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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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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This week is all about securing a closer for the end of the season. There are a host of names that could fulfill this role depending on availability in your league. Some of the guys I’m looking at this week are Mychal Givens (FAAB: 3%), Nate Jones (FAAB: 3%), Tommy Hunter (FAAB: 2%), and Ty Buttrey (FAAB: 2%). All of these pitches are providing saves in their current bullpen situations. I’ve listed the players based on talent and opportunity.

Givens and Jones are easily the most skilled of the bunch. Both were vying for the closer role even before other names were traded away from their respective teams. Givens was an add when he secured 8 wins in two-straight seasons as a dominant long reliever for the Orioles, and Jones is always a name people will grab as a high-level 8th inning arm.

Hunter and Buttrey are new to the equation.  I’ve speculated on Hunter multiple times throughout the year when the Phillies bullpen was in flux. He is providing a ton of value the past two seasons without being relevant in the fantasy community whatsoever. Now that Seranthony Dominguez seems to be out, Hunter should be the guy for the rest of 2018. Buttrey is in the same situation with Angels closer Blake Parker being relegated to the 8th inning role. He is a very unknown name that is now saving games and could go overlooked in FAAB this weekend.

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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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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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Ramon Laureano (FAAB: 3-5%) is making a name for himself with a couple of viral throws on his record in centerfield. The man possesses an absolute cannon and defensive prowess that will keep him in the lineup every day. However, the young Athletic is also a viable play for fantasy leagues. Rocking a 207 wRC+ over the past 14 days, Laureano is in a good lineup that is fighting for the division. Even though there is some strikeout potential, he can stuff the sheet with homers, steals, and counting stats. Gamble on this exciting outfielder who is riding a season-long hot streak into the fantasy playoffs.

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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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A premature grey-haired man and a prematurely balding man sit on a Brooklyn stoop, chatting about the old days.  “I can remember when Ossie Davis sat on this very stoop in Do The Right Thing.”  “It was a simpler time before gentrification.  Now the millennials are killing the bees, mayonnaise and plastic straws.”  Sipping his drink, “My kombucha tastes like paper…stupid biodegradable straw!”  “We were millennials as late as June, what happened to us?”  “We grew old waiting for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.!”  “Stupid millennials and their Super Twos!”  So, as mentioned last week in my Eloy Jimenez fantasy, I’m back here for the other guy who could be called up this week.  Will he?  Unless you’re talking to my groin, and mispronouncing Willie, I haven’t a clue.  I’m not saying Vlad Jr. necessarily will be called up, I’m just saying you stash him for right now.  See what happens when rosters expand in a few days, and, if he’s not called up, you drop him again.  No harm, no foul in holding a guy for a week who could do what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. does.  For more, search the damn site!  We’ve been talking about him for so long we’ve grown old!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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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

Please, blog, may I have some more?