Can one start change a guy’s perception for 2022 fantasy? Yesterday, Sandy Alcantara (9 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.24) made that case. If that was it, against a subpar offensive team like the Mets, I’d say, “Yawn, my good chap, let’s see it vs. someone who we think is good.” How’sever, that wasn’t it. Dot dot dot. It was how it was done. It was done with overwhelming nast. Not nasty, but overwhelming nast. Nast: the act of saying “nasty” but unable to finish because the pitches are hitting the catcher’s mitt before there’s time. In the 8th inning and on pitch 99, it was a 101.5 MPH beebee. Not a BB as in a ball, but a ground out to short. 9th inning? Oh, yeah, back out and hitting triple digits on pitch number 102, touching 101.2. Pitch number 110 and he hit 100.3 MPH. Pitch 112? Still 100.3 — miles per hour, not Z100. Then a 93.5 MPH slider and goodbye Conforto, who homered earlier in the night. This was as dominant a start as I saw in April, forget September as Alcantara hits 180 2/3 IP on the year. Next year, we’re going to see a lot of pitchers still struggle with innings, due to how funky last year was. Sandy Alcantara in 2022 will be one of maybe five starters you can pencil for 200+ IP, and a 3.00 ERA with upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Jesus Aguilar – Hit the IL with knee inflammation. Too bad, so sad. *places hand on chin and leans in* So, Lewin Diaz was called up, you say? Not yet grabbing Diaz in shallower leagues, but I’m going to quickly cyclops with a monocle, because there’s not a ton of time to waste.

Joe Ryan – 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.25. Gave you my Joe Ryan fantasy last week. It was written while calming saying, “My socks are on fire.” The biggest takeaway from that post, “This is potentially as good a prospect arm call-up as we’re getting the rest of the year.”

Miguel Sano – 1-for-4 and his 25th homer, hitting .219, and 2nd homer in four games. Sign me up for two more homers from Sano by Sunday, which is what I say to the confusion of the people with clipboards outside my supermarket.

Triston McKenzie – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.44. In the last month, I’ve started to love the Strong Bean. Guess you could say I’m *pinkie to mouth* Trustin’ McKenzie. What kind of hellish pun have I wrought?!

Hunter Renfroe – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 27th homer. He accounted for all the Sawx runs and threw out a runner with a terrific throw to end the game, as Renfroe would not let the Red Sox lose. Even with Cora doing everything to try to make them lose, like using Hansel Robles to close the game.

Shane McClanahan – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.59. You know how much I liked Nathan Eovaldi (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.57) going into this year and McClanahanananananan went into Fenway, threw a gem, and has practically the same ERA as Eovaldi. Woo, baby, gonna like me some Shane next year.

Josh Lowe – 1-for-1 and his 1st steal, as he was recalled from Triple-A. *insert Michael and The Office scrambling out of, uh, the office in excitement* Wait, Lowe is only up for Randy Arozarena paternity leave? Oh. *head down, back into the office* We’ll get properly excited this offseason for Lowe, but he seems only up for a few days now. If you want more, Prospect Itch just gave you his Josh Lowe fantasy.

Adam Duvall – 1-for-4 and his 33rd homer, and now three straight games with a homer. Welp, he hits them in pairs, so now he has to go four games in a row. Rules is rules.

Eddie Rosario – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer. Pretty much a lost season from him, but he’s only 29 and I’m starting to hum Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Bounce Back.

Juan Soto – 2-for-5 and a slam (25) and legs (9). Sexy Dr. Pepper is so good he didn’t show up until the end of July, and he’s a top 15 hitter on the Player Rater.

Luis Gil – 3 1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 1.42, as he was recalled from the minors. This start was must watch TV with him going against fellow rookie, Alek Manoah (5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.71), and both starters looked much better than their lines. Doesn’t ease your pain at all, does it?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 2-for-4 and his 41st homer. If Cake Batter wins the MVP at 22, what does he do for a follow-up? Please don’t take pointers from Cody Belanger!

Adam Wainwright – 8 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.98 as he did what needed to be done against the soon to be 100-win Dodgers. Wainwright vs. the best teams ever in baseball and Wainwright wins, right? Put him against the 1927 Yanks and it’s Wainwright shutting down Biscuit Pants Gehrig, right? Actually, did he ever face them? Can we look at his rookie year game log?

Yadier Molina – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. Molina and Wainwright like peanut butter and jelly that you found in a time capsule from the 1950s.

Tyler O’Neill – 1-for-3 and his 24th homer, and third homer in the last week, hitting .279, and hitting third in the lineup. O’Neill feels like one of those guys that has a solid season, and is still underrated next year like he didn’t just do it already.

Ian Happ – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer, and 29th homer in the last two days. There is something especially frustrating about Septactular performances, because they were almost always dropped and are now helping a fantasy team that didn’t have to struggle with them for the first five months.

Joey Votto – 1-for-4 and his 29th homer, hitting .269. The problem always with the narrative, “Joey Votto can hit homers whenever he wants,” is when he has a miserable five weeks without hitting anything is he just not trying?

Vladimir Gutierrez – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.05 vs. Alec Mills – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.09. This matchup was billed as the “Streamonator hates both of their next starts, so who cares.” A very to-the-point billing.

Jason Heyward – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. Struggling to even say hot schmotato for Heyward Jablowme, but there ya go.

Zach Eflin – Underwent surgery by Patella Tendon, a lovely chap from Jersey City who I went to school–Strike that, misread it. He had surgery done on his patella, not by Patella. Eflin will miss at least a month of 2022, and remind not to draft him. Thanks!

Freddy Peralta – 3 2/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 2.69. Ugh, just shut him down. Please!

Andrew Benintendi – 3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .256. We should go back and highlight all the people in the comments arguing with me about how great Benintendi was in April. Though, most of them are likely with Donkey Teeth over with his Week 1 Fantasy Football rankings.

Salvador Perez – 1-for-4 and his 42nd homer. Now I’m rooting for him to get to 50 homers just so I can have one final cackle.

Mike Minor – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 5.05 Minor’s a straight Streamonator call, and one I could see doing his next time, even if it’s barely positive.

Jon Gray – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.18, as he was activated from the IL. He only missed one start with forearm tightness, because the Rockies are chasing a worse draft pick. Prolly doesn’t matter anyway. The Rockies will only trade their #1 draft pick for the rights to talk to Brian Dozier.

Colton Welker – Called up by the Rockies. This guy sounds like a part played by Michael Shannon, except not that new Hulu show he’s in where Nicole Kidman is doing a Russian accent. She can’t do an English accent and someone thought she should do a Russian one? Ha, okay, I’m not Rex Reed, but that show sucks. Any hoo! Prospect Itch said of Welker, “Once a ballyhooed prospect who’d pull some semi-significant weight in dynasty trade negotiations, Welker’s perceived value has backed up a fair bit. As is typical of young Rockies, he’s posted impressive numbers every step of the way until reaching AA Hartford, the proving ground, where he slashed .252/.313/.408. On the plus side, he continues to minimize strikeouts (17.3 percent at AA) and walk at a decent clip (8.1 percent), so there’s reason for optimism, unlike with Grey who just stinks.” Okay, not cool!

Carlos Estevez – 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.59. If Saves Ain’t Got A Face, how do you explain my grimace?

Brandon Crawford – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .293. This was only his third homer since June, so saying he’s trailed off in the power department is like saying Lars Nootbaar has trail mixed in the Power Bar department. Actually, I don’t know what that means, but Crawford has hit for a solid average across the last three months, just nothing “floating bye-bye, souvenir ball for fans” lately.

Robbie Grossman – 4-for-5, 3 runs and his 22nd homer, hitting .244. Once the season is done, I will recap all positions, but I couldn’t help looking to see where Grossman was on the Player Rater for outfielders, and he’s about the same as Austin Meadows in value and I want to cry.

Yu Darvish – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.95. I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! But at least you still have him to start next time (when he will invariably be rocked).

Jo Adell – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, and third homer in the last four games, and two of those were in the same game, so it sounds a little more promising than maybe it should but hot schmotato alert!

Jose Urquidy – 3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 3.51. Kept saying all preseason that all pitchers would be shut down by August and there would be one starter and four Weekend at Bernie’ses in each rotation by September, but, honestly, I didn’t even think it would be this bad. Everyone’s an effin’ Weekend at Bernie’s’er.

Alex Bregman – 1-for-1 and his 9th homer, a pinch-hit homer, and 2nd homer in two games. I originally had him in my Sell (drop!) column for this week that is available now on Patreon, but I removed him because I can’t tell you to drop a guy who has homered two games in a row. God knows he’s way overdue. By the by, weird how different Bregman became after 2019. Wonder what changed.

Jose Altuve – 1-for-5 and his 27th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, hitting .272. His numbers have markedly changed since 2019, too — Huh, weird — but seriously, he’s a totally different hitter. Highest FB%, lowest GB%, crazy number of infield flies, huge uptick in Launch Angle and pulling everything. Not sure what it means. My guess is he’s embraced being a .270 hitter and decided hitting homers is a good way to distract from the lower average. He’s become like the anti-Jeter. Speaking of which, big congrats to a guy I always ignored in fantasy, because he was overrated.

Luke Weaver – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.24. Streamonator hates his next start, and I tend to agree. By the way, it feels like there should be a German word for the Diamondbacks taking on the Rangers in September. Ubermeh? Volksondabottomrung? Die Schlowly?