According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nick Kingham retired the most batters to start a game since 1961 in a debut. Elias Sports Bureau also said, “There were sixteen cracks in the 5th floor’s tile closest to the bathroom, which is a new record for cracks in a tile.” Yo, Elias Sports Bureau might have OCD. On our top 100 starts of 2018 chart, Kingham registered in the top 10. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s the first pitcher to debut with 7+ IP and not have a baserunner reach scoring position. According to Kent Tekulve, Kingham was the first pitcher in a 1979 Pirates uniform not high on cocaine since Tekulve. In all, a terrific debut for Kingham — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 9 Ks. Originally, the Pirates planned on a one-and-done, hit-and-run, wham-bam-thank-you, young-man start for Kingham and see him get sent right back down, but they rightfully are having him travel with the team, and appear to be keeping him up. His Triple-A numbers (10.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.59 ERA) say this is the right move. I’d hold off for now in mixed leagues, but you should cyclops him with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Trevor Williams – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.29. Have other sites began to tell you to look at Williams yet? Cause, ya know, I told you in January. Cust kayin’.
Jack Flaherty – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 2 Ks, ERA at 3.60. That looks like a Gerrit Cole line for every year I owned him, which is every year but this one. Flaherty gets the Cubs next if he’s not skipped or sent to the minors, which is to say I’m not sure if I’m holding onto him.
Byron Buxton – Suffered a hairline fracture of his big toe. Someone is insecure! Who worries about their hairline on their toe? Weir-toes! That’s who! A segment of the population that worries if their toes are properly covered by hair–*intern whispers in ear* I misread the news. He fractured his toe, this isn’t good.
Fernando Rodney – 1 IP, 0 ER, as he shut the door for his third save on Saturday. Rodney has the predictability of feral cat.
Jose Berrios – 3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.63 vs. Tyler Mahle – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.32. Speaking of unpredictable (I was, just before, in the Rodney blurb), starting Berrios and Mahle feels like flipping a coin and it lands on its side, and then you have Big John Studd and Andre The Giant blowing on both sides of the coin, and rather than the coin falling over, it just spins endlessly.
Adam Duvall – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2), hitting .177. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Duvall registered the 2nd worst possible slam and legs. The worst is a 37-way tie with everything on the Denny’s menu.
Tyler Chatwood – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.83. I’m not saying there was no offense in the NL yesterday, but I’m saying exactly that.
Junior Guerra – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.82. War! What is it good for?! Obviously something, Guerra’s pitching damn well, for one. Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like his next start, but I’d prolly give it a whirl in the right circumstances.
David Price – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.78. This game came against the Rays, and I don’t know what that means. I know the Rays were supposed to be bad, but their hitting’s been better than it should be. Though, they’re still pretty flat in power. Then again, their record. S’confused.
Dustin Pedroia – Playing in extended spring training. Seems about a month away from returning with his special brand of heightened intensity without height.
Rick Porcello – 7 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.23, WHIP at 0.84. It’s a weird thing for me to root for Porcello, but a Porcello root I am. Which means I’m renting a ground floor condo in a Smurf-owned building.
Denard Span – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and 2nd homer in two games. Mean’s while, his twin Ben Revere high-fived a vending machine, when Mike Trout woke him from a dream. C’mon, man, never wake a sleep walker!
Mallex Smith – 2-for-4, 1 RBI, hitting .342. He’s top five in the majors for batting average, but, I mean, why do you need that? Mallex can also steal bases, but ptooey on that too, right?
Wilson Ramos – Out with leg tightness. He needs to be inoculated with Rest Less Legs Syndrome.
Ryon Healy – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd and three homers this weekend. No lie, I spent about ten minutes trying to figure out how to get Healy on my fantasy team and off of waivers. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do it. To give you an idea of Healy, he’s basically Haniger (3-for-5, 3 runs, 10th homer). Two white boys in Seattle who are a Dave Grohl away from a rock band. They both have 25+ homer power and not much else; Haniger has a hair bit of speed, which is not to say runs like a hare.
Darren O’Day – 1 IP, 0 ER, and his 2nd save. I’m pretty sure O’Day is the closer and Buck Showalter just did a low key closer change. Like, “Brad Brach is our closer,” brings him into a game in the sixth inning, watches as he gives up some runs, talks on the phone with Britton to see his latest update, and calls on O’Day to save the game. “Yup, Brach has 100% confidence.”
Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th and 6th homer, and four homers in the last three games, and no matter what I say you’ll never pick him up, so moving on.
Kevin Pillar – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 4th homer, hitting .310. *looks at my 4th and 5th outfielder in all my leagues* Yup, should’ve just went with Pillar all year. *builds elaborate toy train set with Bobby Bacala, lays head on train tracks, train runs into head*
Teoscar Hernandez – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 4th homer, hitting .316. Also, in this game, Yangervis Solarte (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 7th homer. Good first move to option Travis, now the Jays need to trade Donaldson for whatever they can get and bench or release Grichuk. You’re almost there, Gibbons, just stop scratching your butt!
J.A. Happ – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.50. Not saying Happ is becoming Charlie Morton, but I will now say that in many more words. His velocity is up at 35 years old, his K/9 is 12.5 (!), his walk rate is 1.8 (!), his ground balls are ~50%, and he’s actually been unlucky to have only a 3.50 ERA.
Nick Pivetta – 5 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.27 vs. Mike Foltynewicz – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.53. As mentioned previously about five dozen times, I own both of these guys in multiple leagues, which is why I’d like to say CAN THEY STOP PLAYING EACH OTHER?! This is the third time in three weeks these two pitchers have faced each other. An unbalanced schedule is one thing, a two-team H2H league is another.
Vince Velasquez – 4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.70. This guy is such a velocitease. Hey, Velasquez, go to a carnival and win a plushie, and get off my teams!
Ronald Acuna – 2-for-3, 1 RBI, and his 1st steal, as he hit 2nd with Ender Inciarte (3-for-4, 2 runs, and his 13th steal) moving to the nine hole. Well, his name isn’t Leadoffer Inciarte. I love you, Ender, but ACUÑA! is the greatest of all-time. By the way, 13 steals from Ender is like when you have a 2nd kid and the first kid starts tap dancing on top of a medicine ball while singing your favorite show tunes just to get your attention. “That’s nice, Ender, now I wanna go watch Acuña burp.”
Ozzie Albies – 2-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (9) and legs (3), hitting .293. Meh, just a 50+ homer pace. Like a pimp command, ho-hum.
Wil Myers – Hit the DL with a strained left oblique, which is a real shame–Franchy! Get. Franchy. Now. Yes, I brought out the douchey one word sentences for emphasis. The Revolution will not be televised, except for the Franch Revolution. Also, we all win $5 imaginary dollars for each person who comments, “Surprised you didn’t mention Franchy. Dude, shame on you.”
Joey Lucchesi – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78. Joey Lucchesi of the Mozzarella di Lucchesis has been about as good as it comes in Petco, and guess where he pitches next. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Gecko.
Jason Vargas – 3 2/3 IP, 9 ER, in his debut with the Mets. After the game Mickey Callaway said, “We’re not sure what we’re doing with Matz–Wait, did you ask about Wheeler? We don’t know what we’re dong with–Oh, my bad, Harvey? We’re not sure what we’re doing–Oh! Vargas? Yeah, no idea with him either.”
Yoenis Cespedes – Says he will miss three days due to a sore left thumb. This could open up playing time for Brandon Nimmo (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), then again the Mets were supposed to have moved Jay Bruce (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2nd steal) and Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-6, 5 RBIs, 3rd homer) to the bench days ago, but they’ve recreated the 2011 All-Star Game lineup minus Hunter Pence. “Hey, I resemble that remark!” exclaimed Todd Frazier (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 4th homer).
Cheslor Cuthbert – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 1st and 2nd homer. Fun fact! When Cuthbert curses, an animated string of *!(@$!?& comes out of his mouth.
Gerrit Cole – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73. Fun fact! When Cole pitches like this, an animated string of *!(@$!?& comes out of my mouth. Why didn’t you pitch like this for the five years I owned you?! What, are you playing possum with me? You f***ing raccoon! A Fackoon! DAH!!!
Chad Pinder – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .317, and his 2nd homer in three games. Hot schmotato alert!
Wei-Yin Chen – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks in his season debut. Can’t see grabbing him in a 12-team or shallower league outside of matchups, but I could see him in deeper leagues. And that’s me weighing in on Wei-Yin.
Kyle Barraclough – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save on Saturday, but Brad Ziegler was just “not 100%,” according to Mattingly (yeah, no kidding), and Ziegler got the save on Sunday (1 IP, 0 ER). Barraclough should be the closer, but he won’t be until Ziegler is injured or traded. By the by, Barraclough always makes me think of Balaclava Man from Line of Duty on Hulu. If you haven’t watched this show, it’s awesome and you should.
Caleb Smith – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.40. One of the top Stream-o-Nator picks from yesterday, and one of the top pitchers on the Prospect-o-Nator, which lists every rookie pitcher’s projections if they were to get the innings. (The Prospect-o-Nator for hitters does the same.)
Lance McCullers – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners (zero walks), 7 Ks, ERA at 3.71. On Saturday, McCullers threw 100 curveballs and only two of them missed. Kidding. But maybe not.
Masahiro Tanaka – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.37. Maybe the trade I made of Boxberger for Tanaka and Semien wasn’t as bad I originally thought, and I wasn’t Jokey Smurf’d.
Garrett Richards – 1 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.88. Damn, injured already? Well, that was a good 25+ IP you got from him! Kidding, I don’t know if he’s injured yet, which is me saying, “Of course, he’s likely injured, but the Angels haven’t announced anything.”
Michael Taylor – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer, hitting .211. I have no factual proof of this, but I think Taylor homers or steals every game, while never getting more than one hit per week.
Gio Gonzalez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.67, WHIP at 1.43. Other pitchers might want to take note of Gio’s pregame ritual to ward off the Regression Fairies — heavy aftershave and garlic knots.
Patrick Corbin – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.25. This start was in Washington, which is a tough matchup, and, if this is ‘bad’ Corbin, I’ll take that every day and twice on Muesday, the magical day between Monday and Tuesday.
Robbie Ray – Headed to the DL with a strained oblique. He threw 21 pitches yesterday, and looked the best I’d seen him all year, so, of course, he got hurt. FMFFBL!
Yasiel Puig – Hit the DL with a left hip pointer. Odd, I thought that was a dog.
Alex Verdugo – Called up to replace Puig, but, really, no one can replace Puig. If I were trying to replace him, I’d get one of those hand wavey things from a car window and glue it upside down from my bottom lip. In Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, he said, “There’s just some players that the best way to describe their skillset is “they’re just good at baseball”. I know, deep analysis, but really there’s few players that bring a better understanding of hitting, running, and defense. He looks like a future batting title contender as currently constituted, but could tap into more of his raw power as he matures. A part of the Dodgers future top of the order with Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, is what dreams are made of, and valuable counting stats. His splits are identical vs. righties and lefties, leading to no platoon questions.” And with that said, Verdugo will likely platoon with Joc.
Rich Hill – Scratched from his Monday start. Maybe he has ongoing finger problems because of the excessive number of times he’s scratched. Emoji with hand on chin while looking at another emoji scratch its head. Brock Stewart will fill in for him now, and I wouldn’t touch him outside of NL-Only leagues.
Alex Wood – 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.11, WHIP at 0.89. That WHIP tho, that makes me think he’s been a tad unlucky. Put on your tool belts in a non-male stripper way, we’re about to drill down, also in a non-male stripper way. His K/9 is way off, his walks are minuscule (0.8 BB/9), his xFIP is 3.15 and his velocity is way down. His fastball is so slow, he’s also stopped throwing it, reducing his usage from 50+% to 39%. Hitters are making more contact with pitches thrown, and hitting the ball much harder. His LOB% is saying he’s been unlucky, but I don’t think this is a buying opportunity.
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. Playing with a new sense of purpose! Or maybe that’s biosonar of a porpoise to ward off the San Francisco walruses. “You’re a sea creature with a mustache? Daddy?” That’s me at Pier 39 in San Fran.
Chris Stratton – 1 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.90. When the Regression Fairies come, they come carrying an apple strudel, a Taylor Swift CD and fire and brimstone.
Joe Panik – Hit the DL with a sprained thumb, and needs surgery. He looked like a new hitter the first ten days of the season, then he looked like his old self for another ten days, and we were wondering if he was the first Panik or the 2nd Panik, but turns out we have no idea because he was injured. Talk about mixed signals on Panik. Like when someone exclaims, “That hurts!” Then waits a beat and says, “So good!” Then waits a beat and says, “By John Mellencamp.”