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Justin Verlander (6 IP, 0 ER, no baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.87) is built different. At 39 years of age, he is dominating like he’s in his 20s. He’s doing things that have never been done before, while just coming back from Tommy John surgery. He truly is remarkable. I have an idea about how he’s performing so well, but to test my theory, I need to sleep with Kate Upton. I will talk to my wife, Cougs, and I will need to get Justin and Kate’s permission, as well. For science is how I will pitch it, and I’ll need to pitch better than Justin to get this to fly. I believe this is a sacrifice all four of us can make. I will be making perhaps the biggest sacrifice. For 2023 fantasy, what will Justin Verlander do as an encore after this season? His peripherals (8.9 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 3.36 xFIP) look basically the same as his first Cy Young award that he won back in 2011, and, he should win his third this year. There’s no way I’m betting against Justin Verlander next year, not until everyone involved lets me sleep with Kate Upton to see if that has magical powers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Alex Bregman – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer. Not too Bregman, but he’s actually been great in the 2nd half (hitting .335-ish with eight homers in 31 games).

Byron Buxton – Hit the IL with a hip strain. He blew away my estimate for when his season-ending injury would happen, so I’m not going to claim any sorta victory on Buxton by telling you to avoid him back in March, but I bet where he ends on the Player Rater will be a lot lower than you think, and way below his ADP.

Javier Assad – 4 IP, 0 ER as he was recalled. Let’s get one thing straight, Assad is no friend of ours, but Assad is also no turkey. I’m 100% Syria-ous.

Adam Wainwright – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.11. When Wainwright started pitching in the majors there wasn’t iPads, now they have Pitchcom, that can get Netflix, Hulu and all kinds of other streaming services!

Tommy Edman – 2-for-6, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. Not to be a bummer on a night when he actually does something, but he was benched in the first game, and hitting 9th in the 2nd. That induces quite the lip raspberrying.

Nolan Arenado – 3-for-7 and his 26th homer. Ya know, Ming’s makes the best Kung Pao Chicken. You don’t eat chicken? Wow, okay, let’s check out their menu. They don’t have it online, but I have the one last copy over here by this open window–NOOO!!! Torenado!

Frankie Montas – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.84. Some of the best pitching I’ve seen from Montas since he’s been on the Yankees, while, at times, he was also not capable of finding the plate. You’d think if he wanted to blow, he would’ve stayed in Oakland.

Aaron Judge – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (48) and legs (14). Not only is he gonna hit 60 homers, but also steal 17 bags? What an insane season. On the Historical Player Rater, the best season of all time is Babe Ruth with 59 HRs and 17 SBs, but he hit .378 and had 177 runs and 171 RBIs! Haha, so crazy. Judge might sneak into the top 25, while being the best season of the last 15 years. Though, I need to ask Rudy to update this, it hasn’t been since 2019, and I know it’s missing Ohtani’s previous year. Right now, Rudy is preparing our fantasy football projections though.

Wandy Peralta – 1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.44, and his 2nd save, after relieving Clark Schmidt (3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.18). Yo, real question, has anyone seen Aroldis Chapman in, like the last week or so? Is he still on the Yankees? Cause they seemed to be going out of their way last night to not go anywhere near him.

Evan Longoria – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. Hot schmotato alert!

Carlos Rodon – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.81. Really hoping he doesn’t lose velocity in September like he did last year, so I can unequivocally be in on him next year, though, if I’m being honest, I’d be in on him anyway, because he struggled with his arm tiring last year, and was still great this year.

Vinnie Pasquantino – Hit the IL, which sadly is not them beginning to spell linguini with dyslexia. I will miss you forever, Pasketti.

Jonathan Heasley – 4 2/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 5.21. He was pulled from the game after vomiting twice in the 5th inning. Heasley leaving it all out on the mound!

Bobby Witt Jr. – 2-for-4, 2 runs, and his 17th homer. BWJ stands for Big Dubya Jr., baby!

Dylan Cease – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.27. Oh, don’t tire now! Just one more month of pitching well! Please! Cease! It rhymes!

Eloy Jimenez – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, but, don’t worry, he left the game with General Soreness and Major Pain in his elbow. They say he’s day-to-day, so…back by May of 2023?

Fernando Tatis Jr. – Will have shoulder surgery and stay in San Diego to rehab. That’s what we should’ve read back in December of last year when he fell off his motorcycle! I can’t believe he wasted nine months, but here we are. Hopefully, Fun’s going the right way now.

Andres Gimenez – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer, hitting .309. Guess where he ranks for batting average? Too slow! 7th overall in the major leagues, and he has a real shot of being the 2nd overall in the American League. Average is still a category in your fantasy league, right?

Oscar Gonzalez – 1-for-4 and his 4th homer, hitting near-.340 in the last month, and a little bit of a schmotato if you need average. He has not hit for much power or stolen many bags. Os-Go as far as that takes ya.

Ke’Bryan Hayes – 0-for-4 as he was activated from the IL. He’s on pace for a 55/8/45/.248/16 in 125 games. Wow, he sucks. Wonder if he could stand close to Oneil Cruz and the guy he hired to teach him hitting, and glom some free advice.

Michael Chavis – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer. This means kinda nothing, but it stood out to me as to how accurate baseball stats are. Or rather inaccurate. His home run would’ve made it out in 29 of 30 parks, and its expected batting average was .090. That makes .090 sense. It shows you why you shouldn’t trust any stats, or at least expected batting average.

Max Fried – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.52. Anecdotally, I was thinking to myself, “Self, Fried hasn’t had one bad start this year,” then I looked at his game log, and not since Opening Day, he hasn’t.

Travis d’Arnaud – 1-for-4, and his 13th homer, hitting .258. In almost 70 more at-bats, William Contreras has three more homers, and is DH’ing now.

Kris Bryant – Yet to resume baseball activities, and starting to seem unlikely it’ll happen for him this year. Only five more years, then he can have the biggest contract-year season we’ve ever seen in Colorado, and re-sign with the Rockies for seven more years.

Daniel Bard – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.22, and his 26th save. Bard’s having a season that couldn’t even have been conceived by the Earl of Oxford.

C.J. Cron – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 24th homer. Hmm…So, you’re telling me my preseason bet on Cron to lead the majors in homers isn’t gonna payout? What about the one I made for Dom Smith?

Marcus Semien – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, but still sitting on 19 steals on the year. Mean’s while, his teammate, Adolis Garcia (2-for-4, 1 RBI) stole his 20th bag to become the leagues’s first 20/20 guy. A Semien jack is exactly what I’m thinking about when I mention Adolis was a preseason sleeper of mine. Also, I told you to buy him in July at the Break, when everyone else was saying sell.

Walker Buehler – Underwent his 2nd Tommy John surgery. This sucks to hear. Dodgers can turn a guy like Tyler Anderson into a 47-year-old Hoyt Wilheim with a 90 MPH fastball, so hopefully they can get Buehler through his rehab, but a second Tommy John is not good, and he will be away from us until every bit of 2024.

Tony Gonsolin – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.10, as he outdueled Corbin Burnes (3 2/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 2.84) and has just been better than him on the year, which feels like such an obvious gesture to me saying don’t draft top starters, that I won’t even point it out. I’ll let you figure it out on your own!

Trayce Thompson – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 6th homer. He’s been decent for the last month, and have been a bit remiss in not mentioning Trayce, and he sounds like a miss, so what does that mean? I will think on it.

Pablo Lopez – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.66. Not saying he had an easy matchup in Oakland, but to really suck you gotta go in the stands.

Mitch Haniger – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. If he’s out there, go ahead and grab him. Hopefully he stays healthy. Cross your fingers, and his legs.

Eugenio Suarez – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer, hitting .228, and has four homers in the last five games. Wouldn’t be smart to have him, it would be Eugenius.

Robbie Ray – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.75. Used to exclaim, “Robbie Ray’s back!” And just mean his tight-fitting pants. Used to scream, “Robbie Ray’s ass!” And just mean his pitching. Now, I’m able to scream both with joy. Only took facing the worst team in the history of baseball at home. Or, in Robbie Ray’s case, only took about-facing so he’d stop distracting with those booty huggers. Looking at my fantasy teams, “The only booty I’m hugging now is Sean Manaea.” (I went through five of my teams to find a bad pitcher I was holding. It wasn’t easy to find. My pitchers are really good.)

Joey Meneses – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 6th homer. Joey Meneses in from Aunt Flow’s as he will be, periodically.

Nick Lodolo – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.35 vs. Ranger Suarez – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, ERA at 3.38. Is it possible to start two guys in every league and be disappointed by every pitch on both sides of the game? Was trying to YOLO Lodolo, and keep Ranger danger at bay, but this was just a struggle to watch. Not giving up on either, but definitely not beaming either. It is funny how 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER feels okay, but 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER is just such a bleh.

Ross Stripling – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.84. The big bad AL East teams he’s facing, which team would you be worried about? I’m not even sure I’d be worried about the Yankees.

Nathan Eovaldi – Hit the IL. That sucks! Speaking of Nathan’s that suck. Check out this absolute lunatic sucking beer through a hot dog.

Eric Hosmer – Hit the IL. All good, the Red Sox have the top defensive 1st baseman, Franchy Cordero, returning. Hey, don’t badmouth him! Unless you’re making almond paste, don’t be doing any Franchy pan. (A pun enjoyed by literally one 75-year-old British woman.)

Corey Kluber – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.20. I think I know what that Kluber is using to get high with his conspicuous 4.20 ERA! So, guess what I did yesterday. Used him based off the Streamonator. Guess what I’m doing today? Dropping him.

Christian Bethancourt – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, and his 3rd homer in as many games, and he closed it out on the mound too (1 IP, 0 ER). Keep seeing him homer, and thinking, “Nah, I’m not gonna say hot schmotato,” and Bethancourt just keeps hitting for the Tampa Bayeth Rath.

Mike Trout – 1-for-3 and his 25th homer. Angels owner Arte Moreno says he’s exploring selling the team. Looking to buy the team is Trout, Pujols, Upton, and Rendon.