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Yesterday, was not just our Independence Day. Yesterday, was the halfway point of the baseball season. So, Halfway to Independence from Jonathan India Day. You cannot tell me our forefathers just happened to put the Fourth of July on the exact midpoint of the baseball season by accident. They didn’t put hairspray on their platinum silver wigs like they were Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and just happen to drop the doozy of the Declaration of Independence on baseball’s 81st game played just as a little oopsie-daisy on their Yankee Doodle like how your daddy did your mommy. No way! This is why baseball is the National Pastime. So, Happy 4th of July to even all you cowards who drafted starters early. Speaking of starters, Brayan Bello will start for the Red Sox this Wednesday. Bello will pitch for a scream. Take it Highlights, it’s yours! Bello was in the Itch’s top 50 starting pitcher prospects, saying, “Bello added strength and velocity over the lost minor league season and now features a mid-90s fastball with a little extra dotting the gun once in a while. He was successful enough before, as we’ve detailed in these pages, but now he’s striking out 36.9 percent of hitters in High-A and 31.1 percent in AA—a big jump from the 22.6 percent he posted in 2019. His fastball gets a bit too much for him to be a no-doubt starter unless he finds a nasty breaking ball to go along with his plus changeup. Would love to see him take that fastball and hit Grey.” Not cool, man! In a 15-team, mixed league, I grabbed him and I felt unhinged even as I was doing it, but I need something to Bello about. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Kutter Crawford – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.04, as he entered the 3rd inning of the game. No one wants to talk about how Kutter’s mother is a time traveler because she saw her kid throw a cutter, then went back in time and gave birth to him? That’s fine, stick your head in the sands, you ostriches!

John Schreiber – 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 0.66, and his 3rd save. Absolutely worth rostering for middle relief help, but for Schrieber to keep getting saves, Cora has to have an epiphany that has escaped him since April.

Trevor Story – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer, hitting .225. This home run came off Josh Fleming (5 IP, 3 ER, 6.17) so no longer can one call him, The Never-Fleming Story.

Patrick Corbin – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 5.68. Baseball, “We are America’s pastime. We have summer to ourselves while all other sports are hibernating.” Also baseball, “Hey it’s the 4th of July let’s give some teams the day off, and have the first game be two terrible teams.” By the by, regarding Corbin, Streamonator liked this start, but I don’t trust Corbin at all.

Tanner Rainey – 1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.67, and back-to-back lackluster games. Tanner Scott, Tanner Houck, Tanner…Hide…Am I forgetting one? I only can remember good Tanners…Hmm…George Hamilton. He was a good tanner. Oh, Tanner Rainey! Right. He sucks. For what it’s Cronenworth, in a 15-team league, Rainey is on my bench for the foreseeable future.

Braxton Garrett – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.25. Take Jose Berrios from me and give me Braxton and unbreak my heart!

Dylan Floro – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 4.95, as he got his 2nd save in as many games. Tanner Scott was out after pitching on three consecutive days. We call that a Tanner Scott Proctor.

Dean Kremer – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 2.48. Dean got lit up like a menorah.

Cedric Mullins – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. I went over yesterday some Orioles who missed homers, due to the fences being moved back, and Mullins hasn’t missed any, which I think is supposed to be good news, but doesn’t feel like it since he only has seven homers.

Mitch Garver – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. Mitch don’t kill my vibe!

Marcus Semien – 3-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (10) and legs (14), hitting near-.300 in the last month, which is about the time when you should’ve been buying, which about the time I was saying to sell. Like a 13-year-old Grey, I did an oopsie with Semien.

Eddie Rosario – 1-for-4 as he was activated from the IL, after undergoing a laser eye procedure. Hopefully he starts hitting lasers on the field now.

Juan Yepez – 2-for-4 and his 11th homer, and his 2nd homer in three games. When Tyler O’Neill returns, Yepez is prolly gonna lose playing time. Then again, knowing the Cards, they’ll find some place for Yepez and he’ll continue to hit.

Conner Capel – 1-for-2, and his 1st major league homer. He’s absolutely a made-up person that the Cards created before the game. Says he has 15-homer power and 15-steal speed, if he were real, which he is not. Total fabrication.

MJ Melendez – 2-for-4 and his 7th and 8th homer. He’s gonna end the year with 17+ homers and you’re gonna be like, “Still the GOAT! Screw LeBron Melendez!”

Jake Odorizzi – 4 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.04, as he was activated from the IL. Astros are going to a six-man rotation for now, i.e., Odorizzi will be hurt again soon, so there’s no reason to make a hard decision.

Yordan Alvarez – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 24th homer. Putting the woo in Captain Woo Cubano!

Hunter Greene – 5 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 6.01. About to start calling him Greene Land, because he’s a meltdown away from relevancy every time out. Each home run allowed is an ice cap with red snow from a whale’s blubber being mined for your goth lipstick.

Brandon Drury – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 17th homer. Waiting for someone to reveal it’s all been a prank and Brandon Rural-Juror is actually Jonathan India and all of India’s owners get RJ’s stats.

Nick Senzel – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer. He was last Friday’s lede Buy, did you. Dot dot dot. Listenzel?

Taijuan Walker – 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.86. While I (we?) wait for regression for Walker, he’s putting up a great ERA. Mean’s while, I’m rolling out there guys like Tarik having his Skubal’s kicked in.

Brandon Nimmo – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. Nimmo found one!

Francisco Lindor – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 13th homer. Amazing what a difference being a steals contributor makes on the Player Rater. Lindor is easily a top 25 hitter overall, even with only a modest number of steals (9). You don’t need to be Berti. Though, being Berti sure doesn’t hurty.

Kevin Gausman – Next start is questionable, because he’s having trouble pushing off the rubber. My daddy never had that issue.

Alek Manoah – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.33. Regression, fine, but vs. the A’s? *Lisa Simpson grumble* I’m too annoyed to talk about this.

Ramon Laureano – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 5th homer, and third homer in the last week. Not sure how high his ownership numbers are, but he absolutely was a top 40 outfielder before the suspension, and not sure he’s not there again. I’m a landscape architect with all these hedges!

Cole Irvin – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.35. AL-Only’ers rejoice! Everyone in mixed leagues who started him, you should have your head examined.

Byron Buxton – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer. He’s giving me major FOMO and I’ve decided, after talking to my spirtual leader (my dog, Ted), I’m never doubting Buxton again. I will be excited about him, and let him burn me vs. me burning myself.

Dylan Bundy – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.50, and pulled with 58 pitches. Can Rocco Baldelli tie his shoelaces while wearing those kid gloves? I’ve been streaming him for the last few weeks, and he’s gone 24 IP, 5 ER, and it’s worked out extremely well, but I keep hearing Kanye’s Ghost Town’s lyrics, “I put my hand on the stove, to see if I still bleed,” and touching a stove doesn’t make you bleed but that’s how I feel with Bundy. He’s going to backfire and make me bleed.

Johnny Cueto – 6 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners (5 BBs), 3 Ks, ERA at 3.30. He’s gone six innings in eight of nine starts, i.e., Cueto is the only thing that’s working for the White Sox in the last two years.

Jose Abreu – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 10th homer. He’s been fine (compared to Matt Olson), but the entire White Sox team is just so listless.

Liam Hendriks – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.70, as he was activated from the IL. He pitched the 8th inning, but Tony La Russa was managing on July 4th. C’mon, you know he’s three Gavin Sheets to the wind.

Julio Rodriguez – 1-for-5, 2runs 2 RBIs and his 15th homer. He’s the only player in MLB history with 15+ homers, 15+ doubles and 20+ steals in his 1st 81 MLB games. Daddy bring me a new bib I’m going to droll.

Jose Iglesias – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer. I actually took Iglesias out of my lineup for India and, boy, do I feel like a stooge. A regular old Curly.

Kyle Freeland – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.43. Freeland losing on July 4th feels significant. Lucky he faced Urias, and not Ur-rights.

Trayce Thompson – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer. I love Trayce as the mom on Blackish.

Trent Grisham – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .188. Grisham hasn’t just been bad. He’s been historically bad. He’s barely been worth rostering on NL-Only teams. Grisham, author of The Painmaker.

Chris Flexen – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.00. That’s a solid enough road start that I need to be a looky-loo at his stats–And they suck. I mean, Streamonator? Sure, but, in general, they suck the suckhole.

Sean Manaea – 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.18. Manaea licks the tip of his pencil, scribbling down notes as he watches Jose Berrios.

Carlos Rodon – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.87. He’s either great or injured, so what’s up with this? Wait, this doesn’t mean…he’s hurt, does it? Please don’t say that.

Garrett Hill – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks as he made his MLB debut. Nothing here yet, outside of AL-Only leagues, though I am interested in his weed-smoking brother, Cypress.

Josh Naylor – Hit his 11th homer, but left the game with back spasms. Ya know what’s funny in a non-funny way? Naylor has 70-grade power. He’s got a huge power bat. A very impressive mollywhopper. But most people? Don’t care. He gets no love from no one. Super unfunny, but true. Sometimes you people need truth.

Eric Lauer – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.84. If you didn’t start Lauer at home vs. one of the worst teams, then you prolly shouldn’t hold him anymore, which brings me to one small caveat with the Brewers and Lauer. That division is going to produce a lot of great matchups.

Justin Steele – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.13. Hey, Steele, just super, man. His peripherals are actually better than you might think, but I’d still need to see a decent matchup before sending him out there, and the Streamonator and I, don’t like his next.

Seiya Suzuki – 2-for-4 and hs 5th homer, as he was activated from the IL. More like Hiya Suzuki!