The Astros got two great starts this weekend from two guys who weren’t in the conversation until recently. On Saturday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54. He made my pants up-jump-the-boogie a little from his pitching. I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is chef’s kiss sexy if you catch him on the right day. I am so intrigued that I’m at the optometrist’s office permanently sewing a monocle to one eye and fo’ever squinting with my other. Dude’s got a 11.8 K/9, 0.7 BB/9 and 2.66 xFIP! I mean, what? “Doc, take off the monocle, I’m just going to own Urquidy… What’s that? This is really permanent? But I xen’t cee my laft hend.” On the reals, I started adding Urquidy in a few deeper mixed leagues, and am intrigued as all get-out. Astros said Brad Peacock might be sidelined until mid-August, or until Urquidy stops being so sexy! More like Jose Ursexy! Amiright? Then, on Sunday, the Astros rolled out Rogelio Armenteros, who went 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.93. He got two homers from Michael Brantley (3-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 14th and 15th homer), but who asked Brantley to steal the thunder? Don’t try to deny it either, I got the surveillance footage from the 76 station, and the thunder was stolen. Armenteros is, uh, armed with a changeup that leaves hitters helpless, but looks like a bit more like a middle reliever, Rogelio A-MR-enteros as a Spanish dyslexic might say (though unlikely). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Nomar Mazara – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer. Why does it feel like in two years Mazara’s gonna be a 4th outfielder and we’re gonna laugh, a soft sullen laugh, at all my Mazara sleeper posts?
Lance Lynn – 7 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.93. You know the Yankees are eyeing Lynn for a trade. Has any pitcher fit the Yankee mold as much as Lynn? Paxton, Happ, CC and Lynn may as well be Russian nesting dolls called, “Stereotypical Yankee veteran pitchers.” Mike Minor too. Hey, maybe the Rangers are the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.
Luis Urias – 0-for-2, 2 runs as he was recalled on Saturday. I really hope Ian Kinsler finds another team to play on, because I don’t want to have to lock him in my car trunk for two months. “Hey, wanna see Verne Troyer’s grave? It’s pretty cool. Literally. It’s an Igloo cooler. Cmon, I’ll show you…” That’s me luring Kinsler into my trunk. Urias had 19 HRs, 7 SBs and a .315 average in Triple-A, which is basically what I’d expect from him in the majors. That’s how things work now. Or at least until Rob Manfred dons a dress and starts screaming, “Laces out,” for baseballs. I’m grabbing Urias in every league.
Asher Wojciechowski – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.91. Wojciechowski showed no-hit stuff vs. the Red Sox, but he really should have no-hit stuff against every team. Not because he’s good, he’s not, but if the only way to jinx someone from having a no-hitter is saying their name, then Wojciechowski is unstoppable.
Trey Mancini – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer, and four homers in the last four games (though they all came in two games. It’s don’t matter, just don’t bite it. She swallow–What the hell is going on? Get me out of this parenthesis right now, it’s infected my mind).
Andrew Cashner – 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.19. This was Cashner’s return to Camden, which was about as inauspicious as Alfie Solomons return to Camden. Don’t Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about; it’ll spoil things for you. Instead, just watch Peaky Blinders.
DJ LeMahieu – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer. Seriously, don’t fade anyone’s power in 2019.
James Paxton – 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.20. There seems to be a lack of bully from Paxton when the game is low stakes.
Charlie Blackmon – 4-for-5, 3 runs and his 21st homer. Chazz Noir came a triple short of the cycle. Or as Chazz Noir would express it in his blaxploitation film, “I had pleasure. Sorry, babe.”
German Marquez – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.99. Can’t the Rockies align their rotation so Marquez never starts again in Coors? I’ve never seen someone hate his home as much as German since the Germans in post-WWII Germany. Now I know why German Marquez is the Nazi in Exile; his home sucks! In all seriousness, the Rockies should enclose Coors in an anti-gravity chamber.
Andrew Heaney – Hit the Ineffective List with shoulder inflammation. His shoulder was said to be inflamed with how bad his arm is throwing. The Angels claimed Adalberto Mejia to replace him. They are now in discussions about changing his last name to Mondesi.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer. Anyone who can’t run as fast as Pujols should be purged from the majors. He looks like George Lopez in a celebrity softball game.
Anthony DeSclafani – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.12. You ever torture yourself by looking at a guy’s stats on your team vs. on your bench? It’s like some Gitmo-level shizz. DeSclafani in my lineup: 5.05 ERA; on my bench: 3.52. Stop waterboarding me, DeSclafani!
Yairo Munoz – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (2) and legs (5), hitting .306. Imagine the ball wasn’t juiced. Could’ve called him Yairo Minus, because that would be how many homers he had.
Jack Flaherty – 4 1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 4.24. About to start calling him Jack Shizz.
Nicholas Castellanos – 3-for-5 and his 11th homer. His name is longer than his homers. Prove me wrong.
JaCoby Jones – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 10th homer. Fun fact! His full name is a three-person law firm.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer. Sometimes I wanna call him Babe Ruth Jr. Is that weird?
Lucas Giolito – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.12 vs. Ryan Yarbrough – 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.93. Was that ace matchup of Giolito/Yarbrough we were all anticipating in March. For those wondering, I’m actively pursuing Yarbrough in my deeper leagues, but his 6.9 K/9, 1/.3 BB/9 and 4.15 xFIP is a little yawnstipating.
Travis d’Arnaud – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 10th homer. Goodbye Danny Jansen! Hello The French Terminator!
Kevin Kiermaier – Hit the IL with a thumb sprain. The good news is you never thought you’d get almost to August with a healthy Kiermaier, so it was all gravy, and you have high cholesterol and don’t need anymore gravy.
Drew Smyly – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 7.69. This comes just after the Phils signed Smyly, because after paying Harper $330 million, they only have money for emoticons.
Rhys Hoskins – 2-for-4 and his 21st homer, hitting .259. I’d put money on it that he’s a .255-.260, 34-homer hitter at the end of the season, except Cougs tells me the renovations to our house are going to cost more money than I made in the last three years combined, so how about a Mortimer and Randolph Duke-type bet?
Joe Musgrove – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.08. If you can figure out when Musgrove’s gonna pitch well vs. not, you’re a better sayer of soothes than I.
Dario Agrazal – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.25. True Story Alert! I saw Agrazal on waivers in my NL-Only league, saw his 3.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 6.15 xFIP and made the Larry David scrunched meh face.
Liam Hendriks – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 1.46, and his 2nd blown save. “Hey, I’m your substitute teacher, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, don’t abbreviate it.” A group of six-year-olds look at each other. “So, I’m here to teach a valuable lesson that you won’t ever have anything wonderful. Now open your box scores to the A’s.” One six-year-old raises her hand. “Speak your peace.” “Mr. Lothario, Liam Hendriks has been great and stands to continue to close games in Oakland.” I suddenly begin to cry, “You’re right, you’re right. I’m just so jaded! Never lose your optimism!”
Max Kepler – 3-for-6, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 24th homer. Maybe because I minored in Saberhagenmetrics at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston, but I can’t help feel like Kepler’s going to fall back to earth next year. How’sever, according to Saberhagenmetrics, no one is hitting more than 10 homers next year.
Jordan Yamamoto – 4 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 2.61. More like Yama-no-mo-moto.
A.J. Pollock – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and a slam (6) and legs (2). He hasn’t played every day, but it feels like every day he plays he homers or does something worthwhile. That could be said of the Dodgers hitters, in general. Well, except Corey Seager and Justin Turner.
Max Muncy – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 26th homer. Batt Meaty rubbed Muncy’s bat between his legs like a towel when you’re coming out of the shower, so that ball was destined for the bleachers.
Joc Pederson – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 23rd homer. Seriously, Dave Roberts can’t lose more than 60 games even if he tried.
Jakob Junis – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.83. The Streamonator loves his next start, but it’s against the Indians again, the same team he faced on Saturday. Pitchers are facing so many of the same teams that it’s hard to mix-up your game plan from start to start. Not sure I remember the schedule being quite this imbalanced in years past, but this might also play into why pitchers are being rocked (on top of the juiced ball).
Jorge Soler – 3-for-3 and his 27th homer. For the chuckles, it’s worth pointing out Soler is on pace for 43 homers.
Adam Plutko – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.81. I went into a German massage parlor and asked for a Plutko and they had a German woman dressed like Pluto stick something in my butt. I’ll give you their phone number if you want more deets.
Zach Plesac – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.50. Indians at home vs. the Royals sans Mondesi — Sandesi? — goes without saying, but Plesac, or please Zach, where do you go next? Oh, yeah, I just said in the Junis blurb. July is Royals vs. Indians month.
Jose Ramirez – 2-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .232, and hitting near.310 in July with five homers. I’m having my cake and eating it too with Jo-Jo Ram. I said to avoid him in the preseason — natch! — and said to buy him low a few weeks ago — natch, NATCH!
Conner Menez – 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks in his 1st major league start. Anyone in San Fran is a decent streamer. The park is like the anti-Coors, which makes sense if you’ve ever been there. For the 7th inning stretch, they stand to honor the vines they lost in Napa that year. Menez does have some solid Ks — 13.5 K/9 — but his command is iffy. For now, I’d look at streaming him in deeper leagues.
Mike Yastrzemski – and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer in two days, and 4th homer this week. Hot schmotato alert!
Zack Wheeler – Threw a bullpen session and could be activated this week vs. the Padres. Great, I can activate him for my weekly lineup! Dot dot dot. Then, invariably, find out around Wednesday he won’t be pitching this week.
Amed Rosario – 1-for-4 and his 11th homer. Since June 29th, he’s batting .418/.450/.655. Mets still have him batting 7th, because, ya know, dumb, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own him, and hot schmotato, fo’ sure.
Ronald Acuna Jr. – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 24th homer, hitting .295. Joined the 20/20 club on Saturday, July 20th. Now on pace for 30/30 on August 30th and 40/40 on September 40th.
Austin Riley – Benched on Sunday for Ender Inciarte (0-for-2, 1 run). You six weeks ago, “Wait a second, Grey, I enjoy the way your eyes pierce my soul and I want to find out how you feather your hair, but you’re saying to sell Austin Riley? I’m sorry, man, that’s about as dumb as dumb goes.” You still think the sell on Austin Riley when he was hitting .350 with a bomb a day was a bad idea?
Kevin Gausman – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.71, as he was activated from the IL. Interesting. Very, very interesting. So, there is a chance here for something in the 2nd half. Am I being roped in? P to the erhaps. But his 9.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 aren’t awful. A Streamonator call in shallower leagues, but in 12-team mixed and deeper, I could see grabbing him.
Mike Soroka – 6 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.46. Not saying someone definitely hypnotized Soroka to imagine he was pitching in the dead-ball era vs. the juiced ball, pinball flippers on the dugout era, but I’m not saying it’s not possible either.
Brandon Woodruff – 3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.75. Damn, his evil twin, Barf’don Woodruff. Go away, Barf’don. Now Bar’don is headed to the IL with an oblique, which will take anywhere from a week to three months. Oblique!
Gio Gonzalez – 4 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.60, as he returned from the IL after nearly two months. Gio was on the IL with arm fatigue. That’s pronounced fay-tee-gay, it’s Italian!