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Itch and I were having a discussion yesterday and I’m going to paraphrase it here:

Itch, “I know the Cubs are not good. I just cannot remember a trade as weird as the Jordan Montgomery thing. Why would the Yankees trade Jordan Montgomery for Harrison Bader? Like, you find out the guy (Bader), is hurt you cancel the trade, you don’t trade for him on purpose. They (the Yankees) had a deal in hand for someone, is the story Cashman is leaking?”
Me, “Yeah, but it’s not why. We’re missing a piece of the details. People being told, ‘The Yanks had a deal in place’ or ‘Jordan Montgomery wasn’t making the playoff rotation, and the Yankees need defense because Aaron Hicks is awful’ are not real reasons. That’s just what they’re feeding people. We do not know the real reason. We’re missing a piece that makes the trade make sense, and, without that reason, we will never know.”
Itch, “I meant to text my brother. Who is this? Grey? I want to punch you so bad.”

We may never know why the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery (9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08), but it wasn’t because he’s a bad pitcher. He was a sleeper last year for me, and I think people still underestimate him. He won’t blow you away with strikeouts for 2023 fantasy either. His ground balls are up (not literally) going from 42.7% to 47.1%. His command is immaculate (1.7 BB/9), down almost a full walk per nine. That is my one concern about him for 2023 fantasy. When you have a 7.8 K/9, you kinda have to be perfect with your command. You lose a fraction of that command and your ERA goes from 3.30-ish to 3.85+. Usable, but not nearly as lovable for this JoMosexual. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Albert Pujols – 2-for-4, and his 14th homer, and 693 on his career. Albert Pujols going for 700? Haha, Albert Pujols is going for 800! This factoid is legit wild how hot schmotato-ey he is right now:

Kyle Hendricks – Said he’s focused on being healthy by the 2023 season. He said this to crickets, who had no response.

Drew Smyly – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.47. He hasn’t been bad, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I saw him and immediately went looking at his next Streamonator matchup.

Adolis Garcia – 1-for-4 and his 20th homer. Oh, and he has a 19-game hitting streak. And he’s close to being the 1st 20/20 guy in baseball. Oh, and I wrote a sleeper post for him — actually he was my last sleeper of the season before the rankings dropped. But, yeah, everyone was surprised by him doing well this year is something other ‘perts tell themselves. It’s fine. I lie to myself about George Springer.

Sonny Gray – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.10. Also get the feeling Gray, much like JoMo, is underestimated too. Maybe it’s because I have a giant chip on my shoulder. Give my namesake his just desserts!

Michael Kopech – 0 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.58, and left with knee soreness. He was clearly hurt while warming up in the 1st inning; his velocity was way down, so La Russa of course let him stay in and get rocked without recording any outs. I was screaming at the TV like Apollo’s manager at Rocky, “Throw the damn towel!” Michael Kopech is so handsome and broken…Only I can fix him!

Daniel Lynch – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.58. Bad day to quit barbituates, and a terrible day to start Lynch and Kopech.

Vinnie Pasquantino – Was in pain after a swing and we can’t have nice things. I blame you for Pasketti. It’s because as a youth you went to the movie balcony with a smoothie of bologna and brown gravy, made ralphing noises, and “threw up” the “vomit” over the balcony onto unsuspecting patrons. The Lord is punishing you. You need to cleanse your soul in order for us to have nice things in fantasy baseball. Please cleanse yourself for us.

Drew Waters – 0-for-3, 1 RBI as he was recalled by the Royals. He was with the Braves just a few short weeks ago. Waters, Waters, everywhere, but not a bat to hit.

Jeffrey Springs – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.46. Did no one score yesterday except against my Kopech/Lynch starts? Press one for yes, two for no, three for “I hate Kopech and Lynch so much that I can no longer feel anything else.”

Randy Arozarena – 2-for-3 and his 17th homer. The Rice Bowl with the bimi-BOMB!

Tucker Davidson – 5 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 6.23. Tucker Davidson is the best game show host-turned-pitcher since Chuck Woolery, who got everyone in a two-and-two count.

Wily Peralta – Released by the Tigers. Peralta left the team saying, “I don’t need you! All I need is this chair…And this paddle game…and this ashtray.”

Aaron Ashby – Hit the IL with shoulder inflammation, or more commonly known as, “Hasn’t been good for about two months and we’re better off IL’ing him, then just randomly throwing him for more starts in which he sucks.”

Eric Lauer – 5 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.44 vs. Julio Urias – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.36. Were they using the April baseballs again last night? Seriously, was yesterday the least amount of runs ever for nine games played or not? It felt like yacht, not not, but was it not or yacht? Instead of yes, I now say yacht. Go with it.

Keston Hiura – 1-for-4, and his 13th homer, and third homer in two games, and I’m thoroughly interested again. As mentioned yesterday, and on the podcast that will be out later today — available earlier on Youtube — Hiura changed his stance and is actually hitting now.

Noah Syndergaard – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 3.77. You look at the Giant Human Carrot Dustin May return with his stuff. Like big time stuff. STUFF all-capped STUFF! Then you see Syndergaard with one strikeout and, “What’s going on with him?” Seriously. He looks like a shell of his former self.

Nick Castellanos – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. The Greek God of Hard Contact is going to end the year with something like 17 homers, and I can’t imagine being less interested next year. Enjoy buying the bounce back. It ain’t me. Your fortunate son.

Bryson Stott – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer, hitting .225, hitting .300-ish in the last week with two steals, and hitting near-.350 in the last two weeks, and a smallish schmotato. Stott’s hawt, as Paris Hilton would say.

Charles Leblanc – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer. Up to two homers? Might be able to pen Leblanc in for three this year!

Edward Cabrera – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 3 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.41. You gotta wonder if the Marlins don’t take maybe three of their fifteen or so aces and trade them for bats this winter. Having pitchers is awesome, but having non-terrible hitters is fun too.

Roansy Contreras – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.86 in his 2nd start back. Only 89 pitches, but Pirates are kinda hilarious to pretend they want to watch his innings. Sure, or rather, “Argh.” Whatever you say.

Oneil Cruz – 1-for-3 and his 10th homer, hitting .198. I heard something the other day that was so sad. Cruz has hired (or rather his agent hired) outside help with his swing. Cruz can’t trust his own team to coach him to fix his contact. That is so sad! Also explains why if we see Tom Emanski and Fred McGriff at PNC.

Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.95. Thank you, Streamonator! May I have another?

Michael Harris II – 1-for-1, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. Boy, now I understand why the Braves gave him $12 million for 19 years with the option for him to pay Dansby Swanson’s salary too.

Daniel Vogelbach – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer. Might be a schmotato, but he struck out looking to end the game, and all I could think is, “He looks like a giant baby with a beard.” He has a giant baby body. It’s uncanny.

Jonathan Loaisiga – 1 1/3 IP, 0 ER and hsi 1st save, ERA at 5.76. Going to Johnny Lasagna instead of Aroldis, well, I kinda appreciate it. It’s a little nuts. But I like it. I wouldn’t go get Johnny Lasagna though, unless AL-Only. By the way, I called him Johnny Lasagna yesterday while watching the game, and Cougs heard me, and she was like, “Is that his real name?” And I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth, especially not after she got so mad at me yesterday for revealing her true height on this week’s Not Not News podcast.

Aaron Judge – 2-for-4 and his 47th homer, hitting .295. It’s so wild how good he is doing and how not-even-close he is to Bonds’s single season home run record.

Domingo German – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER. 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.89. German to Lasagna sounds like a coarser way of saying my ethnic background, because I’m a German Jew/Italian, and I say I’m a pizza bagel.

Clay Holmes – Scheduled for a bullpen sesh, and might be back by the end of this month, at which time, he will continue to struggle and Yankees fans will be like, “What da fook is goin’ on here? He was so fookin’ good now he’s fookin not. What da fook!? 27 championships though amiright?”