Emerging from your parents’ basement, blocking the sun with your hand, “Mother, did you see wash my underwear? Mother?” You shake her shoulder and her head falls off and the skull rolls into the kitchen. You casually pick up the head, “Mother, did you do my laundry I asked for back in March?” You move your mother’s jaw bones, “Yes, sonny boy. How did you do in your fantasy league?” “Thank you for asking, mother. I achieved great success. Let’s tell father.” You turn to a sack of potatoes wearing an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt and glued-on corn cob pipe. “Father, we have won our fantasy league. It was great fun. Now it’s back to spending time with the family.” And that’s how you incorporated yourself back into family life. Well, we can’t all be winners like that gent, but it is time to lick thy wounds if you lost and razz thy neighbors if you won. So, hopefully, let’s razz on, Razzers. Unless your league counts game 163, then it’s still on like Steve Wiebe playing Donkey Kong! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Clayton Kershaw – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA ends at 2.73. His K/9 ends at 8.7 with his 3.19 xIP. It someone drafts him in the top 20 next year I will let my mirth bellow loudly. A jolly mirthful bellow! (The cougar-seeking missile in me is now thinking of Maria Bello. I will try to continue while aroused.)
Brian Dozier – 1-for-1, 3 RBIs and his 21st homer, hitting .215. I told you he’d have a big 2nd half! *slowly walks out of a room of glaring people, slowly backs into a room of Brian Dozier fantasy owners brandishing weapons* Hey, fellas.
Max Muncy – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 34th homer, hitting .261. I’d like to see the Dodgers go to the World Series, because I live in LA, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing them eliminated immediately if it meant Roberts is fired. Muncy was the heart and soul of the team all year, and the way Roberts dicked him around in the 2nd half was egregious, said like Jackie Chiles.
Dereck Rodriguez – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA ends at 2.81. That’s one way to take the heat off yourself for next year, though I pity him at Thanksgiving with the Pudges. “I got into the Hall of Fame.” “I had a miserable final start.” “I put stanozolol in the turkey.” “Maaaaaa!”
Justin Verlander – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA ends at 2.52. I will go over this more when I recap all the positions, but Verlander had a better season than you think. I am not underestimating your intelligence, I’m just telling you, Verlander surpassed your expectations.
Jameson Taillon – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.20. The key to his success this year? Having a ball.
Starling Marte – 2-for-5 and his 20th homer. The Pirates reached the 20-homer benchmark twice, barely, but what’s fair is fair, I lost that bet. How about my bet Shin-Soo wouldn’t get past 22 homers though? Which I said when he was at 18 homers — three months ago! Kinda nailed that one.
Miles Mikolas – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA ends at 2.83. Mikolas led my one team to victory, so a tip of the hat to my new favorite, Greek-sounding player. Moustakas and Castellanos are off to cry in their Greek diner disco fries.
Blake Snell – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.89. Perhaps my greatest preseason moment was calling Snell a sleeper for you to draft in all leagues. Perhaps my worst preseason moment is when I didn’t listen to my own advice and actually draft him. You win one, you lose some, as they say in the Albright house. Actually, it’s more of a yurt.
Mallex Smith – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 39th and 40th steal, hitting .296. Gotta love those striving for personal achievements in the final week. Shame Kris Bryant couldn’t hit 20 homers this final week.
Manuel Margot – 3-for-5 and a slam (8) and legs (11). Priming me for a 2019 sleeper!
Carlos Rodon – 1 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 4.18. Gah, that was supposed to be your April 3rd of next year start after everyone incorrectly drafted you!
Joe Mauer – 1-for-4, hitting .282, as he might’ve played his final game. I happened to see Rotoworld has already ranked Mauer in their top 20 overall for next year. Be interesting to see if they switch it.
Christian Yelich – 0-for-2, 2 runs and his 35th and 36th homer on Saturday. You had a baby in early-August, a splitting image of his mother, thankfully. The baby was walking at three weeks old like Kim-jong Un and was setting your fantasy lineup at four weeks old. Then, at five weeks old, the baby cured cancer and is the frontrunner for Time’s Person of the Year. Maybe the best year in the history of mankind for such a babyfaced little tyke, until your runt was exceeded by Yelich.
David Wright – 0-for-1 as he took his final lap around Metco. Not a dry eye in the building, and it wasn’t simply because Jose Reyes was screaming, “I’m gonna make you cry!” Went back to look at Wright’s stats, and his last great season was 2010. His last decent season was 2013. This is an unpopular thought, but Reyes had a longer period of solid fantasy value (10 years vs. seven). Of course, Wright did seem like a class act who just had bad marks in attendance.
Noah Syndergaard – 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.03. Seems doubtful, but maybe from the All-Star Game until yesterday it was like a brief interlude when he just wasn’t himself and people were talking over his sweet, chin music. Call him Secretgaarden.
Adrian Beltre – 1-for-2. Hasn’t announced anything, but the Rangers team and fans cheered him on like this is his last game. Other fans should take clues from their lead. Shoot, the O’s should’ve gave Chris Davis a standing ovation in April if it would’ve got him off the field.
Stephen Piscotty – 1-for-1, 2 RBIs and his 27th homer. Where will he be drafted next year? Piscotty doesn’t know! Piscotty doesn’t know!
James Paxton – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.76. For the 1st time in his career, he threw more than 136 IP, had his highest K/9 (11.7), and lowest walk rate at 2.4. I hate that he’s already going to be 30 years old next year, but maybe, just maybe, he can finally be a top 10 starter in 2019. My cyclops is monocled!
Corey Kluber – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.89. No lie, I made a note in my iCal for early next September that says, “Pitchers don’t get shut down as much as you think. Also, you’re handsome.” This year felt like I was overestimating pitchers not throwing as deep into the season. Also, been hearing lots of talk about ending fantasy baseball leagues on August 31st. If that were the case, I would’ve won multiple leagues, including Tout, but I still think that’s lame. Yes, September is challenging for who’s starting, but you’re telling me baseball players can play 162 games, but you can’t click your mouse a few times and set your lineup until October 1st? C’mon, homey.
Francisco Lindor – 1-for-4, 2 runs, and a slam (38) and double legs (24, 25). Coming tomorrow is Podcaster Ralph and I debating the top 25 for 2019. I was surprised at how early Lindor went, but I couldn’t argue with it, especially since I was the one who took him and I prefer to dance with myself rather than argue.
Adalberto Mondesi – 0-for-3 and his 32nd steal, hitting .276. I’ll bet you $5 dollars you’ll never get from me that Mondesi will have the biggest difference in ADP in 2019 from league to league, going anywhere from top 25 overall to top 100 overall.
Jon Gray – 2 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.12. Every terrible pitcher from this year I’m going to call them Jsonny Grobbieray.
Nolan Arenado – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 36th and 37th homer. I just rented this AirBnB and there’s an urn that has a sign, “Grandmother’s ashes, please don’t touch,” so to make sure no one touches it, I’m just going to move it out of the way and by this open window–NOOOOOO!!! Torenado!!!
Charlie Blackmon – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 29th homer, and hit for the cycle. Oddly enough, Blackmon getting a cycle was also the logline for the sequel to Sons of Anarchy. One quick word about leagues using game 163. I would pick up literally everyone who was playing. I would even pick up middle relievers if I needed a chance for a vulture win or a random few Ks.
Trevor Story – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (36) and legs (27), hitting .290. Terrific, insane, adjective season. Please let his elbow be okay. I’m not being a worrywart, that’s what Rich Hill is — or is that a worryblister? Any hoo! — I just have visions of Corey Seager’s 2018 season when I think of Story in 2019.
David Dahl – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer, and 28th homer this week. Someone start a 2019 league right now so I can draft Dahl ridiculously early.
Mookie Betts – 1-for-2, 1 run, hitting .346, as he finished with the MLB batting title, the first by a Red Sox player since Wade “I Like The Thigh Meat Of Chicks” Boggs. He’s also the first guy to win the batting title while going 30/30. Incredibly, no one reached 200 hits this year, Betts fell short at 180, due to injuries and walks. Trout only had 147 hits this year! This feels like a one-year aberration, but with strikeouts up, trends have to start somewhere, which is also what I say when someone asks me why I’m wearing jorts.
J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 43rd homer, hitting .330. Just Dong because everything else is just wrong.
Xander Bogaerts – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer, hitting .288. How is his nickname not XBog….s? We have a whole offseason to make this happen. Let’s do this!
Luke Voit – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer, hitting .333. He should walk around the clubhouse with a t-shirt from the Leonard-Duran fight, No Mas, with an added caret and A.
Giancarlo Stanton – Hit his 38th homer on Saturday. Came up a wee bit short of 60 homers this year. The thesaurus tells me I could’ve used Altuve instead of ‘wee bit short.’ Either way, the Yankees ended up setting a new home run record for a team, and had at least 20 homers from each lineup spot for the first time in history. Somewhere, Babe Ruth and Fatty Arbuckle are removing a Coke bottle from somewhere it doesn’t belong in honor of the occasion. The Ghost of Babe Ruth to The Ghost of Lou Gehrig, “Do that echoey thing you do with your voice into the Coke bottle.” Gehrig grimaces and shakes his head, no thanks.