This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Sunday’s afternoon games. Since every state involved is a two-party consent for recording, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Trudy Gramble. Here, let’s listen in: “Hello, this is the CEO of Super Ball, the world’s hardest, bounciest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-as-a-baseballiest ball. Who is this calling?” Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguises his voice so he sounds raspy, “I’m Kathleen Turner. I was wondering if you would sell me 70,000 Super Balls to not be used for baseball purposes.” “Body Heat Kathleen Turner? Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–” “Okay, toots…” Manfred lowers the phone receiver, to his secretary, “Toots?” Back into the phone, “Um, so don’t make me kill you and blame a different femme fatale. I need those Super Balls.” So, yesterday was bonkers for homers, yet again. I will now list the home runs by guys in just the Astros game: Yulieski Gurriel (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 11th; Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .347) hit his 13th; Evan Gattis (2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th and Carlos Correa (4-for-5, 5 RBIs) and two homers, his 19th and 20th. Holy Salami Tom, there’s a crapton of home runs this year. I have two mixed leagues where I feel like if I’m not getting at least five homers per day, I’m falling behind. Also, on a pitching front, if I can just maintain a 3.50 ERA, I could come in first for ERA. By the way, I hope we’re not sued by Our Commissioner Rob Manfred, but something must be done. Get the Super Balls out of baseball! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Brad Peacock – 6 IP, 0 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.63. How do you combat long balls? By starting a pitcher whose last name sounds like an old man screaming in the urinal.
Dallas Keuchel – Threw a bullpen session, and will head out for a rehab assignment soon (eventually?). Keuchel could be a huge difference maker in the 2nd half, or could throw a handful of starts and be saved for the playoffs. Astros have an enviable position to not have to push any of their starters. Or as DJ Khaled would say, Astros have the keys, keys, keys, keys, keys, keys, major key.
Marcus Stroman – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.28. Bet he’s got a next level. That bet’s coming from watching him. He throws some dipsy-doodle pitch; I believe they call it a slider. If he throws that pitch about five percent of the time more, he will up his Ks and be an easy ace. Look at me, Grey Searage.
Luis Severino – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.54. Should’ve been the hard-luck loser, but instead was the hard-luck no-decisioner (totally a thing). Severino makes the top 100 for the 2nd half, which is being posted tomorrow, and, honestly, seriously, adverbly, he wasn’t close to missing it.
Masahiro Tanaka – 4 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.47. Yeah, he didn’t make the top 100 for the 2nd half. I’m not sure he would make the top 300.
Clint Frazier – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, after launching a game-winning r’tripper on Saturday. “You’ll never catch me!” That’s Eddie Murray, the AL career leader for GWRBIs. Ha, remember that stat? That was sabermetrics in the 1980’s. As for Frazier, I like him, but once everyone is healthy, he could be squeezed for playing time.
Ryan Braun – Brewers said Braun should be healthy by Friday. He couldn’t recover after two DL stints, but will be fine after five days of rest. Yup, that makes sense after scrutiny like an M. Night movie.
Brent Suter – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.96. Waaaaaaasssssssssuter? An 86 MPH fastball, that’s waaaaaaasssssssssuter.
Travis Shaw – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 19th homer, hitting .299. Okay, but Tyler Thornburg made a quiche for the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday that Sandoval called “an absolute highlight of the season.”
Stephen Vogt – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer–Wait, no, that’s his 8th home run, because box scores still separate stats when a player is traded to a different league, even though yesterday’s game was the Brewers vs. the Yankees. Smart stuff, MLB!
Stephen Strasburg – 3 IP, 3 ER, but 6 unearned, ERA at 3.43. Damn, I started stumbling around Redd Foxx, clutching my heart, when I saw that ticker shock. Hopefully, this is not the start of Strasburg’s 2nd half decline and/or injured bullshizz.
Joe Ross – Left yesterday’s start with a triceps injury and him and his brother can’t ever stay healthy. Momma Ross, you really should’ve had your boys drink more milk. Some hippie right now is drinking almond milk and just closed this browser window, because I advocated drinking milk and hippies love Razzball.
Julio Teheran – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.79. Don’t know yet if his early season struggles only appear closer in the rear view mirror, or if we’re peeping the future in the rear window like a broken-legged Jimmy Stewart.
Freddie Freeman – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, and his 16th homer, and 2nd this weekend, hitting .348. Apparently, his injury is behind him. “I was never a problem.” That’s Freeman’s ass.
Johan Camargo – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 1st homer, hitting .327, and moved up to the two hole. Okay, need to look at him again. *looks at his stats, vomits, vomit spells out, “Not worth owming,” wipes M with foot into an N so it reads owning* My vomit needs a spellcheck.
Jason Kipnis – Hit the DL with a strained hamstring. He’s been great this year, J.K. of course.
Mike Clevinger – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.00. I told you to grab him in Friday’s Buy, told you to grab him in my post prior to that, and Prospector Ralph gave you a Mike Clevinger breakdown that would make Bill Rankin of the Atlanta Journal Constitution Breakdown podcast proud (you should listen; you’re welcome). Hashtag stay woke!
Adam Jones – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 14th and 15th homers, hitting .267. To me, this is the equivalent to sitting out the last game of the season to win a batting title, with the last game of the half making the 1st half look better than it was.
Jon Lester – 2/3 IP, 4 ER, and six unearned runs, ERA up to 4.25. If Lester was ground into any finer of a powder, Dave Parker and Dale Berra would’ve come back to Pittsburgh to snort him up.
Jameson Taillon – Scratched yesterday with the flu. Just another testes for him to pass.
Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 17th homer, hitting .294. If he were to miss the entire 2nd half (doing my best to jinx him), he’d still have a better season than I expected from him.
Francisco Cervelli – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 4th homer, a grand slam. Damn, too bad all of my fantasy teams are called, “Sans Francisco’s Treats.”
Josh Harrison – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .280. Harrison is so yawnstipating he’s currently the 20th best 2B on our Player Rater, right by Lowrie and Brandon Phillips. Way above Jose Peraza though. Damn, ‘member all that preseason love for Peraza? Glad I didn’t draft him. Seriously, I didn’t. Man, I can’t even sound sincere to myself as I read this back.
Gregory Polanco – Pirates scored fourteen hundred runs yesterday and Polanco wasn’t in the lineup. Holy sit!
Luis Castillo – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA At 3.13. Sonovabench! That says it all, doesn’t it? It kinda does. I own Castillo and am scared to start him. Love his stuff (98 MPH fastball) and his peripherals (11.7 K/9), but where am I going to trust this guy to start him? In Great American? And go down for the Count? Bleh.
Chris O’Grady – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks as he was called up by the Marlins. I appreciate that his last name sounds like a Sanford and Son soundbite, but that’s all I like about him. I wouldn’t even pick him up in NL-Only leagues.
Giancarlo Stanton – 3-for-4, 4 runs and his 25th and 26th homers. He’s on pace for about 47 homers, and he hasn’t been crazy hot at any point this year.
Johnny Cueto – 6 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.51. Doode is straight trash. I hate him. I legit might drop him in my 12-team mixed league over the break if a decent rookie is called up.
Pat Valaika – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .243. I forget if I mentioned this in the top 100 that’s coming tomorrow or if I’ve mentioned it already. Oh no, my past brain has melded with my present brain and doesn’t know what to tell my future brain! Eek, I’m a character from a Christopher Nolan movie! Any hoo! I wouldn’t be shocked if Valaika completely steals Story’s job in the 2nd half, if Story doesn’t quickly come out of his funk.
Kyle Freeland – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 3 BBs, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.77, and a no hitter through 8 1/3 innings in Coors because 2017 is like when you put your head to the bat handle and spun in circles ten times, then tried to run.
J.C. Ramirez – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (5 BBs), 2 Ks, ERA at 4.46. Jesus Christ Ramirez! Dot dot dot. Is a streamer.
Justin Turner – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 9th and 10th homers, hitting .377. I took some guff in the preseason about how high I ranked Turner, because y’all a bunch of guffers, but now I’m having the last and greatest guffaw!
Clayton Kershaw – 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.18. This is hilarious in a “Holy crap, Kershaw is so insane” type way. He had 13 strikeouts yesterday, and a complete game, and threw less than 100 pitches –> 99 pitches, 73 strikes. I just shook my head incredulously.
Danny Duffy – 7 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 3.76. I’ve been off Duffy since hundreds had small faces.
A.J. Pollock – 1-for-3 and a slam (3) and double legs (12, 13). Well, it only took a little more than half a season for his first big game. Now I see the 3rd round value.
Aaron Nola – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.59. I started streaming Nola three starts ago, and, on my team, his stats are 1.21 ERA, 0.76, 25 Ks in 22 1/3 IP with two wins, and now I don’t want to drop him. Stream-o-Nator likes his next start too, even though I’m thinking Stream-o-Nator is crazy. Ugh, I’m conflicted like a cow that owns a butcher shop. Hmm, maybe this is why cows don’t own butcher shops. Now I’m conflicted and confused — ugh, I’m conflused!
Freddy Galvis – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 9th and 10th homers, hitting .251. Dropped this truth bomb before, but so glad I drafted Galvis in a few deeper leagues for next to nothing, because everyone was gassed up on the J.P. Crawford helium. I’m too lazy to research it, but I’m pretty sure Crawford went for a higher price than Galvis in my NL-Only leagues.
Jerad Eickhoff – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.63. Before we start reaching around on each other going for the Jer-khoff, this was vs. the Padres.
Nick Williams – 2-for-4 and his 1st homer, hitting .281. For what it’s Werth, his homer barely reached the seats. A silly dunker. A ridicky-donk.
Odubel Herrera – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer. I just dropped him prior to this game (because he’s been so sucky), so you can thank me for the home run. Don’t regret the drop one bit either. With ODB, you best protect from the dreck.
Aaron Altherr – 2-for-3, 2 runs and a slam (14) and legs (5), hitting .284. Altherr’s having a Sunday Santana-type season, i.e., he’s been more valuable than you prolly realize, I before E, except in Teixeira, you should own him.
Trevor Cahill – 5 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.38. Sorry, that’s not a convincing example for why Cahill should be started in away games.
Felix Hernandez – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (3 BBs), 8 Ks, ERA at 4.44. Getting it in against the A’s. Who dat? F-Her.
Zack Wheeler – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.86. First start over four innings since his return from the DL. The Mets are obviously being careful with the one elbow tendon their entire pitching staff is borrowing. You heard of a lending library? This elbow is from a bending library.
Steven Matz – 4 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.05. Under a sign that reads, ‘Bending Library,’ Matz looks at his watch, you can tell he’s worried about something. He mumbles to himself, “Why isn’t Wheeler back with that elbow yet?”
Paul DeJong – 2-for-4 and his 9th homer, and third homer in three games, and like his 18th homer in the last five days, and hitting about nine thousand. I don’t like pointing out hot schmotatoes going into the break, because I’m not sure if they’ll still be hot after a four day layoff, but DeJong’s been fire emoji recently.
Tommy Pham – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .299. Not sure where I heard about Pham before. Dot dot dot. Oh, I know! I just told you to pick him up on Friday with my Tommy Pham fantasy (clickbait!).
Lance Lynn – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.61. In one league where I have no choice, I’ve been starting Lynn every time out, and his ERA might actually be leading my team for starters. Oy gevalt.
Rick Porcello – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.75. For one brief moment in July, the reigning Cy Young recaptured his glory– “He didn’t get the win!” You’re right, Murray Chass. Not Cy Young-like at all.
David Price – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.91. After every one of his starts, I open his player page, because I want to be able to report that Price is all fixy-ma-boobbied, but I’m just not getting that from looking at his peripherals.
Mookie Betts – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 16th homer, hitting .272. Mookie Ballgame!
Dustin Pedroia – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, and 2nd one this weekend. Damn, I had him on Thursday, because Pedroia has been hot for almost a week now, but I dropped him to keep Tulowitzki on my team, who also hit two homers this weekend. Essentially, even when wrong, I’m right. *blows on knuckles, wipes knuckles on shirt, realizes had ink on knuckles* Damn, this is my favorite I’m With Stupid t-shirt!
Brad Miller – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and an absolute bomb to deep center. Half of me wants to say to grab Miller. The other half of me wants to wait to see more. The third half of me can’t believe how many halves I have.
Alex Cobb – 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.75. The bats were back on Sunday, but this past Saturday felt like getaway day for the entire league. As if the hitters had already packed their bats for the All-Star break, and were just going through the motions. One baseball player, who wished to remain anonymous, said of the upcoming break, “I need to see my baby’s momma Monday afternoon for lunch and my girlfriend for Monday night dinner, then home by ten o’clock or else my wife will give me crap. Yeah, mang, my wife only puts up with me two-timing her because I respect her enough to get home before she falls asleep.”