I hope everyone had a pleasant, footloose, but not finger-freeing July 4th weekend. I did. In the tradition of our forefathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, I had an iced cold latte, three whole frankfurters and flew a kite with a key on the string. Also, since this year our country passed the right to gay marriage, I ate those frankfurters in the gayest way possible. *Graphic description of how I ate the hot dogs deleted* Also, on this wonderful holiday where we pretend to be the greatest country in the world, I’m reminded of an ally from the 1700’s when we first got this ship afloat. That country was Germany and their concept of schadenfreude, the enjoyment derived from others’ misery. I’m sorry if you lost Miguel Cabrera for six weeks. Really, I am. *bursting with the schadenfreude giggles* The Tigers say he could return around late-August, which is a bummer. *barely containing myself* Hopefully, he can return and give you a solid four homers and .300 average the rest of the way. Thank God, this schadenfreude concept has no karmic retribution attached to it. *reading that Strasburg is also hurt* NOOOOOOO!!! Can’t I have one nice thing?! Ugh. I’m sorry I laughed at your loss of Miggy, can I have Stressbird back? Please! I can’t, can I? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Justin Verlander – 5 IP, 7 ER. For those that own him, I should clear something up. Kate Upton is not going to show up at your house and thank you for remaining faithful to Verlander. It’s a pipe dream, i.e., it’s something you came up with while smoking hashish.
J.D. Martinez – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 23rd homer, and his 7th homer in the last ten games. B-Fire, Martinez, B-Fire! Uh-oh, I feel a rhyme coming on! Last name: Martinez, first name: Jew Don. Every time he comes to bat, it’s gone, gone, gone. Just another dong, I wonder if Kolten Wong can play ping-pong. If J.D. gets 80 homers like those 90’s ballers, then you know Todd McFarlane will spend mucho dollars. I wonder how much he’d spend, that schmuck. You think he’ll trade me the McGwire ball for a Billy Ripken card that says, “F*ck?” Uh-oh, Jew Don’s up, you better duck, duck, Gose also homered yesterday. What does Fonzie’s horse say? Neeeeeeeeeigh.
Jose Bautista – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer. Since I traded Bautista for Stressbird earlier in the year, it’s nice of him to homer on the day Stressbird goes back to the DL. Very, very considerate.
Kevin Pillar – 2-for-5, 1 run and homered on Saturday. If you want to think of him as a hot schmotato, that’s fine, but he’s been better than about two dozen other outfielders that are on more fantasy teams than him. For s’s and g’s, here’s five names he’s been better than: Heyward, Souza, Adam Jones, Bruce, Burns, Kemp, Fowler, Brantley, okay, so I can’t count to five.
Stephen Strasburg – Effin’ Strasburg. Hit the DL with an oblique strain. This guy is an Effin’ Jokeburg. Why does his oblique keep getting hurt? To spite me for drafting a high starter after saying I never would. That is the likely only reason. Do as I say, not as I do or I will spite you to hell, you handsome mustachioed man! Tanner Roark or Joe Ross could fill-in for him, but the Nats don’t need a 5th starter until after the All-Star Game, so they likely won’t announce anything for a week. During the All-Star break, they should have a MMA-sanctioned Ross vs. Roark fight for the rotation spot. Like you wouldn’t watch this.
Jordan Zimmermann – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.04. Ah, to be a fly on the wall where Strasburg is right now. A giant, six-foot tall fly with pointy elbows so I can nudge him really hard and gesticulate towards Zimmermann.
Michael Pineda – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA down to 3.79. He seems to vacillate between good and bad starts, so you wanna know if there’s any way we can trust Pineda? Come here, sit on my lap and I’ll tell you. Figuratively! Get off my lap! Pineda has some of the best peripherals in the majors. I would not only trust him, as I’ve been saying, I’d try to buy him.
Alex Rodriguez – 1-for-3 and his 16th homer, hitting .284. Doesn’t look like baseball’s getting rid of A-Rod any time soon. A-Rod: Baseball’s STD.
Ivan Nova – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 1 K. Thank your diety of choice that you held onto him for three months. Where else would you get a start like that from?!
Nate Karns – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks. The reason why I don’t love him? Because I’m never sure if I should spell his name Nathan or Nate. Kidding, that’s not the reason. (It seriously is.) I still tend to think of Karns as a streamer, and would look at the Stream-o-Nator.
Erasmo Ramirez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA down to 3.80. Since May 1st, his ERA is 2.18. Look at the worst pitcher you have on your team, now look at his ERA since May 1st. Or as Mother Albright writes, Lqqk!!!! followed by six emojis. “Mom, what’s this emoji mean you sent me of a little black girl wearing rollers?” “What’s happening?”
Steven Souza – Left yesterday’s game with a deep cut on his pinkie that he needed three stitches to close up. He worries that a DL stint might be necessary. Teams should send in Jim Abbott to talk to guys who want to go on the DL for a problem with their pinkie.
Jaime Garcia – Hit the DL, because, ya know, that’s what he do.
Lance Lynn – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.53. You’ll be happy to know I finally got him into my lineup without any help from CBS, Les Moonves or Julie Chen.
Thomas Pham – 2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, after stealing a base on Saturday as he leads off. Fun fact! Pham is a Thai salad with beef. Pham is also a Cardinals prospect they called up to replace the injured Federalist and to further prove they can make a mountain out of any prospect molehill. Pham has some speed, light power and could hit for an okay average, an average average, if you will.
Jonathan Schoop – 1-for-5 and his 4th homer, and his 2nd homer in his last three games. Sure, the O’s had three months of games between his last three games, but don’t quibble, you quibbler! I like Schoop a lot for power if he’s on your waivers. I’d definitely *pinkie to mouth* Schoop him up!
Carlos Gomez – Was hit by a pitch on his wrist on Saturday, and sat out on Sunday. He’s listed as day-to-day. Or Day2Day if he were in a boy band.
Taylor Jungmann – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 2.43 thru six starts. Yeah, and his K/9 is 6.5 and his BB/9 is 2.4. He does have some speed on his fastball, but there’s still not enough here yet for most mixed leagues, and for him I’d look at the Stream-o-Nator.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 7th homer, hitting .308. On Friday, he homered. On Saturday, he had multiple hits and a steal. On Sunday–Well, I just told you. Hot schmotato alert!
Adam Lind – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer, and 2nd in as many games, hitting .298. Whether he’s been as or more valuable than Braun (1-for-4, 1 run) is irrelevant. Lind has been about as good as a top 15 corner infidel and should be owned. To give you a name Lind’s been as valuable as: Chris Davis.
Marlon Byrd – 2-for-4 and 2-for-4 with his 14th homer on Saturday. SPOILER ALERT! I have five over-the-internet dollars that says Marlon is the Byrd Man from True Detective. By the by, Jay covers for JB on the podcast that’s coming later today and we discuss True Detective for, like, fifteen minutes.
Clay Buchholz – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.27. I think since I told you to buy him two months ago his ERA is in the negatives.
Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. My Magic Eight Ball wasn’t turning over, and I thought it might be the alternator, so I sent it out to the shop, but I’m gonna try my hand at a prediction on my own. I will insert Hanley back into my weekly lineup and he will get hurt on Tuesday.
Pablo Sandoval – 3-for-4, 2 runs. I’d say he’s due for a solid 2nd half, but both of his halves look like 95% lard, so solid doesn’t seem in the cards.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.69. After his last start, I said something like hopefully he’s turned the corner yadda, bladda, blabba, and some people mentioned that he was tipping his pitches earlier in the year when he got roughed up. That does seem to check out via the Internet (thanks, Al Gore!), so E-Rod looks like a go pitcher.
Collin McHugh – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 1 K, ERA up to 4.54. He threw a few quality starts and seemed to turn a corner, but it turned out he was in a cul-de-sac like Knots Landing and now he’s Joan Van Ark putting sugar in your fuel tank.
Carlos Correa – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (7) and legs (5), hitting .315. Fly, Icarlos, fly! I don’t own him, and love to be able to own him next year, but it’s starting to appear that might not happen either. In a month of at-bats, Correa’s been more valuable than a full season of Ian Desmond.
Evan Gattis – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer, hitting .242. How little do you have to do to be worthwhile as a catcher? On our Player Rater, Gattis comes in as the 5th most valuable catcher, and his playing time as been as erratic like Amanda Bynes.
Lance McCullers – 5 IP, 1 ER, 10 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.16. Not a terrific game (obvs!), but I still kinda love him.
Kendall Graveman – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 1 K, ERA down to 3.16. Graveman’s starts haven’t been pretty but he’s sure urning them!
Sonny Gray – Cleared to return on Tuesday after struggling with a bout of salmonella. I guess he lost a game of chicken.
Michael Montgomery – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 1.62. Looks more like the kind of game I’d expect from him rather than his previous unremarkbuehrle complete game shutouts.
Travis Ishikawa – Struggled on the Pirates last year and was released, but they claimed him again. This feels like when you and a girl break up — a nasty, ugly break up that involves the police — then a few years later you run into her and you’re like, “Why did we ever break up? You’re sweet as pie.” And you sleep with her again only for her to slash your tires within a few weeks.
Starling Marte – Left yesterday’s game with a sore side. I should’ve never laughed at the bad fortune of Miggy’s owners. I own Marte fickin’ everywhere! I really hope this is not an oblique. If it is, we’re screweddd. Damn, I got all the way to end of that sentence using only my own tears to type before messing up.
Gerrit Cole – 8 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.28. This start was partly due to my coaching. He gave up three runs in the first three innings to the Indians and I went to the mound in my mind’s eye and said, “Nuh-uh, I don’t accept that. When I get back from brunch, I want a Quality Start.” Oh, like Don Mattingly, Lloyd McClendon or a host of other managers are much better.
Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .242. Hopefully he doesn’t lose any playing time to Ishikawa. All things being equal, he shouldn’t. Earlier this year, Corey Hart even tried to say he was better than Pedro by getting a greater than symbol on his hand and it didn’t work.
Danny Salazar – 4 1/3 IP, 5 ER. Remind me to draft Salazar only in leagues that have xFIP as a category.
Cody Anderson – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA up(!) to 0.76. Hard to argue with the results so far, though if you put on a potato sack and stand on the side of the road while arguing with results, you could get on state disability. At least that’s what my conspiracy theory uncle tells me. I just gave you my Cody Anderson fantasy after his last gem. Not much has changed except the the top of your head getting a little more sun. Still having a hard time getting behind Anderson outside of very deep leagues.
Patrick Corbin – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks in his first start back. Since we get a lot of people wanting to take on the risk of freshly un-DL’d starter, I’d rank them J-Fer, Corbin, Cain, Nova and Moore. After J-Fer, they’re streamers in most mixed leagues, and the last four could flip-flop based on matchups.
Yasmany Tomas – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. For some reason, I’m reminded of Yasmine Bleeth, and now I’m trying to figure out how to take the Safe Search off my Google.
Troy Tulowitzki – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. Also in this game, Carlos Gonzalez (3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 11th homer. If they don’t each have 20 homers by the end of August, they’ll both be on the DL. Or my name isn’t Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it).
Steven Matz – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.32. Metz fans, I know you can hardly believe your luck, and are expecting the other shoe to drop, but remember, Matz already had Tommy John surgery. There’s no reason to keep biting your nails.
Wilmer Flores – 4-for-5, 1 run, 3 RBIs as he hits cleanup. He also had three hits on Saturday and three hits on Friday. Meanwhile, the Mets are talking about trading for a middle infielder to replace him. Oh, Mets.
Adrian Gonzalez – Hit on the hand by a pitch in the 1st inning and left the game. That’s always a good sign (if you don’t own him).
Ervin Santana – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks in his first start back from suspension. Ervin’s a bit different than the conglomerate of starters returning — Starters Inc. as overseen by Master P. Ervin wasn’t hurt and has had a ton of time to get ready for his return. He essentially had a three month spring training. Sure, he likely spent most of that time playing video games and Googling “Where can I buy undetectable PEDs?” and “Can MLB check my search history?” But he should be a decent number four to five fantasy starter in most mixed leagues and is the kind of starter that can pay off in deeper leagues.
Alex Gordon – 1-for-2 and his 10th homer, hitting .262. Who’s more boring to own on a fantasy team — Alex Gordon or Chase Headley? Equally yawnstipating? Prolly. The fact that Gordon is an All-Star is the number one reason fan voting should be stopped. Number two reason is Alcides. Number three is Lorenzo Cain. Number four is Salvador Perez. Number five is there is no number five.
Mat Latos – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 4.90, but has been more good than bad since he returned from injury. So, I’m less Latos intolerant and more Latos tolerant as long as he doesn’t rob my ratios of their liberty. I sound like Trump if Latos were Mexican.
Marcell Ozuna – Demoted to Triple-A. Not a surprising move, the Marlins have a ton of options like that one guy who was good for a month a few years ago, and that other guy…whose name I forget. Oh, and Ichiro! Yeah, he was good about five years ago. I get Ozuna wasn’t hitting, but demoting him is a bit harsh. OZUNA will miss camaraderie of major league teammates. OZUNA like Miami nightlife. OZUNA sad.
Kris Bryant – 1-for-3 and his 8th steal and two homers (11, 12) on Saturday. Rudy said to me on the phone recently that Bryant was due for one of those ten homers in fifteen days type runs. I agree. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bryant ends the season around 30 homers, and right now he’s only at 12. Lots of power to come.
Jorge Soler – 0-for-3 as he returned from the DL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “My hair is still dyed red, white and blue from laying in a tub of Jell-O shots, do I seem like I should be giving advice?”
Kyle Hendricks – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 3.82. On the surface, Hendricks looks like a streamer, but he’s been pitching better than that for the whole season. Not necessarily as good as an ace by any stretch of the imagination, but I like Hendricks, so, excuse me, while I kiss this guy.
Jason Motte – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 4th save, and his 3rd save since the last Cubs reliever has notched one. Honestly (as if I’d lie to you; it’s not like I’m trying to sleep with you), I think Maddon named Motte the closer, but never used his outside voice, so we haven’t heard anything official. It sure appears like he’s using Motte as his closer. That’ll teach Rondon to put back the milk carton with only a drop of milk left, or whatever it was that pissed off Maddon.
Cesar Hernandez – 3-for-4, 1 run and two more steals (10, 11), and has eight steals in the last nine games. Here’s what ESPN said about him (exclamation marks are mine), “Unfortunately, he lacks both power and speed (!!!), assets he would need to be fantasy relevant in all but the deepest fantasy leagues.” The only thing that’s missing at the end of that quote is, “Beep….If you’re happy with this message, then press 1,” because they obviously phoned it in.
Freddy Galvis – 2-for-5, 1 RBI and his 6th steal, hitting near-.450 in the last week. Not a ton here, but definite short term hot schmotato.
Shelby Miller – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.07. Random prediction that I’ll continually remind you of if it comes true but will forget it if it doesn’t. Watch Miller get killed in one inning of the All-Star Game, then have a terrible 2nd half. That’s right, I’m predicting he gets Atlee Hammaker’d!
Prince Fielder – 2-for-5 and his 13th homer. Since I told you to sell him about a month ago, he’s hit three homers. Incredibly (or not so incredibly depending on your expectation), he still has hit for around a .315 average. Considering his BABIP is still about 50 points above where I think it should be, he’s still getting lucky.
Josh Hamilton – Strained his groin on Saturday. When he returned on July 1st, I wrote, “Over/under for his next injury — ten days. I’m taking the under.” Pay me my money! Hope Joey Gallo got a round trip ticket to Round Rock. Pithy points!
Rougned Odor – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting near-.400 in the last week and has two homers and two steals in the last eight games. Odor’s solid if you’re sniffing around for an MI.
Delino DeShields – 2-for-4, 2 runs. I’d absolutely grab him since Hamilton’s on ice. Shoot, bad choice of words.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer. On a semi-related note, I’m surprised Pujols was never a spokesman for Charmin. Where’s your gumption, Madison Ave?
C.J. Cron – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and a home run on Saturday. Don’t even have to ask, you know I looked to pick him up in multiple leagues. I’m a Cron-Magnon man!
Kole Calhoun – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 9th homer and 2nd in as many games. Picture Dr. Frankenstein looking at Calhoun’s bat. Now picture him screaming, “It’s alive!”
Hector Santiago – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.40. “Relieving the All-Star Game starter, Keuchel, for the AL will be Hector Santiago,” as fans tune out of the All-Star Game and look at poor-taste GIFs made of Lebron not sure whether to kiss, hug or handshake Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs.