Did you hear about the Native American who wouldn’t leave the bathroom?  He said home was where the TP was.  Hey, this Drunk Uncle Jokebook isn’t that bad!  August has been miserable for Jose Ramirez with a .200 average, zero homers and two steals until last night.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.  Thankfully, the eggs he broke last night were the goose eggs representing his power numbers as he went 2-for-3 with his 19th and 20th homer, and his 14th steal.  Babies babble on, they lookin’ for excuses.  Not here to make excuses for Jo-Ram, but this was his first terrible month in two years.  Even Rhysus rested one day a week.  His righty/lefty splits are both at .298, which is odd since he’s hitting .300.  Did he go 0-for-1 against someone who spit the ball at him?  *intern whispers in my ear*  I see, the .298 righty/lefty splits were before last night.  You learn something gnu every day.  Spelling will be tomorrow!  Assuming Jo-Ram rebounds for his standard month in September, it’s going to be hard to be too down on him in the non-sexual way.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time.  Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?”  Let’s look under the hood and see.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher end of summer backyard bash, where we talk about our beloved top 100 hitters. I will be taking a one-week hiatus after this post as I pack up my apartment and drive 1,200 miles north from Fort Lauderdale, FL up to Pennsylvania. That’s right, the true King of the North is returning home to his roots. No more tank tops in January for me for a little while. After my one-week absence, though, I will be back to tell you how good Rhys Hoskins is. You may have heard of him by now. We focused on him last week, so we don’t have to go over him again, even though he has pretty much homered in every game since we talked about him. And for once, that isn’t even an exaggeration. Check out his game log:

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They call him the Shark, but Jeff Samardzija, $17,400 can go from blood sniffing predator to Puke Soup in the blink of an eye.  He’s been so inconsistent it’s hard to endorse him for DFS, but I’m taking a chance and letting him in the cool kids klub.  Surprisingly enough, he’s actually strung together 5 QS over his last six while going 4-1 over that span.  His 32 Ks over the last 39.1 innings are a little low, but he shouldn’t have any problem racking them up against the Padres in Petco tonight.  His price tag leaves me enough room to pair him up with the human K machine, Corey Kluber, at $25,200 vs the Yankees.  Aaron Judge might contribute 3 or 4 himself and the rest of the Yankee lineup shouldn’t give Kluber too many problems.  Kluber has been en fuego, with 6 double digit strikeout games in his last 8 starts, that’s straight fire son!  The pitching is a little pricey tonight so fair warning that we’re going to have to get a little creative with the offense.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

For the last few days, I’ve been in New York for my grandfather’s 90th birthday.  With each passing year, he gets more casually racist, and, let’s just say, he didn’t start at zero.  I told him Byron Buxton hit three homers on Sunday, and he said, “Byron?  What’s he, a Jew?”  I told him, no, I don’t think so, but, of course, he can’t hear so well, so he continued, “I didn’t think Jews played sports.  Well, I guess he’ll at least be good with the money he makes.”  Then he went on a twenty-minute rant about how he’d have more money if he was Jewish (he’s Italian).  If you read Who Is Grey Albright?, you’ll know that I was raised by my grandparents, so let’s hope the apple rolled far enough away from the tree.  Otherwise, I’m gonna be writing roundups in 40 years like this, “Byron Buxton Jr. – He has better contact rates than his father, and prolly can find a good interest rate, ya know, because Jew.”  Here’s my grandfather with the entertainment we got for the party.  For those of you that grew in the tri-state area in the 1980’s, you’ll be familiar with the entertainment:

Any hoo!  Byron Buxton went 4-for-5, 4 runs, 5 RBIs and three homers (11, 12, 13) and his 24th steal.  A triple slam and legs?  What a glutton for wonderful!  From the 1st half to the 2nd half, his average went from .216 to .309; his K-rate is down from 31% to 25%; his OPS went from .594 to .903; his ISO went from .090 to .245, and his OBP went from .288 to .350.  Beginning to think real adjustments have been made for 2018, because everything’s been better in the 2nd half.  His 2nd half has been bigger and better than the pictures I saw recently of Tiger Woods, if you catch my drift.  (Okay, so the apple doesn’t roll that far from the tree after all.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Rhyses Pieces. Rhys Lightning. Hoskdongs. Whenever a prospect comes up, dominates, and produces a platter of prospective team names to stash for 2018, the triangle of fantasy happiness is complete.

We all know you – yeah, you – should’ve added Hoskins a while ago, yet due to something called “fantasy fooseball,” “fantasy football,” all your league mates think they’re too cool to add one of the hottest, non-Stanton dongers – new word – in the game. That might leave you with the messiah of mashing still lingering on your waiver wire.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

The image of eating salt always reminds me of one of my favorite Futurama quotes.  The “Death by snu snu” scenes are easily my all-time favorites though.  Enough about Futurama though and let’s talk about my boy, Charlie Morton.  Morton has been by streaming delight in the RCLs since he returned in early July.  In that time span he has never given up more than 4 earned runs and has never struck out fewer than 5.  Those numbers scream safety, which also means, boring.  I wouldn’t go in thinking Morton is winning you a GPP today, but he’s a perfect cash game play at a nice price ($17,400).  He’ll be squaring off against the California Angels of LA and/or Anaheim who are third to last in team OPS.  Granted, Mike Trout is back now, but I’m still comfortable with picking on the Angels.  So, pass the salt (Or, as he’s going by this week, “Ground Chuck”) in cash games and let’s take a look at who we’ll be pairing up with Morton and who to look at in those GPPs below:

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Okay so who watched the fight? Anyone? Anyone? Let me begin today’s post by thanking all the little people that delayed my progress on this post. First and foremost all the MVPs, heroes, saints, etc that walk amongst us, live streaming expensive pay per view fights. Thank you, this is for you. I hope you play dynasty baseball.

Sincerely,

Ralph

P.S. So how about that Brandon Marsh guy? Don’t remember where you might have heard about him before (shameless self promotion)? Doesn’t matter, moving along. Marsh is riding high on a 10 game hitting streak, slashing .420/.442/.580 with 2 homers, and 3 steals. I discussed Marsh on the recent episode of the Prospect Podcast, listing him as one of my favorite sleepers outside my Top 10 Outfield Ranks. He’s an athletic specimen, with a sweet lefty swing, and bag full of tools. The Angels farmhand ranked 62nd on my mid-season Top 100, and I believe he should be owned in every dynasty format where 5 or more minor leaguers can be stashed per team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

If I had a nickel for every time I streamed Matt Moore this season I would have probably six or seven nickels by now. Most of those nickels would have been thrown out of my second-floor window because the streams did not go very well. But, like any good insane person, I can’t help myself and am back for more. Or should I say back for Moore?

Matt Moore tops the Streamonator list this week for two-start starters owned in less than 75% of RCLs. At $15.50, he has the 7th highest value, behind only the six you see above him in the chart below. I would have to go back and look to be sure, but I think this is the first time all season that my top seven starters lined up exactly with what Streamonator projects. That is two opinions for the price of one, people. You can’t get that kind of bargain anywhere else!

While he sports a pretty ugly 5.38 ERA, he has tossed three straight quality starts. In those starts, he has allowed five runs in 20 1/3 innings while striking out nearly a batter per inning. His ERA of 4.09 in the second half is two runs lower than his first half ERA, which was inflated by an absolutely awful 8.88 ERA in June. June must have been when I was streaming Moore the most because that wound feels fresh.

His 4.51 FIP, while not great, is also almost a run lower than his ERA, so it seems that the Moore of late is leveling out to match up with what his peripherals are saying. While many of his numbers this season match up with what he has done throughout his career, there are a few concerns among the bunch. For starters, his swinging strike percentage is down. It’s not drastically down, as 8.9% is not a freefall from his career mark of 10.2%, but it is notable. His BABIP is slightly above league average at .329, while his 1.51 WHIP is up above his career 1.37 WHIP and the 1.29 he put up last season. His Hard% is up nearly 4%, and he is giving up a few more home runs this season, but then again who isn’t, right?

As for matchups this week, he has one great matchup against the Padres and one meh matchup against the Cardinals, who have been much better the last few weeks. The Padres have a wOBA of .291 over the last two weeks, which is good for third worst in baseball behind only the Mets and Nationals. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have the fifth best wOBA over that span with a .362 that is actually tied with the Marlins and Twins. The Cardinals start is a risk for Moore streaming, but his recent success and his matchup against the Padres make him one of the better two-start options this week. He is only owned in 28% of RCLs as of this writing.

As for other starters with a positive Streamonator $ value who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs, here is the entire list:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

ALL CONTESTANTS, BE SURE YOU READ THIS FIRST PARAGRAPH.

We are approaching week five of the playoffs. That is the final week for this contest. This week you only pick two players. Here’s the kicker. You cannot pick a player that anyone else has picked that week even if you haven’t picked that player yet in the playoffs. You will be able to change your pick if you accidentally pick a player that has been picked by another, but you must do so before the deadline. I will let you know if you need to select a different player in response to your comment. Before making your picks, please look at the comments to see what players have already been selected. Your picks are not locked until you see a response comment from me saying they are locked. However, you cannot change a pick if that player has not been picked.

The reason for this is because I want to prevent the first place team from waiting to see who the second place team picks and then picks the same batters so that he cannot be caught. This is not a new rule as it was clearly stated in the first week of the playoffs.

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