I try to avoid repeating ledes during the season and Sean Newcomb already had one. There I said, “It’s 2074, Grey Albright’s frozen head is on a shelf next to Ted Williams’ frozen head…I took a picture of Ted’s penis…I’m so romantic!” Damn, I pull quotes almost as well as I dispense fantasy baseball advice! By the way, I watched the Ted Williams special on PBS this weekend. Biggest surprise (to me), he was Mexican. He was the original Fernandomania — Teodoromania? When I searched Ted Williams and his Mom, that dominated the search results and who are we to question Google? So, Sean Newcomb ended the game one out from a no hitter against the Dodgers, one of the best offense teams — 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.23. I pulled the reins on Newcomb in the last few weeks because his peripherals are garbage and I’m only happy when I’m pulling reins. His velocity is down, his 8.3 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and 4.32 xFIP are not telling the whole story, but they’re telling enough of the story while sitting around a campfire farting. Then on Sunday, he threw 134 pitches. I’m all for hypnotizing pitchers into thinking they’re Walter Johnson, but he had never pitched more than 111 pitches in the majors. Solid game on Sunday, but if you grab Newcomb he could leave a mushroom cloud in his wake, and not as in an umami bomb. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I understand why sports fans who don’t watch baseball (aka losers) are so bored during the summer. I get this similar feeling every year during the All-Star Break. Like a “WOW! So this is what it feels like?” Even just a few days without baseball feels like a punishment. I can’t imagine not being a baseball fan and having an entire summer filled with no other live sports. Sure, there is NBA/NFL free agency news going on. Which I must admit was pretty exciting this year, but still. I get so tired of the news loop and the same old stories being repeated over and over. Yes, fortunately there was a World Cup which was a truly great one to watch this year. But still.
Aside from off-season “news” from other sports and a World Cup every 4 years, the summer is a terrible time for sports. That is of course, unless you are part of the pinnacle of society known as “baseball fans.” In that case, summer is awesome because baseball is the only sport we have to focus on. There are multiple games every single day, and news stations actually report on it (kinda). All I’m really trying to say is that I now can relate to people when they say the summer sucks because there are “no sports” on. These few days have made me realize how lucky I am to be able to enjoy the game of baseball every day.
As you might have guessed from my horrendous title, I am here to discuss some outfielders that should be out there on waivers that can help your team make a big push in the 2nd half.Please, blog, may I have some more?
At least they weren’t no-hit, that’s what I always say. Then I follow it with #getstrapped or whatever 50 Cent says now. This is not going to be out on a limb or anything, but celebrities were better when we had no idea what they were thinking. Imagine Liberace on Twitter in the 1950’s, “YAASSS girl, I am here for this, sippin’ my tea.” Yo, Liberace, sure YAASSS Girl’s a lot for a guy who was quoted in the Confidential as saying, “Mature Women Are Best: TV’s Top Pianist Reveals What Kind of Woman He’d Marry.” Maybe that would’ve been awesome. I don’t know, I’m not a time traveler. However, if I were, I would’ve made sure everyone read my Blake Snell sleeper (segue, snitches!). (Isn’t it weird present and past tense read are the same? Am I the only one that never guesses right? Any hoo!) Tis true that I didn’t even expect Snell to be this dominant. Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 4 walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.31. He has the 7th best ERA, 19th best strikeout rate (10), 30th best xFIP (3.64), 13th best swinging strike rate (13) and 8th worst contact rates (71.2%). Super shorthand, if you’re throwing pitches and hitters are not making contact, you’re doing exactly what you should be doing. Hard to imagine his ERA staying quite that low all year, but he has made the jump to a top 15 starter, and maybe higher. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I can’t deny Brandon Crawford a spot on this list any longer. After a putrid April that saw the month end with his average under .200 — Crawford has turned it on more than any other player in the league. From May 1 to June 28 — a span of 34 games, 127 ABs — Crawford is hitting .425. Say whaaaatt?! Sure, 20 runs, 5 HRs, 25 RBI and 2 SBs as well — but .425 in over 30 games? That easily ranks #1 among qualified hitters over that span. The difference between Crawford and the player with the 3rd ranked average over that period (Jean Segura) is the same difference between Segura and Buster Posey — the hitter with the 20th ranked average. Included in this streak are 18 multi-hit games. Crawford is getting punches in bunches and needs to be owned in more than 65% of leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did you hear about this Joc working overtime? He was too uptight! Take it, Highlights, it it yours! One guy whose completely uptight in the forbidden Fruit of the Looms is Joc Pederson. Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homer. That gives him five homers this week. Yabba dabba drool! “So, I was hoping to buy a screw in this hardware store, but I’m having lustly feelings about a Joc. Will you serve me?” That’s me walking into a hardware store in Tennessee. Some of my hotter buys — buys I make while wearing a thong — are owned in more than 50% of leagues — Rendon, Desmond, etc. — but Joc is pretty sexy if he’s going right and available in a multitude of leagues. By the by, someone who changes attitudes frequently has a multitude. The royal we are talking about a guy in my Joc who could sneak into a 30+ homer, 7-steal season, and he’s not even hitting for a bad average this season (.272). Giddy up on this Joc! And that’s not the first time I’ve said that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: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?
Last week we touched on the Mariners and the propensity for steals in a post-suspension world. Since then, the navigators of the sea have acquired Denard and Colome, making more SAGNOF situations. The scorching hot filterless hitter I wanna concentrate your gaze on this week is from the same team with ample speed to be used. That hitter is Ben Gamel. The addition of Span to the outfield mix is a bit of a head scratcher fantasy-wise, because someone has to sit and three outfielders have to play. Gamel over the last 7 games is going streaking across the quad and down the street to On Base Percentage-ville. His batting average alone is a nice coup for a short term pick-up. Hitting .381 and an OBP of .458 is a nice end of the OF problem to have. He is getting his fair share of AB’s and is putting his on base skills to good work too, stealing 3 bases in the past week. That may seem like small potatoes, but in the world of steals that is a lot by its own standards. So if you are surfing the waiver wire looking for outfielders with small potatoes to offer, take a long hard look at the Marines outfielder. On to better and pressing news in SAGNOF-dom, we got charts and snippets of joy for this Memorial Day. Cheers!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?
Batters that are consistent week after week are much more enjoyable to have on your roster than those with frequent hot and cold spells. Sure a player putting up 50 points in a week can almost single handedly earn you a win, but the three weeks prior where he didn’t break single digits can be extremely frustrating. Especially when such a cold spell leads you to bench said player on the week he finally breaks out for 50 points. As Grey would say “sonofabench”. Byron Buxton punched me in the nuts with one of those last year. In years past Jay Bruce is a hitter that often fell into this category.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I rarely like to make too many movements in the Top 20 or so players, but this week I thought it was necessary. Last week saw me drop Paul Goldschmidt from 8th down to 21st and this week he tumbles a bit further down to 24. In the 4 games since my last top 100 article Goldy has gone 2 for 16 with two measly singles. He can get hot in a minute and rocket back up to the top 10 — but right now it’s disrespectful to the other players to place him in the top 10.
Jose Altuve’s slight fall is going to make a lot of people angry, but he’s just not doing enough with the bat or on the base paths to warrant a top 10 placement. I see the average over .300 but 2 HRs and 2 SBs isn’t cutting it. Just as a heads up — if you have a frustrated owner in your league who is willing to accept your offer of Jonathan Schoop and an OF2/OF3 for Altuve — make the offer now. Altuve is an avid Razzball reader and will be out to prove me wrong!
Two little Indians jumped up in my rankings: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They are ranked 6th and 5th respectively on ESPN’s Player Rater and earned their boost. A commenter last week pointed out how much better Lindor was performing than Carlos Correa and I that message was received loud and clear. Correa has been more lauded than Lindor, but I can’t deny Lindor is out-performing Correa so far this year. Ramirez on the other hand has statistics that compare favorably to fantasy baseball Gawd Mike Trout. Ramirez only has 6 less runs, the same amount of HRs, 5 more Rbi, 2 less steals and a higher average (even if only by .006.) With second and third base eligibility that screams top 10 talent to me. Soon.Please, blog, may I have some more?
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nick Kingham retired the most batters to start a game since 1961 in a debut. Elias Sports Bureau also said, “There were sixteen cracks in the 5th floor’s tile closest to the bathroom, which is a new record for cracks in a tile.” Yo, Elias Sports Bureau might have OCD. On our top 100 starts of 2018 chart, Kingham registered in the top 10. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s the first pitcher to debut with 7+ IP and not have a baserunner reach scoring position. According to Kent Tekulve, Kingham was the first pitcher in a 1979 Pirates uniform not high on cocaine since Tekulve. In all, a terrific debut for Kingham — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 9 Ks. Originally, the Pirates planned on a one-and-done, hit-and-run, wham-bam-thank-you, young-man start for Kingham and see him get sent right back down, but they rightfully are having him travel with the team, and appear to be keeping him up. His Triple-A numbers (10.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.59 ERA) say this is the right move. I’d hold off for now in mixed leagues, but you should cyclops him with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last year some fellow co-workers and I decided it would be fun to join a flag football league. Seemed like a solid idea. Do some ‘team building’, get some running in, and enjoy a little competition. Well, by the end of the season we had gone through 4 QBs, one broken thumb, multiple pulled hammies and quads, and a grand total of 2 wins to show for all of our pain, so, safe to say, we made the right choice to be auditors and not professional athletes.
With the NFL draft ongoing, I thought it would be interesting to see what the best backyard football squad we could put together of current MLB players would look like. As this is a backyard/adult sport league type of team build, we’ll forego the offensive and defensive line. By NFL standards, there aren’t many guys that could play the line anyway. David Ortiz, Big Papi, is by all accounts a mountain of a man for a baseball player at 6’4” and listed at 250 lbs. (I’m not sure I buy the weight, but that’s neither here nor there) would still be an inch short and 60 pounds light of the average offensive tackle in the NFL…Please, blog, may I have some more?