“Have I been wrong, hypnotized, paralyzed, by what my eyes have seen,” sang Natalie Merchant the last time I saw her at Lilith Fair. As I lay there, on that hemp blanket, eating a homemade granola bar, I thought, “I’m buying whatever that Merchant is selling.” Sadly, I can’t have my soul enriched during these dastardly times by some female honkeytonks, unless I happen across something between my binge watching of Siesta Key. Then, yesterday, Nate Pearson (5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks) was as good as Natalie Merchant and Siesta Key combined. Yo, my man went from a 99 MPH fastball that had Nats’ hitters bulging their eyes to a backdoor 77 MPH dipsy with poise of a 15-year vet. The 99 MPH fastball is enough, but his secondary command, just dropping pitches in. Go to the top of a mountain and let out a chef’s kiss. This was against the defending champs, and he was like en bee dee. Massively impressed by him during Spring Training in March just off a few clips, but watching him for five innings has me convinced:  He can be this year’s Chris Paddack. He should be owned in 100% of leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Juan Soto – Will return from the IL early next week since the Nats won’t be playing this weekend, due to the Marlins’ outbreak. Still good to have Sexy Dr. Pepper back. Now, if I could just get another twelve guys off my IL for undisclosed reasons and could have Soto play this weekend vs. a three-day spa vacay.

Stephen Strasburg – Will miss his 2nd start, or 20% of his starts. Lowercase yay.

Howie Kendrick – Out with upper back stiffness. “If it’s a lack of stiffness, I know a guy.” That’s Rafael Palmeiro.

Max Scherzer – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.84. Ten years apart, Max has struck out Vlad Sr. and Jr. Still only 1-for-4 with three fly ball outs vs. wife and mother, Vlema.

Masahiro Tanaka – Will make season debut Saturday vs. the worst team to ever play baseball, the 2020 Red Sox. By the by, did you hear the Yankees next week might play all week vs. the Phils? The baseball schedule is so drunk this year.

Aaron Hicks – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Sure glad I got him out of my lineups because of Covid cancellations.

DJ LeMahieu – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Weird choice to start the year as Gleyber Torres, then change your name to DJ LeMahieu.

Aaron Judge – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Just glad Judge is in action and not inaction or in jury.

Asher Wojciechowski – 5 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks. Wojciechowski got jumped on early by the Yanks helped by two catcher interference calls by Severino. The Orioles should’ve at least given him a Chance.

Oliver Drake – 2/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.38, as he entered the game in the 6th. So, I bid $170 on Kyle Crick during the 1st FAAB, but that’s all right, I was able to move on from him with my $150 bid on Oliver Drake. *tapes nails to baseball bat, slams baseball bat into foot* So, I guess Nick Anderson…? Maybe. I don’t know, if I’m being honest.

Charlie Morton – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 8.00. Here’s a thing, for guys who rely on velocity, they need velocity. If a guy never threw more than ninety-one, then it’s whatever for them. Morton needs to pump 94; he’s hitting 92. If you can get out of owning him on the back of this start in a trade, I would.

Freddie Freeman – 4-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, and a triple short of the cycle. Or, as they say, the never-used Peloton cycle.

Mark Melancon – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save. Woo hoo! One guy I drafted actually got a save. In…pausing for emphasis…credible.

Nick Markakis – Will return to the Braves, because we can’t ever have anything nice for Austin Riley. A plague on the world and we can’t even get Austin Riley at-bats. I’m going to take a nap. *shuts eyes, three seconds later claps hands* I’m back! What did I miss?

Travis d’Arnaud – 1-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI as he returned to the lineup. He didn’t miss too much time with an unknown reason.

JaCoby Jones – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .421. Hot schmotato alert!

Jonathan Schoop – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .273. Glad I held him. Not romantically. But, well, if he keeps hitting homers something can be arranged.

German Marquez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.54. Hold onto ya Bundesligas, it’s German season! Maybe. He’s also faced two teams in favorable parks. If Coors, in August, plays like…what the hell are they calling the Rangers and A’s stadiums nowadays? We’ll say Arlington and Arselickington…then, sure, German’s back, but more likely these were favorable road starts, where the Nazi in Exile has always been good.

Matt Chapman – 1-for-4 and his 1st homer. Okay, now sneeze on Olson, he needs some–Wait, sneezing on someone right now isn’t a good look. Okay, put on your mask and social distance some juju Olson’s way.

Frankie Montas – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.00. He was followed in this game by Jesus Luzardo (3 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks). As good as it is for Montas (and the A’s) to have a sexpot like Luzardo following, it’s as bad for Luzardo’s fantasy value.

Brandon Woodruff – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.59. No lie, I had a few leagues with 20+ IP from three different starters, and zero earned runs. Sometimes, you’re living right. Sometimes, you’re wondering why Kyle Hendricks isn’t the greatest pitcher anymore.

Keston Hiura – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Not to be greedy, but I need more!

Lance Lynn – 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 0.00. Why didn’t I draft Lynn in every single league? I loved him in the preseason, and drafted him in some leagues — while the rest of you were drafting Ohtani — and, damn, I wish I had him everywhere.

Joey Gallo – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .211. He’s gonna hit 30 homers in 60 games, isn’t he? Oh, and .200.

Nick Solak – 1-for-5, 1 RBI and two steals (1, 2), hitting .308. Also, in this game Isiah Kiner-Falefa stole his 1st two bags. Ain’t no thang, Falefa gives me the runs too.

Jose Leclerc – Couldn’t warm up because of tightness in his shoulder. About time a closer went down. I kid. Hayzeus Cristo with pens this year. Nick Goody got the clean save yesterday, and I grabbed him in one league, but Jonathan Hernandez might also get looks, or Jesse Chavez. When in doubt, bet on the guy who just got the save, Sam Goody’s brother.

Roberto Perez – Hit the IL with a sore shoulder. Behind the plate for the Indians now is Sandy Leon and Beau Taylor, who previously was Jimmy Stewart’s dog.

Zach Plesac – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 11 Ks. There are no bad Cleveland pitchers. That’s the blurb. I streamed him last night, because the White Sox have looked wonky (aside from Lou Bob, of course), and no matter what the Streamonator says I’m holding Plesac for his next. By the by, in one league, I have a 1.50 ERA and 0.80 WHIP through 80 IP, and you need to draft top starters. Mmkay.

Brad Hand – 1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 15.43. Game saw Hand with a pair of aces, and he lost with the flop.

Lucas Giolito – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 6.52. He didn’t look a hundred but he was headed towards the butter store, and it’s better than last time.

Daniel Poncedeleon – 3 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, as he moved into the rotation. I know how the explorer Ponce de Leon felt when he went looking for Fountain of Youth and found Florida Man. A bit underwhelmed.

Rich Hill – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 2 Ks in his 1st start. Hopefully right after the start they wrapped him in bubble wrap and put him in a moving box until his next start.

Taylor Rogers – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save, as Sergio Romo pitched the 7th. Screaming at the top of my lungs to my much younger self, “Where was Mr. Rogers last time?!” Well, not much younger, but Yesterday Grey. Guess you can lose Romo again. Hey, early season saves are a work in progress.

Madison Bumgarner – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.09. Didn’t love Bum going into Spring Training, Part 1, but I did back off that during the shutdown, because he felt like a guy who could have a solid 50-60 IP. Unfortch, his velocity has not looked good at all, and I would not be excited about what I’ve seen.

Sandy Alcantara – Is among players who tested positive, but, honestly, they’re up to like two-thirds of the team, so chances are everyone you own on the Marlins is positive. Put a mask over your Olde English and pour some out for the guys you’ve lost. In shallower leagues, you have to move on.

Yoenis Cespedes – 2-for-5, and his 2nd homer. This was a solo shot for Yo, so I guess YOLO.

Andres Gimenez – 2-for-4, 1 RBI. It’s so poetic Jose Reyes retired on the same day that the Mets’ future SS tripled in his 1st start. Beautiful poetry being written by Amed Rosario on the bench, apparently.

Pete Alonso – 4-for-4, hitting .250. They said he couldn’t hit for average. They also said, they don’t want him to hit for average. What are you, Luis Arraez?! Hit an Albombso!

Jacob deGrom – 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.64. First earned runs he’s given up in 31 1/3 IP. “That sounds like one start.” That’s Dusty Baker.

Christian Vazquez – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer. I should’ve just drafted this schmohawk in every league. He was so dirt cheap, but I tried to vary my catchers like I was getting points for freakin’ variety. It’s 2020; hindsight is guaranteed.

Mike Yastrzemski – 3-for-5, and his 1st and 2nd homer, hitting .409. The Giants are not a very good team. Red Sox bad? No, don’t be foolish. But Yaz Jr. Jr. is well worth owning in all leagues.

Donovan Solano – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .400. Worth cyclops’ing, but he’s usually, at best, an average bet. Do love that the Giants fought their way back to win, and give Rogers the win as he’s on my bench, or dropped everywhere. Great stuff, Fantasy Master Lothario! (Feel free to abbreviate it this once.)

Johnny Cueto – 3 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 5.87. Sigh. Goodbye. Get off the Albright All-Stars

Chris Paddack – 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.64. If you would’ve told me in December, I’d have an ERA of 1.64 for Paddack heading into August, I would’ve kissed you. Then for seven months I would’ve wondered if I was asymptomatic.

Manny Machado – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Race for NL MVP is tightening between Machado and Wil Myers.

Trent Grisham – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .286. C’mon, you’re loving this guy, right? No? Yes? Are you talking to your computer? I can’t hear you.

Andrew Heaney – 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.79.  Streamonator liked this start. By the by, now that most pitchers are throwing more innings in the 2nd week, Streamonator is no longer throttled down due to tamped innings, so guys shouldn’t all be negative.

Shohei Ohtani – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his homer, hitting .158. He hit that one homer so well he must’ve imagined himself pitching.

Kyle Lewis – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .458. Only question now is if they waive the five-year period prior to Cooperstown.

Mike Moustakas – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, as he was activated from the IL. Easy to focus on the Marlins and the shizzshow that is going with them, but it is encouraging that there’s been no other positive tests on 29 other teams, and Moustakas was IL’d with sniffles, but tested negative and is fine. I was worried about germs with a guy who went by Moistasskiss.

Sonny Gray – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 0.71. Member when I ranked him as an ace in my starter rankings and everyone was like, “His name isn’t even spelled the same, what’s with the love?” I drafted him everywhere; hope you listened.

Nick Castellanos – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .381. When Nicholas went to Nick this year, he dropped the pleasantries when he lost the holas.

Nick Senzel – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .182. Reds have no shortage of Nicks, lucky they don’t play basketball.

Cristian Javier – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks in his 1st major league start. What an amazing start! Kidding, I have no idea because MLB’s blackout restrictions are the absolute stupidest. There’s no fans in the stadiums, you idiots! Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “(Javier) can be a dominant strikeout force. I suspect anyone who gets him around his ADP of 719.95 in Draft Champions leagues will get at least one useful week out of him, but that’s not why I like him here. He’s got tremendous upside in a short burst with two plus breaking balls. Hitters will need time to adjust to Javier’s unique skill set, and they won’t get that this year. Also, Grey sucks.” What the eff, dude! So, Javier’s 1st game looked good, and Itch likes him. I’d buy that for 70 cents (out of $10. So out of $100, I guess $7).

George Springer – Out with a sore knee. *insert “You’re such a cry baby” face from Joe Kelly*

Joe Kelly – Suspended for eight games because he made a face at the Astros, who cheated to win the World Series, and didn’t receive any player suspensions. Kelly wasn’t suspended for throwing at Alex Bregman. If the suspension was for throwing at someone’s head, why wasn’t Joe Kelly ejected immediately? Give me one good faith argument, and umpires being bad at job isn’t good faith. So, Joe Kelly was suspended for what is the equivalent of 22 games of a regular season for making a face; think about that. Players are encouraged to be themselves, have fun — let the kids play, they say — and a guy makes a stupid face and is suspended for eight games. Rob Manfred is a disgrace.

 
  1. Fiaj says:
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    Impressive and enjoyable takes here.

    Have to comment on Kelly. Yes he was suspended for throwing at Bregman and the rest of the batters he faced. Umps don’t decide who gets suspended and yes that ump was garbage.

    He threw a fastball at Bregman’s head. That’s attempted murder in my book and he should receive an 162 game suspension if not a lifetime ban from MLB. Only reason I wouldn’t support a lifetime ban is that you can’t prove he was aiming at his head. Could have just meant it for his upper torso, but I think we all know he likely hit his spot.

    • Dave B says:
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      Take your book and repeatedly bash your pea sized brain with it. Then give yourself a life time ban from viewing sports and commenting in general.

      • Evan Menzel says:
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        lol

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Biggest problem I have with what you said, if it was clear he was throwing at Bregman, why didn’t the Astros’ benches clear right after that pitch vs. waiting until the end of the inning when Kelly made a face and jawed at them? Makes me think the Astros even knew he had no control that night and it wasn’t until he provoked them with a face did they care

      • Stephen says:
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        I thought I also read that he threw at Carlos Correa? Maybe it’s like MMA. He can do it once and it’s okay, but punishment comes on the second foul.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, I don’t think they have any clear rules

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            One of baseball’s biggest problems, NO clear rules, says it all.

    • GD says:
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      I disagree. Did you see that curveball he threw in the offseason? Dude broke his window because he can’t locate. Looks about the same location as that pitch to Bregman. Then again, maybe he was planning for this all along, playing the long game. Show you can’t locate your pitches by posting a viral video of you breaking a window in your house and then throw balls at Astros heads and then you have video evidence of how you have no idea where your ball is going.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Ha, yeah, premeditated for months

        • Malicious Phenoms says:
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          IF, he wanted to hit Bregman, he would have.

    • Longbeachyo says:
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      Can I vote down this comment, please?

  2. galica says:
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    Grey!!!!

    What an awesome report!

    a. First in one league with 99 pts! Though don’t get too high yet, some geek from Northern India is still calculating his ERA. Don’t know why? Don’t know how 4 runs scored when he only walked 1 and gave up 1 hit – 2 baserunners and 4 runs! Ok, he must have hit at least 2 batters. What a POS and my BP that had Yates and Hand….not looking so good! Can’t get any worse though, right? Like Pete Davidson on why he masturbates (to get the bad ones out), I hope my team is done with this kind of bad stuff.

    b. In that other other league where I still had Kintzler rostered, was able to drop him for Pearson. Was waiting on whether to add Pearson or Spencer Howard, I’ll go with Pearson for now.

    c. MLB quote of the day July 30, 2020

    ‘I never played drunk. Hung over, yes, but never drunk.’

    Lewis Robert ‘Hack’ Wilson. One of the most-feared sluggers of his era, had he remained consistent he would be the bench mark for power. Unfortch, he didn’t work out that way and he drunk his way into ending his career, ending his life and oblivion. He was voted into the HOF in 1979.

    His 162-game average was as follows.

    668 PA, 572 AB, 106 R, 176 H, 32 2B, 8 3B, 29 HR, 128 RBI, 81 BB, 86 K, .307/.395/.545 slash line, 144 OPS+, 312 TB

    His best season was for the Cubs in 1930, the stuff of legends.

    709 PA, 585 AB, 146 R, 208 H, 35 2B, 6 3B, 56 HR, 191 RBI, 105 BB, 84 K, .356/.454/.723 slash line, 177 OPS+, 423 TB

    He was colorful, he drank a lot and he got into fights. But give him a break, he was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and made something of himself.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      A. You’re totally winning this league, I can feel it

      B. Yup

      C. HAHA, great quote

  3. hal_incandenza says:
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    Merrill Kelly or Cristian Javier?
    Coin flip?

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      yeah kinda coin flip, Javier looked pretty good against a good lineup (thats starting slow) but he hadn’t been above AA before and no one has seen him. Whereas Kelly has book now but he has showed velocity gains, so there’s a little more to trust there, but i could go either way based on next matchup.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d go Merrill

      • stuey says:
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        Where would you rank Plesac amongst those?

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Ahead of both for me

  4. Doug D says:
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    Dbacks are a great target for steals. Padres and Rangers ran pretty freely against them.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, good call!

  5. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Manfraud strikes again!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s the worst

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        I hope to god, Manfraud has no kids. What does he do, ground them for 8 days, if they make a face at him.

  6. Sandman says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Awesome write up!

    In a standard 5×5 league, are you dropping any of my guys for Plesac? Is Kennedy even worth holding? Here is my staff:

    SP: Darvish, Giolito, Wheeler, Heaney, Matz, Lamet, Houser
    RP: Gott, Kennedy, Jansen, melancon, Kimbrel

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Yeah I’d lose Kennedy for Plesac

      • Sandman says:
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        What about Matz after this start? He has WAS next.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      Agree with DT — can lose Matz next too if you want

  7. Petey Pirate says:
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    We never comment. But Rob Manfred IS a disgrace.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s the worst

    • Slimcompoop says:
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      Absolute joke that Kelly got eight games and NOBODY on the Astros was ever suspended for stealing signs and cheating their way to a World Series.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        They say Manfraud, is just a puppet for the owners. How stupid and messed up in the fuckin heads are these 30 guys..

  8. Sean says:
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    Good to be back and reading these write-ups again. My league decided to skip our H2H style because of the shortened season and we made a side roto league. This is my first year doing roto. Is it way too early to be concerned with missing starts (since there’s a game played cap in roto) from VIllar and Kingery during the COVID fallout? We only have 3 bench spots and I’m already rotating in players with other guys being D2D.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      Yeah, potentially. You don’t want too many empty slots in your lineup.

      I am also doing roto this year instead of h2h.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Make sure you hit the max games played

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not too early, fill your lineup and get all starts you can

      • Sean says:
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        Thanks all, i figured that was the name of game. Drop Kingery or Villar for either Grisham, Teoscar, Voit as a batty call today?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Can’t do that yet

          • Sean says:
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            oh wait i just noticed I have garret richards haha. His next 3 starts are @COL, LAD, @LAD…sounds like a good pitcher to avoid. which bat from above do you like for him?

  9. Pine Tar Incident says:
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    Grey-

    Would you recommend dropping Willie Calhoun in 12 team mixed leagues? His manager’s comments about him being scared after getting hit in the face plus his performance has got me shook. I know you’re an advocate to move on quick in this “season.” Or give him another week?

    I’ve basically got him, Ohtani, Happ, and Kyle Lewis rotating on OF slot and DH.

    Thanks man

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Doesn’t sound like you need him, fine with moving on. Who are you picking up though?

  10. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    Grey,
    Looking to move on from W Calhoun. Do any of these float your boat or just hold Willie (yikes!) for now?
    Zimmer, O’Neill, Martinez, Fletcher, Yaz

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d try O’Neill

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
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        Thanks. It’s FAAB and I can add a contingent bid for any of the others. Are they better than Calhoun in your opinion?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Fletcher and Yaz too

          • Sweatpants Nation says:
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            Thanks!

  11. DonJuan says:
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    So if I have N Pearson, what type/level of pitcher can I target if I want to sell Pearson?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Maybe someone in the Ray, McCullers, Boyd range

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      McCullers ain’t happening — Better off holding if you’re trading for a pitcher — trade pitchers for hitters and vice versa

  12. Steve says:
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    10T 5×5 May or Plesac?

    Thanks

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Plesac for me