What is up good people! I’m stepping in for the esteemed Daniel Anthony Pants, who is off at the “Resize your Levis” event in northern Saskatchewan. I don’t know if that’s a weight loss clinic or adult briss event or…I mean, DAP, you do you! But of course, Señior DAP takes the day off when there’s a FIFTEEN game slate. What is this, America’s birthday or something? Hah! Got you. Articles of Confederation ain’t the “‘Mericuh” that I got tattooed across my lower back when I was 18. If John Hancock was only around to sign that! ENYWHEY. Whatever you’re doing this weekend, hopefully, you’re meditating on the love for your fellow human. And if you’re shooting off fireworks, for the love of DAP do it away from the city and nowhere near a dry prairie, please. Let’s move on to the one thing that binds us all across geographies and political divides: imaginary baseball team management!
Here’s what I saw on the June 2 slate in MLB:
Shohei Ohtani: I mean, why are people even pitching to him anymore? Is it in his contract that he’ll become Barry Bonds? I’m not suggesting Ohtani does a lot of FroYo for protein, but I’ve seen his biceps, and they’re bigger than my bank account (that’s not saying much). Sho Time slammed 2 homers (3 RBI, eeek) and stole a base. You know what that means: SLAM AND LEGS. Imagine Ohtani if Trout is in the lineup. Whew, gimme a moment, I’m about to get heart palpitations.
Thairo Estrada: Hang on folx, I need to look this guy up. Quad-A player in the Giants organization who came in to play 2B last night and went 3-5 with a SLAMMY. Can you believe that Estrada ended the night with more RBIs than Ohtani? Angels need some help. I just hope that they don’t follow the model of The Help. That might get them in trouble.
Cesar Hernandez: While we’re talking middle infielders, think about the stick master extraordinaire, Cesar Hernandez. Usually he’s an on base machine but this year he’s got a .222 batting average and .302 OBP. Everybody’s crying, right? Not quite! Hernandez has 13 dongs on the year (maybe he should see somebody about that). He’ll surpass his career-high homerun mark (15) sometime in the next two weeks at this rate, and everybody who drafted him super-late in drafts will look forward to the moment when his BABIP gravitates back toward .300. THIS IS SPARTA! Oh yeah, Cesar went to Rome with a homer and a double last night. But back to the discussion of Zack Snyder movies!
LaMonte Wade: No, as a Twins fan I’m not bitter about him hitting a dong in a Giants uniform last night. Wade spent nearly 6 years in the Twins system, and the Twins traded him in the 2021 off-season to the Giants for reliever Shaun Anderson. Anderson has a 9 ERA right now. Wade? He’s just batting leadoff with a .529 SLG, .373 wOBA, and 140 wRC+. What’s all that nonsense mean? He’s ding-a-lang-a-donging. Sure glad the Twins have bullpen depth! If Wade is available in your league, go grab him.
Alec Mills: Does Grey have a term for “Are we doing this again [insert grumpy face]”? There are high schoolers reading this article who can throw faster than Mills. Yet, Mills is that soft contact master who went fastball-to-barrel with the hot-hitting Reds and struck out 9 batters while walking only 1 and allowing 2 runs. Am I living in the upside down? The Cubs are rolling with Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills and bucking the trend of flamethrowers. Hey, if it works, it works. I wouldn’t rush to get Mills in any league, but he’s one of those ideal contrarian DFS pitchers because he’s so volatile.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: Slam and legs! Before anybody runs out to get JBJ, know that he’s got a 30%+ K rate and a .173 batting average to go with his .255 OBP. How are the Brewers a 50 win team with this offense?
Willy Adames: Ah, here’s why the Brewers are slinging the beers: the reinvention of the Willy. I think that phrase probably gets this article sent to your spam filter. Adames racked up another homer on 3 total hits, bringing his post-trade Brewers tenure to nearly a .300 batting average and .540 SLG. He’s got 8 dongs in 39 games, which for you math majors is called “value.”
Adrian Houser: Let’s keep it with the Brewers theme. Who woulda thought that the Pirates would have failed so bad when they met the Brewers? Not me! Adrian Houser went 6.2 IP, giving up 1 run on 4 hits with 5K. Houser is a wonderful best ball pitcher and DFS pitcher and a nightmare (no not the demonic horse) for standard fantasy teams. He had a 1 month stretch where he pitched 20 IP with a 1.71 ERA. Then he went for a 7.30 ERA period. But the positive thing is that he tends to go in trends (3.60 ERA to start the year before blowing up in May), and we might be seeing him in an ace trend right now. Speculative add him in deeper leagues, and don’t be afraid to deploy him in DFS in July.
Jake Fraley: Slam and a side of double legs! 7 HR, 7 SB, and a 20+% walk rate on the year. I mean, we’re still in small sample size territory, but those are Mike Trout-style numbers. I doubt Fraley can continue his torrid pace, but you upside hunters out there should grab him before his value becomes Trout-ian. What’s the worst that can happen? Oh, hi Kyle Lewis, I didn’t see you there… ENYWHEY. If somebody told you in April that the Mariners would have on of the top 10 best records in the league come the All-Star break…that would have been me, because I stacked the Mariners in so many leagues. Too bad it was Taylor Trammel and Kyle Seager though…
Jake Fraley finds the space between 2nd and 1st and gets by the defense to walk off the game for the Mariners 5-4 over the Rangers by scoring Jake Bauers from 3rd pic.twitter.com/m0ZaMZBOMJ
— MLB Walk Offs & Game Winning Plays (@MLBWalk_Offs) July 3, 2021
Alek Manoah: 7IP, 10K, 1 BB, Win. Don’t you wish you could have 2 of him? After struggling out of the gate, Manoah’s been good over his last two starts, and maybe those Blue Jays pitching coaches that saved Robbie Ray are helping Manoah adjust to the bigs. Hang on, are these the same coaches that manage the Jays’ bullpen? Hmmm… Manoah’s worth a speculative add in any leagues where he’s available, but when rookie pitchers are concerned, always remember the good words of our generation’s greatest philosophers, Public Enemy: Don’t believe the hype. Rookies are really volatile, and if you’re running in standard fantasy formats, you’re more likely to get Adrian Houser-style performance than this stat line (points up 100 words ago).
Alek Manoah is gonna have to register his Slider as a deadly weapon. ? OMG pic.twitter.com/cJLUxdFaeP
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 3, 2021
Lance Lynn: I mean, how boring can an ace get? Even his signature move, the crotch grab, is pretty meh. 6IP, 5BB, 9K, 1ER…against Detroit. Blerg. But let’s be fair, I’d get nervous if I was facing tigers. I’ve seen what happened in Tiger King. Maybe that’s why he protects his package every time he gets a K: he’s just thankful he’s not working in a private zoo cuddling tigers.
The first of many White Sox Ks for Lance Lynn. pic.twitter.com/ZbKtPFzfEO
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 4, 2021
Eduardo Rodriguez: 6IP, 1 hit, 0ER, 6K, 2BB. Regression hits pretty fast when it comes, and ERod was one of the poster boys for improvement. Here’s his past 18 IP: 2.50 ERA, 10.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9. People are still “off” him because of his 5.40 ERA, but all the true skill stats are showing that we’ll see more lines like yesterday (<–also the name of my favorite Velvet Underground fan club). If you’re looking for pitching help, ERod could be a nice target to finish out the year. The Red Sox have a great offense and bullpen, and ERod looks as good as anybody to finish out the year strong. He might have an IP cap though, because he missed 2020.
That’s all for today, friends! What did you see and hear and touch and feel yesterday? Maybe don’t tell me about all your senses. Have a happy holiday weekend for those of you in the Western hemisphere, and for our European friends, enjoy July!
Thanks to you and Grey! Because of both of your advice, my pitchers got 58 points (Ray, Hendricks, Flexan, and Sandoval). All of whom I got off waivers.
I also have picked up Velasquez who I fortunately benched today or I would have lost 9 points. I am thinking of waiving him and getting Patrick Corbin or Domingo Germain off waivers. Patrick C is easier to pick up. In order to get Domingo, I have to complete against other managers. I could also just pass on these two and keep Velasquez.
Thanks again to you and Grey!
I think they’re all about the same at this point. Corbin has the higher upside but he’s been struggling to remain consistent throughout the year. I might just hold Velasquez and see what happens with him down the stretch.
Thanks for this insight!
I like the idea of keeping Vince Velasquez, Do you think that I should pick up Corbin (I keep hoping for pickups like Ray and Hendricks). Below is my team. After seeing this team, which one player would you cut to get Corbin? Also who would you also cut since I have Buxton and will have to cut one player when he is activated?
c. JT Realmuto
1. Jose Abreau
2. Wilmer Flores
3. J Turner
ss. Trevor Story
LF Andrew McCutchen
CF. Dylan Carson
RF. Manuel Margot
Ut. Kris Bryant
Bench: Brenden Rodgers
Justin Upton (IL)
Byron Buxton (IL)
Jack Flaherty (IL)
Other pitchers: Darvish, Woodruff, Hendricks, Sandoval, Flexan, and Ray
I really appreciate all your help and insight!
I think you cut Urshla and Tapia, aiming to get Flaherty as well, and then keep Flaherty on IL when Buxton is back in the lineup.
Another disgrunted Alvarado owner.
– Seward has been good (and Seatle isn’t bad) — any chance he’ll replace Graveman?
– But Soria is a closer; so who’s the better option – Soria or Seward?
Discussions around the Razzball hot tub are in favor of Soria right now. Grey’s got him in some important leagues, so, I trust him!
Thoughts on Gavin Smith…. looking for pick ups in a dynasty lg
Hey JB — I’m guessing you mean Pavin Smith? Gavin Smith exists as a high school pitcher, but I don’t think you’re looking that far ahead lol.
Smith is still developing, and he’s been a bit of a worm killer this year, with a launch angle of about 6 degrees. He’ll need to get more fly balls to be a true help to fantasy teams, but he’s only 25 and in his first full year of MLB. We might not expect him to “come around” to being useful for most fantasy leagues until next year or thereafter. Hope that helps!
AuTo correct got me….. G Sheets. My bad
Ah yes, Sheets. Obviously big power opportunity, but he’s so fresh in MLB that projections are basically meaningless right now. We can see the upside of finishing the year with 15 HR or so, but downside is that MLB pitchers figure him out and he gets a 25% K rate. Obviously his current rate is likely unsustainable, but he’s worth a speculative add in most leagues in case he pulls a Cedric Mullins.
Hay EWB, ERod over Tarik?
Akshually, how about erod over any of tarik, d cease, a wood, or gonsolin? Gonsolin seems he will.be more needed now with baueroutage being a deviant with emotional problems….
ERod leads Tarik, Cease, and Wood in my rankings by a margin of about 10%, so I go with him. Skubal/Cease/Wood are all about the same. Gonsolin — although I was big on him in the pre-season — we’re just not seeing the immediate results that managers are hoping for after his shoulder injury. That might change in a few weeks, but for now, he’s only rosterable in deep leagues according to the stats I have. Hope that helps!
Yes it does help! Thank you. Have a good 4th
How down are you on Conforto at this point? I had a choice between him and Castellanos at 48 overall in our draft, and, well, you can tell from my question what rueful choice I made.
Is Conforto even top 75 overall anymore? This is a 12-team, H2H, OPS keeper league where each team can keep up to four players, for context.
Thanks and nice writeup!
I just retooled my personal batter rankings for my ROS outlook — based on BATX, Razzball, and Carlos Marcano’s statcast-heavy Q index — and Conforto is at #95, right next to Ryan Mountcastle. The important parts of that calculation is that Rudy and the Q index have him in the top 50, which means that they’re seeing descriptive production in the types of contact that Conforto is making. He’s in a funk right now because he’s been a worm killer for the past two weeks, with a 0.4 launch angle. His launch angle before that was over 12 degrees, which was producing line drives. I expecat a recovery toward a top 75ish-top 100ish producer based on the available stats. Hopefully that helps!
Current needs are all offensive categories: R, HR, RBI, and OBP. SB’s…..I am hanging around 3rd. OBP I am not too worried about. I pretty much have to punt that category. Keeper league for last 10+ years if that impacts decision. Keep 13. Start 4-OF and IF slot plus 2- UTL in addition to positions.
OF- Meadows, Arozarena, Haniger, Kepler, Laureano, Myers, Jesus, Duran
Pitchers: Scherzer, Woodruff, Gausman, Burnes, Urias, Ryu, Luis Garcia, and stashing Gonsolin(is he the drop?)
RP(SVHLD): T Rogers, DickRod, Barlow, Karinchak, Trivino, Hader, and Hand
My pitching is keeping me in 3rd overall.
I also have Gavin Sheets who is looking pretty nice so far. I have Nico Hoerner coming off of IL tomorrow. Do I drop Sheets to hold Hoerner? Then Bobby Bradley was just dropped and will be available on waivers Monday. Would I then drop either to snag Bradley? These are really my only drop options, I believe. I have Jesus and stashing Duran. I can’t imagine dropping either for any of the 3 above.
Kinda using Sheets spot to roll with the hot hand trying to light a spark. Offense seems to be coming from unlikely sources this year.
The most likely “good” outcome comes from Bobby Bradley there. Sheets can have a high upside but two words will scare you: Akil Baddoo. Rookies are so good in small sample sizes but most of them can’t maintain their crushing for more than a week or so; it usually takes a solid year of AB to get a real good feel on them. Hoerner is kind of a dart throw as well, and he’s not going to get the HR/SB to really be critical to most fantasy teams this year. So, Bradley’s the most likely to continue to get playing time and rack up the HR/R/RBI category. Hope that helps!
Hey Blair, so after picking up alvarado and seeing what he’s made of, I don’t want him anywhere near my roster! Here’s a list of “closers” I could see as a replacement, I appreciate your thoughts.
Looking for saves obviously, but also good era and whip.
Chad Green, Greg Holland, Joakim Soria, Brad Brach, Jace Fry, Jake Diekman, Hector Neris, other sleepers from you, or none of the above- stick with Alvarado.
Thanks and enjoy your holiday weekend!
Hey Stevie — As always, remember SAGNOF! Whoever has the “hot hand” should be your guy. Grey’s actually got Soria in some important leagues, so I put him first. After him, Fry and Holland are the best options based on ratios, but they’ll have less of a shot at saves. Hope that helps!
Thanks for your frankness and information.
I was leaning to starting Adbert Alzolay at Cincinnati despite his minus dollar value. Thoughts?
I live in AZ and therefore have stayed away from getting any Diamondbacks. Is it worth getting Merrill Kelly or am I just chasing points? He is 83 on your pitcher list. I have been bold per your input and picked up Vince Velasquez.
The Reds are crushing this year so it’s wise to stay of Alzolay today. Of course, Mills stopped them cold yesterday, so it’s always about the odds. Just because the Reds didn’t hit yesterday doesn’t mean they won’t crush today. I probably sit Alzolay.
Kelly doesn’t *really* excite me. He’s an OK filler, but I tried to organize my scores such that the 60-70 range is where the “rosterable” pitchers are for 12 team leagues. Kelly’s on the fringe of that, so he’s more a filler or a matchup guy to plug in against the Pirates lol
Hope that helps!
Have a great 4th!
Got a util question
15 team keep 11…obp and slg and batter ks on top of the counting stats
Been rotating Adolis and Swanson in my utility spot…they haven’t been great lately
Only 12 moves left for the year though..about a 15 pt lead over 2nd
WW includes Kepler Didi AHays BBradley Pollock Solak
Swap any of these guys in or hold?
Hey Nightpandas! Yeah, the daily variance in batting is impossible to predict with certainty on batters of Garcia/Swanson level.
Honestly, if you’ve got 12 moves left and 50% of the season to go, I hold for now. Rookies will be coming en masse soon, and pitchers are likely to have an IP cap. Nothing like having a lead through 70% of the season to find out your starters are shut down at the end of August to preserve their arms, right?
Thanks for filling in, EWB! Appreciate it! And the crotch grab is a boring move? I guess when compared to the crotch chop, but I don’t know man…
I prefer the classic hip thrust. As you know, I’m very traditional.