Real baseball is weird.  Real sportswriters are even weirder.  From Sportsnet.ca, “Donaldson trade marks abrupt split from Blue Jays after promising start.”  Abrupt?  Maybe I’m just heartless, but why would the Blue Jays be salty about getting rid of Josh Donaldson?  If he would’ve stayed with the club, he could’ve opted into a $18 million contract and been back next year in Toronto insanely overpaid and blocking Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  Then, from Sportsnet.ca, “But trading the star third baseman and cash to the Cleveland Indians, who visit Toronto next week, of all places?  Even the New York Yankees would have been a more palatable destination.”  I’m sorry, what?  Why are the Indians worse than the Yankees?  Because Edwin is there?  Because the Jays’ GM used to be in Cleveland?  Is this just bad writing?  Or is real baseball just odd.  I seriously have no idea.  Elsewhere, other sportswriters were talking about what a great move this was.  No wonder people come here and get floored when I say something about a guy like Josh Donaldson being overrated.  They’re being lied to everywhere else.  This was not a great move by the Indians.  Donaldson can’t stay healthy and has no place to play.  Maybe he can give them a solid at-bat off the bench, but Curtis Granderson might’ve been able to do that too.  Don’t worry, will get to him and all the other September roster news.  As they say at gang initiation, after the jump.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

C.J. Cron – 2-for-5 and his 26th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games.  So, schmotato, sure, but I wanted to quickly mention the Rays’ opener.  No, not how Nickelback opened for Ray Romano, but the reliever pitching one inning, then someone else coming in from 2nd thru 6th inning.  Are we sure this is any different than the starter pitching the 1st thru 5th and a reliever pitching the 6th?  I’m honestly not trying to be daft.

Brandon Lowe – 3-for-5 and his 3rd homer, and all three homers in the last four games.  Lowe hit 14 homers in only 46 games of Triple-A, and was fairly high in Prospect Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects.  For now, he’s hitting, and, in redrafts, that’s all that matters.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything but a rake from Lowe’s.

Jose Alvarado – 2/3 IP, and his 7th save, ERA at 2.20.  If anyone sees Sergio Romo, who last pitched on August 25th, give him Razzball’s company credit card number and tell him to book a flight to the next Rays game, it’s on us.

Eloy Jimenez – Won’t be called up because the MLB’s system for rookies is broke.  Face it, it’s broke.  You can argue teams are screwing over players or they’re doing the right thing to keep a guy for longer under control.  Neither of those points matter to my point.  The system that allows teams to do what they’re doing is broken.  If I were the White Sox, I’d do the same thing.  I’d be exploiting Eloy and the system, but I’d do it because it’s legal.  MLB needs to change system.

Tim Anderson – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his 18th homer.  In my Tim Anderson sleeper post from last December, I projected him for 83/21/68/.260/25 in 593 ABs.  He’s on pace for 83/21/70/.250/30 in 578 ABs.  Damn, so far off!

Chris Sale – Will return next weekend as an opener, throwing a few innings for a few starts until he’s up to speed.  Price should return next weekend too, so, mark it down, we might get a Sale/Price.

Aroldis Chapman – May not return in 2018.  Wow, he’s knocked out longer than the woman he unsuspectingly handcuffed to his hotel bed.

Masahiro Tanaka – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.83.  I own this piece of schmohawk pie and I’ll say this, with all honesty, I have no idea how his ERA is that low.  Was there a scoring error on his months of April thru June starts and then again in August?

Lance Lynn – 3 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.10.  There is a reason that his name isn’t Wance Wynn.

Luke Voit – 2-for-5 and his 5th homer, and 1st mention since my Friday Buy when I told you to, uh, buy him.  You don’t have to wear an ascot like Jon Voight to see they’re related.

Nicholas Castellanos – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .294.  I wonder if the The Greek God of Hard Contact every gets confused for Baker Mayfield, The Greek God of Hard Knocks.  Look at Grey working in football! (Terrible segue alert!)  If you want to check out our fantasy football projections, they’re all there.  Or simply there there.  Or our fantasy football trade analyzer.

Victor Reyes – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .228.  That was his 1st career homer in his 82nd game.  Over the course of a 162 game season, he’s on pace for 1.9999999999 homers.  So, that’s two homers, but, on the 2nd, he forgets to touch home.

Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-2, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer.  HR to the Rizzo!

Javier Baez – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 30th homer, hitting .299, and knocked in his 100th RBI.  The narrative of anyone can manage a good team vs. Joe Maddon is a great manager is a TKO with Baez being a potential MVP and has 133 ABs batting 6th or lower in the lineup.  Or how about Gabe Kapler batting Jose Bautista 3rd?

Aaron Nola – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA up to 2.23.  What a bum!

Josh James – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks as he was called up and started on Saturday.  He was also in Prospect Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects, if barely.  Or bearly, if an actual bear is reading.

Shohei Ohtani – 2 1/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 3.31.  The other day when it was announced he would return to the mound, I predicted a 2 IP, 2 ER start.  You got me, Ohtani!  You got me!

Jeff Brigham – 3 IP, 3 ER as he was called up for the Marlins.  Fun fact!  When the Marlins called him up, Mattingly said, “Brigham to me.”  Less fun fact!  He’s a Marlins prospect who looks like he might be a career minor leaguer.

Wei-Yin Chen – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.64, but a 1.54 ERA in August in 4 starts, and, holy crap, I’m going back in on Wei-Yin.  September baseball, you are weird, but I love you!  By the way, make sure to point to this blurb if anyone dares comment next March something like, “Do you think I should draft (fill-in player name) because the (team name) have a good September schedule?”

Sean Reid-Foley – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 5.51.  Stream-o-Nator pointed out how obvious of a stream Reid-Foley was yesterday, and how much of an avoid he is next time out.

Teoscar Hernandez – 1-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer, hitting .242.  …and the Teoscar for Supporting Player On My Fantasy Team Who I Dropped Six Weeks Ago Without Looking Back goes to…Teoscar!  Announcer voice, “This is Teoscar’s first Teoscar after being nominated previously for Mama Mia 3: These Cougars Are Hot.”

Felix Hernandez – 5 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 5.55.  F-Her is putting on a clinic this year.  That clinic’s title, “Should You Be Excited About Kershaw In A Dynasty League?”

Edwin Jackson – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.91.  As I say, the 17th team a guy plays for is always the charm!

Stephen Piscotty – 2-for-3, 5 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer, and his 2nd and 3rd homer in the last three games and hitting near-.333 in that time.  Hot schmotato?  Piscotty does know!

Steven Matz – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.20.  His ERA is a gateway drug!  Stream-o-Nator loved this start by Matz and likes his next one even more, so giddy up while the horse is horny, as they say.

Michael Conforto – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .233, and 2nd homer this week.  Supremely uncool move if he puts together a huge final month to drive up his 2019 draft day price.  C’mon, man, take a dive for your fantasy baseball value!

Noah Syndergaard – 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.33.  His opponents, the Giants, well, their lineup is better as a rallying cry for the alt-right because it starts with Blanco/Panik.

Derek Holland – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.56.  I told you to stream Holland like I was Peter Stuyvesant, but his next start isn’t favorable so put your two lips together and blow away Holland.

Chris Shaw – 0-for-3 as he was called up by the Giants.  His brother, Rick, toils in Asia.  Chris Shaw was in Prospect Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects.  Shaw had power in Triple-A (24 HRs in 101 games), but has to play in San Fran.  We saw how well that turned out for Mac Williamson, Pence, McCutchen, etc.

Nick Kingham – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.70, as he started in place of Ivan Nova.  Fun fact!  When I won the New Jersey State Checkers Championship, they called me Kingham.  As for fantasy, I like Kingham, but obviously depends on his matchups at this point.

Touki Toussaint – Was called up to start today vs. the Red Sox.  In an NL-Only league, I’m doing it all for the Touki.  In mixed leagues, I don’t know how many starts Touki’s getting.  I do like me some Touki though, and, yes, I like saying Touki…Touki!  Plus, his full name sounds like he’s a character in Angel Heart.  Also, Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright were called up.  Love, love and lurve these guys, but unless the Braves decide to rest one of their five starters, I don’t see how they get IP.

Ronald Acuna Jr. – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 23rd homer.  Tildaddy tells us to go to sleep!

Kevin Gausman – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.66 on the Braves vs. Chris Archer – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.40 on the Pirates.  This matchup was billed as, “Here, let me show you something: *Gausman reveals to Archer they now pitch in the NL, Archer’s eyes go wide*  Oh, I get it!”

Blake Snell – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.02.  If he were pitching in the NL East, his ERA would be 0.01.

Jonathan Villar – 1-for-4 and his 11th homer, and now batting third.  He hit .261 on the Brewers and, on the O’s, he’s hitting .261.  Yo, Villar’s got OCD!

Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.34.  As I said last week when it was announced Ed-Rod would be returning, it is totally fine to own and start him because he was out with a non-arm-related injury.  I will now say, “Well, yeah!”

Sean DoolittleNats are hopeful he returns this week.  That makes two of us!  *counting on fingers*  Three of us?  I don’t know, but I’m happy too! (Three?)

Wilmer Difo – 1-for-4 and 6th homer.  I want to see Wilmer Difo in a platoon more!  *turns on TCM*  This is better!

Gio Gonzalez – Acquired by the Brewers.  The Gio Gonzalez with a 4.57 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, declining K/9, walk rate and velocity?  That Gio?  Go to sleep, Brewers, you’re drunk.

Curtis Granderson – 0-for-1, 1 run as he was acquired by the Brewers.  The Streets once said, “A Grand Don’t Come for Free,” but in this case he nearly did.  I look at the Brewers but don’t think, “Ya know what they need?  An outfielder vet whose best years are behind him who can platoon with someone, but I’m not sure who.”

Keon Broxton – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer.  He’s the best 9th outfielder in the majors!  Though, most teams only carry five.

James Paxton – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 10 Ks, ERA at 3.74, as he returned from the DL.  He’s now officially thrown more IP this year than any other of his career.  Terrific!  Super!  Adjective!  Unfortch, it’s still not even 150 IP.

Jon Gray – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 4.70.  This start was vs. the Padres and it’s the 2nd start in a row with only one strikeout.  Gray does not understand what Grey wants at all.  Practically like Gray is from Mars, and Grey is from Venus.  I hope the minor league manager didn’t feed Gray some malarkey about pitching to contact instead of getting Ks.

David FreeseDodgers acquired him.  Wanna hear something hilarious?  Of course you do, you love hilarious.  I checked our MLB Optimizer for the first time yesterday.  Holy crap, that shizz is amazing!  This is hilarious because it’s been on the site for five years.  El oh freakin’ el.  I’m so dumb!  Is there any reason why I’m mentioning this in David Freese’s blurb?  About as much reason as the Dodgers had in trading for him.  ‘Natch!

Walker Buehler – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.92.  I love that; I love him, which is why I say from the bottom of my heart, please shut him down.  Please, Dave Roberts, stop talking about stolen base in the playoffs, do basic math and shut Buehler down.  Please.

David Dahl – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer.  That’s nice, but the only way he can guarantee playing time is if he changes his name to Hollidahl.

Luis Castillo – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.83.  Don’t you dare now ruin your draft day price for 2019!

Eugenio Suarez – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer, hitting .295.  Will be interesting to see where he’s ranked next year, because I’m not getting an overwhelming sense that people love him like they should.  He’s having a better year than Kris Bryant’s had in two seasons, and it would not shock me to see people want Bryant first.

Elvis Andrus – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .265.  Too bad no one told you this preseason to avoid him.  Wait!  I did do exactly that.  Damn, forgot about that.

Nomar Mazara – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 19th and 20th homer, and four homers in three games.  He hasn’t been amazing all year, as some of us might’ve hoped, but hasn’t been bad, per se.  Or Percy, if your Latin’s trying to assimilate.

Robinson Chirinos – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer.  Uh-oh, Chirinos!

Jurickson Profar – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer.  Profar!  Profar!  Jurickson hit one over!

Jose Berrios – 4 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.92.  Take notes, Luis Castillo, that’s how you lower your draft day price for 2019!  On the fo’reals, I wouldn’t start Berrios anywhere right now.  Maybe he has a dead arm — Hey, Berrios, you doing Weekend at Bernie’s cosplay?

Byron Buxton – Won’t be called up with rosters expanding.  Twins’ Triple-A manager is Harry S. Truman III, declaring, “The Buxton stops here.”

 
  1. dau says:
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    Voit or Austin?
    and—Barnhart, Chirinos, Garver, Zunino, Pina, Hedges—top 2.

    Thank you.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @dau: Voit — Tucker, Hedges

  2. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    In the Gausman blurb, the first “Pirates” should be “Braves” and “NL East” should just be “NL.”

    I did not use Stream-o-Nator and thus counted 6 IP, 11 ER, 22 baserunners, 4 Ks from Brian Johnson and Jefry Rodriguez rather than Sean Reid-Foley’s – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks.

    • Better Call Limehouse says:
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      @VinWins: not sure on johnson (it did like him a bit in his previous start to yesterday’s, and he was ok in that one), but it hated jerfy’s. i did chicken out on reid foley’s myself, albeit knowing the SON numbers. i streamed others.

    • curiousgeorgespringer says:
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      @VinWins: SON liked Johnson’s start. Pretty sure it had him higher up than Reid-Foley.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @VinWins: Oops, thanks Vin! Sorry you got Jefry/Johnson’d

  3. Better Call Limehouse says:
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    14 team h2h (playoffs next week, i’m locked into making it, now can try to get bye seed) with OBP over AVG, total bases added.
    C hedges
    1B rizzo (2B)
    2B odor
    SS machado (3B)
    3B chapman
    OF (3) yelich, o’neill, whit (1B/2B)
    util (2) urias, puig
    BN pillar, rosario (the 1st of what will later be many guys who don’t get DL’d and we don’t even get real updates on, and we’re left guessing exactly when we should drop them)

    pillar clearly, and maybe others drop for which of these: mancini (CLEARLY he’s an add over somebody, gotta use some FAAB tomorrow night though), laureano, grichuk, b.lowe.

  4. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!!

    Great write-up.

    a. In a 5×5 RCL where I really need wins, would you start Trevor Williams tonight versus Cincinnati (Harvey)?

    b. Mark Twain quote of the day for September 3

    When you fish for love, bait with your heart not your brain.

    Cheers,
    Ante

  5. Better Call Limehouse says:
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    16 teamer with OPS and hits added. semien (in one of 2 utils) or urias drop for any of: franmil, quinn, cave? have one BN bat that i rotate as well.

  6. Wilson says:
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    Would you start Godley vs Goldy today? Need QS/ERA/WHIP to win this year. thanks.

    • Wilson says:
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      Typo,
      * vs SD

  7. Mad Don says:
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    What are your thoughts on starting hot players over your established guys in September? I have a hot renfro and franmil reyes, and am considering starting them over Choo and Markakis. Both have had a cold August. I could even take it to the extreme and bench Correa for Semien. What do you think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mad Don: I go with hot players in Sept, can bench Correa

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mad Don: And yes lose Choo and Markakis

  8. Ciwa says:
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    Lowe, Voit or Mondesi ROS?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ciwa: Voit, different things with Mondesi tho

      • Ciwa says:
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        @Grey:
        That’s my H2H league category:
        HR
        RBI
        AVG
        OBP
        SLG
        NSB

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Voit

  9. Wilson says:
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    Pick two to bench today. Thanks.

    Melky Cabrera, vs KC (Junis)
    Adam Eaton, vs STL (Flaherty)
    Trey Mancini, @SEA (Ramirez)
    Hunter Renfroe, @ ARI (Godley)
    Jonathan Villar, @SEA (Ramirez)
    Cody Bellinger, vs NYM (deGrom)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wilson: Melky, Eaton

  10. JC says:
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    Still hold Guerrero in a redraft?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @JC: Can lose him

  11. here comes the pizza says:
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    What’s up Grey?

    One of my H2H leagues had the championship conclude last night and I went back 2 back like the Griffeys!! Acuna was an absolute unit during these playoffs for me. Is he top 15 next year?

    Thanks again for all the advice this season. Tron and SoN are some of the best fantasy tools in the game!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @here comes the pizza: Nice! Congrats! Acuna’s def top 25, maybe top 15, I will have to see…

  12. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Purely for average and rbi this week, Tron says DJ L. in Colorado for 6 games, but he’s been pretty cold comparatively and faces Bumgarner , Kershaw, Buehler, Wood, Etc. (DJ is positive in the 15-20s+ every day).

    Would you bench DJ for Camargo (who tron hasn’t caught up to yet)? Camargo has 7 games, against Boston and @Arz, including Price, Grienke, Corbin…

  13. Vash says:
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    I’m back on the Mazara train. Had a shot at 30 homers if not injured. I will be happy with 25-27 which was most of his projections this year. I want to see him slug .500, which is doable, but that will take a monstrous finish.

    Tanaka is so interesting. He can look like an ace and dominate the Red Sox or get decimated by the White Sox. But I think the Yankees care only for his playoff performances, which are always stellar.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Vash: Agreed on both, I want more from both tho too

  14. Vash says:
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    Thoughts on Ronaldo Guzman. He has more power this year than expected at least in my opinion. I am ready to give up on Greg Bird in my keeper and move onto Guzman or Matt Davidson.

    Would you drop Bird for Guzman or Davidson in a H2H keeper, of keep Bird?

    • Racehorse says:
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      @Vash: I’m in practically the same predicament with my h2h keeper team.

      Post all-star game I picked up Guzman and then dropped him, but have been able to grab him one more time about a week ago …

      The thing with Guzman is that the Rangers paid a ton to sign him, which means he’ll play. Add to the fact his defense is plus, which adds to the length of time the Rangers will give him to “figure it out”.

      I’m going to do my best to head into the off-season with both Bird and Guzman on my roster, then see what the Yankees do with Bird and their 1B situation.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Vash: No faith in Bird, so can try Guzman

  15. Fantasy Freak says:
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    Rank Bryan Dozier, Daniel Murphy and Travis Shaw ROS.

  16. Chris says:
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    Hey Grey,

    for bench option this week…
    stay with Maikel Franco… or
    Piscoty vs NYY and vs TEX… or
    Lowe @TOR and vs BAL

    thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Chris: Piscotty

  17. Balke says:
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    Stream Heaney vs TEX or Minor vs LAA tomorrow?

  18. Doc Samson says:
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    Ha! Love the Wilmer Difo TCM snark! I believe he also danced with Ginger Rogers and was romanced by Caesar Romero.

    Robert Osborne aside, who do you like better as my third keeper in an auction league next year: Bauer ($13) or Koepach ($6)? Already have Acuna ($15) and G. Torres ($5).

  19. Chucky says:
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    Who’s really buried in that coffin in the Arizona State house, John McCain or AJ Pollock?

  20. Uno Mas Cerveza says:
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    Buxton, Broxton, Brinson…beware of the 5 tool prospect whose last name starts with B and ends with ON. Caucasians named Blackmon are ok…

  21. Robert says:
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    For the 1st time in three years I am going to the playoffs in my thanks to your advice. 10 team h2h redraft league : hold OZUNA or drop him for Pham or Piscotty?
    T. Ward or Chirinos, Pina, Garver?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Robert: Piscotty – Chirinos or Pina, depending on matchups

  22. asdfasdf says:
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    Hi Grey, I’m having trouble deciding whether to start Archer (vs. MIA) or Boxberger this week (6 games vs. SD, ATL). It’s a points league. Archer has a nice matchup but Boxberger could always go off for 4 saves or something and get a ton of points. Or, you know, he may have lost his closer job, who knows. It’s round 1 of the playoffs–any particular way you lean? Thanks

      • Fotch says:
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        @Grey: Do you think Hirano or Bradley if Box loses his job?