Stands from a folding chair, and clears throat. I’m in the back of a church. Around me a group of people who look like they need a cigarette. The group leader asks me to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Grey, and it’s my first time here.” Everyone murmurs hi to me. I force a smile. Then, I continue, “Yesterday, I not only thought about a perfect game happening while it was in the process of happening, but I also mentioned it to my wife, Cougs. It was me, who jinxed Drew Rasmussen.” Everyone nods their head. One guy who’s wearing a Steel Panther shirt says, “I did the same during Armando Galarraga’s.” Reactions from the group members, they can’t believe he jinxed Armando. I continue, “That makes me feel better, actually. Armando’s jinx is much worse than mine.” Steel Panther Guy screams, “I jinxed it, but I inadvertently caused instant replay to be adopted!” As he stormed out of the room. The leader swallows hard, “Um, thanks for sharing, Grey.” So, I turned the TV onto Drew Rasmussen (8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.80), and his Maddux perfecto just in time to jinx him. Sigh, my bad. The trade of Willy Adames for Rasmussen has ended up working for both teams, and for all involved in fantasy. Rasmussen has been mostly Yesmussen with a 7.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 3.68 xFIP as he throws a slider that’s mostly unhittable (.212 BAA), and not just by the O’s. His 38.6% HardHit% would be around Sandy Alcantara, Gerrit Cole and Kevin Gausman. I blame myself for yesterday’s perfect game lost in the 9th, but, in 2023 fantasy, Rasmussen is going to be undervalued, even though the Rays haven’t had a bad pitcher in, like, ten years. (Hyperbole to make a point; don’t tell me about Yarbrough.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Randy Arozarena – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer, and 3rd homer in his last four games. The Rice Bowl making it grain at just the right time.

DL Hall – 3 2/3 IP, 5 ER, as he was recalled on Saturday. I thought he changed his name to IL Hall. What gives? His numbers are video gamey — insane strikeouts, crazy walks, bonkers velocity — but he was optioned back down to switch to relief. Yeah, O’s need a reliever after trading away Jorge Lopez. (I’m being sarcastic, it’s a temp move just for this year prolly with Hall.)

Jake Cronenworth – 0-for-4, 1 run, hitting .237. Oh, and as it turns out, Fernando Tatis Jr. won’t be squeezing himself into the lineup and making everyone else squeezed for playing time. As I’m sure you heard on Friday, or read Dan Pants’ roundup on Saturday, Tatis is out the rest of this year, and for a quarter of next year. Always wondered how people could continue to root for the Astros after they cheated, but I’m gonna choose to believe Tatís that he took Clostebol for ringworm and it was unintentional. Ostriching my head in the sand, and I don’t even care. It makes no sense that Tatís was doing it to enhance any performance. There was no performance to enhance, he wasn’t playing! Also, who pretends they had ringworm if they didn’t? Ringworm?! That excuse isn’t in the first half of 10,001 Excuses To Use If You’re Caught Cheating. Now, I’m focused solely on what FTJ can do for me in 2023. Hopefully, he doesn’t have any more ringworms or drive by a motorcycle stunt show and get tempted.

Blake Snell – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.66. You, a man thinks he’s cultured because he watches Antiques Roadshow, is interested in Snell again. Me, a man who’s gone to Antiques Roadshow and been told my family heirloom was a trinket, sees Snell as a 2nd half pitcher.

Carl Edwards Jr. – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.24, as he got his 2nd save on Saturday. So, Carl Jr. is the closer now as Kyle Finnegan gets In ‘n Out of the 7th inning?

C.J. Abrams – Being called up by the Nats, as it sounds like Luis Garcia will be IL’d. No, not that Luis Garcia. The other Luis Garcia. Looked to grab Abrams in all my leagues. He has game-changing speed, and solid power and even better hit tool. Don’t call him Connor Joe Abrams, he’s much better.

Mitch White – 4 2/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.72. Not very good, but I like to point out how “not very good” he’s doing while I still start Berrios. It helps me hate myself.

Amed Rosario – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (8) and legs (11), hitting .288. Happened to catch his 1st inning homer — call me Zach Hample! Kidding, meant caught it on TV. — and how deep and easy Rosario hit it out to center, I wonder if we don’t see a big power step forward next year when he’s 27.

Andrew Heaney – 3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 1.16, but left the game after taking a liner off his arm. Dodgers said he’s fine, but didn’t spell out fine like an R&B song, so take that as you will.

Brady Singer – 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.29. As he no-big-whoop’d the Dodgers, and now I’m shushing Singer. Not so loud so you keep your price down.

Vinnie Pasquantino – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .260, and his 4th homer this week. Vinnie Pasketti with bada and bing boom, hey, oh!

LaMonte Wade Jr. – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, and third homer in five games. Hot schmotato alert!

Thairo Estrada – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and he’s hit in every game since he’s returned from the IL except for one, and, in one 12 team league, he’s now my replacement for He Who Shall Not Be Named, i.e., Jonathan India. Damn! He made me name him!

Bryan Reynolds – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .259. Ya know how sad He Who Shall Not Be Named is? I wish I had Bryan Reynolds instead of him. And I hate Bryan Reynolds!

Zac Gallen – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.94. Pitching that well in Coors is dangerous. Gallen better be careful or the Rockies might trade for him. You don’t want that kind of curse on you.

Jake McCarthy – 1-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI and two steals (8, 9). In ten years, have seen a lotta different things for offense. Right now, we are firmly in the “Homers are nice, but if a guy steals two bags, I’m much more excited” phase.

Marco Gonzales – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.18. Streamonator was negative on Saturday’s start for Marco, and isn’t very positive on his next either, but I would prolly start him (it’s vs. the A’ss.)

Scott Effross – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.88, and his 2nd save on Saturday, as Aroldis worked the 8th, and Clay Holmes worked the stage manager, seeing if he could just get five minutes on stage, but, sorry, Clay, no time for you. You’re scaring away the fans.

Michael Wacha – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.44. His ERA is what!? Clearly, I don’t have Wacha in enough leagues. I knew he was pitching well, but not that well. I was about to aim people to the Streamonator for him. A 2.44 ERA is, like, twice as good as Berrios!

Byron Buxton – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (28) and legs (5), as he hit third. Wonder if Baldelli finally figured out Buxton should be hitting in a run-producing spot of the order and not leading off with his .220 average, and .300 OBP. Though, beating against a MLB manager figuring out anything is always the smarter bet.

A.J. Pollock – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, as he hits leadoff. Hot schmotato alert!

Andrew Vaughn – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .301. White Sox are a bizarre team this year. They’re hitting for average, and no power, while having the 4th easiest park in the majors to homer in.

Adam Wainwright – 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.27. *wavy lines* Whoa, it’s 2076! Wild! Is that Adam Wainwright still pitching to Molina? Oh, it’s Yadier Molina Jr. Jr., Yadi’s grandson. That can’t be Wainwright then, can it? The 95-year-old Wainwright removes a baseball from his walker, and hurls it towards the plate. Strike one! We see now the batter is 77-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr., who looks like he hasn’t aged at all. FTJ smiles to the cameras, “Stay young with ringworm medicine.” *wavy lines* What a weird dream that was.

Miles Mikolas – 8 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.44. Right side of brain, “Don’t do the math as to what Mikolas gave you for this week after his 10 ER drubbing in Coors, just enjoy Sunday’s start.” Left side of brain, “12 ER in 10 2/3 IP for your weekly leagues! Great stuff, you loser!”

Albert Pujols – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 9th and 10th homer. They shouldn’t let Pujols retire until he gets 700 homers. C’mon, 11 more! Teams that are out of it that are facing him need to throw Matthew Boyd vs. him or Bryce Harper’s dad.

Tyler O’Neill – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer. Maybe this is the start of something, and it’s worth monocle’ing, but he gets literally like one hit per week.

Dylan Carlson – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer. The weird thing about the Cards is the guys who are supposed to be great (Carlson, O’Neill) are not, and guys like Nootbaar and DeJong…Sorry, I lost my train of thought. I’m suddenly very hungry.

Hunter Renfroe – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer. As Scooby-Doo would say, “Renfroe!” Also, when Renfroe homers once, he usually gets hot.

Rowdy Tellez – 1-for-4 and his 24th homer, and 2nd homer in his last four games. It’s kinda wild how many people still ask about a guy who is batting third with 24 homers. Hmm, not wild, what’s the word? Rowdy.

Jacob deGrom – 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.62. He has a 0.42 WHIP. Letting out a cackle that can be heard from Nepal to New Jersey.

Chris Bassitt – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.27, and 24 consecutive scoreless innings. Streamonator loves his next one too, but, I cannot tell a lie, I’m benching him in shallower leagues.

Daniel Vogelbach – 1-for-4 and his 15th homer. The Jelly Donut of Swat was in Friday’s Buy as he always a round somewhere.

Zack Wheeler – 6 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 292. Lots of dinky hits knocked Wheeler from its axel, even as his mechanics were fine.

Lance McCullers – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 5 Ks, as he was activated from the IL. I didn’t expect anything from McCullers this year. To be honest, I still kinda don’t. But wow. That was a solid start. Prolly too late to reverse action and say grab him, since he’s already gone everywhere, but of course I would now. That’s no harm, no foul.

Cristian Javier – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.96. Random prediction alert! Javier will be drafted around 75 next year, as a number two, and I’ll say you should draft him everywhere, and he’ll be great, then I’ll point out how he was great in 2022 and should’ve never been available as readily in 2023. For other references, see this year’s Cease, McClanahan and so many others.

Alex Bregman – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, and 3rd homer in four games. Gonna be cool when he gets to 24 homers, and the same people draft him next year. You know the people, the ones who drafted him this year, and, when he had 9 homers thru his first three months, they left to go play fantasy football, then they come back next March, and see Bregman had a decent year, and forget he was the reason why they were out of in July.

Ian Anderson – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 5.00, as he was recalled. Solid start right after I freakin’ drop him! Good stuff, Ian Anderson, you absolute bum!

Bryce Elder – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.45. Is it Bryce the Elder’s turn to have a three-month run where he looks like an ace only then to become so bad he needs to be demoted by the Braves?

Michael Harris II – 2-for-4 and his 12th homer, hitting .293. About ready to admit I’m going to over-rank MH2 next year, and it’s gonna mega-hurt.

Anthony Bender – Hit the IL with an elbow strain. Anthony FenderBender.

Braxton Garrett – 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.67. Been ignoring Streamonator with Mr. Garrett, but I have to admit to cold feet for his next start, and it’s not a ploy to get you to buy me socks.

Matt Moore – Out on paternity leave. Will be a perfect 10 out of 10 if he names his kid Dudley.

Christopher Morel – 1-for-3 and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in the last four games. Morel go much-boom! Like mushroom? No? Okay. He could be a hot schmotato, though.

Patrick Wisdom – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 21st homer. “Live every day like your last.” That’s Pat Wisdom.

Alexis Diaz – 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.83, and his 5th save, as Strickland looked as bad as ever right before him. Not ready to say it’s Diaz’s job to lose, but it should be Diaz’s job to lose. And lose, he will not. And talk like Yoda, I do.

Jonathan India – Hasn’t played since Thursday, and David Bell said there’s no talk of putting India on the IL. Then David Bell placed his pants over his head, and said, “Who shut off the lights?”