Was thinking how much I like Harrison Bader and how he feels tailor-made for a 2020 sleeper post, then I had a deep thought. No, not my deep thought about oat milk, but if you wanna hear that one, it goes like this. The dairy industry invented oat milk because when you order, “Coffee with oat milk,” you invariably get a coffee without milk, and it makes you appreciate dairy much more. I’m onto you, industrial dairy complex! But my deep thought about fantasy baseball sleepers was: If every hitter is great, doesn’t it make more sense to only look at pitchers who are sleepers? Anyone can tell you so-and-so hitter is a sleeper, because they will likely hit 30+ homers, but every hitter hits 30+ homers, so bleh! More discussion for the offseason, I guess. Yesterday, Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 with two homers (9, 10) as he hits .213. He’ll be 26 years old in 2020, and way past the point when he should have an everyday job, and we care because he has 20/15/.250 potential. Reminds me a bit of all the Bradley Zimmer/Clint Frazier sleeper posts over the years, and now I want nothing to do with him. Obviously, with three homers in last four games, he’s hot, but, as the eight-hole hitter, I’m once again wondering about pitcher sleepers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Michael Wacha – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 4.76. Not easy to have a worse FIP than that ERA, but Wacha’s pulling off the difficult task. Streamonator thinks his next start is death. By the way, the best candies to give out at a funeral are Necro wafers. Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.
Paul DeJong – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 27th homer, hitting .241. Colonel Mustard in the carpool lane with a traffic cone!
Tommy Edman – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting .282. People keep asking if they should pick up Edman or Wong and I throw my hands up. I don’t know, tee bee aitch. Wong’s been hitting higher in the order of late, so that has me slightly in Wong’s camp, which means I’m sitting like Al Bundy with my hands in my pants.
Jordan Lyles – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.25. If anyone has a direct line to Pirates’ pitching coach, Ray Searage, please, for me, just tell him Pirates pitchers’ ERA is 8.87 vs. ex-Pirates pitchers’ ERA 1.24. Oh, and film it. I’d like to see him slack-jawed.
Ryan Braun – 1-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .276. His grand slam came in the middle of a Cardinals’ bullpen meltdown because Carlos Martinez had the flu. Ergo, therefore, henceforth, Carlos Martinez has the flu and Braun’s homer flew.
Kyle Tucker – 1-for-6, 2 RBIs a slam (2) and legs (4), and he went 4-for-4 with two steals on Saturday and leading off and *started to lose breath* And…and…and…I grabbed him in my shallowest league. *turns to towards the heavens* Please let him play every day. *noticing something *Hey, there’s a water stain on my ceiling in the shape of Italy’s boot. Very cool!
Josh Reddick – 5-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer. “You’d think a Tucker would get rid of a Reddick,” says Jame Gumb wryly.
Yuli Gurriel – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 28th homer, hitting .303. Yawning, he’s so July and August.
Freddie Freeman – 1-for-2. Might be sidelined a bit in the final two weeks, due to elbow pain. Freeman said he was able to wash his hair without pain on Saturday, which is how he determines his elbow pain. Think someone might need to explain to Freeman what conditioning means.
Austin Voth – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.58. Overheard from a H2H owner, “I got a tattoo reading, ‘I don’t sweat your team because you’re starting Austin Voth.'” Then, later on Saturday night, “Know any good tattoo removers?”
Max Fried – 2 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.25. Regression Fairies pulled out their pitcher-be-good paddy whacker and I am bent over their knee.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.35. Possible Cy Young winner, ERA at two freakin’ three-five and I benched him for this start. Somehow I took a no-brainer, which should be my speciality, and overthought it.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Activated from the IL, but didn’t play Sunday. He was keeping pace with his father, Yuli, until he was sidelined by a strained quadriceps. Now? Meh, if he’s hitting, but he’s not an auto-start.
Randal Grichuk – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 27th and 28th homer, three homers in three games and hitting near-.300 in the last week. Hot schmotato alert!
Aaron Judge – 1-for-3 and his 23rd homer. If he gets to 30 homers in roughly 105 games, should there be a 2020 discount on Judge from his 2019 price? I’m not sure, but there will. Home runs are everywhere with the ball sponsored by Capri Sun, which means you have to get 40+ homers from your 3rd rounder next year. Enter: Judge.
Jose Quintana – 2 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.37. Incredible. The Pirates give up on average 25 runs a game vs. the Cubs, and all Quintana had to do was go 5 IP, 4 ER, but instead he kicked my fantasy team’s ass.
Kris Bryant – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 30th and 31st homer. Feel like I’m the only one doing this, but Bryant is a 27-homer guy, so the ball is 8% juicey (31-27/27). I even have an equation!
Nicholas Castellanos – 3-for-5, 3 runs, with two doubles, and now has 54 doubles, and only one with a real shot at 60. “Not if I have a say,” The Ghost of Earl Webb.
Kyle Schwarber – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 36th homer. Has a 13.6 HR/AB, which puts him around 12th overall with Muncy, Franmil, Arenado, Renfroe and Pederson. (Trout is #1 with 10.4.)
Anthony Rizzo – Sprained his ankle, and headed for an MRI. We’re not sure how long Rizzo will be out yet. That’s the royal we because I’m wearing a Burger King crown.
Mike Clevinger – 8 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.68. Okay, I wanna draft him in 2020. I was scared — hesitant? cautious? C’mon, thesaurus, you Synonym Toast Crunch of books! — nervous! Yes, I was nervous about him, due to his back pain earlier this year, but, man, he is gorgeous when he’s healthy. He’s basically doing what you thought Snydergaard would do.
Nick Wittgren – 1 1/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 2.78 as he worked the 6th and 7th innings. Oliver Perez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.49) got his 1st save, but a third-of-an-inning save is a clear sign the Indians don’t have a closer. I’m a crazy motherf**ker that eats ice cubes and I’m straight outta Cleveland’s bullpen shituation.
Roberto Perez – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 23rd homer. The 2020 catcher projections for home runs are gonna be hilarious. Catchers went from one guy projected to hit 20 homers to everyone except Tony Wolters, and Wolters knows 2020.
Eddie Rosario – 3-for-5, and his 30th and 31st homer, hitting .275. Eddie Rosario, “Hello, Michael Conforto–” Quietly, Michael Conforto, “Shh, people are trying to study.” Talking in hushed tones, “I was told to find you, because this is where the quietest 30-home run hitters are.” “That’s right. Grab a caterpillar book and find a table in the back of the library.”
Mike Trout – Will have surgery on his foot and miss the rest of the season. Will be nice to see more at-bats from *looks up Angels depth chart* Michael Hermosillo. *puts on Who Let The Dogs Out, puts on dog costume, enters bobcat cage*
Austin Meadows – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 31st homer, hitting .289. Without knowing the ball was juiced and everyone was going to hit home runs, where would you have drafted Meadows in the preseason if you knew he was going to hit 30+ homers with a .290 average? Top 30?
Ryan Yarbrough – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.78. Let’s check in on Early Afternoon Grey, “No Trout, dis start is easy, yo!”
Ryan McMahon – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 21st and 22nd homer, hitting .257. Saturday Grey, “Well, McMahon’s done nothing in his home stand so I can drop him a day early.” Early Afternoon and Saturday Grey can eat a D.
Christian Vazquez – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer, hitting .273. Somewhere, Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Piazza are complaining that catchers are hitting home runs without earning it the old-fashioned way, by doing steroids.
Rhys Hoskins – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 28th homer, hitting .239. It’s to the point where players who are actively having terrible seasons are going to hit 30 homers.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.64. Ed-Rod, you don’t have to try so hard for me to write a sleeper post for you a third year in a row.
Mike Fiers – 1 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.09, which is terrible, of course, and has hit a wall at the worst possible time, having three straight miserable starts. Of course, all of that can be forgiven for the amazing work of art on his face.
— Razzball (@Razzball) September 15, 2019
Marcus Semien – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 30th homer, hitting .281. Now has 16 HRs and a .299 average in the 2nd half. Besides some drawbacks about getting canceled and #MeToo, it’s been fun owning Semien.
Seth Brown – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .385. If you can platoon him out vs. lefties, he’s been one of the hottest hot schmotatoes in Schmotatoland.
Sean Manaea – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.50. Crap, I’m gonna have to draft him in the top 30 starters, aren’t I?
Johnny Cueto – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 0.00. Oh my God, I’m gonna own Manaea and Cueto on all my 2020 teams. *insert King Tommen falling out a window*
Eugenio Suarez – 2-for-3, and his 46th and 47th homer. Suarez is going to hit 50 homers and I’m a skull emoji vaping a skull-shaped vape pen while talking about popcorn lung on NPR.
Trevor Bauer – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.41. His starts are the most stressful thing I’ve ever lived through and, and I say that as someone who once sneezed on the subway with no hands free and a Twix in my mouth.
Anthony DeSclafani – 7 IP, 1 hit, zero walks, 1 ER, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.93. His 2nd half numbers: 3.52 ERA, .195 BAA and 65 Ks. Now for perhaps the nicest number of all; this was in 69 IP.
Felix Hernandez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 6.31 vs. Dylan Cease – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 6.18. This matchup tastefully describes the White Sox facing the Mariners in September, F-Her with a D. Cease.