No one-hit wonders here! If you’re “Hungry like the Wolf,” Jarren Duran Duran is looking like a real Duranimal lately. *awkward cat noise* With three hits and two doubles Friday night he’s now got eight hits in his last three games, and has hit safely in all but two of his 11 (ELEVEN) games played since his call up! Full disclosure, I’m a real Duran Stan NGL NGSLY (never gonna stop lovin’ you). I know, and dude has burned us more times than that broken bic lighter I can’t seem to throw away and have sentimental attachment to for some reason. So what is it about him? Is it the tatted chest? Probably. Is it the power/speed combo? No, pretty sure it’s the tatted chest, we’ve already settled this. Isn’t he in a platoon, you ask? Yeaaah maybe. He could sit against most lefties, but his speed should get him in most games at some point daily. Oh, yes the speed. Mmm. Let’s talk about the speed. Duran’s speed would make Ezra Miller’s Flash blush, and it is hard to shame that dude. Case in point one, Jarren’s got eight doubles already and the majority of those doubles would be singles for the rest of the league were it not for Duran’s game-changing wheels. In fact, one could argue his underwhelming stolen base total so far (he’s got two) could be because he just can’t stop hitting extra base hits. Speaking of which, JD (not Drew, never Drew) is hitting the absolute stuffing out of these baseballs, folks. If they’re really juiced beisbols we should call Duran “The Juicer.” Wait. Actually no. That’s a bad nickname. But anyway, with a Hard Hit% of 65.8%, that’s almost double the league average. His average exit velocity (96.0 mph) is also third in the majors. Duran credits his recent success to the return to the hitting style that made him dominant in the minors, notably the positioning of his hands, but really it’s so obvious he’s just that guy now. He is him. Daddy? Well, maybe not Daddy yet. But certainly him. The guy! That guy is slashing .436/.455/.718, with one home run (a grand salami), 10 RBI, a .455 OBP and a .718 SLG%. How many more stats do you need!? I understand the knocks. He strikes out way too much, he has yet to show he can consistently bat above .220, he may or may not be in a platoon. There’s also this debacle. After this play last year, I honestly doubted we’d ever see Duran again. But he looks like a different player than that poor boy who looks lost in the outfield last year, completely given up on life. This is the new Jarren Duran. The 1.173 OPS and 215 OPS+ Duran. The post-hype is real! He’s not the same player, he’s better! That photo of him in my wallet is a lot less weird now, isn’t it! No? Oh well, either way I’d add Duran ASAP as possible. Grey told you to BUY, and while he’s not quite as obsessed as me, with the way Jarren’s murdering baseballs, it’s only a matter a time before the HRs and SBs start rolling in and you’ll have wished you’d bought in before you knew he was that guy, and I’m telling you now I think he is!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Jacob deGrom – 3.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, BB, 2 K. Removed from the game with forearm tightness. I shoulda known whenever StreamONator is at a 60+ matchup it’s too good to be true. That’s a big “welp”, “oof” and an “uh-oh spaghettios.” Oh, say it ain’t so, Jake! Can I get an “F” in the chat? He’s probably headed for an MRI, but manager Bochy called the removal “precautionary,” which seems to describe deGrom’s life these days. I know they’re trying to get him to October but for a guy who makes $37 million a year he’s coddled more than a breast feeding six year old. Sometimes you gotta let the kids get dirty! Let ’em play in the mud, ya know? Who cares if they ruin their $30 million church clothes?
Clarke Schmidt – 5.0 IP, 10 hits, 5 ER, BB, 8 K. He had more strikeouts than any other pitcher Friday night, and posted a CSW% of 28. Now that we got the good out of the way, let’s get to the bad. Everything else.
Robbie Grossman – 3-for-4, 2 runs, HR (3), 2 RBI. The Rangers are on something else right now. They must be excited about CJ Stroud. Of course, it’s the only unowned Ranger that has the big day and Robbie’s got 2 bombs hitting close to .400 in the past week. But Yankee stadium can do that to a guy.
Will Smith – 1.0 IP, K, SV (3). We all want it to be Leclerc but Bochy was moved by King Richard and never liked Chris Rock all that much and looks to trust Smith above all. Will’s got a 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and needs to be owned everywhere until Bochy works out his issues with Leclerc. Have they considered a group therapy session?
Jesus Luzardo – 6.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K versus Marcus Stroman – 6.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Almost identical stat lines but you’re going to go with Jesus every time out if only to make your grandmother happy.
A.J. Puk – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 K, 3rd win. BUY. Quantity over quality, but AJs got both going for him. In his 10 appearances, he’s come away with a win or a save in seven of them. Take my upchuck, Puk! I mean thumbs up!
Jazz Chisholm Jr. – 2-for-4, 2 SB (11). This is the first steal. That is the second steal. And everything else he does is all that Jazz!
Pablo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 8 hits, 6 ER, BB, 7 K, 2nd win. These kinds of wins are generally reserved for AL East starters, Astros, and Dodgers but Pab-Lo will take it along with his incoming $70 million dollar extension. I’m kind of lovin’ this Twinkies pitching staff. Give them all $70 million!
Jorge Lopez – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, K, SV (2). Jhoan Duran was unavailable due to an immigration issue “requiring travel,” which explained why he pitched two innings in yesterday’s 7-1 win. I feel like an immigration appointment requiring travel is like a therapist appointment requiring silence. What kind of travel? Is it international travel. Immigratory!? Regardless, Twinks seemed okay without him for a night.
Max Kepler – 1-for-2, 2 runs, HR (3), 2 RBI. Leadoff homer! As much as I like the Twins bats they don’t have a clear-cut leadoff guy so Max looks like he’s got the job, at least against righties. Jorge Polanco (1-for-4, HR (2), 3 RBI) hit his second homer in the past week but he’s looked a little slow since coming off the IL. When in doubt, lead off Joey Gallo!
Jose Miranda – 2-for-4, HR (3). Have you been read your Jose Miranda rights? Well, he’s got all three of his home runs in the past week and you are fully within your right to scoop him up before I do! His bat has the right to remain violent!
Bobby Witt Jr. – 1-for-5, 2 runs, RBI, SB (6). A rapist’s Witt!
Salvador Perez – 3-for-4, HR (3), 3 RBI. Took two days off for 0lds and comes back and does this. Maybe you should only play three days a week, Sally?
Luis Castillo – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, ERA at 1.82. Luis Luis has lost some mphs on his fastball but you know what he hasn’t lost…a beat. I know. I know it was a good one. Thank you. A couple of rough innings against a loaded team and he allowed his first homer of the year but he did retire the final five batters he faced in order. He gets another chance to WOW them Jays next week.
Alek Manoah – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. I had a minor moment of panic after Alek’s first couple starts. Manoah down, Manoah down, Rihanna! I invested a lot in this kid and need him to be at least as good as he was last night. If you Manoah what I mean.
Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (9). 41 more till I meet my prop bet and ultimately, take over the world, one sports book app at a time.
Alejandro Kirk – 3-for-4, HR (2). That 135 wRC+ tho! There’s a Tiktok circulating that may be overdramatizing Kirk’s proportions based on the angles. Well this shot last night was for all the short kings, and how much they don’t like being called short kings.
Cal Raleigh – 2-for-4, HR (3). Hey, another catcher for ya! Aren’t you glad you drafted Varsho so high?
Max Fried – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, BB, 7 K. Max still hasn’t allowed a run since returning from the IL and his ERA sits at 0.45. In fact, since this game rained out in five you could say Max got the complete game shut out! #JustCyYoungThings
David Peterson – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, BB, 6 K. This is the most Dave Peterson stat line that ever Dave Peterson’d. Heck, yeah I’d start him in Detroit next week! I am asking for it!
Matt Olson – 1-for-3, 3-run HR (8). If you are not happy with your Allahson I will happily take him off your hands and you can have whatever first baseman I’ve duct taped together this week.
Michael Harris II – 0-for-2, run. Kevin from ESPN’s Get Him in Your Lineup department admits he didn’t activate MH2 yet because he already has two active players on his IL and would have had to drop three players just to add one. Yep, the smart move here is to do nothing and just never make another move for the rest of the season–this way I can carry two extra players! Big brained! Also, this is exactly the kind of ish that got Joc Pederson slapped by Tommy Pham.
Shane Bieber – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, ERA at 3.11. I need you to stay, need you to stay, hey! I get drunk, wake up, I’m wasted stillllll! Wasted on Bieber quality starts, of which he’s gotten one in all but one of his six starts. The quality start seems like a lost art, but Bieber is still Peaches.
Zach Eflin – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. After getting Detroit and Oakland in his first two starts the hopes for Zach were Eflin high, so while our expectations have tempered a bit he gets the Pirates next week and I honestly don’t know if that’s a favorable match up anymore.
Kevin Kelly – 0.1 IP, SV (1). Peter Fairbanks went 0.2 IP, but was removed with Reynaud’s syndrome. It’s apparently caused by the cold weather, but the word syndrome certainly makes it sound a lot scarier than it is. Lucky for Fairbanks, the planet is warming up just like Al Gore said it would and this shouldn’t be much of an issue going forward.
Lucas Giolito – 6.2 IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 6 K. Perhaps it was that one start in Pittsburgh where he got bombed for seven runs but Giolito has been a lot better than I thought he’s been. Take out that one starts and he’s allowed just 8 runs in 30.2 IP. He’s got a 2.5 ERA over his past four starts which have come against some of the league’s best so methinks brighter days are ahead for Lucas.
Andrew Vaughn – 2-for-4, HR (2). AV ripped this one! About time! I am disappointed in myself for how badly I wanted Vaughn this season and last and how underwhelming he’s been. I feel like I dodged a bullet, or is first base really that bad?
Andrew Benintendi – 1-for-4, 2 SB (4). If he’s going to continue to lead off the steals are certainly nice, I just don’t really expect him to ever do this again. Now who’s being negative, White Sox fans!
Aaron Nola – 8.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, 6 K, 2nd win. Who dat? OK, now it’s a Mardi Gras for NOLA. Gave up a solo homer to Pena in the first but that was all the ‘Stros could muster. Give this man some beads and show this man some boobs!
Jose Alvarado – 1.0 IP, 2 K. SV (5) ERA at 0.73. BUY. JA has struck out more than half the batters he’s faced and has still yet to walk a batter. Sweet sassy molassy! Craig Kimbrel is silently lurking and has been more than solid (6.0 IP, 11 K, 0 BBs, 2 SV) over the past two weeks. Both should be owned right now, and the Phils might be one team who can support two closers.
Framber Valdez – 7.0 IP, 8 hits, 3 ER, 3 K. The World Series rematch started off with a bang and despite giving up another homer the Schwarber (who homered off him when they last faced off in the World Series) Framber has been an absolute horse to start the year. He’s pitched at least seven innings in four of his six starts, and literally no one does that anymore so take the innings while you can and the stats will eventually come.
Bryan Abreu – 1.0 IP, 2 K. Another BUY! Have we mentioned this dude should be owned in all leagues? Cause he should. In August you’re going to wish you had a reliever who pitched three days a week with a sub-1 ERA. Why wait until August?
Jeremy Pena – 1-for-4, HR (5). I am torn because when Pena was called up he was Peña but slowly but sure he’s Pena now. Whitewashing, much? Hope your publicist didn’t ask you to lose the tilde, or worse the team publicist. It’s done absolute wonders for Acuña. Get your ñ back, Jeremy!
Merrill Kelly – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, BB, 5 K, 2nd win. Team USA’s Ace put together what was probably his best start of the year at Coors. Forget how good Merrill has been cause he’s been more than fine, finer even. Are the Rockies so bad that Coors isn’t scary anymore? I feel kinda like that’s a yes? Stream away!
Dustin May – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 3rd win, ERA at 3.15. Dodgers need to get their shift together, and while this is a start, may I recommend give Moookie-san a shot at starting a game? I mean, the dude plays every other position, are we really doubting he could be better than Noah Syndergaard right now?
Jack Flaherty – 4.2 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Jack’d up! He actually looked better than the stat line shows but I would let him be better than his stat line on someone else’s team at this point.
Mookie Betts – 1-for-5, HR (4). Hey bud. Long time no talk. I still haven’t gotten a call about godfather’ing your new child, bestie. Come to think of it, I still haven’t gotten a call about godfather’ing your FIRST child. Is my phone broken? Better go buy a new one–but what if you text me while I’m transferring my data? Too risky! Oh, what to do! I miss ya, Mook!
Miguel Vargas – 1-for-4, HR (1). You just just dropped him didn’t you? Same. If it helps he’s been about as unlucky as you’ve been these first three weeks. Maybe you can bond over that and pick him back up!
Jake Fraley – 2-for-4, 3 runs, HR (2), 2 RBI. His second tank of the year and now has a four game hitting streak! Pick him up if you hate yourself.
Ryan Noda – 3-for-4, 4 runs, HR (3), 2 RBI. Noda Doubt about it! D-Did I stutter? Is first base so ba-bad that we’re actually considering this guy. Th-the a-an-answer to both of these questions is–y-yes! Noda self: Ryan’s batting .400 in the past week and at the very least he’s way better than Jesús Aguilar.
Jonathan India – 2-for-5, run, RBI, SB (5). India’s been fine but if he’d been “fine” last year I wouldn’t have to continue treating this severe depression I just can’t kick. It’s honestly insane how high I was on India last year, and how disappointing he was even with all the injuries. Oh, sorry, correction I meant it’s insane how high I was on Indica last year. It’s all a blur to be honest.
Brent Rooker – 3-for-3, HR (8), 2 RBI. This dime store Rooker was a cheap BUY and you really need to quit it with the ageism and add this geezer. Check out that 1.213 OPS. Slugging .729 much, slugger? Slug on! Maybe he’s not as schmohawky as we think? The eight bombs puts him one shy of his career high of the nine he hit with the Twins and methinks he’s gonna shatter that. He’s hitting .364 with 4 dingers and 9 RBI in the past week! He was also the first of the year to homer off Shohei Ohtani, which deserves a trophy of its own. It’s like the best week of his life. Too bad it’s almost over. Not just the week, but also his life. What–did you not read Grey letting us all know how old he is and did reading that in turn make you feel old? Let’s cherry-pick some quotes from Grey’s blurb, “Are the Cubs stupid? ” Oop! Wrong blurb. OK, “Brent Rooker is so old the only people calling him ‘Rook’ are doing so sarcastically!” That’s right, like old enough to remember dime stores old. Like so old he was besties with Jesus old. And I don’t mean Jesús Aguilar. Brent remembers when the Rays were bad and the pitch clock didn’t give me anxiety. Yes! That old 0ld! You feel me? No? I enjoy watching the NFL Draft now and hearing the pundits comment on a 25 year old’s “advanced” age. Gut punch. Hurts just a little bit. Still don’t feel old? Pfft! Well good for you, I hope you enjoy the rest of your very long life!
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts, or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!