50 days left in the season! (Give or take, depending on when this goes up).  If you’re in an yearly league with no chance of winning….well it’s time for Football! Semi-seriously though, keep trying, setting your line-ups, and don’t just give up…that’s what I want to say, but I can’t lie to you and why would I? You need a consistent narrator, and that’s me to a T (At least that’s what my creative writing teachers always said…unless you’re chuck Palahniuk, in which case don’t believe anything the narrator says and know there’s going to be multiple disgusting parts that will haunt your dreams).

So if you’re not winning, you’re not winning.  I’m not going to fault you for checking your team less and less, or leaving guys on the DL in your lineup, or benching starters; I would like to request, on behalf of the teams still competing, you check in and set a lineup once a week, but no one is forcing you. A good way to avoid this is to join a keeper league, because even if you’re team stinks, there’s always trades and screwing over your friends/internet friends/strangers and now that we live in a time where haters seem to be everywhere, why not?  Me, though? I got nothin’ but love for ya.

The Football Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open to join! Compete against your favorite writers and other readers for free, with a chance for multiple prizes!

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While looking at the top OPS guys over the past two weeks top A’s prospect Matt Chapman stood out; his 1.190 OPS ranks 12th, his ISO is #1 at .571 and he’s doing this with a .227 BABIP. Chapman hit 23 homers at A+ ball in 2015 and 36 homers between AA and AAA in 2016; this season he hit 16 homers in AAA before his call-up. Based on his minors numbers he could even steal about five bases a season.

But there are reasons he’s only owned in 2% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues even after hitting home runs in three straight games this past week. Chapman is hitting .205 with a 36% strikeout rate on the season; his minor league strikeout numbers were between 22.8%-30.9% which isn’t good. He looks to be following in Joey Gallo’s footsteps (and Gallo is another guy who needs to be owned in OPS leagues. Less so in AVG leagues especially with all the power hitters this season available with better averages).  Chapman has been hitting 8th in the A’s lineup lately so those Runs and RBI opportunities aren’t going to be plentiful but figure once they move Yonder Alonso (which the A’s should to do and may have already done by the time this goes up) Chapman rises in the lineup.

Another plus: Chapman is a great defender so should continue to play every day. His A’s are home against the Twins and then a four game split with the crosstown Giants. Obviously with that low ownership number you don’t have to run and grab him, but definitely keep an eye on him because if he hits two homers in the next two games we’re going to see one of those 27% jumps in ownership in a day…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hope all of you out in Razzballland (who doesn’t like the ol’ triple L) enjoyed the All-Star Break.  We all now know making the All-Star game an exhibition game again was a great idea. It’s just too bad they only scored three total runs. Still I’ll take the more fun baseball games and juiced baseballs; reminds me of the nineties.  This season thus far has been a throwback to those days, right?

I think what the MLB marketing department did was they looked at the last truly successful, cross cultural, baseball era and it was the steroid era, right? Admittedly people did care and pay attention when the Cubs won last year and when the Red Sox won their first but that’s World Series time, a couple weeks in October.  But baseball needs fans for 162 games and that means continuing to target casual fans.  For example, my wife. She knows about Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire but didn’t know who Mike Trout was until we went to an Angels game. She doesn’t know Bryce Harper; she does know ARod and Barry Bonds but she’s familiar with baseball enough to go because of those guys (and buy a hat and a t-shirt and a hot dog and frozen lemonade). Point being, if baseball wants that all-important demographic that really doesn’t care about baseball (but will go to games) they should stick to this…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you got the title props for being a Dr. Henry McCoy fan and I salute you (even though he’s my least favorite X-Man, but that’s a topic for another day and another site). On that note, here’s hoping everybody had a good Fourth of July. I know I enjoyed the extra long weekend and I’m all for making the Fourth a minimum three-day weekend, and if possible, four. The only day we should never allow the Fourth to be celebrated on is a Wednesday. I think we can all come together as a country and get that done, I mean, who doesn’t think America deserves four days to celebrate it’s greatness, right? Anyhoo, last week’s lede, Josh Reddick, is number one in OPS for the past two weeks as of this writing (just wanted to remind myself that results sometimes do happen quickly and a hat tip to my friend and leaguemate for suggesting him – I thought he did so because he was on his team but nooooo…so I added him and have been reaping the benefits…thanks!).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Reddick has been on a tear since returning from a concussion injury with an OPS over 1.500, two homers, and three steals (although his return sent future OPS Monster Derek Fisher back to AAA, sad trombone).  Last year I recommended him when he was also coming off the DL (you don’t have to click on that link but I included it for posterity’s sake and so you won’t call me out.  Of which there was a 0.0% chance of happening).

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I asked my wife to help me think of a title using the name Xander Bogaerts and she said his name sounds like a character that Joey would play on Friends and I agree, that’s pretty apt.  Xander is one of my favorite Bogaerts, even if he spells it a bit differently than the others.  First there’s badass Humphrey; Casablanca owns, still holds up today, still is eminently quotable, and if you disagree you haven’t watched it (so go do so, right after you finish reading this post).

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It’s Father’s Day weekend, y’all! Get out and watch some baseball with your dad! Or if yours is like mine, they don’t like baseball at all.  I bet my dad couldn’t name Mike Trout.  So for me, I have to go back one generation as it was my grandfathers who got me into baseball. One, a diehard Cubs fan.  The other, a diehard Royals fan (with a place in Tampa so I’ve seen way more (Devil) Ray games than I’d like to admit, though…I guess I just did, so just don’t tell anybody, okay?). They took me to games as a kid and I was lucky enough to get to take them both to games as an adult.

I love that I still get to talk baseball with my Royals grandfather (as the Cubs grandfather has passed) who was so pumped they won in 2015 and then the Cubs won last year; it’s really been a good last couple years for my family’s baseball teams.  So thank those people who got you into the game (especially if its your dad/grandad on Sunday), invite them to a game, be it the majors, minors, or even beer league softball, and celebrate!

Top OPS past 14 days (min 35 ABs as of this writing):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not one to toot my own horn (who else is going to toot it then?) but I’m feeling a little props for Hunter Renfroe’s grand salami on the same day he’s the lede in OPS Leaguers Unite!, right?  I really like him and still think you should add him, but c’mon, a couple hours after post goes up he crushes a homer and I watched it live on TV; that’s just cool to me.  So anyway it was a good Sunday even before spending the day at the beach.  Day before that I was at Dodger Stadium to see the Cubs continue to suck it up.  First off I have to thank commentor PublicEnemy#1 for the excellent parking advice a few weeks back; worked like a charm.  As this was my first time there I have some observations so buckle up.

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I have no time to be wasting time on the mic, so lets get to it!  Hunter Renfroe has power, like, majorly, and now in his age 25 season he’s only going to get more.  If he’s available in your OPS league or you need power go get him now.  Did you check?  Add him?  Ok, now I’ll tell you why.  A first-rounder out of Mississippi State he’s Mississippi through and through, born in beautiful Crystal Springs (I’ve never been there, I have no idea if it’s beautiful…and a quick image search yields…it’s not a tourist destination unless small towns of 5,000 people with some lakes and nice foliage and gravel roads are your thing, then have at it, not that I can’t appreciate and enjoy them as well mind you).  Renfroe has shown good power in the minors, hitting 21, 20, 30 homers in his past three minor league seasons to go along with 13 homers in 227 PAs between this season and the last in the bigs.

Renfroe has scuffled a little bit through late April into May so his .734 OPS isn’t looking great but he’s been hot the last couple weeks with a 1.125 OPS and four homers in that span.  You know what I like best about his recent stats?  A 15% walk rate, which is way higher than his career numbers of 4%; already this season even with that weaker OPS his walk rate is 7.3%, so his eye is improving, too.

Lastly, this website has the hots for him too as Grey recommended him back in November and Ralph had him as the #24 prospect going into 2017.  So if you didn’t add him at the beginning of this like I told you to, go do it now.  The Padres are home against the Cubs and Rockies this week.

Top OPS past 14 days (min 30 ABs as of this writing):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Usually I start my day eating breakfast while reading Grey’s excellent daily posts (suck up alert!).  I’ve been doing this for god knows how many years, at least a decade it seems.  Anyhoo, I usually look through the comments and see this comment (in various forms), “Player A for Player B.  Who wins?”  and part of that just bugs me. Not the asking for advice of course, because that’s the main point of the site.  I’m talking about the winning part.  Maybe it’s the current American winning obsession because to some we’re winning too much, others not at all (and that’s as far as I’ll dip my foot in the political pool).  I think it goes back to the idea that trading, in the minds of some, is a zero-sum game. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Can’t a trade help both teams so they both win? Absolutely.

Please, blog, may I have some more?