As Ice Cube sang on the now-iconic song, It Was An Away Game, “Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God. Today, German was away, carrying my whole squad.” Then later on, he sings, “I felt ill after that big fat DeSclafani, pitching like he just pulled out of bed in jammies, but German killed those baserunners like every role by Allison Janney. And my teams run deep so deep so deep I’d put your ass to sleep talking about how on one team Alex Cobb’s my number one, but I didn’t hesitate to call German Marquez my top gun.” Imagine you were a Rockies fan who only watched home games, the team’s contract with German Marquez (9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 0 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.00) would be tré confusing. After 100 pitches, he is so low effort throwing 97 MPH in the 9th inning, and occasionally drops in an off-the-table curve that is freaking brothers every way like M.J. I can’t believe today German’s game was away. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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If a tree falls in a forest, but no one drafts the tree does it make a sound? That’s what it felt like this weekend at Razzball. I’m sure a ton of people were angry that Daniel Murphy fractured his finger, but I heard nary a peep from the Razzball faithful. I’m guessing because of where I ranked him. According to FantasyPros, the top person ranked him 26th overall. The worst ranking of him, and, oh, it’s just silly. Some total numbskull ranked him 150th overall. Wait a second, I’m that numbskull, and the awful ranking was actually him 26th overall. I should’ve wrote an overrated schmohawk post for him, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to write this in February, “He’s old, and will get hurt. End of post. So, did everyone already take down their Groundhog’s Day decorations?” I honestly couldn’t figure out why people were drafting him. His projections were 22 HRs, .310. I mean, okay, but kinda big whoop, no? Meh, I guess it’s irrelevant now since I know none of you drafted him. Right? Riiiiiiight? The good news is Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon should see more at-bats, and, just as I say that, the Rockies played Mark Reynolds at 1st base on Sunday. Oh, Rockies, you dumb, dumb team, which is different than the creative team behind Dum-Dum lollipops. They’re terrific. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Draft season is suddenly reaching its climax, not unlike the titular Rabbit does in women that aren’t his wife in Rabbit, Run. He’s not the rabbit we’re interested in, however. We’re after some free steals late in drafts because Steals Ain’t Got No Face. Let me type that again in all caps so you’ll know I’m shouting. STEALS AIN’T GOT NO FACE. Don’t overpay for Mallex Smith when you could get Dee Gordon much later. Either could be the leadoff hitter for Seattle. Chasing speed is a dangerous game. I prefer building it into my entire roster little by little but at some point, you need someone to lead the charge in the steals category. Consider these speedsters as speculative plays late in your drafts…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I believe Razzball is the friends and not the family, but I’ve been drafting with Scott Pianowski and Dalton Del Don so long they feel like family. Like my two cousins who call me when they’re in Los Angeles and say, “Hey, you wanna meet up for sushi? It’s your treat.” Then, when I go to meet up with them, they’re not there and 45 minutes after I show up at our meeting point, I get a text, “Sorry, have to cancel, so hung over.” It’s one word, father’s side of the family! Hungover is one word! As you might’ve noticed I didn’t say Brandy Ehrens was a part of the league, because he’s bailed on me/us/they; you choose the pronoun. I even hired a skywriter to put in the clouds above his house, “Kyle Schwarber wants you to draft him.” Guess someone else would have to draft some Cubs. (If you want to compete against me, Rudy and hundreds of others, join the Razzball Commenter League. More the merrier!) Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family team, it’s a 15-team, mixed league:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Olson, affectionately known as Allahson by people in Middle East Bay, hit his 22nd homer yesterday. An inconsequential home run to the game, but it’s a part of a larger tapestry. Khris Davis hit his 31st homer, his 4th homer of the week, but, again, pull back, view the larger picture. That home run didn’t matter! Speaking of a matter, Matt Chapman hit his 15th homer, as he hit out of the two-hole, because the A’s can. Sure, the A’s can and two-hole are synonymous. But, of course, all of this happened. Look at the larger picture! Trevor Cahill went 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.12, which is exactly what was always meant to happen. Don’t you see it yet? On Saturday, Edwin Jackson went 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.87. No one on the A’s will have a bad game this year. Know why? Are you pulled back far enough to see the larger picture? No one will have a bad game because no one sells their soul and doesn’t specify they want to be good until the end of the season. “Hey, cool horns and pitchfork. So, yeah, here’s my soul, and can you make me pitch well until the first week of August?” That would never happen! The A’s aren’t the best team in baseball without serious voodoo, soul-selling! I have it on good authority someone was seen in the A’s clubhouse with a 1970’s-style mustache hiding horns on top of their head! That’s the devil, unless Rollie Fingers remodeled his face. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: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?
Not a lot of us saw this major league breakout coming from Jesus Aguilar. We were all expecting an awkward OF & 1B battle in Milwaukee between Eric Thames and Ryan Braun. Then here comes Jesus walking on the waters of Lake Michigan from Cleveland to Milwaukee to become an All-Star with the Brew Crew (he should be — stay tuned.) Maybe we all should’ve seen this coming — in 655 minor league at-bats in 2016 Aguilar hit 40 HR and 114 RBI. The average was only .261, but in the Indians minor league system he has some high average seasons (2011: .288; 2013: .291; 2014: .304.) Aguilar has already dropped his strikeout rate from 30% to 24.6% and if that number continues to go down while his contact rate continues to climb — Jesus’s ascension could continue.Please, blog, may I have some more?
- Didi Gregorius, SS, NYY: As a Yankee fan, nothing made me happier than to strap a rocket to Didi’s back and have him climb through these rankings. However, we all should’ve seen this decline coming. Since seeing his batting average peak at .368 with 10 HRs on April 27th — no one has seen a steeper fall-off than Didi. In the 25 game since that date he is hitting .135 with only 1 HR in 104 ABs and just destroying your team’s offensive numbers. I still think there will some course correction in his numbers in the coming weeks. His average and HR total has risen every year over the past three years so he might just be in a prolonged slump right now.
- Buster Posey, 1B/C, SF: Posey isn’t necessarily having a bad season — he’s still hitting close to .300 — but 3 HR and 19 RBI is definitely not what you want from someone with an ADP of 54.1. A closer look shows that Posey is still hitting the ball with authority — he has a 39% hard hit rate. However, he’s hitting a high percentage of his balls into the ground (47.9%.) If he can start getting under the ball a bit more and turning some of those hard hit grounders into line drives and fly balls — he could reach 15 HRs again. However, as of right now it’s looking like he might see a declining HR total for the 4th season in a row.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As Gerrit Cole’s weekly attempts to break the strikeouts per game record continue in Houston, the baseball world is left to wonder, “Wait what exactly did Pittsburgh get for trading this dude again?” Well, Bucs Nation got to see their return on full display Friday night, Joe Musgrove was dominant in his Pirates debut going seven scoreless innings allowing just five hits striking out seven and even added a hit and scored a run for his first win with his new team. Joe only needed 67 pitches to get through seven, throwing 50 of those for strikes and retired 80% of the hitters he faced on three pitches or less. He’s also the first pitcher to go seven innings with under 70 pitches in 10 years or something zzz. Enough with the stats, nerd! Tell me about the KAYS! Sure, Musgrove did not look spectacular in his rehab stint, and sure, the Cardinals offense is not the most menacing assignment, but the 25 year old RHP is formerly highly touted prospect! He had seven wins in 15 starts (109.1 innings) in 2017, but it’s the 98/28 K/BB rate that has got me doing the happy dance. ThasalottaKs! He’ll get a tougher assignment versus the Cubs next week, but could be worth a grab for that sweet, sweet upside alone. Remember, the Pirates traded Gerrit Cole for this kid! What do they know that we don’t!? I’d take a flier on Joe Musgrove anywhere I needed starting pitching help. I can see him becoming a reliable streaming option for me throughout the rest of the year. And that’s honestly one of the highest compliments I can give!Please, blog, may I have some more?