“He who has ears, let him hear.” We tried to tell you in the preseason, but anyone who wasn’t fully convinced before last night should now be straight evangelical for Cristian Javier after he dismantled the Los Angeles Angels. On the back of seven no-hit innings with 13 punch-outs against the Yankees last week, Javier went straight biblical on the Angels, allowing just a Shohei Ohtani solo bomb en route to another seven innings with just one hit allowed plus 14 strikeouts. All of a sudden, Javier now finds himself third among all pitchers with at least 70 innings pitched with a 12.27 K/9 rate and he is now a top-20 pitcher in WAR for the season. And to think, the Houston Astros thought it would be a better idea for their team to start the season with Jake Odorizzi in the rotation and give Javier just eight innings over the first three weeks of the season. I don’t know if he Michael-Jordan-style took that personally, but since then he has gone all Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen on the league’s ass. And his two starts before the All-Star break? Next will be the Kansas City Royals followed by another matchup against these hapless Angels. Both teams had a strikeout rate over 21% in June and the Angels led the league in strikeouts in that month before even factoring in the 14 times they got shown the bench by Javier. Buckle up for the second half of this season, because Cristian Javier is going to keep the miracles coming…
Here’s what else caught my eye in fantasy baseball on Friday night:
Jake Meyers – Went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI plus his first homer of the season. This guy is relevant, folks. He is playing every day and is now hitting .280 since his return from injury.
Shohei Ohtani – He did send Jaiver to the moon in the first at-bat of the game, accounting for one of the Angels’ two hits on the night. Seriously, enjoy the greatness. We may never see anything like it again.
Jarren Duran – You don’t need a vaccine to play in Wrigley Field so Duran decided to slug his first home run of the season. Come for the anti-vax stance, stay for the power-speed combo batting at the top of the Red Sox lineup these days.
Jose Berrios – 5 IP, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks, and a win. ERA is now 5.72. I mean, technically that’s an improvement over his most recent starts. Jordan Lyles is almost a run better than him in ERA if that tells you how his season is going.
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. – 3-for-3 with three runs, an RBI, and a walk. Fantastic start to July after slashing .355/.394/.505 in June. Buy, buy, buy!!!
Cavan Biggio – Did his daddy proud with another two hits and two walks against the Crimson Hose. This guy is getting on base at a .385 clip this season.
Wander Franco – 1-for-5 with a single on Friday. Now just 4-for-22 with no homers and no steals since his return from injury. Not to worry. Load up on the WD-40 because all this is ruuuuuuust.
Darick Hall – 1-for-4 with another bomb because of course he did. That’s three homers in his first three MLB games, and he is batting cleanup for the Phils. Hope you still have $900 of FAAB left for this weekend!
Brad Hand – Notched his third save of the season. This is pure Hand of God staff that Brad “Brotato” Hand has multiple saves and a 2.22 ERA in the Year of Our Lord 2022. If you’re looking for save speculation, Hand in your FAAB bid here.
Josiah Gray – 5.2 IP, 12 baserunners, 6 ER, 6 Ks against the Marlins. Well, that was a huge turd in the punch bowl after five straight sublime outings. He gave up three earned runs the whole month of June.
Max Fried – 7 IP, 5 baserunners, 1 ER, 4 Ks, 1 Win. Don’t let the final tally fool you, this was a pitchers’ duel until the seventh inning and Fried groundballed the Reds to death in seven masterful frames.
Tommy Pham – 3-for-4 with an RBI. Pham: three hits. Rest of the reds: three hits. And on and on the wheel of ineptitude turns for Cincinnati.
Corbin Burnes – 6 IP, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, 1 ER, 1 Win. Not his most dominant performance as he allowed four walks. But he could have given up 16 runs and still gotten the win in this 19-2 walloping the Milwaukee Brewers put on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gets the Cubs and Pirates again before the All-Star break.
Rowdy Tellez – Rowdy Roddy was 2-for-5 with a homer, five RBI, and two runs. Tellez is second in the league in slugging percentage over the last 14 days.
Willy Adames – 2-for-6, 3 runs, 4 RBI, 1 HR. Desperately needed a game like this to break a prolonged slump.
Omar Narvaez – 0-for-4 with a walk. Dude. In a game your team scored 19 runs?
Vinnie Pasquantino – 1-for-4 with his first MLB HR. Attaboy, Vinnie! You made all the goodfellas proud. You’re a made man. Gabagool.
Brad Keller – 6 IP, 7 baserunners, 0 ER, 5 Ks. Don’t fall for it. 5 of his last 8 starts he gave up 4+ runs. This is what happens when you go up against a Detroit Tigers team that has 84-year-old Miguel Cabrera as their best hitter.
David Peterson – 6 IP, 5 baserunners, 3 ER, 10Ks. Well hello, David Peterson. Forced into a spot start when Chris Bassitt went on the COVID-IL, he gave up just a couple solo shots. That’s three straight starts with three runs or less and at least 7 strikeouts. Might be forced to bullpen work when the three Mets’ horses are healthy, but let’s be realistic. When is the last time the Mets had all their pitchers healthy? The 1986 World Series?
Marcus Semien – 2-for-4, 2 Runs, 1 HR. The one bright spot for the Texas Rangers on Friday, Semien has been a huge freaking burning sun over the last 30 days. He is 10th in WAR with eight bombs and six steals in that span.
Francisco Lindor – 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SB. Yeah, Lindor, we are going to need you to do a little bit more of that base stealing, capeesh? That’s your first steal since June sixth.
Merrill Kelly – 7 IP, 6 baserunners, 1 ER, 3 Ks, 1 Win in Coors Field. Yeah, I benched him everywhere I had him. You can stop reading now, I understand. Induced 12 groundballs from the Rockies which is the scientifically approved formula for how to win in Colorado.
Alek Thomas – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 1 HR. Antonio Senzatela couldn’t make it past two innings, so the Diamondbacks got a bullpen game from the Rockies. That’s basically the fantasy baseball equivalent of nirvana.
Charlie Blackmon – 1-for-4, 1 HR. Don’t look now, but Charlie Blackmon is on pace for 30 home runs. At 36 years old, whatever it cost to acquire him in the offseason, he is already paying dividends on that. He is slugging .557 at home versus right-handers this year.
Joe Ryan – 7 IP, 3 baserunners, 1 ER, 7 Ks. Couldn’t get my man with two first names the win, huh? Good to see him back on track after several mediocre starts in June. He ain’t gonna win Rookie of the Year, but he has been exactly what the Minnesota Twins needed to solidify their rotation.
Byron Buxton – Just 1-for-4, but that one was a banger. He smashed a lazy Jorge Lopez fastball over the fence for a walk-off two-run homer. I hope the Twins have started storing Buxton in one of those Star Wars bacta tanks in between games, because baseball is just more fun with him in it.
Rougned Odor – 0-for-4, 2Ks. Did you know he was still playing baseball and batting sixth for a major league team? Well, nominally a major league team. The Baltimore Orioles are the MySpace of MLB squads. They exist. But no one knows it.
Tony Gonsolin – 7.2 IP, 4 baserunners, 1 ER, 8 Ks, 1 Win. Alcantara, Burnes, Musgrove, blah, blah, blah. When is Gonsolin going to start getting some Cy Young love? He’s 10-and-freaking-0 with a 1.54 ERA. What more does he have to do?
Cody Bellinger – 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI. You know how Weezer came out with the Blue Album in 1994 and then everyone thinks they have basically sucked since then? That’s Bellinger. A smash out of the gate, but since then it’s been mostly Beverly Hills ever since. Every once in a while you get a new hit, but you would never pay for a whole album again.
Trea Turner – 2-for-5, 1 run, 1 SB. On pace for a 20/30/90/120 season with a .30o batting average. He laughs at anyone who did not draft him first overall this past spring.
Blake Snell – 5 IP, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 1 ER, 12 Ks. First time all year he has allowed just one earned run and first time he has struck out more than seven batters. Also the first time he has given up four walks. You figure him out, because I sure can’t. San Francisco comes calling next. I’ll probably be in on that one just to see if Snell has unlocked something this season.
James Kaprielian – 6 IP, 5 baserunners, 1 ER, 4 Ks, 1 Win. That’s J-Kap’s first win of the season, so don’t go thinking this is a guy to grab. The best thing Kaprielian has going for him is he looks like the guy who plays Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick.
Marco Gonzales – 6 IP, 9 baserunners, 2 ER, 2 Ks. Allowed nine baserunners to Oakland in a home game? Five of them to the law firm of Pinder, Andrus, & Neuse? Gonzales never seems to get blown up, but this is three out of four starts with no more than two strikeouts. Pass.
Julio Rodriguez – 1-for-3, 1 3B, 1 BB. Julio Rodriguez is now -175 at most sportsbooks to win AL ROY. Before the All-Star break. He is a freaking stud who is close to evolving into a national treasure.
Lance Lynn – 6 IP, 5 baserunners, 0 ER, 5 Ks. He is clearly still rounding into form after a long absence due to the knee injury, but this is the type of start we need to see to know he is on the right track. In a tough road spot against a good offense is an even better sign.
Kendall Graveman – 1 IP, 1 SV. Grabbing us every last save he can before Liam Hendriks comes back next week. I’m not dropping him outright just yet in case this elbow thing for Hendriks turns out to be something more than originally suspected.
Alex Cobb – 5 IP, 4 baserunners, 0 ER, 3 Ks. Cobb has a 4.00 ERA and 10.91 K/9 at home. He’s abysmal on the road. Just keep that in mind for your second-half streaming purposes. He is at Arizona next, so that’s a 50-50 call.