Hehe, I’m such a jerk. I finally dedicate a lede to Jason Vargas and it’s to point out how bad he was last night — 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.06. Well, look at it this way. If he wasn’t good for so long, him being bad wouldn’t matter. For unstints, my friend texted me yesterday, “R. Kelly’s being accused of holding girls against their will in his cult.” I texted back, “That’s one cult where you really don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid.” It was the least surprising news yesterday. 2nd least surprising is the Vargas regression. What happens with regression, stays in Vargas. He’s not done regressing either, if his peripherals hold. He has a 6.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 4.87 xFIP, i.e., A lost Vargas is not just a Wynn, but one of those sure-cuts, sure-cuts. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jorge Soler – Demoted to Triple-A Omaha, where he will undoubtedly be a background extra in Alexander Payne’s next film.
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, and 2nd homer in three days. He could be in for one of the biggest 2nd halfs of anyone. I.e., launch angle meets exit velocity and lots of fantasy owners’ onomatopoeias of exhilaration.
Jordan Zimmermann – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Did you start him? No, of course you didn’t, because his ERA is 5.58!
Carlos Correa – Left yesterday’s game with a jammed thumb. With Correa, I’d expect a jammed button as they perform a missile test on themselves. “Hey, look, we got missiles that can reach 35 feet off our coast. Who wants some?!” Yeah, aight, go to sleep.
Lance McCullers – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA up to 3.28. Too substandard starts in a row, which, of course, means he has a shoulder injury. I wish I were joking.
Jake Marisnick – 2-for-4 and his 11th homer. Asterisknick started over Marwin just as Mike Maher dedicated 8,000,000 words to his undying love for Marwin in his top 100 hitters. Also, the MM Boy joins Halp and I on today’s podcast coming later today. You can hardly wait! No, you!
Carlos Beltran – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .232. Aw, doode got old. Don’t worry, we’ll still see one Beltran knee-buckle in the playoffs this year.
Mitch Haniger – Out yesterday with a jammed finger. What a Smucker!
Mike Zunino – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer. You know whose steelo he’s stealing? (Stealo?) Answer: Gattis.
Nelson Cruz – 1-for-4 and his 20th homer. Bet he’s going to hit 35 homers this year and, at no point, will it seem like he’s hot.
Danny Valencia – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. I said yesterday, he could be starting a schmotato run, and today I’m confirming. We have confirmation!
Kyle Seager – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. Two days in a row now I’m pointing out what a huge 2nd half Seager could have in store. The non-Jerk Store, to be exact.
Marcus Stroman – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.10. Stroman was included in my top 100 for the 2nd half of 2017 fantasy baseball. That ranking post is still relevant (mostly). Stupid Cueto!
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.66. Halp and I talk about Ed-Rod on today’s podcast. The gist: I like Ed-Rod and now he’s going to look terrible to make me look dopey. Never fails!
Brad Brach – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 16th save. Sully could’ve landed on the runway if he had as much lead time the Orioles are giving Britton. Guys, he’s a major league pitcher, I think Britton can reclaim the closer job now, right? At this rate, Britton can impregnate his wife, have her give birth and, 25 years later, he can be the closer before Zach.
Johan Camargo – 0-for-4, hitting .322. In related Camargo news, what the eff is a Camargo?! Kidding, I know. It’s a speech impediment Camaro. In fantasy related Camargo news, Dansby could be optioned down to the minors. I told everyone to avoid the price Dansby was going for in the preseason, so y’all were warned.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4 and his 23rd homer. HR to the Rizzo!
Jon Lester – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.07, and his first steal. Lester obviously envisioned himself on the mound when he stole the bag. Oh, and, yeah, suddenly the Cubs are good again. The ol’ All-Star break switch flip!
Austin Hedges – Sat out with birds circling his head from a foul tip he took off the mask on Friday. Not to sound insensitive like Jann Arden, but you’re in Coors, man, you can’t suck it up? C’mon!
Hector Sanchez – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer, and 3rd homer in as many games. Those are supposed to be my Hedges homers! Aw, geez!
Jabari Blash – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and his 2nd homer in three games. Schmotato, perhaps, but he’s in Coors, so there’s that. That being everyone should be owned in Coors.
David Dahl – Bud Black isn’t sure if Dahl will play in the majors in 2017. Damn, that’s a PUA-level neg for Black, since Dahl is hitting .353 during his minor league assignment.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-4 and his 8th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. If you take nothing else from this post today, grab Parra everywhere. Forget about playing time, yadda, blabba, blooie, just grab him.
Orlando Arcia – 2-for-4, 1 RBI and his 6th, 7th, and 8th steal, hitting .281. Whoa. It was like he remembered exactly what kind of player he’s always been in the span of nine innings. Please let Cervelli get traded to every team Arcia faces the rest of the year.
Gregory Polanco – 4for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, hitting .272. Speaking of remembering the player you’re supposed to be. As the great Army Archerd once said, be all you can be. Hmm, I might have the wrong Army.
Giancarlo Stanton – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 27th and 28th homers, hitting .275. I’m pretty sure I said at some point, anyone wanna bet that Giancarlo finishes the year with more homers than Judge? I know the hype machine is revved up real loosey and/or goosey for Judge, but don’t mess with my boo bae, Giancarlo.
Matt Harvey – Resumed throwing. For most pitchers, this would be a positive, but, with how he’s looked over the past two years, Harvey throwing is not a positive for anyone except opposing hitters.
Michael Conforto – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer, hitting .278. He’s been cold as dog balls for a while now, but hopefully this breaks him out of his slump. I own Conforto in Con-far-too many leagues.
Zack Wheeler – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.98. Comatose Mets Fan just woke from an 18-month coma. Lenny Dykstra whistles to the nurses, since he was being paid $12/hour to sit by his bedside, but the nurses naturally think he’s just whistling at them again. Once the Comatose Mets Fan gets his bearings, he asks the most important question for him, “Harvey, Thor, Wheeler, Matz…how my boys doing?!”
Lucas Duda – 2-for-4 and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Hot schmotato alert!
Tommy Pham – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .311. Fantasy is littered with guys that break out for one season only to fade into oblivion the following year. I think that might be Pham. A flim-Pham artist, so to speak. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own him.
Paul DeJong – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .299. Extrapolating DeJong’s numbers out to a full season and he’d be on a 40-homer pace. If I’m using the word extrapolating correctly. Though, extrapolating sounds like the kind of physique a gymnast needs.
Brett Cecil – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 1st save. Cecil appears to be Matheny’s own personal fetch, and he really wants to make Cecil work as his closer, so grab him on the quickfast. CORRECTION: As many have pointed out, Rosenthal had pitched three straight games, so at worst this is a committee with Cecil and Rosenthal; at best it’s Rosenthal’s job.
Steven Souza – 1-for-4 and his 19th homer, and his 2nd homer in the last three games. Souza’s having a sneakily good season, no matter how many times I say that. Shizz continues to sneak.
Evan Longoria – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer. I’d put a small wager on Longoria getting to his usual 27 homers, which means he’s going to hit more homers in the 2nd half than he did in the 1st.
Khris Davis – 1-for-4 and his 26th homer, and 2nd homer in three games. Kinda love to see Davis get a season in Coors. Think he could challenge 55 homers. Seriously.
Michael Pineda – Will undergo Tommy John surgery on his torn UCL. “Um, guys, what about me?” That’s Tanaka as he points at his dangling torn tendon.
Garrett Cooper – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. You might remember Garrett Cooper from High Noon where he played opposite Jean Segura. “Keep your hands above Jean’s waist!” That’s John Ford having none of Garrett Cooper’s funny business. So, Garrett Cooper is the Yankees’ 1st baseman now? Oh. (Michael) Kay. Cooper showed a bit of power in the PCL, which is like hitting on the moon with an aluminum bat, though, so is the major leagues. Might catch lightning in a bottle with Cooper, but I’d leave him to AL-Only leagues until we see more.
Stephen Strasburg – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.31, moving his record to 10-3, which is the CB code for “Understood” for people who don’t understand it’s 10-4. Copy that is also understood, unless you accidentally have the CB button pushed and are standing at a photocopier. Double nickels is code for 55 MPH, and 789 is for “numbericide.” Just a bit of a trivia buff, that’s all.
Ryan Zimmerman – 3-for-5 and his 20th homer, hitting .327. Looks like we may never get that DL stint that we all wagered on about a month ago. Yup, he’s going to stay healthy all year. For all six months of the season. All 162 games– Is it obvious I’m trying to jinx him?
Brian Goodwin – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 8th homer, hitting .245. He was 1-for-13 going into the game, so Goodwin ain’t a good one. High five me now! C’mon! That was good! No? Okay.
Bryce Harper – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 23rd homer, hitting .329. Just another day at the ball park. If you add an E to ‘at,’ you have Joey Chestnut’s favorite sentence.