True story: I was in hour 13 of my sweat lodge escape, preparing for my naked vision quest into the wilds of Minnesota where I would sacrifice my blood and body to the early spring mosquitoes in return for fantasy baseball wisdom when Donkey Teeth suddenly appeared before me. Shimmering and translucent, the visage of Donkey Teeth spoke to me: “Dan Pants has been hired to fit Robby Ray for new, tighter pants.” I knew exactly what this meant: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS! I left the sweat lodge immediately, leaving my clothes and wallet behind, catching a ride with a friendly truck driver to the nearest McDonald’s where I could find some WiFi and do the Friday update. Without further apple pie, here are the highlights from Friday in fantasy baseball land:
Jacob deGrom: Did you know that in the original Basque region, where deGrom’s unique unicorn body was born, his name means, “Jake from State Farm?” I can’t believe State Farm came from the mountainous region in-between Spain and France! DeGrom K’d 15 Nationals, including K’ing every member of the starting nine at least once. With MLB on pace for 1 no-hitter per week right now, deGrom came close, landing a 9-inning shut out with 2 hits and no walks. He also had to knock in his own run while going 2-for-4. He’s two-way, like the streets around my house.
Jeff McNeil: 1 for 3 with a run, batting .174 on the season. .140 BABIP with career-low K rates, career-high barrel rates and acceptable hard-hit rates. He’ll come around like your neighbor who keeps asking you to mow his lawn.
Brandon Nimmo: 3-for-5, 2R, 4RBI, 1HR. Bizarro McNeil: Nimmo has outrageous BABIP and AVG, with an ISO below .100 and a low barrel rate. Nimmo’s a fine hitter but he’s playing above his fantasy pay grade right now. If you put Nimmo and McNeil together, they neutralize and create Breff McImmo, the famous Welsh crooner that once toured with Damien Rice.
Brett Anderson: “Mr. Anderson,” says Agent Smith, rain pouring down his face and glasses and into his cybernetic skeleton, “It looks like your knee is busted.” [30 minute fight scene ensues]. He made it one out and gave up trés rons before departing with right knee soreness. That’s the same way I got out of a math test I didn’t study for in grade school.
Josh Lindblom: He wanted his shot at the rotation, right? Woof. Lindblom came in relief of Anderson and, well, maybe Craig Counsell wanted to teach him a lesson or something? Guy ends up embarrassing himself over 80 pitches for 8 ER, 3 dingers, and enough fire emoji on his statcast page that the graphic container could barely fit them all. Lindblom could get another shot at the rotation after this debacle if Anderson misses significant time because there’s really not any other options on the Brewers roster. Drew Rasmussen came in relief of Lindblom, and he hasn’t started since 2019. But, Freddy Peralta also hadn’t really started since 2019. [thinking face emoji] Drew Rasmussen has a K-BB% near 20%, SIERA of sub-4.00 over the last two years, CSW% around 30%…color me intrigued. ENYWHEY. That’s a lot of what-ifs. Takeaway is Lind-bombed and he was sacrificed to teach the rotation a lesson.
Nico Hoerner: Gotta watch the spell check on that guy. 3-for-5 (my favorite option at Burger King, bee-tee-dubs) with double doubles. Hoerner is pretty good at [checks stats] hitting singles. If you’re in a league that values Ichiro, go grab Hoerner.
J.A. Happ: 7.1 IP, 1H, 3K. Had a no-hitter going with only 3 strikeouts, which means the Twins defense was doing a lot of work. Also not every Pirate is great at getting booty. Sometimes they’re more interested in digging in the dirt.
J.T. Brubaker: Saddled with the loss despite tossing 7 IP with 5K and 2ER. Brubaker isn’t a thrill ride of a pitcher but he’ll be a fine middle-of-the-rotation option and matchup artist. Also, he’s a two-way player: a brewer and a baker. Check his candlestick-making ability tho.
Fernando Tatis Jr.: I’m watching the Padres and Dodgers right now and they’re telling me about the one-in-a-bajillion chance that Little Tatis hit 2 home runs on the anniversary of his papa hitting two grand slams in the same inning. If I was to replicate my dad’s biggest achievement, I’d be eating 7 burgers right now. And all I had for dinner was pasta.
Rafael Dolis: Gets his first save of the year and every fantasy manager who spent $300 FAAB’ing him breathes a sigh of relief. But we’re a couple blown starts away from the Robbie Ray closer project (sponsored by HGTV).
Steven Matz: I’m the pitcher guy and I’ll admit that I’m kind of embarrassed how low I ranked Matz. But, at least I had him on my rankings, unlike other rankers. If I asked you to just look at K-BB%, you’d be really excited about him. Then you’d see how batters hit him and you’d understand how he ended up with a 9+ ERA last year. ENYWHEY. 5IP, 7K, 3ER. Basically mediocre Matz, and I’m not talking about my failed ETSY store for welcome mats.
Randy Arozarena: 2-for-4 with 3RBI and a run caused by a dong. Up to .292 average on the year, but with a 30%+ K rate. There’s gonna be learning curves with Randy, but he’s on track for a 20/10 year. He’s actually avoided Ks really well throughout his career, so if we see some better plate discipline, fantasy managers could get October value in May.
Yermin Mercedes: 4-for-4, 3RBI and a run caused by a dong. He’s batting .429 on the year with ESPN projecting him for 34 home runs and 128 RBI. I know how we all feel about ESPN, but for the sake of my RazzSlam team, I would like to say I believe those projections completely.
Adolis Garcia: Double dongs and 4 RBIs. I’m not going to lie, his numbers look very close to Randy Arozarena this year, except Garcia has a long history of a high K-rate where Randy doesn’t. So…maybe October value just for May?
Dylan Cease: Just stop it already. 3IP, 2 ER, 5K and 3BB. His numbers look very close to Robbie Ray right now. That’s not good, bee-tee-dubs. It’s a threat, but minor. Just hope Cease doesn’t get FUGAZI.
Dane Dunning: 2.2IP, 5ER. Warned you last week that his strong start was more illusion than reality. Why isn’t there a ton of “Stunning Dunning” merch right now? Probably ’cause we’re laughing at him, not with him.
Liam Hendriks: 1.2 IP, 5K, 1 ER, Save. Like the fourth drink on a Friday night, the stat line is a little bit of good with a little bit of bite. I mean, you wanted a 5.00 ERA to go with your 27 K/9, right?
Huascar Ynoa: 6IP, 5K, 2ER, 2H. 1BB. Told ‘ya not to worry about his previous start. Ynoa it’s time to pick him up if you haven’t already.
Ozzie Albies: 2-for-4 with a double and a dong. He’s still off to a slow start, but over his last 30 AB, he’s got a .474 SLG and .411 wOBA. Al-B-Sure to stay the course.
Carson Kelly: Dinger. So, he’s got a .537 OBP and a .730 SLG, and the D-Backs are still batting him 7th. The Twins don’t care about batting catchers first, why should the D-Backs? Are they trying to hide him? Some guy named Wyatt Mathisen batted third tonight. That’s like putting me in the lineup. #FreeCK.
Andrew Heaney: 6.1IP, 10K, 1ER, 2H. And you all thought I was bonkers for prioritizing drafting him. Heaney is heating up!
Raisel Iglesias: And this is why starters are less valuable, because 3 pitchers after Heaney left the game, Iglesias blows the save. Second blown save of the year and we’re 10% of the way through the season already. Puts him on pace for 20 blown saves. Something, something, SAGNOF.
Shohei Ohtani: Double and stole second. We need a term for a guy who gets to second multiple ways. Master Lothario? Does that work? Shohei Ohtani is the Fantasy Master Lothario. I mentioned this before in my pre-season articles, but I’m absolutely fine with Ohtani just becoming a hitter or possibly a high-leverage reliever. Guy could literally be a 30/30 player and instead we’re watching him walk nearly as many batters as he strikes out. Just be done with the pitching novelty schtick and let the dude crush baseballs.
Come one, come all, join me down in the comments for the most Saturday morning fun you’ve had since cartoons in the ’90s!