Shohei Ohtani (1-for-2, 2 RBIs, hitting .301) hit his 22nd homer to tie for the MLB lead, and he tossed 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.29, vs. the Rangers in Texas, one MLB’s best teams, and the Win. Are there enough superlatives for Ohtani? Let’s try, he’s the best baseball player ever. Good place to start. It’s unfair to compare different eras, because things were different 100 years ago when Babe played. Things were different 20 years ago when Bonds was in his heyday. Speaking of which, besides those two, there was Say Hey, there was Hammerin’, there was–Rickey knows you’re not forgetting Rickey–There was Rickey! None needed their full name mentioned. You knew who I meant. None pitched as well as Ohtani is pitching. Babe’s the only one to even give that a go, and we know when he was an elite hitter, he wasn’t also a pitcher. Ohtani sent a ball 443 feet the opposite way last night with ease, has hit six homers in seven games, and has 105 Ks in 82 IP, which is third in strikeouts. Absurd. There are no superlatives. He is the superlative. Superlative Ohtani. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Zach Neto – Hit the IL with an oblique strain. Everything I touch is cursed. Should be Luis Rengifo’s job, which means Phil Nevin, the biggest idiot in Idiotsville, will go to the .000-hitting Andrew Velazquez. Okay, unfair. He’s only hitting .000 because he was just called up. He’s projected to hit .190.
Chad Wallach – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in four games, and he absolutely won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but he has been hot, and playing over Thaiss, who has just disappeared.
Mickey Moniak – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .319. Moniak never stopped hitting; Nevin just stopped playing him. Ya know, to clarify.
Carlos Estevez – 0 IP, 1 ER, 3 walks, ERA at 1.80, but was bailed out by Jacob Webb (1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.03, 1st save). It doesn’t really make any logical sense, but if a team still wins, I think struggling closers tend to be ignored a bit more, i.e., as long as Estevez is healthy, he’s fine.
Pete Fairbanks – 1 IP, 0 ER, and his 6th save, ERA at 1.42, as he was activated from the IL. Fun fact! He’s not related to Payday Sloan.
Taj Bradley – 4 1/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 4.19. He also had a career-high 11 strikeouts, but obviously no one told him the pitfalls of turning to 11.
Manuel Margot – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer. Spraypainting “MAR” on the side of my car so people can say, “Look at that Margot.” All about committing to the bit.
Luke Raley – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 12th homer. You better believe he returns to the Buy column later today, after taking a brief sabbatical. He’s now a top 100 player, and he’s rostered in, like, 12% of leagues, depending on whose rostering numbers you believe. Rostering sounds like someone with a Southern drawl talking about fantasy baseball. “Y’all do that rostering baseball?” “Rotisserie?” “Did I say Robespierre, boy?”
Byron Buxton – 0-for-4 as he was activated from the IL. Kevin from ESPN’s Get Him In Your Lineup Department said, “To up my productivity, I’m wearing a diaper.”
Donovan Solano – 1-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Was so close to making Solano a batty call last night, but I decided I didn’t want to look as desperate as I was. I showed me!
Sonny Gray – 4 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 2.37. He’s really dragging out this regression. Just go ahead and do one of those 7 ER in 2 IP jobbers and be done with it.
A.J. Smith-Shawver – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.03. His name is sneaky impossible to spell. Just go by ASS, as Sir Mix-A-Lot would’ve wanted it. Like no one stops for a moment to consider what Sir Mix-A-Lot would want. Like that isn’t a standard thing for everyone. Any hoo! I still love ASS.
Elias Diaz – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer. Elias Sports Bureau said, “My boy!”
Ezequiel Tovar – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .251. Was watching this game, and saw Tovar homer, off my pitcher ASS, so wasn’t super happy, but my main takeaway was Tovar got into one, crushed, and the ball still landed in the first row of the outfield seats, i.e., he’s not a power guy. I know, no one thinks he is, but Cust kayin’.
Logan Allen – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.95. Why do I feel like the Guards will just create another two starters in the Cleveland Starting Pitcher Factory and toss Bibee and Allen back to the minors? Wait, someone by the name, uh, Gavin Williams is ringing a bell. And not Josh.
Manny Machado – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. If you were wondering if Machado would ever start hitting again, I have an affirmative with your name on it.
Jake Burger – 1-for-5 and his 16th homer, and 3rd homer in two games. He played 3rd as Yoan Moncada went to the IL yesterday. White Sox have had actually two Burgers this year at 3rd — Jake and Nothing.
Eloy Jimenez – 1-for-5 and his 7th homer. Also, in this game, Luis Robert (1-for-4) hit his 17th homer, and Andrew Vaughn (1-for-5) hit his 9th homer. I don’t hear or see it talked about much, but about six years ago Dodger Stadium went from a pitchers’ park to one of the most friendly home run parks.
Dylan Cease – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.31. If you’ve seen the first episode of the new Black Mirror, Joan Is Awful, then allow me to paint a picture for you. Dylan Is Awful and playing the part of Dylan is Blake Snell. If this is gibberish, just know that Cease is Snell, Snell is Cease, Finkle is Einhorn.
Aaron Nola – 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.66. Ya know what’s funny that’s not funny? By and large, the worst pitchers I have are the first ones I drafted. 2nd pitchers drafted? Mostly fine. 5th pitchers drafted? Pretttttttay-pretttttttay good. 1st? Dog crap.
Bryson Stott – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 7th homer. Went to look at Stott on the Player Rater, and I accidentally saw he’s been almost 25 spots better in value than Tommy Edman, and Trea Turner. *smile so big and fake that my creased eyes begin to tear up*
Ketel Marte – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer. I’ll tell you exactly what kind of season Ketel is having. He’s largely ignored in shallower leagues, but next preseason people will realize he had a better season than they realized, and they will draft him, then he will have one of the worst 2024 seasons known to man.
Cody Bellinger – 1-fro-3, 1 run, 1 RBI as he was activated. In a corresponding move, Matt Mervis was sent to Triple-A, because of course he was. Listen, Mervis had almost a month to play in the majors. At 25 years of age, how much time do you expect a team headed for 4th place in their division to give him? They have to carry Miles Masturbatori, Trey Mancini and three catchers.
Marcus Stroman – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.45. On a personal level, since I don’t roster him anywhere, I wouldn’t mind seeing some regression. With that said, his underlying numbers aren’t bad.
Hunter Harvey – 1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.34, and the blown save. I don’t hate moving to Harvey as the closer, and away from Finnegan, but that was one of the more bizarre managerial moves. In that, it was smart! That’s weird for managers. Gnats were going nowhere and they actually went to the better guy? Unheard of! I’d guess because of that they mostly stay with Harvey; it’s still a bit of a split.
Tyler Wells – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.20. Since it was a short schedule day, did a lil’ check-in on Wells. Wells, Wells, Wells, guess what I found? *whispering real loudly* A guy who is going to be a sleeper in so many places next year he’s going to be overrated. Looks like where Joe Ryan was this time last year.
Adley Rutschman – 3-for-5 and his 9th homer. Saw some Herb de Provence say something like, “You’re not going to believe this, but Gunnar has a higher SLG than Adley.” Yeah, and so does Santander and Austin Hays and Kevin Kiermaier, to name just a few from this game. You know why? Adley Rutschman is great for real baseball, because he’s a catcher. It doesn’t make him great for fantasy. At least not yet. Maybe he gets better, but people need to shut off their real baseball brain and only activate their fantasy baseball brain. It’s all you need now. Yes, you can even forget which medicines your kids are allergic to. It’s of no use to you now.
Alek Manoah – Threw a simulated game, and I simulated a jerking off motion.