[brid autoplay=”true” video=”262532″ player=”10951″ title=”Fantasy Baseball Mailbag Week 14″]

In 1776 on July 1st, Ben Franklin grabbed Betsy Ross and four of her friends, and was like, “This will be better than Flag Day.  We will call this Flagellation Day.  Now twerk with a firework!”  That lasted for three days until Ben yelled out an Astros’ hitter last name and called for a volunteer fire department to put out his redness.  As the fire department extinguished his Reddick, Ben proclaimed July 4th to be a day of national celebration and the rest is history.  It’s also when The Stros Spangled Banner was written.  Any hoo!  Josh Reddick (3-for-4, 2 RBIs) had a slam (8) and legs (4) yesterday, and it’s 2nd day in a row with a homer.  He’s owned in only 30% of leagues and that is a crime to humanity, a first world one, at least.  God Bless America and Ben Franklin’s Reddick!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Ken Giles – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save, ERA at 3.94.  Giles is A.J. Hinch’s fetch.  He’s really trying to make Giles happen.  I’d continue to hold Hector Rondon, he did get a four-out save the previous night.

Gerrit Cole – 5 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.70.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for the Regression Fairies to find Cole outside a discotheque while wearing their platform shoes with a dead goldfish in them.  Yesterday’s game, though, was just natural ebb and flow of the season.  Cole’s peripherals still look gorge.

Yuli Gurriel – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th homer, hitting .296.  Okay, I’m starting to confuse Yuli and Lourdes Gurriel.  Can one of them be a Jr.?  *intern whispers in my ear*  I’m told the Jr. thing is not gonna help.

Mike Minor – 6 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. the Astros, ERA at 4.63.  Was this the lowest scoring 4th of July ever or was it me?  Not a lot of offense, right?  No?  Yes?  Hello?  Crap, I just realized I accidentally hung up on you.  Calling back now.  So, I gave you a Mike Minor fantasy last week after his last gem.  The peripherals don’t exactly back this up, but I think you have to pick him up until further notice.

Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-4 and his 16th homer, hitting .289.  I know, he’s only six away from his career high in homers of 22, but you really taking the over bet?  Seriously?  I’d put all kinds of fake cash down that he still only hits 22 homers or under.  How about I bet you one page view or .0000000642 of a penny?  Too rich for you?

Manny Machado – 0-for-3 and his 7th steal.  Was traded yesterday to every team and the O’s received back way less than they should’ve.  Okay, not yet.  But it’s coming.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.84.  Since it was the early game, I watched a lot of this game.  Ya know, 4th of July, baseball, boba and Cougs at Orange Theory (whatever the eff that is).  Not to take anything away from Ed-Rod, which is what everyone says before taking something away from someone, the Nats look lifeless.  If Bryce grounds out one more time, I may start posing with tourists in Norway outside an Edvard Munch museum.

Erick Fedde – Left yesterday’s game with shoulder issue, but an MRI revealed no structural damage.  The MRI added, “There’s no fantasy value here either.”  Coldblooded.

Gleyber Torres – Hit the DL with a hip strain.  I don’t want to scream in the commedia dell’arte of Razzball, but what’s he 15 years old?  How does he have hip problems?

Aaron Judge – 1-for-4 and his 24th homer.  I’m not saying he’s going to hit 50+ homers, but if you watch his home run yesterday, it’s ludicrous he doesn’t hit every pitch out.  His infield popups are homers.

Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 21st homer.

Kyle Higashioka – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer.   He’s only started five games!  He has 16 ABs!  Higashioka, can I ask you a private question?  Are you really Tom Murphy?  If yes, just nod and get on my fantasy team.  If no, get on my team anyway.

CC Sabathia – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.02.  *letters in alphabet soup form “You own Tanaka and refuse to pick up Sabathia question mark”*  Damn, soup.  Stream-o-Nator even has CC as a positive in his next start (barely).

Freddie Freeman – Left after being hit by a pitch.  Freeman has a contusion, which is doctor mumbo-jumbo for a bruise.

Johan Camargo – 1-for-3 and his 9th homer, hitting .260.  He has 31 walks and only 41 Ks (.363 OBP); his pitches swung at outside the strike zone has dropped by almost 6%, same with his first pitch strikes, and his launch angle has increased by 3%, putting him over league average.  His exit velocity is 89.8 MPH which is the same as Castellanos.  Am I grabbing him everywhere?  No, but I could see a place for Camargoadams outside of Wade Boggs’ bedroom.

Sean Manaea – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 3.33.  So few Ks, but he made them “hit ’em where they were,” like a reverse Willie Keeler.  I will call him, Killie Weeler, which, if I’m being honest, is what most people call him.

Lou Trivino – 2/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.49.  He now has a 7-1 record, and I think he’s best pitcher on my RCL team.  I want to cry.  Please hold me.  Metaphorically!  Why are you taking off your shirt?

Christian Villanueva – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .231.  Ever wonder why Villanueva waits until after you drop him to homer?  It’s not a coincidence.  Villanueva is very spiteful.

Andrew Suarez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.92 vs. Tyler Anderson – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.90.  This game was in Coors, which proves my point, this was the lowest scoring July 4th since at least 1968.

Chris Iannetta – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, hitting .244.  You don’t need to bring a shovel to Tom Murphy’s funeral, the Rockies will supply it.

Kole Calhoun – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer.  Calhoun continues to quiet the critics who say he shouldn’t be hitting leadoff.  I’m kidding, of course!  It’s madness he’s hitting leadoff!  He’s hitting .180 with a .230 OBP!  Ohtani hitting leadoff makes more sense.  Like a lot more sense.

Albert Pujols – 2-for-5 as he was dropped down to the five hole for the first time since his rookie year.  He should’ve been dropped to the six hole about three years ago.  Pujols has gotten more rope than Kevin Smith after Clerks.  “Okay, Kevin Smith’s done 17 terrible films since Clerks, but I hear this one is good.”  It’s not!  They’re all bad!

Kyle Seager – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, average up to .239, after floundering in the .225 range for eternity for men.  Mentioned this a few weeks ago, but Seager can be hitting .250 with, like, one bloop falling in every ten games.

Ryon Healy – 2-for-4 and his 17th homer, hitting .252.  You can take your Lindor and Jo-Ram, Cleveland!  We’ve got Healy and Seager!  Said maybe one or two M’s fans.

Yoan Moncada – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer.  He’s going to end the year with 25 homers and 20 steals and you’re gonna be like, “Hmm, guess I should’ve held him all year.  It’s also weird I’m thinking about Yoan Moncada when I’ve been playing fantasy football for the last two months.”

Daniel Palka – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, and 3rd homer in two days.  Hot schmotato alert!

Corey Oswalt – 4 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 7.94.  The Mets call him C.E. Roy Oswalt.  C.E. is for Current ERA:  7.94.

Brandon Nimmo – 1-for-3, 1 run, 2 RBI, hitting .265.  Where the hell has Nimmo been?  Googling Nimmo’s previous whereabouts tells me he was co-starring with Ellen.

Marcus Stroman – 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 6.50.  Was not a big fan of Stroman in the preseason, and now he’s coming off a shoulder injury, so let’s say you’d have a hard time limboing my expectations on him.  (Even if Stroman would not have a hard time limboing under any stick.  He’s tiny.)

Kendrys Morales – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 9th homer.  You know what’s weird?  Don’t worry, I’m gonna tell you.  There’s a crapton of offense everywhere (except yesterday), but there’s no decent DHs.

Gregory Polanco – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .231.  Wow, one Pirates player may actually get to 20 homers this year.  Ya know, what Max Muncy already has.

Francisco Lindor – 0-for-4, 1 run and his 11th steal.  Not to be outdone, Jose Ramirez also went hitless but he stole 2 bags (16, 17).  Incredible.

Patrick Corbin – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.05 vs. Miles Mikolas – 6 IP, 2 ER, 11 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.63.  This was a matchup billed as, “They both wear serious musk to avoid an interaction with the Regression Fairies.”

Travis Shaw – 2-for-3 and his 15th homer.  So happy to see this because now I can stop my fretting — I’m a fretter, y’all! — about Shaw’s wrist.

Chase Anderson – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.99. Jon Lester has the biggest difference between his ERA and his xFIP but Chase Anderson is hoisting a koozie to hold his beer.  Or maybe beer mittens.  Beer mittens aren’t a thing?  I have one word to say to that:  YET!

Nate Orf – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer.  Not a great hitter, but during rain delays, when Orf kneels, pretending to be extremely short and does these Orf on Golf routines?  He’s just great!

Brad Miller – 1-for-3 and his 7th homer, hitting .338.  I don’t care how well he’s hitting, he is standing between me and Keston Hiura!  Though, yes, Miller has been fine.  Said begrudgingly!

Jose Berrios – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.54.  Berrios is taking one of those old school paths to greatest, waiting for his third year.  No idea yet, but I’m guessing he sneaks into my top 20 overall for starters next year.  Love me some Berrios.  Oh yeah!  *smashes through wall*

Eduardo Escobar – 2-for-4, and his 13th homer, hitting .277.  Apparently, he’s still playing with the return of Jorge Polanco (2-for-3, 1 RBI and his 1st steal).  Yes, this just became a flustercuck of playing time.

J.T. Riddle – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .258, and came up a double short of the cycle.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I have Riddle on one of my more charmed teams (Tout Wars) and for that reason alone he’ll likely do well.  Plus, I’m wearing Riddler leotards as I type this.  Too much synergy to be denied.

Shane Greene – Will have an MRI on his shoulder.  That sounds terri… –fic or –ble?  Twitter poll results:  85% for –ble, 10% for –fic, 5% for Jill Stein.

John Hicks – 1-for-3 and his 8th homer, hitting .280.  During a moment in mid-June, I felt this scratching sensation, and it was my catcher scab calling for me to scratch it.  Unable to #resist, I picked Zunino off my team and added Hicks.  Best moment of my life.  Sorry, wedding ceremony, you’re moving down the list!

Nicholas Castellanos – 1-for-3 and his 14th homer, hitting .309.  The Greek God of Hard Contact came down from his booth atop the Mt. Olympus Diner and gave us a 4th of July Light Show, while refilling our coffee.

Javier Baez – 1-for-4, 1 run and two steals (14, 15), and one of those steals was of home.  Liriano threw to first, appearing to forget there was a runner on first, but later revealed he has dyslexia and thought he was throwing home.

Willson Contreras – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer.  Hitting for a solid average (.284), but has really yet to catch fire, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see those emojis get lit soon.

Jose Quintana – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.22.  Quick question, can Quintana be more yawnstipating?  What a snoozecannon this guy is.  He is walking that fine line of “I would own him, but when I own him I’m not going to want to own him.”

David Bote – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer.  Hues Corporation tried to warn us, don’t rock the Bote, don’t tip the Bote over.  Don’t rock the Bote, baby.  Don’t tip the Bote over.  So, I’d like to know, where’d you get the notion?