Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into the roundup, here’s a podcast I guested on with some Hollywood types, where we talked about my run-in with Suge Knight, making the finals of The Great American Bake-Off, working with Bobby Brown and how that Jose Canseco interview came to happen. Anyway II, the roundup:
Lance Lynn – 5 2/3 IP, 9 ER, ERA at 3.32. Eff me. I don’t buy for a second the manager, Steve Winwood, told Lance Lynn to just roll with it. If Lynn wanted out of his final game to preserve his ERA, he would’ve been lifted. What I think happened, Lynn felt like it was better to keep his streak of 100 pitches in a game going, rather than, ya know, be actually freakin’ good!
Willie Calhoun – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .193. It feels like Willie needs a change of environment. Or looser fitting pants. There won’t be a Buy column this afternoon, because, well, only a few days left. Everyone is droppable and pickupable (totally a word!). If there were a Buy, Calhoun would be there, because I’m a sucker for Willie. Hey now! Maybe this is Calhoun getting hot for the final weekend. As for our Patreons, there will still be a weekly podcast, and it’s $5/month. The price of one-and-a-third tanks of gas.
Nate Pearson – Activated today to pitch out of the bullpen, have a setback and not be able to pitch again until 2022. Well, not explicitly that reason.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 8th homer, hitting .263. Pretty yawnstipating year from Vladdy the Mini Impaler, but the Jays are going to the playoffs. This could be Buffalo’s first championship in…Google’s not returning results, but will keep checking.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.69. He is the best kept secret, that, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem possible to ruin. No one wants to draft Ryu ever, and he does nothing but return value…Every. Single. Year. Yes, I brought out the douchey single word sentences.
David Peterson – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.44. With all due respect, Peterson has not looked as good as the results. Any hoo! Season’s over for him, but maybe not for you! If you need a starter for this weekend, make sure to check out the Streamonator.
Austin Hays – 3-for-5, 3 runs and his 4th homer, and 2nd homer in the last two games. Hot schmotato alert!
Pablo Lopez – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.61. Was even more sparkling this year than his ERA tells us. Not sure Pab-lo has ace potential, but in Crayola Canyon across a full season I could see a pitcher who wavers between a number two and three fantasy starter for all leagues, which is not bad at all.
Jesus Aguilar – 2-for-4 and his 8th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. *puts Jesus on a fantasy team that is 27 points out of 1st, puts on Mike and the Mechanics’ All I Need Is A Miracle* Let’s go!
Ian Anderson – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.95. Next year’s crop of pitchers is going to be like staggering walls for crash test dummies. At some point, every pitcher is going to hit a wall, just a matter of time. Ian Anderson will hit the hard rock embankment, which I will call the Jethro Wall.
Corey Seager – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer, hitting .325. Don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say Seager’s having a good season for him in a 162-game season.
Chad Kuhl – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.27. Said like John Oliver, “Kuhl.” It’s pretty amazing that this wasn’t the outcome of more games for the Cubs. Have you looked at their lineup? Jason Heyward hit third yesterday, and it made sense! Javier Baez has fallen to the seven-hole and is hitting .196, and he’s blowing away the season Kris Bryant is having. Anthony Rizzo is their leadoff man with a .222 average, and they acquired Cameron Maybin, and he’s their 2nd best hitter!
Colin Moran – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 9th homer, hitting .255. Also, in this game, Adam Frazier (2-for-5, 2 RBIs) hit his 7th homer; Bryan Reynolds (3-for-4, 2 runs) hit his 6th homer, and Josh Bell (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) hit his 8th homer. All of those Pirates suck. Dot dot dot. And they’re all better than their Cubs’ counterpart!
Kevin Gausman – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.68. Was a bit touch-and-go like your Uncle Morty, but Gausman closed out a great season (two months) with a solid final effort. If I win any leagues, it will be thanks to him, so I will send out a message in a bottle, thanking him. Here’s to reading the tide charts correctly!
Joey Bart – 1-for-3, 1 run, hitting .247. Bart runs slow and can’t hit worth a shizz. I kid, but he makes me think there should be an acronym like TINSTAPP but for catchers. TINSTAPP stands for There Is No Such Thing As Pitching Prospects. If you want to suggest in the comments a TINSTAPP for catchers without it being just TINSTACP, go for it! Maybe we can get a last-minute glossary term in before the season ends. Though, everyone might be at fantasy football already (in no way clickbait).
Garrett Hampson – 1-for-4, 1 run, and two steals (5, 6). After the game, Bud Black said, “The thing I’m most looking forward to this offseason is not watching Garrett Hampson play for six months. I love not seeing him play. It fills me with joy.”
Zach Plesac – 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.28. Can’t wait to see what the playoffs have in store for Plesac. I’m hoping at least one ‘missed curfew’ and a TikTok explaining why ‘rules weren’t made for Zach P.’
Cesar Hernandez – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and hitting near .350 in the last week with a homer. Cesar came, he saw, he schmotato’ed.
Kwang-Hyun Kim – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.62. He won’t be in the Streamonator (at least not yet), but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s games on Monday, then Kim could be called on. If you know you’re gonna need the starts, I’d stash him now.
Dylan Carlson – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and now has two big games in the last three games, and, yes, I’m grasping at straws, but the final straw broke the camel’s back and I’m about to start toking Camels if I don’t win some of these goofy 60-game leagues.
Willi Castro – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .350. Fun fact! Willi in the Castro is a totally different thing.
Miguel Cabrera – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .250, and this homer sailed 450 feet, which is also the number you can count to in the time it takes Miggy to round the bases.
Salvador Perez – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .360. This year is so discombobulated it’s really two months and not a year, and Perez could have a chance at being the top catcher for fantasy this year, after missing three weeks, due to testing positive for bad contact lenses.
Adalberto Mondesi – 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and two steals (21, 22). “Just put on Eye of the Tiger when I enter the room.” “Why?” “Because I have Adalberto Mondesi on my fantasy team–Stop asking questions! I’m gonna walk out and reenter, and when I do, play it.” This is a verbatim conversation between Cougs and I. *punches the air on the drum beat* RISING UP!
Alex Gordon – 0-for-3, will be retiring after 14 years. Alex Gordon and Ryan Braun were both drafted in the first 5 picks of the 2005 draft as third basemen, and both moved to the outfield. They were different in almost every other way. Braun’s righty; Gordon’s lefty. Braun was great on offense; Gordon was great on defense. Braun used PEDs and threw a FedEx delivery guy under a bus; Alex Gordon ate Pez and delivered a championship to KC.