team with Chris Sale on it. The former Cy Young threw first-pitch strikes to 23 batters and threw 68 strikes of the the just 86 pitches to get through this one. Veintidos, which might be the worst nickname ever, moves to 14-4 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.  Most amazing for me, however, was that a Yankees/Red Sox game took just 2 hours and 15 minutes! It was the fastest Boston/NY game since May 6, 1994! So keeping in that spirit I will wrap this up quick. The last two Sox pitchers to 1-hit the mighty Yankees line up facing the minimum batters were Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Roger Clemens in 1991, and those are some pretty great names to have in your company.

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Say cheese! Mike Moustakas was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder and top prospect Brett Phillips along with right handed pitcher Jorge Lopez in a move that tells the baseball world that the Brewers really think they’re in this thing. Isn’t that adorable? Mil-ee-wauk-kay is Algonquin for “the good land,” and this is very good news for Moustakas and his owners if they’re not already in last place as Mike goes to one of the most hitter friendly ballparks for lefties in the entire league. Mike was slashing .249/.309/.468 with 46 runs, 20 home runs, 3 stolen bases and 62 RBIs through the first 98 games and I think it’s more than reasonable to expect he can improve upon these stats in Wisconsin. He’s received a huge upgrade not just to his home park but also a much better supporting line up (reuniting with former teammate Lorenzo Cain) and hitting around the likes of Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw (who will mostly likely move over to play second base). His counting stats should improve along with the power numbers and it’s all around just a grand ol’ time to own the Moose. Going the other way, highly touted prospect Brett Phillips was slashing .240/.331/.411 with 6 dingers, 25 RBI and 11 stolen bases at AAA and should be a regular in the Kansas City outfield going forward. He’s worth a speculative add in deep leagues based on his upside and should play every day. Jorge Lopez was serviceable out of the Brewers pen in 19.2 IP this season posting a 2.75 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 15/13 K/BB. Meh is right but he’s a bullpen arm whose name we could hear a lot more of soon if/when Wily Peralta eventually pitches his way out of the closing gig. Overall, seems like a solid trade for both teams and unlike most of these dreaded deadline deals, this trade has more helpful implications for fantasy owners than usual. No one’s losing a closer or a starter or moving to an impossible division or ball park. This trade is basically a win for all of us involved, so let’s hear it for the new Milwaukee Moose!

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Afters months of anticipation, many speculative adds and drops, the Rangers have finally called up top prospect slash phenom slash future super stud slash tiger beat cover boy of the month Willie Calhoun. Wait, I thought they were supposed to call him up in May!? Well, they didn’t. So I held him a little longer. They they really didn’t and yeah, so, that’s how I cracked my cell phone screen. Willie was slashing an impressive .306/.360/.444 with 8 home runs, 57 runs scored, 42 RBI and 4 stolen bases at AAA. That’s five categories if you were counting all the times numbers appeared. Need even more numbers? He’s been red hot flames in el mes de Julio. Hitting .429/.520/.619 with two homers, 13 RBI and two stolen bases. He held a 24 game on-base streak before his call up. Willie’s feeling the heat in July! Grey told you to BUY and Friday night he started at DH and hit second. That sure would be a great place to hit if it wasn’t in the Rangers line up. He went 1-for-6 with a run scoring single in the second in his debut and he also walked and struck out twice. It’s not a Juan Soto crushn bombz debut, but there could still be big things in store for Wild Willie. He was a top five prospect and if he’s able to find playing time on this Rangers team he’s capable of filling out a box score on a nightly basis. Time to go Willy Nilly, ya’ll! It’s even better than dilly dilly! I’d grab Calhoun wherever I could based on his upside alone. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

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Nick Kingham, the Bucs newest hot-shot rookie pitcher, notched his second win in a row last night pitching six and a third innings allowing just six base runners (5 hits) and striking out nine Brewers for his fourth win of the year. Back in Pittsburgh, they treat themselves post game to some of the finest foods available using only fresh local ingredients–then they put cole slaw and fries on it to make it even better. Since flirting with a perfect game in his April debut, Nick Kingham’s stock has slowly fallen, but I’m telling you now he just had a handful of fresh french fries dropped on top of him and its time to eat. We’re talking about a post post hype pick up here, folks! That’s two posts! He looked more than comfortable Friday night, coasting through the first five innings without issue before giving up solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Taking on the Brewers is a tough assignment for any pitcher, let alone a n00b like Kingham, but he pitched admirably finding the strike zone consistently and working into seventh. Real talk, I’m not telling you to add Kingham because he throws strikes, it’s that 51/12 K/BB in just 50.2 IP that’s got me all “In My Feelings” like Drake. Ignore the 4.26 ERA, the 1.13 WHIP is looking pretty regal, no? If it’s not clicking let me spell it out for you. A 26-year pitcher with a 22.2 K% is locked into that number five rotation spot. That means IPs and Ks and possibly even Ws. Lots of letters, people! Kingham is available in over 80% of fantasy leagues. I’d pick Nick everywhere I needed starting pitching help for the strikeouts and the upside and if we’re lucky we might even get a handful of fries with that.

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Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.

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All gravy as us Italians-Americans say. New York Yankees rookie flamethrower slash phenom slash spot starter Jonathan Loaisiga made his major league debut Friday night pitching five strong shutout innings, giving up just three hits, four walks and striking out six for his first MLB vicky in ever. Called up from Double-A Trenton Johnny was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 58/4 K/BB ratio through 45 innings. If that K/BB just made your eyes pop like mine did, it’s because the four walks he issued last night in his debut are the same number he’s walked all season in AA. Perhaps some of the struggles he had with his control Friday night were more nerves or jitters and less indicators of what’s to come from Loaisiga. Despite the four free passes, he was excellent out of the gate, Johnny Lasagna layered on the cheese, striking out four in the first two innings with his real pretty mid-90s fastball mixed in with his slider (17 swings and misses induced) and was helped out by a couple double plays. He hit some trouble in the fourth, but managed to pitch his way out of a sticky bases-loaded two-out situation by striking out Christian Arroyo. Yankee fans are calling him “Johnny Lasagna” because he’s a-spicy meatballs-a! Mama mia!  Rays manager Kevin Cash called him Little Riviera. That seems a bit over-the-top as well. Either way, I am calling him a player to watch after that performance. Lil’ Jon is telling you to Get Loaisiga, but Jon always jumps the gun on these rookie pitchers. Loaisiga’s first major league stint might be a short one, but I could see him sticking around for another start or two while Masahiro Tanaka is still on the DL and much like this whole Yankees team, his future is very bright. He lines up for another home start next week versus the red-hot Mariners, and I could see streaming him there and for the short term. Add him or no, Johnny Lasagna is not just Garfield’s new favorite player, he’s a name fantasy baseballers are going to hear a lot going forward. He was a BUY and he’s worth a grab for the upside alone, the layers of cheese and pasta are all just bonus.

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

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And another one! After hitting two home runs on Thursday, Joc Pederson homered in his second straight game Friday night going 1-for-4, with his seventh bomb. That’s six homers in the past week while hitting .450 with nine runs, and driving in eight. Whoa, get off my Joc! Seriously, he’s mine! But he could be yours too, he was a BUY and Grey just gave you his Joc Pederson fantasy. To be fair, my Pederson fantasy involves a lot more heavy breathing, Mookie Betts and scented oils. I usually don’t like to cover a player who was just, just featured in another post, but the amount of times you see a player featured in posts in a single week directly reflects the urgency in which you need to pick him up. Joc is available in over three quarters of fantasy leagues (that’s more than half, folks!) right now and could be a 30+ home run hitter. That’s 20 home runs for your fantasy team from now until you ultimately win your league in September. Joc has historically been a good power source but typically streaky and a huge drain on batting average (career .227 hitter). Not the case this year as he’s slashing .272/.345/.523. According to Grey, “Some of my hotter buys…while wearing a thong… Joc is pretty sexy…” And that’s me completely misquoting portions of Grey out of context! You get the idea! Joc is hitting all the home runs. This is Rock’n Joc baseball at it’s finest! Somebody call Dan Cortese!

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

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I apologize for the misleading headline but neither the Mary-Kate or Ashley news story you’re looking for is here. I did it for the clicks! Elizabeth Olsen, however, is mentioned quite a bit throughout this post. And it’s not just because I’ve seen her with her shirt off. It’s because she is an extremely talented actress (do you even Martha Marcy May Marlene?). She’s also the Scarlet Witch and will destroy you with her red CGI powers if you try to #MeToo her. Speaking of extremely talented Olsons, Matt Olson went 3-for-4 Friday night with two home runs (10th and 11th) scoring three runs and driving in five. That’s now four homers in the past week for Olson, to go along with seven runs scored, seven RBI and a .269 batting average. He’s hotter than a New York minute, which is an Olsen Twins movie for the unindoctrinated. Matt hit 24 homers in 59 games last year but has amassed just 11 in 58 games so far this year.  He struggled in May with a .216 batting average without Khris Davis there to protect him in the lineup, but still managed six homers. So maybe the 1.003 OPS from 2017 was a tad inflated, and yes, maybe his isolated power is down over 150 points from last season, Olson is still a 30 homer hitter, people. That means he owes you 19 from now until the end of September. Pro tip: that will help your fantasy team! If you need power, Olson has struggled enough in the early going that you can likely pry him from a frustrated owner, and if Friday was any indication he’s busting out of his funk and June could be shaping up to be a big month for the estranged Olson brother.

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As Gerrit Cole’s weekly attempts to break the strikeouts per game record continue in Houston, the baseball world is left to wonder, “Wait what exactly did Pittsburgh get for trading this dude again?” Well, Bucs Nation got to see their return on full display Friday night, Joe Musgrove was dominant in his Pirates debut going seven scoreless innings allowing just five hits striking out seven and even added a hit and scored a run for his first win with his new team. Joe only needed 67 pitches to get through seven, throwing 50 of those for strikes and retired 80% of the hitters he faced on three pitches or less. He’s also the first pitcher to go seven innings with under 70 pitches in 10 years or something zzz. Enough with the stats, nerd! Tell me about the KAYS! Sure, Musgrove did not look spectacular in his rehab stint, and sure, the Cardinals offense is not the most menacing assignment, but the 25 year old RHP is formerly highly touted prospect! He had seven wins in 15 starts (109.1 innings) in 2017, but it’s the 98/28 K/BB rate that has got me doing the happy dance. ThasalottaKs! He’ll get a tougher assignment versus the Cubs next week, but could be worth a grab for that sweet, sweet upside alone. Remember, the Pirates traded Gerrit Cole for this kid! What do they know that we don’t!? I’d take a flier on Joe Musgrove anywhere I needed starting pitching help. I can see him becoming a reliable streaming option for me throughout the rest of the year. And that’s honestly one of the highest compliments I can give!

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Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett homered in his fourth straight game Friday night going 4-for-5 with his 6th homer and 3 RBI. After a slow start to the season power-wise, Gennett has been slicker than a Motorola cell phone hitting .458 in the past week with 6 runs, 4 home runs and 10 RBI. Holy Vespa! Even more shocking, this is the second Reds 2B/SS I’ve profiled this year. I must be infatuated with the Reds infield. Which is kind of sad, because there are so many better infields to be infatuated with. But nope. It’s the Reds. Scooter had a career best year in 2017, hitting .295 with 27 homers, 80 runs scored and 97 RBI. If we look at the advanced stats (nerd!), sure that 20.8% HR/FB rate from last year might be a tad tough to match again, but the .339 BABIP in 2017 is not that far off from his career .329 average. In other words, 2017 was no fluke! In 2018, the .364 BABIP may be a bit inflated again, but he’s also striking out less, 18.5% versus 22.9% in 2017.  So what does all this mean to all of us who aren’t mathematicians or data scientists? Speak english, doc! That average might go down but the power is legit, and Scooter is hotter than a Childish Gambino “This is America” video shot by shot breakdown think piece. Did you even notice the dancing symbolizes the fact that the new song is flames, and is distracting you aka SOCIETY from what’s really going on the in background–POLITICS. Don’t let Gennett’s slow start, or inflated sabremetrics or terrible team distract you, he’s the hottest thing on two wheels right now and worth riding where he’s available.

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