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…
— 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).
— 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.
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!