“I’ll always remember 2018 as the year baseball’s free agents didn’t sign until February,” which is exactly what someone says after listing 3,500 things they’ll remember about 2018 before when baseball free agents signed. J.D. Martinez finally signed in Boston for $110 million, after being previously offered $150 million, $105 million, $141 million, $15 million (this one was just to see if he was paying attention) and $300 million. J.D. Martinez didn’t negotiate a contract, he was picking suitcases on Deal of No Deal. “Howie, I’m going to take the #4 suitcase and give back the $150 million suitcase.” *three days later* “Well, that sucked.” Yeah, I’m not sure what J.D. was doing. His name is definitely not Just Deal, because he dragged his heels for three weeks and seemed to lose a lot of money, and bargaining ability. Any hoo! In the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball, here’s what I said, “Here’s what I would’ve said, had Martinez signed somewhere, “Sure, going to Chase Field for half a season in a walk year is like having some half-baked rhymes and getting to work with Dr. Dre. You can throw out there a line like, “You think I’m being a cock with my rhyme, but I think chickens keep the thyme,” and that shizz goes triple-platinum even though no one but seventeen hipsters in Brooklyn buy albums anymore. What do call a millennial that says ‘Bedford-Thighvethant?’ A lispster. Take it, Highlights, it’s yours. Being in Chase for half a season in his walk year was like being a nobody-nothing who is working an assistant job cleaning out potted plants that Weinstein just irrigated, then finding out you have a high count of midichlorians in your blood and you’re mothereffin’ Frank Skywalker, Luke’s other kid. And you’re not Frank Skywalker like Frank Stallone, but you have some real qualities to add to the mythology. That’s J.D.’s last year. However (Grey’s turning the ship around?), J.D.’s able to hit wherever he’s played. His home/away splits in his career are better at home, but everyone’s are. It’s just easier to hit at home because you’re sleeping in your house, you don’t need to travel, you don’t have to tell the hotel’s front desk to please tell Archie Bradley’s room to be quiet. Road scholars are rare, and are a little weird anyway. Only thing stopping Just Dong, and what has also stopped him in the past is his health. Other than subtracting 75 ABs from the bottom line, there’s not much we can do with that, i.e., I love J.D. but there’s injury risk.'” And that’s me quoting hypothetical me! As I said in the above blurb, Just Dong is who he is, and Fenway’s gonna be a lovely place for him to just, uh, dong. With the signing of Just Dong, Hanley’s going to play 1st base, which means it will take one throw into the first base line for Hanley to lose his arm, and I lowered him in my top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did you hear about the Native American who wouldn’t leave the bathroom? He said home was where the TP was. Hey, this Drunk Uncle Jokebook isn’t that bad! August has been miserable for Jose Ramirez with a .200 average, zero homers and two steals until last night. You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Thankfully, the eggs he broke last night were the goose eggs representing his power numbers as he went 2-for-3 with his 19th and 20th homer, and his 14th steal. Babies babble on, they lookin’ for excuses. Not here to make excuses for Jo-Ram, but this was his first terrible month in two years. Even Rhysus rested one day a week. His righty/lefty splits are both at .298, which is odd since he’s hitting .300. Did he go 0-for-1 against someone who spit the ball at him? *intern whispers in my ear* I see, the .298 righty/lefty splits were before last night. You learn something gnu every day. Spelling will be tomorrow! Assuming Jo-Ram rebounds for his standard month in September, it’s going to be hard to be too down on him in the non-sexual way. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I had a nickel for every time I streamed Matt Moore this season I would have probably six or seven nickels by now. Most of those nickels would have been thrown out of my second-floor window because the streams did not go very well. But, like any good insane person, I can’t help myself and am back for more. Or should I say back for Moore?
Matt Moore tops the Streamonator list this week for two-start starters owned in less than 75% of RCLs. At $15.50, he has the 7th highest value, behind only the six you see above him in the chart below. I would have to go back and look to be sure, but I think this is the first time all season that my top seven starters lined up exactly with what Streamonator projects. That is two opinions for the price of one, people. You can’t get that kind of bargain anywhere else!
While he sports a pretty ugly 5.38 ERA, he has tossed three straight quality starts. In those starts, he has allowed five runs in 20 1/3 innings while striking out nearly a batter per inning. His ERA of 4.09 in the second half is two runs lower than his first half ERA, which was inflated by an absolutely awful 8.88 ERA in June. June must have been when I was streaming Moore the most because that wound feels fresh.
His 4.51 FIP, while not great, is also almost a run lower than his ERA, so it seems that the Moore of late is leveling out to match up with what his peripherals are saying. While many of his numbers this season match up with what he has done throughout his career, there are a few concerns among the bunch. For starters, his swinging strike percentage is down. It’s not drastically down, as 8.9% is not a freefall from his career mark of 10.2%, but it is notable. His BABIP is slightly above league average at .329, while his 1.51 WHIP is up above his career 1.37 WHIP and the 1.29 he put up last season. His Hard% is up nearly 4%, and he is giving up a few more home runs this season, but then again who isn’t, right?
As for matchups this week, he has one great matchup against the Padres and one meh matchup against the Cardinals, who have been much better the last few weeks. The Padres have a wOBA of .291 over the last two weeks, which is good for third worst in baseball behind only the Mets and Nationals. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have the fifth best wOBA over that span with a .362 that is actually tied with the Marlins and Twins. The Cardinals start is a risk for Moore streaming, but his recent success and his matchup against the Padres make him one of the better two-start options this week. He is only owned in 28% of RCLs as of this writing.
As for other starters with a positive Streamonator $ value who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs, here is the entire list:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s just go on what logic tells us. Not Logic, the rapper, but logic the thing you’ve been chipping away at with your weed smoking. In 2015, Billy Beane traded Drew Pomeranz to the Padres for Yonder Alonso. At the time, we have to assume Beane wanted a slugging first baseman. A guy that could hit 25+ homers. Okay, so they dealt with terrible Alonso for two years, and, then, when they get what you think they had to be hoping for, they trade him for a prospect (Boog Powell) that many believe is a bench player. Now, even if Powell pans out, you had in Alonso what you wanted already. I’m beginning to think Beane just does trades to do trades. If you were to hear in fifteen years that Beane was trying to make the A’s worse to get out of Oakland, would anyone be surprised? Moneyball 2 is going to be starring Jamie Kennedy and straight-to-DVD. Any hoo! Alonso loses some value going to the M’s because he’ll likely platoon with Danny Valencia (hit his 13th homer on Sunday), though, I guess it could be argued this is a positive move for Alonso, because he’s hit .188 vs. lefties this year. As for Powell, the A’s might promote and platoon him because what do they have to lose? Or rather, what do they have to win? If they’re lucky, Boog will bring some of his trademark ribs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
True story, I was minding my own business in my backyard recently — mowing the lawn, wiping my brow with the bottom of my shredded Hulk-a-Mania t-shirt, sipping a real super cheap beer. Just being at one with the sun that Al Gore hasn’t yet taken from us, and bronzing my calfs because they look better bronze, when I got to thinking. Not super deep thinking like if I were a sushi chef, I’d make a maki roll with hamburger and Doritos and call it an “Eye roll.” Just surface level thinking, and it hit me. How rare is it that a guy is top five for fantasy value on our Player Rater and he doesn’t have one insanely huge game all year to warrant a lede. That was the case with Paul Goldschmidt, before yesterday. Then, as they say, Au Shizz went shizzy all up in Rizzy’s hizzy — 3-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homers, and now hitting .320 on the year. This should finally put him on top of the Player Rater for the first time all year, after sniffing the Judge’s robe for the first three months of the season, in the number two slot. And there were people who didn’t want to draft him in the top three spots in the preseason. Haha, oops. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was craving sashimi last night, so I sauntered to my local sushi joint. When I walked through the door, I heard the familiar, “Irrashaimase maido,” from the chefs behind the counter. As I nodded my head down reverently, I realized there was a new member of the crew. I like to live dangerously, so I sat down at the bar in front of him. I usually ask the chef, “What’s good today?” but last night it was just, “Prepare what you think is best.” Like I said, I like to live dangerously. If I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, I would’ve knocked my chair backwards and banged my head on the floor from the show I was presented. It was all so un-Benihana-esque. The skill. The grace. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead after slicing and dicing the manta rays placed before him, I asked him one simple question. “Who are you?” He looked me in the eye and responded, “I am Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.” Tanaka was perfect for five innings Friday night. He ended up allowing two hits, one earned run, did not walk a batter, and struck out 14 in eight innings. 77-of-109 pitches were thrown for strikes. That’s how you earn a big tip! Now, keep in mind that Tampa Bay strikes out the fourth-most frequently against RHP and the huge night knocked down his ERA to 5.09 for the year. He did give up four, three, and five earned runs in his prior three starts and got pummeled in his two previous starts against TB. As Friday night showed, though, Tanaka does have the ability to absolutely dominate. When I eat raw fish, I know there’s always the risk that I could be eating some three-eyed monster from Fukushima. That’s how I feel about starting Tanaka. As I said before, I like to live dangerously.
Here’s what else I saw from Friday night’s action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The list of two-start starters for Week 16 is pretty ugly. Not only did it take some time to materialize as teams figured out their rotations following the All-Star break, but once the dust settled and we had a good idea of who would be starting when many of the names we were left with were not all that appealing. Sure, the high-end options like Kershaw (for now), Strasburg, and Greinke were there, but the meat and bones of the list were lacking.
Just ignore Clayton Kershaw. At this point in the season, I am convinced that Dave Roberts reads this post every week and then trolls us all by changing his rotation on Sunday night. He is at the top of the list as of this writing, but that could easily change in the next few seconds. The Dodgers have a dozen or so possible starting pitchers, and Roberts shuffles or adjusts his rotation pretty frequently.
One name to take a look at this week is the soft-tossing Brent Suter. While he does not exactly light up the radar gun, he has been very effective in his recent stint as a starter for the Brewers. In his last two starts, he shut out the Orioles over six innings while striking out eight and then allowed just two earned runs over 6 ? innings against the Yankees while striking out five before the break.
Throughout his career in the minors, Suter has been consistently solid-yet-unremarkable. In other words, he has never really been great but hasn’t been bad, either. He has a 3.44 ERA across six seasons in the minor leagues while throwing to a 3.12 ERA during his time in the show. His 2.96/2.78/8.23/2.63 (see chart below) is also solid.
Streamonator does not like him as much as I do. The ‘nator has Suter up around its 20th best option or so (with a negative value), while I have him at the top of the Standards category below, which puts him around 15th or so. He is, however, only owned in 1% of all RCLs, so he should be available to everyone reading this except the one person who is in the league with that one guy or gal who already picked him up.
If you are in need of an arm in the short term, especially in a two-start week, you can do worse. You can do better, too, but I like Suter as a guy who can offer some solid short term numbers. Other guys Streamonator likes for the upcoming week who are owned in less than 50% of RCLs: Matt Moore, Zack Wheeler, and Rafael Montero.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oakland promoted Franklin Barreto this weekend, and a friend of mine who I only see when he’s mowing my lawn said, “You got to go to The Mission if you really want a Barreto.” Recalling my 1600 Yelp reviews of every Chipotle in Los Angeles county, I exclaimed, “No way, Jose!” But he replied, “Mr. Grey, my name is Julio.” Then we laughed, and, even though he laughed with jajajajaja and I laughed with hahahaha, we found a common ground. As for fantasy, Prospector Ralph said, “Barreto offers hard contact, some speed. Gets caught a lot, and who knows how much the A’s send him. He’s exciting though. Upside guy with a low floor this season. Now can I go back to bitching about Tanaka?” There ya go! Right from the prospect whore’s mouth! I tried to get Barreto in all of my leagues, but, alas, he was gone. Yesterday, he went 2-for-5, 1 run, after homering in his first game on Saturday. He’s worth a flyer in all leagues in case he sticks with Semien. Ew. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our Commissioner Manfred presses his intercom, “Please escort in the Guatemalan baseball stitchers.” Manfred’s secretary brings six men dressed in blanket ponchos and straw hats. Their leader steps forward, “Mr. Manfred, the Capri Suns you have us using to juice the balls is not working.” Their leader pulls out a baseball that is dripping with Ecto Cooler. Manfred turns in his seat, silhouetted with the setting sun. He lights a Virginia Slim 120 and pulls, coughing slightly. “I no longer want the balls juiced. Now….I want you and your friends to go to Dodger Stadium and blow.” “Mr. Manfred, we are not sex workers!” “Not blow like that! Put your lips together and blow.” “Like Bogey and Bacall?” “Yes! Now go!” …And this was how Dodger Stadium became a launching pad. Yesterday, Corey Seager (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) hit three homers (10, 11, 12), Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 7th homer and Cody Launchangler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) did it again, hitting his 22nd. Granted, someone needs to put Cody Launchangler in carbonite for Cooperstown — we can’t risk something happening to him playing baseball! — but this Seager guy is pretty good too, huh? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Another week, another Clayton Kershaw start pushed to Monday. At least this week they moved the start before I wrote and submitted this article. If they move it again Saturday morning, then I will be convinced that Dave Roberts is just doing this to troll me every week. As of now, he is your top two-start starter for Week 12. He might even deserve his own tier.
For Week 12, there aren’t a ton of attractive options after our first two tiers. In previous weeks, we have had middle-of-the-road arms with some good peripherals or some recent success that were available in the majority of leagues. This week, though, I’m not crazy about any of the starters on this list that are going to be available in most leagues. Just look at the numbers in the chart below.Please, blog, may I have some more?