*visoring your eyes with your hand, squinting at the light as you emerge from your mother’s basement* “Hey, mom, it’s the All-Star break and I thought I’d come up to say hello.” Where the house once stood, it’s now a Whole Foods, and you’re standing in the cheese aisle. Confused, you approach a man in Birkenstocks, “Excuse me, is this 450 Palm Terrace Road?” “It is.” “Wasn’t there a row of houses here?” “Back in March, they bulldozed this area when the yuppies won a city ordinance that says there needs to be a Whole Foods within at least three-quarters of a mile of another Whole Foods.” You reel back, overwhelmed with how your family is gone and how you’ve been living in a Whole Foods basement. You turn to an employee, “I need to sit down, and can I get a free sample of any cheese?” You smile, revealing Cheetos-dusted teeth, and thus begins your All-Star break. Tomorrow, I’ll drop the top 100 for the 2nd half, then there will be a Buy/Sell again Friday morning. One guy who will have extra time this All-Star break will be Mike Matheny. Last week it was revealed, Mike McNulty set up a sting operation in the Cards’ bullpen to see if everyone was doing their best with Bud “Bubbles” Norris as his informant. Then when the Cards fired Donnie Brasco Matheny, he might’ve took his informant with him, because Jordan Hicks (1 IP, 1 ER) got Sunday’s save and Norris came down with mysterious arm concerns. I’d absolutely grab Hicks. You know what’s the difference between Hicks and Norris? One makes you say, “Ooh MPH…” The other makes you say, “Oompha.” Also, usually I ignore trade rumors, but at this time of the year, you should be extra vigilant about backing up closers because at any point in the next two weeks a closer could get traded and you don’t want to leave it up to getting to the waiver wire before everyone else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jack Flaherty – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.24. The Stream-o-Nator says he lines up for his next start in Wrigley. Flaherty will get you everywhere, and Wrigley is somewhere, which is a part of everywhere, but, guys and five girl readers, I don’t trust that start at all.
Jose Martinez – Sat out in the first post-Matheny game. *throws all of Cougs’ keepsakes to the ground to clear space for me to pray* Please let Jo-Ma get traded to an AL team so he can DH or please don’t let this lineup be an indication of how the Cards’ new manager is going to use Jo-Ma, and don’t let Cougs get mad about her broken hummels.
Danny Duffy – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.59. That’s cool, brah, I still would not trust Duffy anywhere and not trust him twice on Muesday, the magical day between Monday and Tuesday discovered by NASA in 1958.
Adalberto Mondesi – 2-for-3 and his 3rd homer, hitting .250. Hey, Dudesi, know your place, smack a single and steal three bases.
Lucas Giolito – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 6.18. His peripherals are so bad… Audience refrain, “How bad are they?!” They’re so bad you can’t quickly glance at his K and walk rate and know which is which immediately.
Yoan Moncada – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 12th homer, hitting .238. Moncada’s batting average will dance between .245 and .235 all year. It Roger Rabbits to .245, then moonwalks to .235, then shopping carts to .242, then sprinklers to .238, Elaine Benes to .240, chicken dance to .243, white man overbites to .239 and on and on. I will call him Yoan Macarena.
Daniel Palka – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .234. Even Palka can Yoan Macarena.
Eduardo Rodriguez – Hit the DL with strained ligaments in his ankle. Shouldn’t have been wrestling Liberty Belle.
Kevin Pillar – Out for a month to six weeks with a AC joint sprain. What a terrible time for this to happen. In the heat of the summer, you need your AC working properly–*intern whispers in my ear* I’m told it’s his shoulder.
Chris Archer – 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.29. His last three starts have been for 5 IP, 3 1/3 IP and 4 1/3 IP. This is like when you take Ambien every night to go to sleep, until eventually you need Ambien to sleep and you talk in your sleep sounding like Papa John. The Rays have used an Opener so much, they don’t know Archer can pitch 6+ innings.
Wilson Ramos – Will miss the All-Star game as he hits the DL. Filling in for him is Blake Snell. Not really, but Snell is going to the game. Your outrage made all the difference. Too bad you wasted your highly effective outrage on nonsense.
Jose Berrios – 6 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.68. Ugh, I’m almost at the point where one bad start from anyone has me about to write up a new will and exclude some starters I’ve liked all year.
Fernando Rodney – 2/3 IP, 0 ER as he pitched the 5th inning, then Trevor Hildenberger (1 IP, 3 ER) came out for the save and blew that one real good. Rodney must’ve shot him with his imaginary poisoned arrow.
Brian Dozier – 2-for-6, 2 runs, 5 RBIs and his 16th homer. I could ranked Dozier in the top 5 in the top 100 for the 2nd half and elicit some jeers, but not sure how wrong I would be. Think I’m joking? Look at his 2nd halfs (halves?) for the last few years.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer. For fear of sounding like a letter written by Christopher Columbus, the Indians have so many weapons. The Yankees still won the season series. All hail the smallpox-infected blankets.
Michael Brantley – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 12th homer, hitting .308. If he stays healthy all year, which I do have doubts about, this will be the 2nd year in five years Brantley was an afterthought in drafts to come on and be a top 25 player, which is why I’m going to love him in 2023.
Masahiro Tanaka – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.54. I benched him yesterday, which is whatevs since he was in Cleveland, but the larger issue here is I don’t trust Tanaka at all. It’s like owning a Tesla that could explode into flames at any moment. Great if you’re always driving through a car wash, not great elsewhere.
Enyel De Los Santos – 4 1/3 Ip, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.75, as he was recalled due to Zach Eflin’s effin’ blister. Which had me so hyped, then Enyel went out and dropped a number two on the mound vs. the Marlins and I need the All-Star break to stop all my teams from hemorrhaging ERA.
Cameron Maybin – 3-for-4 and a slam (2) and legs (8). Definitely cyclops’ing him, but if anyone can get hurt during the break, Maybin is that guy. “I was sitting down to watch the All-Star Game and…I think I need hip surgery.”
Brian Anderson – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .288, and three homers in the last ten games. You don’t even want to know where Anderson is on the Player Rater vs. someone like, say, Rendon or Devers.
Zack Wheeler – 7 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.44. He was clearly gassed in the 8th inning, and was left in after a mound visit by Callaway, even though he had thrown 110 pitches, and what do you think happened? Orf course, he gave up a two-run home run. After the game, Wheeler was upbeat, saying, “I gave it my all, because I was told if I pitched well, the Mets might trade me. Hope I did enough.”
Jeurys Familia – As I said in opening about paying attention to rumors, there’s some rumors that Familia might get traded. I grabbed Swarzak, but might drop him for Gsellman, then might drop both to avoid this whole shituation.
Sean Newcomb – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.51. The Regression Fairies have been pounding him for a few weeks now. Lesson here? Wanna shake the Regression Fairies from you? Don’t name yourself after new beauty supplies.
Arodys Vizcaino – Hit the DL again with more shoulder inflammation (continued inflammation? Shoulder fire?). I’m sure when he first went to the DL I said something along the lines, “Well, he’ll never be right again this year.” And that’s me paraphrasing me! A.J. Minter will likely be the fill-in, but Dan Winkler — no relation to the Fonz — could see saves too.
Zack Greinke – 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.18. Acclaim getting heaped on all kinds of starters – ticks off names, Nola, Severino, Morton — but Greinke is just going out there and doing work.
Jon Gray – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.44, as he was recalled. The recalling went like this: “Hey, guys, where is Jon Gray, our best pitcher?” “I recall us sending him to the minors.” “That seems foolish.” “Yeah, but we’re the Rockies.” “Right-o!” I own Jon Gray in a few deep leagues; he is not for the faint of heart, and would avoid him in shallower mixed leagues.
Patrick Corbin – 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.24. It was a tough matchup vs. the Braves at home, but if I saw someone get bombed out I figured it would’ve been his opponent, Julio Teheran – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.00.
Manny Machado – 1-for-1, 2 runs and his 24th homer. If this is Machado’s last game as an Oriole, the city of Baltimore can look back at the Machado era with nothing but fondness. Never has a player led a team to a last place record quite as convincingly.
Ronald Guzman – 1-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting .250. Hard to pinpoint hot schmotatoes when guys are about to take a five-day siesta, but Guzman had been hitting near-.325 in the last week.
Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 18th homer, hitting .293. Still don’t think he gets past 22 homers. C’mon, this is an easy bet for you take the 23 homers or more side! No one wants a piece of this action that I will definitely welch on?
Carlos Correa – Still not ready for rehab games. What happened to this young brother? Did I put the curse of the schmohawk on him? My b. I’m gonna have to move him down in my top 100 for the 2nd half that’s coming out tomorrow, maybe even out of it. We shall see. Or not. Your choice.
John Hicks – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. Also, in this game, Niko Goodrum (1-for-4) boozed up his 9th homer; Jim Adducci (2-for-4, 2 runs) hit his 1st homer as he hit cleanup (zoinks!) and Jeimer Candelario (1-for-2, 2 RBIs) connected for his 13th homer. Tigers were grrrreat! Going forward? Not cerealiously.
Christian Villanueva – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 19th homer, hitting .232. Okay, for the final piece of the pie, the category is Sports, the question is, “Who hit 35+ homers in 2018 and you didn’t own him in fantasy?”
Stephen Piscotty – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, and 18th homer in the last two weeks. No idea why you haven’t picked him up. All that take-out Chinese food has swollen your fingers so you can’t operate a mouse?
Jeff Samardzija – Heads back to the DL with shoulder inflammation. Sighzija.
Travis Shaw – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 18th homer. He’s going to get to 30 homers this year and you’re gonna be like, “Hunh, guess I could’ve just owned him and not worried so much about him, while worrying more about my 170/100 blood pressure.”
Joe Musgrove – 7 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.08. Did C**nt think this was the 7th game of the World Series and get confused by Joe Musgrove’s initials? He couldn’t have pulled him before shizz went sideways in the 8th? Not rhetorical! Dubya tee eff?
Austin Meadows – Sent to the minors. Funny this happened yesterday, because I was thinking, “Why in the effin’ eff is C**nt not playing Meadows going on a week? Is he effin’ stupid?” Then he was kind enough to answer. Yes, he is effin’ stupid.
Clay Holmes – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.65. In an attempt to steal Century 21’s thunder from sponsoring the Home Run Derby, Century 12, the wigwam real estate company, sponsored this weekend’s Pirates pitcher, Clay Holmes.