Was thinking how much I like Harrison Bader and how he feels tailor-made for a 2020 sleeper post, then I had a deep thought. No, not my deep thought about oat milk, but if you wanna hear that one, it goes like this. The dairy industry invented oat milk because when you order, “Coffee with oat milk,” you invariably get a coffee without milk, and it makes you appreciate dairy much more. I’m onto you, industrial dairy complex! But my deep thought about fantasy baseball sleepers was:  If every hitter is great, doesn’t it make more sense to only look at pitchers who are sleepers?  Anyone can tell you so-and-so hitter is a sleeper, because they will likely hit 30+ homers, but every hitter hits 30+ homers, so bleh! More discussion for the offseason, I guess. Yesterday, Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 with two homers (9, 10) as he hits .213. He’ll be 26 years old in 2020, and way past the point when he should have an everyday job, and we care because he has 20/15/.250 potential. Reminds me a bit of all the Bradley Zimmer/Clint Frazier sleeper posts over the years, and now I want nothing to do with him. Obviously, with three homers in last four games, he’s hot, but, as the eight-hole hitter, I’m once again wondering about pitcher sleepers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“…and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord smitten thee with wheat, maize and Christian Yelich, then said, ‘You can’t have all three, you must choose two,’ and the people of Jerusalem, Wisconsin, a small city outside of Milwaukee, received their bounty of corn and wheat to make beer and dispatched Yelich to a nearby hospital.” — The Book of Uecker. *makes sign of the cross* Sadly, it’s written, therefore it is, as they say in elementary schools using fifteen-year-old textbooks.  The bright side to come out of Yelich’s body issue — not the one that your sister touched herself to, the other one — is Trent Grisham should leadoff and play every day. Remember, he was a guy who hit 13 HRs and stole six bags, while hitting .381, in only 34 minor league games, and could be worth a pick up in all leagues for the stretch-run. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The ones that don’t draft pitching early. The Muslim Mrs. Garretts. The Yu’s that we saw in the 2nd half. The ones that see things differently and not simply the ones who are holding drinking glasses up to their face to make googly eyes. They’re not fond of the rules like:  Don’t wear sweatpants every day. And they have no respect for the status quo, because they’ve checked out every time someone defined “status quo” for them. They held onto Yu Darvish (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.97) all 1st half and were rewarded nicely. Unless he’s just on a team that started checking out fantasy football in June. Back in July, Coolwhip wrote, “I’m not prepared just yet to say he’s back back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back. I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Hashtag nailed it. Prior to that, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA.  Since then, 2.44 ERA in 66 1/3 IP. The fix, as we all know by now, he’s stopped walking everyone. His season-long peripherals 11.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.39 FIP are sweet, but his 2nd half peripherals are legendary, and some of the best in baseball — 12.6 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 3.20 FIP. For 2020, the thought of getting anywhere close to Darvish’s 2nd half has me, not only interested in him, but thinking he could be a steal as a number two fantasy starter. Yu might think I’m crazy, but the crazy ones change the world, or at least do well sometimes in their leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*glances at Houston score* Welp, another insane offensive night for the As–Wait a second! Make that As– into an A’s. We’ve got a barnburner like the Astros were John Wilkes Booth! (If you get that joke, you’ve also read Manhunt, to which I say — nerd!) The ALCS is going to be a series of 24-23 games that last eighteen hours. “Joe Buck, are you even watching the game or are you just reading old issues of Men’s Health with the pages stuck together?” That’s Ron Darling reprimanding Buck. It was the 4th inning and the entire A’s lineup already had multiple hits, so let’s check some boxes, shall we? Sean Murphy (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 2nd and 3rd homers, and I recently picked him up for an AL-Only league. He had ten quick homers in only 31 games of Triple-A so he’s got power to spare, and Chris Herrmann was just designated for assignment. I hope Herrmann can find peace with they’re re-assignment. Matt Olson (2-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs) also hit two homers. What Olson is doing in 70% of a season and without a hamate is going fairly unnoticed, and I already know I’m going to be so high on him in 2020. Then, Marcus Semien (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 27th homer, because what goes up must come down with, uh, Semien. Finally, Khris Davis (3-for-6, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 20th homer, asserting he’s not really Chris Davis, but I’m not sure I believe him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With Javier Baez lost for the year — *pours out a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil for the sexy one we lost* — the Cubs called up shortstop, Nico Hoerner (3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs). And the internet exploded. Everywhere I looked for a good 45 minutes (long in internet minutes), I saw things about Nico Hoerner. “Reinforcements on the way!” one Chicago sportswriter announced exuberantly.  Another exclaimed, “Hoerner is here to save the season!” A third declared they were, “Hoernier than ever,” though they might’ve just typed a search term into their tweet. Then I looked at Hoerner’s Double-A numbers — 3 HRs, 8 SBs, .284 in 70 games — and I giggled a little. 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. He should play short since karma knocked Addison Russell in the head and Baez is out, even if Ben Zobrist is playing after just recovering from a five-month divorce, which was initiated because his wife was jealous of how much Maddon loves him. You can cyclops Hoerner or try him, but him or, say, Starlin Castro? Semper Fidelis Castro. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not!  Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Listen, the Padres gave Luis Urias a little over 100 at-bats. If a guy can’t hit major league pitching in that time, then he should be released. It doesn’t matter if he just turned 22 years old. He’s not cut out for a game of sewn-ball. Just the facts, ma’am/ma’an. Sorry. (Okay, it’s crazy what the Padres are doing with Urias. Jose Pirela got like 800 at-bats before he was deemed unusable, and they’re still giving Austin Hedges a chance to hit after about 1,300 at-bats.) On the opposite spectrum from Urias in the doghouse is Ty France getting a chance to show what he can do, after he did this in the minors this year:  Won AAA All-Star Game MVP, PCL Rookie of the Year and PCL MVP. Also, he has the best player pic:

France hit .399 in Triple-A this year (so crazy what hitters are doing across all leagues) and added in 27 homers in 296 ABs. Don’t think batting average will be there for France, but we’ll see along with someone’s underpants. He has power, though, for any park, and could be a short-term add, if nothing else. Just be careful if he ever faces any pitcher with the name German, because he will come to the plate with a white flag attached to his bat. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jose Berrios continued his 2nd half slide, going 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.78. His ERA in the 2nd half is 5.37. That’s…uh, what do I call this, thesaurus? Synonymous Rex? No, I’m asking for another word for bad, not for another word for thesaurus. Ooh..What’s this, an ad for a thesaurus film festival? Pulp Fabrication followed by Schindler’s Menu? Very provocative! Saw recently at another site an article dated late-June for how Berrios could be the AL Cy Young.  *makes Michael Scott grimace face* His BABIP in the 2nd half is .354 (up from .276) and his LOB% plummeted to 66% (from 78.3%), while his Ks skyrocketed to 10.2 K/9 (from 8), and his walks went the wrong way too, which is up from 1.8 to 3.3 BB/9. It’s simplistic to say he’s missing out of the zone. Which is why I’m going to say he’s also missing in the zone. He’s throwing everything either off the plate or dead center. This all feels fixable for 2020, but there’s no time left and you need to move on in shallower leagues. Now, excuse me, I’m going to take in The Shawshank Refunding and Batfellow in a twin picture show. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?