Dot dot dot.  Kicks an end table.  Picks up the phone.  Dial tone.  No one there.  Flips the TV channel.  Not really watching.  Picks up phone.  No one there.  Flips the TV channel.  Stops on a special about Tony Conigliaro.  Sobs uncontrollably.  Picks up the phone, dials, “Hello, I don’t want to be alone, please come over.  This is Grey.  Albright.  Momma Stanton, I’m your son’s stalker.  Please, don’t hang up.  We need each other right now.  Hello?  Hello?”  Guess it’s just us right now.  It’s lonely without Giancarlo Stanton.  And his mollywhoppers.  God, how I loved those mollwhoppers.  It’s late, I need rest, hoping for good news tomorrow.  Giancarlo, mi novio, we sip from the same mug, even if you don’t know it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Marcell Ozuna – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer.  OZUNA dedicate home run to Giancarlo.  OZUNA sign returned home run ball for dedication.  OZUNA sees stitches on baseball and cries.

Mike Fiers – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks.  Look over your shoulder.

Ryan Braun – 1-for-4 and his 19th homer.  Hours of listening to Let’s Hear It For The Boy while silently lip synching in ‘Braun’ in place of ‘boy’ paid off.

Matt Clark – 1-for-3 and his 2nd homer in as many games.  He’s shown solid power in the minors and the Padres gave up on him, so there’s a chance here for something.  The Padres don’t just give up on anyone, they only give up on the best!  Clark’s prolly not much besides a temporarily hot bat.  He looks like a Quad-A player who got into a pitch the last two nights.

Corey Kluber – 8 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks.  At this point, if Kluber gives up a run, I expect to hear it’s a scorekeeper’s error, because Corey doesn’t make mistakes, scorekeepers do.  True story that I saw on PBS on one of those Nova programs.  In 1989, an Asian raver kid, Julie, broke open a glow stick to see what was inside.  From some people, she had heard it was slime from You Can’t Do That on Television, other people told her it was antifreeze.  Julie needed to find out for herself.  So, she broke the glow stick in half and it turned out inside was a small nebula galaxy.  When the galaxy hit the earth’s atmosphere, it created a vortex that swooshed around her like a 94 MPH fastball.  Swoosh and swoosh and swoosh.  Finally, when it came to a stop, the Asian raver kid, Julie, was wearing a catcher’s mask and mitt and Corey Kluber was standing beside her.  She looked at him and he said, “Time to pitch.”

Yan Gomes – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer.  Was totally expecting him to play both sides of the doubleheader.  Why, Fantasy Master Lothario, you ask.  Because they play him every day.  His knees are overused like the compliment ‘Meryl Streep is brilliant.’

Carlos Santana – 3-for-8, 3 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homers.  Oye como yay!

T.J. House – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks.  House surgically removed the Twins, finally taking advice from Willie Mays Hayes II.

Kyle Gibson – 3 IP, 7 ER.  Too bad that while the Indians were scoring runs they didn’t play on the Jumbotron a video of Kirk Gibson fist pumping in slo-mo.  MLB really could take some cues from WWE.  There’s no enough aggressive obnoxiousness in our game today.

Lance Lynn – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 2.73.  He was the tough luck loser to Johnny Cueto (8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 2.15).  Prolly for the best since the Reds pitchers will physically assault you if you try to outpitch them.

Chris Sale – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA down to 1.99.  Yeah, he’s straight butter on Oprah’s thighs that Stedman’s hot-breathing on.  On a real baseball note, does any team score 3-5 runs anymore?  It’s like every game is 1-0, 2-1 or 8-1.

Marcus Semien – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer.  You know how a group of fans get together in costume to support one player, e.g., the Wolf Pack, Padilla’s Flotillas.  When are we going to get Semien’s Facials?

Sean Doolittle – Expected back on Friday.  The Saga of The O’Flaherty can come to an end.  O’Finally.

Scott Kazmir – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks.  Solid bounce back after a few miserable starts that made me think he was nursing an injury.  The Stream-o-Nator is obviously excited about seeing him take on the RAAAngers in O.co.  He doesn’t instill the same amount of faith as I had earlier in the year, but that’s still a no-brainer start.  Hey, my specialty!

Jed Lowrie – 2-for-3, hitting near-.400 in the last week.  He will be in this afternoon’s Buy column.  I know what I’m doing this afternoon!  I sensed some sarcasm there, Random Italicized Voice.  No, I know what I’m doing this afternoon.  Going for a haircut.  Cute.  What, you like my hair long?

Adam LaRoche – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 24th homer.  Only thing better than watching LaRoche hit a homer, is watching it while Anne Murray plays in the background.  Did I say that aloud?

Anthony Rendon – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer.  On our Player Rater, Rendon’s the 2nd best 2nd baseman and 2nd best 3rd baseman and within reach of number one.  Yup, pretty incredible season.  Two years ago, Segura was the number one shortstop.  Okay, Cust kayin’, but still.

Bartolo Colon – 3 IP, 5 ER.  Colon…Thar she blows!

Daniel Murphy – Left the game after being hit on the wrist. Were yesterday’s games sponsored by Target?  Murphy’s wrist X-rays came back clean.  If only Giancarlo was so lucky, they need all the King’s men just to put him together for the X-rays.

Tanner Roark – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 1 K.  Roark against Colon is a matchup Tattoo secretly dreamed about.

Alex Cobb – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 2.75.  Had a no-hitter going until Krispie doubled.  Damn, damn, double Krispie is delicious, but not like that, Young brother.  Cobb has righted the ship, and looks like the starter I thought he was in the preseason without the wins, but there’s no accounting for those.

Yunel Escobar – 3-for-3, 4 RBIs and two homers (5, 6).  Member when Longoria had games like that?  I think it was three years ago when the Rays clinched the playoff berth.  Escobar has been a tad hot, hitting over .300 in the last week.  Could be a real short-term schmotato.

Carlos Beltran – Missed Thursday’s game due to his wonky elbow.  How about I just update you when Beltran or Josh Hamilton are actually in the lineup?  Save ourselves some read/skimming.

Brett Gardner – Sounds like he might come back this weekend.  His final test will be saying, “Gardner’s come to rake,” and seeing if he says it only wincing at its corniness and not due to his abdominal pain.

Chase Headley – Left the game after being hit in the face.  How many games was Fiers pitching in?

Krispie Young – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in as many games (10th overall).  As I said yesterday, Krispie gets smoking hot for extended periods of time.  The platoon shituation in New York’s outfield isn’t ideal, so you may need to platoon him.  He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy, but he could’ve been.  Hot schmotato alert!

Michael Pineda – 7 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.20.  There’s 40 pitchers with ERAs lower than 3.19 with at least 80 IP, and 62 pitchers with ERAs lower than 3.50.  Yes, pitching is so deep.  If you have an ERA over 3.50 in your fantasy league, you haven’t paid attention since May.  Thanks for still reading though, that’s cool!

Dustin Pedroia – Underwent wrist surgery and expects to be back at the start of spring training.  The pediatrician that operated on him said that it was the hairiest baby arm he’d ever seen, but was happy to finally get rid one of his rum raisin lollipops.

Brock Holt – Went to see a concussion specialist.  The specialist’s name is Torii Hunter and he sprayed a water bottle filled with Gatorade on Holt’s head and now he’s as good as new.  In the waiting room was Carl Everett.

Mookie Betts – 2-for-5, 2 runs, and expected to play 2nd base regularly the rest of the year.  I’d like some of that eligibility for next year.  You Betts I do!  Ever get old?  No, no it won’t.

Will Middlebrooks – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI.  Show of hands who thought he retired?  Middlebrooks, why are you raising your hand?  Oh!  I see.

Clay Buchholz – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 5.19.  Guarantee there will be people next year who ask about him.  Buchholz could have a 4.20+ ERA in three separate seasons and people will still ask about him.  Oh, wait, that’s saying the same thing because his ERA has been that bad in 3 separate seasons.

Lorenzo Cain – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI.  For the last week, I’ve been rollin in a Benz-o with Cain, Lorenzo.  Junkies on waivers with a baseball bat, I tried to get away but I couldn’t get far cause a man with a tow truck repossessed my 5th outfielder.  Oh, shizz, DJ Grey with the mash-up.  Cain needs to be platooned for the days he sits, but is worth carrying if you have room.

Starling Marte – Left the game after being hit in the arm.  If it would’ve been my arm, Giancarlo’s face would’ve been there, too.

Francisco Liriano – 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks.  This is funny (not funny).  When I ranked Liriano as the 20th best starter, I gave him a line of 3.24/1.25/188.  His line right now:  3.53/1.28/161.  With three starts left, it’s conceivable he’ll come close on all three.  Of course, he only has 5 wins, but he really turned his season around after his early struggles (had a 4.72 ERA on July 13th).

Leonys Martin – 2-for-3 and a slam (7) and legs (27).  With Ron Washington run out of town on his own devil’s dandruff, I bet Leonys becomes a starter next year and puts up top 40 outfielder numbers.  Really, the only thing stopping him now is the everyday counting stats.

Jake Peavy – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, ERA on the Giants at 2.29, ERA overall 3.93.  Peavy playing his career in the AL?  Journeyman.  Peavy playing his career in the NL West:  which cap do I wear on my Cooperstown plaque?

Buster Posey – 3-for-5, 1 RBI.  Posey’s been solid right?  20 Homers, .309 average.  He’s basically 4 homers, 20 RBIs and 15 base hits away from his MVP season.  Does he feel like an MVP this year?  No.  Remember after his MVP season people were ranking him in the 1st round?  So, since he’s that close to his MVP season, will people be foolishly ranking him crazy high again?  My guess is yes, but since less people will be influenced by the MVP (not that it means anything for fantasy), I don’t think he’ll be that high.    This was brought to you by Afternoon Musings wit’ Grey Albright, sponsored by Afrin.

David Peralta – Aiming to return Monday.  I’ll make sure to mark my iCal on my iWatch cause my iTeam needs some very light speed and power, iThink.

Jake Lamb – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer.  Forget Jake, it’s Lamb town.  Hmm, not sure about that one.  Lamb, you are a baaaad man.  Scratch that.  Jake, your shish kebobs are ready to be skewered!  Yeah, that’s good.  Now, I take a nap.  *claps hands*  I’m back!

Cliff Pennington – 2-for-3, 1 run.  I watched a piece of this game yesterday and Pennington’s stroke is so quiet through the zone.  Must be those years of playing golf at country clubs.  Too bad Cliff Pennington never got to play with Brandon Webb, after growing up with his brother, Ty.

A.J. Pollock – 1-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 11th steal, and his 5th steal in the last ten games, and hitting near-.400 in the last week.  How many Pollocks does it take to turn on a hot schmotato?  One Pollock to hold the hot schmotato, 400,000,000 to twist the stadium.

 
  1. Cheffe says:
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    Jemile Weeks played 2nd Base for the Red Sox. Betts played RF!?

  2. Andre says:
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    Grey,
    On a bye this week…assuming Stanton in done for the year who do I grab to fill the spot? Hitting categories are H, Runs, HR, RBI, Steals, and Avg…only have 12 moves left on the year

    Gattis, Lageres, Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Myers, Trumbo, Cuddyer, Gardner, K. Davis, Hosmer, billy butler, or Johnny Peralta?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Andre: Cuddyer

  3. Prez says:
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    poor grey..

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Prez: he needs a collective over the internet hug

      • @J-FOH: but now he can leave the breathing straw at home. the lord works in mysterious ways, after all…

    • jef with 1 f says:
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      @Prez: I’m spooning him right now..he’s a mess

      • Phil of the Future says:
        (link)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Prez: There’s strength in numbers, even if there’s only two of us with 47 aliases…

  4. Philbert says:
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    In h2h with 5×5 scoring using obp, would you take Leonys over Lagares for playoff hopes? Liked what Lagares did last week but Leonys looks like an opportunity now that he’s getting regular time! Would be looking for runs/steals mostly

    Thank you.

  5. Chill town Rob says:
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    Why is streamonators so blehh on House’s next start against the stros?

    • gareth says:
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      @Chill town Rob: House is in the “small sample size” category right now and the league hasn’t adjusted to him yet. Sure hes been great his last 4 starts, but hes an unheralded prospect and regression should rear its ugly head at some point.

      Love his Fu Manchu look though!

  6. The Animal says:
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    ESPN, 5 cat standard, H2H, League ends 9/21.

    Would you dump R.Martin or D.Navarro for W.Rosario?

    Also would you drop W.Myers or J.Lagares for any of these:
    J.Segura, G.Parra, Jed Lowrie

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Animal: Hold on catchers… Myers for Parra if you need steals

  7. JeF With 1 F says:
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    FACT OF THE DAY:
    Twins have a very high occurrence of left handedness

    • ivebeenupthreedaysstraight says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: and, as a decade-long twins fan, gotta mention the serious case of hate-your-fans-dedness… byron buxton, i love you!

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: Who else didn’t understand that at first thinking it was something to do with the baseball team and LHPs? That’s what being a baseball junky does to you!

      • Chicken Dinner says:
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        @Swfcdan: Lets ALSO not forget their serious case of pitcher anti-K-rate itus.

  8. Tigres says:
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    What happened in MIA – pitch just get away from Fiers? Or something more diabolical? No time to look for details on the interwebs, I’m relying on you Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Got away, no one would purposely hurt mi novio

  9. Steve Stevenson says:
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    On bye this week, but assuming the news on Giancarlo is bad, which OF do I grab for next week? 9 moves left this yr.

    Betts
    Soler
    Stubbs (7G in Coors)
    Crawford (3G in Coors)
    Pollock
    Lagares
    Blanco

    TB, BB, K, NetSB count. If I go with a speed guy I may also grab a LaRoche to plug in at Util (over Dozier) for some power.

    • Steve Stevenson says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Pollock also gets 4G in Coors.

    • Steve Stevenson says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: And in my other league, 6×6 (OPS), also replacing Giancarlo:

      Crawford
      Stubbs
      Dunn
      Gardner

  10. Venezuelan Winter Leaguer says:
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    One week left to win the championship! I’m so close Grey and so much thanks to you!
    Now, SON likes Iwakuma’s next start @LAA but I don’t trust him, should I drop his ass and start Odorizzi at home instead?

  11. Mike says:
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    I need one pitcher to stream this weekend. Already grabbed Volquez vs the Cubs on Sunday, but need one more:

    Salazar vs Det on Sat
    Dickey vs TB on Sat
    Garza vs Cinci on Sun
    Leake vs Mil on Sun
    Santiago vs Hou on Sun

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mike: I’d look at SON… Are these all away games?

      • Mike says:
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        @Grey:

        What is SON?

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Mike: for future reference (unless you want to save this page or bookmark it), above in “tools”

      • Mike says:
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        @Grey:

        Sorry…

        Salazar (home) vs Det on Sat
        Dickey (home) vs TB on Sat
        Garza AT Cinci on Sun
        Leake (home) vs Mil on Sun
        Santiago (home) vs Hou on Sun
        Chase Anderson (home) vs SD

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Anderson, Salazar

  12. Steve Stevenson says:
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    6×6 (OPS) H2H, replace Baez with any of the following for next week, or hold?

    Rutledge (7G in Coors)
    Jose Ramirez (HT’s choice)
    Aybar
    Rollins (if he returns this weekend)
    Segura

  13. Swfcdan says:
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    “1-for-3 and his 4th homer. You know how a group of fans get together in costume to support one player, e.g., the Wolf Pack, Padilla’s Flotillas. When are we going to get Semien’s Facials?”

    HA!

    Rendon or Billy the kid in a roto OBP keeper? Both currently $0 and re-signable obviously.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Grey: Damn! I have Rendon, made a deal involving BIlly start of the year when he was still a question mark, but at least I also got Gausman back then.

        They’re close though right? Both have been exceedingly awesome this year, tonnes of future value.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They’re a coin flip

  14. Swfcdan says:
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    “2-for-5, 2 runs, and expected to play 2nd base regularly the rest of the year. I’d like some of that eligibility for next year. You Betts I do! Ever get old? No, no it won’t.”

    Get in, finally ballclubs are thinking about fantasy owners for once. They want to give him 2B eligability for us next year, thank you John Farrell!

  15. papasmurf says:
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    Simply frightening. Hope both Stanton and Headley will make a full recovery. At least Headley was able to walk off the field.

    You also gotta wonder if Fiers and McGee will be ok mentally after that. Roger Clemens wouldn’t flinch even if he killed someone, but as far as I know, neither F nor McG are sociopaths.

    The crazy thing is I have Stanton, Fiers, and McGee. So ya not a good day.

    Today the lineup I am running out there is: Iannetta, Lind, Altuve, Longo, Mercer, De Aza, Fowler, Avisail, K Vargas.

    A first place team. Oh boy I am in trouble.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Papa Smurf, you’re in first place? Quite the turn of fortune for you, no?

      • papasmurf says:
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        @Grey: @Grey: Two years ago I was in first by 15 pts with one week to go and lost by 1.5 pts cuz the other team caught fire and all the breaks.

        Now, who knows. Typical smurf luck to lose my best hitter and have one of my SPs nail him and possibly be mentally messed up.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah, gotcha

  16. John Rubino says:
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    Having been a daily reader of this site for the last few years, my confidence was high enough to join my first money league this year. It wasn’t much, just $50 – but hell, its money.

    A week ago I had an 11.5 point lead on the league, and I was preparing a “Thank You” post to Razzball. After having drafted Fielder, Bruce, Gyrko, and B Miller (hold on, why was I thanking you again? Oh yeah…) I’ve made 50 more moves than the 3rd busiest team in the league, picking up schamato after schamato. Taking Rudy’s preseason posts to heart, I’m one of only 7 teams slated to hit the innings cap, and one of only 2 teams on pace to hit the games played cap on every position except catcher (-4).

    By the end of last night I found myself with a 1 point lead and news of Stanton out for the year. After watching the replay about 40 or 50 times I was so worked up I sent my Uncle Vito in the Bronx a simple text message, “Mike Fiers: Get Him!”

    This morning I woke up to a reply of, “I couldn’t get Michael Fiers if I was f***ing Michael Fiers.”

    FMFL and FU Fiers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @John Rubino: It’s so close to the end, you can win with waiver replacements for Stanton

  17. Brett says:
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    Gray

    Are you starting Jason Hammel today?

    • gareth says:
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      @Brett: I would. After a shaky start as an Athletic he’s turned it around and has been very good lately.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brett: I have no idea of his matchup

      • Toe Knee says:
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        @Grey: @seattle Paxton

  18. Art Vandelay says:
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    Would you start Wood @ Texas or Carrasco @ Detroit? SON doesn’t like either, but both have been awesome lately.

    • Phil of the Future says:
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      @Art Vandelay:Grab some Wood there, bub.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Art Vandelay: Im starting both

      • Bye Felicia says:
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        @JeF With 1 F: you are my hero. I’m starting both and Holland. In a 6-6 tie, close race h2H 12 cat.
        Tumbling dice baby!

  19. de nachos says:
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    OZUNA has 3 HR in 18 AB against Hamels, we might see some more caveman clubbing tonight. Then watch Hollywood give him the “Bryce Harper old school” treatment and the understandably on edge Marlins dugout literally rip Hamel’s head off Mortal Kombat-style.

  20. Andre says:
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    Grey,

    On a bye this week…assuming Stanton in done for the year who do I grab to fill the spot? Hitting categories are H, Runs, HR, RBI, Steals, and Avg…only have 12 moves left on the year

    Gattis, Lageres, Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Myers, Trumbo, Cuddyer, Gardner, K. Davis, Hosmer, Billy Butler, or Johnny Peralta

    • Bye Felicia says:
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      @Andre: it’s safe to assume he’s done. His face is broken in a bunch of pieces.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Andre: Cuddyer, answered above

  21. Snacks13 says:
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    Grey,

    1A. Turned down sex last night w/ my gf to rosterbate for the playoffs.. Gotta love this time of year!

    1B. Would have continued to rosterbate but have a moves limit so I watched “The Imposter” on Netflix…

    2. Streamed Leonys Martin for his slam and legs yesterday and now I want to keep him and play him over Alex Gordon.. Sound sane?

    3. Picked Betts at SS to replace Rollins (who replaced Tulo) instead of Xander or Mercer… Whoops

    4. Frank Thomas’ voodoo has kicked in at the wrong time for Grande Doler…

    5. Sit Adrian Gonzalez vs Bumgarner? Could start Martin, Gordon or Ploufe…

    6. i would be eliminated and onto fantasy football if it weren’t for Razz. TY

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Snacks13: 1. Ha! 2. Nope 3. It’s okay 4. Yup 5. Martin 6. YW

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Snacks13: you need to do both, otherwise you’ll wake up after a month of FF and be screwed.

  22. gareth says:
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    Giancarlo Stanton – you think they shut him down for the rest of the year or he comes back soon and wears a “phantom of the opera” type mask and terrorises pitchers again?