Red Sox second year breakout and probably should-be closer Garrett Whitlock began the night on a roll firing six innings of two run baseball, allowing just six base runners, five hits, one walk and striking out four. The offense was on fire, Xander Bogaerts had two hits with a 3-run homer, Fenway was abuzz, and G-Whit had a nice, cushy six run lead. Yup, this was the night. Whitlock was in line for his first win of the season. Everything was in place. Then, as Sox fans have grown accustomed to seeing lately, once the starter was pulled all semblance of order was thrown out the window and the Boston bullpen proceeded to give up 10 runs over the next four innings. Is it telling that Whitlock is winless as a starter because of the pen, and also makes the most sense as the closer? I’ve seen some bad bullpens, but this one makes Amber Heard look stable. Jake Diekman kicked things off by coughing up three earned runs in the seventh, followed by John Schreiber giving up two more, then Matt Strahm came in to put it away allowing four runs and getting just a single out. Hirokazu Sawamura entered in the ninth to mop up the mess and managed to allow just a single run. Sweet fantasy lord make it stop. This comes a day after Matt Barnes walked four straight batters in the ninth allowing two runs. I mention all these players so you know to avoid them and the Boston bullpen at all costs. Still, the blown lead was not without its benefactors, namely the O-oh-o’s. Anthony Santander had two hits with his eighth homer, Austin Hays hit his fifth, Jorge Mateo hit his third and Ramon Urias had three hits with a run scored. Hey, Urias was a BUY! I guess there are treasures to be found in piles of trash? As for this dumpster fire disguised as a bullpen, with Hansel Robles headed to the IL you don’t want no part of this pen, Dewey. I know saves ain’t got no face, but these saves have the face of the devil.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Trevor Story – 0-for-3 with 0 home runs. Zero! As in none! Pfft! Well, no wonder they lost!
Alex Verdugo – 2-for-5, 2 RBI. There are very few players, nay! people that I like as much as the Drip King Alex Verdugo. 99’s hitting .400 in the past week. Gold plated everything. Pads. Shoes. Gloves. Even Bruno Mars knows that’s 24k magic.
Franchy Cordero – 2-for-4, run. If you’re trying to capitalize on the Sox scoring 10+ runs a game, Cordero could be worth a look. He only plays versus righties but he’s hitting .300 with a bomb and 6 RBI in the past week.
Austin Riley – 1-for-4, HR (10) batting .255. I’ve come to terms with the fact that Austin is a .250 hitter as long as he hits 35 jacks.
Ronald Acuña Jr – 1-for-1, run, RBI. Pinch hit in 7th and hit a game-tying RBI double. Alt-164! I’m convinced he did this because he really does love me and wants me to be happy. Well, it worked!
Michael Harris – Called up to start Saturday versus the Marlins. Meanwhile, Travis Demeritte was sent down. I’m not going to pretend to know who Michael Harris is, I will save the prospect education for The Itch tomorrow, but my google machine tells me he was slashing .305/.372/.506 with 5 bombs (23 XBH) and 11 steals at AA. Maybe it’s just me, but to me, those look like pretty good numbers for a fantasy team and I wanted to get him on your radar just in case!
Garrett Cooper – 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 RBI as he hit second. Coops is hitting .444 in the past week and led off the previous two games. Someone call Ryan Gosling, this team needs Jazz back and fast.
Jameson Taillon – 8.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 5th win. Why Jameson? The five wins, that’s why! The eight innings were a season high and he’s now rocking a 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP in May alone. My strategy this year with starters has been to roster Yankees and Dodgers and so far that’s worked out pretty well. The peripherals aren’t overwhelming but the wins are nice and he gets the Rays again next week.
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-3, HR (1). Gleyber Torres also homered (8). It was Matt’s first homer since last April. And if you thought he wasn’t in the league anymore it’s because he wasn’t. However, literally, anyone in this Yankeee lineup is probably worth watching, especially while Giancarlo and Donaldson are out, and maybe Carpenter could get hot and stick. I’ve seen Stranger Things. Well, not season 4 yet, no spoilers!!
Pete Alonso – 2-for-4, HR (12), 4 RBI, now slashing .283/.348/.528 with 12 homers and 45 RBI. Albombso! Also made this sweet play. That’s eight homers in May for Polar Bear Pete. There may be better first baseman than Alonso, but there are very few I’d rather own. I just like him!
Carlos Carrasco – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, BB, 7 K, 5th win. When you can give up five runs and grab the win you know your offense got your back.
Ryan Helsley – 0.2 IP, K, SV (3). He was a BUY and has yet to give up a run along with a 0.31 WHIP in 16.1 IP. That goes with a silly 27/3 K/BB. Tell me why again I own two Mariners relievers that destroy my ratios and not a single Ryan Helsley?
Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-4, HR (9). Pauly G is a Jersey Sure Thing! His third homer in the last four days and extended his hitting streak to 18 games! Sweet sassy molassy! I know Trevor Story has been unreal, but Player of the Month for May is going to be a real battle with Goldy slashing .400/.461/.800 with 8 bombs, 26 RBI and a steal to go with a 1.261 OPS. That will help your fantasy team!
Harrison Bader – 2-for-3, run, 2 SB (13). Now tied for the league lead in steals! He’s the Master Bader!
Bobby Witt Jr. – 3-for-5, HR (6), 3 RBI, SB (7). To Witt! Hank Hill would say that boy Bobby ain’t right. Well, I guess I want to be wrong if it means slam & legs like these. Maybe his best game to date, what the youngster’s lacked in average he has made up for with 7 steals. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Nicky Lopez – 3-for-4, run, RBI, SB (4). Nicky carried me to the postseason last year with 10 steals in August, so part of me wonders where that went and the other part of me wonders why I drafted Adalberto Mondesi again.
Kyle Lewis – 1-for-4, HR (1), 2 RBI. BUY Kyle while he’s still in style! Kyle’s got style for days and even more knee problems. I looove me some Kyle Lewis, and the M’s offense looked lit for the first time in a long time, but I want to see him log consistent at bats before I really invest. In other words, hit one more dinger this weekend and I’ll grab you everywhere.
Ty France – 3-for-4, 2 runs, HR (7) slashing .341/.413/.511. Sacre bleu! Merci beaucoup for the jack and the .435 average over the past week. Ty’s got a nine game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that stretch. Dude is having a career year, folks. If they could surround him with some actual offense, he could put up some serious counting stats.
Julio Rodriguez – 1-for-4, HR (6). Speaking of actual offense, Jul-Rod is hitting almost .300 with all six of his homers in May. Never in my wildest dreams, even the ones with Mookie, did I think Rodriguez would be this good this quickly. I like to temper my expectations with rookies, especially M’s rookies, and even though I did draft him way early, I was not expecting Mike Trout Lite, but for real this kid is a bonafide superstar!
Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 10 hits, 6 ER, BB, 6 K. He gave up four homers. That’s not how you win at life, JV. Marrying Kate Upton? OK, that’s how you win.
Chris Flexen – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2nd win. Chris flexing his best stuff versus the scary Astros. If you started him in this spot you have softball sized cajones and that actually looks pretty serious you should have a doctor check that out.
Marcus Semien – 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI, SB (5). Well, if you’re not going to hit homers anymore the steals are the LEAST you can do to make me hate you less. Two in the past week with a .280 average is a start, but I’m still feeling the hate inside my heart.
Cole Irvin – 6.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 4 K. I streamed Cole for this start who was in line for the win until the A’s bullpen gave up five runs. If you need an idea of what I think about Irvin I’ll tell you I dropped him before his start even began. He’s strictly a streaming option and I wouldn’t touch him next week versus Houston.
Sean Manaea – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. He’s been underwhelming but fine I guess. This Padres team just wins. No flash. Just wins. Machado having the quietest MVP season in years, they need Tatis back so we can get hype about the ‘Dres again.
Jose Quintana – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, ERA at 2.54. Jose had some of his better stuff Friday, and Quintana is quietly putting together a career year, too bad it’s in Pittsburgh. Unless he gets traded he may never get another win and I certainly wouldn’t count on it next week at the Dodgers. But if he survives that start he might be worth rostering in more than 20% of leagues.
Taylor Rogers – 1.0, SV (17), ERA at 0.44. We spit-taked when Minnesota decided to dump Rogers for the oft-injured Paddack, who is, surprise, now injured, but it sure worked out real well for San Diego, who’s looking like one of the most efficient teams in baseball right now.
Luke Voit – 1-for-4, HR (3). About to go on one of his homer binges? Maybe add him now before he does? Speaking of Luke, anyone check out Obi Wan Kenobi? I don’t want to spoil it but there is a secret character that could give baby Yoda a run for his money. I love them and would die for them and I promise it’s not Jar Jar.
Jared Walsh – 2-for-4, HR (10). Walsh still wondering why he can’t be a two-way player, too. What makes Ohtani so special!? Oh right. Everything. Everywhere. All at once.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 3-for-4, run. Lordy Lourdes are you finally going to start hitting so I can stop blasting Taylor’s Swift “All To Well” on repeat?
Alek Manoah – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Alek him! Alek him a lot. I don’t know if it’s the 1.77 ERA, the sub-1 WHIP, the fact that he hasn’t allowed more the 2 ER in a start all YEAR, or maybe it’s the 52/9 K/BB? For a BJays team that has mostly performed below expectations, Manoah has been all that and a bag of All Dressed potato chips. Cause Canada!
Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 3 K, SV (15). JR with the Kimbrel!
Craig Kimbrel – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, BB. Hey, speaking the Kimbrel, one thing I’ve learned about Craig over the years is he does not do “non-save” situations. CK thrives on pressure, don’t bother him with these 4 run leads. If the game isn’t close, he will make it close.
Edwin Rios – 1-for-3, 2 runs, HR (6), 3 RBI. Hitting .300 in the past week with a four game hitting streak. I don’t care who are, if you’re batting clean up for the Dodgers you’re probably worth owning.
Trea Turner – 2-for-4, HR (4), 2 RBI. Hitting .380 with 2 homers, 2 steals and 9 RBI in the past week. Sometimes, you guys, I just wish I was a Dodgers fan, if only for a day. This lineup is so good it makes me uncomfortable.
Josh Rojas – 3-for-4, 3 RBI slashing .321/.406/.509. Rojas isn’t Joshin’ around! Josh was almost your lead LAST week when he hit three bombs, but he also re-injured himself so I held off on recommending him. This week though, he’s a BUY, he can homer and steal and hit for average and score runs and play just about every position for your team. What can’t Josh Rojas do?
Madison Bumgarner – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. His ratios are surprisingly good for someone I feel like gets bombed every other game.
Graham Ashcraft – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, K, 1st win. I’m assuming this happened because it was Ashcraft’s second start and Kapler just didn’t have any data on him? Ashcraft has a 100+ mph fastball and that’s about it, but he’s probably pitched well enough to stick in this rotation for now, mostly because everyone is either hurt or bad. Regardless he’d a get a juicy match up at home versus the Nats next week. Pick him up if you hate yourself.
Carlos Rodon – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. Against the REDS!? COME ON, CR! DO. BETTER. Carlos has faltered quite a bit after acting like the best pitcher in baseball for the month of April (53/12 K/BB in April). He’s lost three in a row with a 12/8 K/BB in that stretch. I’m sure he’ll be fine, and I’d tell you to buy low but I can’t imagine anyone is selling yet. I wouldn’t!
Alejo Lopez – 2-for-3, run, SB (1). It’s become a bit of a tradition for me now where I recommend a new Reds SAGNOF every week with no intention that you’ll actually consider adding him. So here ya go! Alejo!
Brandon Drury – 1-for-5, HR (8). Keep hitting like this, you’ll be traded in no time! If only!
Art Warren – 1.2 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (3). Speaking of SAGNOF, I don’t know much about Art, but I know what I like. He’s strung together four straight quality, scoreless outings and notched 2 saves and a hold in that stretch since blowing the save on May 17th. If you can deal with owning the closer for a team that may not win 40 games, he’s probably a better option than a lot of what’s out there.
Tommy Pham – The Slap, Part II. Oh boy, are you ready for this one because Tommy Pham remains MLB’s truest wild card. Pham was held out of the game and is likely to face some sort of suspension after he and Joc Pederson got “into it” in the outfield during BP. Some words were exchanged, but when Pham brought up Joc’s questionable fantasy football tactics, things escalated quickly. “Keep my fantasy team out of you f’n mouth” he said, probably, and slapped Joc. That’s right, like, on the face, big Willie style. Here’s Joc’s recount of the incident, in case you thought my description wasn’t bizarre enough. I imagine this one hits a little close to home for us? But for real, I have SO MANY questions! Like, why is Tommy Pham always mad? Always! And dude clearly won the league and is still salty? Also, he says Joc owes him “thousands,” aren’t these people millionaires? Why do they owe money? Pay up, Joc! WTF! And how does Tommy not know how to abuse IR spots? Does he not read football.razzball.com? Finally, my biggest and most important question is: who else is in this league and is there anything in the world I can do to get an invite?
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!