Perhaps it’s the constantly ticking pitch clock causing me anxiety and doubt but the Pittsburgh Pirates, yes those Pirates aka the 1979 World Champs have now won four in a row and that’s almost entirely due to free-agent-to-be Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds was 3-for-5 with his MLB leading fifth home run Friday night along with 6 RBIs as the Buccos scored 13 runs on 19 hits. He also hit a two-run triple and was a double away from the cycle. B-Rey is now slashing .448/.469/1.103 through 32 plate appearances with a 1.572 OPS. Sweet sassy molassy! He’s hit safely in all seven games and homered in four of his last five. He leads the league in dingers, RBIs with 13, SLG% with 1.103 and has even added a steal for good measure. You want more? His 32 total bases through the first week is the most in franchise history beating some joker named Barry Bonds. His ZiPS projects Reynolds with a 5.4 fWAR, and along with the Oneil Cruz missile means the Pirates could actually maybe be somewhat not that terrible this year. Steel City rejoice! With Bry in a contract year, and having requested a trade earlier this offseason the Pirates MUST be asking themselves, “What is it you want from us!? What can we do to make you stay? Anything!” Money? Oh lol, anything but that. You’re probably not gonna get that from us. We don’t do that here. Womp womp, so let the trade speculation begin, I guess–sorry, Steel City! Got your hopes up for a second there. Place your bets in the Trade Pool. Where will he end up? IDK! He sure would look good in a Sawx uni though…I say that having just watched him collect seven hits, three homers, and five RBIs in a three game series at Fenway. A guy can dream! Thankfully that Yankees outfield looks mighty crowded right now, but let’s not kid ourselves–smart money is on the Dodgers in this pool. They get everything. Despite what happens, enjoy the ride while it lasts Bucs fans, Bryan Reynolds is hotter than a pierogi fresh out the fryer and for now, all we can do is speculate based on a week of stats. But for one at least one fun weekend in April 2023, Bryan Reynolds is the french fries on top of your Primanti Bros. sandwich. Keep it up, B-Rey!

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

Ji Hwan Bae – 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI. BUY. Sure you missed out on Reynolds and Oneil Cruz, but fret not you can still get in on this Buccos resurgence back to relevance!  Ji Hwan is my BAE in my deep dynasty league and now he can be your BAE for cheap. The speed could make him worth owning in even some shallower leagues and this is your chance to get a piece of that Pirates pie! Argh-la-mode!

Marcus Stroman – 6.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 2nd win. Ma’Stro is looking to conduct a real symphony of a start to the season and has now gone 12 scoreless. The 7.5 career K/9 keep his ceiling in check but there’s still value here. He’s a ratio guy, which may be a bad thing on twitter but not in fantasy beisbol.

Michael Fulmer – 2.1 IP, 1 hit, 4 K, SV (1). Fulmer shut down the Rangers in impressive fashion on Friday, striking out the side in the eighth and delivering an easy 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to grab the Cubs first save of the season. The usage suggests he could be more of a high leverage multi-inning guy than a true closer but I’m being dumb and all signs point to Fulmer getting the next save chance as well.

Nathan Eovaldi – 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 6 K. Nasty Nate showed up with his cocktail fruit holding the Cubs in check through the first three. After some bad defense things began to unravel. Velocity was also a bit down from opening day. I wouldn’t expect any breakouts but he should be a solid fourth or fifth starter and he gets the Royals next week. Mmhm!

Clarke Schmidt – 3.1 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Schmidty was not getting the calls he needed last night, but overall he was hit pretty hard. Not sure the K and win upside is worth the risk to your ratios. He’s looked like a pile of Schmidt, to put it bluntly.

Felix Bautista – 1.0 IP, BB, 2 K, SV (3). Remember when everyone was mad at the Orioles for “selling” Jorge Lopez at the deadline and immediately replaced him with Felix who’s arguably just as dominant? I wonder what team Bautista will end up on at the deadline this year AND, follow up wonder, who will ultimately replace Felix as the O’s closer in August!

Franchy Cordero – 1-for-1, 3-run HR (1). Sacre bleu, Franchy! That’s tre, tre bien! A bit of a revenge homer after the O’s cut him despite him hitting over .400 in the spring. Honestly, I feel like Franchy could take revenge on about half the league. The dude has been around!

Oswaldo Cabrera – 3-for-4, HR (1), 3 RBI. What a day for Yankees outfielders not named Aaron Judge. Judge had a steal by the way!

Jorge Mateo – 2-for-4, SB (5). BUY! Mateo showed flashes of the fantasy game changer he could be last year but his batting average couldn’t keep him on the field. But thanks to the wacky new rules, Mateo could be a top five shortstop and has contributed significant value in every game he’s played so far except one. Five steals, two homers, seven runs in six games? He’s honestly the stuff of my fantasy fantasy dreams.

Hunter Greene – 4.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. I wore my hunter green tee for this start. Looks real great with a pair of dark joggers. Hunter on the other hand has looked just OK for where I drafted him. I should have known YoloLodolo was the one to own. Always draft the lefty. Anyway, I still love and am obsessed with Hunter and his 100+ mphs fastballs, and he had similar struggles at the start of 2022 so I’ll be patient–but you might want to leave him on your bench next week in ATL.

Zack Wheeler – 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Z-Dubs has been unimpressive through his first two, and while the Ks are there I’m gonna need ya to be better against the Reds, bruh. Capiche? He does get a cushy start at home versus Miami next week.

Craig Kimbrel – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, BB, K, SV (1). It wouldn’t be a Kimbrel save if my butt cheeks weren’t fully clenched and it wasn’t giving me a minor heart attack. My doctor said I could add at least five years to my life if I stop drafting Kimbrel but I told him my hands are tied and I live for the roller coaster ride that is the Kimbrel ninth inning save opp. He does appear to be the closer, but that’s more likely because he really can’t be trusted to do anything else. Buckle up, buckaroos!

Logan Gilbert  – 4.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Weapon X appeared to experience a big velocity dip before leaving this game. He might be hurt. I hope he’s not. I have no more information than this. I’d suggest checking twitter. They have a doge logo now for some reason, and it’s an absolute mess.

Paul Sewald – 1.0 IP, K, SV (1). Andrés Muñoz was tasked with taking down the heart of the Guardians (dumbest team name ever) line up and Sewald got the easy chance. GG EZ. Will Sewald or Muñoz get the next chance? IDK!

Aaron Civale – 5.2 IP, 9 hits, 4 ER, BB, 5 K. After last week’s gem, A-aron had a lot of hype to live up to and mostly didn’t disappoint, going scoreless through four before surrendering runs in the 5th and 6th. He’s looking like a solid streamer overall but would probably avoid his start versus the Yankees next week.

Sonny Gray – 7.0 IP, 4 hit, ER, BB, 13 K. Sonny boy! The 13 Ks was a career high! Have a day, man! He’ll be one of my most reliable starters until he gets hurt in June and is on and off the IL for the rest of the year. I’ll take it and I fully signed up for it! Bring it on!

Jorge Lopez – 1.0 IP, 1 hit with the win and Jhoan Duran 1.0 IP, BB, 2 K. While this provides zero clarity as to who the closer might be, what is clear that both these guys need to be owned.

Luis Robert – 3-for-5, 2 HR (4), 5 RBI. Of course, I’m out on LouBob the year he’s decided to lead the AL in home runs. Overreaction much? Still, the 1.111 OPS is impressive and while the hope for steals seems to be dashed the 10 hits in five games makes me long for the last two years where Robert sat on my IL for months at a time.

Oscar Colas – 1-for-4, HR (1). Jake Burger also hit a 2-run HR (1). He was a BUY. Who needs Sexy Dr. Pepper when Oscar’s Colas is just as sweet! Did you read Grey’s Oscar Colas fantasy? It explains how to make the perfect suicide at the movie theater’s Freestyle machine.

Lucas Giolito – 4.0 IP, 12 hits, 7 ER, 3 K, 2 HR. The stuff looks fine I guess and the 9/1 K/BB is nice but I’d have a hard time trusting a guy who gave up 7 runs to the Bucs. Lucas is also the name of the kid who refuses to give back Masataka Yoshida’s first home run ball back. Perhaps all Lucas’ can’t be trusted?

Tim Anderson – 4-for-5, 4 runs, 2 SB (4). Tim Tim may never be a top 25 fantasy player but he will always be one of the coolest dudes in baseball IMHO. And that alone is worth rostering. Does your league not award cool points?

Rich Hill – 4.0 IP, 8 hits, 7 ER, 3 HR. Nope. No thank you. No.

Vinnie Pasquantino – 2-for-3, HR (1). On Good Friday too! That’s a good, paisan! People have their criticisms of Easter as a holiday, but honestly, I think the Romans really nailed it.

Alex Cobb – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Did you like that one? I have another! Roman guy walks into a bar, holds up two fingers: five beers please! Whata great audience! Speaking of great, how about Cobby’s 2.53 through two starts? He gets a tough match up with the Dodgers next week but I’m always in on the corn Cobb.

Scott Barlow – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, BB, 2 K, SV (1). Barlow hasn’t looked quite as good as Aroldis Chapman (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 2 K) in the early going, but hasn’t given up a run and still appears to be the closer in KC. With the Royals looking to build Chapman’s trade value I’d think Barlow’s leash is shorter than it should be but your saves our safe for now. Regardless, both pitchers need to be owned.

Ronald Acuña – 0-for-4, 2 runs, 2 SB, (4). Alt-164! Just when daddys are all the rage I no longer have Tildaddy in my life. Not enough talk is given to the attachment we grow to these players and how we’re just supposed to “redraft” new ones every year. Like our team last year didn’t even exist! I long for the days of having a guy that goes 0-for-4 and still contributes to my team in a huge way. What I guess I’m trying to say is, I’m missing you real bad right now, Ronald. Hopefully next year we can be together again.

Marcell Ozuna – 1-for-4, HR (2). OZUNA hit ball hard. OZUNA do not care about OBP. OZUNA only care about dingers. This is way less fun when the dude is batting .095.

Sam Hilliard – 2-for-4. I was in a hole. He was sitting right there at the top of the draft board. I knew the warning signs were there but my love blinded me and I grabbed Michael Harris II with my fourth pick. I never meant to betray you, Grey. I should have listened, and now MH2 is on the IL and I’m in a real dark place right now.

Zach Eflin – 6.0 IP, 9 hits, 3 ER, 7 K, 2nd win. So Eflin good! Did you read Coolwhip’s sleeper post? Then you should own Eflin everywhere and you are currently living the high life. Cheers, friend!

Isaac Paredes – 3-for-5, Grand Slam HR (2), 4 RBI slashing .318/.348/.591. Grey told you to BUY! Isaac lead the Rays hit Paredes as they beat up on poor Ken Waldichuk (3.0 IP, 8 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Isn’t that the guy who wrote Fight Club? Wander Franco, Christian Betancourt, Harold Ramirez, and Manuel Margot also homered and it’s sure looking like the 7-0 not-your-daddy’s Devil Rays may never lose another game again.

Esteury Ruiz – 1-for-3, run, SB (1). The first of (hopefully) many!

Brandon Woodruff – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1st win. “Let’s go, Brandon!” I shouted in a crowded bar as he got out of a bases loaded jam with a double play. I got some dirty looks, but one older, whiter gentleman offered to buy me a drink, then rescinded his offer when I asked for a Bud Light. Did I do something wrong? I don’t understand baseball anymore.

Jack Flaherty – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 6 BB, 3 K. The 1.70 WHIP makes me think he should go back on the IL for half the year, and with a match up in Colorado next week seems things may get worse before they get better.

Willy Adames – 2-for-4, HR (1). Power hitting shortstops are Adames a dozen you say!

Garrett Mitchell – 2-for-4, RBI and Joey Wiemer was 1-for-3. How about the BrewCrew’s young hot shot outfield! Mitchell has yet to flash that speed that makes him so intriguing but he’s got three bombs and has hit safely in five straight games! Weimer’s got similar upside but the playing time is more of a question mark? I didn’t have to end that sentence with a ‘?’ but I thought it was appropriate. Both were BUYs! Two-for-one sale on Brewers OFers and Mil-ee-walk-ay can’t stop winning. I wish I could own all the Brewer’s outfielders but if you can only pick one I’d go Mitchell for now.

MacKenzie Gore – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER< 2 BB, 6 K, 2nd win. The ratios are real nice (2.38 ERA and 1.24 WHIP) and Mac posted a 31 CSW% mostly on his nasty curve. So it looks like you can be successful even on an awful, awful team. Take notes, Josiah Gray!

Alex Call – 1-for-4, 3-run HR (1) as he led off. Call has started four of the past five games, albeit mostly versus lefties. Jeimer Candelario hit a 2-run HR (2) batting second while Victor Robles and C.J. Abrams both had three hits. Robles added his first steal. Ew. I feel dirty even writing about these guys, almost cause it’s like picking through the trash barrel. If any of these players can help your team, I’m sorry you had such a poor draft.

Tylor Megill – 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. The line looks a little better than it was but Megill profiles to be an HQ streamer as long as the majority of the Mets staff is on medicare.

Edward Cabrera – 2.2 IP, 0 hits, 2 ER, 7 BB, 4 K. Seven walks! Oh no. I just shouted that out loud and my dog is going wild. I love EdCab’s upside and the match ups have been rough, but it won’t get any easier in Philly next week. Buy low, mebbe?

Pete Alonso – 2-for-5, HR (4), 2 RBI. Albombso! With his 150th career bomb-so! The second fastest player to hit the mark after Ryan Howard. What company!

Francisco Lindor – 1-for-3, HR (1), SB (1). The slam & legs in Queens is served up with the best slice of ‘za you ever had served to you by a surly old Italian guy who seems mad at you for being there.

Starling Marte – 1-for-4, 2 runs, HR (1). Oh, Starling! Please believe me! I’ll never doubt you can’t be a five category contributor again.

Brandon Nimmo – 0-for-1, 2 runs, 4 BB, SB (2). Another one of my dog’s favorite players–he’s got 10 walks in eight games, and the Mets walked 12 times last night, with Nimmo responsible for a third of those. He ain’t winning any batting titles but the runs and steals should be there.

Evan Longoria – 2-for-3, HR (2). It’s hard to believe there isn’t one MLB team that doesn’t have a starting job for Longo. Rays should trade for him. He can play once a week against lefties and hopefully get himself a ring. Have I mentioned I like the Rays to win out?

Corbin Carroll – 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 RBI. The gift that keeps on giving! I shall call him Christmas Carroll! Now go steal me 30 bases, CC!

James Outman – 1-for-3, HR (2). That ball is going, going, going, it’s Out, man! It’s also a BUY, man!

Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR versus Madison Bumgarner – 4.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. Oh, hey, 2015 Karl Ravech called, they want their Sunday Night Baseball marquee matchup back. I’ll admit this match up loses some of its luster now that MadBum doesn’t bat, but still exciting to see the ol’ boys duke it out. Kersh took his first loss to the DBags in almost two years. Times change!

Andrew Chafin – 0.2 IP, BB, 2 K. BUY. Can someone explain to me how this wasn’t a save? Pretty sure he’s the closer though!

Patrick Sandoval – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, BB, 2 K. Patrick looked good against a very tough line up, especially against lefties, and held the Jays in check for six innings. He left with a 3-1 lead before his bullpen blew it immediately. That’s showbiz, baby!

Chris Bassitt – 6.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 1st win. The Angels are a tough assignment for any pitcher even if they don’t know how to win. I’d take the dubya and be on my merry way. Bassitt gets a much easier assignment versus Detroit next week.

Bo Bichette -2-for-5, HR (2), 3 RBI. BoBa Chette accounted for the only two extra base hits of the night. He was a bit taken back by the new Star Wars movie announcement cause he was still reeling from the recent Mandalorian episode. If a Lizzo cameo isn’t jumping the shark, I don’t know what is. Jack Black tho! Fun!

Mike Trout – 1-for-4, HR (2). Who is this guy!? Does Shohei know about him? Somebody get him a Subway sandwich endorsement deal! My dude deserves free foot longs for life!

Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, SV (4). Four innings. Four saves. That’s really all you want from your closer, right? Member Padres pitcher Joey Lucheesi of the Mozarella di Parma Lucheesis? Yeah? Well, the Lucheesis throw a huge family party after Easter Mass on Sunday and can you guess who was invited? That’s right–Jordan Romano of the Locatelli Pecorino Romanos and his entire family! Beautiful party! And the food! *chefs kiss* Whata feast! Fuggedaboutit. The gravy was just perfect, but make sure you save room for cannolis! “Salud!” Joey said to Jordan as they clink their glasses of chiante, “To 50 saves!”

Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!