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A young boy pulls on his grandfather’s sleeve. “Will you please read me a bedtime story, Paw-Paw?”
“Sure, Timmy, I’d be happy to. From the same book as always?” Off the child’s nod, the old man picks up the storybook, and reads the title, “The Dismantling of a Dream by Peter Angelos.” The old man opens the storybook, and begins to read, “In the summer of 2022, millions of people clamored for my Orioles to win. ‘Win!’ they shouted. And ‘Bleh,” I said. I wasn’t a vampire, per se, but I had been taking blood transfusions of millions of caterpillars right before they turned into a butterfly…” Dissolve to later, “…the bullpen was a point of contention. My underlings said we should keep our late-inning arms. At 93 years young, this might be the last chance I could see a good team. I told them, ‘A good team is one that is losing enough money for a healthy write-off.” Any hoo! The Orioles keep winning, which is somewhat hilarious since they’re seemingly trying to lose. Yesterday, the home run barrage began in the 1st with Ramon Urias (1-for-4, 3 RBIs), who hit his 12th homer. He’s had a great year because the expectations’ bar is so low, and I’m not talking the Royals or Rangers’ closers. Next up, hitting batting practice off Yusei Kikuchi (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.13) was Anthony Santander (2-for-3) and Ryan Mountcastle (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) in the 3rd. Surprised to see Santander’s home run total that far in front of Mountcastle. If only we had a BBC detective show that could look into that…Wait a minute! That’s Mountcastle on BBC at 9 PM GMT. Finally, Austin Hays (2-for-4) hit his 13th homer, and I was very happy to see this, because I put him in my weekly lineup at the last moment, and he pulled this home run over the left field fence that one can barely see from home plate, which is a great sign for his oblique injury that had sidelined him last week. Just another night in Baltimore, ending happily, like the O’s bottom line yielding subsidized financial reimbursement for a billionaire! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Jordan Lyles – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserrunners, 1 K, ERA at 4.35. Didn’t even look at what the Streamonator says for Lyles, I’m guessing nothing good, but the O’s are having themselves a magical season (for them), due to their starters’ (very low expectations).

Matt Chapman – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 22nd homer. Now has seven homers in 16 post-All-Star Break games. Just had a semi-unrelated thought, teams should do a Seven giveaway at their front gates, giving fans a box with a mannequin of Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

Cavan Biggio – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer, hitting .223. Thanksgiving’s gonna be so awkward this year when Craig tells his son he’s actually Brad Ausmus’s kid.

Franmil Reyes – Claimed off waivers by the Cubs. On today’s podcast, that will be on our Youtube channel if Bdon figures out how to upload it, you can hear Bdon say something like, “Cubs, if you’re listening, go out and grab Franmil.” Someone in the Cubs’ front office is listening. Fantastic flyer by the Cubs. He could easily hit 40 homers in that park. As I mention on the podcast, he feels similar to the Twins releasing David Arias–er, um, Ortiz.

Jason Heyward – Cubs are planning to release him from the final year (2023) of his $184 million contract, but will keep him around as an inactive player for the rest of this season because he’s highly respected in the clubhouse. Young players are always asking him questions like, “How did you get such a huge contract while doing nothing?”

Christopher Morel – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .263. Not to get all stupid with prorating — “If you were to say how much every doggie is in every window in the world, you’d be pricing out dogs for 37 years.” Oh, shut up, Mr. Prorater! — But if you were to prorate Morel’s stats, he’s on pace for a better than 20/20 season.

Nelson Velazquez – 3-for-4 and his 6th homer. This year in the minors Nelson Velazquez had 15 homers in only 56 games in Double and Triple-A. *coughs to hide other stat* And he hit .211 in Triple-A with a 36% strikeout rate.

Keegan Thompson – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.36. Ya know what I’ve started doing? I just sort the Streamonator by who’s facing the Nats. Pray for my Kyle Gibson shares.

Rowan Wick – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 4.14, as he got his 5th save. Also, yesterday, Ian Kennedy and Ryan Tepera both recorded saves, as it was one of the few days this year it felt good to be the first one to get to the waiver wire to vulture saves.

Luke Voit – 1-for-4 and his 15th homer, and 2nd homer in three games. Hot schmotato alert? Sure! Also, I think there’s a chance he could hit ten homers with the Nats and only knock in 9 RBIs. I don’t know how, but I think that lineup could pull it off.

Luis Rengifo – 2-for-4 and his 6th homer. Not sure if I’ve been remiss in saying Rengifo has been batting third for the last few weeks, or it’s actually the Angels committing lineup malpractice.

Cole Irvin – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.92 vs. Jose Suarez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.04. This matchup was deemed by the Streamonator a “Cover your eyes and go whee.” Might be because both starters are piss-poor, but it worked out nicely.

Tyler Glasnow – Scheduled to throw a batting practice session. I misspoke yesterday, he could make it back before the end of the year, but likely just as a pen arm, and I don’t see any real value in redraft leagues from him. Unless you have a Cillian Murphy lookalike category in your league.

Tyler Beede – 3 2/3 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.57. Hitters were on a short schedule yesterday; all pitchers had the day off. Beede wasn’t a man pitching. It was a sentient Jamaican cigarette.

Zac Gallen – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.12. Diamondbacks vs. the Pirates last night was featured on ESPN as the national broadcast. Sorry, that’s on ESPN 18, and the nation where it was broadcast was the island nation of The Bahamas that was settled by pirates. You can imagine their confusion.

Evan Longoria – 1-for-4, 1 run as he was activated from the IL. Longo vs. Blake Snell had 2016 Grey downright giddy!

Alex Wood – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.17. Hey, small suggestion. Webb, Wood, Cobb, yeah, that’s too many four-letter surnames. Two Alexes. It’s massively confusing. Can we do some trades or free agency this offseason to clear this up?

Blake Snell – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.96, but has lowered his ERA by more than a run and a half since the start of July. Just call him Snell, because the 1st half doesn’t matter.

Mitch Haniger – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 4th homer. If you can read this blurb, the Mitch hasn’t fallen off. You should prolly grab him, if he’s available in your league. No faith in him staying healthy, but, as long as he is, he’s worth rostering.

Cal Raleigh – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer. Cal Raleigh from that long line of catchers who do nothing, except homer. We call it The Zunino.

Logan Gilbert – 4 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 3.47. I keep opening up the player news expecting Gilbert’s to say something like, “Mariners are planning on watching Gilbert’s innings in his upcoming starts.” Limiting his innings by just not being able to throw more than 4 IP, because he’s getting rocked, isn’t ideal either.

Jesse Winker – Left the game with a back injury. Carrying around that long-ass neck can’t be good for his back.

Jameson Taillon – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.95. Yankees starters looking good again when their competitors are the .233 hitting Mariners.

Josh Donaldson – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .231. There were still some believers this preseason in Donaldson. Those believers are now checking out Donkey Teeth’s fantasy football rankings.

Aaron Judge – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 44th homer. In one league, I have Jose Ramirez and Aaron Judge, and I’m in 9th place. I will now cackle until I’m dragged away by a team of nurses.

Matt Carpenter – Suffered a left foot fracture. Ugh, can’t he heal it with his mustache? I’d suggest the Yanks recall Miguel Andujar, but how can you recall someone you’ve forgotten?

Jonathan India – Was lifted with a hamstring injury, but he stayed on the bench after he was pulled. In keeping with India, what’s the tea leaves say on how serious that injury is?

Mike Moustakas – Left yesterday’s game with a calf injury. That isn’t “Moose” you’re hearing, that’s boos.

Justin Dunn – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 5.79 as he was recalled. In 26 innings at Triple-A, he had a 6.92 ERA, 1.81 WHIP and 23/16 K/BB. But, ya know, otherwise, he was doing great!

Jose Barrero – 2-for-4 and his 1st steal, after hitting two homers over the weekend. Sure, it’s because it was a short schedule day that I’m mentioning him, but I absolutely love Barrero. P to the erhaps, more than I should, but he makes my heart grow two sizes with his speed and power.

Starling Marte – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (12) and legs (14), and 1st homer in August, and was hitting .194 for the month. Checked to see if he had a fall-off last 2nd half, and he did not. Marte was actually insanely good last August — stole 19 bags in the month. What’s wild, no AL player in the last 25 years has had 19 steals in a month other than Carl Crawford in 2009. Oh, Rickey Henderson averaged 20 steals a month in 1982.

Chris Bassitt – 8 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.39. First Mets pitcher since Jon Niese in 2014 to go at least 8 innings with 9+ hits allowed. Found that, when I was nosing through stats. Bassitt’s 114 pitches thrown was the most by a Mets pitcher this year, and Bassitt has the five highest totals. Bassitt? More like a bulldog!

Miguel Vargas – Optioned to Triple-A. Welp, that sucked. Justin Turner has to play because of a promotional deal with AM/PM with Turner’s resemblance to Toomgis.

Rylan Bannon – Claimed by the Dodgers. Be fun to get his jersey. People in Los Angeles won’t give me any weird looks about my Bannon jersey, or ask me where I was on January 6th.