Please see our player page for Bud Norris to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Despite what their owner, fan base, and majority of their players believe, the Washington Nationals remain in the playoff chase, just a half game out of the wild card. Bryce Harper’s dad has never doubted them for a second! So what’s changed? Has Juan Soto taken his game to Coke Zero levels? Is Bryce Harper single-handedly carrying the team on his mega swole back? It’s actually been Ryan Zimmerman who has really caught fire of late and has given them that extra spark that not even a players over involved father can provide. “Mr. Harper I’m going to ask you again to stay out of the showers. You can’t be in here. This is the last time I’m going to tell you this.”  Zimm went 1-for-4 with his 10th home run on Friday night as the Nats cruised past Miami. Since returning from a lengthy stay on the disabled list, Zimmerman is slashing .341/.417/.732 with four homers and 15 RBI. Those are Soto/Harper-esque numbers, folks! Despite his early season struggles, Zimm is a bat that demands to be owned across all fantasy formats due to the line up he hits in and his history of mashing dingers. Lucky for you, much of the fantasy baseball world has dog days disorder where they’ve moved on from baseball to trendy end-of-summer activities like “going outside” and preparing for fantasy football (check out this shameless plug and click the link for gridiron gold). This is our time to strike, my over-the-internet friends. When everyone else has given up. Ryan Zimmerman was a BUY and is under 50% owned, but not for much longer. Ignore what Bryce’s dad says about his team mates, I’d grab Zimm everywhere he’s still available.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Ronald Acuña Jr. (5-for-8, 5 runs, 5 RBIs) hit a leadoff homer in both games of the doubleheader, and became the youngest to homer in four straight games in the live-ball era.  Wistful sigh, member those good ol’ zombie dead-ball era stars?  Acuña now has 17 homers and 8 steals in 66 games.  Oh, I’m sorry, you my daddy?  It’s hard to understand how a 20-year-old can be my daddy, but I think you my daddy.  When that family that raised me told me to put mime makeup on every morning, I didn’t put it together, but now I know the one true thing in this world that only 23andMe and a gut feeling can tell me, Acuña is my daddy.  I’m going to start calling him Tildaddy.  Not as in ‘until I find my true daddy, you will be my daddy.’  Not Tildaddy as in what a teenager who works a cashier at a Waffle House makes his co-workers call him.  Tildaddy as in sloppily jamming tilde and daddy together.  You’re my Tildaddy!  People keep asking in the comments where I think Tildaddy (my fetch) will be drafted next year.  If you prorate his numbers out, he’d have 35 homers and 20 steals as a 20-year-old.  I’m sorry, you Machado’s Tildaddy too?  You Goldschmidt’s Tildaddy?  ARE YOU MIKE TROUT’S TILDADDY?!  He is at least a top 25 pick in 2019 and I might shock the world and shove Tildaddy in my top 15.  Un…Til…Daddy shows me different.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Maybe they thought they were safe by bringing Kelvin Herrera as a Linus blanket until Doolittle returned.  Maybe they were comfy with the veterans that they had lined up just in case.  Well that “just in case” just happened.  Herrera is now on the DL and Madson assumes the role of all roles. (Until Sean Doolittle comes back from a stressed out foot.)  The Nats had such promise in preseason and even after the acquisition of Kelvin, to be a good bullpen.  Former closers, like most men, are there to do their job and file their income tax returns on time like big boys.  Well, they disappointed me and definitely the owners of Doolittle.  Since July 3rd, or basically the last time Doolittle pitched, they have four saves.  Four, fore, for!  Only ahead of teams like the Padres, Blue Jays and Angels.  By the way, if you are scoring at home the Angels haven’t had a save in 27 games.  That is actually more mind-blowing than a team with decent starting pitching to only get four whole damn saves.  Makes save-chasing on Madson or the like seem glum.  So save your FAAB bucks for another day because Sean should be back within the fortnight, no idea if he mastered his emote dances yet though.  Not that it really matters, but a save earned is a save kept.  I know that works with pennies, wasn’t sure if that helped with counting stats at all.  The season is coming down the stretch, do you have what it takes oh glutens of the SAGNOF?  If you feel weary or just on cruise control because of Fantasy Football, than relax take a gander on some useful bullpen stuff, followed by the rankings…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Say cheese! Mike Moustakas was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder and top prospect Brett Phillips along with right handed pitcher Jorge Lopez in a move that tells the baseball world that the Brewers really think they’re in this thing. Isn’t that adorable? Mil-ee-wauk-kay is Algonquin for “the good land,” and this is very good news for Moustakas and his owners if they’re not already in last place as Mike goes to one of the most hitter friendly ballparks for lefties in the entire league. Mike was slashing .249/.309/.468 with 46 runs, 20 home runs, 3 stolen bases and 62 RBIs through the first 98 games and I think it’s more than reasonable to expect he can improve upon these stats in Wisconsin. He’s received a huge upgrade not just to his home park but also a much better supporting line up (reuniting with former teammate Lorenzo Cain) and hitting around the likes of Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw (who will mostly likely move over to play second base). His counting stats should improve along with the power numbers and it’s all around just a grand ol’ time to own the Moose. Going the other way, highly touted prospect Brett Phillips was slashing .240/.331/.411 with 6 dingers, 25 RBI and 11 stolen bases at AAA and should be a regular in the Kansas City outfield going forward. He’s worth a speculative add in deep leagues based on his upside and should play every day. Jorge Lopez was serviceable out of the Brewers pen in 19.2 IP this season posting a 2.75 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 15/13 K/BB. Meh is right but he’s a bullpen arm whose name we could hear a lot more of soon if/when Wily Peralta eventually pitches his way out of the closing gig. Overall, seems like a solid trade for both teams and unlike most of these dreaded deadline deals, this trade has more helpful implications for fantasy owners than usual. No one’s losing a closer or a starter or moving to an impossible division or ball park. This trade is basically a win for all of us involved, so let’s hear it for the new Milwaukee Moose!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing.  In comes one out goes the other.  Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer.  The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya.  Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer.  The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”.   Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin.  The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent.  This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams.  Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative.  Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’.  The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie.  Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do.  More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Zach Britton was traded to the Yankees.  The Yankees acquired Britton to throw out all Boston players’ tea.  Now the Yankees just need to acquire Ben Revere to ride into Boston and tell everyone in Fenway what’s up.  “Excuse me, Jimmy McMalley, should we Google when the Yankees are coming to town next?”  “I don’t think that’s necessary, Shane O’Irishharvard, the Yankees have a lovely black gentleman riding into town named Revere with a Britton”  “Splendid, Jimmy, splendid.”  And that’s how Massholes discuss current events.  Britton now moves about three innings from the ninth.  Is he gonna pitch the 6th?  Not sure, to be honest, but he’s not closing, so in most leagues you can drop him.  As for Baltimore’s new closer?  Like neon scrunchies, what’s old is new again, and Brad Brach should regain the closer job.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Daniel Poncedeleon was called up and threw no hitter (thru seven innings and then was pulled from game while striking out three hitters, but it’s more fun to say he threw a no-hitter, so ignore this).  Incredibly, Poncedeleon is 478 years old, and he could be the ROY.  *intern whispers in my ear*  That’s an F?  What the hell is, ‘He could be a FOY?’  The fountain of the year?  What are you talking about?  Rookie of the youth?  What are you talking about?  Sorry, having a miscommunication with my intern.  Any hoo!  In Triple-A, he had a 10.1 K/9 — up my giddy! — a 4.7 BB/9 — put my roll on slow! — a 2.15 ERA — getting the fever! — with a 4.99 xFIP — so I’m taking some ‘Tussin.  He might surprise some major league lineups, but he could easily go out and destroy you.  By the way, Bartolo Colon is so intent on 300 wins that he might follow Poncedeleon wherever he goes.  On the reals, Poncedeleon’s dad in the stands after his son threw seven no-hit innings gave me the feels, especially when you figure his dad has to be at least 498 years old.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the bi-monthly look at nose picking.  Nah, I am obviously talking about bullpens, because they usually come in second to the nose goblins anyways.  Lots of people always ask me: How do you shuffle between holds guys and get an effective return?  First off, if you wanna surf the waiver trend and stream the hell out of relievers for holds purposes, you gotta be aware that you can’t be afraid to let your ratios go to pot.  Not like move to Colorado and play Bohemian drums and stuff, just the trends that I have encountered and noticed is that with the quantity in holds there comes a slight tick to ERA and WHIP.  Not an awful turn of events, if you you have sufficient starters that hold down the metrics.  I don’t even know if metrics was the right word there, but I just saw a commercial for a tutoring service for kids… ummm, its summer.  So back to the picking a winner lede discussion…  When in doubt, pick a winner, four of the top-five hold accumulating teams are in first place.  Six out of the top-10.  I wish I can make the cliche statement that bullpens win games and have it be unique and quirky and new, but quality bullpens don’t not hurt your teams chance at winning. So if you are looking at streaming or even in the business for flip-flopping relievers in this high holy season of the All Star break, ask yourself two questions; how has he done over the last two weeks, and is his team scoring enough runs for the quantity?  Because any good reliever needs to be worth the squeeze.  And it doesn’t hurt to be a front-running team.  So choose wisely, and for all intents and purposes hit me up.  Never hurts to ask the guy who sleeps in bullpen pajamas.  More bits of tid after the jump, cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season.  Rewind four months ago and look at your team…  If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach.  Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen.  The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web…  So now we look at Jeurys Familia.  Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him.  From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245.  All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer.  Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357.  Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage.  Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins….  Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team.  So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t.  I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tis that season!  Whether you are a football fan or not, and not that football fan…  Though the crew over on that football site do an amazing fantasy job.  So for the few of you that aren’t totally dizzy by my words of soccer, then let’s roll baseball into soccer and let the fantasy good times roll.  So for the next month the world, not ‘Mericas, will be casting its gaze on the beautiful game.  So while half the population is watching futbol, you can expand your bullpen horizons and deepen your reliever core.  The trade winds for relievers are already blowing and with just over a month to go before the trade deadline, grabbing the relievers that are secondary or even tertiary now (ones that won’t kill your rates) are all the rage with millennials AND baby boomers.  Situations to monitor and use to your advantage?  The Padres, Royals, and Tigers.  We all own the closer likes of Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, and Shane Greene.  But what are the ownership rights to Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Kevin McCarthy, and Joe Jimenez?  Way slimmer.  And combined like Voltron, their ownership for all four of those secondary relievers is less than one closer.  So basically free.  The key to mid-season closer acquisitions is being first.  Save that beloved FAAB kitty and be early rather than later.  So if you are looking at your roster, it was rhetorical… I know you are, get rid of that sixth SP or that bench bat that does nothing and play the reliever wait game.  Save now to help later.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?