We all know that Shohei Ohtani is amazing, or at least this homer does. After his elbow injury on June 6th, I plunged deep into a nightmare. The water was warm. He missed the remainder of the month and came back a bit slow. After the All-Star Break, his sole purpose was to simply DH. And it was beautiful. Ohtani could be an elite bat if he were to focus just on that. His (hitter) scouting report said he has 70-grade power that’s effortless with a smooth stroke and 45-grade hit tool that is largely due to some swing-and-miss tendencies. But, you have to understand… he’s a top-tier pitcher who obsesses over film. There are few in the league that study more than him; his work ethic is legendary. When can one focus on being a better hitter while you are trying to pitch against 9 other hitters each week?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Crime often pays because A) a product is obtained for free and sold at a markup (this can also include certain services as well) or B) a product or service is provided at an exhorbitant markup due to its illegal nature. It’s not all reward, though, as there are significant risks in these ventures, the most obvious coming from law enforcement. As a result, many of resources need to be allocated to stay one step ahead of the 5-0 in order to stay in business and flourish. Which brings me to Ramon Laureano of the Oakland Athletics, who has been a Top 40 player over the past month and the #4 player over the past seven days. Is this just a lucky streak or has he discovered something in order to stay out of fantasy jail and prosper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last year Aaron Nola was really good. He posted a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP with a 3.01 FIP along with a 9.49 K/9 that placed him among the best. He paraded up and down the French Quarter for all to see on Mardi Gras. And then Hurricane 2019 (AKA Katrina) reared its ugly head from across the sea, and has assaulted Nola with utter indiscretion and lack of mercy, destroying his and your ratios. To date, Nola has a 4.58 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and a 4.22 FIP that mostly agrees with the destruction. He was once the Big Easy, set it and forget it, an easy auto-start and reap the reward. This season he’s been the Easy At-bat, bleh.

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Super Duper!

Mitch Haniger, OF, Oh God: *Vomits uncontrollably* *Still* Replacement: Who does this white bread Garrett Cooper (7.2%) kid think he is anyway? Well dating back to May 15th he has 28 hits, 19 runs, 5 HRs, 16 RBI in 86 ABs. He’s firmly entrenched as the Marlins #2 hitter right now and is really making the most of it. He’s not some spring chicken either — he’s a 28-year-old career minor leaguer who has always had a solid hit tool hitting .305 AVG/.371 OBP across 1,640 minor league ABs. He has 15-20 HR power, absolutely no speed (think: negative stolen bases somehow,) but he’s a great fill-in option who isn’t going to kill your ratios.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With helium balls flying out this year and the Launch Angle Revolution storming the Bastille, many pitchers are a lot less safe than they used to be. This is especially true for flyball pitchers and those that pitch-to-contact (I fart in your general direction Ray Searage). Then, from somewhere in the crowd, emerges Jake Odorizzi who runs down the ramp and dives into the ring, a pretty extreme flyball pitcher. He has a career GB/FB rate of .71 and a FB% north of 47% the last 3 years. This year he’s at 50.7% yet his HR/FB rate is microscopic 5.3%, wow! He is currently sporting a line of 1.96 ERA 0.96 WHIP and a K-rate above 9 (that ERA is good for 2nd behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu, and he’s 6th in WHIP). We thought he was dead and scrambled; but now he’s back, slaying giants, and laughing in the face of expectations. Is this reality or a dream? Is this the Resurrection of Jake the Snake or is he just getting by on good feelings, bad farts, and a suppressed BABIP? Is he just an egg waiting to become an omelette, or is he a showman mystifying his opponents always one step ahead? How many more questions can I ask?

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, homo sapiens would nuke aluminum trays of food (which I always imagined what prison food would look like) in a microwave. I was indoctrinated into this ritual when my mom brought home what they called “tv dinners” from Swanson. It looked like crap, to be honest. To make matters worse, I had to slice a hole in the film covering the meat, then poke holes for the potatoes, then cut out the section over the cranberries. Damn B! What’s up with all the fuss for something that looks like crap? The same can be said for Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. He was much hyped, yet kind of crappy since he joined the big club. So far in 2019, though, he’s the overall number 28 player on the Razzball Player Rater! Damn B! Dansby! Let’s see if he’s a bear or a bull.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the worst start of his year (4+ IP, 7 ER) Matt Strahm was placed on the DL with a rib strain. This seems to be a minor injury and might just be an easy, smart way to manage his innings. The most innings he’s thrown in a single season was 102 way back in 2016. Last year he threw 61.1 innings and he’s already sitting at 60.1 this year. Ruh-roh. The Padres are only 2.5 games back in the NL Wild Card so managing the innings of Strahm, Cal Quantrill, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet is going to be key for their playoff hopes. Replacement: The award for most unlikely, unexpected and unbelievable late-career resurgence has to go to Anibal Sanchez (6.6%.) The 35-year-old, 14 year veteran inexplicably and probably accidentally had one of the best seasons of his career last year with a 2.83 ERA and 1.083 WHIP (lowest of his career!) In his first 5 starts of the season Sanchez returned to the rotten pumpkin we knew him as: 27 IP, 18 ER (6.00 ERA.) However, things have improved in his 6 most recent starts. He’s allowed only 7 ERs in 21.2 IP (2.91 ERA.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Austin Riley of the Atlanta Braves has taken the league by storm. He’s clubbed eight home runs in his first 17 games of MLB action, which has resulted in him being named NL Rookie of the Month. Yeah, baby! You make me very horny. But then I became very conflicted, as perusing the advanced stats brought me to one conclusion, while observing the at-bats on YouTube took me in another direction. Not so shagadelic. Let’s see if we can determine if he’s trash or treasure.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I am, what I’ll refer to as a graybeard millennial, one of the first ones in. So the TV show All In The Family was before my time. However, my Dad would watch the reruns of it and especially its spinoff, The Jeffersons, that was more successful (and funnier IMO) than the original. Many of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll lay it out, it was basically Family Guy before Family Guy. The main character, Archie Bunker, is a bartender dad who is very outspoken, not the smartest, narrow-minded, and often judges everyone based on stereotypes/racism (back when that was funny, good times huh?). Their nextdoor neighbors were the Jeffersons, a black family whose father George was a friend of Archie despite his bigotry and often called out his BS. The Jeffersons spinoff is basically when George’s business takes off and he’s able to move the family from Queens to an upperclass apartment in Manhattan and GTFO and away from Archie. Upward mobility.

Please, blog, may I have some more?