Robert Downey Jr. and Phil Hughes have more in common than you might think.  Both dealt with notoriously weak starts to their careers in The Big Apple.  Hughes in pinstripes had four straight years of a 4+ ERA, and Downey on SNL.  Both had to deal with brace-faced divas, Joe Girardi and Anthony Michael Hall.  One was scouted by Gene Michael, the other Lorne Michaels.  One wanted to impress Pettitte, one wanted to avoid petting Randy Quaid’s pet squirrel.  One had to wait for A-Rod to finish frosting his hair before he could use the bathroom, one made frosting out of cocaine.  But once they were out of New York, the world opened up to each.  Yesterday, Hughes won his 16th game, going 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and lowering his ERA to 3.52.  His K-rate is 8 and his walk rate is 0.7, as he set the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63.  Think about that walk rate for a second.  Okay, the second is up.  He walked 16 guys in 209 2/3 IP.  That’s as terrific as 186 Ks, which is what he had.  His ERA doesn’t look amazing in today’s day and age where everyone has a sub-3 ERA, but Hughes was actually unlucky and had a 3.15 xFIP.  Everything together has me excited about Hughes for 2015 fantasy baseball.  I could see him being relegated to 2nd fiddle status with some other 3rd or 4th fantasy starters, but outperforming his draft spot.  Circling back to AMH, any time a guy like Hughes strikes out as much as Anthony Michael Hall and walks less than Uncle Buck, color me excited.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Trevor Plouffe – Fractured his forearm and is done for the year.  Plouffe goes his career as an arm wrestler!

Danny Santana – 3-for-4, 1 run, hitting .319.  Dannys Antana has 7 homers and 19 steals in only 97 games.  Wrap your bacon around that scallop, stick a toothpick through it and call it delicious!

Ender Inciarte – 1-for-4 and two steals (18, 19).  The hottest schmotato in the Land of a 1000 Schmotatoes?  If I had to Pickett, I’d go Ender.

Clayton Kershaw – 8 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks, lowering his ERA to 1.77.  As with any pitchers who have pitched their last game of the regular season, you can drop Kershaw in redraft leagues and just go off of the Stream-o-Nator for the final starts of the year.  I know it probably feels weird dropping him.  Take a screenshot of your team with him on there, so when you go to have a fantasy team jersey made up with all your guys’ last names, you have it.  Real quick, people will think you have a Gaylord Perry jersey with all the teams he pitched for.

Yasiel Puig – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer.  Seriously, where was this for the last three months?

Chris Sale – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA ends the year at 2.17.  That’s assuming Robin Ventura doesn’t get any bright ideas and throw Sale on Sunday for 120 pitches just to stretch out his arm for the long winter.  “What?  He has two elbows.”  That’s Robin Ventura.

Justin Verlander – 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ending his ERA at 4.54.  This final start should help propel all the people that held him all year from 11th to 10th overall in their standings.  Prepare yourself for a 45 IP scoreless postseason streak by Verlander with incessant Joe Buck mentions of how ‘Verlander looks as good as he’s ever seen him’ and your buddy watching the game with you saying each time, “He must not have seen the selfies with Kate Upton.’

Rajai Davis – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 35th steal, and 2nd in as many games.  After the game, the King of SAGNOF said, “Just try to Thames this beast!”  Then he elbowed Jarrod Dyson to laugh.

J.D. Martinez – 3-for-4, 1 run, hitting .320.  Gonna come down to the final weekend for the race of “Who’s Better Between Miggy and J.D.?”  Right now, they’re tied at 23 homers, but Miggy’s only hitting .312.  Won’t be the first time Miggy’s chasing a J.D.

Mike Trout – 1-for-2, 1 run and his 16th steal.  Left yesterday’s game with a stomach illness.  Might’ve been the fish he ate.  Cannibal!

Howie Kendrick – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs, hitting .292.  The fact that The Sciosciapath isn’t benching any of his regulars, and sticking it to the A’s, feels like a deleted scene from a teen comedy where the geek has beat the bully, then backs up his car over the bully’s pet, mugs his mother and calls the sister fat.  It’s enough already.  You beat the bully, leave the A’s alone!

Jon Lester – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ending with a 2.46 ERA.  To show their appreciation for the fine season he just had, the Yankees bought Lester the state of Kentucky.  If he signs with them in the offseason, they’ll throw in the fried chicken.

Lisalverto Bonilla – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks.  Some will say Lisalverto is merely traveling down a road that Anibal paved for men with girl names, but GLAAD and the work they’ve done for gender-confused names really started the movement.

Luis Sardinas – 1-for-3 and two steals (4, 5).  Hasn’t shown much of anything, but maybe in the final days he wants to show the Rangers that his speed plays.  I’d gamble on him if I were desperate for SAGNOF.

Ryan Rua – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last four games.  As I’ve been saying the last few days, the Rangers are actually playing now.  No idea why, maybe someone guilted them.  That’s how Cougs motivates me.  Either way, I grabbed Rua in one league.

Rougned Odor – 2-for-3 and a slam (9) and legs (4).  Actually, maybe Cougs is guilting the Rangers.  She really is good at it.

Jonathan Villar – 1-for-3 and his 7th homer.  Villar’s another guy I grabbed a few days ago.  He’s hitting around .350 in the last week and has speed to burn.  It takes a village to win, it takes a Villar to get steals.

Yunel Escobar – Done for the season.  He’ll be back next year; no need for Gatorade to produce a 30-second in memoriam commercial.

Jake Odorizzi – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA ends at 4.18.  You know how Hunter Pence has a tattoo that says, Gangly Manbird?  Odorizzi should have one that says, On The Road Shitbird.  Doode’s a flippin’ mess outside of Tampa.  So he feels like he’s back in Tampa, the Rays should have Hooters cater the clubhouse meals in away starts.  Or Outback.  Or TGIF’s.  Or whatever chain he eats at in Tampa.  And it has to be a chain.  There’s nothing else there.

Garin Cecchini – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 1st homer.  Red Sox players gave him the cold shoulder after his homer, not high-fiving him.  So, Cecchini put out a hit on all their families.

Xander Bogaerts – 2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs.  Since he didn’t play on Tuesday, and I didn’t know if he would play the rest of the year…Oh, we know where this is going.  I dropped him.  Dah!  I want him back!

Bryce Brentz – 2-for-5, 2 runs.  If this baseball thing doesn’t work out, Brentz has the name for a luxury rent-a-car operation.

Russell Martin – Left yesterday’s game with hamstring tightness.  With the Pirates in the playoffs already (okay, that’s weird), Martin might sit until the end of days.  Different team, but maybe available:  a little birdie told me Evan Gattis should return today.  Little Birdie said, “Chirp, chirp.”  What, you don’t speak little birdie?

Julio Teheran – 5 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ending the year with a 2.89 ERA.  I was floored when I saw he gave up two runs and got a win.  Braves, you are too kind!  Oh, wait, Teheran drove in two runs himself.  Yeah, that explains how he locked down the win.  I’ve said plenty of times how I nailed Teheran’s projections and rankings in the preseason, so I want belabor it.  I’ll save it for my October recaps!

Justin Upton – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (28) and legs (8).  Rudy and I were just on the phone yesterday talking — we talk, y’all! — about how Upton is no longer a stealing threat.  He used to steal 20 bases on the reg, now he’s lucky to get 8.  Solid year, but not what he once was, and that’s only at 27 years old.

Chris Johnson – Left yesterday’s game with a lower back strain.  You’d think Johnson would have a lower front strain.

Jake Arrieta – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA ending at 2.53.  As previously mentioned, I’m going to Colombia in November for a week.  While there, I plan on doing a handful of coke and spreading the gospel of Arrieta to anyone that will listen to my broken Spanish.  If I could mule Arrieta there in my anal cavity, so he could tell them himself, I would.

Mark Buehrle – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks.  The good news is if there ever was supposed to be an apocalypse, Buehrle having a 3.39 ERA through a whole season is a pretty good sign of it.  Yet, here we are.  Unless the Mayans owned Buehrle in their league, and are just waiting to collect league winnings before blowing up this little marble.  Crap.

Aaron Sanchez – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 3rd save.  I’m guessing John Gibbons went with Sanchez for the save because he forgot he went back to Janssen after saying he would go to Sanchez.  Hard to keep all this straight when you’re running a major league club.  Gibbons needs a Craigslist intern!

Taijuan Walker – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks.  Did Taijuan just neg me all season to turn in one final gem so I’d be all over his jock again next year?  He did, didn’t he?  Dammit!

Kyle Kendrick – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks vs. Brad Hand (7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks).  Exhibit A why I like to stream at the end of the season.  Hitters either pull a Koufax and take all the September Jewish holidays off, or guys like Justin Bour are hitting cleanup.  Only reason Bour’s even hitting cleanup is because Giancarlo is out and the Marlins are Bour’ing some out for the brother who ain’t here.

Billy Hamilton – Left the game with a mild concussion.  Oh, just one of those!  Have Nia Vardalos spray some Windex on his head and he’ll be good as new.  So, that sounds like the end of Billy Hamilton’s season.  This should mean an uptick of Chris Heisey for the final days of the season, but more Chris Heisey really only excites Brooke Shields.

Kyle Lohse – 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 6 Ks, ending the year with a 3.54 ERA.  Hitters seriously stopped coming to games last Sunday.

Jean Segura – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs.  Then there’s hitters who stopped coming to games in April and re-emerged in the last week.  The worst Segura can do right now is have an insane final weekend.  Don’t alert people.  I will remember you next year.  You have my word.

Tommy Medica – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and a slam (9) and legs (6).  Does nine homers lead the Padres?  No.  You had to think about it though, didn’t you?  If the Padres moved their fences in 75 feet all around, I’m still not sure if anyone would hit 25 homers besides Gyorko.  I’m being serious.

Charlie Blackmon – 1-for-4 and his 19th homer.  Blackmon had his family in attendance at Petco yesterday, which resulted in the most cheers in San Diego for a Blackmon since Tony Gwynn retired.

Jason Vargas – 4 IP, 4 ER vs. Trevor Bauer (4 1/3 IP, 4 ER).  I’ll give you a visualization of yesterday’s matchup.  Vargas burped, then Bauer threw that burp 300 feet.

Yan Gomes – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 21st homer.  Yesterday, the Indians actually rested Everyday Yan Gomes.  From catching.  He still DH’d.  You didn’t think they’d actually let him rest a full game, did you?  One day next year, Gomes is going to squat down and like a Pez dispenser his knee is going to open up and spit out cartilage.

Michael Brantley – 3-for-4, 1 run, hitting .329.  Who told you to draft Brantley?  Doesn’t rhyme with Snafu Larry.  It isn’t a world of roto.  It’s the Fantasy Master Lothario.

Billy Butler – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs.  Should sleep well tonight.  Anything less than 3 ribbies and he’s up at 2 AM, snacking.

Shane Greene – 3 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.78.  Fuggedaboutit!  That’s a fickin’ disgusting display on Captain Jetes’s next-to-last home game!  Oh, wait, maybe Greene pitched poorly so not to upstage Jetes, who went 0-for-4.  Hmm, in that case, ya done good, kid!

Mark Teixeira – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 22nd homer, hitting .219 on the year.  In the Noo Yawk accent, his name sounds like Mawkish-Share-A.  Dictionary.com defines mawkish as sentimental in a feeble or sickly way.  The only ones that still care about Te(i)x do so for sentimental reasons from what he did in other years, and he’s been feeble and/or sickly for most of his past two years.  Coincidence?  No, I don’t think so.

Chase Headley – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 6th homer on the Yanks and 13th overall, as he hit third in the lineup yesterday.  The only teams Headley’s a number three hitter?  The Padres or the Yankees.  Ouch.  Okay, maybe the Marlins, Rangers, Rays, Astros and Reds, but I was making a point.  A better point until I added those other names, granted.

Stephen Drew – 1-for-2 and his 7th homer, hitting .165 on the year.  He should be doing a victory lap with Jeter too, because he should not be in the league again after 2014.

Bud Norris – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.65, and ended the year with 15 wins.  Is he pitching in the playoffs for the O’s?  The Orioles should actually ask if they can use a different team’s staff for the playoffs.  Chris Tillman matching up with Kershaw?  Um, yeah, okay.  That’s gonna work out great.  On an unrelated note, my iPhone is anti-Semitic.  It autocorrected Rosh Hashanah to Rosh HAHAHAHAHA.  What the eff, Siri?

Nelson Cruz – 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI.  “I want to see if you can stretch yourself a little further.”  That’s Boras talking to Nelson Cruz’s wallet.

 
  1. O'Skimpy says:
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    Honorable mention to Andrew McClutchen for his 2nd HR in three days.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You got it

  2. SteveUK says:
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    There’s some support in my family for the idea that royce! and I *could* be brothers. However he has a beard that I could never hope to emulate.

    *Sob* I miss you guys *sob*

    • royce! says:
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      @SteveUK: I always wanted a brother! Well, I have one but his beer and baseball knowledge is basically nonexistent, so let’s pretend that he doesn’t exist, because one might as well not if one doesn’t like beer or baseball….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @SteveUK: Wait, I could really use a brother, royce! has one!

      • SteveUK says:
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        @royce!: @Grey: Given you guys’ respective NZ connections, we’re practically related as it is.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          BTW, wore my shirt yesterday… Thanks again!

  3. Tarman Got Him says:
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    In my big money league where I missed the 1st 7 picks. I assembled a team where I am in the finals H2H 12 teams up 9-0-1!! 4 days left.

    BUT I made a boo boo

    I’m the guy who streamed CJ and didn’t listen to you, but between starts from Arrieta, Lohse, owning 4 solid closers, Cole, among other, my era shot to almost below 2.

    Problem.

    I’m up about .150 in ABG, 2 HR’s, 6 RBI and 1 run along with 2 SB.

    I have 5 adds left, and realized after midnight I have 4 position players (I am sure Mesoraco will sit) to my opponents 10 including 3 in a double header.

    Am I screwed? Haha

    I’m actually in 2 other finals, but this one means the most.

    Thought is share since you guys always help me to perfection.

    1 actual question:
    Would you stream

    Niese @ HOU
    Gallardo @ CIN
    Quintana @ KC
    Simon @ PIT

    Thank you

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d stream all of them… Simon first

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey: @Grey: Simon v. PIT (in CIN)….hitter’s park, not the same as pitching in PIT.

  4. JeF With 1 F says:
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    FACT OF THE DAY:
    A dog’s average body temperature is 101 degrees fahrenheit.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: Whereas a humans is?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: Stop sticking things in dog’s butts, JeF. Please…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: maybe thats his thing. Be more sensitive sky….shit one night with steveLA and I’m being mindful. Dah!

        • JeF With 1 F says:
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          @Sky: @J-FOH: Im dedicated to these facts and willing to do what it takes to make sure they are correct, right now im working with Grey to prove that 98.6 is the correct Temp for humans. *puts on gloves and takes vaseline from Greys glove compartment*…..*Wonders why its in his glove compartment*

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I bought gloves that were two sizes too small and I need help getting them on

            • JeF With 1 F says:
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              @Grey: Gloves have more then one finger and trojan doesnt make them…you bought the wrong stuff man!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’m hung like a cow!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          You’ve changed, Jake Full of Hesitancy

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            HA

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            That is so his name now

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              I’m sure he’ll enjoy it.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                He’ll need to think about it for a bit and might not know if he likes it at first

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  I’m picturing him sitting down at his desktop reading it, then standing up and nervously pacing his office, rubbing his thumb against the spot right below his lower lip. Then sitting back down and reading it again only to get back up and do the same thing.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    You don’t think he questions his baby’s mama on it, and she’s like, “Well, duh, you won’t even commit to marrying me!”

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      JFOH: I’m not sure if I should wear pants today. I’ll just go to work and think on it before I make a hasty decision.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      “There’s something freeing about not deciding.” After someone gives him a dirty look for getting one of everything at El Pollo Loco.

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: @Grey: Fuck you, Fuck you, Fuck all of you, Nobody is cool….I’m out

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha… You can’t be definitive now!

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Are you sure you’re this angry?

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: @Grey: I hate you like I hate ESPN and i hate Grey like I hate Bochy

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Bochy, that’s right… I was wondering why I couldn’t see the field the other night…

                    • J-FOH

                      J-FOH says:
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                      @Grey: I did and will again…because we are still friends, unlike SKY, who is not my friend any more.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Sky who? See what I did there?!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Oh, and thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Took a lot of dog anal thermometers to figure that one out, and we appreciate the effort!

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @Grey: No thermometers necessary

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You can tell temperature by your finger? That’s awesome!

          • JeF With 1 F says:
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            @Grey: nope only with my tounge

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              It’s so much grosser when tongue is spelled that way

              • JeF With 1 F says:
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                @Grey: Ha oops

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  It was like a human lounge chair in your mouth…

                  • JeF With 1 F says:
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                    @Grey: HA HA…someone just walked in my office as i was laughing at this and looked at me like i was crazy

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, nice

  5. One Man Crusade says:
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    Thank you sir for the great write ups. I drafted Brantley and Dickerson late in the draft and they ended up being studs.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice! No problem

  6. harry says:
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    Hey Grey, in the championship round this week and its pretty close, buddy just picked up a bunch of pitchers leaving him 7 games left for the week, to my 4 (though currently ahead on most of the cats, though SO not by as much)

    I have 2 moves left that I am looking to use to pad the pitching (or maybe use one for Ender.. not sure yet) Going to drop Scherzer for 1, and will have to pick between Arcia and Marisnick for the next. Who would you drop between those 2?

    Pitchers that are available are:
    Vogelsong (SD)
    Hutchinson (@Bal) <- this one scares me, but SON likes it
    Worley (@Cin)
    Porcello (Min)
    Duffy (@CWS)
    Pineda (@Bos)

    Which 2 would you take here? (and between the two, who would you be most comfortable with?)
    would the same 2 be your choices with a slight bias to SOs?

    Thanks for all the help! Would not have been in the championship week without it!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem… Vogelsong, Pineda… Lose Arcia

  7. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Am I a bad person for wishing that Arieta laid an egg in his final start so people would more easily forget about him next year and I’d then be able to nab him stupidly late like I did with Kluber this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Ha, nope, I wouldn’t have minded the same… A lot of people still won’t trust him

  8. papasmurf says:
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    Based on his moves, I suspect the 4th place team is playing his team like it’s a razzball league to try to drop down to 5th place to get a higher draft pick and an extra keeper spot for next year. He’s been benching his regs and starting scrubs from the WW.

    But the funny thing is, he benched King Felix and Odorizzi and started Kyle Gibson, Ranaudo, and Tajuan Walker… The good pitchers bombed and the scrubs dominated hahaha.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @papasmurf: haha pretty funny. But change your rules in the offseason to have the order of picks be based on this, works far better:

      4,5,6,7,8,9,10,3,2,1

      No flunking ever happens.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Swfcdan:wouldn’t that version make the 3rd team try to get 4th?