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“Your mascara isn’t as thick as I’d expect from someone named Billie Eyelash.” At a podium, Billie Eilish laughs at Billy Crystal, and the banter fades away as they get serious to announce Best New Artist. Hoping to join previous winners like Evanescence, Bruce Hornsby and the Range and Paula Cole, Nicky Lopez sits in the audience with his fingers crossed. His head bowed in pray. This is his first day off in weeks from the basepaths, where he’s put out such hits as: “A 2-for-4 with three steals,” the top 40 hit “1-for-4 with two steals,” and “Can’t Keep My SAGNOF To Myself,” the Grammy nominated song in another category. A song Nicky co-wrote with the 71-year-old George Thorogood. Nicky Lopez is also the Least Likely Player To Get A Buy Lede. He’s got less power than Nick Madrigal, who has the power of a June bug in July when it’s just exhausted. By the by, they should have a Home Run Derby of guys like Lopez and Madrigal. Alonso can hit 30 homers in four minutes, whoop-dee-doo. Let’s see someone who can’t hit it out of the infield try to hit two homers in four minutes! Any hoo! Lopez might have no power like Madrigal, but he’s hitting like Nick Madrigal in every other way too. His contact rates are amongst the most improved, and he should hit ~.280. The real clincher here is obviously how he’s stealing multiple bags per game, and the Royals have no reason to stop him. I know in most of my leagues that ten random steals in September might be the difference in multiple standings points. Okay, back to the show…The envelope is ripped, as Billie and Billy lean in to announce together, “Best New Artist is…Nicky Lopez!” As Lopez heads up to the stage, past winners Hootie and the Blowfish cheer him on, and George Thorogood doffs his cowboy hat. In the audience, Lorde mutters, “Freakin’ Royals.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Keibert Ruiz – “So, Q-Bert’s brother comes to stay with him, and he’s a catcher for the Washington Nationals, and they both fall for the same girl, who is a blessing and a curse, and her name is #$@!%.” That’s me if I ever get in an elevator with the producers of Sonic the Hedgehog. Ruiz does very little to interest me for fantasy, because: He’s a catcher. Dur. Who cares? But I could see picking him up in deeper leagues in case he’s promoted, and if you’re struggling for upside.
Daulton Varsho – You say, “I need a catcher,” and I scream, “Varsho!” Then you say, “No, seriously, please suggest one,” then I scream, “Varsho!” You plead, “Can you just give me one name?” I scream, “Varsho!”
Aderlin Rodriguez – Who? Aderlin, man! C’mon! It’s a prestigious South Belt school. The South Belt, you know it. Right below the prestigious Middle Belt schools. Okay, I don’t know Aderlin Rodriguez, so you and I are copacetic, but he was in Prospect Itch’s September call-ups for 2021 fantasy baseball. Speaking of which, I could see stashing any of the guys from that post, I’m not going to list them all again.
Connor Joe – Nearly didn’t list Connor-Eyed Joe because he’s not in Coors until 9/2, but, if you go to his player page (click his name), you see his monthly totals, and he’s a 30 homer, .300 hitter if you were to prorate out August. “If everyone who saw Ted Lasso, told someone who hadn’t seen Ted Lasso, how great Ted Lasso is, then every conversation in the world would be about Ted Lasso.” That’s Mr. Prorater, and not too far off from the truth.
Michael Chavis – He’s rostered in 0% of leagues, and, honestly, I get it, because he’s so awful, but also: Hot schmotato.
Willi Castro – Don’t wanna give away all my secrets, but ya know what I really like about the 7-day Player Rater? It also has the stats for the last week. Now that I think about it, giving away my secrets is exactly what I’m supposed to do. Any hoo! Castro’s hitting .357 in the last week. Sounds like he’s headed for a shotgun wedding.
Ramon Urias – Orioles are starting to click as they make a strong charge for the number one draft pick, and by “starting to click” I mean they’re talking in a now-extinct language, and they’re clicking their tongue to say, “We suck.”
Bobby Witt Jr. – There’s no way this cool brother that emerged from Bobby Witt Sr.’s peen is being called up this September, right? Right?! Yes, doubtful. But I’ve been shocked before, and it’s better to be shocked with the guy on your team than someone else’s.
Marco Luciano – See what I said for the Witt Man Jr. By the by, these guys weren’t in Prospect Itch’s call-up article, so technically I didn’t lie when I said I wouldn’t go over the same guys. Also, I don’t think these guys are being called up, but, as I just said, and am saying again, you can stash a guy for four days with no harm/no foul to see if a team surprises us.
Andy Ibanez – One of the hottest schmotatoes in this whole Schmotato Land, from the purple schmountains majesty.
Bradley Zimmer – As I mention on this week’s podcast when the subject of September call-ups, um, comes up, guys like Bradley Zimmer can be more valuable than, say, Bobby Witt Jr. For 25-ish games, a vet is often more valuable than a guy who just comes up and is overwhelmed.
Jake Meyers – Houston’s kinda like the Giants, in that everything they touch turns to gold, but the Astros don’t only touch 34-year-old utility guys. Meyers is way out of his depth hitting for a high average, but he went 16/10 in Triple-A, and could have even shallow league value as long as Chas McCormick is out.
Yadiel Hernandez – Who’s the oldest out of Alcides, Gerardo Parra and Yadiel? That order actually, but they’re all 34 years old. Not sure what that means, but like “purple schmountains majesty” means something.
Drew Steckenrider – Shamu’s home, Sewald, is also in the mix, and, for that, I am so sorry. I will be chaining myself to my desk until Shamu gets justice, or until the locksmith gets here.
Mychal Givens – The Reds are a Major League movie remake. They’re absolutely trying to lose. They hired the dumbest manager in Dumb Bell; they don’t have a bullpen and they tried Eugenio Suarez at shortstop and leadoff. They want to lose so bad, and Joey Votto is not letting them. Call him Jobu Votto.
Adam Ottavino – Since the FDA has been in the news recently, I also have a Full Disclosure Alert! I had Hansel Robles listed here originally, but I can’t imagine picking him up after how awful he looked on Wednesday. Garrett Whitlock’s been great, and should be the closer, but they seem to like him in multi-inning relief role, so I’d try Ottavino.
Jarred Kelenic – Remember, this is a drop, not Sell. So, how did I find Kelenic to drop? That’s what you’re asking yourself, which I know, because I’m hiding under your desk. I went to the Player Rater and searched by the worst hitters and who were rostered in more than 50% of leagues. Frank Voila! For what it’s Cronenworth, the 2nd worst 50+% rostered guy was Adalberto Mondesi, who is also a drop, if you don’t have an IL slot, obviously.
Aroldis Chapman – Last week I told you to drop Matt Barnes, and this week it’s the Yankees’ turn to get the ol’ goose in the keister (absolutely a saying). Aroldis might see a few saves here and there, as he did Thursday night, but so will Green, Lasagna and even Wandy, making Aroldis’s blowups not worth it.
Cody Bellinger – This year Cody Bellinger has been as valuable as Colin Moran, Dom Nunez and Josh Naylor, who hasn’t played for two months, and wasn’t good when he was playing. Makes me want to forearm bash someone and have them dislocate my shoulder. By the by, I recently saw an MLB Network commercial showing Bellinger homer in the playoffs, and dislocate his shoulder on the celebration, and this was a highlight! That’s like going through all of Tatis’s highlights and showcasing him hurting himself on a swing or a throw. Absolute big-braining it by showing Bellinger hurting himself, and making me hate him even more. Hopefully, this is the reverse jinx Bellinger needs, but it’s time to drop him. If you’re in a keeper, you could try the Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer, and I’d trade Bellinger for just a bit more than a mattress that is sprung so tight that it trampolines you out of bed when you jump on it.