Yesterday, Alek Manoah went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 10 Ks vs. the Rays, i.e., they’re supposed to be good. Alek Manoah has a 3.39 ERA, and a mom that’s a 10. Sign me up (for a spot in the mailbox outside their house)! “Hello, Ms. Alek Manoah, can I call you Alek Mommamia? Alek Womanoah? Why are you walking faster? I just wanna chat!” I scream from the mailbox. Call me a Cougar Chaser because I chase cougars! Any hoo! Alek Manoah is doing this as a rookie. Um, how about pretty unheard of. He is the 1st Jays’ pitcher to throw eight scoreless with one hit, zero walks and 10 Ks. Again, that’s against the best AL team. He tied Trevor Rogers for most 6+ innings starts for a rookie this year. His slider was dropping five inches more last night than when he first came up. He looks like a young Lance Lynn if Lance Lynn hung out with Action Bronson. For 2022, he looks like a ready-made horse, even though he will have roughly 100 IP under his belt. Right now, he’s rocking a 9.8 K/9 and a 3-ish BB/9, and for 2022 I’d put him around similar numbers, but with better command upside. So, roughly a number two fantasy starter who will have moments much better and worse. In only year two! Alek Mommamia, I love what you’ve produced! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Usually I take Saturday pretty light. Wash my hair, get a pedicure, the normal things, but holy schnikes?! Corbin Burnes did what? Mr. Burnes made a vest out of Cleveland. That’s what he did. On Saturday, Burnes went 8 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 1 walk, 14 Ks, ERA at 2.25, and Josh Hader (1 IP, 0 ER) finished the no-hitter. Can a guy win the Cy Young off of one start? We have a tool for the best starts of the year, and are you surprised to see Burnes in the top four? (Side note, interesting to see Triston McKenzie up there in the top 10. Side side note, lots of early in the year starts before they checked for Spider Tack. Side side side note, it was also before pitchers were exhausted. Side side side side, look at all those no-hitters.) As far as FIP is concerned, Corbin Burnes is having the best season since 2000. It’s not even close. It’s truly remarkable and if we talk about it from now until next March, we will not have talked about it enough. His 1.50 FIP is the best pitching season for a starter since 2000. The 2nd best is 2014 Clayton Kershaw with 1.81 FIP, and there’s only three starters below a 2.00 FIP. Of those, Corbin Burnes has the best K/9, and the 9th best K/9 since 2000. There’s no starter with a 12+ K/9 with a sub-2 FIP. His K/9 and BB/9 are 12.4 and 1.7 BB/9. Those Burnes numbers are legitimately some of the best I’ve ever seen. Let’s do a thought experiment: With deGrom injured-slash-saying-he’s-not-injured, there’s a table for one at the top of starters for 2022, does Corbin Burnes sneak into the number one slot for top starters for 2022 fantasy baseball? Even if deGrom’s healthy, I’m not sure he’s above Burnes for 2022 starters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

Last year, I wrote in my Leody Taveras sleeper post, “You don’t need me to Mr. Shaibel you through the ins and outs of strategy on how to move your pieces around to win your league, but let me just say the quiet part real loud:  SPEED AND POWER MMM YUM. Got it, all you Normies and five Carlas? Leody Taveras is only 22 years old, so his power could be developing into more goodness. He has a 14.3 Launch Angle, which should lead to roughly a 37+% fly ball rate (it was 32.9% last year, but small samples). A 37% fly ball rate should lead to roughly 178 fly balls. Taveras is not built like a brickhouse. He’s built more like a Shed Long. But he has a 50 grade in raw power and who knows? Maybe he runs into 10% HR/FB. That would give him, you guessed it, 18 homers! I’ll be honest, that feels optimistic. Steamer projects him for 13 homers in 133 games, and that feels optimistic too, but pessimistic on his games played. When all things are equal, 13 homers feels like a solid projection, but in more games.” And that’s me quoting me! That just got my pants tent moving north to the Adirondacks for Loedy Taveras in 2022 too. If Siri is reading this to you, we’re not talking about 20222, you didn’t fall asleep for 18,200 years. If you did, your head would be reading this in a jar of formaldehyde. Just had a thought, imagine your head was being preserved in formaldehyde and it was on a shelf behind a bigger head and all you could see was the back of someone else’s head for all of eternity. Writing a note in my Last Will and Testament to not let that happen to me. Any hoo! This is for this year, and Leody has speed and power. He needs to find more contact, but if he can, he could be trouble this year or in 20222. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Ranger Suarez is the greatest Suarez in the history of this country.” That’s me leaning into a store microphone in the freezer department at Costco before getting chased from the store. It’s drama, guys and five girls, and I like drama. *pushes bangs off forehead, turns to mirror* I’m ready for Close-Up. No, don’t zoom […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Can one start change a guy’s perception for 2022 fantasy? Yesterday, Sandy Alcantara (9 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.24) made that case. If that was it, against a subpar offensive team like the Mets, I’d say, “Yawn, my good chap, let’s see it vs. someone who we think is good.” How’sever, that wasn’t it. Dot dot dot. It was how it was done. It was done with overwhelming nast. Not nasty, but overwhelming nast. Nast: the act of saying “nasty” but unable to finish because the pitches are hitting the catcher’s mitt before there’s time. In the 8th inning and on pitch 99, it was a 101.5 MPH beebee. Not a BB as in a ball, but a ground out to short. 9th inning? Oh, yeah, back out and hitting triple digits on pitch number 102, touching 101.2. Pitch number 110 and he hit 100.3 MPH. Pitch 112? Still 100.3 — miles per hour, not Z100. Then a 93.5 MPH slider and goodbye Conforto, who homered earlier in the night. This was as dominant a start as I saw in April, forget September as Alcantara hits 180 2/3 IP on the year. Next year, we’re going to see a lot of pitchers still struggle with innings, due to how funky last year was. Sandy Alcantara in 2022 will be one of maybe five starters you can pencil for 200+ IP, and a 3.00 ERA with upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you can look at how Alejandro Kirk is built and not giggle, you are a much better person than me. How do you be so good? Sometimes I’m very left side of my brain, sometimes I’m very right side of my Brian. What do you use to shut off the whispers that Alejandro Kirk looks like a cross between a baseball player and a tree stump? An adorable tree stump, naturally. Like one used in glamour photos for a young family before a casino moves in down the street and steals all of mom’s attention with keno. Yesterday, Alejandro Kirk (3-for-4, 3 runs) hit his 6th and 7th homer, hitting .290, and has three homers in the last two games. You getting my one thousand percent guarantee he’s a hot schmotato. Alejandro Kirk’s 2022 fantasy value? He would be a top ten catcher overall if he got the at-bats. If you’ve seen his body, you know he has no ABs. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Like him at a buffet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day. I stood on my lawn hugging a tree for 20 minutes until someone told me I was thinking of Arbor Day. I told them I just love trees, not letting on that I absolutely confused the two days. On Labor Day, we give thanks to all the women out there who took hours to birth us. During labor, your hoohay may have been dilated–*intern whispers in ear*–Okay, that’s not what Labor Day is about either. It’s about work, and rest, but if you ask me, if you give people a day off, then they start to like that too much and don’t like labor as much, so Labor Day should be a work day. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk where I would get booed. The Phils understood what I meant, and they did work on Labor Day. Brad Miller (3-for-5, 3 runs) hit his 16th and 17th homer, leading the way, and he’s been hot ever since he took over the strong side of the 1st base platoon, and is worth a hot schmotato grab. Next up, Jean Segura (3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 11th homer, a grand slam, and is hitting .295 on the year, but with only nine steals, he’s been yawnstipating at best. Then, Freddy Galvis (1-for-3) hit his 12th homer, and 3rd homer in the last four games. Here’s what I said yesterday, “Best part about Galvis is he gets super hot for a week at a time. The 2nd best part is you can beat someone in your H2H playoffs with Freddy Galvis, which will totally piss them off.” And that’s me quoting me! Finally, Bryce Harper (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 28th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Check out Bryce hitting a non-solo homer. A Labor Day miracle! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Salvador Perez hit his 41st homer. Today, you get a Salvador Appreciation Post, or SAP. You might be asking yourself the same as every Y! Answers when you google SAP, “How do I turn SAP off?” You can’t turn it off. It’s going into your eyeballs and, with each passing word, it becomes harder to turn back. If you remove all pitchers, the top home run hitter in the major leagues is Salvador Perez, a catcher. What a year for fantasy, is what I say right before I wander into traffic wearing nothing but a potato sack. “If you remove all pitchers, the top home run hitter in the major leagues is…” is the funniest thing that’s ever graced this site. That a catcher is the next best home run hitter is just a cherry on top of this season. “Wow, I can’t believe I can draft Cody Bellinger in the 2nd round this year,” that’s what the apparition floating next to me keeps saying, because I’m haunted. Salvador Perez is in one of those situations that I thought would benefit Juan Soto too. There’s no one in that lineup with Perez, so why not pitch to him? The only difference between Soto and Perez is about .440 OBP or 90-ish walks. If you knew someone like, say, Perez would swing at anything, wouldn’t you throw him nothing but junk in the dirt? For Sal Perez to hit 41 homers, he should’ve only saw 41 strikes all year. Alas, no one wants to tangle with Benintendi, apparently. For 2022, I continue to cackle in a jar and seal it quickly like it’s a lightning bug. Only I plan on releasing those cackles in 2022 when someone drafts Salvador Perez in the top 25 overall next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

This is The Save Vulture Dance. Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide.

[spoken word intro]
The save vulture is a scavenger bird. They see weakness in others’ misfortune. A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. And if you don’t give up, or give in, you may just be okay…OKAY!

[lyrics]
Snap, snap, Giovanny Gallegos, Genesis Cabrera, Alex Reyes, claw, claw, save.
Save vultures aren’t reproducin’ cuz they’re uze overweight guys,
Preferin’ to watch sports highlights than listen to the girl they’re datin’. Sighs.
Snap, snap, Joe Barlow, Spencer Patton, claw, claw, save.
The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust,
The orange reminds them of all that Orioles’ fuss.
Snap, snap, Cole Sulser, Tyler Wells, No One Because The O’s Won’t Win, claw, claw, save.
Teams that flipped their closers for prospects at the trading deadline and are now losin’,
They still haven’t figured out who’s closin’.
Snap, snap, Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Kyle Finnegan, Dylan Floro…*huff, huff, out of breath* …keep on going!…Anthony Bender, David Bednar, Carlos Estevez, Chris Stratton, Codi Heuer, Rowan Wick, claw, claw, save.
Guys who have just sucked and teams needed to look elsewhere,
Desperate, you look like Walter White in his underwear,
Snap, snap, Emmanuel Clase, Adam Ottavino, Johnny Lasagna, Andrew Chafin, Sergio Romo, claw, claw, save.

[spoken word outro]
Now ya know, if you need saves in the final month. [sax plays us out] Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaves. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*throwing cards like in that INXS video* Queller, Stellar, Old Yeller, Bookseller, that kid on ESPN’s Spelling Bee whose name I can’t spell is a good speller, hey, wanna check out my wine cellar, Papa Smurf is a mushroom dweller, love to be a fart smeller, love to be a fart smeller, love to be a fart smeller, wasn’t Winnie Cooper’s real name Danica Something-Keller, if you’re on the east coast you’re riding in an upside down umbreller, Mitch Keller, Mitch Keller, Mitch Keller!

Damn, don’t mess with me when I’m doing an INXS freestyle. So, Mitch Keller went 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at *trying not to chuckle* 6.23. His peripherals: 8.8 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 4.53 FIP. His .373 BABIP is insane, but when you’re in the bottom 2% in the league with exit velocity, and xBA, then you’re going to give up a ton of hits. How’d it go all wrong? Two years ago, he had a 2.76 xERA and now it’s 5.95. The slider and curve used to be a smoke show. Now they’re getting rocked. In 2019, his curve saw a 35.3% strikeout rate with 72.2% ground balls. This year, it’s 12.5% and 36.8%. Um, yikes. Yesterday, he was locating his breaking ball, and that’s the difference. For Mitch Keller to have a great 2022, it’s the same as real estate for the mafia: location, location, location and breaking balls. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a deep Scottish accent, the Twins’ Triple-A manager said, “You’re comin’ up tae join th’ club, Joe Ryan. Ur ye excited?”
Joe Ryan paused, then asked, “What are you saying?”
“Aam Sean Connery an’ aam daein’ a Scottish accent. Ur ye excited, certainly, Jack Ryan?”
He scratched his head, then, “Huh? Oh. My name’s Joe Ryan.”

So, Joe Ryan was called up to start on Wednesday, and I settled in to watch. He was one of the pieces the Rays sent to the Twins for Nelson Cruz. Since the Rays sent him away, I expect he’ll spontaneously combust during his next start or suddenly lose command of his pitches and return in 2022 as a middle infielder in Rookie Ball. If that doesn’t happen, we should all be super interested. I’m intrigued, y’all! Yesterday, Joe Ryan went 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, and looked much better those numbers. Outside of one inning in the 3rd when he ran up against the red-hot Schwingdel, he looked like every great command pitcher, who can also induce strikeouts. Prospect Itch said of Ryan, “I have high hopes for Joe Ryan, another dynasty trade target if you can get a decent price. His 30+ K-BB percentage across three levels in 2019 was pretty loud, but some of the clamor might’ve died down since Ryan was kept under training site wraps for all of 2020. His best trait is a true-spin four-seamer he can command across the zone, and that’s a great base from which to build an arsenal in today’s game. Tampa’s coaches have praised Ryan for his aptitude for new pitches and approaches, particularly his feel for spin. I get giddy just thinking about him and punching Grey.” Okay, not cool! Ryan continued to carve up hitters in Triple-A this year while maintaining elite command. This is potentially as good a prospect arm call-up as we’re getting the rest of the year. I added him in a few deeper leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Saw Blake Snell had a no-hitter through seven innings, but with 107 pitches thrown and I was like, “He can’t throw 90+ pitches so this will be quick,” then I remembered he threw 122 pitches in his last start and 100+ pitches in four of his last five starts, and I began to imagine the unimaginable. *wavy lines* Hey, is this imaging the unimaginable? Cool! Whoa, it’s a party in my honor with a very much alive Rowdy Roddy Piper? This is amazing. Wait, what are you doing? Don’t smash me over the head with a coconut! *wavy lines* Imaging the unimaginable stinks and the unimaginable never happens! They pulled Snell at 107 pitches. Why when he just threw 122 pitches last time? I don’t have the answer. I am the one asking the question. Blake Snell finished with 7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 2 walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.31. Snell ended the month of August with 1.72 ERA in six starts, and was his best month since 2018. If he did it last year, he would’ve won a Mickey Mouse Cy Young. But what about 2022, and why does it feel like Blake Snell is so unpredictable he’s become Robbie Ray pre-2021? He can be wildly lights-out or just wild. Maybe Blake Snell can be 2021 Robbie Ray in 2022 as long as it doesn’t mean Robbie Ray becomes pre-2021 in 2022. Why are they even connected? Again, I asked the question, that means I don’t know the answer. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?