AM/PM is a convenience store chain that….Can you guess? Never closes! The stores are usually attached to an ARCO or BP gas station, so be careful what you eat. Stick with the candies and sweets. Never, and I mean never, get cute and indulge in the hot dogs, sandwiches, or burritos. My favorite experience at an AM/PM was to mix and match all the flavors of the fountain drinks and slushes. I’m getting brain freeze just thinking about it. Anyways, there’s a ton of bad inside of an AM/PM, but there’s also a ton of good, which keeps people returning. The same can be said for the most added player over the week, Adalberto Mondesi (61% owned – increase of 42%). He seemingly does something everyday on the field. Since getting called up in mid-June, AM has a .284/.311/.467 slash with 9 home runs and 25 stolen bases. Back in July, a commenter asked me to choose between AM and someone else. I chose someone else. I did not choose wisely. In my defense, the same concerns I had back then are the same concerns I have now. 18.5% swinging strike rate, 37.1% chase rate, 66.2% overall contact rate, and 3.3% walk rate. I thought his plate discipline and inability to take a walk would catch up to him, but obviously he is too fast for even that. The two things that I do like are the 41.4% hard contact rate and his position in the batting order (2nd). At this point, all I can do is <insert shrug emoji>. There’s a ton of bad with AM, but there’s a ton of good. I’m a stubborn ahole, so I’m going to list him as TRASH, but I can’t deny the production and understand why people would like to indulge.

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This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. This little piggy went….Wee, wee, wee, all the way home! (Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and Other Action Rhymes). Well, my Puigy went to the ballpark. My Puigy stole second. My Puigy stole third. My Puigy sometimes sits which makes him sad. But when he plays and gets a pitch to hit…..Wee, wee, wee, he flips the bat and makes his way home! Yasiel Puig has been en fuego since the start of the month: .367/.457/1.000 with 6 home runs and 2 stolen bases. The ISO is at .633, walk rate is 14.3% while the strikeout rate is 11.4%!!! I’m squealing like a little piggy right now. Anyways, can this Puig make championship banners fly high?

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The Bible is one book, yet duality reigns throughout. There is Old vs New Testament. Vengeful vs loving God. Wrath against sin vs grace towards sinners. Duality is also present in major league baseball, as players can have two different seasons within one. Jakob Junis (44.5% owned – increase of 21.8%) is yet another example. For the first four months of the season, Junis had a decent 8.22 K/9 and 2.72 BB/9, but was serving up gopher balls like how God sent manna down from the heavens. 2.02 HR/9 and 18.3% HR/FB helped contribute to a 4.52 xFIP. Since August 6th, though, the BB/9 is down to 0.98, HR/9 is 0.59, and HR/FB is 8.1%. The xFIP is a not-so-surprising 3.23. The walks, fly balls, and home runs are all down. EZ PZ. From a pitch selection perspective, he’s been throwing the fastball more (55.5% vs 51.9%) and off-speed less (curveball down 1.1% and change up down 2.1%). Here’s my issue. In 260.1 big league innings, Junis has a 2.25 BB/9, 1.52 HR/9, and 14.6% HR/FB. He’s young at 25 years old, so there’s the possbility that things have clicked. I’m fading that notion, though. He wasn’t as bad as the first four months indicated, and he’s not as good as the last two months have shown. I think the pendulum swings back the other way to settle somewhere in the middle. TRASH

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Kevin Bacon was a freaking machine from 1990 to 1994. Flatliners in 1990. JFK in 1991. A Few Good Men in 1992. Earth would not Pass Go until the next Bacon hit was delivered. So, any wonder why 1993 was filled with terror and strife? A devastating tsunami hit Japan, the World Trade got bombed, and we got Beanie Babies! Order was restored in 1994, though, when the Bacon was delivered with one of his finest, The Air Up There. We love you Kevin, but what we most appreciated was the consistency and stability he brought to the world. As fantasy baseballers, we love that. There’s no greater feeling than being able to Sharpie in Mike Trout for .300, 35 home runs, 100 RBI, and 30 stolen bases every season. But there’s only one Mike Trout and a few that could be in that realm of awesomeness. For the others, it’s about streaks and Kevin Kiermaier is on one right now. The funny thing is that I wrote a Bear or Bull on him at this time last season as well. Is this a case of the Christmas Island crabs migrating from the forest to the shore to breed? Or the San Juan Capistrano swallows migrating north?

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One of my favorite moves is Top Secret. Is it because I’ve watched it while smoking trees and eating magic mushrooms? Perhaps. Regardless, it’s a great movie. Click HERE if you don’t believe me. C’mon! That was awesome. Anyways, I’ve been fluent in German Marquez (68.9% – increase of 18.6%), so it’s nice to see him get close to 70% owned in ESPN leagues. 184 strikeouts in 164.1 innings! 10.08 K/9 and 2.85 BB/9. Ground ball rate of 47.2% and xFIP of 3.31. Swinging strike rate of 11.4%. Now, we know the big elephant in the room: Coors Field. Here’s the thing, though. One could argue that he’s been better at home! The K/9 is 10.51 at home while it’s 9.71 on the road. While the batting average is higher at home, the BABIP is .373 vs .240. The xFIP is 3.41 at home vs 3.23 on the road. In his last five home starts, he’s allowed 2, 0, 3, 2, and 2 earned runs. TREASURE

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I was never a letterman jacket guy. Thought they looked silly. What always gave me a chuckle, though, was when I’d see someone wearing a letterman jacket but without the letter! C’mon man! Now, even though I wasn’t a letterman jacket guy, my ego was, so my chest puffed out a bit when I got mine my freshman year. Yes, I’m bragging, but in an Al Bundy sort of way. By the way, I hate the word humblebrag. Anyways, one is not just given a letter for the letterman jacket. One has to earn it by making the varsity team. Jonathan Villar (JV) has been a top 25 player over the past month, so he’s earning that letter. Is it sustainable?

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The GTA video game series will always be one of my favorites. I always appreciated the attention to detail, but at the end of the day, they were fun to play. Who doesn’t like carjacking people, “talking” to prostitutes, and causing mahem? Ok, maybe not the greatest game from a morality perspective. Anyways, one of the hallmarks of any of the GTA games was thievery, whether it be cars, banks, or friends, which is exactly where my mind ported to when I saw Greg Allen (29.7% owned – increase of 22.4%) was one of the most added players over the past week. Who? Exactly. I get it. SAGNOF. And since the beginning of the month, Allen is batting .306 and has 7 stolen bases. Here’s the thing, though. That lofty batting average is fueled by a .340 BABIP. The strikeout rate has been 11.9%. For the season, that number is right under 20%. Here’s the thing Part Deux. Allen’s OBP on the season is .285 and the walk rate is 3.6%. And he bats at the bottom of the order. Here’s the thing Part Tres. Allen is a .240-ish hitter. Low walk, low average batter that hits at the bottom of the order. TRASH

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On August 1, 2018, the National Hurricane Center began tracking a storm off the coast of Oakland. Residents did not flock to Costco to stockpile supplies or board up their windows in preparation, even though it was classified as a Category 1 hurricane. Granted, the residents don’t even flock to Alameda Colisuem on a good day. On August 3, 2018, “El Laureano” made landfall. It got a knock and drove in some runs, but mostly struck out. It languished in the Bay Area for a few weeks, but then started getting stronger. Exhibiting power. Causing an excitement that engulfed the area like a blanket of fog. Then BOOM, BAM, POW! “El Laureano” aka Ramon Laureano now has a .280/.321/.480 slash with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases. What to make of this tropical force?

Ramon Laureano is a 24-year-old outfielder from the Domincan Republic. He is 5′ 11,” 185 pounds and bats from the right side of the plate. Laureano was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. In 2017, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics. You all probably know him for this, though:

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On July 31st, there was a great disturbance in the force, as Tommy Pham was traded from the Cardinals to the Rays. The black hole was subsequently filled by an innocent-looking 24-year-old with 315 major league plate appearances, Harrison Bader (43.4% owned – increase of 29%). Then it started happening. Each pitch thrown was met with anger. Each cleat dug further into the dirt until the shoe twisted, then churned the ground, causing a volcano-like explosion hurling a 190-pound mass of anger down the base path. The innocent-looking 24-year-old was no more. The hate. The anger. It all manifested to unveil….Darth Bader. He of the 46.8% hard hit rate. He of the .242 ISO and .576 SLG. If I compare the numbers from the month of August to the rest of the season (74 PA vs 223 PA), the swinging strike rate is down 2%, the chase rate is down 4%, contact rate is up 5%, hard hit rate is up 14%, and ground ball rate is down 10%! Could be a case of the small sample size, but it could also be that he’s playing regularly now. Regardless, there’s going to be some regression, as a .432 BABIP is unsustainable. With that said, the power/speed combo is too enticing and we all know that the force is strong in St. Louis. TREASURE

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Life is about value. If something is rare, then it’s value increases and the owner will be reluctant to part ways with it. If something is in abundant quantity, then the value decreases and spending above market value price on it is sub-optimal. Since we are in the heart of fantasy football draft season, it only makes sense to talk about the late-round quarterback strategy. In leagues that require only one quarterback, it doesn’t make sense to spend high draft capital at the position because A) it is the most predictable position B) it is matchup dependent C) even if every owner in a 12-team league drafted two, that still leaves nine starters on the waiver wire. The same concept applies to Grey’s SAGNOF theory, except for slightly different reasons. Paying up for saves doesn’t make sense because the position is volatile with tons of turnover. Therefore, saves can be found on the waiver wire. In both instances, They Ain’t Got No Face because we have no issue using ’em, them losing ’em. But that doesn’t mean we can’t fall in love. That’s the ultimate, right? Like going to the club and, instead of a one-night stand, you find the partner that you want to spend all of eternity with. You say no way Jose? I say hip hip Jose, as in Jose Leclerc.

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